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Learn the Risk Factors for a Silent Heart Attack

Learn the Risk Factors for a Silent Heart Attack

What is a silent heart attack?

A heart attack without any symptoms or recognition is known as a Silent heart attack. It is medically known as Silent Myocardial Ischemia. Mainly it is diagnosed after weeks or months have passed. As per the report, 45% of heart attacks are silent heart attacks, and men are more prone to them in comparison to women.

Who is at risk of a silent heart attack?

People who have the following conditions are at risk of a silent heart attack: –

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension 
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Tobacco addiction
  • Exposure to active or passive smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle 
  • Excess weight
  • Old age
  • Strong family history of any disease related to the heart’s vasculature 

6 signs of a silent heart attack a month before

Symptoms of silent heart attack are usually mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. Sometimes symptoms of a silent heart attack may feel like symptoms of the flu.

 6 major signs of a silent heart attack

  1. Soreness of muscles in the upper back or chest
  2. Tiredness
  3. Shortness of breath from slight exertion
  4. Indigestion
  5. Pain in the upper back, arm, or jaw.
  6. Being lightheaded with nausea and cold sweat

 Causes of Silent Heart Attack

The causes of silent heart attacks and traditional heart attacks are the same. Common causes of silent heart attack are:

  • Coronary artery diseases- In this one or more arteries are blocked due to cholesterol disposition called plaques. Plaques make the artery narrow due to which the blood flow in the heart reduces leading to an insufficient supply of blood in the heart muscle causing a heart attack. 
  • Coronary artery spasms
  • Serious viral infections such as COVID-19
  • Spontaneous coronary artery dissection

Also Read Heart Diseases - Warning Signs and Symptoms

 How is a silent heart attack diagnosed?

Since a silent heart attack has no symptoms or very mild symptoms, it is often diagnosed weeks or months after the incidence through routine check-ups. It can be diagnosed later by a combination of the following procedures: –

  • Physical examination
  • Blood tests 
  • ECG 
  • Cardiac CT Scan 
  • Exercise stress test
  • Cardiac MRI 
  • Coronary angiography. 

How do I take care of myself after a silent heart attack?

It is usual to be anxious after confirmation of a silent heart attack in the investigation. It may take 2-3 weeks to normalize the emotions. It is important to keep taking regular medication prescribed by the physician without a gap. Silent heart attacks can be prevented and managed by changing lifestyles. Changes in lifestyle include:

  • Discontinuation of tobacco products without delay 
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress management
  • Replacing junk food with healthy options and including more fruit and vegetable in the regular diet
  •  Weight management

Can you live a normal life after a silent heart attack?

Yes, everybody can live a normal life after experiencing a silent heart attack along with regular medication and some lifestyle changes as suggested above.

Also Read How Essentia Aurea Helps to Increases the Efficiency of the Heart Muscles

How is a silent heart attack treated?

Silent heart attacks are mostly diagnosed long after the episode of the heart attack has passed. Hence, treatment varies from person to person, depending on the heart’s pathology revealed through investigation.  Treatment involves taking regular medicine to improve blood flow in the heart, prevent blood clotting, and reduce the risks of having another heart attack. In the main line treatment medicines like aspirin, beta-blockers, statins, ACE inhibitors, and fish oil are usually recommended. Depending upon the case, a coronary angioplasty may be recommended by the physician to open a blocked blood vessel. The stent can be inserted to regulate the blood flow through the vessel.. As per the severity, some cases may require coronary artery bypass grafting.

Homoeopathy in the management of silent heart attack

Homoeopathy has a wide range of natural remedies for the management of heart-related complaints like hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, palpitation, etc.  Homoeopathic approach is comprehensive and considers the individual’s mental, physical, pathological, lifestyle and other factors for a complete treatment. Study of the case is of utmost importance in medical science. Some commonly frequently indicated medicines and their indications are as below.

Aurum metallicum

Aurum metallicum is one of the most effective homeopathic medicine for heart diseases. It is indicated when there is a sensation as if the heart stopped beating for two or three seconds, immediately followed by tumultuous rebound with sinking at the epigastrium. Oppression at the heart, pulse rapid, feeble, irregular, and high blood pressure are other indications.

Latrodectus mactans:

Latrodectus mactans is indicated in angina pectoris with constriction of chest muscles and radiation of pain to shoulders and back along with paralyzed feeling in the left arm.

Natrum muriaticum:

Natrum muriaticum is indicated for individuals suffering from hypertension after chronic worries, grief, depression, etc. Such patients have a tendency to weep, desire to be alone and dwell constantly on unpleasant incidents of the past. They desire salt excessively and have hypertension with headache as if a thousand little hammers were knocking on the brain, in the morning on awakening, after menstruation, or from sunrise to sunset. 

Digitalis purpurea:

Digitalis purpurea is indicated for heart failure with an irregular heartbeat. There is a sensation as if the heart would stop beating if moved, must hold the breath and keep still. Pulse is full, irregular, very slow and weak, intermitting every third, fifth, or seventh beat. There is weakness felt at the heart. The least movement causes violent palpitations. 

Strophanthus :

Strophanthus is the remedy to treat heart failure with edema of legs. Heart’s action weak, rapid, irregular, due to muscular debility and insufficiency. Pulse rapid, alternating with slow, weak, small, or irregular rhythm.


Laurocerasus is one of the famous homeopathic medicine for heart failure with pain in the region of the heart. There is clutching at heart along with palpitations. Pulse is weak, variable, slow, or irregular. The urine is retained, suppressed or may be involuntary with palpitations, suffocation and fainting.

