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.

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