Navigation Links
EKG Not Strong Predictor of Heart Risk
Date:11/13/2008

Adds little to other diagnostic measures, British researchers report

THURSDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Performing an electrocardiogram (EKG) -- the standard test for measuring the activity of the heart -- is of little use in predicting future coronary problems for people who are examined because of chest pain, a British study suggests.

"In patients with stable chest pain, suspected angina, the resting EKG was of no incremental prognostic value as a means of assessing the risk of patients having further coronary events," said study author Dr. Adam Timmis, a professor of clinical cardiology at London Chest Hospital. The findings were published in the Nov. 14 online issue of the BMJ.

Chest pain is the most common reason people seek medical attention for possible heart trouble, and an EKG, also known as an ECG, is a common test for such people, Timmis said. "We were interested in the value of the EKG as a stand-alone predictor, its incremental value in addition to taking a history, doing a physical examination and so on," he said.

Timmis and his colleagues followed 8,176 patients with no history of heart disease who were referred to chest pain clinics because of suspected angina. All had EKGs done while they were resting, and 60 percent of them also had EKGs while they exercised. All had the usual clinical assessment, recording data such as age, sex, duration of symptoms, smoking status, high blood pressure history and medications they were taking.

The patients who had exercise EKGs done were split into two groups: "summary" results were recorded for 4,848, while additional "detailed" results were recorded for 1,422. All were then followed for several years. The researchers found that 47 percent of the coronary events that occurred happened to people whose exercise EKGs did not indicate any heart problems.

"We found that the exercise EKG had no added value over and above the clinical assessment," Timmis said.

The EKG does have some role in diagnosis, helping to determine whether the chest pain is caused by a heart problem, Timmis noted.

"The study is a reminder of the importance of taking a detailed history and making a thorough physical examination, and that additional information from the EKG is helpful in some patients but does not predict risk in everyone," Dr. Beth Abramson, director of the Cardiac Prevention Centre at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, wrote in an accompanying journal editorial.

The study showed that the combination of an EKG and a stress test can be helpful because "an abnormal EKG and abnormal stress test independently predicted adverse events, such as death or acute coronary syndrome in the cohort study," Abramson wrote.

But some people with normal EKGs and normal stress tests in the study did have coronary events, "so the study cannot provide an answer about which approach should be used in patients with a normal EKG," she wrote. "These patients need to have their cardiac risk factors assessed regularly by their general practitioner and, if necessary, modified."

The study also showed that "the stress test and EKG are not foolproof indicators of risk," Abramson wrote. "However, even though these tests cannot predict all future events, they are a necessary extension of the physical examination in patients with suspected angina."

Timmis said, "We are looking for better tests to classify patients in terms of risk." Some newer methods show promise, "but all these tests need to be assessed not for their standalone value but for clinical value in these patients."

More information

More details on EKGs are described by the U.S. Library of Medicine.



SOURCES: Adam Timmis, M.D., professor, clinical cardiology, London Chest Hospital, England; Nov. 14, 2008, BMJ, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. TheraQuests IND for Abuse Deterrent Strong Opioid (TQ-1015) Accepted by FDA
2. Genoptix Reports Strong Financial Results for the Third Quarter and Raises Guidance for Full-Year 2008
3. Medifast Diversified Business Model Drives Strong Revenue and Earnings Growth for the Third Quarter of 2008
4. Malaria No More Congratulates President-elect Obama and the New Congress and Urges Them to Uphold Their Strong Commitment to Eliminating Malaria
5. Americans United for Life Assesses State Ballot Initiative Outcomes, Predicts Regrouping and Strong Comeback in Next Election Cycle for Life Issues
6. Despite Credit Crunch, Medisave Sees Strong Sales Increase in 2008
7. Gen-Probe Reports Strong Financial Results for Third Quarter 2008, Raises Full-Year EPS Guidance
8. Strong Bodies Battle Better
9. Dr. Lark Creates Nutritional Supplement to Restore Thick Hair and Strong Nails
10. Stronger Together: The Mohawk Group Supports Breast Cancer Awareness with T-Shirts Designed by Todd Oldham, Proceeds to Benefit Susan G. Komen
11. The RightThing Continues Drive: Completes Strong Q3
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
EKG Not Strong Predictor of Heart Risk
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission ... lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” ... the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... First ... compliance program management, will showcase a range of technology and learning solutions at ... (NCAL) Convention and Expo to be held October 14–18, 2017 at the Mandalay ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, ... the U.S., announced today its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA ... the former Rooms To Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... CITY, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... cold therapy products, announced today the introduction of an innovative new design of the ... multipurpose pad so you get maximum comfort while controlling your pain while using cold ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint venture through ... AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with Asante, delivering ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... Sept. 25, 2017   Montrium , an ... solutions, today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & ... NL)—announced that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected ... and TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract ... to increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As ... by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Kalorama Information notes that the medical device industry is ... the medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on ... Act.  But they also want covered patients, increased visits ...
(Date:9/19/2017)...   ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based ... has been ranked #1 by its users for the seventh ... User Survey. ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue ... centers over 200 beds and holds one of the longest ... history. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: