Silent Myocardial Infarction
Myocardial Infarction refers to loss of blood supply to heart tissue, significant enough to damage heart functioning and activity. Myocardial infarction is called heart attack in simple words but it is important to know the factors that deprive heart of its blood supply. Heart is the main pumping organ that collects blood from all parts of the body, send it to lungs for oxygenation and distribute the oxygen rich blood to all parts of the body so that all functions can be performed. Heart also helps in removal of waste products from the body and basically all the functions that are performed in the human body are dependent on the flawless functioning of heart as a pump.
In this way, heart is under a lot of stress and pressure. Heart receives its own blood supply by “coronary arteries” which normally maintain pressure even under situation when overall blood pressure of the body is low in order to save heart. However there are situation in which these arteries are diseased and so heart attack occurs.
Normally, heart attack is a situation that cannot be missed because of the severity and intensity of symptoms; however there are a few conditions that lead to silent heart attack.
What is silent heart attack?
A regular heart attack is manifested by:
- Sudden unbearable chest pain that is tightening and rated as 10/10 on pain intensity scale.
- Palpitation or increase in heart rate that people can feel they hear their own heart beat
- Anxiety and irritability
- Profuse cold sweating at normal room temperature.
However, silent heart attack has no such features and people don’t even notice that they are having or they had a heart attack. Cases of silent heart attack come into attention when:
- Sudden death of an apparently normal individual is investigated (who reportedly died peacefully while sleeping).
- Routine investigation or ECG taken for other causes or during routine physical examination.
Risk factors for silent heart attack:
Following are considered strongest risk factors for sudden death due to silent heart attack, before any treatment is made available:
- Diabetes mellitusDiabetes causes weakening of blood vessels and nerves impulses too, so sensations are greatly depressed in uncontrolled, long-standing diabetes leading to silent or painless heart attack.
- Athletes:Athletes are believed to have strong hearts and that’s why stronger than normal stimulus is required to cause cardiac damage, which when occur gives little to no reaction time.
What is the significance of silent heart attack?
Silent heart attack is considered a great threat to the well-being of a person. It is because most cases are not even at risk when heart attack occurs, leaving no time to respond. It is therefore necessary to take care of your health, whether or not you have a cardiac history.
Following tips may help preventing silent heart attack:
- Maintaining your blood sugar levels under control and if you are diabetic, visiting your primary care physician at least once in every 6 months for evaluation of cardiac risk is very important.
- Increasing anti-oxidants in your diet is also protective against heart attack.
- Keeping weight in check is an ideal attempt at avoiding heart attack because obesity is a strong risk factor for all cardiac diseases.