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What Is A Silent Heart Attack

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Causes Of A Silent Heart Attack In Women

Symptoms of a silent heart attack

A silent heart attack happens when the flow of blood is blocked in the coronary arteries by a build up of plaque. Studies differ, but some suggest that silent heart attacks are more common in women than in men.

Ekery points out that women and their physicians may also be more likely to chalk up symptoms of a silent heart attack to anxiety and dismiss them.

Postoperative And Rehabilitation Care

Patients should be referred to cardiac rehabilitation programs to help them control modifiable risk factors, teach them how to deal with their stress, anxiety/depression, and restore exercise capacity after prolonged hospitalization for myocardial infarction. This approach will help to decrease morbidity and mortality of patients. Risk factors for coronary artery disease should be treated aggressively in a patient with diabetes. The best approach would be to perform screening ECG during their yearly follow-ups.

Smi: Unaware Of Possible Danger

The number of people who suffer an SMI and don’t realize it is alarming. A study in the Nov. 10, 2015, Journal of the American Medical Association looked at almost 2,000 people ages 45 to 84 who were free of cardiovascular disease.

After 10 years, 8% had myocardial scars, which are evidence of a heart attack. Most surprising was that 80% of these people were unaware of their condition. Overall, the prevalence of myocardial scars was five times higher in men than in women.

SMI and regular heart attacks share the same risk factors: smoking, being overweight, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and diabetes. They can be just as dangerous, too. “SMI often leaves scarring and damage to the heart, which, combined with the fact that many people who have an SMI don’t seek immediate care, can further raise a person’s risk of a second and potentially more harmful heart attack,” says Dr. Plutzky. In fact, people who have an SMI and don’t get treatment have a three times greater risk of dying from coronary artery disease. “A silent heart attack is a loud signal your body sends that you have some kind of underlying health issue that needs attention,” says Dr. Plutzky.

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How Long How Strong

Silent heart attacks are usually discovered on an electrocardiogram , which is a recording of the heart’s electrical activity. Damage to the heart’s muscle caused by a heart attack shows up as a distinct signature on an ECG.

ECGs are quick and inexpensive, but they can miss a prior unrecognized heart attack or produce false positives, meaning they find evidence of a heart attack when there actually wasn’t one. As a result, ECGs are not recommended for routine screening for people with an average risk of a heart attack who don’t have symptoms. However, an ECG and other testing is appropriate for people with symptoms that suggest a heart attack, even if the cause is unclear. “I’d much rather have people get evaluated and it turn out to be nothing serious than not be evaluated and weather a heart attack at home,” says Dr. Morrow.

How Are Silent Heart Attacks Diagnosed

Silent Heart Attack: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Many times, silent heart attacks are found during a routine check-up. If your doctor thinks you may have had one, he or she may order imaging tests. These could include an electrocardiogram , which is a special ultrasound, or a CT scan or MRI of your heart.

These tests can show if your heart muscle has been damaged, signaling that youve had a heart attack. If youve gone to the emergency room with silent heart attack symptoms, the doctor may order blood tests.

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Why Some Heart Attacks Are Silent

There are a number of explanations as to why some people have silent heart attacks even when the area of damage is significant. Among them:

  • Some people simply have higher pain thresholds and may not regard the symptoms as particularly worrisome.
  • Certain medical conditions, especially diabetes and chronic kidney disease, can affect the nerves that carry pain signals and, as a result, reduce symptoms of angina .
  • Cardiac ischemia can sometimes produce atypical symptoms, especially in women. Instead of angina, a person may only experience shortness of breath or other non-specific symptoms not readily attributed to the heart.

Symptoms Of A Heart Attack

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

  • chest pain the chest can feel like it’s being pressed or squeezed by a heavy object, and pain can radiate from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back
  • feeling weak or lightheaded, or both
  • an overwhelming feeling of anxiety

It’s important to know that not everyone experiences severe chest pain. This is particularly the case with many women. The pain can often be mild and mistaken for indigestion.

It’s the combination of symptoms that’s important in determining whether a person is having a heart attack and not the severity of chest pain.

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How Do I Take Care Of Myself After A Silent Heart Attack

After you go home from the hospital, youll need to keep taking the medicines your provider ordered for you. Its important that you keep taking these medications. Some may be necessary for the rest of your life.

Types of medications may include:

  • Beta blockers.

Unfortunately, its possible to have another heart attack once youve already had one. This is why its important to keep taking your medications and follow your providers instructions. Cardiac rehabilitation, which combines education and exercise, can be helpful as well.

