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While many people may think of heart attacks as dramatic events that cause a person to seek help, that often isn't the case, and many heart attacks go unrecognized altogether.

A study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that 25 to 40 percent of heart attacks experienced by Americans over the age of 65 may go unrecognized. Researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center analyzed a data base of nearly 6,000 men and women over 65 to come up with their estimate that at least one in four heart attacks may fail to cause the pain or other symptoms that draw attention. They found that people who had hidden heart attacks had a mortality rate higher than people with no heart trouble.

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