Doctors and researchers have found some similarities among people who have experienced spontaneous coronary artery dissection. It's not yet clear what role these factors play in causing the disease. Common factors include:

  • Female sex. Though spontaneous coronary artery dissection can occur in both men and women, it tends to affect women more often.
  • Giving birth. Some women with spontaneous coronary artery dissection have recently given birth. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection was found to occur most often in the first few weeks after delivery.
  • Irregular growth of cells in the artery walls. A condition called fibromuscular dysplasia (FMD) causes the irregular growth of cells in the walls of one or more of your arteries. This irregular growth can weaken the artery walls and reduce blood flow. FMD can also cause high blood pressure, a stroke and tears in other blood vessels. FMD occurs more often in women than it does in men.
  • Extreme physical exertion.
  • Blood vessel problems. Diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels, such as lupus and polyarteritis nodosa, have been associated with spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
  • Inherited connective tissue diseases. Genetic diseases that cause problems with the body's connective tissues, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome, have been found to occur in people with spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
  • Very high blood pressure. Having untreated, severe high blood pressure is associated with spontaneous coronary artery dissection.
  • Cocaine use.
Aug. 13, 2013

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.