May 19, 2018

A post with a difference today.

At my last annual medical check, my GP suggested it would be interesting to have a full cardiologist’s examination. Not that either of us suspected I had any heart issues, but my cholesterol had crept up over recent years and there had been some recent high profile deaths of otherwise fit athletes, so it didn’t seem like a bad idea to get checked out.

So, yesterday I went along to a specialist cardiologist for a series of tests. The main test is an ultrasound of the heart before and after a stress test on the treadmill. The treadmill test is designed to get your heart up to its maximum rate. Every person has a different degree of fitness, so the level you reach on the treadmill varies from individual to individual. The gave me the 14 minutes accelerated program, which involved ever increasing speed and gradient every two minutes. It started very easy but was quite tough at the end. I was worried my calf strain would cause me to stop, but it held up well.

The theoretical maximum heart rate for my age is 163. I topped out at 170, although I still had a bit left. I think I could get it up to 175 or higher if really pushed. The other statistics were: resting heart rate before the test of 45 (after having jogged to the clinic), and a blood pressure of 110/70. The cardiologist said everything was 100% perfect and he could see no evidence at all of any arterial blockages. However, there is another test I have to do at the local hospital in a few weeks, where they inject dye into me and conduct a scan of the heart to visualise any plaque or calcium deposits on the walls of the heart arteries. As I say, there was no evidence of this using the ultrasound, but we’ll see for sure in a few weeks.

Here are some photos from the checkup.