As the term itself suggests,” silent heart attacks” do not show any serious indication on the outward body. Thereby, the patient remains clueless to his heart condition. This may later show the damage done to the heart during any routine ECG.
According to a research, around 45% of the heart attacks are silent. This condition is more often seen in men, but it can be fatal to women as well.
Heart attack, in medical terms known as Myocardial infarction (MI), is a condition when the heart muscle is damaged due to the decrease or completely stoppage of blood flow to a part of the heart. This is usually accompanied by outward signs of chest pain stretching to arms, shoulder, jaws, neck or back. Now when the same condition occurs without any outward signs, it is termed as “silent heart attack”.
The major causes include old age, diabetes mellitus, excessive tobacco smoking, high blood pressure, no or very less body exercise, obesity, too much stress in everyday life and consumption of excessive fatty, oily & junk foods that leads to increase in cholesterol levels. The risk of heart attack comes from genetics as well, meaning if there is any history of the condition in the family.
Usually, there are no extreme symptoms. But, a person might feel fatigue, shortness in breathes, slight heartburn, also discomfort in neck, jaw, and shoulder.
Dr. Suman Bhandari of Fortis Hospital, Noida, said that the result of a silent attack is as worse as the one with the symptoms shown. But due to the absence of the signs, in timely diagnosis and treatment is hindered.
Silent heart attack, if found at the right time can be treated with the options like bypass surgery, cardiomyoplasty, heart transplant, and angioplasty
It is always hailed that “prevention is better than cure”.
Dr Vishal Rastogi of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre, New Delhi has given some suggestions to help keep the heart healthy which includes, regular exercise of at least 30 minutes, consumption of healthy diet consisting of vegetables & fruits, avoiding excessive sugar, salt, unhealthy fats and junk foods, to quit smoking and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
He also asked people to get regular body checkups done to find any hidden risk factors.