A Simple Test To Detect Heart Disease In Women Can Be Lifesaving

by Medindia Content Team on  November 16, 2005 at 7:13 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
A Simple Test To Detect Heart Disease In Women Can Be Lifesaving
Did you know that heart disease is ranked as the first most common cause for death in women? Thanks to a new, simple test called dobutamine stress echocardiography that can help predict life-threatening heart problems in women.

The study has been conducted among a group of diabetic women aged between 49 and 75. The study participants underwent a certain type of stress test for suspected coronary disease that can be categorized into two- traditional and dobutamine stress cardiography.

In conventional stress cardiography, patients are subjected to a certain level of stress by running on a treadmill to increase the heart rate. Following this images of the heart are obtained. This procedure is devoid of any drugs. In dobutamine stress cardiography, the drug dobutamine is injected to increase the heart rate, eliminating the need for exercise. Both tests are designed to reveal abnormalities of the heart wall following exercise.

The incidences of cardiac events such as heart attack or deaths were considerably higher in women who had positive results in the stress test for ischemia, a condition characterized by decreased supply of blood to the heart.

From the study results, it has been found out that dobutamine stress test could play a very important role in the early detection and prevention of further cardiac complications such as heart attack or death. The risk is even greater in obese diabetic women, especially if they have a positive family history or smoking habit.

A two-year follow up of the study participants revealed that 23 patients had died from cardiac events and 54 had experienced heart attack. The new stress test served as an important predictor in the high-risk category. History of congestive heart failure and heart attacks were the other clinical predictors.

The findings of the present study can help doctors arrive at important conclusions regarding treatment about patients with positive and negative results in stress test. Some patients may not have to undergo additional heart scans to rule out the condition before they undergo surgery.

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