Treadmill test can predict mortality

Treadmill test can predict mortality

Do you want to know your risk of dying in the next 10 years? Then hop on a treadmill.

Based on an individual’s exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline and the results of 58,000 heart stress tests, researchers at Johns Hopkins University have developed a formula to predict the likelihood of a person dying within the next decade.

This new formula, the FIT Treadmill Score, uses age, gender, peak heart rate reached and the ability to tolerate physical exertion to calculate a score between -200 to +200. The lower the score—the higher the risk of dying in the next decade. Those with a score above 100, had just a two percent risk of dying while those with a score lower than -100 had a 38 percent risk of dying.

“The FIT Treadmill Score is intriguing and it may have practical application as a score,” says Dr. James McCriskin, a cardiologist with the Advocate Heart Institute in Normal, Ill. “Right now I use a Duke Treadmill Score that say if the person is low, moderate or high risk, but this FIT Treadmill Score incorporates a few other things and looks at overall cardiovascular performance. This can be helpful because we are not looking solely at cardiovascular performance and also pulmonary and functional capacity.”

According to researchers, the test can yield valuable clues about a person’s health and should be performed for the millions of patients who undergo cardiac stress testing in the United States each year.

“The FIT Treadmill Score is easy to calculate and costs nothing beyond the cost of the treadmill test itself,” says senior study author Dr. Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, in news release. “We hope the score will become a mainstay in cardiologists and primary clinicians’ offices as a meaningful way to illustrate risk among those who undergo cardiac stress testing and propel people with poor results to become more physically active.”

For now, Dr. McCriskin is anxious to see how the study is received by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology and if, in the future, it works its way into stress testing guidelines.

Do you know your risk for heart disease? Take our heart risk assessment here. If you are at high risk, see one of Advocate Heart Institute’s cardiologists within 24 hours.



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  1. So what test is Advocate going to use??? It would be nice to have a standard rather than each cardiologist deciding on their own…

  2. Camille Vicino March 5, 2015 at 2:43 pm · Reply

    Advocate is not planning to change the test it uses until there is more examination of the research.

  3. Well i guess this gives me an excuse to buy that Fitbit then lol.

  4. Shereen Venning March 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm · Reply

    I flunked a treadmill test more than 10 years ago. I told the doctor that if he didn’t stop the thing, I was going to just fall off and sue him. I’ll never take another one.

  5. Hi Camille ! It’s really amazing idea. People can be benefited by it but if it affected peoples perception about life it can be a worse idea.

  6. It’s so interesting that researchers have developed a formula based on a treadmill test that can predict the likelihood of someone dying within the next decade. It would be scary to receive a low score, but at least you would know that you need to make some drastic changes in order to live longer. Thanks for sharing this news on treadmill stress testing.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.