What do we know about heart attack symptoms? You could say that it’s easy enough to recognize it, as heart attack manifests in squeezing, aching and tightness in the chest with irradiation to the jaw, left arm and blade. And that is sometimes accompanied by abrupt shortness of breath, nausea and lightheadedness. But is everything so predictable in reality?
In fact, about 45% of all heart attacks occur without showing these classic symptoms.
Frequently people don’t even understand that something goes wrong in the body, as so-called silent heart attack (or myocardial infarction) doesn’t cause any complaints.
In other cases it causes mild uncomfortable sensations in the center of the chest, which are usually confused with acid reflux and indigestion.
Sometimes silent heart attack may become apparent only in episode of fatigue or dizziness.
Despite absence of typical symptoms, silent heart attack may be as dangerous as clinical form, as it destroys cardiac cells in the same way.
In the majority of cases, myocardial scars (a result of reduced blood flow to the heart muscle) are found on the electrocardiogram, which shows electrical activity of the heart.
Silent infarction can be also detected on the echocardiogram and with specific blood test, which shows troponin T levels (chemical, released by damaged heart muscle cells).
The problem is that those, who experience silent heart attack, don’t get medical care timely. Consequently, they have much higher risks of dying from the cardiovascular disease.
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The recent research found that men are more likely to suffer from silent heart attack than women. However women die from both silent and clinical heart attacks more often.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to determine your chances of having silent myocardial infarction.
By the way, risk factors of this trouble are similar with those for regular heart attack. The most common of them include smoking, lack of physical activity, having excessive weight, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased blood cholesterol.
Seek for medical help immediately, if feel any unusual discomfort and pain in the chest, arms, stomach or back, breathing problems, sweating, fatigue or vertigo. Finding silent heart attack at the right time can save your life.
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