A SIMPLE thumb test that you can do from the comfort of your own home can reveal if you’re at risk of a deadly heart problem.
By just twiddling your thumbs – it could help you spot a hidden aortic aneurysm.
There are three simple steps you can do in order to complete the test – as demonstrated above
This is a bulge in the wall of a vessel connected to the heart and down to the stomach.
Although they do not normally pose a serious threat to health, the swelling can become life-threatening if not detected early.
Aortic aneurysms usually show no symptoms and are picked up through screening.
By that time, it may be too late and the bulge has gotten so large it is ready to burst, causing internal bleeding and possibly death.
About eight in 10 people with a rupture will die before they reach hospital or will sadly not survive surgery.
But doctors at Yale University School of Medicine say people can check their own risk with a reliable test.
TAKE THE TEST
To do the “thumb palm test”, hold up one hand and keep the palm flat.
Stretch the thumb as far as possible across the palm.
If it crosses beyond the far edge of the flat palm, you may be harbouring a hidden aneurysm.
Being able to move the thumb in that way is an indirect indication that a person’s joints are lax.
These are possible signs of connective tissue disease throughout the body, including the aorta – the largest artery of the body which runs from the heart and into the stomach.
Researchers tested the method on 305 people and published their findings in the American Journal of Cardiology.
Aortic aneurysm: What is it and who is at risk?