The Impact of Mental Health on Pregnancy and Sudden Cardiac Arrest in Women

Unexpected Cardiac Arrests: Understanding the Risks, Symptoms, and Concerns for Women and Men

Every year, about 350,000 people experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, with almost 90% of cases resulting in fatality. Surprisingly, 40% of these incidents involve women. Women and men may exhibit different symptoms of heart disease, and the risks of sudden cardiac arrest can vary as well.

Nancy Dagefoerde, an advanced practice nurse at OSF HealthCare Cardiovascular Institute, explains that sudden cardiac arrest can occur in any adult, particularly those aged 30 and older. Factors such as risk factors, family history, and heart defects can contribute to the likelihood of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. This condition results from an irregular heartbeat known as an arrhythmia, which causes the heart to stop beating or lose electrical activity.

Dagefoerde distinguishes between sudden cardiac arrest and a heart attack. A heart attack results from a blockage in the coronary artery surrounding the heart. While there is still stigma surrounding mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders, people are increasingly seeking treatment for such conditions.

For women considering pregnancy, concerns may arise about continuing medications like Zoloft or Prozac. Sarah Shoemaker, a certified nurse midwife at OSF HealthCare advises women to discuss these concerns with their healthcare provider early on before becoming pregnant. Shoemaker emphasizes the importance of maintaining stability and health for women who have found the right combination of medications.

In the event that a medication change is necessary, providers may recommend a supplement to address the situation while considering individual needs and circumstances carefully before making any decisions about changing medication regimens.

Sudden cardiac arrest is a serious condition that can be fatal in most cases. It occurs when there is an irregular heartbeat known as an arrhythmia that stops or reduces electrical activity in the heart. The condition is more likely to occur in older adults with risk factors such as high blood pressure or family history of heart disease.

Sarah Shoemaker emphasizes that it’s essential for women considering pregnancy to discuss their medication concerns with their healthcare provider early on before becoming pregnant. Women should maintain stability and health while taking medication regimens to avoid disrupting their well-being during pregnancy.

Providers will recommend supplements if medication changes are necessary while weighing pros and cons carefully before making any decisions about changing medication regimens for each patient’s unique needs and circumstances.

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