University of Calgary

World Health Organization

October 20, 2010

World Health Organization conference in Calgary

University of Calgary professor, Dr. Norm Campbell, co-chairs a World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Calgary this week.University of Calgary professor, Dr. Norm Campbell, co-chairs a World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Calgary this week.By Marta Cyperling

Dr. Norm Campbell, a professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine co-chairs a World Health Organization (WHO) conference in Calgary this week.

The Oct. 19-20 event is co-sponsored by the World Health Organization and the Government of Canada, and will focus on developing strategies and resources on how to assess population salt consumption and evaluate programs aimed at reducing reduce salt intake.

Calgary is hosting the second of three WHO conferences dedicated to Population Sodium Reduction Strategies, the previous meeting was held in London, England. This conference will bring together policy makers and experts from around the world including representatives from the six WHO regions.

Sodium consumption is a health concern in many countries as high sodium intake contributes to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and other vascular diseases.

"High blood pressure is estimated to be the leading risk for death in the world. Reducing dietary salt can be the most cost effective interventions at improving population health," says Dr. Norm Campbell, a member of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta. "Countries need to know how much salt is consumed, where in the diet the salt comes from and how to determine the effectiveness of national programs to reduce salt. That's what we're discussing at the meeting this week."

On average Canadians consume more than double the recommended amount of salt in their diets.

"Dr. Campbell is an internationally recognized expert in sodium reduction and we are delighted that he will be co-chairing this important cardiovascular prevention event" says Dr. Todd Anderson, director of the Libin Institute.

After the WHO meeting, many of the international speakers will be staying in Calgary to participate in a Vascular Health promotion Conference on Oct. 21. Campbell will also co-chair this event aimed at family physicians, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare trainees. Topics covered will include salt, transfats, exercise and smoking cessation

Sponsors of the World Health Organization, Government of Canada meeting in Calgary include the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta Hypertension Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Stroke Network, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, as well as the CIHR Canada Chair in Hypertension and Control. Campbell is a member of a team studying chronic disease funded by Alberta Innovates—Health Solutions. Anderson's research is also funded by Alberta Innovates—Health Solutions.


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