4 Essential Heart Tests For A Longer Life

woman hugging large red heartFor decades, doctors had nothing more sophisticated than a stress test to identify potential heart problems. Not anymore. Cardiologists now use advanced imaging and blood tests that give a much more accurate assessment of heart attack risk.

These tests are the best ways to tell who is in danger, because they can catch cardiovascular disease 20 to 30 years before it gets severe enough to cause a heart attack or stroke.  They are available at most major medical centers and hospitals. If your doctor doesn’t request them for you, demand the ones that are recommended for your age group and risk category.

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1. Carotid Intimal Medial Thickness Test

How It Works: This “ultrasound of the neck” takes a picture of the left and right carotid arteries, which supply blood to your head and brain. After putting a gel on your neck, a technician glides an ultrasound transducer over your carotids to measure the thickness of the arteries’ lining.

Cost: $150 to $500