Lifewatch: How old are your veins?

Reported by Claire Hosmann - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - An new test can literally tell you how old your veins are and could help determine your risk for heart disease.

The results will give you a better idea if you need to change your health habits, or maybe you're doing things just right.

Beth Patterson is 46 years old and says that's the age she feels, but she wants to know how old her veins are because cardiovascular disease runs in her family.

"All of my aunts and uncles have had premature deaths, so it's something that's always in the back of my mind," said Patterson.

A non-invasive, painless test called CIMT will determine the age of her veins.  The test has been modified and is now used in doctor's offices to measure the thickness of the walls of the arteries, by using doppler ultrasound technology.

"Her CIMT measurement is 569, which is right about where it should be," said vascular surgeon, Dr. Mark McQuaid.

Translation: Dr. McQuaid said Patterson's vascular age is 46, too.

"If somebody learns that their vascular age is 10 years older than their chronologic age, that's quite powerful information to get them to change their lifestyle," said McQuaid.

The 15-20 minute outpatient procedure involves no injections, no pills, and no exposure to radiation.