From The Tribune staff reports
Silent heart attack, also called silent ischemia or a silent myocardial infarction, may present with minimal, unrecognized or no symptoms at all. And these events are more common than one might expect, according to health professionals.
Of the estimated 805,000 heart attacks each year in the U.S., a projected 170,000 of them are silent heart attacks, according to statistics from the American Heart Association. Most patients only discover they have suffered a heart attack when they are being examined for another problem using an echocardiogram or cardiac MRI.
The symptoms of a silent heart attack can include:
- feeling like you have a strained muscle in the chest or upper back
- prolonged, excessive fatigue
- patients often mistake them for something else
Based on preliminary research from the American Stroke Association’s virtual International Stroke Conference, silent heart attacks also may increase the risk of stroke. And in the long run, silent heart attacks appear to be just as deadly as diagnosed ones.