Experts Warn Of Little Known Condition Causing Heart Attacks In Young, Fit & Healthy Women

CSAD heart attack

Experts are warning that “fit and healthy” women as young as 22 could be struck down by a little-known condition that causes heart attacks or sudden death.

SCAD which stands for spontaneous coronary artery dissection, is an uncommon condition that happens when a tear forms in a blood vessel in the heart.

According to the Mayo Clinic it can slow or block blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, abnormalities in heart rhythm or sudden death.

The Sun reports: One 33-year-old woman said she felt as though she had an “elephant on her chest” and could barely walk due to the condition.

When she first started feeling unwell, she felt as though she didn’t need to worry as she said she was “generally fit and healthy.”

Michele DeMarco waited in a British emergency room for 45 minutes, with doctors dismissing her symptoms as a panic attack.

After multiple tests, it was revealed that she was actually having a heart attack, one report stated.

Doctors had believed DeMarco had been “addicted to cocaine” and she claims that medics “didn’t know what to do.”

In total, DeMarco said she has suffered three SCAD heart attacks in the last 10 years.

In another case, a woman in her early 30s called 911 in the US and told the operator she was experiencing “excruciating chest pains.”

Paramedics arrived, claimed it wasn’t a heart attack and left.

Just hours later, the patient was driven to the hospital, where tests confirmed she had in fact suffered SCAD.

The director of Mayo’s SCAD Research Program, Sharonne N. Hayes, said health care officials should not be dismissing patients who are worried.

She has spoken with a host of patients who have suffered with the issue — some in their early 20s.

She said: “Like a regular heart attack, patients may experience a range of symptoms like chest pressure, pain, and shortness of breath. But what’s different is who’s having it.”

“We don’t expect a 22-year-old to have heart attack symptoms.”

Hayes says one of the many reasons women are misdiagnosed is because clinical trials into SCAD haven’t included women.

SCAD differs from a normal heart attack in that the artery can be delicate and sometimes unraveled, whereas in a normal heart attack, patients will often have a stent or balloon inserted to open the artery.

Dr Hayes thinks many medics don’t know the signs of SCAD and therefore don’t know how to treat it.

Research from the American Heart Association found SCAD is responsible for 35 per cent of heart attacks in women under the age of 50.

Risk factors for the condition include recent childbirth and underlying blood vessel conditions including fibromuscular dysplasia – this causes irregular growth of cells in artery walls.

Another risk factor includes high blood pressure and connective tissue diseases like vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome.

Earlier this month, the BBC ran a story that they hoped would help raise awareness of the risk of sudden cardiac deaths in young people.

The Times newspaper also reported that doctors in Scotland had been left baffled by a large increase in a common and potentially fatal type of heart attack.

There was no mention of possible side effect from the covid vaccine being a ‘risk factor’in any of the reports.