SCAD (Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection) is an uncommon emergency heart condition that occurs when a tear forms in one of the blood vessels in the heart. SCAD can slow or block blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, abnormalities in heart rhythm and/or sudden death. SCAD is a cause of a heart attack and death not associated with the typical risk factors of heart disease.

SCAD Facts:

  • SCAD requires urgent treatment
  • SCAD is more common in women (80%) than men
  • 70% of SCAD cases occur in people under age 50 years, and has occurred in individuals in their teens
  • SCADs typically occur in people with no standard risk factors for heart attack (such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes); the underlying cause of SCAD is unknown in most patients
  • Pregnancy is an associated condition: 20% of SCAD cases in women occur near the time of delivery of a baby
  • Extreme physical activity or emotional stress has been associated with SCAD
  • Certain genetic mutations and a related condition called fibro muscular dysplasia (FMD) can increase the risk of dissections of arteries in others parts of the body
  • SCAD recurs; up to 17% of patients will experience another SCAD over a 10-year follow-up period

Source: the Mayo Clinic

Support & Additional Information

When you have experienced a life-changing event and have been diagnosed with a medical condition, it is perfectly normal to need time to accept what has happened to you and to come to terms with changes in your everyday life. Adjustment can be particularly difficult with a condition like SCAD where many questions can not yet be answered. The emotional and physical recovery can take time and SCAD patients require support from clinicians, family members and friends.

In addition to important steps such as Cardiac Rehab, you can find out more about SCAD via St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney here, the Mayo clinic  here, click here to learn more about the Mayo Clinic SCAD Research Program or click here for SCAD resources for Medical Professionals.

To join a  private Australian support group exclusively for SCAD Survivors click here and please check your Facebook Messages for a reply.

Source: SCAD Research Inc U.S. and the Mayo Clinic

Why SCAD Research Australia?

SCAD Research Australia Inc. was established in 2016 by Sydney SCAD Survivors.

Through our annual 5km SCADaddle walks we proudly raise funds for the  Mayo Clinic SCAD Research Program and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute SCAD Study.

Under the leadership of Dr. Sharonne Hayes, the Mayo Clinic SCAD Research Program is innovative, multidisciplinary and collaborative. Our shared goal is to advance the understanding of the underlying causes and risk factors for SCAD as well as develop solutions for optimal diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in Australia. Almost 3 x more women die from Heart Disease (than breast cancer, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Australia’s Health 2012.  Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection, or “SCAD,” remains a poorly understood cause of heart attacks, primarily in women.

Click here to join the SCAD Study at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute  or Click here to register to join many Australian SCAD survivors in the Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) studies at Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic have over 1,000 survivors in their study from all over the world and share their learnings with the global Medical Community including Australia.