The test: An electrocardiogram (EKG) records your heart’s electrical activity at rest. A stress test does the same as you walk or jog on a treadmill. Abnormal activity may indicate heart disease.
Who should have it: Consider these tests if you have heart disease symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or a sudden decrease in your ability to perform your normal activities (especially if you have a history of heart disease), says Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., a cardiologist in Seattle and spokeswoman for the American Heart Association. And you may need those tests if you have heart disease risk factors such as diabetes and high LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Who can skip it: Adults at low risk for heart disease. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine EKGs and stress tests. Unclear results may lead to needed follow-ups such as coronary angiography, which can expose you to as much radiation as 60 to 280 chest X-rays.
Source: Consumer Reports on Health October 2017
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