JUL 09, 2019 10:05 AM PDT

Cardiovascular Risks And Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) affects the body’s connective tissues. These tissues are proteins that provide support for the gums, ligaments, organs, blood vessels, and more.

Defects in these tissues, often result in hypermobility of the joints and hyperextensibility of the skin. This means that the joints are less stable and more prone to injury. The skin of EDS patients may be soft and fragile. They may develop wounds that heal slowly or that reopen after having healed. Specific symptoms depend on the type of EDS a person has. 

Symptoms of the syndrome include chronic musculoskeletal pain, gum disease, or even mitral valve prolapse in the heart. One of the EDS subtypes may also lead to a rupture in the blood vessels, uterus, or intestines. These complications can be fatal if a large vessel ruptures.

EDS is a genetic disorder resulting from mutations in any of 19 genes. Some of the 13 EDS forms are inherited, with parents passing an abnormal gene to their offspring. The risk of passing on the condition ranges from 25 to 50%, depending on the condition subtype.

To diagnose the EDS, doctors will generally perform a physical exam, including any family or medical history. Usually, the classic symptoms of skin and joint concerns, coupled with any positive family history, is enough to make a diagnosis. 

If there is a doubt that EDS is the cause of a patient’s symptoms, doctors may take a genetic sample to confirm. It is much more likely a person has joint hypermobility, which affects 1 in 30 people, then it is to have EDS, which affects about 1 in 5000.

If EDS is confirmed, several treatment options will be explored. Because EDS is the name for a group of conditions, and not a single diagnosis, treatment has to be carefully tailored to each patient.

Some patients may be able to manage their condition with lifestyle changes effectively. These changes might include avoiding high-impact and contact sports. 

Unfortunately, this may not be sufficient treatment for everyone. Other options include physical or occupational therapy, gentle exercise, pain medication, or surgery. 

The above video from Mayo Clinic goes into detail about EDS. 

 

Sources: National Institutes of HealthMayo Clinic

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
JAN 08, 2020
Cardiology
JAN 08, 2020
Insecticides Linked to Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Death
New research from the University of Iowa has shown that prolonged exposure to common household insecticides may increase ...
FEB 21, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 21, 2020
Poor Sleep Increases Heart Disease Risk in Women
Researchers from Columbia University Irving Medical Center have found that women who don’t sleep well leading tend ...
MAR 23, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 23, 2020
Eating Tofu and Chickpeas Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
New research has found that eating tofu and other foods rich in isoflavones such as chickpeas and peanuts may lower one& ...
APR 01, 2020
Cardiology
APR 01, 2020
Avoiding Caries in Children
Thankfully, children are free of many of the chronic diseases that plague older populations. That said, one of the most ...
APR 23, 2020
Health & Medicine
APR 23, 2020
Study Shows Filtered Coffee is Best for Your Health
Are you drinking more coffee than usual during the COVID-19 lockdown? Navigating weeks of working from home or onsite, a ...
MAY 11, 2020
Cardiology
MAY 11, 2020
Urbanization and Cardiometabolic Risk
A recent study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) was first to analyze the possible connection betw ...
Loading Comments...