Start the New Year With a Healthy Heart: Why You Should Schedule a Stress Test

Heart problems aren’t always visible when your heart is at rest. That's why stress tests are so important. They can help find problematic heart conditions, determine the cause of various symptoms, and let your care provider know if you need more extensive treatments. 

Our team at Premier Cardiology Consultants, with multiple locations in New York, can perform a stress test and recommend lifestyle changes and treatments to keep your heart healthy. 

We’ve curated this guide to help you understand more about stress tests and why you should schedule one to start the new year with a healthy heart.

How does a stress test work?

A stress test, often referred to as a stress echocardiogram or an exercise stress test, measures blood flow to your heart. To ensure the most accurate results, you’ll need to avoid smoking and caffeine before the test. Your doctor may also advise you to stop taking certain prescription medications that may interfere with the reading.  

Once you arrive, we attach lines from your body to an electrocardiogram, or EKG, machine. This allows us to record your heart’s activity while you walk on a treadmill for a set time period (usually seven-12 minutes). We increase the rate of speed and adjust the incline to increase your heart rate and check for issues that would not otherwise appear on an EKG.

Once you’ve finished the exercise portion of the test, you rest while the EKG machine monitors your heart rate and blood pressure as they return to rest mode. If you’re unable to physically perform an exercise test, our team can administer medication that mimics the effects of blood flow during exercise. 

Some patients may require other types of cardiac tests, like stress echocardiography, which uses ultrasound to examine and record heart function, or a nuclear stress test, which involves administering special dye during imaging to highlight poor blood flow to your heart. 

Who benefits from a stress test?

If you have or have had coronary artery disease (CAD) or heart arrhythmias, regular stress tests can be beneficial to your health. Stress tests are also useful in diagnosing other heart conditions and help our team create the right rehabilitation program for your unique condition. Stress tests are also used with patients who need a heart transplant or require cardiac surgery for more serious conditions.

Are you ready to start the new year off right?

If you want to learn more about stress tests or have other questions about your heart health, contact one of our offices to schedule an appointment. Our providers look forward to meeting you and answering your questions.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Chest Pain: Is it Ever Normal?

For most of us, it’s not so much the chest pain itself but what’s causing the discomfort that worries us. Our experts share insight regarding chest pain and when it might be time to worry.

Adjusting to Life with a Pacemaker

Once in place and functioning as programmed, a pacemaker can greatly improve your quality of life. Like all things new, however, there’s an adjustment period. Read our expert guidelines about living with a pacemaker.

Are Heart Palpitations Dangerous?

Are you wondering about that strange fluttering you feel in your chest occasionally? Does it seem like your heart is beating faster than normal? Should you be worried? Read what our cardiologists say about palpitations and what they might mean.

Am I at Risk for Hypertension?

Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that about half of all Americans have high blood pressure (hypertension). So? Learn what your blood pressure may reveal about your health and why it matters.

What Can Be Learned from a Stress Test?

Your heart works differently at rest than it does when you’re under physical stress. Find out why your cardiologist may want to see how your heart handles a workout and what the results might say about your health.

When a Pacemaker Is Necessary

It’s understandable if you feel anxious about needing a pacemaker. But the lifesaving benefits of these small medical devices far outweigh their very minimal risks and relatively minor inconvenience. Learn more about pacemakers and how they work.