Sharonne N. Hayes, M.D., studies cardiovascular disease and prevention, with a focus on sex and gender differences and conditions that uniquely or predominantly affect women.
With a clinical base in the Women's Heart Clinic, Dr. Hayes and her research team utilize novel recruitment methods, social media and online communities, DNA profiling, and sex-specific evaluations to better understand several cardiovascular conditions. A major area of focus is spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD), an uncommon and under-recognized cause of acute coronary syndrome (heart attack) that occurs predominantly in young women.
Dr. Hayes also studies the diagnosis and treatment of nonobstructive (microvascular) coronary artery disease and chest pain syndromes and the subsequent risk of arrhythmias and other cardiac conditions in women who have had hypertension, diabetes or preeclampsia during a pregnancy. With the Pericardial Disease Study Group, Dr. Hayes is assessing the optimal management of pericarditis.
Additionally, Dr. Hayes is involved in several research initiatives aimed at addressing health equity and reducing health disparities. Through partnerships with national professional women- and minority-serving organizations, Dr. Hayes assesses barriers faced by women and minorities that prevent or deter them from participating in research studies. Through surveys and national databases, Dr. Hayes is also studying the professional development of women and minorities in the health science professions, including the effects of pregnancy and childbearing during training, and evaluating disparities in academic promotion.
- Improving diagnosis and treatment for patients who suffer spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD). SCAD is very different from heart attacks that occur due to blood clots. Most SCAD patients are young women with no risk factors. Through the development of an international disease registry and DNA biobank, Dr. Hayes is working to identify the causes and optimal treatments for SCAD and identify the risk of recurrence. Recruitment for this study is enhanced by social media and participation by patient online communities.
- Investigating outcome disparities for women and minorities with heart disease and a variety of other medical conditions. The best way to understand disease and treatment is to do research in the affected population. Women and minorities have historically been excluded from research, or included in insufficient numbers to understand their medical conditions. Understanding women's and minorities' unique barriers to participation in research and devising ways to overcome them will improve their medical care and disease outcomes.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Hayes' research will improve the understanding of cardiovascular diseases among both women and men with its use of novel study techniques, focus on less common conditions, and assessment of sex and gender differences. Dr. Hayes' SCAD research has already changed the manner in which medical providers diagnose and treat these patients and has provided new insights into the prognosis, causes and conditions associated with SCAD.
- Thirty-five Minnesota women leaders in health care, Women's Health Leadership TRUST, 2014
- Course Director of the Year Award for "Controversies in Women's Health," Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, 2009
- Red Dress Award, Woman's Day, 2007
- Wenger Award for Excellence in Health Care, WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, 2002