Science

This Is Why Heart Attacks Hit Young Women

By Kristen Hortaleza , Dec 21, 2016 01:14 PM EST
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The occurrence of healthy women aged 30 to 50 years old who are reported to be experiencing heart attacks has risen over the years. The Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, also known as SCAD, is a critical condition. Though believed to be the same with a typical heart attack, it is notably different from what people have known of.

"SCAD is a type of heart attack, but completely different than the one we normally think of. It's caused by a split or tear in an otherwise healthy artery that leads to a drop in blood flow to the heart leading to a heart attack," cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes said.

According to NBC News, those who are vulnerable to Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection are women whose ages are ranging from 30 to 50 years old. There is around a 10 to 20 percent chance that the sufferers are mothers and are pregnant. Those with normal blood pressure, healthy and with no risk factors for heart disease are often its victims. This is the reason why doctors usually come up with the wrong diagnosis.

"A lot of women can have sudden death from this, so it's a very severe, significant problem, they end up treating the patients as if he had a regular kind of heart attack when in fact they had a very unique kind of heart attack that our medications aren't necessary or helpful for," the Director of Women's Heart Health Program, Jennifer Tremmel, told ABC 7.

Since SCAD is difficult to diagnose and can occur anytime without warning, women are urged to be wary of possible heart attack symptoms. This includes chest discomfort, cold sweats, fatigue, shortness of breath and pain in the arm, back or jaw.

SCAD is still being researched as the origin and cause is not yet certain. Tremmel also states that the prevention of its reoccurrence is undetermined as well. Patients who are diagnosed with the condition are advised not to engage in sports, heavy weightlifting or become pregnant.

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