Interview| Volume 91, ISSUE 10, P1203-1224, May 15, 2003

Nanette Kass Wenger, MD: a conversation with the editor*

        Nanette Wenger was born in New York City on September 3, 1930, and grew up on Long Island. She graduated from Hunter College High School in Manhattan and, after 3 years at Hunter College, she entered Harvard Medical School graduating in 1954. In 1951, she received her BA degree from Hunter College summa cum laude. Her internship and residency in medicine and her cardiology fellowship were at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. In 1958, she moved to Atlanta with her newly married gastroenterologist husband, and she has been at the Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital ever since. At Grady she has been director of the cardiac clinics, director of cardiac rehabilitation, and, presently, chief of cardiology. She became Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in 1971. Dr. Wenger’s career has been extraordinary. She has published nearly 1,100 articles, most of which are in peer review medical journals. She has been a member and chairman of several committees of both the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. She is a past Vice President of the American Heart Association and Governor for Georgia of the American College of Cardiology. She has been the principal investigator of a number of multicenter research studies. She chaired a number of pivotal conferences for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (National Institutes of Health). She has been president of the Georgia affiliate of the American Heart Association and of the Society of Geriatric Cardiology. Not only has she been active in a number of cardiac societies, but she has also been active in a number of nonmedical groups. She has been on the editorial or advisory boards of probably 30 different medical journals. For her many accomplishments she has received many awards including: election to the Hall of Fame at Hunter College; Award of Merit from the American Heart Association; Woman of Achievement from the American Jewish Committee; Women in Science President’s Award from the American Medical Women’s Association; Best Doctors in America recognition on numerous occasions; Distinguished Achievement Award of the Scientific Councils of the American Heart Association and their Women in Cardiology Mentoring Award; the R. Bruce Logue Award for Excellence in Medicine from the American Heart Association; and the Distinguished Fellow Award from the Society of Geriatric Cardiology. She is the mother of 3 lovely professional women and the wife of Dr. Julius Wenger.
        Figure thumbnail GR1
        FIGURE 1NKW with her husband Dr. Julius Wenger about the time of the interview.
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        Further reading

        NKW’s best publications as selected by NKW

        1. Mallory GK, White PD, Salcedo-Salgar J. The speed of healing of myocardial infarction. A study of the pathologic anatomy in 72 cases. Am Heart J 1939;18:647–671.

        2. Wenger NK, Bauer S. Coronary embolism. Am J Med 1958;25:549–557.

        3. Wenger NK, Watkins WL, Hurst JW. A preliminary study of the electrocardiogram of the normal premature infant. Am Heart J 1961;63:304–314.

        4. Wenger NK, Hurst JW, Strozier VN. Electrocardiographic changes in pregnancy. Am J Cardiol 1964;13:774–778.

        5. Wenger NK. Rare causes of heart disease. In: Hurst JW, Logue RB, eds. The Heart. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1966: 916–967.

        6. Wenger NK, Miller FM Jr, Brim A. A study of the oral flora in children receiving sulfadiazine prophylaxis against rheumatic fever. Am Heart J 1966;72:420–422.

        7. Walter WH III, Wenger NK. Radiologic identification of commonly used implanted pacemakers. N Engl J Med 1969;281:1230–1231.

        8. Wenger NK. Pulmonary embolism and the Urokinase Pulmonary Embolism Trial. J Med Assoc Georgia 1970;59:161–162.

        9. Wenger NK. Stop and look…, before you listen: non-cardiac clues to the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. J Mt Sinai Hosp NY 1970;63:981–987.

        10. Wenger NK, Gilbert CA, Sieger W. The use of physical activity in the rehabilitation of patients after myocardial infarction. South Med J 1970;63:981–987.

        11. Litman G, Wenger NK. The feasibility of urokinase therapy in acute myocardial infarction. Am J Cardiol 1971;27:636–640.

        12. Wenger NK, Stein PD, Willis PW III. Massive acute pulmonary embolism: the deceivingly nonspecific manifestations. JAMA 1972;220:843–844.

        13. Kassanoff I, Whaley W, Walter WH III, Burge D, Harrison C Jr, Hurst JW, Wenger NK. Stadium coronary care: a concept in emergency health care delivery. JAMA 1972;221:397–399.

