By Medicover Hospitals / 28 March 2022

Home | Articles | Silent heart attack without any chest pain: Stay informed!

By Dr Chetan Jain
Consultant Interventional Cardiologist
Published on 08/07/2022
  • Heart attacks have been on a rise, especially since the last few years. It strikes when no one is expecting it, leading to heart-related complications or even death.
    A person can suffer a silent heart attack without any chest pains and not even realize it. A silent heart attack, silent ischemia, or silent myocardial infarction (SMI), is often found in women more than men
  • Silent Heart Attack

  • We can say a heart attack to be silent if it exhibits no traditional symptoms, mild symptoms, or symptoms usually not associated with the heart problem.
    Many people don't even come to know that they had a silent myocardial infarction (SMI) until their doctor notices heart damage.
    Myocardial infarction (MI) occurs due to suspended blood flow to the heart causing heart muscle damage. The blood flow blockage induces a sensation of pain or pressure. Coronary artery disease (CAD) gives rise to myocardial infarction (MI).
  • Risk Factors For Silent Heart Attacks

  • Silent Heart Attacks involve the same risk factors as common heart attacks. They are as follows -
    • Age factor
    • Diabetes
    • Obesity
    • Hereditary heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • No physical activity
    • History of heart attack
    • Tobacco use
    • Stress factors
    • Gender - More common in women
    Consuming foods containing high cholesterol, salt, and unhealthy fats Having a one-time silent myocardial infarction (SMI) increases the chances of having another one, which could turn out to be fatal.

    Silent Heart Attack Symptoms

  • The silent myocardial infarction (SMI) symptoms are not as critical as those of a common heart attack. People mistake these warnings for other health problems, or may not feel anything at all. Be attentive
  • whenever you feel any of the following -
    • Flu
    • A torn muscle in the chest or back
    • Pain in your jaw, arms, back, or upper abdomen
    • Breathlessness
    • Heartburn
    • Very tired
    • Indigestion
    • Lightheadedness

    Warning signs of a traditional heart attack are -

    • Chest pain that stays for a few minutes.
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Feeling lightheaded
    • Cold sweats
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Feeling weak for a few days for no reason
    Book an appointment with a cardiologist if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

    Silent Heart Attack treatment

  • If you have had suffered a silent heart attack, the same general treatment will be given who have survived it.
    The treatment will aim at -
    • Preventing further complications with medications and revascularization (stents or bypass surgery)
    • Prevent heart failure
    • Preventing death from cardiac arrhythmia
    • Regular health check-ups
    • Follow healthy lifestyle

    Silent Heart Attack Diagnosis -

    The diagnostic tests done are -
    • Medical history
    • Physical examination
    • Electrocardiogram or ECG
    • Blood tests
    • Coronary angiography
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • CT scan
    • Exercise stress test
    • Nuclear stress test
    • Echocardiogram

    Silent Heart Attack Prevention

  • Due to an unhealthy lifestyle, heart-related problems are increasing. By incorporating healthy habits in our daily lives good health can be achieved.
  • The healthy habits are -
    • Avoid chewing or smoking tobacco, also stay away from secondhand smoke
    • Eat a nutritious diet
    • Make exercise your regular habit
    • Keep stress levels low
    • Keep blood pressure in check
    • Maintain blood sugar levels in case of diabetes
    • Do regular health check-ups
    • Sleep well
    • Maintain healthy weight

    Citations