The high prevalence of abnormal ankle-brachial index (ABI) test results among individuals tested for peripheral arterial disease (PAD) may provide a new way to identify those at risk of future heart attacks according to new research.

Researchers from the Society of Interventional Radiology found that the test could determine those at future risk even if they are not considered at high risk of a coronary heart event by Framingham-based risk factors.

The simple ankle-brachial index (ABI) test uses a comparative blood pressure reading in the arm and ankle that is used to screen for peripheral arterial disease.

The study found that 10% of study population, who were otherwise not known to have coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and are not considered at high risk based on Framingham risk assessment, have underlying PAD.