Aarp: 8 Warning Signs Of A ‘silent’ Heart Attack That Are Easy To Overlook

Silent heart attack symptoms Medical Course recently interviewedEduardo Marbán, MD, PhD,executive director of theSmidt Heart Instituteand the Mark Siegel Family Foundation Distinguished Professor at Cedars-Sinai,about silent heart attacks and their subtle symptoms, which often are more dangerous than they appear.

Just like a heart attack that causes sharp chest pain, a silent heart attack occurs when the arteries that carry blood to the heart become blocked. This deprives the heart muscle of nutrient-rich oxygen and can cause severe damage.

“It’s not necessarily that there were no symptoms it may just be that the patient didn’t recognize them as heart symptoms and wasn’t concerned,” Marbán told

Experts estimate that silent heart attacks account for anywhere between 20% and 50% of all heart attacks.The subtle symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • A general feeling of unease or discomfort
  • Sweating
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    How To Recognize Silent Heart Attacks

    If you think you might be experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, you should go to the emergency room immediately. But in most cases of silent heart attacks, the symptoms are so mild or nonexistent that a person wouldn’t necessarily think to go to the ER.

    Often, the diagnosis occurs in a routine physical or during a doctor’s visit prompted by lingering symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, and indigestion.

    The risk factors are the same for a traditional and silent heart attack: A family history of heart attacks, older age, lifestyle choices such as smoking or insufficient exercise, obesity, and conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

    If your doctor suspects you had a silent heart attack, the likely next step will be for you to get an electrocardiogram , which will show your heart’s electrical activity and reveals damage to the heart caused by a heart attack, says the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions.

    Other Body Parts Can Also Give You Signs

    A heart attack doesnt just affect your heart, your other body parts can also get affected by a heart attack and may also show up symptoms that can help you to understand if you are having a blockage in your hearts artery or not. Some of you may experience pain or discomfort in these body parts arms, back, neck, jaw, stomach, etc.

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    Contact Advance Er For Immediate Heart Attack Treatment

    A heart attack can be deadly, even an SMI. Its even possible to die from an SMI, no matter whether the person has a prior history of cardiac problems. Without treatment for an SMI, your long-term prognosis will be worse than those who had prompt diagnosis and proper treatment for a heart attack.

    Contact us at Advance ER for further information at 494-8222, or simply come to our freestanding emergency room to be seen right away for a medical emergency. We have two locations in Galleria and Park Cities, for your convenience.


    What Is Silent Heart Attack Causes And Prevention

    What is Silent Heart Attack?

    Silent Heart Attack

    As the name suggests In a silent heart attack a person do not feel any symptoms or feel very mild symptoms of a heart attack or when a person dont understand the symptoms or overlook the symptoms of a heart attack. A silent heart attack can cause critical damage to our heart or can cause fatality as well. There is about 25% cases are of silent heart attack in all heart attacks. It means 1 in every 4 heart attack is a silent heart attack.

    Causes of Silent Heart Attack

    The causes of silent heart attack are the same as the causes or risk factor of Coronary Artery Disease or Causes of Heart Attack. But the prime cause is Diabetes. We will list out causes one by one.

  • Diabetes The persons with prolonged history of diabetes usually gets silent heart attacks if they develop coronary artery disease. The reason being, over a period of time diabetes cause damage to our nerve cells and our pain receptor become inactive and if a person with prolonged history of diabetes develops significant heart blockages in the heart arteries, he / she feels less pain / symptoms or feels no pain / symptoms of angina and even in a heart attack very mild or no symptoms appears. This is the main cause why silent heart attacks causes severe damage to our heart. Diabetes is the prime cause of silent heart attack.
    • Stress and Anxiety
    • Family History of Heart Disease / Genetics
    • Hypertension / High Blood Pressure
    • Unhealthy Life Style
    • Have a Healthy Diet

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    Preventing A Heart Attack

    There are 5 main steps you can take to reduce your risk of having a heart attack :

    • smokers should quit smoking
    • lose weight if you’re overweight or obese
    • do regular exercise adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, unless advised otherwise by the doctor in charge of your care
    • eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet, including wholegrains and at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
    • moderate your alcohol consumption

    As Many As Half Of All Heart Attacks Go Unrecognized And Their Long

    Most people don’t realize that they could have a heart attack without even knowing it. Although these are commonly referred to as “silent” heart attacks, a more accurate term may be “unrecognized” heart attack, says cardiologist Dr. David Morrow, director of the cardiac intensive care unit at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    “Some people do have symptoms, so in that sense, their heart attack is not silent. They just don’t recognize the sensations as coming from their heart,” he explains. They may think it’s just indigestion or muscle pain, when the real cause is actually reduced blood flow to the heart. People may also experience other atypical symptoms, such as nausea or excessive sweating during a heart attack .

    People with diabetes are more likely to have minimal or atypical symptoms. That’s especially worrisome because they already face a higher-than-average risk of heart attack in the first place.

