High tech isn't always better for heart

High tech isn't always better when it comes to your heart health.

Barbara current is a heart attack survivor. She understands the importance of staying active and paying close attention to her body.

So, when a subtle, anxious feeling recently developed in her chest, she didn't waste time going to the doctor.

Barbara Current says, "It wasn't a severe thing, you know, something I couldn't live with. But I did know that it was a different feeling that I had never had before."

Like many patients, Barbara was put through high-tech testing like this. Today, many doctors have access to everything from nuclear medicine to MRIs.

Dr. Martha Gulati, with Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center says, "All of these tests are very good. But the part that often gets ignored, is the simple stuff."

Turns out it was the simple stuff that saved Barbara's life.

In addition to high-tech imaging, she also took an exercise stress test, developed a century ago.

And while high-tech imaging didn't show any problems with her heart, the results of this test, did.

Dr. Gulati says, "We found very significant disease, for which she required getting a stent placed in her coronary artery and, subsequently, required another one placed just recently."

She says this cheap and easy test can do everything from catch blockages to predict hypertension.

And while high-tech imaging serves a valuable role, Dr. Gulati says patients should ask some important questions before getting it. "What are we doing it for? What are we trying to identify? Is there radiation with this test? And does the radiation, you know, does the end result justify me getting radiation?"

They're questions all patients should ask, especially those like Barbara, whose ongoing condition likely means undergoing several more tests in the future.

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