Diabetes and over 50? Be aware of a Silent Heart Attack

Dr. Bimal Chhajer in his book “Heart Attack” writes about a diabetic male patient, 55 years old, who noticed some breathlessness on the way to his office. After consulting his physician and routinely passing the ECG exam, it showed that he was just experiencing a silent heart attack. In such moments every second counts, so he was rushed in the emergency room immediately.

With the USA being on the third place in the world in the top countries of patients with diabetes, there’s no doubt that a specific attitude must be approached when we speak about the silent myocardial infarctions in these patients. The chances of experiencing a heart attack in a diabetic sufferer increases with the age, because of the  capillary damage, and The chances of it developping without any symptoms increases as the nerves become damaged, too.

Reports show important indicators: over 90% of myocardial infarctions experienced by diabetics go unnoticed by the patient. In other words, that means that they can get sudden heart failure and do nothing to ask for emergency help and, thus, lowering the chances of good recovery. From this point of view it is so important for diabetics to may say the symptoms of a silent heart attack, because they are the first line group of probability for experiencing it.

  • Sudden breathlessness that is leading further to pulmonary oedema.
  • Confusional state
  • Profound weakness
  • Sudden loss of consciousness
  • Arrhythmia (may be taken as palpitations, it is the feeling when “the heart rises up to the neck”)
  • Unexplained drop in blood pressure


In most of cases the myocardial infarctions can be prevented and it is up to patient’s willing and motivation to adopt a healthy lifestyle and avoid the clot appearance in heart’s muscle capillaries. This can be done by limiting the fats and cholesterol intake, controlling the blood pressure, avoiding the sedentary life-style and managing stress.

Stress can be a real shutter for the silent heart attack. If other risk factors need time to build up and to increase the chances of developing a silent myocardial infarction, than a stressful situation might be the last drop that will trigger the chain reaction that finally leads to heart muscle death.

This no way means that you have to be waiting for it to occur. Enjoy your life like before, respect docto’r recommendation he/she gave to you and by doing this you lower a lot your risks. Try to have a mobile phone in your pocket, so can ask help when you feel one of the silent heart attack’s symptoms.

The big part of diabetics already know about these risks and are prepared in case of such a situation. If you haven’t discussed with a physician about his yet, than it would be a good idea to schedule a visit and ask more about what exactly can you do if you feer some of the signs of a silent heart attack and you’re alone at home or in the street. It is a very important aspect, because the quicker the therapy starts, the better will be the outcome.

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