Pregnancy, Mental Health, and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Women

Breaking the Stigma: Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Mental Health in Women

Every year, around 350,000 individuals experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting, 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, preferably before conception.

Shoemaker explains that some women spend years finding the right medication combination to maintain stability and health. In such cases, providers aim to minimize disruptions to established medication regimens by relying on a case-by-case evaluation of benefits and risks. If adjustments are necessary, providers may introduce supplements as needed.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. It is crucial for individuals who experience symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath to seek medical help promptly.

In conclusion, sudden cardiac arrest can occur in anyone and has different risk factors depending on gender. Women are just as likely to experience this condition as men but may exhibit different symptoms. It’s essential to seek treatment early on if you suspect you have experienced sudden cardiac arrest or if you’re pregnant considering taking medications like Zoloft or Prozac.

The risks associated with sudden cardiac arrest vary based on gender: while men may be more prone to certain symptoms like chest pain or shortness of breath

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