Stress test abnormalities reveal more than just cardiovascular risks

Sept. 11, 2023
Mayo Clinic study finds.

The treadmill exercise test with electrocardiogram (ECG), also known as an exercise stress test, is one of the most familiar tests in medicine. While exercise testing typically is focused on diagnosing coronary artery disease, a recent study from Mayo Clinic finds that exercise test abnormalities, such as low functional aerobic capacity, predicted non-cardiovascular causes of death such as cancer in addition to cardiovascular-related deaths. These new findings are published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The study looked at 13,382 patients who had no baseline cardiovascular issues or other serious diseases and who had completed exercise tests at Mayo Clinic between 1993 and 2010, then were followed closely for a median period of 12.7 years.

The findings suggest that clinicians should focus not only on ECG results but on data in the exercise test results such as low functional aerobic capacity, low chronotropic index and abnormal heart rate recovery.

Mayo Clinic release