    Heart attack symptoms

    Although the most common sign of a heart attack in both men and women is the classic one discomfort in the center of the chest that spreads through the upper body this symptom doesn’t always occur. Some people experience non-classic symptoms, and these might be slightly more frequent in women and in older people.

    Classic symptoms

    • Pressure, aching, or tightness in the center of the chest
    • Pain or discomfort that radiates to the upper body, especially shoulders or neck and arms
    • Sweating

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    How Can A Silent Heart Attack Be Prevented

    According to a study published in May 2016, nearly every second heart attack is silent in nature and can only be detected by an electrocardiogram . Routine ECG readings can help increase the probability of recognizing a silent heart attack. Long-term ECG systems with only a one-to-three-lead system are not helpful, as they cannot detect a heart attack on the contrary, a 12-lead ECG can. With CardioSecur Active, such an ECG can be recorded at the moment symptoms occur, or on a routine basis for monitoring purposes. This makes a precise diagnosis and effective treatment possible. In order to prevent a future heart attack, it is imperative to relax, which both the mind and heart need. It is important to live as healthy of a life as possible, to eat nutritious food, drink alcohol only in moderation, to exercise often and to avoid tobacco products. When symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing and/or easy fatigue are present, it is generally recommended to have a heart check-up performed. If symptoms such as chest pain persist, one should seek medical attention immediately, in order to prevent the death of additional heart muscle and its associated side effects.

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    What is a silent heart attack?

    These silent symptoms are not only less dramatic but can also be soft enough for one to ignore the pain and discomfort.

    In silent heart attacks, help is often late to come by. The heart suffers an elongated period where the blood flow is cut off, which can lead to substantial damage. Here is how you can try to recognize a silent heart attack and seek help before it too late.

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    Silent Heart Attack Symptoms

    Generally, a silent heart attack does not seem to elicit any symptoms. However, the following hints would be helpful in telling you that you are already experiencing a heart attack. Take note that you may be able to experience the following symptoms but these are too vague for you to notice. Thus, you have to be twice as keen so you would be able to distinguish normal from what is not. A silent heart attack would most likely include the following symptoms:

    • Chest pain- This is considered as the defining characteristic of a heart attack. However, in cases of a silent heart attack, the chest pain may be too faint that you wouldnt even be able to notice it.
    • Sudden feeling of indigestion or heart burn
    • Dizziness
    • Sudden fatigue
    • Sudden loss of consciousness

    When you experience the previously mentioned symptoms, it is likely that you are suffering from a silent heart attack. Do not ever hesitate to seek medical help whenever you noted one or more of these symptoms so as not to compound the damage. Furthermore, you could suspect that you are suffering from a silent heart attack when you have existing conditions which include:

    • Diabetes
    • Family history of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases
    • Obesity
    • Smoking cigars and tobacco

    How To Reduce Your Risk Of Silent Heart Attacks

    People whove had silent heart attackswhether they know it or not at the timeare at higher risk for another attack because of potential heart damage, Dr. Quinones-Camacho says. However, theres quite a bit you can do to prevent that going down that road.

    Lifestyle changes make a huge difference, even if you have significant family history, she states. If it runs in your family, talk to your doctor, because it may make sense to start medications like statins. Also, find out your blood pressure and cholesterol numbers.

    From there, consider heart-healthy habits like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more activity, lowering stress levels, getting enough sleep, and making time for social connections.

    The best part about focusing on heart health is that it has a ripple effect, says Dr. Greenfield. All these strategies to keep your heart strong can lead to having more energy, sleeping better, getting fit, and generally just enjoying your life more.

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    People Mistake Heart Attacks For Less Severe Problems In Nearly Half Of All Instances Leading To Deaths That Can Be Avoided By Timely Intervention

    File Photo

    DNA webdesk

    Silent heart attacks are nothing like what we see in films with actors clutching their chest in agony. It is a covert killer where people do not even realize they are suffering from a cardiac arrest.

    In fact, silent heart attacks account for nearly 45% of all events. They are seen to strike men more than women.

    Medically known as a silent myocardial infarction , a silent heart is a major event that feels like a minor and temporary issue that would go away with time. However, people mistake heart attacks for less severe problems in nearly half of all instances, leading to deaths that could have been avoided by timely intervention.

    Why symptoms are less severe?

    Instead of the severe symptoms like extreme pain and pressure in the chest area, pain in the arm, neck or jaw, dizziness, sweating etc, the symptoms of a silent heart attack are mild. Silent heart attack symptoms can also feel brief and insignificant, which makes people confuse them with regular discomfort or a less serious ailment. Unfortunately, many end up ignoring such emergency situations to their own peril.

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