He is the first and only non-American member who becomes part of this prestigious group
With his team in the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory, they have developed pioneering research in the field of chronobiology of hypertension
Professor of Signal Theory and Communications in the University of Vigo and author of more than 275 research papers, Ramón C. Hermida has given 253 invited lectures and about 2200 papers at national and international conferences; this year he has become fellow member of the American Society of Hypertension, a distinction reserved only for the most prominent members as a recognition from the international community to professional achievements and research work.
This appointment, the first and only given to a non-American ASH member, comes after more than 30 years in applied research in the area of telecommunications, specifically in the field of biomedical engineering and chronobiology, areas of expertise of Hermida. Currently, he develops its research activity in the Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory (LBC), within the Research Center atlanTTic. As Hermida says, “it is an honour for me and for the group as it is a recognition to our experience and research lines we’re working in”.
Educated in Spain and United States, professor Hermida is at this moment president of the International Society for Chronobiology and of ‘Sociedad Española de Cronobiología Aplicada, Cronoterapia y Riesgo Vascular’. From Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory, he has directed/leaded more than 70 research projects and clinical trials in ambulatory monitoring of blood pressure and hypertension chronotherapy; in the field of gynecology and obstetrics, in early identification and prevention of preeclampsia; or in oncology, through ovarian and bladder cancer chronotherapy studies, the chronoepidemiology or prevention of breast cancer.
Results derived from Hygia Project have revolutionized vascular medicine globally, as it has been the first study in the world that has been able to confirm that cardiovascular risk of a patient can only be properly determined by measuring blood pressure during sleep. As Hermida explains “Hygia is the first study to confirm that the risk of a cardiovascular event is primarily associated with the progressive rise of blood pressure during rest and not during the hours of activity, as it has been diagnosed in recent decades; that’s why it is vital the prognostic value of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM)”.
Hygia was born within the University of Vigo as a research project parallel to the welfare work, paying special attention to continuing medical education.
After more than 9 years of study, Hygia has become a professional network fully integrated in Galician health system, in which 292 researchers are involved and more than 20,000 patients have been monitored to extend the use of ABPM in primary care for hypertension diagnosis.
The select FASH club
Becoming FASH (Fellow of American Society of Hypertension) is not a simple process. Every year, the American Society of Hypertension (ASH) proposes a list with the names of experts and researchers whose work is the most relevant worldwide and most deserving of becoming fellow, based on the recommendations other fellow members must provide. This is a recognition of the work done, both clinical and research contribution in the field of hypertension and cardiovascular risk; as well as in the area of teaching and knowledge transfer.
In this case, the ASH has highlighted two merits achieved by Prof. Hermida and his team from Bioengineering and Chronobiology Laboratory. On the one hand, ASH positions them like the fathers of chronobiology of hypertension worldwide because, in Hermida’s own words, “we have opened up an unknown area so far and, at present, the fact that hypertensive medication is more favourable at night is already in the most important clinical practice guidelines”. Thus, the conclusions of Hygia project are in the clinical practice guideline of the American Diabetes Association, the European Society of Cardiology or the Japanese Society of Hypertension, to name but a few.
Recently, the US Preventive Services Task Force, a committee of experts for public health issues of the US government, has resolved for the first time in history that the diagnosis of hypertension in adults over the age of 18 must be always and necessarily done with ambulatory monitoring, endorsing the conclusions of Hygia Project. Those recommendations are based mainly on the findings of 5 research studies in the area of cardiovascular risk published in the last 25 years and considered by the panel of experts as the most relevant and reliable, one of them is a previous study of Prof. Hermida’s group.