Tags: unrecognized | heart | attack

NIH: Hidden Heart Attacks Common

Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 03:20 PM


Unrecognized heart attacks among older adults are more common than previously believed – increasing the risk of premature death in people who may not even be aware they’re in danger, new research shows.
National Institutes of Health scientists used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to track nearly 1,000 older adults in Iceland for more than six years and found 17 percent had unrecognized heart attacks, compared to nearly 10 percent whose attacks did not go unnoticed. Those with diabetes were more likely to have unrecognized heart attacks (about 21) than non-diabetics (14 percent).
SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.
The findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggest clinicians need to do more to monitor older people at risk of diabetes and heart attack to reduce their risk of hidden health dangers, possibly by expanding the use of high-tech imaging methods.
"The prevalence and prognosis of unrecognized [heart attack] in older people with and without diabetes may be higher than previously suspected in population studies,” the researchers said. “Advances in MI detection, such as cardiac magnetic resonance [CMR] imaging with late gadolinium enhancement [LGE], are more sensitive than prior methods.”
NIH lead researcher Dr. Erik B. Schelbert and colleagues reported 30 of 91 participants with recognized heart attacks died (33 percent), and 44 of the 157 with unrecognized attacks died (28 percent).
They said cardiac magnetic resonance may be able to detect factors that put people at risk of heart attack and help identify those who’ve had an unrecognized attack for life-saving follow-up care.
"Detection of [unrecognized heart attacks] may provide an opportunity to optimize treatment for these vulnerable individuals, but further study is needed to assess this," they said.
SPECIAL: These 4 Things Happen Right Before a Heart Attack — Read More.





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Unrecognized heart attacks among older adults are more common than previously believed, NIH says.
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2012-20-06
Thursday, 06 Sep 2012 03:20 PM
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