AUSTIN, Texas -- Heart disease is still the leading cause of death among Americans, and aside from an annual physical, there is one test that could help predict if you're at risk of a heart attack or stroke years in advance.
Kyle Kirk started paying more attention to his health after his stepfather had open heart surgery.
"My diet is pretty good, but my exercise is lousy. But, you know, certain numbers that I've had have been a little high," said Kirk.
In spite of that, Kirk said he is lucky he never had chest pains or any symptom associated with heart disease. But he's not taking any chances.
"That's the problem with heart disease, you just don't know that you have it," said Kirk.
That's why Kirk decided to take the EndoPAT test.
"It would basically foresee heart disease years and years in advance before it actually develops and becomes so advanced it becomes a heart attack," said Texas Center for Preventative Cardiology’s Dr. Mojgan Arashvand.
Cardiologists said the test measures your arteries’ elasticity.
"So this machine, all it does is basically puts a little blood pressure cuff and blow it up. But don't let the blood go in and let it go and then see how nicely it rebounds," said Dr. Arashvand.
The faster your arteries rebound, the healthier it is. Arashvand said heart disease develops over time and having tests like this one gives a patient enough time to change their diet and lifestyle.
"Having a stroke, which is devastating to most people, having a heart attack is also very devastating, not only financially, but emotionally. These are the things that we can actually foresee and avoid," she said.
It’s a game changer for both doctor and patient.
"You see, it's a wonderful tool so you can predict and prevent heart disease. It's what preventative cardiology is attempting to do, really."
People who have suffered heart attacks are more likely to have another episode. Cardiologists said this test can help prevent that.