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Silent Heart Attacks
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Some women experience no pain or other symptoms during a heart attack. Only a subsequent EKG or blood enzyme test will discover this "silent" attack. Even so, damage to the heart has occurred. These "silent" attacks are dangerous because the heart's ability to survive another heart attack, however mild, is greatly reduced.

"Silent" heart attacks often accompany a condition called "silent ischemia", which is a long-term shortage of blood and oxygen to the heart due to the gradual accumulation of plaque in the arteries. You are more likely to have ischemia if you have at least three risk factors for heart disease and are a post-menopausal woman. If this sounds like you, ask your doctor to perform a cardiac stress test -- a workout on a treadmill that traces how well your heart is performing -- to determine if you have ischemia. 

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the 42 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a founding partner of The Heart Truth Red Dress campaign. The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.