A new skin cholesterol test is offering a wealth of information to both doctors and patients on heart disease risk.
The test is called PREVU and it measures not only cholesterol levels but other risk factors like arthrosclerosis, which refers to the hardening and narrowing of arteries.
Unlike the current blood test used to measure cholesterol levels, the new test takes only a few minutes and can be done in the doctors' office and the results provide a more comprehensive picture of a patient's heart disease risk, which can save lives.
Dr. James Stein, Co-director of Preventative Cardiology at UW Health Heart and Vascular Care says the test identifies risks for arthroschlerosis before it clinically occurs and that's important because for one-third of all patients the first symptom of coronary artery disease is a heart attack.
Dr. Stein stresses this new test is not meant to replace old blood tests.
It is most helpful to patients who are on the boarder line for needing increased medical attention.