Can You Have A Heart Attack With A Normal Blood Pressure?

Can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure? This is a question for all individuals who are quite confident about their healthy lifestyle1.

Many people are misguided that only increased blood pressure can cause heart attacks. Blood pressure isn’t the sole parameter for judging whether a person is prone to get a heart attack. Increased blood pressure2 can be caused due to heavy workouts, obesity, and increased sodium intake, while decreased blood pressure 3can be caused due to weakness and improper diet plans.

Recently, there have been so many cases in which people got heart attacks despite having normal blood pressure and used to follow a healthy diet plan, used to exercise regularly. Thus, this raises the question ”Can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure?”

1. Blood Pressure and Heart Attack

The normal blood pressure for a healthy person is 120/80 mmHg. 120 represents systolic pressure or the working heart rate4, whereas the lower limit of 80 represents diastolic blood pressure or the resting heart rate. Higher blood pressure readings indicate that the person is prone to heart diseases 5but can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure?

Can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure?
By Shahid Abdullah // Pixabay // Copyright 2022

High blood pressure readings are generally a cause of worry since they indicate that the heart has to work harder to pump blood to the whole body i.e. indicates, an obstruction in the path of pumping blood6. These obstructions are generally seen in the coronary artery and are called plaque. Over time when this plaque ruptures, causing heart attacks.

Research reveals a heart attack can also be accompanied by lower blood pressure or normal blood pressure; hence doctors generally don’t consider blood pressure a prime symptom of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack or myocardial infarction differ from a cardiac arrest.

1.1 What is a Heart Attack?

A heart attack may be defined as obstructed blood flow to the heart. The blood flow obstruction might be accompanied by chest pain or discomfort. A heart attack calls for immediate medical attention. The heart muscle receives inadequate blood flow, which might be due to blood clots blocking the blood supply to the heart muscle, which might be due to underlying causes such as coronary artery disease.

Blood clots might be the perpetrator, and one must look for other risk factors such as chest pain, and a delay might lead to heart disease and subsequent heart failure.

Thus, even with normal blood pressure, both systolic blood pressure as well as diastolic, there might be some other risk factors and warning signs for myocardial infarction7, such as a blood clot which might lead to heart disease and cause damage to the heart muscle even with a clinically accepted normal blood pressure.

A blood clot may occur due to medication, as a leading blood institute reported, which might be detrimental to the heart muscle and lead to heart disease even with normal blood pressure. Normal blood pressure, as is evident, can contribute to myocardial infarction.

Heart attacks can also occur due to a family history or a sudden cardiogenic shock.  Cases are also reported where the person having normal blood pressure suffered from major heart attacks raising doubt that you can have a heart attack with normal blood pressure.

So to prevent such unfortunate incidences, you should follow a healthy lifestyle and visit a doctor immediately if you find anything suspicious.

2. Other Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure? When this topic was researched, a few other reliable symptoms of heart attack were summarized:

2.1  Chest Pain or Discomfort:

This is one of the major symptoms of most heart attacks. A heart attack is often accompanied by severe pain in the center or the left side of the chest.

2.2 Sweat:

Excessive sweating or panting is another common symptom of a heart attack8, especially when you aren’t engaging in any sort of heavy physical workout. Many patients have experienced sweating before getting a heart attack.

heart attack
By Unperfekt // Pixabay // Copyright 2022

2.3 Shortness of Breath:

Shortness of breath is another symptom of a heart attack. It can either be accompanied by chest pain or without it. Breathing is related to the pumping of the heart; therefore, if the heart cannot pump blood properly, people experience breathing issues.

2.4 Pain in the Jaw or Back or Shoulders:

Unexpected, yet these are amongst the common heart attack symptoms, especially pain in the jaw.

A few heart attack symptoms are similar to flu-like symptoms, such as cold sweat, nausea, vomiting, and pain. These unexplained symptoms can be symptoms of a silent heart attack. Generally, these symptoms are seen in women affected by myocardial infarction.

A heart attack might be followed by either one or two common symptoms, or, in some cases, it can occur without giving any alarm. Coronary artery disease is a silent killer. It is the leading cause of death for several individuals worldwide.  An emergency medical personnel might be available for emergency medical help.

The national heart day celebrated on September 29 suggested that lifestyle changes are the key to a healthy heart. An article medically reviewed by the national center that chest pain along with mild discomfort might be a call for the emergency room to enable cardiac rehabilitation with cardiopulmonary resuscitation as the general first aid.

3. Tips for a Healthy Heart

Heart problems occur due to unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity in the daily schedule, genetic problems, obesity, hypertension, and anxiety issues. Have you ever wondered that can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure? Yes, you can have a heart attack even with normal blood pressure. Certain risk factors can cause a heart attack, so one should be a little more careful regarding them.

