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
The test is less accurate
in young or middle-aged women who do not have typical symptoms of heart
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.
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
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
(NHLBI) information center offers information and publications about preventing
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
Diseases that affect the blood, such as anemia,
hemochromatosis, hemophilia, thalassemia, and von Willebrand disease.