Hypertension Message from the Chair

Curt D. Sigmund, PhD, FAHA

Curt D. Sigmund, PhD, FAHAThe mission of the Council on Hypertension is "to foster excellence in hypertension research and education" in order to achieve the American Heart Association’s goal “to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives."

Hypertension remains a world-wide public-health challenge and is a leading cause of stroke, heart disease, and the progression of chronic kidney disease. Despite advances in our understanding of its pathogenesis and pharmaceuticals for its treatment, hypertension is on the rise and is projected to afflict approximately 1.56 billion adults worldwide by 2025. The recent publication of the 2017 Hypertension Clinical Guidelines from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association on the prevention, detection, evaluation, and management of high blood pressure in adults now defines hypertension as a BP of 130/80 mmHg or greater. This has generated a lot of interesting discussion about how hypertension is defined and is likely to have a significant impact on how and where blood pressure is to be measured in clinical practice. Given the fact that this disease is a notorious “silent killer,” a better understanding of its pathogenesis through research and identifying more optimal ways to prevent and detect it will have a significant impact on disease-free survival and quality-of-life for individuals world-wide. There is much work that needs to be done to put a halt to this most devastating of disease processes.

If you are not yet a Professional Member of the Council on Hypertension, now would be an excellent time to join. As a member you will be eligible for members-only privileges, including publications, discounts and many more. In addition, you will have access to a multidisciplinary research, education and clinical network through the membership directory.

One of the most important activities of the Council on Hypertension is our fall specialty conference, Hypertension Scientific Sessions, held in conjunction and collaboration with the Council on Kidney in Cardiovascular Disease (KCVD). Our specialty conference was virtual in 2020 as it will be again in 2021. This year in particular, we want to recognize all the research and clinical work that has been performed during this difficult time and to salute all the healthcare workers and researchers who worked under exceptionally challenging circumstances. Therefore, attendees can expect that the program will be dedicated to important and innovative clinical topics in hypertension and focus on research performed by our members and attendees. Indeed, we will be embedding abstract presentations with our major awards, and will focus on abstract presentations from trainees and early career stage investigators. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, you can count on a face-to-face meeting in 2022.

As Chair of the Council on Hypertension, I will be working to increase our interaction with our flagship journal (Hypertension) and to foster opportunities for involvement in the council that go beyond our annual meeting. Together with our Leadership Committee, I look forward to serving the members of the Council on Hypertension and to meeting and working with you over the next few years so that the objectives of our Council and the missions of the AHA will be successfully achieved.

Best Wishes,

Curt D. Sigmund, PhD, FAHA
Chair, Council on Hypertension

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