A HEART ATTACK WITH NOT WARNING

Ischemia is a condition where the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a part of the body is restricted. Cardiac ischemia refers to lack of blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. It occurs when an artery becomes narrowed or blocked for a short time, preventing oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart. If ischemia is severe or lasts too long, it can cause a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and can lead to heart tissue death. In most cases, a temporary blood shortage to the heart causes the tremendous pain of angina pectoris. Patients with silent ischemia have pain-free ischemia. It is dangerous because it may cause a heart attack with no prior warning.
How Common is Silent Ischemia and Who is at Risk?
The American Heart Association estimates that 3 to 4 million Americans have episodes of silent ischemia. People who have had previous heart attacks or those who have diabetes are especially at risk for developing silent ischemia. Heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy) caused by silent ischemia is among the more common causes of heart failure in the United States.
Major risk factors include:
• Previous heart attack
• Coronary artery disease
• Diabetes
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• Cardiomyopathy
• Obesity
• Smoking
• Alcohol and drug abuse

Symptoms- Silent ischemia has no symptoms. Researchers have found that patients who have noticeable chest pain may also have episodes of silent ischemia.






Silent Ischemia: Ischemia with No Pain

Ischemia is a condition in which the blood flow (and thus oxygen) is restricted or reduced in a part of the body. Cardiac ischemia is the name for decreased blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle.
What is ischemic heart disease? It’s the term given to heart problems caused by narrowed heart arteries. When arteries are narrowed, less blood and oxygen reaches the heart muscle. This is also called coronary artery disease and coronary heart disease. This can ultimately lead to heart attack.
Ischemia often causes chest pain or discomfort known as angina pectoris.
What is silent ischemia?
Many Americans may have ischemic episodes without knowing it. These people have ischemia without pain — silent ischemia. They may have a heart attack with no prior warning. People with angina also may have undiagnosed episodes of silent ischemia. In addition, people who have had previous heart attacks or those with diabetes are especially at risk for developing silent ischemia.
Having an exercise stress test or wearing a Holter monitor – a battery-operated portable tape recording that measures and records your electrocardiogram (ECG) continuously, usually for 24-48 hours – are two tests often used to diagnose this problem. Other tests also may be used.