A silent heart attack is one in which a person does not feel typical symptoms of a heart attack, such as:
Chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest.
Shortness of breath.
Nausea or vomiting.
Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or one or both shoulders or arms.
Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
A fast or irregular heartbeat.
This type of heart attack is usually not detected unless there are
symptoms of another condition, such as heart failure, at the same time. It may
not be discovered until later, during a routine physical exam.
A silent heart attack may occur when the nerves in the heart have
been damaged by high blood sugar due to diabetes. Because the heart attack does
not cause symptoms, it is ignored or not noticed and often causes more damage
to the heart. In a person with diabetes, the only signs of a heart attack may
be a rising blood sugar level and weakness that does not go away after eating
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Barrie J. Hurwitz, MD - Neurology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.