Preliminary research scheduled for presentation at the 2021 American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference finds that silent heart attacks appear to increase stroke risk in adults 65 and older.
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 Alexander E. Merkler, M.D., assistant professor of neurology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. “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.”Read More