where to go for a cardiac stress test?

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by Scott, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Scott

    Scott Guest

    I'm a fairly fit 42YO male. I've been doing du-ath type exercise routines for a couple years, and
    I'm considering doing a few races this season. I'd really like to get a comprehensive cardiac stress
    test done beforehand. Any suggestions on where to go (I live in Illinois) and how much it would
    cost? I routinely get my heart rate up to 195 or 200 bpm for very short intervals (10 to 15 seconds)
    during interval training. I just don't want to be one of the asymptomatic cardiac patients.

    Thanks in Advance, Scott
     
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  2. MJuric

    MJuric Guest

    On Fri, 6 Feb 2004 13:34:24 -0600, "scott"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >I'm a fairly fit 42YO male. I've been doing du-ath type exercise routines for a couple years, and
    >I'm considering doing a few races this season. I'd really like to get a comprehensive cardiac
    >stress test done beforehand. Any suggestions on where to go (I live in Illinois) and how much it
    >would cost? I routinely get my heart rate up to 195 or 200 bpm for very short intervals (10 to 15
    >seconds) during interval training. I just don't want to be one of the asymptomatic cardiac
    >patients.
    >
    >Thanks in Advance, Scott
    >

    Almost any hospital I'd guess. I'm fairly sure some are better than others and you'd
    probably have better luck with a "sports specific" place. No idea on price, matter of fact
    this entire parargraph isn't much more than a guess, other than the idea that I know a few
    people that have gotten stress test at hospitals.

    ~Matt
     
  3. Curt

    Curt Guest

    My doctor set me up with a cardiologist and I had it done. The office was in a hospital. I think
    it was something like $200, but they give me a little break because I self pay. No insurance. I
    also had a heart test done at a Internists office that was very thorough. That was $800 and it
    usually costs $1200, but once again they gave me a break due to no insurance. These prices vary
    greatly on area. I went to a hospital in Miami and they charged me $400 just for one pill and to
    look at my throat. I learn my lesson not to go to a hospital in Miami. They know how to rip people
    off down there.

    Umm, you may want to mention that you get your heart rate up to 195 to 200. That is very very high.
    Lance Armstrong doesn't go that high just so you know. Although one of his team mates has a max of
    210. I may die if I got my rate up to 200. My max is 193 or some such number.

    Enjoy, Curt

    "scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:6%[email protected]
    read.news.verio.net...
    > I'm a fairly fit 42YO male. I've been doing du-ath type exercise routines for a couple years, and
    > I'm considering doing a few races this season.
    I'd
    > really like to get a comprehensive cardiac stress test done beforehand.
    Any
    > suggestions on where to go (I live in Illinois) and how much it would
    cost?
    > I routinely get my heart rate up to 195 or 200 bpm for very short
    intervals
    > (10 to 15 seconds) during interval training. I just don't want to be one
    of
    > the asymptomatic cardiac patients.
    >
    > Thanks in Advance, Scott
     
  4. Imken

    Imken Guest

    If it were me and I had never had symptoms like arrhythmia or chest pain I wouldn't bother.

    Ken

    "scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:6%[email protected]
    read.news.verio.net...
    > I'm a fairly fit 42YO male. I've been doing du-ath type exercise routines for a couple years, and
    > I'm considering doing a few races this season.
    I'd
    > really like to get a comprehensive cardiac stress test done beforehand.
    Any
    > suggestions on where to go (I live in Illinois) and how much it would
    cost?
    > I routinely get my heart rate up to 195 or 200 bpm for very short
    intervals
    > (10 to 15 seconds) during interval training. I just don't want to be one
    of
    > the asymptomatic cardiac patients.
    >
    > Thanks in Advance, Scott
     
  5. Scott -

    You're being smart about your pursuits. I have worked with individuals from heart transplant
    recipients to professional athletes (including some of the top pro triathletes), and I can tell you
    from experience that the fact that you simply aren't having 'problems' shouldn't dissuade you from
    having a maximal stress test. Many times, signs or symptoms aren't evident unless a maximal stress
    test is done.

