Gale teams up with pharmacists to tackle killer heart disease

December 5th,  2008

North Thanet’s MP, Roger Gale, has called for people at increased risk of heart disease to get themselves checked for free at their local community pharmacy. Roger urged action after he was given a health check by a team of pharmacists in Westminster and learned about new vascular checks that are available at pharmacies.
 
The vascular check is comprised of a series of simple tests including standard questions about lifestyle; measurements of height, weight and blood pressure and tests for diabetes and cholesterol levels.

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At this stage anyone identified as being at risk may have some further checks and be referred to their GP.

Following his reassuring check-up Roger said “Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the UK. The pharmacy testing takes just 30 minutes but could save your life. I hope that all those who are eligible will take the opportunity to take control of their health and live longer and healthier lives”.
 
In April, it was announced that the NHS will introduce a new programme of vascular risk assessments and management for people aged between 40 and 74 to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. The condition currently causes 170,000 deaths per year.
 
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain arranged the health checks for MPs at Westminster and its Director of Policy and Communications, David Pruce, said: “The lifestyle of people working in Westminster can be high pressured and involve long hours, making it a real challenge to manage personal health - so the House of Commons seemed like an obvious place to demonstrate the new vascular checks. These are simple health tests which are provided by highly qualified pharmacists nation-wide. Community pharmacies are easily accessible in the places people work, live and shop, are often open outside normal GP clinic hours and appointments usually aren’t necessary. This makes them an ideal place to receive a free NHS health check and we hope all pharmacies in every community will soon be offering this service.”

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