Have You Taken A Cardiac Stress Test Lately?

What a cardiac stress test is and when they should be taken.

When you’re at rest, some forms of cardiac disease could possibly be missed. That is why cardiac stress tests are so important.

At rest, the heart may be functioning just fine, but when more is asked of the heart, that is when symptoms may begin to present themselves. I’m Heart Healthy Henry and I’m going to explain to you what a cardiac stress test is, who should have one and how often they should be performed.

A Cardiac Stress Test Overview

During a cardiac stress test, you’re attacked to an ECG machine and a blood pressure cuff is attached to your arm. When the stress test begins, you stand still for a few moments while the machines take your baseline readings. Then you begin to perform a low level of exercise such as treadmill exercise or a stationary bicycle.

Every few minutes, the level of exercise is increased as the ECG machine and blood pressure cuff continue to take your readings. With a maximal cardiac stress test, this procedure is continued until the patient can no longer perform the exercises due to physical limitations.

Who Should Have a Cardiac Stress Test?

You should undergo a cardiac stress test if you are planning on starting a new exercise regimen and you are 45 years of age or older, have any of the risk factors of coronary artery disease, or have any cardiovascular or metabolic disorders.

Risks of Cardiac Stress Tests

As long as the stress test is being performed by a qualified physician, there is little to no risk associated with a cardiac stress test. There is, however, the risk of stress due to a false positive. It’s important to remember that up to 20 percent of stress tests result in false positive results.

While having a stress test may mean going out of your way to schedule an appointment with your physician, it’s better to be safe than sorry and if the test catches something before damage is done, you’ll be happy you had one.

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