Starting to Exercise: Do you need a strees test?

So you want to exercise, but you're concerned about possible health risks.

The stress test can uncover cardiac problems, but your doctor will also be able to give you recommendations based on your health. Vigorous exercise does increase the risk of cardiac arrest in certain individuals. A stress test, administered by a cardiologist or a cariologist-supervised technician, will help to determine if you fall into that "certain people" category.

Who does NOT need the test

Men under 40 in good health with no risk factors for heart disease. Women under 50 in good health with no risk factors for heart disease. Anyone who will not be exercising vigorously.

Who should have a test

Women over 50 and men over 40.
Persons of any age who have two or more risk factors for coronary artery disease (CAD). These include elevated blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, tobacco use, obesity, or a family history of premature CAD.
Persons who have cardiovascular or lung disease or a metabolic disorder such as diabetes or hyperthyroidism.

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