Beware of This Silent Killer

Beware of This Silent Killer

( – Some of us have had near-death experiences, and we weren’t even aware of the events. A fraction of people might have noticed short episodes of dizziness or mild discomfort, but many survivors have reported never feeling any symptoms at all.

Do you know what this silent killer is? If you’ve guessed silent heart attacks, you’re correct. We have the details below.

Understanding Silent Heart Attacks

Up to 53% of all heart attacks are “silent,” meaning their sufferers have no idea a serious injury has occurred. Although there might not be any notable symptoms, a person’s risk of dying within 60 days of the event increases by about 60%.

These types of attacks are more likely to strike men, but they tend to be deadlier when they hit women.

Neglected Emergencies

About one-quarter of silent heart attacks are discovered during routine ECGs. Even when people seek hospital care for atypical symptoms, doctors may take heart attacks less seriously when they present without pain — which can be a fatal mistake.

Heart attack patients who don’t complain of chest pain are over 2.6 times less likely to be put on beta-blockers and 3.4 times less likely to go on aspirin regimens. These people are also less likely to receive any type of follow-up care.

High-Risk Groups

Anyone can have a silent heart attack, but this type of event is more common among people with certain health conditions. Those with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and coronary artery disease need to be especially aware of their risks. Doctors can monitor high-risk individuals with regular blood tests, ECGs, stress tests, Holter monitors and CT imaging.

Reducing the Risks

The best way to reduce the possibility of a heart attack is to rein in any related risk factors. People with diabetes should coordinate with their doctors to keep their blood sugar levels as stable as possible. Take control of high cholesterol and blood pressure through improved lifestyle choices when medications stop working — and vice-versa. Smokers, especially those with diabetes, can significantly reduce their overall heart attack risks by kicking the habit.

Stress is another huge risk factor, so learning to manage emotional reactions to stressful situations can be helpful; some people find psychotherapy to be a life-saving option. In some cases, especially if there’s evidence of past events, doctors will prescribe beta-blockers to reduce the possibility of future heart attacks. Patients may also receive aspirin or statin therapy.

Silent heart attacks are more common than many of us realize, so it’s important to stay on top of heart health and reduce risks wherever possible. Also, never ignore discomfort that’s unusual or particularly jarring, even if it passes quickly. It’s better to err on the side of caution; in some cases, the stakes may be too high not to.

~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!

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