blood pressure

The Latest Research Highlights at the American Heart Association

americanheartassociationIn its efforts to save lives by improving cardiovascular-related care, the American Heart Association (AHA) aims to advance medical research in cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. The organization also supports research to develop prevention strategies and establish guidelines to help heart patients and other individuals improve and maintain their heart and brain health.

Since its founding more than nine decades ago, the AHA has invested over $4.1 billion in research that has led to a number of medical breakthroughs. Previous research funded by the organization has spurred the development of lifesaving drugs and treatments that are still in widespread use. The following provides an overview of how some of the organization’s recent activities are making an impact.


Advancing Understanding and Treatment of Congenital Heart Defects

Alongside the Children’s Heart Foundation, the AHA is supporting research to better understand and treat congenital heart defects (CHD), the leading cause of birth-defect-related deaths among infants born in the United States. The Children’s Heart Foundation and the AHA joined forces as part of their Congenital Heart Defect Research Awards program, established in 2014.

The AHA and the Children’s Heart Foundation have announced the recipients of the fourth round of funding offered through the CHD Research Awards. The seven research programs selected for the round of funding will receive a total of $826,600. To date, CHD Research Awards have provided more than $3.2 million to researchers in the United States, and funding for the program will continue through June 2021. Ultimately, the seven-year initiative will provide $22.5 million to advance CHD-related research.


Identifying Risk Factors for Heart Disease

heartEstablishing and promoting prevention strategies, treatments, and lifestyle changes to reduce the effect of heart disease is a major part of the AHA’s work. To help identify factors that play a role in heart-related health issues, the organization supports research focused on heart disease risk. The AHA and other groups have long associated unhealthy weight with heart attacks, but recent research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that waist and hip size may have a stronger association with heart attack risk than overall obesity.

Researchers in the study, which examined 500,000 adults in the UK, found that fat distribution around the abdomen is hazardous in both sexes, but it appears to have a more profound effect on women. The AHA notes that the distribution of fat and the differences in body types between men and women may play a role in heart attack risk later in life. The organization also suggests that future studies examining sex-specific interventions for obesity could help reduce the rates of heart disease.


Promoting the Use of Automated External Defibrillators

An automated external defibrillator (AED) delivers an electrical shock to restart the heart of a person in cardiac arrest. Recent research published in the AHA journal Circulation highlights the importance of AEDs in saving lives as well as the need for increased distribution and awareness of the devices.

According to the cardiac arrest chain of survival protocol established by the AHA, when attempting to save the life of someone whose heart has stopped beating, bystanders should employ an AED, after calling 911 and initiating CPR. The AHA is working to promote the use of AEDs through research and campaigns such as its Workplace Safety Training Initiative, launched in 2017. Leaders at the AHA are using the campaign and related activities to urge those in charge of businesses and other public buildings to place AEDs next to fire extinguishers so that bystanders can easily find them in an emergency.


Establishing New High Blood Pressure Guidelines

blood pressureBased on the review of more than 900 published studies, scientists and health experts with the AHA, American College of Cardiology (ACC), and nine other health organizations published new high blood pressure guidelines for the first time in 14 years. The new guidelines, which the AHA and ACC released in late 2017, call for interventions at 130/80 mm Hg rather than 140/90. Under the new changes, the number of people diagnosed with high blood pressure will increase by 14 percent. The increase will be most prevalent among people under the age of 45.

Although the changes to the guidelines will lead to more hypertension diagnoses, the number of those requiring antihypertensive medication will not increase significantly. The new guidelines recommend that physicians address Stage 1 hypertension with lifestyle changes and prescribe medications only those at high risk of a cardiovascular event due to other factors.

High blood pressure damages the vascular system and plays a significant role in increasing heart attack and stroke risk. In lowering its definition, the AHA is promoting earlier treatment that could save lives by preventing blood-pressure-related health complications.


American Society of Andrology to Host 43rd Annual Conference in 2018

American Society of Andrology pic

American Society of Andrology

A physician with nearly two decades of experience in the medical field, Dr. Erol Onel leads teams responsible for acquiring approval for non-opioid drugs as the vice president of Heron Therapeutics in La Jolla, California. Dr. Erol Onel also belongs to the American Society of Andrology (ASA), which will host its 43rd Annual Conference in the spring of 2018.

The ASA Annual Conference unites scientists and clinicians from across the globe to explore new information about the male reproductive system. Using a multidisciplinary approach, the conference will host a plethora of workshops, sessions, and presentations that fit the theme of Andrology Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond – Bridging Science and Clinical Practice. Workshops will feature hands-on interaction and opportunities for scientists and clinicians to advance their knowledge. Additionally, the conference will present the clinical symposium TRANSformations: Andrology and Transgender Medicine. Attendees may also participate in a range of networking activities.

Conference registration fees cover entrance to scientific sessions, program materials, continental breakfasts and breaks, and one ticket to the Welcome Reception. Early registration is available until March 20, 2018. The conference will take place at The Nines Portland in Oregon on April 21-24, 2018.

Society for the Study of Male Reproduction – Membership Levels

Society for the Study of Male Reproductionpic

Society for the Study of Male Reproduction

Dr. Erol Onel holds a doctor of medicine from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and oversees non-opioid drug approval proceedings as the vice president of Heron Therapeutics in California. An experienced physician with a background in urology, Dr. Erol Onel belongs to the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction (SSMR). Membership with the organization unites individuals with an interest in male reproductive health and contributes to improved quality of care.

SSMR encourages ongoing studies of the male reproductive system and provides accurate, credible information to help medical professionals improve patient care and strengthen their practices. Members receive updates regarding existing and emerging issues on male reproductive health through access to a range of media, such as conference reports and proposed policies. They also engage in the development of standards and participate in continuing medical education conferences.

Membership with the SSMR falls into the three general categories of Active, Student, and Senior/Honorary. Active members include individuals who meet a series of SSMR criteria, such as clinical training in male reproductive medicine or regular attendance to SSMR events. Resident, fellow, and postdoctoral students may also apply for membership, although they hold no voting rights and must provide proof of current training status. Senior or Honorary memberships are also available to SSMR members who are disabled or elderly and have at least 10 years of affiliation background with the organization.


The Benefits of ASRM Membership

American Society for Reproductive Medicine pic

American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Since 2016, Erol Onel has served as the vice president of Heron Therapeutics in California. In this capacity, he oversees the development of a non-opioid pain drug and creates clinical strategies and plans. Over the course of his more than 20-year career, Dr. Erol Onel has belonged to several professional organizations, including the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Dedicated to promoting and advancing the reproductive medicine field, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) provides its members with a variety of benefits. Below is a brief sampling of the resources made available to ASRM members:

News and education: members of the ASRM are granted access to two Society journals, the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics and Fertility and Sterility. Beyond that, members are capable of earning both CME and CE credits through ASRM eLearn or at an in-person education event. Members also receive printable ethics statements and practice guidelines.

Specials and discounts: ASRM provides its members with special rates on a wide range of products and services. Registration fees for the ASRM Scientific Congress and Expo are reduced for Society members and the organization’s eLearn platform features free courses.

Members-only online resources: in addition to each member having access to an online login account, the organization also maintains a digital directory of all its members and offers answers for potential CPT coding questions through its Coding Corner. Further, members can post jobs on the ASRM Career Center at a discounted price.

Professional development: small group meetings and online listservs for members provide professionals with a variety of networking opportunities. ASRM maintains several member groups that professionals can participate in and also provides patients with an easy-access directory to find practitioners in the field. Members are also eligible for awards and grants from ASRM.