Crataegus oxycantha:

Crataegus oxycantha is indicated for hypertension with arteriosclerosis. It is said to have a solvent power upon crustaceous and calcareous deposits in arteries. It is used for stage 2 and 3 hypertension and treats symptoms like extreme dyspnoea and exhaustion at the least exertion, angina pectoris, valvular murmurs, irregular pulse, cyanosis, cold extremities and oedema.

Convallaria majalis:

Convallaria majalis is indicated to increase the heart’s action and renders it more regular. There is great soreness in the uterine region with sympathetic palpitation of the heart. It is used when ventricles are over distended or dilated and venous stasis is marked. It is indicated for dyspnoea, dropsy, tobacco heart, orthopnoea, angina pectoris, palpitation and tachyarrhythmia.

Aurum muriaticum natronatum:

Aurum muriaticum natronatum is used in hypertension and arteriosclerosis. Other associated symptoms include pressure in the chest behind the sternum, irregularity in heartbeat accompanied by anxiety and shortness of breath. It is also useful in lowering cholesterol in some cases.

FAQs on silent heart attack

Can a healthy person have a silent heart attack?

A seemingly healthy person can have a silent heart attack. We cannot judge a book by its cover. Being physically active and fit, not smoking a cigarette, and eating healthy food, lowers the risk of heart disease. Still, we cannot ignore the family history, or factors like cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. Strong family history predisposes the risk of a heart attack. A heart scan is the safest and most effective tool to determine heart health, calcium, and cholesterol accumulation in the coronary arteries.

Can you survive a silent heart attack without treatment?

A silent heart attack is an alarm to be serious about one’s health condition. If it is ignored, it can lead to serious complications or may be fatal.
Globally, the leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease, among them, 85% of deaths are due to heart attacks. Untreated silent heart attack causes damage to the heart. Such damage in the heart leads to complications like abnormal heartbeats, severe damage to the heart muscle, heart failure, etc. Lifestyle changes along with medicinal treatment are the most effective way to prevent a heart attack or its recurrence.
Healthy diets are high in fiber and less in fat content which does not harden arteries and lowers the risk of a heart attack. A high-fiber healthy diet helps lower low-density cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fat include fried food, pies, sausages and fatty cuts of meat, butter, ghee, cream, cheese, cake biscuits, foods containing palm oil, etc.
Smoking is found to be a major cause of heart attack as it increases atherosclerosis and raises blood pressure. Persistent high blood pressure increases the risk of a heart attack. Eating a healthy diet, maintaining optimum body weight and doing regular exercise can reduce hypertension. Excess salt intake raises blood pressure.
Our aim should be to take less than 6gm of salt per day to maintain blood pressure. It is known that the heart needs to work harder to pump blood in an overweight body. Thus, we can maintain our normal body weight by taking a balanced diet and regular exercise to decrease the pressure created on the heart.
In addition, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming and cycling are recommended for the heart’s good health. It is advisable for the experts that after a silent heart attack individuals should keep taking their medicine as prescribed by their physician.

What are the after-effects of a silent heart attack?

The effect of a silent heart attack varies widely from mild to life-threatening. Some people have an uncomplicated silent heart attack.
Others may experience a wide range of potential complications and may require long-term treatment from the expert. An arrhythmia or abnormal heartbeat can develop after a heart attack due to damage to heart muscles. 
Damaged muscles disrupt electrical signals that control the heart. Palpitations, breathlessness, dizziness, fatigue, and chest discomfort are the common signs and symptoms of arrhythmia. Sometimes it can be life-threatening when electrical signals are blocked from travelling from one part of the heart to other parts of the heart, also known as heart block.
Sometimes ventricular arrhythmia leads to cardiac arrest. Extensive damage of the heart muscle due to a heart attack may lead to heart failure or cardiogenic shock. 

Can a woman have a silent heart attack?

High cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity are the traditional risk factors for coronary heart disease and it affects both men and women.
But other factors can play a bigger role in the development of heart disease in women including diabetes. Women with diabetes are more prone to have a silent heart attack than men with diabetes.
The study suggests that women are more emotional than men and emotional stress affects our hearts. It is found that stress and depression affect women’s hearts more than man’s.
Apart from this, smoking affects women more than it affects men. in addition, low levels of estrogen after menopause increases the risk of a heart attack in older women.
High blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy can increase the mother’s long-term risk of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Can you have a silent heart attack with a normal pulse?

The heart rate is known to change frequently. This variation in heart rate depends on many factors like the temperature of the air, human activity, anxiety, etc. A heart attack can also affect the heart rate directly. Generally, 60 to 100 beats per minute is considered a healthy heart rate. A lower heart rate is the indicator that the heart is pumping blood efficiently. A study showed that people with a heart rate above 80 beats per minute at the time of treatment had a higher risk of dying from their heart attack. Hence it can be concluded from the study that a person with a pulse within the normal range can still have a silent heart attack.


Therefore, we can sum up from the above data that a silent heart attack is an alarming sign between life and death. A silent heart attack increases the risk of another deadly heart attack along with the risk of heart failure. Unfortunately, there is no lab test to find out the potential of a heart attack for those having risk factors. However, we can live a normal life even after a silent heart attack with the help of medicine prescribed by a physician. We can also take care of our hearts by improving our lifestyle through measures including eating fruits, exercising regularly, maintaining optimum body weight, etc. 

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