Welcome to our ‘new look’ Society. Not only have we developed a new website to help disseminate knowledge but we now have some specific aims to ensure that we improve our understanding and management of pre-eclampsia and the other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. We intend to focus on the massive impact of these disorders world-wide and to promote recognition of the life-long cardiovascular impacts of pre-eclampsia with the potential for premature death in many women. The personal impact should not be ignored either and we encourage a greater awareness of the increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder for these women.
To improve the health of women with hypertension in pregnancy we must increase research into these disorders; to achieve this we need to make the public, politicians and funding bodies much more aware of pre-eclampsia and its impact on women and babies. It needs to be seen as having the same public health impact as disorders like HIV, because it does. We need capacity for greater collaborative research by collecting similar clinical data and bio-banking blood and urine samples across the world; in this regard the proposals for standardised data collection and bio-banking of the Co-Lab group are to be applauded. Accordingly, ISSHP now has a seven-point plan to improve the health of women with hypertension in pregnancy.
- Speak the same language for clinical management and research
- Integrate basic science and clinical practice in all our meetings
- Disseminate research widely
- Strengthening ties with other organizations
- Make a difference for pregnant women in LMIC
- World Pre-eclampsia day
- Support young investigators
1. Speak the same language for clinical management and research
It is difficult to progress research or clinical management if we are collecting different data or using different criteria for diagnoses. For these reasons ISSHP supports the Co-Lab initiatives and urges clinicians to use the ISSHP guidelines for diagnosis and classification of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. We will work with other guideline groups such as NICE (UK), ACOG (USA), SOMANZ (Australia and New Zealand) and Canada, with the aim of developing a single endorsed system for classification and diagnosis as well as agreed principles of managementIntegrate basic science and clinical practice in all our meetings
2. Integrate basic science and clinical practice in all our meetings
Fundamental to improving our understanding of pre-eclampsia is to integrate science with clinical practice; we aim to ensure that all our conferences from now on adopt this principle. In this way clinicians can develop a better understanding of the origins of pre-eclampsia while scientists can appreciate the complexity of clinical decision making and learn the key relevant clinical questions that need to be answered.
3. Disseminate research widely
Our main method for achieving this is through our Journal, “Pregnancy Hypertension: an International Journal of Women’s Cardiovascular Health”. We are urging each researcher within ISSHP to submit at least one paper to the journal between each Congress.
Our 2nd yearly International Conferences provide us a wonderful opportunity to share research and clinical management developments whilst establishing professional contacts and friends across the globe.
We plan a quarterly Newsletter not only to keep abreast of developments within the Society but also to share updates from key researchers about progress in the field.
Our website will serve as a portal to enhance communication amongst members of ISSHP and to promote research collaboration.
4. Strengthening ties with other organisations
There are so many societies and conferences these days that synergies can be lost and it becomes difficult to attend meetings that are not co-located. We plan to work with other societies, particularly the International Society of Obstetric Medicine (ISOM) to co-locate and integrate meetings where possible. In this way we hope to facilitate more clinicians and scientists to attend meetings.
5. Make a difference for pregnant women in LMIC
We need to move from acknowledging the problems outlined above to doing something about it. ISSHP has now established a sub-group of clinicians who work in this field, to advise on the best ways to make a difference. We are working with the Pre-eclampsia foundation (USA) to support research in India and later in other LMIC and we will seek to have paper copies of our Journal distributed to these countries on a regular basis. We are looking at ways to provide more travel grants to facilitate greater attendance at ISSHP conferences from those living in LMIC.
6. World Pre-eclampsia day
It will be difficult to make a difference for women without greater public, political and granting body awareness of the importance of pre-eclampsia. ISSHP has decided to promote awareness by asking its members in all countries to promote knowledge of pre-eclampsia on a specific day each year.
6. Support young investigators
The future of research and clinical improvements in managing the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy depends on having a system that supports generation after generation of researchers. ISSHP now has six awards at each conference for the best clinical and scientific papers and supports about 50 young investigators to attend every second year.
If we can implement these plans successfully we should help to improve the way we care for about 10 million women each year.
May I take this opportunity to encourage you to be an active member of ISSHP, promoting research and awareness of pre-eclampsia at every chance? I look forward to seeing you at our next ISSHP conference and welcome your input to ISSHP at any time.