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Ask Stanford Med, Cardiovascular Medicine

Ask Stanford Med: Stanford interventional cardiologist taking questions on heart health

Ask Stanford Med: Stanford interventional cardiologist taking questions on heart health

Cardiovascular disease is the reigning cause of mortality in the United States, with heart disease and stroke accounting for 2,200 deaths per day. As a result, many of us know someone who has had cardiovascular problems, and some of us have a concern over our own risk for heart disease or stroke.

In recognition of American Heart Month, we’ve asked Stanford interventional cardiologist William Fearon, MD, to respond to your questions about cardiovascular research, including advancements in diagnosing, treating and preventing heart disease and stroke.

Fearon’s clinical focus includes interventional cardiology, coronary artery disease and aortic stenosis, and his general research interest is coronary physiology. His recent focus is on the potential benefits of using a relatively new technology called “fractional flow reserve,” or FFR, to accurately determine which patients require artery-opening stents. In a study published last August, he and colleagues showed that FFR can be useful in identifying those patients with stable coronary artery disease who should have early placement of artery-opening stents, versus be treated solely with medical therapy, such as aspirin or statins.

Questions can be submitted to Fearon by either sending a tweet that includes the hashtag #AskSUMed or posting your question in the comments section below. We’ll collect questions until Monday (Feb.11) at 5 PM Pacific Time.

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

Fearon 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: Guidewire technology improves heart patient care, New tool for heart disease saves both lives and money, Stanford researchers describe experimental treatment for deadly heart disease, Ask Stanford Med: Cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel responds to questions on women’s heart health and Ask Stanford Med: Cardiologist Jennifer Tremmel taking questions on women’s heart health
Photo by Eva Blue

5 Responses to “ Ask Stanford Med: Stanford interventional cardiologist taking questions on heart health ”

  1. Don Stranathan Says:

    I was dx with stage 4 lung cancer in 2009. I am still stable and going strong. In 200 I was dx with dilated cardiomyopathy. I reversed that condition with medications, Co Q 10 and exercise. I have had high blood pressure and high cholesterol for years and have been on medications for both.
    My question is how high can you allow your overall cholesterol level go before it overrides the cancer issues? I have been on Tarceva now for three years and have watched my Bilirubin’s and Alt levels increase to high normal. I requested my Oncologist take me off the statins to relieve some of the stress on my liver. My total cholesterol while on statins was around 152, now it is around 234. I have been better lately with diet, so it should come down some by my next test.
    Thanks for your help

  2. Rebecca Says:

    A new study this week shows that individuals with a common genetic variant for a certain type of cholesterol have a significantly (60%) greater risk of developing aortic calcifications. How might these findings lead to new therapeutic treatments or prevention options?

  3. Tom R. Says:

    Is there any potential for the transcatheter aortic valve replacement to be beneficial for low-risk or younger patients?

  4. Heather Says:

    Dr. Fearon:

    I’ve experienced infrequent heart palpitations my whole life, mostly when laying down. But lately I’ve been experiencing them daily. At what point do heart palpitations signal a more serious condition? Are there other vital signs, such as blood pressure, that should be monitored to help determine if the palpitations are problematic?

  5. Lynn Says:

    I read that the transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure carries a higher risk of stroke compared to open heart surgery. Why is this? What are the other risks associated with this procedure?

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