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Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity Key Focus of London Symposium

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September 14, 2005

Source: University of Western Ontario:

Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity Key Focus of London Symposium

LONDON, ON - With cardiovascular disease on the rise as the No. 1 cause of premature death in Canada, researchers at a symposium here this week are sharpening their focus on obesity and the "metabolic syndrome", the constellation of reversible symptoms that greatly increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Physicians and their patients need new strategies to more aggressively treat those symptoms, including increased blood sugar and cholesterol, if the metabolic syndrome and the obesity epidemic are to be reversed, according to Dr. Robert Ross of Queen's University, one of the speakers taking part in the 16th annual R. W. Gunton Symposium.

Organized by Robarts Research Institute and The University of Western Ontario's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, this public symposium is held at London Health Sciences Centre, University Campus, Auditorium A, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Sept. 15, 2005.

Dr. Robert Hegele, Robarts scientist and Professor at Western's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, will give the first presentation of the symposium at 8:35 a.m., outlining what is known about genetic factors at work in the metabolic syndrome; Dr. Ross will follow at 9:15 a.m. with strategies for management of the syndrome; and Dr. Arya Sharma of McMaster University speaks at 9:55 a.m. on new targets in drug treatment for obesity.

Also featured at the symposium is Dr. Don Heistad of the University of Iowa, who will speak at 11 a.m. on oxidants and antioxidants in cardiovascular disease and insights from approaches in gene transfer.

Close to 100 local researchers and physicians will attend the symposium, which is named for Dr. Ramsay W. Gunton, a well-known leader in London's health-care community. After graduating with his medical degree from Western in 1945, Gunton went on to complete a Rhodes Scholarship and trained in internal medicine at Montreal General Hospital, Victoria Hospital in London (now London Health Sciences Centre), and the Toronto General Hospital. The head of Western's Department of Medicine until 1975, Gunton was involved in the planning of both University Hospital and Robarts Research Institute. He was also one of the first Canadians to develop cardiac catheterization. He served as President of the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada and among other honours, was appointed to the Order of Canada. He retired in 1993.


For more information, please contact:

Linda Quattrin
Robarts Research Institute
(519) 663-3021

Alison Liversage
Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
(519) 661-2111 ext. 81136



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