Treadmill test still reliable in detecting heart disease
Sometimes the best test is also the simplest test. Researchers at the University of California Davis found that the classic exercise treadmill test (ETT) is still an accurate way to measure the cardiovascular health of women, even women over 65.
As diagnostic technology improves, many physicians have given up on the ETT, which simply requires the patient to run on a treadmill and gradually increase speed while monitoring their blood pressure, in favor of the modern but more expensive electrocardiogram (EKG), arguing that the EKG is more accurate. But, UC Davis’ study, published in the American Journal of Cardiology, found that the ETT is as good a test as any to detect the possible presence of heart disease. Researchers recommend that physicians screen for heart disease using an ETT first, and then determine if an EKG is necessary.