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Pain in the left arm. Symptoms worse on having stress. Need an EKG? Have sleep apnea

Hi Dr. Grief,
I wanted to ask I should go for an EKG if I have had some substernal "achiness" and left arm occasional pain as well
I notice the symptoms when I have a stressful day at work, or when I have been walking uphill with my dog.
I am 51 years old, and probably 25 lbs overweight, which I am working on losing. BP is good, usually around
118/76. No other shortness of breath, angina or dizziness otherwise. I think too that I have some sleep apnea, my boyfriend states I now snore at night! (Ugh)
Thank you, Lisa
Asked On : Sat, 20 Apr 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  22
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Cardiologist 's  Response
Dear Lisa,

A resting EKG is quite insensitive (not a good tool) to detect heart disease. You have some cardiovascular risk factors (eg. overweight, approaching or at menopause, potential sleep apnea) and therefore the best way to proceed is to arrange an exercise stress test with imaging, for example echocardiogram. The symptoms to me as a cardiologist are worrisome enough to arrange for such a test; if the test is negative, it gives us a lot more peace of mind, and you can focus on improving your risk factors.

Hope that helps

Dr Brenes-Salazar
Mayo Clinic Rochester
Answered: Sat, 20 Apr 2013
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