Heart-to-heart talk with doctors: Dr. Maria Caridad Purugganan, medical director of Biofemme; Dr. Wilfred Fujimoto, professor emeritus at the University of Washington; Dr. Nassir Ghaemi, professor at Tufts University and the Harvard Medical School; Dr. Amos Pines, professor at Tel-Aviv University; Dr. Bertram Pitt, professor emeritus at the University of Michigan; Dr. Ma. Rosario Sevilla, medical director of LRI-Therapharma. PHOTO from Philstar.com

A thousand doctors, all experts in their respective fields converged last April 28, at the Manila Marriott Hotel. The 2016 Experts’ Convergence for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Summit was held for the Filipino physician, who serve as the frontliners in Philippine healthcare.

“Our goal is to bring world class medical information to our Filipino doctors,” says Claire Papa of Unilab. Doctors in general practice, industrial medicine and internal medicine were invited  with the aim of getting the latest trends in serving the Filipinos who need healthcare

The topics included were diabetes, heart disease, anxiety and depression and women’s health. 
The summit zeroes in on topics that are probably closest to our hearts: women’s health, anxiety and depression, diabetes and heart disease.

Four world-renowned experts will tackle the four subjects mentioned above:

1.    Dr. Wildred Fujimoto is a professor emeritus of Internal Medicine at the University of Washington , Seattle. Dr. Fujimoto is known for the Japanese American Community Diabetes Study. The Study concluded that Japanese Americans has a high incidence of Type 2 Diabetes. This was because of dietary factors wherein the subjects were consuming more of a typical American diet high on fat and simple sugars. “What we found out was the Japanese Americans living in Seattle were not eating more food than the Japanese living in Tokyo, both from the same urban environments, yet the Japanese Americans were heavier,” Dr. Fujimoto disclosed. “What was different was that they were consuming more of the calories as fat, especially animal fat, while the Japanese in Tokyo were consuming more of the calories as complex carbohydrates, not simple sugars. The second thing was the Japanese Americans’ lifestyle included less physical activity than that of the Japanese in Tokyo who have to commute to work, walk to the train station, go up and down the subway, walk off the train. Whereas in the US, people drive their cars and park as close as possible to the nearest elevator.”

2.    Dr. Seyyed Nassir Ghaemi is a professor at Tufts University Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Ghaemi sifts through the evidence for treatment of depressive or anxiety symptoms in persons at risk of cardiovascular disease, including the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and lithium. Dr. Ghaemi discussed that Dr. Ghaemi shares, “Among the regions of the world, the region with the highest global burden of depression is Africa, followed by the Middle East and Europe — depression seems to correlate with socio-economic conflict and poverty. Asia would be in between the Middle East and Europe. In China, the experience of depression is much more physical than psychological. They say, ‘I have a headache’ or ‘My stomach hurts.’”

It is a problem that is quite common but is also overlooked by most doctors. It is caused by depression and anxiety it disclosed.
3.    Dr. Bertram Pitt of the University of Michigan School of Medicine has generated over 500 articles that have been peer reviewed in medical journals. Dr. Pitt presented the latest trends in mineralcoticoid receptor antagonists (MRA) in heart failure management. The drug agent is used in the management of hyperkalemia which in extremely high  levels of potassium in the blood leads to cardiac arrest and death.

4.    On Women’s Health, Dr. Amos Pines from Tel-Aviv discussed the potential of hormone therapy replacement in reducing coronary heart disease among women. Also tackled was the potential side effects of HRT such as cancer. Dr. Pines cited “It depends on how many years you used it,” he replies. “If less than seven to 10 years, there’s no risk of cancer.

The 2016 ECHO Summit was supported by an unrestricted grant from Unilab’s Specialty Cluster, namely, Therapharma Inc. (Cardiovascular Division), LP Imperial Inc. (Endometabolic Division), Medichem Pharmaceutics (CNS Division), and Biofemme (Women’s Health Division).

Source: Readings from http://www.philstar.com/health-and-family/2016/05/10/1581504/when-global-medical-experts-meet

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