Determining Heart Attack Risk

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Story Updated: Aug 1, 2012

Have you ever had an EKG? It's an electrocardiogram... designed to assess your heart function.

Back in 2004, The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advised against this screening test for adults at low risk of coronary heart disease.

Now, eight years later, they're reiterating their position.

Using current evidence, the group still believes there's little benefit for using resting or exercise ECG's to predict heart attack risk.

While an EKG can detect abnormalities that are associated with an increased risk of a serious heart attack... the task force believes screening asymptomatic, low-risk adults is unlikely to result in changes in risk or offer enough advance warning to make lifestyle changes-.

In these cases, the belief is that it may, in fact, lead to unnecessary invasive procedures.

Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.

Ask your doctor if your situation warrants advanced testing. I'm dr Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading, health news that matter to you.