FYI from the NHLBI Index

May 2008: Vol. 9, Issue 1
Feature Articles

NHLBI Holds Ninth Annual PIO Meeting

May is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

NHLBI Holds Ninth Annual Public Interest Organization Meeting

The NHLBI's Ninth Annual Public Interest Organization (PIO) meeting will be held June 9-10, 2008, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This state-of-the-art conference center is conveniently located near the White Flint station on the Metro system¡¦s Red Line. The meeting was moved to June to avoid the winter weather that interrupted last year¡¦s February meeting. This year¡¦s program will again allow for significant networking time with members of fellow PIOs as well as NHLBI staff.

The meeting starts Monday afternoon, June 9, with registration and a presentation about research conducted on the NIH campus. Activities on Tuesday, June 10, will begin with a presentation by Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, NHLBI Director, on the future of genetic disease mapping with genome-wide association studies. Additionally, Dr. Josephine Briggs, Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, will speak about how to interpret the array of information available to the public on complementary and alternative medicine.

The program will include a panel discussion on NIH research support. Another session will describe a bench-to-bedside case study of Marfan syndrome. Concurrent sessions will be held in the afternoon. One session will give attendees the opportunity to learn about psychosocial issues faced by patients with heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders (originally scheduled on last year¡¦s program), and the other session will explore the logistical struggles two PIOs have encountered with clinical trials. The program will close with an opportunity to meet NHLBI staff members who have expertise in heart development and diseases, vascular diseases, lung diseases, airway diseases, blood diseases and resources, and sleep and sleep disorders.

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May Is National High Blood Pressure Education Month

Take this opportunity to adopt a healthy eating plan that can both reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure and lower an already elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) study is a clinical trial that tested the effects of nutrients in food on blood pressure. Study results indicated that elevated blood pressures were reduced by the DASH diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods and is low in saturated fat, total fat, and cholesterol. The DASH eating plan includes whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts and has reduced amounts of fats, red meats, sweets, and sugared beverages.

A second clinical study, called DASH-Sodium, looked at the effect of a reduced dietary sodium intake on blood pressure as people followed either the DASH eating plan or a typical American diet. Results showed that reducing dietary sodium lowered blood pressure for both the DASH eating plan and the typical American diet. The biggest blood pressure-lowering benefits were for those eating the DASH eating plan at the lowest sodium level (1,500 milligrams per day).

DASH and DASH-Sodium show the benefits of diet modification and salt reduction in lowering blood pressure. For more information about the DASH diet, please visit

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