        14. Wenger NK, Hellerstein HK, Blackburn HW, Castranova SJ. Uncomplicated myocardial infarction: current physician practice in patient management. JAMA 1973;224:511–514.

        15. Wenger NK, Maxon M, Wyatt AJ, eds. Rehabilitation of the Coronary Patient. American Heart Assoc 1974: Introduction vii, Welcome 3, and Conference Chairman’s Summary 202.

        16. Dussia EE, Cromartie D, McCraney J, Mead G, Wenger NK. Myocardial infarction with and without laboratory documentation—one-year prognosis. Am Heart J 1976;92:148–151.

        17. Wenger NK. Why community physicians should encourage their patients to participate in randomized clinical trials (editorial). Circulation 1978;58:963–964.

        18. Wenger NK. Early ambulation as a prerequisite for early discharge. Workshop on early hospital discharge of patients with uncomplicated acute myocardial infarction. U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Public Health Service. National Institutes of Health; 1979; Publication No. 79-1658:11–12.

        19. Wenger NK. Has anything changed in 25 years?—Tom Lehrer revisited. Harv Med Alumni Bull 1979;53:29–31.

        20. Wenger NK. Research related to rehabilitation. Circulation 1979;60:1636–1639.

        21. Wenger NK. Rehabilitation after myocardial infarction: state of the art, 1979. JAMA 1979;242:2879–2881.

        22. Wenger NK. Pulmonary embolism: recognition and management. Consultant 1980;20:85–98.

        23. Wenger NK, Mock MB, Ringqvist I, eds. Ambulatory Electrocardiographic Recording. Year Book: Chicago, 1981.

        24. Carruth JE, Mirvis SB, Brogan DR, Wenger NK. The electrocardiogram in normal pregnancy. Am Heart J 1981;102:1075–1978.

        25. Wenger NK, Hellerstein HK, Blackburn H, Castranova SJ. Physician practice in the management of patients with uncomplicated myocardial infarction—changes in the past decade. Circulation 1982;65:421–427.

        26. Wenger NK. Clinical practice in the 1980s—the impact of selected epidemiologic and clinical studies on the care of patients with cardiovascular disease. Consultant 1982;71:763–769.

        27. Wenger NK. Coronary disease in women: myth and fact. Hosp Pract 1982;17:114A–114X.

        28. Wenger NK. Rehabilitation of the coronary patient at Grady Memorial Hospital—a teaching hospital of the Emory University School of Medicine. J Cardiac Rehab 1982;71:763–769.

        29. Hoopes JR, Symbas PN, Wenger NK. Cardiac pacemaker therapy at Grady Memorial Hospital, 1964–1978 (with patient follow-up through 1980). J Med Assoc Georgia 1982;31:138–141.

        30. Wenger NK. Early ambulation: the physiologic basis revisted. Adv Cardiol 1982;31:138–141.

        31. Wenger NK. Lifestyle changes after myocardial infarction: what is the evidence? What do we tell the patient? Consultant 1983;12:111–121.

        32. Wenger NK. Physical activity and modification of coronary risk. Primary Cardiol 1983;9:114–123.

        33. Friedman L, Wenger NK, Knatterud GL. Impact of the coronary drug project findings on clinical practice. Control Clin Trials 1983;4:513–522.

        34. Wenger NK, Mattson ME, Furgerg CD, Elinson J. Assessment of quality of life in clinical trials of cardiovascular therapies. Am J Cardiol 1984;54:908–913.

        35. Wenger NK. Coronary disease in women. Ann Rev Med 1985;36:285–294.

        36. Wenger NK. The archaic 40-hour-per-week hospital (editorial). Applied Cardiol 1985;13:5.

        37. Wenger NK, ed. The Education of the Patient with Cardiac Disease in the Twenty-first Century. New York: LeJacq Publishing, 1986.

        38. Wenger NK, Cleeman JI, Herd JA, McIntosh HD. Education of the patient with cardiac disease in the twenty-first century: an overveiw. Am J Cardiol 1986;57:1187–1189.

        39. Wenger NK, Furberg CD, Pitt E, eds. Coronary Heart Disease in the Elderly, Working Conference on the Recognition and Management of Coronary Heart Disease in the Elderly, held September 4–6, 1985, at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. New York: Elsevier, 1986.

