31/08/2004

Over 40s offered 'Prime' advice for healthy living

Men and women over 40 are being encouraged to choose healthier lifestyles by a new publication available from GP practices on September 1.

'Prime', which is a magazine split into two specially tailored editions for men and women, will focus on the conditions which account for the most ill health in the UK. The leaflet is targeted specifically as people over 50 are the main users of NHS services and hospital services in particular. In 2003, 7.6 million adults were admitted to hospital. Of these people, 71% (5.4 million) were over 50.

Prime also contains information on local health services – so 302 different versions of each Prime guide have been produced, relevant to each Primary Care Trust area.

Prime uses celebrity interviews, real life stories, quizzes and top tips to inform people about conditions such as diabetes, back pain and heart disease, as well as information on living a healthier lifestyle. The guides give practical advice on how people can reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases and what to do should they become affected.

Around 5,000 copies of each guide will be circulated within each primary care trust area, through GP surgeries and community pharmacies.

Health Minister Lord Warner said: "We need to make sure that the NHS becomes more than just a sickness service, and that everyone has the chance to live a healthy life - fostering prevention as well as providing cures.

"The main users of NHS services are those over 50; by targeting those over 40, Prime will help to tackle potential health concerns before they become a reality, so helping to reduce the need for hospital admissions amongst this key group. Prime also encourages more appropriate use of local NHS services and promotes self-help and healthier lifestyle choices."

(gmcg)

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