Can You Have a Heart Attack and Not Know It?

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A person can have a heart attack and not know it because not all heart attacks produce recognizable symptoms, according to the American Heart Association. These are known as silent heart attacks.

Risk factors for a silent heart attack are the same as for a heart attack that produces symptoms, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, family history of heart disease, obesity and age. According to the American Heart Association, a silent heart attack is more dangerous than a regular heart attack because victims do not realize that they need help, which delays treatments to restore blood flow to the heart and causes more damage.