Harvard Men's Health Watch

Tests for hidden heart disease

Electrocardiograms, which monitor the heart's electrical patterns, don't reliably reveal the risk of having a heart attack.

Unless you have symptoms of a heart problem, taking a cautionary look under the hood is unlikely to help—and could even be harmful.

As men age, heart disease becomes a greater concern. Indeed, heart problems can develop seven to 10 years earlier in men than in women. Half of men who die suddenly from heart disease had no warning signs. Men worry, understandably, that they harbor a "heart attack waiting to happen" and wonder if high-tech tests can offer important information—or at least reassurance.

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