CHICAGO (KFSN) --The best way to test heart health used to be things like an echocardiogram or stress test. But doctors say false positives are extremely common, especially when it comes to women. Now, there's a new way which only requires a drop of blood.
When her female patients start showing signs of heart disease, one of the tests cardiologist Annabelle Volgman recommends is the Corus CAD. It's a simple blood test that measures a woman's risk of coronary heart disease.
"Whether it's a negative or positive test it helps me decide whether we need to pursue further testing," Dr. Volgman said.
The out-of-pocket cost for the Corus CAD test is around $1,200, but some insurance, including Medicare, will cover it.
This next blood test isn't new, but the idea of using it to check for heart disease is. Diabetics are five times more likely to develop heart disease. The hemoglobin A1C test measures blood sugar levels, and researchers have found that if someone with diabetes can keep it below seven percent, they lessen the chance that diabetes complications will damage their arteries.
And the Mayo Clinic has just released a first-of-its-kind blood test that may be able to predict a heart attack five years before it happens. The test measures a class of lipids that researchers found are highly associated with chronic heart failure.
Mayo Clinic researchers said their test is especially useful for identifying at-risk patients and starting them on a treatment of lipid-lowering drugs.