        40. Wenger NK. Rehabilitation of coronary patient: status 1986. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 1986;29:181–204.

        41. Canner PL, Berge KG, Wenger NK, Stamler J, Friedman L, Prineas RJ, Friedewald W. For the coronary drug project research group: fifteen year mortality in coronary drug project patients: long-term benefit with niacin. J Am Coll Cardiol 1986;8:1245–1255.

        42. Mufson LH, Wnger NK. Transdermal nitroglycerin discs: are they effective therapy? Qual of Life and Cardiovasc Care 1986;2:319–322.

        43. Wenger NK, Marcus FI, O’Rourke RA, eds. 18th Bethesda Conference. Cardiovascular disease in the elderly. J Am Coll Cardiol 1987;10(suppl A:1A–87A).

        44. Wenger NK. Women as physicians. 1987. Atlanta Med 1988;63:51–53.

        45. Wenger NK, O’Rourke RA, Marcus FI. The care of elderly patients with cardiovascular disease. Ann Intern Med 1988;19:173–186.

        46. Wenger NK. Coronary heart disease in women: clinical syndromes, prognosis, and diagnostic testing. Cardiovasc Clin 1988;19:173–186.

        47. Wenger NK, Furberg CD, Pitt E. Coronary heart disease in the elderly: review of current knowledge and research recommendations. Clin Cardiol 1988;11:262–264.

        48. Wenger NK. Quality of life: can it and should it be assessed in patients with heart failure? Cardiology 1989;76:391–398.

        49. Wenger NK. Gender, coronary artery disease, and coronary bypass surgery. Ann Intern Med 1990;112:557–558.

        50. Wenger NK. A 50-year-old useful report on coronary risk for noncardiac surgery. Am J Cardiol 1990;66:1375–1376.

        51. Wenger NK. Cardiovascular drugs: the urgent need for studies in women. J Amer Med Womens Assoc 1991;46:117–120.

        52. Wenger NK. Exclusion of the elderly and women for coronary trials. Is their quality of care compromised (editorial)? JAMA 1992;268:1460–1461.

        53. Wenger NK. Aging in the Americas: its impact on cardiovascular health (editorial). Clin Cardiol 1992;15:627–629:

        54. Wenger NK. Cardiovascular disease in the elderly. Curr Probl Cardiol 1992;17:611–690.

        55. Wenger NK, ed. Inclusion of Elderly Individuals in Clinical Trials. Cardiovascular Disease and Cardiovascular Therapy as a Model. Kansas City, MO: Marion Merrell Dow, Inc., 1993.

        56. Wenger NK. Clinical trials in elderly female patients with coronary disease: a demographic imperative. Cardiol in the Elderly 1993;1:127–130.

        57. Report of a WHO Expert Committee. Wenger NK, Expert Committee Chairman. Rehabilitation after Cardiovascular Diseases, with Special Emphasis on Developing Countries. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization Technical Report Series 831, 1993.

        58. Wenger NK, Speroff L, Packard B. Cardiovascular health and disease in women. N Engl J Med 1993;329:247–256.

        59. Wenger NK, Speroff L, Packard B, eds. Cardiovascular Health and Disease in Women. Proceedings of a National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute Conference, January 22–24, 1992. Greenwich, CT: LeJacq Communications, Inc., 1993.

        60. Wenger NK. Coronary heart disease in women: an overview (myths, misperceptions, and missed opportunities). CVR & R 1993;14:24–41.

        61. Wenger NK. The United States, Britain and New Zealand—coronary artery disease is an equal opportunity killer. Am J Cardiol 1994;73:933–934.

        62. Wenger NK. 40 years of progress: physical activity in the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease. In: American College of Sports Medicine 40th Anniversary Lectures. Indianapolis, Indiana: American College of Sports Medicine, 1994:43–54.

        63. Wenger NK. Not for students only. Ann Intern Med 1994;121:76.

        64. Wenger NK. Coronary heart disease in women: the high prevalence of coronary risk factors and the importance of prevention. J Med Assoc Georgia 1995;84:323–328.

        65. Wenger NK, Froelicher ES, Smith LK, Ades PA, Berra K, Blumenthal JA, Certo CM, Dattilo AM, Davis D, DeBusk RF. Cardiac Rehabilitation as Secondary Prevention. Quick Reference Guide for Clinicians No. 17. Rockville, MD: US Dept. of Health and Human Service, Agency for Health Care Policy and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. 1995;17:1–23.

