Join us at Hypertension Beijing 2018! A report by Thomas Unger (Chair, ISH Beijing 2018 Committee)
The International Society of Hypertension (ISH) will hold its 27th Scientific Meeting “Hypertension Beijing 2018” at Beijing International Congress Center, on September 20-23, 2018. The ISH congress is organized in conjunction with the Chinese Hypertension League (CHL) and the Asian-Pacific Society of Hypertension (APSH).
The ISH was established in 1966, more than fifty years ago. From the very beginning it has been devoted to promoting and encouraging scientific research and knowledge about the epidemiology, the pathophysiology and the sequelae of arterial hypertension including acute and chronic heart and kidney disease and stroke. Besides the therapeutic aspects, prevention and management of hypertension and hypertension-related diseases have gained more and more attention and weight within the activities of the society in recent years.
While the ISH had its original foundations in Europe, the Society soon spread to the American continent and to Australia and Japan and, subsequently, to all seven continents of our world. Thus, the ISH has become the only scientific hypertension society which is globally present and operating.
According to the words of the current ISH president, Neil Poulter, professor at Imperial College, London, UK, the ISH “…is the world’s premier Society dedicated to research into the causes of hypertension and the best treatment for raised blood pressure. The ISH recognizes that to counter the hypertension epidemic it takes the brightest minds, the best research and effective education and implementation. This goal underpins the activities and strategic alliances of the ISH.”
Strategic alliances are mandatory to guarantee success in today’s globalized, interconnected world. The ISH engages in partnerships with many if not all national and international hypertension societies and institutions that represent blood pressure interests. Most prominent among those are the World Hypertension League (WHL), the International Society of Nephrology, the World Health Organization (WHO), and in addition, recognized international journals like The Lancet and the Journal of Hypertension. Regional Advisory Groups of the ISH have been formed to assist in teaching activities in developing and still economically disadvantaged countries worldwide. All of these will be represented at the upcoming congress in Beijing.
Research into high blood pressure and related diseases has always been a major focus within the activities of the ISH. I remember an ISH congress in Interlaken, Switzerland in 1984. I was to give the first oral presentation in the main program[CH1] , and I was very proud of this honor and also of belonging to ISH, this prestigious club. But this was, of course, not the main point - that ISH congress was one of the first occasions where Adolfo de Bold from Canada presented his findings on a natriuretic principle stored in vesicles in the atria of the heart, which was later to become Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP).
Stimulated by this seminal discovery, we rushed home to our laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, and we were able to publish the first paper on ANP measurement by HPLC in the blood of rats following volume stimulation in “Nature”. Without the ISH congress, this would probably not have happened, at least not so fast.
Four years later, in 1988, Masashi Yanagisawa, a young scientist then working in Tsukuba, Japan, gave one of his first presentations about the gene and peptide sequence of endothelin at the ISH congress in Kyoto, kicking off a worldwide long-lasting “epidemic” of research into the peptide family of endothelins, their receptors and functions with all the basic and clinical aspects emanating from this initial description.
These are just two examples of how ISH congresses have attracted and stimulated researchers’ minds, giving rise to important scientific progress in hypertension and beyond.
Research, translation and implementation together with a good grain of education have been the major features of the bi-annual ISH congresses around the world for more than fifty years, and they still are. Young researchers, and especially female scientists, are particularly welcome at the congress and receive special attention through, among other things, fellowships and stipends. They will carry the flag of hypertension-related issues into the future.
The ISH congress “Hypertension Beijing 2018” will feature keynotes by eminent international scientific leaders along with sessions on virtually all aspects of hypertension. These include epidemiology and population science related to high blood pressure in developed and in developing countries around the world, including initiatives such as “May Measurement Month (MMM)”, which started this year and will be followed up in subsequent years to raise awareness of the “silent killer” and identify hypertensive individuals. Hypertension research, basic and clinical, will be presented and discussed further from atrial fibrillation to traditional Chinese medicine, from genetics to vascular biology, from endocrine hypertension to new devices in hypertension treatment and so on. Specific regional issues in Africa, Asia, East Europe, India, Oceania and The Americas will be given room as well as gender-specific and age-related aspects of hypertension.
Come and join us at “Hypertension Beijing 2018”! Be inspired by high quality scientific presentations, by discussions and interactions with colleagues from around the world. I’m certain that our Chinese hosts will give all of us participants a warm welcome, letting us enjoy the typical Asian hospitality in their homeland China, the famous “Middle Country”.
Thomas Unger MD PhDChair, ISH Hypertension Beijing 2018 Committee
Visit: www.ish2018.org for further information.
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