A new blood test may be able to tell whether a seemingly strong person is at risk of dying from heart disease , US researchers said.

An older , less sensitive version of the test detects a certain protein in only a small percentage of people ,but a research of the newer test made by Roche found it in about 25% of 3,500 blood samples .And people who had detectable levels of the protein , released by damaged heart muscle , were nearly seven times more likely to die of heart disease within six years.

Both tests look for a protein called cardiac troponin T, which indicates muscle damage in the heart , but the newer test called Elecsys Troponin T is 10 times more sensitive . "This test is among the most powerful predictors of death in the common population we've seen so far ," saidJ amesdeLemosof theUniversity of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas , whose study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association .