Heart Attack

Silent Heart Attack


Silent heart attack refers to a heart attack that sometimes appears with no symptoms, slight or unrecognized symptoms. It is also named as ‘Silent Ischemia.’ Patients experiencing a silent heart attack could falsely think they are experiencing heartburn or a pulled chest muscle. However, it limits the blood supply to the heart and might even injure the heart muscle, just like a typical heart attack does. An increased risk of heart failure has been associated with a silent heart attack.

Silent Heart Attack in Women

A silent heart attack occurs when a plaque buildup in the coronary arteries prevents blood from flowing normally. Even though studies vary, some indicate that women are more likely to experience a silent heart attack than males.

Causes of Silent Heart Attack

The factors that induce classic heart attacks also trigger silent heart attacks. It occurs when a segment of the heart muscle gets damaged or degenerates due to insufficient oxygen supply. Additionally, it is frequently caused by a clogged heart artery. Silent heart attacks are susceptible to the following risk factors;

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Age (risk increases for men older than 45 and women older than 55 [or after menopause])
  • High triglycerides
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Family heart attack history
  • Race (Black people, Native Americans, and native Hawaiians are at greater risk)
  • Inadequate exercise
  • Stress
  • Obesity
  • Gender (women have this type of  heart attacks more often than men)

Symptoms of Silent Heart Attack

Silent heart attack symptoms are milder than those of a typical heart attack. They are frequently misdiagnosed for other illnesses. Some folks have absolutely no symptoms. When you experience any of the following, pay attention;

  • Discomfort  
  • Breathlessness
  • Heartburn
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness

Risk factors of Silent Heart Attack

If you suffer from additional medical conditions, your risk of having a heart attack may increase. These consist of;

  • Weighing too much.
  • Not regularly exercising.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Eating many foods high in salt, cholesterol, and bad fats.
  • High blood sugar levels.
  • Experiencing stress.
  • Tobacco use.

Several factors increase your risk of heart attack, but you cannot control them. These consist of;

  • Having a family history of heart disease.
  • Having pregnancy-related pre-eclampsia.
  • Being a native Hawaiian, Native American, Mexican American, or Black person.
  • Exceeding the age of 45 (males).
  • Being older than 55 or postmenopausal (females).
  • Having COVID-19 infection.

When to see the Doctor?

The British Heart Foundation advises all women over 40 to visit their doctor regularly for checkups. It aids in the early detection of risk factors. The likelihood of a cardiac incident is decreased with early management. The use of emergency care can save lives. If anyone detects the following symptoms, should take medical attention right away, particularly if they persist for more than five minutes;

  • Unusually tired
  • Chest discomfort or agony
  • Upper body pain, such as in the shoulders, arms, back, neck, or jaw
  • Having trouble breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Absolute weakness
  • Bloating or heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Sweating
  • Unfounded anxiety
  • Vomiting


This heart attack is frequently discovered weeks or months after it occurs by;

  • Physical examination
  • Blood test
  • (ECG/EKG) Electrocardiogram
  • Cardiovascular imaging
  • A CT scans
  • Imaging with magnetic resonance (MRI)
  • Stress test with exercise
  • Test for nuclear stress
  • Echocardiogram

These tests can detect any damage to your heart muscle, which can lead to a heart attack. 


Typically, this heart attacks are discovered after the event has passed. The majority of the therapy involves taking medications. These drugs assist your heart in receiving better blood flow, keep blood from clotting, and lower your risk of another heart attack. They consist of;

  • Aspirin
  • Beta-blockers
  • Statins
  • ACE Inhibitors
  • Fatty fish

The doctor can better prescribe you medications according to your health condition. To prevent further heart issues, your doctor will discuss lifestyle modifications if you’ve had a heart attack.


Heart attacks can be avoided with a healthy lifestyle. It comprises;

  • Avoiding smoke.
  • Cutting back on alcohol consumption.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet (low in fat and cholesterol).
  • Doing regular exercise.
  • Pursuing a healthy weight.
  • Managing stress.
  • Controlling the blood pressure.
  • If you have diabetes, maintain your blood sugar level.
  • Visit your doctor regularly.

Living with a Silent Heart Attack:

You are more likely to experience of this heart attack that will probably be worse and more destructive. Your doctor will likely suggest making heart-healthy lifestyle changes to help minimize your risk (lifestyle modification mentioned above). The signs and symptoms of a second heart attack could be different from the first.



  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-attack/expert-answers/silent-heart-attack/faq-20057777
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21630-silent-heart-attack
  • https://familydoctor.org/condition/silent-heart-attacks/
  • https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-danger-of-silent-heart-attacks
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