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U.S. EPA/NHLBI/NIEHS Sponsored Meeting: The Role of Air Pollutants in Cardiovascular Disease

Great success in ORD, NHLBI and NIEHS sponsored meeting on the Role of Air Pollutants in Cardiovascular Disease, October 12-13, 2006, RTP, NC - NCER and NHEERL, together with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sponsored the third biannual meeting to discuss the role of air pollutants in cardiovascular disease (CVD). The meeting focused on mechanisms of environmentally induced cardiovascular disease and susceptibility factors for environmental CVD. To add new perspectives to this discussion, leading investigators from cardiovascular disciplines not related to environmental science were invited to give insights into the "state of the science." The goals of the meeting were to provide participants with an opportunity to hear and discuss the latest research related to air pollutants and cardiovascular disease, interact with other investigators in environmental cardiology and other areas of cardiovascular research, and help identify future research directions for this field. EPA and NIEHS grant recipients from 2004 featured their work in poster sessions, along with other researchers in the field. A special session addressed ways to improve review outcomes for environmental cardiovascular research applications to NIH.

There was tremendous enthusiasm about this meeting as a result of hearing fresh perspectives from medical researchers not involved in environmental health. Having reviewed the air pollution literature prior to participating in the meeting, the cardiovascular researchers not only presented the latest findings and questions in cardiovascular medicine, but also made connections between these issues and possible mechanisms of action for air pollutants and cardiovascular disease.The presentations and subsequent question, answer, poster and panel discussions stimulated research ideas for many in attendance, and inspired the cardiovascular researchers' interests into air pollution health issues. All involved considered it a truly stimulating and successful scientific meeting. It was structured around three specific sessions: 1.) endothelial and vascular function; 2) hemostasis, thrombosis and platelet function; and 3) myocardial function and ischemia. Each session included one overview of the air pollution health science specific to the topic and two state-of-the science presentations by the cardiovascular researchers. There were over 100 people in attendance from EPA, academic institutions, NIH and others. Robert Devlin of NHEERL was masterful as master of ceremonies.

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