Silent Heart Attack Research Update: Almost Half Of Cardiac Arrest Cases Are Silent, Study Finds

A new study suggests that half of all cardiac arrest cases may be considered as silent heart attacks. A silent heart attack is dangerous because it triples the patients' risk of dying from the condition.

The scientific research -- published in the journal Circulation -- involved studying the health records of 9,500 Americans. The study findings show that 45 percent of the participants' cardiac arrest episodes were silent heart attacks.

"Silent heart attacks are almost as common as heart attacks with symptoms and just as bad," senior study author Dr. Elsayed Soliman told U.S. News. "When heart attacks are silent, people are less likely to get treatment," Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum explained.

The study involved collecting health data on middle-aged men and women. Over a period of 9 years, 317 of the study participants experienced a silent heart attack while 386 participants suffered the classic cardiac arrest symptoms. The study findings also show that the participant's risk of death increased by 34 percent after suffering a silent heart attack.

A silent heart attack manifests through different symptoms. These include indigestion, muscle pain in the chest or upper back, discomfort in the jaw or arms and a prolonged or excessive fatigue, according to Go Red For Women. Nausea and shortness of breath might also be subtle signs of a silent heart attack.

Fortunately, there are different practical ways to prevent suffering a silent heart attack. Eating a healthy diet, avoiding fatty foods, quitting smoking and maintaining a normal body weight are effective ways to prevent a cardiac arrest.

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