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Friday, 30 May 2014

Spotlight on excellent EACPT summer cardiovascular focus meeting 3-5 July in Holland

You are still in time to register for 2014 EACPT Focus Meeting on 'Drugs to Fight Cardiovascular Damage' from organised by the the European Association for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics [EACPT] .

Registration  - with a preferential accommodation rate - is available through the Focus Meeting website.

The 2014 EACPT Focus Meeting takes place from July 3rd - 5th at the Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Reasons to come to this outstanding meeting

  • excellent tradition of EACPT in providing outstanding meetings for young and senior clinicians and researchers
  • great opportunities for networking with your peers and senior members of the international clinical pharmacology community
  • easy access to senior researchers on the international speaker faculty 
  • opportunity to have first hand news on major developments for EACPT
  • meet Dr Richard Shader, the editor of the EACPT's Official Journal - Clinical Therapeutics 
  • expert session from Dr Shader on how to publish
In addition to state-of-the-art lectures from international cardiovascular experts, over 60 delegate abstracts are due be presented  from around the world. The top 5 ranked abstracts will be provided with free registration. All abstracts presented at the meeting will be published in Clinical Therapeutics, the peer-reviewed Official Journal of the EACPT. 

This focus meeting follows on from the highly rated  EACPT international summer school in 2013 in Edinburgh.

The 2014 EACPT Focus Meeting will provide you with the opportunity to attend state of the art lectures from leading professionals and researchers, including hands-on workshops. 

Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen 

Topics include ultrasound imaging of vascular injury (including a hands-on workshop), the microbiome and inflammation in the metabolic syndrome, targeting inflammation to prevent and treat atherosclerosis, diagnosis and therapy of adrenal hypertension, and protection against ischaemia-reperfusion injury.

This EACPT Cardiovascular Focus Meeting is of interest to clinical pharmacologists, pharmacologists, and other young scientists and clinicians interested in drug treatment of cardiovascular disease. 

You can listen here to podcasts with international delegates at the last EACPT summer meeting in Edinburgh in 2013.

See the Scientific Programme is now online on the Focus Meeting website. 
Visit the Clinical Therapeutics website.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Healthy heart charity CVRT and Hippocrates Initiative jointly launch Healthy Heart Poetry project by and for school children and young people

On behalf of the healthy heart charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust (CVRT), London-based poets Wendy French and Rebecca Goss will be editing a book of poems on the heart written by children for children of all ages. 
Entries are welcome from anywhere in the world from schools or individually from children and young people. 
Wendy said: “The aim is to bring to children, from an early age, awareness of the importance of keeping the heart healthy through diet and exercise. The idea for this came from a pilot poetry project in schools in and around London. Please do get your pupils writing! Our experience of this type of project in schools has shown that it can be very exciting both for pupils and teachers."
She added: "We would like as many children and older school students to enter as possible so we have a wide selection of poems to choose from. The book will be published in print and online by the Hippocrates Press for Poetry and Medicine. The book will be launched at a celebration in London on December 4th 2014, which children and older school students and their teachers will be invited to attend.”
The closing date for entries is 12 midnight GMT July 16th 2014.
Poems may be entered on-line (see the Hippocrates website link) or sent to
Wendy French at 4 Myton Road, West Dulwich, London, SE21 8EB. 
Wendy has a quiz devised by the CVRT on the heart and can email this with lesson plan suggestions to teachers who are interested.
Kidshealth also has very helpful facts to help get started on the project.
The book will be divided into four sections, selected poems by primary children, selected poems by secondary school students, and a section devoted to heart healthy recipes supplied by anyone of school age. 
Medical professor Donald Singer said: “This looks a very interesting way to engage children and young people actively in understanding ways to prevent heart disease. I will be adding a section in the book on how to keep the heart healthy so that book could be used in schools for teaching about health as well as just for pure enjoyment of the poems."
See YouTube videos of examples of Healthy Heart Poetry by schools from the 2013 CVRT Healthy Heart Awards:
You can read more about the Healthy Heart Poetry initiative on the Hippocrates website.
If you wish any further information or would like to help by involving your local school in the project, or in other ways, you can contact Wendy French on 

Sunday, 11 May 2014

2014 Hippocrates Open, NHS and Young Poet Prize for Poetry and Medicine awarded in London

The £5000 2014 Open International Hippocrates first prize has been awarded to UK-based poet Jane Draycott. The second prize was won by UK poet Ailsa Holland and the third prize was shared by New York poet Stephanie Gangi and South African poet Karen Nel
Jane Draycott with Philip Gross ©Hippocrates Prize
The Hippocrates Prize is one of the most valuable poetry prizes in the world, with a yearly purse of £15000. Jane Draycott’s winning poem The Return concerns the many sanatoria around the world left standing very much as the day they were abandoned decades ago, remaining as if on stand-by for whenever their time comes again. The International Hippocrates Open Awards were presented by poet Philip Gross at an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine in London.
More on the 2014 Hippocrates Awards 
Ellen Storm with Robert Francis QC ©Hippocrates Prize

