SCAD Survivor and Advocate, Kristen Bowlds, on the Today Show!

February 7, 2020

Congratulations to SCAD survivor, patient, mom and tireless advocate, Kristen Bowlds, for reaching a national break in her efforts to continue raising awareness of Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) and the critical need for more women’s heart health research!

We are so proud to see Kristen taking the national platform to share her own personal story as a SCAD survivor. She’s had her share of health challenges from SCAD but she doesn’t let that hold her back. Her passion for raising awareness and need for research to find answers is amazing, not just for her own care, but for so many others who may be at risk.

Thanks to Kristen’s efforts, today more people will hear a story of how important it is to continue to do research. She has benefited from the research that has been done to date and she’s found her passion in her fearless advocacy.

If you don’t know much about SCAD:

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD), is an increasingly recognized condition that occurs when there is a spontaneous tear in an artery that is apparently healthy.

• The causes of SCAD are uncertain.
• Nearly 90 percent of SCAD patients are women and it is afflicting a growing number of women in their 40s and 50s.
• In fact, SCAD is the #1 cause of heart attack among younger women.

If you talk to Kristen, you’ll hear her call for more research to understand why it happens to someone like her who is healthy and active, even a several-time marathon runner. It happened without any known family history and without warning when her second child was born.

Then, after taking the time to heal and recover, it happened again. For Kristen, she took it as an opportunity to fuel her passion and push for the research to provide answers to more questions… why does it happen? How can we stop it from happening again? How can we stop it from happening to other women and her daughter?

As highlighted in our vision statement, the MHIF team is focused on creating a world without heart and vascular disease, including conditions like SCAD!

MHIF has a database assembled of all SCAD patients who are being followed at Abbott Northwestern Hospital (part of one of the largest health systems in Minnesota) over the past 20 years; there is a team of 5 cardiologists and 5 research scientists dedicated to this effort. MHIF has published positive experience of emergency treatment of SCAD heart attacks with coronary stents and coronary bypass grafting (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, September 2019). That is just the beginning and we are committed to the research to do better on behalf of patients like Kristen.

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