A stress test (a heart rate stress test) is used to measure your heart rate recovery time. Your doctor may recommend a stress test if you’re experiencing an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), or if you’re showing signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease. This test can also be used to inform treatment decisions, measure the effectiveness of treatment or determine the severity of a heart condition with which you’ve already been diagnosed.
During the stress test, you will likely exert varying levels of physical stress as you walk on a treadmill until your heart rate reaches a targeted number of beats per minute (bpm). At that point, each minute is monitored to see how quickly your heart recovers from the exercise.
What is a normal heart rate under a stress test?
Your target heart rate during a stress test depends on your age. For adults, the maximum predicted heart rate is 220 minus your age. So, if you’re 40 years old, the maximum predicted heart rate is 220 – 40 = 180.
For diagnostic treadmill testing, some doctors try to achieve about 85 percent of the predicted maximum heart rate. This provides enough stress to adequately test the heart without maximizing the stress and potentially producing false positive results.
Hassle-free healthcare and heart care in Framingham
Getting the care you need to stay healthy should be easy. No one works harder to make your healthcare more accessible and convenient than the team at Charles River Medical Associates. You can choose from 50 physicians, some of whom provide all-encompassing care for your whole health, while others specialize in areas such as cardiology, oncology, pediatrics and more. And you can count on 15 Metrowest locations, on-time appointments and timely test results. Whether you need general checkups, specialized testing and screening or urgent care, Charles River Medical Associates is here for you.
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