Earlier on this year I was invited by my local GP practice to go for a free health check as I was about to reach the grand old age of 50. “What a great idea!”, I thought.
Life, work and extended birthday celebrations got in the way of me doing very much about it, so a second invitation arrived a few weeks later. This one was slightly more – persuasive – in its tone, but I still managed to do nothing about it.
About three weeks ago, a much more strongly worded letter arrived. I took the hint, went for my blood tests and reported to the surgery this morning for my results.
The good news is that I’m fine, apart from having lymphoma of course. I don’t have diabetes, I have a BMI that is just a shade over 26 (but my excuse is that I was fully clothed at the time I was weighed), my blood pressure and pulse are normal and my cholesterol levels are good too.
However, one result did have me scratching my head just a little. Apparently, I have a 6.47% risk of a heart attack or stroke during the next few years.
Somehow, I’m not convinced by the apparent accuracy of this prediction. Paradoxically, it’s quite often the case that the more precisely a value is stated, the less meaningful it really is. But I’m obviously very happy that I only have about a 1 in 20 chance of such a problem happening!