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Do stress tests have risks in an elderly people?

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Posted on Thu, 19 May 2016
Question: I am a male 89 year old. Are stress tests risk at my old age? I understand that 30-40 millicuries
of radioactive material (Regadenoson) will be injected at this treadmiil test.
I am a retired pharmacist. my email address: YYYY@YYYY
Thanks
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Answered by Dr. Ronald Schubert (45 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Stress test

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns

You have been recommended to have a stress test with Regadenoson. This is to test to see if you have cardiac ischemia as a cause of your tachycardia. Normally a stress test is done for diagnosing ischemia and with them adding the regadenoson they will be adding extra stress to your heart during your exercise. there is always a risk when performing these tests and one is having a heart attack while testing or having an allergic reaction to the regadenoson. So is this something you need to know? If your treatment with metoprolol is working then while take the risk? Metoprolol is a treatment for ischemic heart disease so you would be properly treated. If they think this is a significant blockage then why not a cardiac XXXXXXX with possible Stent? So I would have several questions for you to ask your cardiologist before your embark on the stress test.

1. What is it your trying to determine with the test?
2. Is it ischemia then who are we going to proceed? Medical vs. Surgical?
3. If medical treatment only then why not just continue on current medication? Is the stress test going to change your plan of treatment?
4. If surgical? then Are you ready to make that decision and are you even a candidate at 89 years old?
5. Risk of heart attack during the test
6. Risk of reaction to the medication
7. Chance of injury during the test? sprain ankle, increased knee pain etc.

I hope I answered your question. I usually have several questions as to why doctors perform these tests. Do the risks out weight the benefits? So the real decision is yours. You do not need to do this if you are comfortable with your current treatment plan. Just because they can does not mean they need to do the test.

Please contact us again if you have any additional questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Ronald Schubert

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 2407 Questions

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Do stress tests have risks in an elderly people?

Brief Answer: Stress test Detailed Answer: Thank you for contacting HCM with your health care concerns You have been recommended to have a stress test with Regadenoson. This is to test to see if you have cardiac ischemia as a cause of your tachycardia. Normally a stress test is done for diagnosing ischemia and with them adding the regadenoson they will be adding extra stress to your heart during your exercise. there is always a risk when performing these tests and one is having a heart attack while testing or having an allergic reaction to the regadenoson. So is this something you need to know? If your treatment with metoprolol is working then while take the risk? Metoprolol is a treatment for ischemic heart disease so you would be properly treated. If they think this is a significant blockage then why not a cardiac XXXXXXX with possible Stent? So I would have several questions for you to ask your cardiologist before your embark on the stress test. 1. What is it your trying to determine with the test? 2. Is it ischemia then who are we going to proceed? Medical vs. Surgical? 3. If medical treatment only then why not just continue on current medication? Is the stress test going to change your plan of treatment? 4. If surgical? then Are you ready to make that decision and are you even a candidate at 89 years old? 5. Risk of heart attack during the test 6. Risk of reaction to the medication 7. Chance of injury during the test? sprain ankle, increased knee pain etc. I hope I answered your question. I usually have several questions as to why doctors perform these tests. Do the risks out weight the benefits? So the real decision is yours. You do not need to do this if you are comfortable with your current treatment plan. Just because they can does not mean they need to do the test. Please contact us again if you have any additional questions