But in real life today, heart attacks may not present any symptoms for some, or they may produce mild symptoms so unnoticed that people misdiagnose them, such as heartburn, and take a sedative at lunch. As well as feeling tired or strained in the chest muscles. Silent heart attacks may occur without noticeable symptoms, according to Harvard University, but they may put you at the same risk in the future.
says Dr. Michele O’Dono, senior researcher in an academic research group studying cardiovascular disease at Harvard-affiliated Brigham University, said: “The true incidence of silent heart attacks is unknown, as they go unnoticed. However, it is estimated that they occur in 20% to 60% % of all heart attacks. So both men and women are at risk.”
Define a silent heart attack
People often don’t know they’ve had a heart attack until they undergo an electrocardiogram (ECG) or stress test, and their doctor notices signs consistent with heart damage. As with classic symptomatic heart attacks, a silent heart attack involves a blockage of blood flow to the heart. What leads to injury to part of the heart muscle, leaving behind telltale signs, which may lead to heart failure or heart attack in the future.
If you discover you’ve had a silent heart attack, take steps to prevent and control cardiovascular risk factors, such as:
Adjust blood pressure.
Control high cholesterol.
Neglecting these conditions can increase the risk of another heart attack, and doctors don’t fully understand why some people don’t have only mild or unusual symptoms during a heart attack.
To better define silent heart attacks there needs to be more education about the less common symptoms, which are often very different from those most people imagine. Dr. says. O’Donoghue: “I think the biggest misunderstanding about a heart attack is chest discomfort. Most patients describe chest discomfort as a sensation of heaviness or pressure that can be mild in nature.”
“Women may also experience atypical symptoms, such as shortness of breath, nausea, sweating and tingling in the left arm or jaw,” he added.
If you experience these symptoms it is best to get it checked out immediately.
Be smart heart
Take these steps to prevent cardiovascular disease:
1 – Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and risk factors.
2 – Pay attention to your health history that may put you at risk of a heart attack, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history of heart disease, and diabetes.
3- Review risk factors with a doctor, especially for women, such as a history of early menopause (before age 40) or a previous episode of pre-eclampsia (a potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine).
4 – Monitor your blood pressure, and consider getting tested for diabetes if you have risk factors, such as a family history of the disease, being overweight or obese, or gestational diabetes during pregnancy.