Q. I'm a 69-year-old man. Seven years ago, I had a heart attack and received a stent. After some recent chest discomfort, I underwent a nuclear stress test, which fortunately showed no evidence of blockages. However, the report said that my ejection fraction was 49%, which I understand is just below what's considered normal. Is there anything I can do to increase my ejection fraction?
A. Ejection fraction is the fraction (expressed as a percentage) of the blood that your heart "ejects" out to the rest of your body each time it contracts. A healthy heart pumps out about half to two-thirds of the blood from its lower left chamber, the left ventricle. So a normal ejection fraction ranges from 50% to 70%.
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About the Author
Christopher P. Cannon, MD, Editor in Chief, Harvard Heart Letter; Editorial Advisory Board Member, Harvard Health Publishing
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