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Stress test
Old 08-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
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Stress test

Just wondering if anyone routinely gets a stress test during their annual physical. Seems as though G.W. Bush gets one even though he has no symptoms and no history. I have a family history and 2 risk factors and I do not receive one during my physical. However, I do (occasionally) have one during my Cardiologist appointment.

George W. Bush Undergoes Heart Surgery - ABC News
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:53 PM   #2
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Is that the test where they put you on a treadmill after hooking you up to a bunch of electrodes? If so, I just had one during my last physical.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:31 PM   #3
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At my annual physical, Doc does an EKG.... never mentioned stress test, which is fine. I know if you look too hard, you'll find something.
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Old 08-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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When I was working our firm paid for what i called an annual physical on steroids that included an EKG, cardiac stress test, and vascular screening (rack rate was $3,000) but in my most recent physical as ER all they did was an EKG IIRC.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #5
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Never had one. No real risk factors, exercise a fair amount, 62. Get a physical every year or two, do bloodwork and an EKG and they call it good. Seems fine to me.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:53 PM   #6
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Is that the test where they put you on a treadmill after hooking you up to a bunch of electrodes? If so, I just had one during my last physical.
yes.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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At my annual physical, Doc does an EKG.... never mentioned stress test, which is fine. I know if you look too hard, you'll find something.
Well that's the point, they found something that may have saved G.W. a few years.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:13 PM   #8
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Is that the test where they put you on a treadmill after hooking you up to a bunch of electrodes? If so, I just had one during my last physical.
That is one kind. There are others. I've had the exercise stress test and the one that doesn't require exercise. But they don't do them that often. I've only had them in response to potential heart issues, not as preventive medicine. From http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/stress-test
What Are the Types of Stress Tests?


There are many different types of stress tests, including:
  • Treadmill stress test: As long as you can walk and have a normal ECG, this is normally the first stress test performed. You walk on a treadmill while being monitored to see how far you walk and if you develop chest pain or changes in your ECG that suggest that your heart is not getting enough blood.
  • Dobutamine or Adenosine Stress Test: This test is used in people who are unable to exercise. A drug is given to make the heart respond as if the person were exercising. This way the doctor can still determine how the heart responds to stress, but no exercise is required.
  • Stress echocardiogram: An echocardiogram (often called "echo") is a graphic outline of the heart's movement. A stress echo can accurately visualize the motion of the heart's walls and pumping action when the heart is stressed; it may reveal a lack of blood flow that isn't always apparent on other heart tests.
  • Nuclear stress test: This test helps to determine which parts of the heart are healthy and function normally and which are not. A small amount of radioactive substance is injected into the patient. Then the doctor uses a special camera to identify the rays emitted from the substance within the body; this produces clear pictures of the heart tissue on a monitor. These pictures are done both at rest and after exercise. Using this technique, areas of the heart that have a decreased blood supply can be detected.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:38 AM   #9
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When I was working I would get an annual EKG as part of the physical, and a treadmill stress test every 5 years from age 40. I had a couple of colleagues with family history of heart problems and they would get a stress test every year as part of their physical.

Since I've retired I've had 1 physical and that didn't include a stress test.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
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I try to avoid stress entirely, even the test version.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:59 AM   #11
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Just wondering if anyone routinely gets a stress test during their annual physical.
No, not me. I am 65 and see my internist every six months for a routine checkup, since I am on meds that require it. I haven't had an EKG or stress test for years. But then, I am female.

Since I am feeling fine my appointments usually go pretty quickly.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:10 AM   #12
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A few years ago I decided to start taking better care of myself, and had my 1st physical in decades. Doc did an EKG to get my baseline. It showed an 'unusual Q wave' so doc had me do a nuclear stress test, which showed I was fine and the unusual Q wave was my normal. I've had regular physicals since then, but no more EKGs or stress tests.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:13 AM   #13
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I did the treadmill test once when in my 20's just out of curiosity. I've never done another one. It has never been offered. I looked around once to see if I could request it and they seemed too expensive to pay for on my own. I don't have any family history of cardiac problems.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:36 AM   #14
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As I recall Bush is a runner and ran at a pretty decent pace. I'm also a runner and wonder if I should ask the doc for a more detailed testing procedure.

