More research to beat SCAD

Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD) is causing healthy people to suffer a sudden heart attack or cardiac arrest and doctors dont know why. Beat SCAD are funding research to find answers and save lives.
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SCAD is a serious heart condition which is striking healthy women and men... people who you probably wouldn't think would be at risk of having a heart attack. When SCAD strikes, it is life-changing for the patient and their loved ones. SCAD can be fatal. It is critical that we find out what causes SCAD.

* Katie was 33, mother of two young children, when tragically she did not survive her SCAD in 2019.

* Lucy was 28 when, while out walking her dogs, she suffered multiple SCADs and required emergency bypass surgery.

* Ben, father of three young children, had a SCAD in 2017 and procedural complications during his angiogram led to a further dissection.

* Róisín was 38, mother of three young children, when SCAD struck in 2013. Paramedics told her it was a panic attack.

* Polly had retired and was returning to college to study art when she had a SCAD in 2017. She was reassured that her consultant knew about SCAD and the work at Leicester.

Read more patient stories here:

SCAD survivors are being supported by an incredible team of researchers in Leicester at the Glenfield Hospital & NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, where Lead Investigator Dr David Adlam also runs regular SCAD Clinics and sees referrals from all over the UK. But their resources are stretched as the number of SCAD patients demanding their support increases every week. We MUST raise funds to support their work.

Following on from previous Beat SCAD funding of SCAD Clinical Research Fellow, Dr Alice Wood (2017 to 2021), the charity has awarded £106,000 to the University of Leicester to help fund a new SCAD Clinical Research Fellow (note: start date moved to Q1 2024).

With this campaign, Beat SCAD aim to raise £25,000 to support the work of the new Clinical Research Fellow. Please donate to help us reach our goal. Thank you!

Please read on for more details

SCAD cannot currently be predicted or prevented and is underdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness. People affected by SCAD may fail to act on their symptoms because they don't suspect it could be their heart when they are fit and healthy. Doctors misdiagnose or diagnose late, which can lead to severe heart damage or heart failure in some cases.

Why are healthy people having sudden heart attacks?

What we know so far

* Cases reported across a wide age range (18 to 84 years) but most cases occur in young-to middle-aged women

* Mostly aged between 44 to 53 years

* Up to 90% of cases in women

* 10% of cases in women occur during or soon after pregnancy (P-SCAD) BUT 50% of all post-partum coronary (heart) events are due to SCAD

* An exercise trigger is associated with some cases and is more common in men

* Some SCAD patients have connective tissue disorders which may be associated

* SCAD can strike more than once with recurrence reported in approximately 10% of cases at 3-year follow-up

* Recent research efforts have identified a panel of genes involved in arterial dissection and aneurysms

What is happening to find out more

Research is under way in Leicester at the Glenfield Hospital & NIHR Biomedical Research Centre to find answers to why SCAD happens and how best to treat it.

The research began in 2013 after patients located around the UK met via online forum and demanded answers.

As of March 2022, over 1240 SCAD patients have registered to participate with 555 consented and recruited to the study - a staggering number considering SCAD was considered to be extremely rare just a short time ago.

Data collected and analysed by Dr Adlam and his research team has already contributed to numerous journal publications, including investigating the prevalence of fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD), aneurysms, dissection, and tortuosity in extracoronary arteries of SCAD patients; a review of the pitfalls of angiographic diagnosis and considerations for ambiguous cases; investigating coronary histological and dermal collagen ultrastructural findings in SCAD; developing recommendations for physical activity and exercise in patients with SCAD and FMD; and investigating a potential biomarker to address the challenge of differentiating acute SCAD from coronary atherothrombosis.

How Beat SCAD are supporting the research

Thanks to the incredible efforts and admirable determination of Beat SCAD supporters since the charity launched in November 2015, the charity has awarded the following funds to support the research of Dr David Adlam in Leicester:

* 2017: £25K for Dr Alice Wood PhD research

* 2018: £3K for blood tubes for a genetics study (which led to the identification of a genetic risk locus, PHACTR1/EDN1)

* 2018: £50K for Dr Alice Wood PhD research

* 2020: £64K for Dr Alice Wood PhD research

* 2020: £23K for Dr Alice Wood PhD research

* 2020: £15.6K for genetics work

* 2020: £7.6K for proteomics work

* 2020: £3K for laboratory consumables

* 2022: £106K for a Clinical Research Fellow (note: start date moved to Q1 2024)

Beat SCAD are now working to raise £25,000 to support the work of the new Clinical Research Fellow.

Events hosted by the charity, including our walk in June, plus challenges completed by our amazing supporters will make this goal possible.

You can link your own Just Giving fundraising page to this campaign to add to the overall total.

We MUST find out why SCAD happens!

Beat SCAD is a patient-led charity that launched in 2015 to raise awareness of SCAD, support SCAD patients and their families, and raise funds for research to find answers about this condition.

So far, the charity has donated over £297,000 to research and this money has helped to reveal important pieces of the puzzle for understanding SCAD. This has only been possible due to incredible support and fundraising by the small but mighty SCAD community.

More research to beat SCAD is a new campaign aiming to raise £25,000 to support the work of the new Clinical Research Fellow. Every pound raised can help to keep our research pushing forward.

Thank you for your support.

About the charity


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RCN 1164066
Beat SCAD is a patient-led charity dedicated to raising awareness of the under-diagnosed heart condition Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection (SCAD), supporting people affected by SCAD, and raising funds for research.

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