Stress Tests – Who Needs Them and Why

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Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death.  According to the American Heart Association, for about 65% of men and 47% of women who are developing coronary artery disease the first symptom of their disease is a heart attack or sudden death.  Most physicians still rely on a Cardiac Stress Test to find evidence of this silent killer before it strikes.  For the patient, a “normal” stress test is usually taken as a reassuring sign that all is well.  Yet the evidence is clear that in the vast majority of those with coronary disease a stress test is very likely to be normal right up until suddent death or a heart attack strikes.A cardiac stress test can be a very useful tool when performed properly and in the right circumstances.  But, as a screening test for detecting developing plaque in a coronary artery its usefulness is severely limited.  To understand why this is so it is important to understand what a stress test is designed to find versus how heart attacks usually happen.

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Jason Esses, Cardiologist

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Stress Tests