“Silent” heart attacks may increase risk of stroke- AHA stud
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Silent heart attacks appear to increase stroke risk in adults 65 and older, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2021.

A silent heart attack, also known as a silent myocardial infarction, has no, minimal or unrecognized symptoms. An electrocardiogram (ECG) or some form of imaging of the heart like an echocardiogram or a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is needed for diagnosis.

“Long-term risk of death can be as high after a silent heart attack as it is with a recognized heart attack, and it turns out silent heart attacks are more frequent than traditional chest-crushing heart attacks in older adults,” said study author. “We found having a silent heart attack increases stroke risk, suggesting silent heart attacks may need to be recognized as a new risk factor for stroke.”

Researchers analyzed health information on more than 4,200 adults who participated in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Participants were 65 years old or older at the start of the study. Participants had annual study visits at multiple centers across the U.S. Researchers evaluated participants’ stroke risk for an average of 10 years.

Researchers found:

-- Participants who had evidence of a silent heart attack had a 47% increased risk of developing a stroke, compared to adults who did not have a silent heart attack.
-- Participants who had classic symptoms for a heart attack had an 80-fold increased risk of stroke within one month after their heart attack, compared to participants who were heart attack-free.
-- After the high-risk, one-month period, participants with classic symptoms for a heart attack had a 60% increased risk of having a stroke.

“This research suggests the increased risk for having a stroke in those with silent heart attacks is similar to the risk found in traditional heart attacks. A silent heart attack may be capable of causing clots in the heart that dislodge and travel to the brain causing a stroke,” researchers said.

The research indicates patients with evidence of a silent heart attack found on an ECG should be considered as having an increased risk of stroke.

Source: https://newsroom.heart.org/news/silent-heart-attacks-may-increase-risk-of-stroke?preview=f5a6
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