SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Many people know the “classic” symptoms of a heart attack, but sometimes those symptoms are silent. Health expert, Karen Owoc, says it is as dangerous as a classic heart attack.
Dangerous? Karen says:
- One-quarter of heart attack patients say they experienced NO symptoms or different symptoms.
- Some never find out until a test reveals tissue damage in the heart.
- A silent heart attack is just as dangerous as a heart attack with full symptoms.
- When you’re symptomatic, you seek medical attention, but if you don’t know you’re having an MI, you don’t get treatment.
- Without immediate treatment, you can end up with more heart damage and complications in the future.
Classic Hallmark Symptoms of a Heart Attack
- Heaviness, tightness or pressure in the chest (left of center)
- Shortness of breath
- Intense pain radiating down the arm and/or jaw
Female Heart Attack Symptoms
- Women tend to have different symptoms that aren’t the typical classic symptoms.
- Their symptoms are often mistaken for something less serious, such as fatigue, indigestion, heartburn, or muscle strain.
- A Circulation study showed that 43% of women do NOT experience acute chest pain at all during a heart attack.
Other subtle symptoms include:
- Pain in the arm or neck (feels like a pulled muscle)
- Shortness of breath (feels like a lung problem)
- Extreme fatigue
- Vague, indescribable feeling
When people experience these symptoms, they expect them to go away and they often do.
Those at risk for a full-symptom heart attack are also at risk for a silent one.
- Men are more prone to having silent heart attacks than women.
- Diabetics are twice as likely to have heart disease than those with normal blood glucose levels.
Silent Heart Attacks Are Still a Mystery
Cardiologists are still trying to learn more as to why people don’t feel their chest pain during a heart attack.
The Takeaway: Listen to your body and intuition. Don’t ignore subtle symptoms. It’s much better to go to the hospital and confirm it’s something else like acid reflux.