Your cholesterol is high, or you know you have a high genetic risk of heart disease. That's helpful information if you're trying to manage your heart health. But, neither of those tell you just how healthy your arteries really are. Now, doctors have found a quick and painless way to get a clear answer on just how much danger you might be in.

FOX News Radio's Chris Hoenig has details:

It's called a "carotid IMT," a five-minute ultrasound measuring the thickness of the large artery in your neck.

(Dr. Ballantyne) "We measure things like cholesterol and blood pressure.  We know about family histories, but we don't really know what's happening in the artery."

Dr. Christie Ballantyne at the Baylor College of Medicine says the measurements and images the test provides are game changers.

(Dr. Ballantyne) "If we can look at what's happening with the artery, it really gives us a better idea of 'What is the risk for having a heart attack or stroke?'"

The only discomfort patients experience are a little cold gel on their neck and a lighter wallet.  The tests run about $200 each, which is not covered by most insurance.

Chris Hoenig, FOX News Radio.