The silent heart attack is known as silent myocardial infarction (SMI) by medical professionals and is believed to represent about half of all heart attacks.
The problem with SMI is often mistaken for less severe conditions due to the nature of the symptoms.
Symptoms may be mild, lacking the intensity of classic signs of heart attack such as extreme chest pain, oppression, pressure, and throbbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw.
The three warning signs to be noted include slight pain or discomfort in the throat, slight pain in the center of the chest and position of the pain.
The position of pain is sometimes misunderstood. You may experience discomfort in the center of the chest and not a sharp pain on the left side of the chest, which many people associate with a heart attack, said Dr. Jorge Plutzky at Harvard Health Publishing.
He added: "SMI symptoms may feel so mild and so brief that they often get confused by a regular discomfort or another less serious problem."
While the symptoms are not as obvious as a heart attack, the SMI can increase the risk of coronary heart disease, which can prove fatal.
Harvard cites a study of 2,000 people who initially had no heart problems. Ten years later, 8% of the subjects had myocardial scarring, which showed they had suffered an attack.
Incredibly, 80% of those people were unaware that they had any kind of heart problem.
particularly dangerous because the sick do not seek medical treatment later.
Dr. Plutzky added: "SMI often leaves scars and damage to the heart, which, combined with the fact that many people who have an SMI do not seek immediate care, can further increase a person's risk of a second, potentially more damaging heart attack. "
While Harvard Health states that silent heart attacks affect men more than women, a Norwegian study found that silent heart attacks occur more in women, because the threshold of female pain is
The researchers had 4,000 adults who put their hand in icy water for as long as possible to ascertain their pain threshold.
Those who had a silent heart attack ̵
While female participants had fewer heart attacks than men, a good portion of them were silent – 75% compared to 58% in men.
The British Heart Foundation's Associate Medical Director, Dr Mike Knapton, said that more needs to be done to help understand what was missing signs of heart attack.
"The silent heart attack is a major problem in the UK, and it is worrying that patients visit their general practitioner having already had a heart attack, but they are not fully aware of it
" The pain threshold it may be the reason some people do not notice the symptoms of a heart attack, but more research needs to be done to help us understand what is causing others to lose the signs, "he said.
" Despite coronary heart disease kills more than twice as many women than breast cancer, we know that women often do not realize that they may be at risk. This makes them more prone to ignoring the symptoms and delaying obtaining help. "
Symptoms of heart attack can be associated with those of less severe health conditions, but if one of these signs is suspected, it is necessary to dial 999 immediately.