A third of heart attacks in the UK are ‘silent’ – how to spot the warning signs

Mawi’s Andrew Klymenko discusses silent heart attacks

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A silent heart attack is one that shows “vague” or no symptoms at all, meaning they can pass by undetected for a long time. The patient might not know they had one until they experience another heart issue later down the line or attend a regular check-up. In the UK around 100,000 people every year suffer heart attacks, with 35,000 of them silent.

Andrew Klymenko, co-founder and chairman of Mawi – a company that creates AI-powered wearable medical devices for cardiac disease diagnosis and monitoring – explained more.

Speaking exclusively with Express.co.uk, he said: “People over 50 are at significant risk of these ‘silent killers’.

“They may go undetected for years, only to be discovered incidentally during a routine exam.

“It might not cause chest pain or shortness of breath, the two most common symptoms, and may be mistaken for simple heartburn, the flu, or a strained chest muscle.”

He warned: “Neglecting these symptoms can be dangerous as a heart attack can block the heart’s blood supply, possibly causing damage to the heart muscle.

“According to the US National Institute of Health, 70 percent of people who died of sudden heart failure had previously undiagnosed heart disease.

“This could have been prevented by having regular check-ups and timely treatment.”

Mr Klymenko shared the main four signs you are experiencing a silent heart attack.

If any of these happen to you “call an ambulance immediately,” he said.

Chest discomfort

This is the most common sign of a heart condition. Most chest pain associated with heart attacks is sharp, sudden, and intense.

However, most only show mild pain or discomfort at the centre of the chest that begins slowly.

Discomfort in other areas of your body

A heart attack doesn’t just affect your heart. You may experience pain or discomfort in your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach.

Difficulty breathing and dizziness

Feeling unsteady, lightheaded, or out of breath as if you just had an intense workout may signify a heart attack.

Throat or jaw pain

An isolated throat or jaw pain probably isn’t heart-related. However, pain or pressure in the centre of your chest that spreads up into your throat or jaw could signify a heart attack.

There are a number of factors that can put you more at risk of a silent heart attack including:

  • Stress
  • Age
  • Being overweight
  • Not exercising enough
  • Poor eating habits
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • High blood sugar.

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