Posted on January 14, 2018

Robotic surgery, cardiovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetics, and personalized medicine in the treatment of heart disease were among the topics discussed during the 14th Gulf Heart Association Conference, held in Doha this past weekend.

More than 30 international experts and distinguished local faculty from the various Gulf and Middle East countries led sessions attended by over 700 physicians and cardiology specialists. The annual conference, held for the third time in Doha since 2002, also included the 11th Gulf Vascular Society Symposium. Her Excellency Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, the Minister of Public Health, attended the opening ceremony of the conference, which was held under her patronage. Her Excellency commented on the importance of the event in providing an opportunity to highlight the key role that healthcare professionals play in promoting healthy behaviors as a strategy to reduce the incidence of heart disease.

“Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in Qatar and across the world, with the majority of heart disease cases being preventable. While risk factors such as family history, gender, and age do have an influence, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors including tobacco use, unhealthy diet, excess body fat, and physical inactivity are the primary risk factors that contribute to the onset of this deadly disease. Healthcare professionals play a pivotal role in educating patients about risk factors, encouraging screening and treatment compliance, and perhaps most importantly, urging patients to modify their behavior to reduce controllable risk factors. Together we must remain focused on continuing our efforts to address cardiovascular disease through preventive health, research, and cutting-edge treatments and technologies,” said Her Excellency Dr. Al Kuwari.

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His Excellency Dr. Hajar Ahmed Hajar Al Binali, Conference Chairman for the 14th Gulf Heart Association Conference and the 11th Gulf Vascular Society Symposium (GHA) added that a major objective of the annual conference is to offer a platform to provide advanced knowledge, promote cardiovascular-related research in the region, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and experiences among local and international leaders in the field of cardiology.

“By working together we can improve the system of care surrounding our patients while also reducing the impact of heart-related illnesses on our individual health systems. This conference is an important opportunity to discuss comprehensive approaches to diagnosis, advanced treatment methods, and the latest developments in a variety of fields, including valvular heart disease, ischemic heart disease, and medical treatment in pediatric pulmonary hypertension. This gathering has also provided an opportunity for the open exchange of medical information and expertise and has been a significant educational event and learning opportunity for professionals working in the field of cardiology,” said His Excellency Dr. Al Binali, who is also the founder of the Gulf Heart Association and was the organization’s president for the first 12 years of its existence.

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The 11th Gulf Vascular Society  Conference chaired by Dr. Hasan Al Thani, Head of  Trauma, and  Vascular Surgery Section at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), was held during the final day of the conference and included a program that focused on topics from the fields of vascular surgery, interventional radiology, cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, and clinical pharmacy. "The conference was aimed at sharing the latest advances in vascular medicine, and specifically recent developments in this field in Qatar. This year's event featured sessions on traumatic aortic injury, the newest non-thermal vein ablation technique, and cost analysis for amputation in Qatar. It also offered an opportunity for cardiology specialists and surgeons from GCC countries to discuss opportunities for future collaborations and specifically the importance of establishing a peripheral artery disease registry in the GCC,” said Dr. Al Thani.

The three-day conference was held in collaboration with the American College of Cardiology (ACC), the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q). The event was sponsored by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) and the Gulf Heart Association (GHA).