There are a vast amount of medical tests used to help prevent and diagnose illness or disease. Some of these tests may vary in importance or use between men and women. For instance, women can have a risk of developing certain types of disease or illness related to the female reproductive organs and are also at a higher risk for heart disease. Men may be at risk of illness or disease involving the male reproductive organs. The need for specific or more frequent testing may also vary between different individuals. Genetic risk factors, as well as social or lifestyle.
Some of the medical tests that can save an individual’s life are usually done with their regular check-ups. These tests can include; blood pressure, heart rate, heart rhythm, pulse oximetry, the individual’s weight, blood work and EKG’s (electrocardiogram), as well as pap smears and breast exams for women and PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels for men.
However, the tests listed above are only a small portion of medical tests that may be able to save an individual’s life. They are also usually the first step in determining if further testing may be necessary. An individual, who has a family history of heart disease or abnormal findings in an EKG, would likely be required to have an echocardiogram or cardiac stress test. These tests can allow a better view of the heart and can help locate any current or arising conditions of concern. This is only one example of a wide range of testing, which could be required, depending on the need of the individual being tested. An echocardiogram is a test that checks the heart by using sound waves to produce a graphic outline of your heart’s movement. A stress echocardiogram incorporates an echocardiogram to determine how the heart muscle responds to the stress of exercise. The test begins by taking a resting echocardiogram. The second part of the test moves you from the exam table to the treadmill.
To get the most accurate picture of your heart’s performance, it is examined under stress – while walking on a treadmill, electrical leads continuously analyze your heart’s rate and rhythm and your blood pressure response is monitored. Testing the heart under these conditions yields results that are more accurately applicable to the life conditions that often cause heart attacks: physical and emotional stress.
The test is simple, non-intrusive and is highly recommended if you experience symptoms of heart disease including shortness of breath, chest pains, an irregular heartbeat, or have other risk factors like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, smoking or family history of heart disease.
In Med-Ped Health Care we do the tests every Tuesday and Friday. So, if you have a family history of heart attacks or you feel chest pain or any of the risk factors to develop heart attacks, come to visit our office and ask our professional staff about the necessity for Echocardiogram or stress test.