Test may help ID stroke, heart attack risk

August 27, 2009 2:27:54 PM PDT
A simple 15-minute test can help doctors identify which patients are at a higher risk for heart attack, second stroke, or death in the years following a stroke. In a recent study, researchers found that a quarter of stroke patients have peripheral artery disuse but show no symptoms. These patients are also three times as likely to have complications or die in the years following a stroke.

Doctors say a 15-minute test can diagnose this condition. It involves using a device similar to a blood pressure cuff to compare blood flow in the ankle and the arm, and it can easily be done at a doctor's office or at a patients bedside.

The research in the journal Stroke says early detection and treatment of peripheral artery disease can help reduce these patient's risk of subsequent stroke or heart attack.