    "Don't fix it if it ain't broken" is a mantra that is fairly short-sighted in the sense that you
    aren't always aware of cardiovascular limitations or conditions simply because of how you feel or
    look. Having worked with several individuals whose heart function was abysmal by conventional
    criteria - who looked "fine" has proven to me that "you can't judge a book by it's cover."

    Aside from the obvious reasons for a stress test, as an athlete, plenty of invaluable information
    can be gleaned from the results of a properly done stress test. I'll leave that discussion to others
    in the group, and another topic.

    In my opinion, a prudent person would consider having a stress test done only by a reputable medical
    facility. When we do a maximal stress test in our lab, it is absolutely maximal (a desirable
    characteristic of a 'maximal' stress test - unless it's contraindicated or one of a number of
    criteria for stopping a stress test is met), and in my opinion, that's one factor that should weigh
    heavily in your decision regarding the facility you use - so before you sign up with a facility, ASK
    THEM IF THEIR STRESS TESTS ARE ABSOLUTELY MAXIMAL.

    Another factor to consider is the experience level of the staff in testing athletes (some facilities
    stop individuals at a certain 'predicted maximal heart rate', haven't seen anyone really exerting
    themselves, etc.). If you go to a facility that hasn't worked with competitive athletes, you may be
    sorely disappointed (and they may be surprised at your effort level).

    Finally, you might want to find a clinic that has an Exercise Specialist (ACSM-certified) on
    staff; optimally, one who has worked with athletes in the past, and will be present during your
    stress test. They can provide invaluable information regarding your fitness level, training
    options, and more.

    In terms of fees, the numbers quoted by others pretty much cover the spectrum; there is a wide range
    of prices, based on a variety of factors - just call a few facilities and ask. And while you're
    there, you might want to consider having your blood lipid profile done.

    I hope you locate a hospital or other facility where you can get tested, and that things work out
    well for you. Since heart disease is the #1 killer in the U.S., your desire to find out about your
    cardiovascular health is refreshing; pass the word along.

    Stay healthy & happy!

    - Frank

    "scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:6%[email protected]
    read.news.verio.net...
    > I'm a fairly fit 42YO male. I've been doing du-ath type exercise routines for a couple years, and
    > I'm considering doing a few races this season.
    I'd
    > really like to get a comprehensive cardiac stress test done beforehand.
    Any
    > suggestions on where to go (I live in Illinois) and how much it would
    cost?
    > I routinely get my heart rate up to 195 or 200 bpm for very short
    intervals
    > (10 to 15 seconds) during interval training. I just don't want to be one
    of
    > the asymptomatic cardiac patients.
    >
    > Thanks in Advance, Scott
     
  6. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Frank, thanks very much for your insightful response. I'm truly not a person who 'looks for
    trouble', or imagines health problems. Your response confirms that I'm on the right track. Thanks
    also for providing the key phrase: Absolutely Maximal'. I know that often using key phrases like
    this makes a big difference in getting exactly what is requested.

    PS: I've heard the phrase 'V02 Max' from some ultra-endurance racers (actually from last year's
    Subaru team). Is the V02 max part of a cardiac stress test, or would it be separate, focusing
    more on pulmonary function? Or is it even a useful piece of information at all?

    Thanks Again, Scott
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Guest

    "scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:J9NVb.6416[email protected]...
    > Frank, thanks very much for your insightful response. I'm truly not a person who 'looks for
    > trouble', or imagines health problems. Your
    response
    > confirms that I'm on the right track. Thanks also for providing the key phrase: Absolutely
    > Maximal'. I know that often using key phrases like this makes a big difference in getting exactly
    > what is requested.
    >
    > PS: I've heard the phrase 'V02 Max' from some ultra-endurance racers (actually from last year's
    > Subaru team). Is the V02 max part of a cardiac stress test, or would it be separate, focusing
    > more on pulmonary function? Or is it even a useful piece of information at all?
    >
    > Thanks Again, Scott

    Not sure if they do them together now or not, but when I had my VO2 Max done, it was separate. Not a
    very comfortable experience, but I made it to max. Many people don't. You will find out your maximum
    heart rate and a host of other information about yourself by doing that.

