A cheap blood test can accurately predict an adult’s risk of suffering a heart attack a decade in advance.

Doctors in A&E units across the UK already use troponin tests to examine if a patient has experienced a heart attack.

But health watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice), has now approved them as a predictive test.

The tests, proven to be 100 per cent accurate in scientific trials, have been included in Nice’s accelerated access programme.

This fast-tracks the tests, meaning they could be rolled out across the NHS and offered in the midlife MOTs in the next few years. 

Current 10-year heart attack predictions are based on a tool called QRISK, which jots up several risk factors, including lifestyle, age and weight. 

But the newly approved test measures for proteins in the blood called troponins, released by damaged heart cells.

Professor Nick Mills, a researcher at the University of Edinburgh, who has led trials of the tests, praised its effectiveness in an interview with The Times.

He said: ‘The technology to measure troponin in the bloodstream has got so good that it is no longer just useful for measuring in people with large amounts of injury to the heart. 

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