NIH News Release
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Thursday, April 4, 2002

NHLBI Communications Office
(301) 496-4236

National Cardiovascular Health Conference to Focus on Prevention and Treatment of Nation's Leading Killer

From sessions on ways to combat trends in obesity to differences in heart attack symptoms between black and white women, health experts will present the latest findings on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease (CVD) at a national conference sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). The conference, "Cardiovascular Health for All — Meeting the Challenge of Healthy People 2010," is co-sponsored by leading government and voluntary health agencies and will be held April 11-13 in Washington, D.C.

"This meeting provides a crucial link between the knowledge we have gained about the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and actually putting that knowledge into practice in communities," said NHLBI Director Dr. Claude Lenfant.

In addition to NHLBI, co-sponsors of the conference, which will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, are the American Heart Association and the following agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services — Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Health Resources and Services Administration.

More than 1,500 health professionals from across the country are expected to attend the conference and thousands more will view sessions via satellite downlink at 145 sites in 41 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada.

Speakers include Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America and Dr. J. Ian Morrison, chairman of the Health Futures Forum, who will give the opening keynote address on April 11 at 8:30 a.m. In addition, top cardiologists, public health professionals, emergency medical care providers, nutritionists, and other experts will speak at four plenary and 62 concurrent sessions. Over 40 exhibits will be open and free to the public. Exhibitors include associations, public interest groups, government agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and companies offering healthy lifestyle products. The April 13 closing session (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.) will feature a "talk show" moderated by former Washington, D.C., television news anchorman Paul Berry. Berry will interview several guests, including Valenti and Irene Pollin, founder and chairperson of Sister to Sister — Everyone Has a Heart Foundation. Guests will discuss how they are trying to achieve better cardiovascular health for themselves and for their communities.

According to Conference Chair Dr. Lynn Smaha, of the Guthrie Clinic Ltd in Sayre, PA, and past president of the American Heart Association, the impetus for organizing the conference was the nation's compelling need to implement state-of-the-art strategies to reduce cardiovascular diseases. "Coronary heart disease and stroke — and other cardiovascular diseases — remain the leading causes of death in the U.S. They also take an enormous toll on the individual and society. The conference goal is to help health professionals reduce that toll by improving cardiovascular health and quality of life by the year 2010," he said.

The cardiovascular-related goals and objectives of Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative, serve as the framework for the conference. One Healthy People 2010 goal, to eliminate health disparities among different population segments, is a key focus of the conference.

Selected conference presentations:

For more information, call the NHLBI Communications Office at (301) 496-4236. The conference program is online at Reporters can register on-site at the main conference registration desk. Registered reporters are welcome for breakfast and refreshments in the conference Press Room, Suite 2022 in the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008.