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Government Panel Recommends Changing EKG Guidelines

07/31/12

  11:10:27 am, by MedBen5   , 193 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness

Government Panel Recommends Changing EKG Guidelines

The United States Preventive Services Task Force has advised against the use of treadmill testing with electrocardiograms (EKG) for people who have no known risk factors or symptoms of heart disease, The New York Times reports.

Once a regular part of physical examinations for older Americans, walking or jogging on a treadmill while an EKG monitors heart function has fallen out of favor in recent years. The government panel recommended that people who don’t have shortness of breath, chest pains or oher common signs of heart disease not get the test, while those at higher risk of heart disease be considered on a case by case basis.

“In my own practice I’ve seen people who thought they shouldn’t be exercising anymore because someone put them on a treadmill and got an abnormal test result when in fact there was nothing wrong with them,” said Dr. Michael L. LeFevre, a vice chairman of the task force.

In April, a collective of U.S. medical societies placed the stress test on its on its list of 45 common tests and procedures that doctors should perform less often, as part of their “Choosing Wisely” Campaign.

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