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Understanding the danger of silent heart attack: Causes, symptoms, solutions

Did you know you can have a heart attack and not even get to know? Yes, that’s right! It can be a silent heart attack. Read on to know know more about its causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention tips from a doctor and do not take your health lightly.

Few know that heart attacks are silent too but we often picture a heart attack as grimacing from the extreme chest pain and clutching our chest whereas men and women may experience a cardiac arrest in different ways hence, creating awareness about the causes, symptoms, treatment and healthy prevention tips of this lifestyle disease are crucial. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow, which brings oxygen to the heart muscle, is reduced or obstructed due to the blocking or severely narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart.

Did you know you can have a heart attack and not even get to know? Yes, that’s right! It can be a silent heart attack. In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Consultant Cardiac Surgeon at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai, shared, “A silent heart attack (silent Ischemia) is a heart attack that has no symptoms, minimal symptoms or even unrecognized symptoms. Many people do not even get to know about it until weeks or months as the symptoms are minimal and one will not take them seriously at all.”

Risk factors and causes: 

You can get a silent heart attack if you are obese, physically inactive, have hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, stress or use tobacco. One can suffer from a silent heart attack when part of the heart muscle is damaged due to the lack of oxygen because of the blocked artery in the heart. 

Other causes can be attributed to age, having a family history of heart attack and being a woman can make you fall prey to a heart attack.


You may feel like you have flu or sore muscle in the chest, jaw pain, tiredness, indigestion, chest pain, shortness of breath, cold sweats, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and heartburn.



Having a silent heart raises the risk of having another heart attack, which could be deadly. Having another heart attack also causes heart failure.


Beta-blockers, statins or ACE inhibitors can be prescribed to you. You should only take the medicine recommended by the doctor. Coronary angioplasty can also be done and a stent will help to ensure smooth blood flow to the heart. Not treating the person with a heart attack can ultimately lead to loss of life.

Prevention tips: 

You can keep your heart healthy by eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking and alcohol, controlling stress, exercising daily, controlling blood pressure along with blood sugar and cholesterol levels, maintaining optimum weight and going for regular heart check-ups. Do not ignore any abnormal signs and seek timely medical attention to save your heart.

Due to Covid-19 and its similar symptoms that include shortness of breath and pain in lungs, many people ignore the signs of a heart attack since they over lap. According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 17.9 million people died from Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths and of these deaths, 85% were due to heart attack and stroke.

As per WHO, individuals at risk of CVD may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity. Identifying those at highest risk of CVDs and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment can prevent premature deaths.

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