If you struggle with heart problems now, but could have taken a test when you were younger that may have predicted your heart problems, would you have done that?

Your answer is probably a resounding “yes”.

Who wouldn’t want a glimpse into the future of their heart’s health so they could prevent problems?

Such a test is exactly what Dr. Mark DeBoer at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital has created after initial results of a recent study.

By studying numerous health factors in adolescents, DeBoer and his team were able to formulate a test that can predict the risk of future heart disease in adolescents. Read the original story here.

How Does It Work?

As we discuss a lot on our blog, there are many factors that determine an individual’s heart health, or lack thereof.

Factors such as BMI (body mass index), blood pressure, triglyceride levels, blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels, diet, activity levels, and even genetics can determine whether you will have heart problems or not.

DeBoer and colleagues carefully assessed children who were 12.9 years old on average, studying their BMI, systolic blood pressure, fasting triglyceride and blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels.

The results of these children were evaluated at the Cincinnati of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute between 1973 and 1976.

This same group was evaluated for developments again when it reached an average age of 38.4 years, and again when the group was an average age of 49.6 years.

The method involves measuring a metabolic syndrome severity score to find possible correlations with the developments of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

DeBoer’s hope was that the tests would show early on the lifestyle changes needed to be made by adolescents in order to avoid heart complications later on.

Research has proven the effectiveness of the test and scoring system, and could be used as an effective preventative strategy for adolescents today.