Heart Disease Begins in Childhood-Maybe Even In Utero: Lessons from the International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine for Cardiovascular Disease

The Physicians Committee
NEWS RELEASE May 1, 2015
Heart Disease Begins in Childhood-Maybe Even In Utero: Lessons from the International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine for Cardiovascular Disease
CME Conference Takes Place July 31 to Aug. 1 in Washington

WASHINGTON—The third-annual International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine (ICNM), jointly sponsored by The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (GWSMHS) and the nonprofit Physicians Committee, will take place at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, from July 31 to Aug. 1, 2015.

Among the striking findings to be presented are that heart disease starts in childhood—possibly even before birth, and that lower back pain and erectile dysfunction may be signs of artery disease.

“Heart disease kills more Americans than any other disease,” says Neal Barnard, M.D., conference host and president of the Physicians Committee. “The good news is we can treat it with the right dietary and lifestyle interventions.”

Clinicians will learn how to apply the latest research into their practice, gaining feedback from leading researchers, cardiologists, and practicing physicians, while earning continuing medical education (CME) credits.

Featured presenters and topics include:

  • Does Heart Disease Begin in Utero? by Michael Skilton, Ph.D., University of Sydney
  • Findings from the Bogalusa Heart Study and the Need for Primordial Intervention by Gerald Berenson, M.D., Tulane University Center for Cardiovascular Health
  • A Plant-Based Dietary Intervention in Obese Hypercholesterolemic Children and Their Parents by Michael Macknin, M.D., Cleveland Clinic, Lerner College of Medicine
  • Cutting Through the Cholesterol Confusion by Neal Barnard, M.D., GWSMHS, the Physicians Committee, and Barnard Medical Center
  • Long-Term Interventions for Reversing Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute
  • Back Pain and Disc Degeneration as Manifestations of Cardiovascular Disease by Leena Kauppila, M.D., Ph.D., of Terveystalo Healthcare, Helsinki
  • Dietary Fats, Overcooked: Lots of Heat, Little Light by David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., Yale University’s Prevention Research Center the American College of Lifestyle Medicine
  • Undercutting Diet and Exercise: The Overpromotion of Drugs in Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Treatment by Adriane Fugh-Berman, M.D., Georgetown University Medical Center and PharmedOut
  • A Plant-Based Diet for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention by Kim Williams, M.D., Rush University School of Medicine and the American College of Cardiology
  • Canary in the Coal Mine: Is Erectile Dysfunction an Early Indicator of Coronary Artery Disease? by Stephen Kopecky, M.D., Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • Dietary Guidelines for Preventing and Treating Atherosclerotic Heart Disease by Caroline Trapp, D.N.P.c., A.N.P.-BC, C.D.E., F.A.A.N.P., Physicians Committee
  • Rewiring the Brain’s Food Reward System in Obesity Management by Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Laboratory Tests: Which Ones Do I Need and Not Need? by Marc Penn, M.D., Ph.D., Cleveland HeartLab
  • Exporting Heart Disease to Developing Countries: China and India by Jia Xu, Ph.D., and Zeeshan Ali, Ph.D., Physicians Committee
  • Building Nutrition Interventions into Your Practice with Cameron Wells, M.P.H., R.D., Physicians Committee and Barnard Medical Center; Craig McDougall, M.D., Kaiser Permanente; Baxter Montgomery, M.D., Montgomery Heart and Wellness Center; Robert Ostfeld, M.D., MSc., Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Joel Kahn, M.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine

The International Conference on Nutrition and Medicine will serve plant-based meals both days. Exercise physiologist Marco Borges will guide attendees through a heart-pumping workout with moves that are easy to demonstrate in a clinical setting.

The conference coincides with a time when half of the adult population who maintains a healthful weight still has at least one metabolic risk factor, such as hypertension, elevated cholesterol, or high blood sugar. This increases to 70 percent for those who are overweight and to 75 percent for those who are obese.

The scientific report for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans calls on health care providers to create bold, innovative solutions to promote eating patterns for optimal health.  The ICNM provides clinicians with a template to get started.

“The challenge isn’t learning what foods to prescribe because the science already shows the benefits of moving plant-based fare to the center of our plate,” notes Dr. Barnard. “Our job is to empower clinicians with resources to relay this information to their patients. The long-term solution to manage chronic disease begins with a dietary intervention.”

Learn more about the ICNM at PhysiciansCommittee.org/Conference.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.