April 14, 2015 – Test at Home?


Anchor lead: Is it possible to use a new treadmill test developed by cardiologists to assess your own health? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Just using data from a simple treadmill test has allowed Johns Hopkins cardiologists led by Haitham Ahmed to calculate a person’s risk of dying in next ten years of any cause.  Ahmed describes the treadmill protocol.

Ahmed: It’s a standard grade or elevation, and it starts at the treadmill at 1.7miles per hour, and then every three minutes it increases in speed and then it increases in elevation, and eventually if you exercise long enough, so by the time you’re getting into the 18th minute for example, your elevation is quite high and you’re going at 5.5 miles per hour. On average the patients who did the best in this study were able to achieve 10minutes.   :26

Called the ‘FIT Treadmill Score,’ and published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Ahmed expects that both cardiologists and internal medicine physicians will find the score easy to implement and comprehensible for patients. He says that at some point the test may be simplified so people will be able to assess themselves at home or at the gym.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.