The EPI/LIFESTYLE 2015 Scientific Sessions (Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2015 Scientific Sessions) were held on March 3rd – 6th in Baltimore, USA. The conference was aimed at a wide audience involved in cardiovascular research, including clinicians, health care professionals, public health practitioners, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, nutritional scientists, exercise physiologists and behavioral scientists.
This annual scientific meeting of the American Heart Association had the primary goal of promoting the development and application of translational and population science related to promotion of cardiovascular health and the prevention of heart disease and stroke. The days were divided into plenary sessions, concurrent oral sessions, networking luncheons, debates and poster viewing sessions. The major themes included lipids, hypertension, physical activity, nutrition, obesity, genetics, metabolomics and aging. There was a particularly strong emphasis on the use of electronic approaches and tools for epidemiological and behavioural research, with a focus on the use of eHealth and mHealth for interventions and the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
I presented a poster which formed part of my SPCR-funded doctoral research, entitled: “Principal Component Analysis of Dietary Patterns and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality in Older British Men”. My poster received lots of interest and questions from researchers based in the USA and internationally. The poster session was a great opportunity for discussing with other researchers the use of similar and differing methods of dietary pattern assessment in relation to risk of cardiovascular outcomes.
Several specific Early Career Events were also organised such as ‘Professional Development Roundtables’ and a session providing a practical perspective on ‘Global Collaborations in Cardiovascular Disease’. In order to emphasis the importance of physical activity in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, delegates could also sign up for early morning zumba or yoga classes, the annual fun run/walk (which consisted of laps of the poster viewing room due to the snowy conditions outside!), and swing dancing at the conference dinner. All of which provided additional opportunities for networking in a less formal environment!
EPI/Lifestyle 2015 was a very well organised and enjoyable conference, and a friendly place to present. I would definitely recommend it to others working in cardiovascular research.
Janice Atkins is a SPCR doctoral student at University College London.