Dave Adlam here from the University of Leicester and University Hospital’s Leicester. I’m just going to talk briefly about some of our research into a condition called Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection which we’ve wisely shortened to SCAD.
This is a disease which causes heart attacks which predominantly effect young to middle aged women. It’s one of the causes of heart attacks which can occur in and around pregnancy although that in itself is uncommon.
And SCAD is very different to conventional heart attacks in that it doesn’t have all the associated risk factors usually, and it’s caused by the development of a bruise in the wall of a coronary artery which compresses the artery from the outside and causes a lack of blood supply to the heart muscle, and that’s what leads to heart attacks.
This is a condition that a few years ago was really pretty poorly recognised and the causes of it were poorly understood. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get to the bottom of this disease but we have managed to make some progress.
That’s largely down to our patients, we’ve been working with a patient group now for some years and they in fact were the motivation for setting up the first research study into this condition in the UK back a few years ago. They essentially ambushed me and demanded that we do some research into trying to understand the causes of this condition. With their help we’ve made a lot of progress in understanding exactly the disease, what causes the disease, how much damage it does to the heart, its association with problems in other arteries elsewhere in the body.