Stress tests pose little risk of serious harm. The chance of these tests causing a heart attack or death is about 1 in 5,000. More common, but less serious side effects linked to stress testing include:
Also, some of the medicines used for pharmacological stress tests can cause wheezing, shortness of breath, and other asthma-like symptoms. Sometimes these symptoms are severe and require treatment.
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.