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What's the optimum heart rate during a stress test? 

What is a good reading for beats per minute during stress test for a 72 yr old woman, 118 lbs, who started test resting at 69 beats per min? 

submitted by Judy from Strongsville, Ohio on 5/23/2012


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott R. Sherron, MD  Scott R. Sherron, MD

The maximum predicted heart rate for everyone is 220 minus your age. This is surprisingly accurate across many levels of conditioning & body type. For diagnostic treadmill testing we try to achieve about 85% of predicted maximum. This gives enough stress to adequately test heart without maximizing the stress and potentially producing false positive results. At absolute maximum heart rate, even a normal heart could show strain. Therefore, the goal heart rate for you would be 126.  Of course this goal can be individualized for special circumstances.  Hope this info is helpful. 

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Updated September 2013
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