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Overseas Health Insurance News: Exercise stress test 'still a vital diagnostic tool'

International healthcare professionals are still using a heart test that is almost one century old, a leading organisation has stated.

The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center points out the exercise stress test is the most commonly-used non-invasive method doctors use to find out if a person suffers from coronary artery disease.

During these analyses, medical experts attach electrodes to the body, which monitors cardiac behaviours during physical activity.

It analyses a number of other variables, including heart rate recovery, chronotropic and blood pressure responses and exercise capacity.

Developed in 1928, the initiative was created in the same era as sliced bread and air conditioning in buildings.

Many of these inventions are still very relevant to lives in the 21st century and the heart test is no different, the institution pointed out.

Representative of the organisation Dr Martha Gulati co-authored a paper discussing the benefits this examination provides, which was published in the journal Current Problems in Cardiology.

She stated that medical practitioners ought to stop performing expensive tests "because we can", although she noted she utilises advance imaging at certain appropriate times.

The stress test should be the first examination to perform on almost every coronary patient who is capable of exercising, the expert continued.

"We sometimes get caught up in the latest technology in our society and often what gets ignored is the simple stuff," Dr Gulati added.

Barbara Current, a 73-year-old who had survived one heart attack, had her life saved by this examination.

She reported having a feeling of anxiety in her chest, claiming: "It wasn't anything big, but something I'd never felt before."

Dr Gulati analysed her and while advanced imaging assessments indicated her heart was behaving normally, an exercise stress test found significant disease.

"It required having a stent placed in one coronary artery immediately and – subsequently – required another one placed just recently," the professional added.

The journal article recommends that all people with suspected coronary artery disease should have a comprehensive stress test report created for them.

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