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Extra Tests May Not Help for Chest Pain

People who go to a hospital with chest pain, but are not having heart attacks, may not be helped by extra tests to predict their future risk, a study finds. The study was based on private insurance claims for more than 690,000 people. They all went to hospital emergency rooms because of chest pain. Researchers focused on about 422,000 people who did not have heart attacks, according to test results. Of this group, nearly 128,000 also had other tests at the hospital. For example, they may have had a treadmill stress test or a scan that shows blood flow in the heart. Researchers also looked at how many people had heart attacks later. In the next week, only 11 of every 10,000 had heart attacks. The proportion was the same whether they had follow-up tests or not. The heart attack rate in the next 6 months was 33 of every 10,000 for both groups.

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