Unveiling the Distinction: Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Women

Pregnancy, Mental Health, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Women

Every year, nearly 400,000 individuals experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting, with almost 95% of cases resulting in death. Surprisingly, around 60% 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 before conception.

Shoemaker explains that some women spend years finding the right medication combination to maintain stability and health while minimizing disruptions to established medication regimens during pregnancy. If adjustments are necessary, providers may introduce supplements as needed to ensure safe use of medications during pregnancy.

In summary, sudden cardiac arrest is a life-threatening condition that can occur in anyone but mainly affects men over 30 years old. Women are also at risk and account for about 40% of all cases. It’s essential to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect someone is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest by calling emergency services promptly.

Additionally, it’s crucial for pregnant women to discuss any concerns regarding their medication use with their healthcare provider before conception to minimize potential risks associated with mental health conditions like depression or anxiety that may require medication management during pregnancy.

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