A whole new category of heart attack, not caused by obstructed arteries, is more common and higher risk–especially in women–than previously thought, according to a University of Alberta study.
The umbrella term used to describe these heart attacks is “myocardial infarction with non-obstructive coronary arteries,” or MINOCA.
“Historically, MINOCA has been seen as a benign condition, and patients are commonly sent home without any treatment or lifestyle advice,” he explained. “Yet we found that after one year’s time, five per cent of patients either had another heart attack or died of a heart attack. This is striking, since patients with a plugged coronary artery have a nine per cent chance of a repeat attack or death within one year.”
The study is the first in the world to look at MINOCA over a long term. Bainey said the condition includes a range of less-understood heart attack causes that have been largely treated as benign.