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Have you had a stress test?

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Have you had a stress test?

Old 05-16-19, 07:05 AM
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355Mono
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Have you had a stress test?

I'm 64, and haven't had a stress test in many years. I push pretty hard on summer bike rides, and swim more during the off season. Can the test show potential problems? I guess that's what it's for! I had a bad reaction to the antibiotic Cipro, with tendon pain. Now I read that in rare cases it can cause aortic tears as well! My tendon pain went away after a long 8 months. I certainly will ask my doc this question at my next visit, as well.
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Old 05-16-19, 07:37 AM
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I once asked for a stress test at age 30(ish) but my doc said I was too young & too fit & said my chest discomfort was musculoskeletal. just turned 60 so maybe I should ask my new doc
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Old 05-16-19, 07:55 AM
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My stress test was ended when I hit a heart rate of 220 minus my age. Who still uses that as a real measure of max HR? I was 65 at the time so the test stopped at 155bpm and given the short duration of the test - I had barely broken a sweat and was still chatting with the tech. Stress tests may be useful as a first screen for heart problems, but I think that's where it ends.


During my stress test, when I asked the tech to continue the test beyond 155 - he replied, "This isn't a performance lab, just a hospital test, I'm not having any patient problems if I can avoid it"
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Old 05-16-19, 08:35 AM
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My understanding is that it will only discover significant blockages (80-95%). It's cheap, though.

I had one long ago as a part of a scheduled physical. Frankly, it was too easy, and the doc kept admonishing me to keep my mouth shut and stop talking while doing the test. He finally stopped the test and announced "There is nothing wrong with you." It was useful to discover a major blockage in my sister in law, though ... so there is that.

Personally, I recommend a CT angiogram with contrast to check out the state of your coronary arteries. There are usually Groupons available to get that done for a couple hundred dollars, and it is well worth the peace of mind or the information. Discuss it with your doc.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:38 AM
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Have you had a stress test?

69 in July and not yet.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
Personally, I recommend a CT angiogram with contrast to check out the state of your coronary arteries. There are usually Groupons available to get that done for a couple hundred dollars, and it is well worth the peace of mind or the information. Discuss it with your doc.
The CT sounds good on paper, but I'd have had a false negative if I hadn't had the MI two days before my CT scan appointment. (Had a bit of a discussion with them later, I'm not non-compliant because I missed the appointment, I missed it because I was in the hospital and one of the group's doctors did a stent on me!) My cardiologist told me 20-30% of MIs are soft plaque like mine was, and the plaque hasn't calcified.

My first and only stress test was a stress echocardiogram a year later. The stress part was a breeze. Stopping cold and laying down for the echo was awful. But the result was clean, so that was good.
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Old 05-16-19, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
The CT sounds good on paper, but I'd have had a false negative if I hadn't had the MI two days before my CT scan appointment. (Had a bit of a discussion with them later, I'm not non-compliant because I missed the appointment, I missed it because I was in the hospital and one of the group's doctors did a stent on me!) My cardiologist told me 20-30% of MIs are soft plaque like mine was, and the plaque hasn't calcified.

My first and only stress test was a stress echocardiogram a year later. The stress part was a breeze. Stopping cold and laying down for the echo was awful. But the result was clean, so that was good.
Yikes.

I think there are two possible CT angiograms ... with and without contrast. I think the ones with contrast would find the obstruction even with soft plaque, but that opinion is only worth what I know about the subject ... pretty close to zero.

As always, chat with your doc!
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Old 05-16-19, 11:36 AM
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I finally had one 2 years ago and I wrote a thread about it. Having high blood pressure all my life and a lifelong runner/cyclist. It was scared to death my blood pressure was 1805/90 before the test even began. They were not going to let me do the test but dr said ok he does one everyday running or riding, So at 55 at the time they wanted my heart rate to go to 148 and it got there, they said my BP could go 250/110 and it was like 240/90 at 148 BPM. They stopped it and said I was ok and noticed I was not working too hard really. I guess I passed but that does not mean much, you really need an full scan but they did mine because my ekg had a change. The cardiologist did EKG and it did not show a change said I had a typical EKG of someone who does endurance type stuff.
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Old 05-16-19, 10:33 PM
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Thanks for your responses.
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Old 05-17-19, 12:34 AM
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Life is a constant stress test. When you fail it's too late.

PS @deacon mark It was either 180 or 185/90, 1805 is enough to take out a steam engine (big typo there)...
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Old 05-17-19, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by 355Mono View Post
I'm 64, and haven't had a stress test in many years. I push pretty hard on summer bike rides, and swim more during the off season. Can the test show potential problems? I guess that's what it's for! I had a bad reaction to the antibiotic Cipro, with tendon pain. Now I read that in rare cases it can cause aortic tears as well! My tendon pain went away after a long 8 months. I certainly will ask my doc this question at my next visit, as well.
A nuclear stress test is the most informative, but unnecessary unless you have some symptoms of something or other. I've had two over the years as I was suffering from afib. Nothing found.
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Old 05-17-19, 07:02 AM
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Had both an angiogram and a stress test, the cathertazation (sp?) was in 1998 following severe chest pains at work. Turned out to be false as the cardiologist told I had sewer mains for coronary arteries, but losing my father at 49, to a massive MI, had me plenty alert. Fast forward to 2018 and I am having a lot of discomfort and strange feelings in my chest, when I try to get a HR on my home BP set it gives me the irregular heart beat symbol every time.

I tell my PC-APRN about this, she says I am in Afib at that time so its a referral to the cardiologist and they do an Echocardiogram to rule out structural abnormalities, and then the doc sees me a few weeks later. I'm in Afib once again while he is examining me, he adjusts my medications and takes into account I have Parkinson's Disease/take Sinemet, and at that time an MOAI inhibitor. He stops one of the BP medications the PC has had me on for years and switches me to Metoprolol in a low dosage. He said its Paroxsomal(sp?) Afib, and has me take a stress test a few weeks later.

The metoprolol messed up the stress test as it limits the max HR, I had to stop running even though I was doing great at the time. Not winded at all and moving at a fast clip, but the technician was freaking out at my low HR and blood pressure.She called in another senior tech, then called the resident on duty for Cardiology that morning. He told them to stop and use chemical stimulants to achieve a higher HR without any activity. Still have the Afib now, it gets bad at times, but it seems to be related to the Parkinson's medications mainly. See the Cardiologist in two weeks for a regular follow up, the PC-APRN is still worried about the amount of irregular extra beats the atria are experiencing regularly.

Bill
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Old 05-17-19, 07:12 PM
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My recommendation is to not do one unless you have some particular problem that concerns you or a doc you respect. Too many live changing false positives. Plus, it is only a picture of you on that day. Not very predictive.

In my case, my PCP, thought it might be "fun" to see how I did on one and the needed someone to help in training. When I did it I was, by memory, somewhere around 13 minutes when I had a few abnormal beats. The cardiologist who was doing his residency. Went bonkers. Was admitted to the hospital and the next day had an angiogram and an ultrasound. Both of which were normal.

But, according to protocol I had a cardiac problem. So, on to medication I went. Or, so he thought. I did not take the medicine. The repeat a bit later was unremarkable and I did the whole protocol. This was some 30 years ago.

Lots of people with similar experiences.
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