Heart Disease is the number one killer in women. What should you look out for--and when should you go in for tests? Malorie Maddox walks us through it.
Dr. Traci Jurrens, a cardiologist with Heart Consultants at Methodist Hospital says, "It's not an easy test. It's meant so you can't stay on it for hours and hours."
Dr. Jurrens walks Malorie Maddox through a typical stress test.
First, a list of questions. For example: Do you smoke? How old are you? Do you have high blood pressure? This helps determine if you are a high, intermediate, or low risk.
Dr. Jurrens says, "We're looking at how the heart walls are moving, they're functioning."
They take before photos and it's off to the treadmill. The treadmill speeds up every three minutes. Keep in mind it's an uphill trek.
Dr. Jurrens says, "In well-trained people the heart rate starts on the lower side and goes up slowly."
Malorie is 36. She doesn't smoke and doesn't take medication. Her target heart rate is 156.
It started rising. As doctors watch the heart rate, they are also checking your blood pressure as you go along.
How did Malorie do?
Dr. Jurrens says, "In general, over eight minutes is a good test. You went over 12 minutes which is excellent."
Dr. Jurrens says, "In a good heart test, the walls will come together. See, it's almost touching my finger which is good."
The entire process takes under thirty minutes.
Dr. Jurrens says age isn't the main indicator of when you should have a stress test done.
If you have:
"It's better to come in and get checked out than to wait it out at home." said Dr. Jurrens.
She also says their main focus right now if looking at patients in the intermediate risk group. They focus on them to either move them into the high risk-or low risk-groups.
In 2013, Methodist Health System performed over 15,000 cardiac diagnostic tests. More than 26,000 EKGs were performed.