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March 15, 2002


Emory Cardiologist Nanette Wenger, M.D., To Speak About Heart Disease and Women At March 16 ACC Program

Nanette K. Wenger, M.D., professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology for Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital, will address cardiologists, internists, gynecologists and other health care professionals from across the country on Saturday, March 16. Her address will be at the Hilton Atlanta & Towers, 255 Courtland St. in Atlanta, during the American College of Cardiology's Extramural Program, entitled, "Heart Disease in Women: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?"

The program precedes the ACC 51st Annual Scientific Session, which begins March 18. Saturday's program begins at 8:35 a.m. Dr. Wenger and Rita Redberg, M.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, are co-directors of the program.

One of the topics slated for discussion is the complicated issue of whether hormone replacement therapy helps prevent heart disease in post-menopausal women – or whether it actually ups the risk of cardiovascular problems in certain women.

"Despite biologically plausible mechanisms for estrogen benefit and epidemiologic studies suggesting cardiac protection, no clinical trials to date have shown postmenopausal hormone protection," Dr. Wenger says. "Some have suggested possible early risk. The American Heart Association Science Advisory recommends that HRT not be initiated for secondary prevention (in women with heart disease) and notes that data are insufficient to initiate HRT solely for primary cardiovascular heart disease prevention (healthy women). Decisions to continue or stop HRT should be based on non-coronary benefits and risks and patient preference. Ongoing clinical trials may subsequently provide compelling benefit or risk information to guide estrogen use."

During the course session, Dr. Wenger will also discuss "Heart Disease and Women – The Magnitude of the Problem". Objectives of the extramural program include identifying gender differences in the pathophysiology and management of congestive heart disease; describing the association of anorectic drugs and valvular heart disease in women; choosing the most appropriate and efficient evaluation to diagnose coronary artery disease in women; identifying the indications, coronary risks, and benefits of various regimens for hormone replacement as a coronary preventive therapy for postmenopausal women; explaining the unique issues in management of congenital heart disease in women; and understanding special gender considerations regarding cardiovascular drug use in women.

The course will focus on new and current knowledge relating to all dimensions of care for women with cardiovascular disease.

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