Heart attack: Four signs to look out for warning you may be having a silent heart attack

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A silent heart attack is a heart attack that occurs without any clear symptoms or sometimes without any symptoms at all. Silent heart attacks mean one is having a heart attack without noticing it, often being recognised only days, months or even years following its presentation. If a person experiences any of these major signs it could indicate a silent heart attack.

The four signs you may be at risk of a silent heart attack include:

A discomfort in the centre of the chest that lasts several minutes or goes away and comes back. It can feel like an uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, or pain

Discomfort in other upper-body areas, such as one or both arms, the back, the neck, the jaw, or the stomach

Shortness of breath before or during chest discomfort

Breaking out in a cold sweat or feeling nauseated or lightheaded.

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Doctor Jogre Plutzky, director of the vascular disease prevention program at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: “Heart attack symptoms can feel so mild, and be so brief, they often get confused for regular discomfort or another less serious problem, and thus people ignore them.

“People can feel completely normal during a heart attack and afterward too, which further adds to the chance of missing the warning signs.

“A silent heart attack is a loud signal your body sends that you have some kind of underlying health issue that needs attention.”

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As circulation is affected during a heart attack, part of the heart muscle dies, said CardioSecure.

The health site continued: “Silent heart attacks occur more commonly in men than in women; however, silent heart attacks are more often fatal for women.

“In addition, following a silent heart attack, the risk of dying due to heart disease is three times higher than for someone with a normal ECG, and the overall risk of death rises to 34 percent.”

How to check

Harvard Medical School said: “A silent heart attack is usually detected from an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram, which can highlight heart muscle damage.

“Another method is a blood test for the molecular footprints of troponin T, a protein released by injured heart cells.

“That test is often used in emergency departments for patients with heart attack symptoms.”

If you are suffering with any of the warning signs of a silent heart attack it is important to be extra cautious of any other signs and contact help immediately.

The most common heart attack symptoms include severe chest pain, having a radiating pain in your arm, and suddenly feeling very dizzy.

But you can lower your risk of a heart attack by making some small diet or lifestyle changes.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet will lower your chances of fatty deposits in your arteries.

If you think you, or someone you know, may be having a heart attack, it’s crucial that you dial 999 straight away.

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