If you have healthy cholesterol and blood pressure, and no family history of heart disease, then you can skip routine EKGs and stress tests, which often discover harmless irregularities. "There is a significant risk of false positives" when heart screens are done on healthy people, says panel member Dr. Glen Stream. For example, one of his patients had an EKG to see if his heart was fit enough for back surgery. The EKG found what looked like a heart problem, and his surgery was delayed while he underwent more tests, culminating in a risky cardiac catheterization. But his heart was fine – and in the time it took to have additional tests, his back pain went away, obviating surgery.
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