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Your Body: A Blood Test to Detect Heart Disease?

iStock/ThinkstockDR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

When it comes to assessing your risk of a heart attack, a simple blood test could be more effective than a routine check of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

The test is called troponin, and it looks for a specific protein that gets released when the heart muscle is damaged. Doctors use it in the emergency room to determine if someone has had a heart attack.

But now, researchers in the United Kingdom say the same test could be used to help prevent patients from ever reaching that point.

Here’s my take: Awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of heart disease is key to prevention and saving lives.

As an OB/GYN, I know that certain reproductive health conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or preeclampsia can increase the risk of future heart disease in women. So ladies, talk to your OB/GYN at your next visit.

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