By Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD and Dr. Michael Roizen, MD

The 1950’s submarine movie, Run Silent, Run Deep, is the story of a WWII submarine captain, played by Clarke Gabel, who stalks the Japanese destroyer that blew up his former sub. It’s all about running undetected until you’re ready to strike.

That’s the same strategy used by silent heart attacks—and the results are potentially as deadly. Two studies reveal silent heart attacks are two to three times more common than previously thought and one of those studies found they may occur almost twice as often as conventional heart attacks.

To protect yourself from this health risk, here’s what you need to know now:
 
  • Silent heart attacks aren’t completely silent, but they don’t trigger usual symptoms like pressure, tightness or pain in your chest or arms, shortness of breath or cold sweat. So you may ignore what feels like bad heartburn, achy arms and fatigue.
  • They triple your risk of dying from heart-related problems.
  • Anyone with a family history of heart problems, who’s overweight, has high lousy LDL cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes is at risk.
  • An electrocardiogram (or MRI) can show if you have had one.
  •  If you’ve had one or to prevent it, start walking 30 minutes a day and eat 5-9 servings of produce, 100 percent whole grains and good fats (including DHA omega-3s) daily, and ask your doctor about taking two 81mg aspirins daily (always with a glass of warm water before and after).