    Frank will have more I suspect. It has been a while since I had all that done. Curt
     
  8. Scott -

    You've probably heard the term, "VO2 Max" from top athletes because it's a useful indicator of your
    physical fitness level at any given time, so there is some benefit to "knowing your numbers." The
    issue of "what do I do with that information once I get it" has been debated by physiologists and
    athletes for years, and I'm sure it will be for some time to come. But most athletes (including the
    professional and Olympic athletes with whom I've worked) have not been disappointed as a result of
    getting that information. It provides a serial measure of your fitness level in a reasonably
    objective, standardized way.

    In terms of measurement of VO2 (oxygen consumption) and whether it's a standard component of
    testing, I can't speak for every other facility. In our lab, we almost always do VO2 Max testing
    with athletes; but it's not universal, therefore you should ask the facility at which you're
    considering having your stress test done, if they do it.

    Regarding another post, which included:
    > It is a Pandora's box. Notwithstanding a previous post here that affirmed getting tested, it
    sounded
    > like a bit of an infomercial. This sounds like the Anerican way of doing things though.

    Sorry, but I had to respond - at least briefly. I can't explain that individual's perspective
    because I don't share it. I'd rather find out if I have a potentially serious problem before heading
    out on an exercise session from which I might not return. I'm not sure if the poster has had any bad
    clinical experiences, but it sounds like they're really opposed to the concept of allowing someone
    to find out if they have a problem that is not overtly manifesting itself. As I mentioned, you can't
    always tell what's going on inside your body simply by how you feel. Please understand, that is not
    a scare tactic or advertisement, although to someone who has had a bad experience, it might sound
    like one. Just my thoughts, for what they're worth.

    When I was younger, had a greater fear of the unknown, and THOUGHT I knew more than I ACTUALLY know
    (it's funny how SOME of us "wise up"), I might have supported all of the tired clich├ęs and
    sophomoric phrases used in the post (i.e., "you're a typical _fill in the nationality of your choice
    here_") in order to make a point. But since I've aged a bit, I'm more appreciative of the fact that
    we have the knowledge and technology to take a proactive approach to identifying and circumventing
    potentially serious health problems. We experience enough pain and suffering in life without
    consciously hiding from facts. Remember, facts are still facts, whether or not we're aware of them.
    But being aware can save a lot of grief - if we take appropriate action.

    Finally, re:
    > You REALLY want some info on your heart, go get an angiogram.

    I'm sure that was meant in jest. Since an angiogram is an invasive procedure, it seems ludicrous to
    even mention its use as a first step toward identifying risk. Hey, I have an idea: how about
    reaching a happy medium - maybe getting a stress test? It sure sounds a lot less invasive to me.

    Scott, I probably won't respond again, I have no desire to get into a philosophical debate with
    someone else (although I must admit that posting my responses to the above mentioned post DID
    energize me a bit). If I wanted a debate, I'd converse with my brother, who teaches philosophy and
    is equipped for such a contest. Plus, he doesn't try to use invalid premises in his discussions.
    What I DID want was to provide some useful information. I hope I did.

    Again, I wish you all the best and much success in your athletic endeavors. Now go out there and
    find a lab; get a test; and start exercising!

    "scott" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    read.news.verio.net...
    > Frank, thanks very much for your insightful response. I'm truly not a person who 'looks for
    > trouble', or imagines health problems. Your
    response
    > confirms that I'm on the right track. Thanks also for providing the key phrase: Absolutely
    > Maximal'. I know that often using key phrases like this makes a big difference in getting exactly
    > what is requested.
    >
    > PS: I've heard the phrase 'V02 Max' from some ultra-endurance racers (actually from last year's
    > Subaru team). Is the V02 max part of a cardiac stress test, or would it be separate, focusing
    > more on pulmonary function? Or is it even a useful piece of information at all?
    >
    > Thanks Again, Scott
     
  9. Scott

    Scott Guest

    Thanks, everyone for the insightful posts and advice. It's always interesting to see a discussion
    where the initial question (I thought) was pretty straightforward, develops into a philosophical
    discsusion about how we deal with life.

    Because people rely on me (my wife was diagnosed with cancer last year), it seems appropriate to get
    'checked out' before I begin any more strenous training.

    If anyone knows of any specific hospital-based or university medical center-based programs that
    routinely work with athletes, please post them. If you're interested in how things go, I'd be happy
    to post again.

    Best Regards, Scott
     
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