SIGNS OF CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE

If your coronary arteries narrow, they can’t supply enough oxygen-rich blood to your heart — especially when it’s beating hard, such as during exercise. At first, the decreased blood flow may not cause any coronary artery disease symptoms. As the plaques continue to build up in your coronary arteries, however, you may develop coronary artery disease signs and symptoms, including:
-Chest pain (angina). You may feel pressure or tightness in your chest, as if someone were standing on your chest. The pain, referred to as angina, is usually triggered by physical or emotional stress. It typically goes away within minutes after stopping the stressful activity. In some people, especially women, this pain may be fleeting or sharp and felt in the abdomen, back or arm.
-Shortness of breath. If your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs, you may develop shortness of breath or extreme fatigue with exertion.
-Heart attack. A completely blocked coronary artery may cause a heart attack. The classic signs and symptoms of a heart attack include crushing pressure in your chest and pain in your shoulder or arm, sometimes with shortness of breath and sweating. Women are somewhat more likely than men are to experience less typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack, such as nausea and back or jaw pain. Sometimes a heart attack occurs without any apparent signs or symptoms.






A HEART ATTACK WITHOUT KNOW IT?

When you have a heart attack, you know it because the main symptom—crushing chest pain—is overwhelmingly obvious. That’s what most of us believe about heart attacks. But it’s not always true.
What few people realize: Studies show that 20% to 60% of all heart attacks in people over age 45 are unrecognized or “silent.” And the older you are, the more likely it is that you’ve already had a silent heart attack. In a study of 110 people with a mean age of 82, an astounding 68% had suffered a silent heart attack.
What happens during a silent heart attack? You may have no symptoms at all. Or you may have symptoms that are so mild—for example, a bout of breathlessness, digestive upset or neurological symptoms such as fainting—that neither you nor your doctor connects them with a heart attack.
Scientists don’t know why some people have unrecognized heart attacks. But they do know that a silent heart attack is a real heart attack and can cause as much damage to heart muscle as a non-silent heart attack. And just like a person with a known heart attack, anyone who has had a silent heart attack is at higher risk for another heart attack, heart failure, stroke… or sudden death from an irregular heartbeat.
Recent scientific evidence: In a six-year study by cardiologists from the University of California in San Diego and San Francisco—published in Clinical Research in Cardiology in April 2011—people who were diagnosed with a silent heart attack at the beginning of the study were 80% more likely to have another “cardiovascular event,” such as a heart attack or stroke, by the end of the study period.
In a five-year study by cardiologists at the Mayo Clinic, people with an unrecognized heart attack were seven times more likely to die of heart disease than people who didn’t have an unrecognized heart attack.