Taking care of your health is important throughout life, but it becomes even more critical as you age. Along with the risk of degenerative and genetic diseases impacting daily life, the elderly should pay particular attention to the health of their skeletal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. Having a good understanding of your heart health is particularly critical not only for overall health but for preventing or recovering from traumatic heart incidents, including heart attack.
Testing for Heart Health
The stress test remains the standard best practice to understand your heart health. One option for doctors to gain a better understanding of your heart’s functioning is a nuclear stress test. This procedure involves injecting a small amount of dye into your bloodstream and then using nuclear imaging to show blood flow through your heart both at rest and while under stress.
Benefits for the Elderly
Research presented in 2015 found that elderly patients who previously had a chemical stress test performed had improved outcomes after suffering a heart attack. Over an 18-month span, patients studied suffered significantly less from a heart attack, stroke, and other emergency heart procedures. Along with improving post-heart attack care, a chemical stress test can help your doctor with a range of things, including:
- Determining a heart condition that is causing chest pain
- Discovering if arteries are narrowing or have blockages
- Identifying an irregular heart rhythm
Preparing for the Test
As with any medical procedure, you will want to consult your physician to gain a full understanding of the risks and benefits. Preparation for a chemical stress test includes only consuming water in the four hours before the test, avoiding caffeine for 24 hours prior, and assessing any other medications you currently take.
If you or a loved one are experiencing chest pain or discomfort, or you are just looking for peace of mind in understanding your heart health as you age, a chemical stress test can help. Our team of experts at Brookhaven Heart is available for consultation by scheduling an appointment online or calling today at 631-654-3278.