Monday, February 11, 2013

Winter-meeting in Oslo

The Norwegian Hypertension Society held its bi-annual scientific meeting in Oslo last week. It was a long time in planning. We set the place and date about two years ago. Sent the first announcement in the spring of 2012 and the call for abstracts in September. Then, at the very deadline, the abstracts and registrations start to trickle in. As with all meetings, we pushed the submission-deadline back a week just to allow people without basic planning skills with pressed schedules to join the meeting and present their data. Then, in as little time as possible, all the abstracts have to be formatted into a program, and session-chairs has to be found and matched so that they have an interest but aren't speaking themselves.

Anyway, we got some 17 free communications, varying from experimental physiology to international research politics, but with a heavy focus on epidemiology and clinical research. There were a couple of talks on the recently very hot topic of renal sympathetic denervation for treatment-resistant hypertension (more on that in another post), some interesting sub-group analyses from the LIFE and SCAST studies, and follow-ups on the now 40-year-old Oslo-Ischemia-Study. More of the program at the society home-page.
In addition, we had two invited lectures on statistics in clinical research. The first on how to develop and validate prognostic models by Ingar Holme, and the second on over-adjustment bias in multiple regression models held by Knut Liestøl. It was a useful repetition of the uses and pitfalls of these two very similar kinds of models that require very different study-designs and give very different information in the end. A common problem is that one tries to get etiological information from prognostic research, i.e. treating a risk-factor as a cause for the chosen end-point even though the observational design makes that impossible. The converse is equally common, i.e. trying to infer prognostic information from etiological studies, such as clinical trials, where the highly selected population makes general conclusions very suspect.

All told, it was a very successful meeting, well worth the time both for planning it, and attending.

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