Millions of people failing to take free test that could spot deadly diseases. NHS warnes

A free health check that could spot deadly diseases has been taken by less than half of over-40s, NHS England has warned.

The free screening tests for many of Britain’s biggest killers, such as heart problems, kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes. But it has been taken by only a minority of the 15 million people who are eligible to undergo it, the health body warned.

It consists of just a 20 minute long, entirely painless assessment and could potentially save people’s lives, experts have warned.

But despite the fact that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease remain the leading cause of death in England and Wales in 2017, millions of people have not taken the test that could quickly help avoid them.

Someone who has had a stroke, or has diabetes or heart disease, is around twice as likely to develop vascular dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Society.