The International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk Bi-Annual Meeting, Paris, France, December 15, 2007

The Academic Board of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk held another very successful meeting in Paris on December 15, 2007. The theme of the meeting was Abdominal Obesity, Insulin Resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome: Contribution of Physical Activity/Exercise. The Paris meeting was quite special as it recognized the landmark contributions of two pioneers in the field of abdominal obesity/body fat distribution, the late Professors Jean Vague and Per Björntorp, who from now on will be honoured every year through the “Jean Vague/Per Björntorp Memorial Award Lecture.” This annual lecture will call attention to the contributions of exceptional scientists/clinicians who have been leaders in the fields of abdominal obesity, body fat distribution, insulin resistance, and related cardiometabolic risk. This year, the first recipient of this Memorial Award Lecture was a colleague of Professor Per Björntorp, Professor Ulf Smith from the University of Göteborg, Sweden, who gave a superb plenary lecture entitled The Syndrome of Insulin Resistance: History Repeats Itself.

After Prof. Smith’s lecture, the morning session of the symposium was devoted to enhancing our understanding of the pathophysiology of insulin resistance and its link to obesity and dysfunctional adipose tissue. Dr. Irène Juhan-Vague (Jean Vague’s daughter) from the University of Marseille gave an overview of the relationship between abdominal obesity and hemostatic abnormalities. Prof. Peter Arner from the Karolinska Institute also reviewed his most recent work on human adipose tissue physiology, which highlighted the importance of dysfunctional adipose tissue as a key factor underpinning the link between abdominal obesity and metabolic abnormalities. Lastly, the University of Stanford’s Gerald Reaven, the father of the insulin resistance syndrome (syndrome X) concept, reviewed some key elements of his seminal work. In the afternoon, the Chair held a very successful symposium that focused specifically on Physical Activity and Exercise: From Epidemiology to Metabolic Aspects.

As these bi-annual Chair meetings are for Academic Board members and invited lecturers only, their ultimate goal is the publication of educational material. Accordingly, we intend to publish the proceedings of the morning symposium in an issue of the Cardiometabolic Risk eJournal (CMReJournal), a new e-publication to be launched by the Chair in January 2008. The afternoon symposium on physical activity/exercise will also be published in a supplement of a peer-reviewed journal to be announced early next year. Many board members who attended the Paris meeting also took part in interviews designed to get their views on recent scientific presentations made at the EASD and AHA meetings this fall.

The most recent bi-annual Chair meeting in Paris was a definite success and will generate several papers and videos to be made available on the Chair’s website early next year. Stay tuned!