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Silent Heart Attacks

Silent Heart Attacks

Many of us are familiar with the signs of a heart attack like chest pain, pressure, or tightness in the center of the chest, but according to Jamil Abuzetun, Interventional Cardiologist with Mercy Medical Center, this is not an exclusive list.

"There's a good proportion of patients, up to 10%...20%... even 30%, of patients, who will not have any symptoms," Abuzetun said.

These patients are at most risk of suffering from a silent heart attack.

By silent heart attack, cardiologists do not exactly mean no symptoms. Instead, they mean rather atypical symptoms.

"You have patients who are having indigestion, or patients who have fatigue and weakness and tiredness. They just don't feel well. They think they have the flu, when really they are having a heart attack," Abuzetun said.

According to a study conducted in December, Abuzetun says women are more at risk of suffering from a silent heart attack, plus those who have a higher pain tolerance.

That is why it is important for anyone seek medical help if they don't feel well.

"These patients, they do poorly, compared to the ones who come with classical symptoms, part of it because they are diagnosed late and also they are not getting the right treatment," Abuzetun said. "So it's really important to pick these patients quickly and treat them the right way to prevent complications."

Cardiologists agree that the earlier you discover the problem, the better chances there are of saving the heart.

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