Can You Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It

Studies suggest that almost one in four heart attacks have no symptoms. Such heart attack where a person can get a heart attack and not know it is called silent attack. It is a condition where there is shortage of blood and supply to the heart. Such cases of heart attack can be very serious putting patients at a very high risk of death.

What is silent ischemia?

The condition where you can get a heart attack and not know it is called silent ischemia. Silent ischemia is often caused by narrowing of the blood vessels of the heart due to cholesterol. The reduction in blood supply to the heart is followed by a crushing chest pain which is a protest by the heart due to lack or less of blood supply is not seen. Almost 25 percent of such heart attacks go unnoticed. Only an ECG can detect the after effects of such silent heart attack.

The total absence of pain which is seen in other heart attacks is not noticed in silent ischemia. But that does not mean the heart muscles are not damaged. The in-built reserve of the heart helps to maintain normal blood supply to all the parts of the body. Further there is a high risk of another mild or massive attack as the heart muscles are already crippled due to the silent attack.

The best way to predict people who can get a heart attack and not know it is dependant on two factors. The first type of risk factor are ones that you cannot control namely- age, sex and genetic predisposition. The other set of factors are ones that you can exercise your control namely – diabetes, blood cholesterol, exercise, smoking and obesity.

What are the various risk factors?

The risk factors that you cannot control are those directly related to some people who have a natural ability to get a heart attack. Such people have a predisposing to Atherosclerosis. These people should control the other risk factors like diabetes, blood cholesterol and smoking. By keeping these factors under control they can easily win over their heart disease.

Those who are prone to get a heart attack are men who are above 50 with smoking habits. Women with symptoms of chronic diabetes for periods up to ten years and having high levels of cholesterol should also be very cautious. It is good for such people to undergo screening for silent ischemia or the condition where you can get a heart attack and not know it.

The best way to help detect a silent heart attack is through a medical test. This medical test has a thorough medical history, physical examination and a cardiac stress test. A cardiac stress test would include a treat mill where the functions of the heart are monitored.

These medical examinations prove to be the most accurate, painless and inexpensive way to detect the silent killer – where you can get a heart attack and not know it. It is also an easy way to understand how your heart is working and the progress of atherosclerosis which is almost viewed as a time bomb by cardiologists.

The silent killer – where you can get a heart attack and not know it is the worst enemy to your heart if left undetected.

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