SCAD difficult to diagnose in women

SCAD is a tear in the wall of the normal artery which disrupts the flow of blood

Hyderabad: Spontaneous coronary artery dissection or SCAD is stated to be the cause of heart attacks in women but diagnosing this condition is very cumbersome. SCAD is a tear in the wall of the normal artery which disrupts the flow of blood. According to rough estimates it is found that it is responsible for 40 per cent of the heart attacks in women under the age of 50.

When SCAD occurs there is a tear in the tunnel within the walls of the artery and its effect blocks the flow of blood to the heart muscles causing a heart attack. But why it is happening to women is yet to be understood.

The American Heart Association has taken reviews of various research done on this subject and they find that there is still more evidence required to understand this condition at the clinical level.

Dr B.K. Reddy, senior cardiologist explained, “This condition is very difficult to diagnose as the women appear healthy. They are slim and have no risk factors. They are not found to suffer from any underlying conditions. Hence when they come with a severe pain in the arm, the tests do not reveal anything alarming. Hence it requires a better understanding of the disease.”

Heart attacks are typically diagnosed with blood tests and electrocardiogram but SCAD can only be diagnosed with an angiogram. Dr S. Chandra, senior cardiologist said, “There is still a lot of learning required to understand women’s heart problems and SCAD is one of them. So far, it is found that those who are into high intensity exercise are the ones in this risk category. But more work is required to confirm the same.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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