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stress test


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Gary Jackson Find out more about Gary Jackson
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  • stress test

    will having HCM affect the stress test to a point of not being able to complete it? Im 45 yrs old and was asympoomatic until the past few months now I have shortness of breathe and angina espcaialy after meals. Do these symptoms now get progressivly worse?

    thank you again wonderful people

  • #2
    The stress test only goes as long as you can go. They will have you on a treadmill and will monitor you very closely. When you are too tired or feel too bad all you have to do is say so and they will stop the test right away. There isn't a magic number they're looking for. They will look at how long you can go, how much effort it was, what your pulse does during the test, and how your blood pressure reacts. Having HCM will make a difference, but it will tell them a lot about how your heart works. There isn't any particular length of time that they're hoping you can go. It's very individual. And as far as symptoms getting worse, it's too hard to answer. Some people have progressive symptoms that get worse for quite a while and others level out and don't change much through the years. It's something you can discuss with your doctor.


    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3
      Hi Gary,
      I think the term stress ‘test’ and ‘passing’ or ‘failing’ the test has given you a misconception of what we are actually talking about – possibly because of the way we use these terms when going to school.

      You ask if you will be able to complete the test. Believe me, if you start the test you will complete it – no matter how long or short the test is. The doctor’s are trying to learn how your heart functions under stress. They therefore hook you up to the monitoring equipment and record just how you (that is your heart) performs. If they see you getting into trouble, they will absolutely conclude the test at that point – and you will have completed the test. If say an athlete performs the test and shows no problems (as would usually be the case), the doctor might conclude the test after a certain period of time, as nothing useful would be learned beyond that point. If someone else takes the test and their heart starts misbehaving after thirty seconds – well that’s the information they are looking to discover. The monitors will tell them the how and why of it, - and they will conclude the test at that point.

      That’s the key. They run the test to discover how your heart performs under stress. Once they have the information they are looking for they will conclude the test. Whether or not you run for one minute or ten is beside the real point. Rest assured, nobody is going to come by and say you failed the test – go home and study – and they will give you the test again in one month, - - and you’d better pass it this time! Of course if you succeed in running for ten or twelve or whatever minutes they choose, - well, you’re not going to get a lollypop either. (Gee, you’d think for the money they charge you’d at least get a lollypop at the finish line. Ah, well – there’s just no justice.)


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