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Ask Stanford Med, Cardiovascular Medicine, Women's Health

Ask Stanford Med: Cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel taking questions on women’s heart health

It may surprise you to learn that more than 432,000 women die each year from heart diseases, which is ten times as many women who die from breast cancer. Moreover, previous research has shown that a significant percentage of women have a limited knowledge of heart disease and are unfamiliar with the tell-tale signs of heart attack, including sharp pain in the back, neck or jaw and shortness of breath.

To continue the conversation on women’s heart health, we’ve asked Stanford interventional cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel, MD, to respond to your questions on the growing body of research on women and cardiovascular disease, and how women differ from men.

Founding clinical director of the Women’s Heart Health program at Stanford, Tremmel is an instructor and interventional cardiologist in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the medical school. Her research interests include gender differences in coronary artery disease, the determinants of vascular access complications and the effects of weight on coronary physiology and cardiac outcomes. She has also completed research exploring the role of negative emotion on the heart health of women.

Questions can be submitted to Tremmel by either sending a tweet that includes the hashtag #AskSUMed or posting your question in the comments section below. We’ll collect questions until Friday, May 4 at 5 pm. When submitting questions, please abide by the following ground rules:

  • Stay on topic
  • Be respectful to the person answering your questions
  • Be respectful to one another in submitting questions
  • Do not monopolize the conversation or post the same question repeatedly
  • Kindly ignore disrespectful or off topic comments
  • Know that Twitter handles and/or names may be used in the responses

Tremmel will respond to a selection of the questions submitted, but not all of them, in a future entry on Scope.

Finally – and you may have already guessed this – an answer to any question submitted as part of this feature is meant to offer medical information, not medical advice. These answers are not a basis for any action or inaction, and they’re also not meant to replace the evaluation and determination of your doctor, who will address your specific medical needs and can make a diagnosis and give you the appropriate care.

Previously: A focus on women’s heart health, Understanding and preventing women’s heart disease and Gap exists in women’s knowledge of heart disease
Photo by Gabriela Camerotti

13 Responses to “ Ask Stanford Med: Cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel taking questions on women’s heart health ”

  1. Erin Digitale Says:

    Dear Dr. Tremmel,

    I’ve heard that heart attacks have somewhat different symptoms in women than men. Is this true, and if so, what symptoms should women watch out for?

  2. Angelica Says:

    What type of concerns should a 35 year old pregnat woman with heart disease be concerned about? She us diagnoised with aortic stenosis. Would she be abel to give birth naturally or by cesarian?

  3. ST Says:

    Hi Dr. Tremmel,

    How can you differentiate between the cardiac symptoms of high stress and something like cardiac neurosis? Is there long term damage to the heart for someone who frequently has a fast heart rate, fatigues easily, and is lethargic?

    Thank you.

  4. Nicole Says:

    Hi Dr. Tremmel,

    I have been diagnosed with variant angina and also have a symptomatic myocardial bridge. I do not have any plaque in my arteries. I am on so many meds and very fatiqued. Can repairing the bridge stop the vasospasms? The bridge has a flow rate of around 80% and has endothelial thickening. Does surgical repair require being on bypass? Thank you.

  5. Marcia Says:

    Dr. Tremmel,

    Is data being collected on the number of heart disease-related deaths in women that may be related to chemotherapy medications for cancer treatment?

    Thank you.

  6. Tracy Sherman Says:

    Dr. Tremmel: How have recent research advances helped to fine-tune prevention, diagnosis & treatment of heart disease among women?

  7. MGC Says:

    Dr. Tremmel: Past studies show that the number of heart attacks is rising among women and falling among men. Why factors are contributing to this gender gap in heart attack prevention?

  8. Mona G Says:

    Dear Dr.Tremmel: I have been seen by my Doctor for more then one year for chest pain, fast heart rate, fatigue, nause. EKG, Stress test and 24 hours heart monitor were deemed normal. There are other additional test? Thank you

  9. Anne M. Says:

    Since the early 1990s, the NIH has mandated that women and minorities be included in all of its clinical research studies. How much progress has been made in including more women in clinical trials related to cardiovascular diseases? And does more need to be done to enroll more women in studies?

  10. Shawne Flanagan Says:

    Dr. Tremmel, My sister-in-law was 42 & died May 12, 2012 of a massive heart attack. It was instant and happened in the middle of the night. She has no hereditary of heart issues, was healthy, no previous symptoms, was not obese, non-smoker & a mom of 4 young boys. This was sudden & tragic. Why are young women with no history of heart disease suddenly dying?

  11. Jim Cory Says:

    Can someone explain how a non-selective Systemic Beta-blocker like Cosopt / Timolol Maleate causes sinus bradycardia, first or second-degree atrioventricular block to progress to Complete Heart Block and what amount of time will this normally occur, will it take months or years to happen? I know the Bundle Branches or Purkinje Fibers get damaged and quit transmitting electrical signals through the heart. I have never had heart complications before, I am now 62 years old and in good health but diagnosed with sinus bradycardia and possibly first degree atrioventricular block.

  12. Aswin Daya Says:

    my background issues incidently documented myocardial infarction,significant peripheral vascular desease,pulmonary embolic desease and lung issues.i have posterior MI with akinesia and LV IS mildly dilated .Depending on the site of M-mode measurements the EF varies between 32 to 55%.The eyeball EF IF +- 50%.would yhis be a good or bad EF result.i am 52 yrs.old.

  13. Kristina Thomas Says:

    I am 27 years old and I have second degree heart block and I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome. I am very symptomatic with dizzy spells, palpitations,shortness of breath, and the occasional black out. I have tachycardia and bradycardia on a daily basis. I am currently on Ivabradine 7.5mg twice daily and it has been suggested I have a pace maker fitted. It is safe for me to have a baby either with or without the pacemaker?


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