Medical Q&As

Cardiac stress test

My mother had a cardiac stress test and it was not good. She needs to go back for another this month. How can she improve this?

A cardiac stress test, or exercise ECG as it is sometimes called, is performed by taking an ECG while the subject is exercising on a treadmill. The object of the exercise is to establish how well the patientís heart responds to the stress of physical exertion. Sometimes the test has to be repeated because the person is unable to exercise for a sufficient length of time. In that situation the technician may not have sufficient data in order for the cardiologist to give a definitive opinion. If the poor test result was due to underlying cardiac disease then there is little that your mother could do in four weeks to improve the result. However, smoking, alcohol and stimulant drinks such as tea and coffee can all affect an ECG result so they would be best avoided before the test is repeated.