The £5000 2014 Hippocrates NHS first prize has been awarded to trainee paediatrician Ellen Storm from Liverpool for her new poem Out of Hospital Arrest. The second prize was won by Valerie Laws from Tyne and Wear and the third prize went to Belfast poet and dentist Paula Cunningham. The Hippocrates NHS Awards were presented by barrister Robert Francis QC at an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Saturday May 10th
Now in its 5th year, winners for the 2014 Hippocrates NHS and Open Prize for Poetry and Medicine were selected by judges poet Philip Gross, barrister Robert Francis QC and Mumsnet Editor Sarah Crown from over 1000 entries from 31 countries. 
Philip Gross, Robert Francis & Sarah Crown ©Hippocrates Prize

The judges also agreed 20 commendations in the NHS category, and 21 in the Open International category, from England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, the USA, New Zealand and Australia.
Judge Philip Gross said: ‘Reading the stronger poems in the Open and the NHS categories, I see how many of their qualities they share. Dedicated poet or health professional – maybe each needs the same disciplines of observation and exactness, care and a right handling of emotions, the ability to get up close and yet step back and see it whole.’ Judge Sarah Crown commented: ‘We think of healthcare first and foremost as a scientific arena; a realm of dosages, diagnoses, instruments and odds. The real pleasure of these poems for me was the way in which they made the case for the place, within this arena, of the personal and the beautiful, too.
‘Reading them awakened me to the stories behind the science, and I found myself in tears on more than one occasion. Congratulations to everyone who submitted a poem, and particularly to the winners.’  Judge Robert Francis QC remarked "What a celebration of the partnership between patients and those who care for them and their shared will to overcome the frailties which we all have to face!”
Donald Singer, Hippocrates Prize co-founder and President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the major patron of the Hippocrates Initiative said "The FPM is delighted that in its 5th year, Hippocrates Open Awards continue to reach out to poets, health professionals and the public around the world.
Hippocrates Prize co-founder poet Michael Hulse added: “The Prize’s first five years have shown how extraordinarily illuminating the complementarity of the disciplines of poetry and medicine can be.” 
Conor McKee has been awarded the inaugural 2014 International Hippocrates Young Poets £500 Prize. 18 year old Conor studies English literature at Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge in England. 
Philip Gross with Conor McKee ©Hippocrates Prize
This new International Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is for an unpublished poem in English on a medical theme by poets aged 14 to 18 years. The 2014 Prize attracted entries from England, Ireland, and Scotland, Israel, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa and the USA. It is one of the most valuable poetry awards in the world for young poets.
Commenting on the inspiration behind his poemI Will Not Cut for Stone, Conor said: “ this poem expresses my own fears about the life of a surgeon and my interest in understanding the mechanics of the human body."
The Hippocrates International Young Poet Award and three Young Poet Commendations were presented by poet Philip Gross at an International Symposium on Poetry and Medicine at the Royal Society of Medicine in London on Saturday May 10th.
This year’s poems were judged by adult and children’s author, and winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, Kit Wright.
Kit Wright

