Are lab tests important in diagnosing heart disease?

Dr. Richard T. Leshner, DO
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Lab tests are important in diagnosing heart disease, but the first thing doctors really ought to do is take a look at people. Doctors can see certain things when people just come through the door. Are they overweight? Do they seem short of breath? Are they pushing their breath in order to speak? There are a lot of indications of heart disease that doctors can see by looking at and listening to people.

Part of your physician’s toolkit for diagnosing and guiding treatment of cardiovascular disease will be laboratory tests. These tests, along with other in-office or in-hospital diagnostic tests such as electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG) and stress testing, and wearable or implantable longer-term monitors for at home testing, can help complete a diagnostic picture of your cardiovascular health.

Many lab tests are performed on a blood sample. It is likely that you have had blood drawn many times in the past, given the range of health information available through analyzing blood. Remember that while blood tests are a key diagnostic tool, your physician will consider your lab test results in conjunction with other test results and your individual risk factors, including your current health and individual and family medical histories.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.