Indigestion or a silent heart attack?

A person may feel like they’ve had the flu or indigestion, but it could be a silent heart attack.

Diagnosis of cardiac arrest. Photo: Shutterstock.

Silent heart attack has few symptoms – if any – or has symptoms that are not recognized as signs of a heart attack.

The person with a silent heart attack may not feel any of the chest pain and shortness of breath that are commonly associated with this condition.

Those experiencing a silent heart attack may believe they have had the flu, indigestion, or chest muscle strain. However, like any heart attack, a silent heart attack also involves obstruction of blood flow to the heart and possible damage to the heart muscle.

Silent Heart Attack Risk Factors

As with any heart attack, risk factors include:

– Age;

–       diabetes;

– overweight;

– family history of heart disease;

– high blood pressure;

– high cholesterol;

– little exercise;

– previous heart attack;

– tobacco use.

Having a silent heart attack increases the chance of having another heart attack, which could be fatal. Having another heart attack increases complications, such as heart failure.

There is no test to determine the potential for a silent heart attack, but those with risk factors should be evaluated by a doctor to reduce the chance.

The only way to know if you’ve had a silent heart attack is through imaging tests, such as an echocardiogram or electrocardiogram, which reveal changes that may indicate a heart attack.

Source consulted here.

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