The AHA EPI | Lifestyle Specialty Conference will be smaller and more specific than any conference that I have attended. My conference experience has consisted of, for the most part, international meetings that are held in large venues such as Experimental Biology (EB) in the San Diego Conference Center. This center boast 525,701 gross ft2 on the ground level and 90,000 ft2 of column-free space in the Sails Pavilion on Upper Level. EB uses this vast conference space to house over 14,000 researchers, 400 oral sessions that are hosted by 6 societies and 35 guest societies. To attend an event of this size can prove to be too exhaustive to experience everything that is being offered. I have opted to attend the AHA EPI | Lifestyles specialty conference because it is smaller and focused on Health Promotion: Risk Prediction to Risk Prevention.
Since Bailey DeBarmore went into great detail outlining the schedule for the meeting, I will not expound on that any further. Although I have more of a molecular biology/biomedical background that focus on oxidative stress in the microvasculature, I was surprised to see this meeting offered topics that would enhance not only my knowledge of health promotion, but also contribute to my scientific research. The section Hypertension: Guidelines and Prevention, Rapid Fire Oral Presentations consist of several researchers/clinicians that will present their work in 10 minute burst, giving the vibe of “speed dating”. This is an interesting way to present topics, but it is also challenging! From my experience, there is so much to say and so little time to say it. Which, is true. The topics are so specific, one is required to have background knowledge of the topic to understand the speakers’ findings. It is also a good way for the listener to gain a vast amount of information in a short time.
Additionally, I am excited about several of the sessions that will be held at AHA EPI |Lifestyle Specialty Conference. My career trajectory has taken me through proteomics, genomics, and metabolomics as mechanistic tools to elucidate the onset of inflammation, and subsequently, cardiovascular disease. The intersection between theoretical prediction of a disease to the onset of the disease, and ultimately the prevention of the disease by reducing the risk is the obvious pathway of ameliorating chronic diseases. The topic of interest to me, due to the time constraints, are as follows:
- Session 2 – Hypertension Guidelines and Prevention. Now that the new guidelines are beginning to be accepted among the clinical/scientific communities, it will be interesting to learn more about the methods being initiated to accomplish these new levels.
- Session 5 – Cardiovascular Biomarkers I expect will introduce more detail about the markers clinicians use for early identification of cardiovascular disease and what can be done to truncate its occurrence.
- Session 6 – Hot off the Press – there are several new articles that have been released this year. Among them, Schoenthaler et al addressed social needs of hypertensive patients.
a. For decades there has been arguments as to whether one should have a low fat or low carbohydrate diet to lose a weight. This study by Gardner et al, will add to what we know about the impact diet have on weight loss in overweight adults using genotype patterns and/or insulin secretions as the associated factors.
b. The study by Powell-Wiley et al, suggest there is a correlation between crime and physical activity and obesity among African American women. Since we know there are many variables that plays a role in obesity and physical activity, I am interested to learn more about their study and what variables were tested to come to the conclusions that they have drawn.
c. Fuchs et al explored the use of low-dose diuretics to optimize prehypertensive values as a means of lowering blood pressure.
d. Banck et al discussed racial disparities among young adulthood modifiable risk factors in the incidence of type 2 diabetes during middle adulthood as a modifiable risk factor.
- Session 10 – I have learned about 3 of the omics and the more I learn the more that seem to be identified. The Omics section, I will imagine, will cover the well-known, proteomics, genomics and metabolomics; however, some that are exciting, due to them being novel to me, are the Trans-Omics and Phenomics.
- Session 11 – The William B. Kannel MD Memorial Lectureship in Preventative Cardiology
- Session 12 – The debate will cover some of the Pros and Cons of medical cost. The main argument when it comes to cardiovascular care is the rising cost of medical treatment. This session will cover some of the cost associated with cardiovascular disease treatment, and I hope, some ways that they can be overcome by prevention.
- It is my desire, during this AHA EPI | Lifestyles conference to disseminate information that will assist in empowering clinicians, researchers, and the general population of methods that can be taken to promote health and a healthy lifestyle. Hope to see you there in person or online to share thoughts on the lessons learned during this conference.
Anberitha Matthews, PhD is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis TN. She is living a dream by researching vascular injury as it pertains to oxidative stress, volunteers with the Mississippi State University Alumni Association, serves as Chapter President and does consulting work with regard to scientific editing.