Silent Heart Attack: How to know if you have had one!

Human heart

Image by rajcreationzs

According to W.H.O. approximately 17.3 million people died from cardiovascular disease in 2008. That represents 30% of all global deaths.

Every year 785,000 Americans suffer a first heart attack and 470,000 suffer from their second or third heart attack.

The scary thing is that 25% of heart attacks happen silently without any clear symptoms.

How Does a Silent Heart Attack Happen?

Doctor Deborah Ekery, of Heart Hospital of Austin explains: “… it is like any other heart attack where blood flow to a section of the heart is temporarily blocked and can cause scarring and damage to the heart muscle.”

A silent heart attack leaves scarring and damage to the heart putting the victim at a greater risk of other heart problems. Even more damaging is the fact that the victim does not know to seek treatment and therefore the blood flow to the heart may not have been restored properly and with no medications administered the sufferer is completely vulnerable.

No Symptoms at All?

Even when symptoms occur, they could be so subtle that they are ignored or attributed to something else.  The symptoms can be anything from indigestion to a case of flu, upper back pain or fatigue.

Doctors have reported patients coming in and complaining about problems related to heart disease. In most cases, after a thorough check-up, it is discovered through MRI that the patient had suffered a heart attack weeks ago without even realizing it.

Heart Attack

A heart attack does not always look like this!
photo by by hin255

What Now?

Make sure you engage in a healthy lifestyle and get regular check-ups.  If you have a family history of heart disease, suffer from obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or smoke, you need to take extra care.

Take a heart attack risk assessment on the American Heart Association website. Keep in mind that this is not a substitute for a thorough check-up at your local hospital.

You can also read about almost everything related to heart attack risks and cardiovascular disease on their interactive library.

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