February 28, 2018Dr. Paul Whelton, lead author of the new clinical guidelines for blood pressure management, will provide the David and Natica Bahar Memorial Lecture March 8 for the College of Community Health Sciences. As chair of the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Hypertension Guidelines Committee, Whelton led the team that redefined high blood pressure for the first time in more than a decade. The new guidelines lower the threshold for diagnosis – resulting in almost half US adults now considered hypertensive. Whelton says the goal of the new guidelines is to help patients more accurately understand their cardiovascular risk so they can address it sooner. High blood pressure accounts for the second largest number of preventable heart disease and stroke deaths in the US. Whelton, a professor and epidemiologist, is the Show Chwan Health System Endowed Chair in Global Public Health at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. The new blood pressure guidelines were simultaneously published in Hypertension, the American Heart Association journal, and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The endowed lecture will be held in the Willard Auditorium at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, from 7:30 am to 8:30 am. Whelton’s research interests include cardiovascular and renal disease epidemiology, clinical trials, health policy and global health. He has led numerous major National Institutes of Health blood pressure intervention trials, and has chaired many working groups and committees for NIH, the American Heart Association, the Institute of Medicine, the Irish Government and the Show Chwan Health System in Taiwan. He received his bachelor of medicine and medical degrees from the University College Cork – National University of Ireland. The David and Natica Bahar Memorial Lecture was established in 1987 by the late Dr. David Bahar in memory of his wife. The lecture seeks to promote the quality and practice of internal medicine at CCHS by annually supporting a distinguished lecturer in internal medicine. Bahar was well known throughout Tuscaloosa County for his work in the fight against tuberculosis. He was a clinical professor in the College’s Department of Internal Medicine and served as past president of the Alabama TB Hospital Association and the Alabama Thoracic Society.