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UC Davis study shows that treadmill testing can predict heart disease in women
Date:12/6/2012

tests were "positive," indicating they should have further cardiovascular testing. Coronary angiography was performed on each patient, and the researchers analyzed how often the results showed definite evidence of arterial narrowing.

They found that overall only half of the women with positive treadmill tests had coronary artery disease as determined by coronary angiography. But when test results were evaluated by age, the predictive value of ETT rose. While the treadmill test predicted arterial disease in only 36 percent of the youngest group (aged 35 to 50 years) of study participants, it successfully identified the condition in 68 percent of those aged 65 years and older, when the prevalence of coronary artery disease rises sharply for women.

The investigators also found that two EKG parameters of heart stress due to poor blood flow -- an ST-segment depression greater than 2.0 mm or ST-segment recovery time longer than three minutes -- added to the diagnostic value of ETT. Longer ST-segment recovery time was in fact the best predictor across all age groups of whether a positive treadmill test result was "true" or "false" and accurately identified coronary artery disease in eight out of 10 women older than 65.

"Our results provide physicians with a way to make an old heart disease screening tool more reliable for women," said Amsterdam. "The study also supports the guidelines of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology, which recommend that exercise treadmill testing should remain the initial test for both women and men who require evaluation for chest pain."


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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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