Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection [SCAD]

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Is an emergency condition that occurs when a tear forms in a blood vessel in the heart.

SCAD can slow or block blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) or sudden death.

SCAD most commonly affects women in their 40s and 50s, though it can occur at any age and can occur in men. People who have SCAD often don’t have risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes.

SCAD can cause sudden death if it isn’t diagnosed and treated promptly. Seek emergency attention if you have heart attack symptoms — even if you think you aren’t at risk of a heart attack.

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