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Half of Heart Attacks Silent, Says Study From American Heart Association

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By    |   Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:23 AM

Nearly half of heart attacks may be silent and could increase the risk of a person dying from heart disease and other causes, suggested a new study report.

Published Tuesday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, the study examined the files of nearly 9,500 middle-age adults who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, which analyzed the causes and outcomes of the hardening of the arteries.

Silent heart attacks are those ailments that don't include such classic symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and cold sweats, the American Heart Association wrote in a release. The association stated that heart attacks in general occur when blood flow to the heart muscle is severely reduced or cut off completely.

"The outcome of a silent heart attack is as bad as a heart attack that is recognized while it is happening," said Dr. Elsayed Z. Soliman, the study's senior author from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. "And because patients don't know they have had a silent heart attack, they may not receive the treatment they need to prevent another one."

Researchers found in the study that up to 45 percent of all heart attacks were silent heart attacks. They increased the chances of dying from heart disease by three times, according to the association.

"Women with a silent heart attack appear to fare worse than men," Soliman added. "Our study also suggests that blacks may fare worse than whites, but the number of blacks may have been too small to say that with certainty."

Dr. Andrew Freeman, director of clinical cardiology at National Jewish Health in Denver, told the website Health Day that people may not fully understand the consequences of silent heart attacks and how to prevent them.

"In a country where the diet and exercise patterns are not ideal, there may be a lot of folks we may never come in contact with who may have this problem," he said. "Doctors spend very little time talking to patients about diet and exercise. Every doctor visit should have some component of prevention."

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Nearly half of heart attacks may be silent and could increase the risk of a person dying from heart disease and other causes, suggested a new study report.
half, heart attacks, silent, american heart association
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2016-23-18
Wednesday, 18 May 2016 05:23 AM
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