Wiltshire residents aged between 40 and 74 will be invited to make an appointment for a free NHS health check from their GP practice.

The checks, paid for by Wiltshire Council, will assess a person’s risk of developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and dementia in the next ten years, by looking at age, sex, family history, height, weight, cholesterol and blood pressure.

In the past two years, more than 30,000 people in Wiltshire have had a free health check and a further 30,000 people will be invited each year to the cardiovascular disease risk assessment.

Invites will go out every five years, when people are 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 or 74.

Maggie Rae, corporate director at Wiltshire Council, said: “People may feel healthy now, but they could be at risk in the future.

"An NHS health check will take just 20 minutes of your time, every five years, and could prevent you developing heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease or dementia.”

Following the NHS health check people are taken through the results and told what they mean.

If required, they are given advice and support on how to lower their risk and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These could include stopping smoking, losing weight, increasing exercise, or prescribed medication.

The checks also play an important part in detecting undiagnosed disease earlier.

Dr Celia Grummitt, a GP at Cross Plain surgery in Bulford, said: “People who attend are finding the NHS health checks very helpful and a good opportunity to find out more about how to live longer healthier lives.”

Keith Humphries, cabinet member for public health, said: “I would encourage everyone that receives an invitation to make an appointment.

"NHS health checks are free, quick and help to prevent ill health or an early death.

“A range of lifestyle services are available in Wiltshire which complement NHS health checks, these include stop smoking services, weight management services, Active Health physical activity programmes and health trainers.”