The danger of “silent” heart attacks

About half of all heart attacks are mistaken for less serious problems and can increase your risk of dying from coronary artery disease.

silent heart attacks
Image: goir/Thinkstock

You can have a heart attack and not even know it. A silent heart attack, known as a silent myocardial infarction (SMI), account for 45% of heart attacks and strike men more than women.

They are described as "silent" because when they occur, their symptoms lack the intensity of a classic heart attack, such as extreme chest pain and pressure; stabbing pain in the arm, neck, or jaw; sudden shortness of breath; sweating, and dizziness.

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