Stress Test Aftermath



Stress Test Aftermath

By: Wendy Ray

(Cape Girardeau, MO)--The stress test is something most of us have heard of, it's a test that can tell you a lot about your body.

But now, new research shows it's what your heart is doing after the test really that counts.
The study done by a group of doctors in Cleveland found the way your heart recovers after a stress test can predict your risk of dying. One Heartland cardiologist says the study expands on what we already know about the benefit of stress tests.

Cardiologist Dr. David Law says, "What stress tests do, they don't predict when you're going to die, they put you in a low, medium, or high risk category." Dr. Law says there's no magic number for when people should start getting stress tests. "When people have risk factors for heart disease or they're having chest pain, we'll walk them on a treadmill to see how the heart responds to the increase workload of stress or exercise," he says.

Now, the focus is shifting from what happens while you're on the treadmill to what happens after you're off. "We've always been concerned about people who have abnormal heart beats during exercise and or after exercise," Dr. Law says.
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found a person's heartbeat after exercise is more important. The study looked at almost 30,000 patients over ten years. It found irregular heartbeats after a treadmill test are better than irregularities during the test in predicting who will die within five years.

People over 40, especially those who are thinking about starting to exercise, should get a stress test to make sure their heart can handle it. If you have a family history of early coronary disease, or symptoms of heart problems, like chest pain or dizziness, you should get a stress test done.

Click below to see the article on stress tests.

Click below for more information on heart disease.