Silent heart attacks typically have few symptoms, and often none at all, but some victims later remember mistaking the incident for nausea, indigestion, muscle pain or the flu, according to Mayo Clinic. Diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram or echocardiogram, reveal changes that indicate a heart attack.
Once a person has a silent heart attack, he is at greater risk for a second heart attack, warns Mayo Clinic. A second heart attack increases the risks of complications such as heart failure. The second heart attack is fatal for some victims.
Women do not always have the same symptoms of a heart attack as men. Many females experience vague or silent symptoms, according to WebMD.
The risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as for heart attacks with symptoms, reports Mayo Clinic. The use of tobacco, growing older or developing diabetes increase the chances of heart problems. People who have high blood pressure, are overweight or have high cholesterol are more likely to suffer heart attacks. A family history of heart disease puts the patient at a higher risk for a heart attack.
With any indication of a heart attack, it is essential to call for emergency services without delay, warns WebMD. This is not the time for the victim to drive himself or go to the hospital in a personal vehicle.