One shouldn’t get so busy with work that there is no time left to care for their health. Neglecting your health will pose a threat to you in later years. So make sure you take little steps towards healthy living and be cautious about your heart health as soon as possible.

Here are a few tips to stay healthy :

3.1 Eat Healthy

A healthy heart dwells inside a healthy body, so to stay healthy, eat healthy food and fruits. Avoid foods with high amounts of salt and sugar or high cholesterol levels. These are harmful to the heart and can cause various heart problems.

heart attack
By Stevebp // Pixabay // Copyright 2022

Also, read the article ” Everything about plant-based diet”.

3.2 Exercise Regularly

Doing physical activity makes the heart stronger and healthy. It reduces the chances of a heart attack in a person and the health of the heart.

3.3 Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is the kind of lifestyle in which a person is too lazy and sticks to one particular place for the whole day without doing any work, or playing any games. This kind of lifestyle makes a person sluggish. Physical activity should be included in one’s day-to-day routine for a healthier heart, muscles, and overall body.

3.4 Focus on Your Mental Health

Peer-reviewed studies have shown that mental health affects a person’s heart health. Prolonged anxiety and depression can lead to hypertension and the development of various heart diseases. Thus stay happy to stay healthy and don’t ignore your mental health too as a healthy mind ensures the healthy functioning of the cardiac muscles.

3.5 Avoid Smoking or Drinking

Consuming too much alcohol or smoking isn’t good for the health. It has got uncountable side effects and also affects a person’s cardiac health.

heart attack
By Pexels // Pixabay // Copyright 2022

4. On a Final Note

The answer to the question,” Can you have a heart attack with normal blood pressure” is a YES.

The risk of a heart attack might not always be high blood pressure as it is characterized by the heart muscle not receiving enough blood. Avoiding symptoms such as tiredness without any considerable physical activity, cold sweat, and unexplained chronic physical pain increases the risk. To ensure a healthy heart, one must not consume caffeine and other substances with known damaging effects on heart muscles as these further add to the risk associated with heart disease as prevention is the cure.


5.1 Aside from Blood Pressure, are There Any Additional Risk Factors for Heart Attacks?

A: Blood clots, abrupt cardiogenic shock, and family history are all additional risk factors for heart attacks. The likelihood of a heart attack is not necessarily eliminated by normal blood pressure.

5.2 How Crucial is Prompt Medical Attention and Early Identification in Cases of Heart Attacks?

In the event of a heart attack, prompt medical assistance and early detection are essential. Early management can lessen cardiac muscle damage and stop additional issues.

5.3 What Can People Do to Avoid Heart Attacks?

A healthy lifestyle, controlling risk factors including diabetes and high cholesterol, regular exercise, and frequent checkups with the doctor can all help prevent heart attacks. It is crucial to see a doctor as soon as any questionable symptoms appear.

Top 5 Myths About Heart Attack You Need To Debunk!
Icy Health
  1. Divine, Richard L., and Lawrence Lepisto. “Analysis of the healthy lifestyle consumer.” Journal of Consumer marketing 22.5 (2005): 275-283. ↩︎
  2. Shayne, Philip H., and Stephen R. Pitts. “Severely increased blood pressure in the emergency department.” Annals of emergency medicine 41.4 (2003): 513-529. ↩︎
  3. Larson, Abigail J., J. David Symons, and Thunder Jalili. “Therapeutic potential of quercetin to decrease blood pressure: review of efficacy and mechanisms.” Advances in nutrition 3.1 (2012): 39-46. ↩︎
  4. Sheffield, L. Thomas, and David Roitman. “Systolic blood pressure, heart rate and treadmill work at anginal threshold.” Chest 63.3 (1973): 327-335. ↩︎
  5. Jenkins, C. David, Ray H. Rosenman, and Stephen J. Zyzanski. “Prediction of clinical coronary heart disease by a test for the coronary-prone behavior pattern.” New England Journal of Medicine 290.23 (1974): 1271-1275. ↩︎
  6. Scandroglio, Anna Mara, et al. “Diagnosis and treatment algorithm for blood flow obstructions in patients with left ventricular assist device.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 67.23 (2016): 2758-2768. ↩︎
  7. Bruyninckx, Rudi, et al. “Signs and symptoms in diagnosing acute myocardial infarction and acute coronary syndrome: a diagnostic meta-analysis.” British Journal of General Practice 58.547 (2008): e1-e8. ↩︎
  8. Han, Chang Hoon, et al. “Knowledge and poor understanding factors of stroke and heart attack symptoms.” International journal of environmental research and public health 16.19 (2019): 3665. ↩︎

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Yashika Mahajan

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