March 1, 2019

Heart Month: No risk factors doesn’t mean no heart attacks, survivor attests

By Karl W Oestreich

The Florida Times-Union
by Beth Reese Cravey

As a critical care nurse married to a cardiologist, Valerie Oken knew the symptoms of a heart attack. But she also knew the risk factors. And she had none of them. So when the chest pain she thought was indigestion worsened, Oken, then 57, waited three hours for the symptoms to abate…When Oken realized she Florida Times-Union Logomight be having a heart attack, she told her husband, who immediately drove her to the emergency room. She was diagnosed with spontaneous coronary artery dissection…Oken’s Mayo cardiologist, Carolyn Landolfo, said spontaneous coronary artery dissection “is an under-diagnosed condition.” “We are now learning that we need to pay more attention to women with chest pain without traditional risk factors and to look for this specific condition,” she said. The average age of SCAD patients is about 50 years old, about 90 percent of them are women and at least 50 percent are post-menopausal, she said. The condition recurs in about 10 percent of patients.

Reach: The Florida Times-Union reaches more than 120,000 daily and 173,000 readers Sunday.

Context:  Carolyn Landolfo, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic cardiologist. The Mayo Clinic Department of Cardiovascular Medicine is one of the largest and most comprehensive heart practices in the world. It includes more than 240 subspecialized experts trained in congenital heart disease in adults and children, coronary artery disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, heart rhythm disorders, and heart valve diseases.

Contact: Cindy Weiss

Tags: Dr. Carolyn Landolfo, Florida Times-Union, heart attack, SCAD, Uncategorized, Valerie Oken

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