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The Uncommon Type of Heart Attack That Kills Healthy, Young Women

Story at-a-glance -

  • Symptoms of an uncommon type of heart attack known as spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) are easily overlooked, as few SCAD patients have any history of or risk factors for heart disease
  • SCAD is a leading cause of heart attacks in healthy women under 55; the average age of SCAD patients is 42. Eighty percent of SCAD patients are women; 20 percent have recently given birth
  • SCAD occurs when the layers of your blood vessel wall tear apart from each other, trapping blood between the layers. As the blood collects between the layers, your blood vessel gets choked off, triggering a heart attack
  • Most SCAD patients are healthy. Risk factors for the condition include underlying blood vessel conditions such as fibromuscular dysplasia, extreme exercise and severe emotional stress
  • Common signs and symptoms of a SCAD-induced heart attack, and current treatment recommendations are included

By Dr. Mercola

As noted in recent news, the symptoms of an uncommon type of heart attack known as spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) is dangerously easy to overlook, as few SCAD patients have any history of or risk factors for heart disease. SCAD is a leading cause of heart attacks in healthy women under 55; the average age of SCAD patients is 42.


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