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Exercise Electrocardiogram

What To Think About

An exercise EKG is not always accurate. The test results from an exercise EKG are always evaluated along with other information, such as your symptoms and other risk factors.

  • Some people who have a normal exercise electrocardiogram test may still have heart disease, and some people with an abnormal test do not have heart disease. Because heart disease is rare in younger people who do not have symptoms, an exercise EKG may not be accurate. A falsely abnormal result (false-positive) may cause needless worry and further unnecessary testing.
  • The test is less accurate in young or middle-aged women who do not have typical symptoms of heart disease.
  • Sometimes doctors automatically schedule routine tests because they think that's what patients expect. But experts say routine heart tests can be a waste of time and money. For more information, see Heart Tests: When Do You Need Them?
  • Further tests, such as cardiac perfusion scanning, stress echocardiogram, or cardiac catheterization, may be needed to further evaluate an abnormal exercise EKG test result.

Other Places To Get Help

Organizations

American Heart Association (AHA)
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX  75231
Phone: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721)
Web Address: www.heart.org
 

Visit the American Heart Association (AHA) website for information on physical activity, diet, and various heart-related conditions. You can search for information on heart disease and stroke, share information with friends and family, and use tools to help you make heart-healthy goals and plans. Contact the AHA to find your nearest local or state AHA group. The AHA provides brochures and information about support groups and community programs, including Mended Hearts, a nationwide organization whose members visit people with heart problems and provide information and support.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD  20824-0105
Phone: (301) 592-8573
Fax: (240) 629-3246
TDD: (240) 629-3255
Email: nhlbiinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov
Web Address: www.nhlbi.nih.gov
 

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing and treating:

  • Diseases affecting the heart and circulation, such as heart attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, peripheral artery disease, and heart problems present at birth (congenital heart diseases).
  • Diseases that affect the lungs, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, sleep apnea, and pneumonia.
  • Diseases that affect the blood, such as anemia, hemochromatosis, hemophilia, thalassemia, and von Willebrand disease.

Related Information

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 11, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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