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November 22/29, 2000

Exercise Stress Testing for Older Persons Starting an Exercise Program

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Executive Deputy EditorIndividualAuthor


Copyright 2000 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2000

JAMA. 2000;284(20):2591. doi:10.1001/jama.284.20.2591

To the Editor: Dr Gill and colleagues have offered a set of recommendations regarding exercise stress testing for older persons prior to starting an exercise program.1 However, in our litigious society, physicians may be reluctant to suggest an exercise program without prior exercise stress testing. An additional problem may be a high rate of false-positive exercise stress test results, which will then require coronary arteriograms with more expense and risk.2 This may a significant problem in a population with a somewhat lower incidence of significant coronary artery disease, if the concept of the Bayes theorem is considered. More research is needed concerning the precise incidence of false-positive stress test results in older individuals without clear evidence of symptomatic coronary artery disease.

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