What is an ECG Test and How Does it Work?

In the UK heart disease is a big killer – there are lots of ways that you can do your best to keep your heart healthy. Eating a low cholesterol diet, regular exercise and not smoking are just a few things that you can do to give your heart a fighting chance. But there are many people who may need to have an ECG test at some point in their lives – so what is it?


An ECG test (short for electrocardiogram) is a test which is quite simple but also very efficient – it measures the rate and rhythm of the heart, as well as the electronic activity in it. There are many reasons why you may end up having an ECG test – whether it is part of adaptive phase 1 studies like these by Richmond Pharmacology, or to find out if you have a problem with your heart.

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These tests are also good because they do not take long – in only a few minutes, doctors will be able to get a good idea of the heart – from an ECG, doctors can tell a lot. They can see if you are currently having a heart attack, or if you have had one before.

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Sometimes they may want to investigate further based on the ECG results. You may be asked to exercise on a treadmill whilst taking the ECG test, or you may be asked to wear a heart monitor for a period of time such as 24 or 48 hours to see if any unusual heart activity can be detected over a longer period of time.

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