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An EKG Stress Test Will Tell You More About Your Health Then You May Think

An EKG Stress Test Will Tell You More About Your Health Then You May Think

On the surface, an EKG stress test is a screening tool used to show the effects of exercise on the heart. What a heart specialist is actually looking for is how well your heart can handle an active workload.  nyc-heart-specialist

Your endurance should be proportionate to your age and conditioning level. If it is not, the result can indicate a number of reasons why your heart is not functioning optimally.

The Advantages of Multi-Level Diagnostics

An EKG stress test adds a different level of detail to the picture of your heart health then an EKG can accomplish as a standalone tool.

The EKG readings while you’re at rest may be able to detect an irregular rate or rhythm, but the results don’t tell specialists anything about your heart’s reaction to stimuli. That’s the main diagnostic difference between the two tests. An EKG stress test measures your cardiac response on two levels:

  • Changes in your capacity for activity
  • Your biological responses to the increased need for oxygen

Abnormal results indicate:

  • Stress on the heart during exercise
  • Lack of aerobic fitness
  • Arrhythmias or angina due to exercise
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)

Results like this give cardiologists an idea of which way to turn next, so they can help patients treat the problem and maintain their heart function.

One Test; Three Conclusions

Patients often ask about the risks involved in an EKG stress test.

Generally, this is not the first diagnostic exam that you will receive. By the time a stress test is recommended, your heart specialist will have a pretty good idea of the level of your cardiac function.

Risks and side effects are rare because patients with a weak heart aren’t given this test. Even so, in relatively healthy patients, the test will continue until one of three things occurs:

  1. You hit and sustain your target heart rate
  2. You develop complications like chest pain or a sudden drop in blood pressure
  3. The EKG shows that your heart is not getting enough oxygen

You’ll continue to be monitored for 10 to 15 minutes after the test, regardless of when it concludes. The important thing is that you return to your baseline heart rate after this cool down.

Additional tests will be ordered; especially if results are abnormal.

Dr. Seldon, a Heart Doctor and Cardiologist in New York City, offers same day appointments and all testing is done on site.  Call us at (212) 367-8000.



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