Hypertension is a leading cause of death worldwide. Although hypertension is more prevalent in economically developed countries, the disease burden is greater in developing countries due to the much larger population. With the Asia-Pacific region home to over 65% of the world’s population, the levels of hypertension are truly escalating. Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, heart and kidney disease and one of the top contributors to the health burden in the Asia-Pacific and indeed globally.
The Asian Pacific Society of Hypertension (APSH) is the official affiliate of the International Society of Hypertension in the Asian Pacific Region (established 1997) and was established to advance the clinical and scientific understanding of hypertension and to improve the treatment of hypertension and related vascular disorders in the community. The society is a confederation of National Societies of Hypertension, or the Hypertension Section of a National Cardiac Society and is governed by an elected Executive and a Council representing all member societies.
Formally established in 1997, the first meeting of the society was held in Bali, Indonesia in 1999. Subsequent meetings have been held approximately every second year since that time. This will be the first time that the meeting has been held in Brisbane and a great opportunity to showcase the city and its excellence in health research.
The High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia (HBPRCA) has been at the forefront of research into the causes, prevention and treatment of high blood pressure since inception on 1979. HBPRCA research incorporates the full range from experimental molecular biology and genetics to human physiology and drug treatment of hypertension. Members are among the national and international leaders in the field of cardiovascular research, through clinical trials, research projects, journal editorships, various academic, government and commercial committees and as active organisers and participants at major conferences.
The strength and quality of research in hypertension and related fields is second to none in Australia, as evidenced by the recent (2015) award bestowed upon the HBPRCA by the World Hypertension League (WHL). HBPRCA was awarded the WHL Notable Achievement in Hypertension Prevention and Control, putting Australia on the map in this vital area and further, one of the former Executive Committee members of the HBPRCA, Dr James Sharman, won the Rising Star award, a significant achievement, which recognises his unrelenting effort and high energy to improve the health of the Australian population through hypertension prevention and control.
Australia has played a major role throughout the history of the APSH. Australia hosted the Inaugural Clinical and Scientific Meeting of the Federation of Pacific Rim Hypertension Societies (a forerunner to the APCH) in Melbourne, March 1994. Australian hypertension researchers have been represented among the Trustees of the APSH since its inception and have played key roles in its development, establishment and expansion. Professor Michael Stowasser, Director of the Hypertension Units at Princess Alexandra and Greenslopes Hospitals and Director of the Endocrine Hypertension Research Centre within the University of Queensland, is currently President of the HBPRCA, President of the APSH and Co-Convenor for APCH2019.