About 30 years ago I had a mild dizzy spell while running. In those days they would do thousands of dollars of testing with no cost to me. So at least I had a baseline way back.

From WebMD:
Quote:
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, spokeswoman for the American Heart Association and a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said that Bush "underwent a stent implantation of his coronary artery due to an abnormal stress test."


She added, "Blockages of the artery, or atherosclerosis, develop from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, stress, sedentary lifestyle and family history. His job now will be to modify those risk factors to keep all of them in check."
Bush definitely had more stress in his life then I've had. I'm betting he also had lots of rich foods due to being around high net worth people. Just speculation though.

P.S. Just looked up Bush and he's still running like crazy:
BREAKING NEWS: George W. Bush Decides To Run Across America
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:30 AM   #15
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A few years ago I decided to start taking better care of myself, and had my 1st physical in decades. Doc did an EKG to get my baseline. It showed an 'unusual Q wave' so doc had me do a nuclear stress test, which showed I was fine and the unusual Q wave was my normal. I've had regular physicals since then, but no more EKGs or stress tests.
I had the exact same experience. Basically a false concern raised by the treadmill stress test. A nuclear stress test was done that showed no problem. Since then I've wondered about doing another treadmill test. Would it always show a false concern? I'm not certain.

I was certainly surprised by Bush having to get a stent. One never knows of course. But he is a runnner, cyclist, and in general seems to be in good shape with a positive attitude.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:11 AM   #16
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No, not me. I am 65 and see my internist every six months for a routine checkup, since I am on meds that require it. I haven't had an EKG or stress test for years. But then, I am female.

Since I am feeling fine my appointments usually go pretty quickly.
I believe heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #17
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I believe heart disease is the #1 killer of women.
It's right up there, you're right, and I had no intent of implying that it wasn't a major cause of death in women.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:17 AM   #18
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As I recall Bush is a runner and ran at a pretty decent pace. I'm also a runner and wonder if I should ask the doc for a more detailed testing procedure.


[/URL]
Maybe you should.

THE DOCTOR'S WORLD - JAMES FIXX - THE ENIGMA OF HEART DISEASE - NYTimes.com
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:32 AM   #19
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I had the exact same experience. Basically a false concern raised by the treadmill stress test. A nuclear stress test was done that showed no problem. Since then I've wondered about doing another treadmill test. Would it always show a false concern? I'm not certain.

I was certainly surprised by Bush having to get a stent. One never knows of course. But he is a runnner, cyclist, and in general seems to be in good shape with a positive attitude.
So my doctor won't give me a referral because he says he sees too many cases of false positives with asymptomatic people. He says if I ever feel anything, though, to call him for an immediate cardiac referral.

I had a stress test 25 years ago in my 20s and they found ST anomalies, even then. They declared it normal variant. I dunno. I'd kind of like to get one, but then again doc has a point.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:36 AM   #20
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This is the original story. Further research and discussions with friends and family have revealed that Fixx did have some complaints -- which he ignored. I can't find the account now, but there's one account that he felt "asthmatic" and decided to "run it off."

But here's an account I can refer to: Three Books All Runners Should Read - Yahoo! Voices - voices.yahoo.com

I think the take-away here is that ANY symptom must get immediate attention.

Quote:
Afterwards it was learned that Jim Fixx had apparently ignored warning signs. He had complained of exhaustion to a fellow runner and had told his family he felt a tightness in his throat while running. His autopsy found that he had suffered several heart attacks over the weeks before he died leaving his heart with much scar tissue.
Even a static EKG should have seen that. Fact is, Fixx didn't do doctors. At all.
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