Do I ever need a stress test?

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Q. I am 65 years old and in good health, and I see my doctor once a year for an annual exam. Should I request a stress test at my next physical?

A. Although heart disease is common in men, routine cardiac stress testing is not recommended for otherwise healthy men. It may seem counterintuitive not to look for heart disease in healthy men, especially when many people know someone who unexpectedly had a heart attack or even died suddenly from a heart problem. Yet, stress testing does not accurately identify men at risk for sudden cardiac death.

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