        66. Wenger NK. Commentary: treatment of the elderly patient with cardiovascular disease—the challenge to do better. ACC Curr J Rev 1996;5:69–72.

        67. Wenger NK. Atrial fibrillation at elderly age: the importance of stroke prevention. Am J Geriatr Cardiol 1997;6:35–39.

        68. Julian DG, Wenger NK, eds. Women and Heart Disease. London: Martin Dunitz Publishers, 1997.

        69. Wenger NK. Coronary heart disease: an older woman’s major health risk. BMJ 1997;315:1085–1090.

        70. Wenger NK. Mentors and mentoring: a personal odyssey. Atlanta Med 1997;71:19–20.

        71. Wenger NK. A, B, C, D, Es of the management of heart failure. Adv Cardiovasc Med 1998;5:1–5.

        72. Barrett-Connor E, Wenger NK, Grady D, Mosca L, Collins P, Kornitzer M, Cox DA, Moscarelli E, Anderson PW. Hormone and nonhormone therapy for the maintenance of postmenopausal health: the need for randomized controlled trials of estrogen and raloxifene. J Women’s Health 1998;7:839–847.

        73. Wenger NK, ed. Cardiovascular Disease in the Octogenarian and Beyond. London: Martin Dunitz Ltd., 1999.

        74. Wenger NK. Women, myocardial infarction, and coronary revascularization. Concordant clinical trial and registry data. Cardiol Rev 1999;7:117–120.

        75. Wenger NK. The natural history of coronary artery disease in women: epidemiology, coronary risk factors, and clinical characteristics. In: Charney P, ed. Coronary Artery Disease in Women: What All Physicians Need to Know. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians/American Society of Internal Medicine, 1999.

        76. Wenger NK, Smith LK, Froelicher ES, Comoss PM, eds. Cardiac Rehabilitation: A Guide to Practice in the 21st Century. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1999.

        77. Wenger NK, Grady D. Postmenopausal hormone therapy, SERMS, and coronary heart disease in women. J Endocrinol Invest 1999;22:616–624.

        78. Wenger NK. Hormonal and nonhormonal approaches for cardioprotection. ACC Curr J Rev 1999;8:13–16.

        79. Grady D, Wenger NK, Herrington D, Khan S, Furberg C, Hunninghake D, Vittinghoff E, Hulley S, for the Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study Research Group. Postmenopausal hormone therapy increases risk for venous thromboembolic disease: the heart and estrogen/progestin replacement study. Ann Intern Med 2000;132:689–696.

        80. Wenger NK, Knatterud GL, Canner PL. Early risks of hormone therapy in patients with coronary heart disease. JAMA 2000;284:41–43.

        81. Wenger NK. Does hormone replacement therapy enhance or reduce cardiovascular event rate? Heart and Metabol 2000;8:14–18.

        82. Wenger NK. Clinical-pathological correlations at the “Old Gradys.” J Med Assoc Georgia 2000;89:15.

        83. Wenger NK. Postmenopausal HRT and its alternatives: what should be used for cardioprotection? Cardiol Rev 2001;18:38–43.

        84. Wenger N. Mentoring women physicians. J Med Assoc Georgia 2001;90:29–31.

        85. Wenger NK. Managing ambulatory anticoagulation. J Thromb Thrombolysis 2001;12:31–34.

        86. Wenger NK. Women, heart failure, and heart failure therapies. Circulation 2002;105:1526–1528.

        87. Wenger NK. Clinical characteristics of coronary heart disease in women: emphasis on gender differences. Cardiovasc Res 2002;53:558–567.

        88. Wenger NK. Cardiovascular effects of raloxifene: the potential for cardiovascular protection in women. Diab Obesity Metabol 2002;4:166–176.

        89. Grady D, Herrington D, Bittner V, Blumenthal R, Davidson M, Hlatky M, Hsia J, Hulley S, Herd A, Khan S, Newby LK, Waters D, Vittinghoff E, Wenger N, for the HERS Research Group. Cardiovascular disease outcomes during 6.8 years of hormone therapy. Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study Follow-up (HERS II). JAMA 2002;288:49–57.