A Gathering of the Best in Cardiac Care

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The Broadmoor Hotel in Colotado Springs, CO, is about to become "Cardiology Central'' when the best in the field check in next week.

The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO, is about to become “Cardiology Central’’ when the best in the field check in next week.

On tap is the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Joint Conference, featuring the 48th Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention Conference 2008 (March 13-15), in tandem with the Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Conference (March 11-13).

Both conferences benefit the practicioners who helped in my recovery — physicians, dieticians, nutrional scientists, exercise physiologists. psychologists, nurses, school health professionals and other health scientists.

The AHA mentions the Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology Conference also caters to epodemiologits and biostatisticians, while The Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Conference focuses on work done by molecular and basic researchers.

Among the highlights of this year’s gathering:

  • The Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, with its Richard D. Remington Methodology Lecture, will feature Dr. Teri Manolio, MD, PhD, FAHA, Senior Advisor to the Director for Population Genomics, National Human Genome Research of the National Institutes of Health, presenting insight into genome-wide methods in population studies.
  • The Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism will debut its David Kritchevsky Lecture, recently established to honor Dr. Kritchevsky for fundamental contributions to our knowledge of diet and its impact on atherosclerosis. Professor Martojn B. Katan, PhD, of Vrije Universiteit, the Netherlands, will speak.

I will honestly be waiting for reports of what is said at the American Society of Preventive Cardiology Series and also honestly wish I had the opportunity to attend this segment of the program in person, having gone through what I have:

  • Are Risk Factor Scoring Systems for Cardiovascular Disease Useful? Taking the “pro’’ side will be Peter W. F. Wilson of the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga, while speaking from the “con’’ angle will be Zahi A. Fayad of the, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York,City
  • Cutting the Fat Out of Our Life: Lifestyle vs. Medical and Surgical Therapy: Caroline Apovian of the Boston University Medical Center will push the significance of lifestyle, while Louis J. Aronne of the Weill Medical College, Cornell University, New York, will present the advantages of Medical and Surgical Therapy.

Over the past 20 months, I have wondered at times, justifiably so, about the above pair of topics and just how, had I adhered to a better lifestyle when I first reached the age of 50, whether I could have reduced my risk and avoided a heart attack.

I certainly know now that both cutting the fat out of my life, along with medical and surgical therapy have both served me well. I feel those two items often go hand-in-hand as far as cardiac recovery is concerned.

It depends, however, on each individual. My total cholesterol, at the time of my heart attack, stood at what one would think was a quite healthy 160. Yet, that number certainly didn’t help me avoid having a cardiac event. Perhaps, as I was told, my readings really needed to be similar to the prehistoric hunter-gatherers, figured to be no more than 110.

As more than a casual observer, next week’s gathering is a giant opportunity for continuing education. Looking at how far cardiac care has come in the last 20 years, the ideas to be expressed in Colorado Springs may be the harbinger of so much more to come in the next 20.

Many awards for new discoveries and other cutting-edge work will be handed out. We wait with anticipation.

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