Bradford scientists are developing a life-saving test which could be detect those at risk of a heart attack or stroke earlier.

Dr Kirsten Riches-Suman, associate professor in Biomedical Science at the University of Bradford, is leading research into the causes of early vascular ageing and how early interventions can be put in place.

Premature vascular ageing is caused by genetics as well as lifestyle factors, such as obesity and smoking.

Researchers hope to design a test that can be carried out in a GP's surgery, tell the relative age of a patient’s vessels and why they have prematurely aged.

One aspect of the industry recognised research is looking at the links between major blood vessels of the heart and smaller blood vessels in the skin to see if they share common signatures.

Dr Riches-Suman said: “If there are common signatures, we could detect the condition of the major blood vessels by using a small ‘punch’ biopsy from the skin on a person’s hand.”

As well as saving lives, the test – which could be available in as little as 10 years - could also save the NHS money.

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