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Media Contact: Sherry Baker 05 March 2004    
  (404) 377-1398   Print  | Email ]

Cardiology Meeting in New Orleans Features Emory Researchers
Can an inpatient program designed to improve patient knowledge of cardiac risk factors actually lead to better compliance - and a reduced rate of future cardiac events - when heart patients are dismissed from the hospital? Does a person's body mass index ( BMI) have an impact on the outcome of coronary surgery? Do cardiac risk factors, when associated with coronary artery aneurysms, increase the risk of death?

Is lifestyle intervention really worth the effort when a patient has high blood pressure, very high cholesterol levels and/or high blood sugar? Have researchers found a plausible mechanism linking depression to heart disease?

What are the latest findings in the treatment of women with cardiovascular disease - from gender differences in acute coronary syndromes and revascularization outcomes to the best diagnostic strategies for women with chest pain? And are women and African-Americans treated the same as white men when they have heart attacks?

These are a few of the topics Emory Heart Center cardiologists and scientists will be discussing in presentations and panel discussions at the American College of Cardiology's 53rd Annual Scientific Sessions, slated for March 7 through March 10 in New Orleans at the Morial Convention Center.

Emory doctors will also lead several special key ACC symposiums. For example, on Monday, March 8, Emory Heart Center interventional cardiologist Peter Block, MD, will present a lecture on percutaneous left atrial appendage occlusion - a minimally invasive procedure that may reduce the risk of stroke in patients with the heart arrhythmia known as atrial fibrillation.

Dr. Block, a national leader in pioneering minimally invasive cardiac procedures including minimally invasive mitral valve repair, will also chair a session entitled "Patent Foramen Ovales (PFOs) Closure - What to Do?" on Tuesday, March 9. A patent foramen ovale is an opening between the right atrium and left atrium, the top chambers of the heart, which is present in all infants, but usually closes after birth. If it doesn't grow closed, it may allow blood to flow between the top chambers of the heart and can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Dr. Block will discuss new techniques that allow some PFOs to be closed with catheter-based technology - eliminating open heart surgery.

One of the nation's leading experts on cardiovascular disease and women, Nanette K. Wenger, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology for Emory University School of Medicine, and chief of cardiology at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta , will address cardiologists, obstetricians/gynecologists, nurse practitioners and other health care professionals on Saturday, March 6, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. She will co-direct and participate in the American College of Cardiology's Extramural Program entitled," Heart Disease in Women: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going?". Dr. Wenger, who recently co-authored the American Heart Association's new guidelines on cardiac care for women, will present "Women and Heart Disease" and "Coronary Revascularization in Women" at the extramural program. She will also give a Plenary Session presentation on "Controversies in Hormone Replacement Therapy and Coronary Heart Disease in Women."

"This meeting is considered by many heart specialists to be the most comprehensive cardiovascular educational event of the year and Emory Heart Center physicians will play an important role presenting new heart research and participating in important programs and panels on clinical care issues," says Douglas C, Morris, MD, Director of the Emory Heart Center. "We always welcome this exciting opportunity to meet with colleagues from all over the world at this annual meeting in order to share information on the latest advances in cardiovascular medicine and to discuss clinical decision making skills."

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