Ten years ago, Florida TV newsman Judd Cribbs took a treadmill stress test.
He was just 38 at the time, and had no obvious health problems. But it was Health Heart Week in his community, and he was curious to see how he’d do.
The results were not what he’d expected.
“After an extremely short time, I almost vomited and fainted, in that order,” Cribbs recalls in an article published last week in the Los Angeles Times. The physician monitoring the treadmill stress test told Cribbs he’d been given a wake-up call.
Cribbs listened. He took up running and now runs 5Ks and marathons. He reports that he’s lost 25 pounds. All because of one cardiac stress test.
What’s a cardiac stress test?
The exercise stress test (also called an exercise electrocardiogram) is often the first type of stress test used to check for suspected heart problems. You walk on a treadmill or ride on a stationary bike while your heart rate, blood pressure, and heart rhythm are monitored. To monitor heart rhythm, electrodes placed on your chest are connected to an electrocardiograph (ECG) that creates a visual record of your heart’s performance. Medical personnel monitor all aspects of the stress testing.
In many hospitals, software such as Cardiac Science’s Quinton Q-Stress is used to store cardiac stress test results as part of your electronic medical records.
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