Kit said of the entered poems: ‘It was a remarkable experience to judge these poems, highly various in their approaches, both stylistically and in their choice of subject. The world of medicine is an extraordinarily rich one for the writer, and these young poets have produced some extraordinarily assured and compelling responses to it.’
Donald Singer, Hippocrates Prize co-founder and President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the major patron of the Hippocrates Initiative said "The FPM is delighted with the success and international reach of this second year of the Hippocrates Young Poets Award. 
Hippocrates Prize co-founder poet Michael Hulse added: “We are delighted that the Hippocrates Prize for Young Poets is having a growing international impact in inspiring a new generation of poets.”
Of the inspiration for his poem Nothing Happened, commended Young Poet Joseph Davison-Duddles remarked: ‘My poem seeks to place silences and utterances in a narrative of childhood and illness’.
Joseph is sixteen and studies at Queen Elizabeth College in Darlington. In 2013 he received both a Foyle Young Poets commendation and Young People First Place in the Ledbury Poetry Competition.
Commended Young Poet Molly Garbutt said of her poem, Cadaver: ‘It stemmed from discussion with my Biology teacher about medical school, and dissecting cadavers, and from my love of writing about the supernatural.’
Molly studies at Hereford Sixth Form College and hopes to study Veterinary Medicine. She has been shortlisted for several poetry awards, including the COMPAS Schools Prize for Poetry.
Commended Young Poet poet Talin Tahajian is at school in Massachusetts in the USA. Her poem ‘Dream …’  was inspired by her grandfather’s experience of lymphoma.
Her poetry is published by PANK, Hobart and The Adroit Journal. In the autumn she plans to attend Sidney Sussex College at the University of Cambridge where she will study English. 
Notes to editors
For photos of all NHS and Open International Young Poet finalists, biographies and extracts of their poems, contact 0759 0478078, 07447 441666 or
The Hippocrates Initiative – winner of the 2011 Times Higher Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in the Arts – is an interdisciplinary venture that investigates the relationship between medicine and poetry -
About the Hippocrates Open Prize winner
Jane Draycott  is a UK-based poet with a particular interest in sound art and collaborative work. Her collections include No Theatre (Smith/Doorstop) and from Carcanet Press, Prince Rupert's DropThe Night Tree and Over, short-listed for the 2009 TS Eliot Prize Nominated three times for the Forward Poetry Prizes, she was a PBS 'Next Generation' poet 2004 and second prize-winner in the National Poetry Competition 2012.  Other collections, from Two Rivers Press, include Christina the Astonishing, co-written with Lesley Saundersand Tideway with images by Peter Hay. Her translation of the medieval dream-elegy Pearl (2011), was a PBS Recommended Translation and winner of a Times Stephen Spender Prize. She lives in Henley on Thames.
About the Hippocrates NHS Prize winner
Dr Ellen Storm is training in Paediatrics and Child Health in Liverpool, and is the mother of three-year-old twin girls. Ellen has had poems published in magazines including Assent, The Interpreter’s House, The Reader, Frogmore Papers, Orbis and The Warwick Review. She has one forthcoming in Obsessed with Pipework, has recently contributed two to the online collaborative arts project The Egg, The Womb, The Head and The Moon (weeks 27 and 30), and will be contributing to the forthcoming Writing Motherhood project. She was commended in the 2013 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. 
About the Hippocrates Young Poet Winner
Conor McKee comes from Kent and studies English literature at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Poetry has been a significant force in his life since childhood when his parents frequently read to him. He was first encouraged to write poetry at the school creative writing society. In 2012 he won the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award and was subsequently commended in 2013. He also gained second prize in the Young Persons section of the Ledbury Poetry Competition in 2012. His critical interests are focused on late medieval and modernist verse.
The Hippocrates Prize judgesPhilip Gross’s The Water Table won the T.S. Eliot Prize 2009, I Spy Pinhole Eye Wales Book of The Year 2010, and Off Road to Everywhere the CLPE Award for Children’s Poetry 2011. Deep Field (2011) deals with voice and language, explored through his father’s aphasia, and a new collection, Later, was published by Bloodaxe in Autumn 2013. He has published ten novels for young people, including The Lastling, has collaborated with artists, musicians and dancers, and since 2004 has been Professor of Creative Writing at Glamorgan University. 
Robert Francis QC is a distinguished barrister who specialises in the NHS and medical negligence. He has been a Queen's Counsel for 21 of his 40 years at the bar. He has been involved in many inquiries into the NHS, both as barrister and as chair, most recently chairing the inquiry into the Mid Staffordshire Hospital. According to Peter Walsh, chief executive of the patient safety charity Action against Medical Accidents, Robert Francis has a "passion for justice in healthcare and improving healthcare more generally". 
Sarah Crown is editor of She was editor of the from 2007 to 2013. Previous poetry awards for which she has been a member of the judging panels include the Forward Prizes and the Picador Poetry Prize.
Hippocrates Young Poet judge
Kit Wright is the author of more than twenty-five books, for both adults and children, and the winner of awards including an Arts Council Writers' Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Hawthornden Prize, the Alice Hunt Bartlett Award and (jointly) the Heinemann Award. After a scholarship to Oxford, he worked as a lecturer in Canada, then returned to England and a position in the Poetry Society.  In June 2014, to mark his seventieth birthday, Kit Wright publishes a new collection of poems, Ode to Didcot Power Station, with Bloodaxe Books.
Hippocrates Prize founders
Professor Donald Singer is President of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, the main patron of the Hippocrates Prize. His interests include research on discovery of new therapies, and public understanding of drugs, health and disease. He co-authors the drug prescribing guide Pocket Prescriber, the 7th edition of which was published by Taylor & Francis in May 2014.
Michael Hulse is a poet and translator of German literature, and is Professor of creative writing and comparative literature at the University of Warwick. He is also editor of The Warwick Review. His latest collection of poetry, Half Life, was chosen as a Book of the Year by John Kinsella.
2014 Hippocrates Prize is supported by:
The Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, a national medical society founded in 1918 and publisher of the Postgraduate Medical Journal and Health Policy and Technology, has supported the Hippocrates Prize since its launch in 2009.

The Healthy Heart Charity the Cardiovascular Research Trust, founded in 1996, which promotes research and education for the prevention and treatment of disorders of the heart and circulation. 

Saturday, 3 May 2014

What works for losing overweight?

Overweight is the most important reversible cause of hypertension. 
Other consequences of overweight  include heart attack and stroke through raised cholesterol and increased risk of diabetes mellitus; premature wear and tear of joints; and increased risk of some cancers and psychiatric and psychological disorders.

Comments welcome about ideas to reduce overweight that have worked - or have not worked - including 'weight-reducing' diets, selective exclusion or inclusion diets, different types of exercise, support groups, use of apps, and other approaches.

See previous blogs related to obesity:

Measuring, preventing and treating high blood pressure

Obesity and the French paradox     

Waistline and increased risk of premature death