Shocking Statistics: 40% of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Cases Involve Women, Despite Men and Women Exhibiting Different Symptoms

Pregnancy, Mental Health, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Women

Around 350,000 individuals experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting every year, with almost 90 percent of cases resulting in death. Surprisingly, 40 percent of these episodes involve women. While men and women may exhibit different symptoms of heart disease, the risks associated with sudden cardiac arrest also vary based on gender.

Sudden cardiac arrest can occur in any adult, especially those aged 30 and above. Factors such as family history, risk factors, and congenital heart defects can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. This condition arises from an irregular heartbeat known as an arrhythmia, which causes the heart to stop beating or lose electrical activity completely, resulting in the affected person displaying no breathing or pulse.

Nancy Dagefoerde, an advanced practice nurse at the OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute, emphasizes the distinction between sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack. The latter occurs when there is a blockage in the coronary artery surrounding the heart. Despite lingering stigma around mental health, more individuals are seeking treatment when needed. For pregnant women contemplating the safety of medications like Zoloft or Prozac, Sarah Shoemaker, a certified nurse midwife at OSF HealthCare advises discussing these concerns with a healthcare provider early on

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