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3 Heart and Vascular Conditions You Don’t Want for Christmas This Year


Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

Would you believe there are actual medical conditions called Christmas Disease, Nutcracker Syndrome, and Grinch Syndrome? We promise, we’re not being naughty and making it up.

Although they’re rare, these conditions are real, and they affect the blood, heart, and blood vessels, causing serious symptoms like pain, bleeding, and fainting. Find out more about these disorders below.

christmas diseases infographic

What is Hemophilia B (Christmas Disease)?

Hemophilia B, also known as “Christmas Disease,” is a rare genetic disorder that does not allow blood to properly clot due to insufficient levels of blood protein called Factor IX. This is the second most common type of hemophilia.

What is Nutcracker Syndrome?

Nutcracker Syndrome is a vascular compression disorder where the vein from your kidneys is pinched between your aorta and another smaller artery in your abdomen. Symptoms of nutcracker syndrome include blood in urine and left flank pain.

What is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS or Grinch Syndrome)?

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), also referred to as “Grinch Syndrome,” causes a rapid increase in heartbeat when standing up from a lying position. Many times this is accompanied by light-headedness and dizziness. Most patients have small hearts; POTS affects about 500,000 Americans, primarily young women.

Concerned you’re exhibiting symptoms of one of these conditions? Contact your primary care physician or visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute website for more information on treatment options.

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Heart and Vascular Institute

As a recognized leader in cardiovascular care — with a rich history in clinical research and innovation — the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute offers a full spectrum of personalized cardiovascular services. As one of the first heart transplant centers in the United States, UPMC has made significant contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular medicine. Read More