Brief history of the ESH

The main purpose of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) is to provide a stable and organised European platform for scientific exchange in hypertension. Professor Alberto Zanchetti and his colleagues initiated a series of European Hypertension Meetings in Milan in the years when the ISH did not hold any scientific meetings. Initially, these were organised without the help and support of a scientific society, except for the 1987 meeting which was organised under the endorsement and cooperation of ISH. The so-called “Milan Meetings” proved to be enormously successful, blending high-quality science and excellent organisation with a friendly academic atmosphere of the Milan University. The Milan Meetings were very well-attended, perhaps because of the clear emphasis towards clinical hypertension research. The need for a European Society of Hypertension (ESH) was demonstrated by the success of the Milan Meetings, among other factors. The ESH was created in 1989. Thus, the 4th European Hypertension Meeting in Milan was the first to be organised under the auspices of the ESH.

Much effort was given to make the ESH a true sister society of the ISH, and thus its by-laws and objectives were modeled after those of the ISH. Close cooperation between the two societies has existed since the ESH was first formed. For example, all European members of the ISH were automatically granted membership in the ESH, if desired. The Journal of Hypertension, the official journal of the ISH, was adopted by the ESH as its official journal.

The links with the ISH were of course very close also on a personal level. Professor Willem Birkenhäger, the first president of the ESH, had served as vice-president of the ISH just a few years previously. Professor John Reid, the second president of the ESH, was a member of the scientific council of the ISH. Professors Alberto ZanchettiLennart HanssonPeter van Zwieten and Giuseppe Mancia all served as presidents of the ESH, and had previously served as presidents of the ISH.

A positive, high level of interest in the ESH continues to be exhibited. Members and European Hypertension Specialists come from all countries in Europe including all former Eastern European Countries, and from North Africa and the Middle East. The annual scientific meetings continue to grow, with increasing numbers of attendees and abstract submissions. Thus, beginning in the year 2000, the ESH decided to hold annual meetings, rather than bi-annual. The annual meeting is held in Milan every second year (in odd-numbered years) and in other European cities on alternate (even-numbered) years. However, if an ISH meeting is to be held in Europe, it is likely that the ISH and the ESH meetings will be arranged jointly for that year. This will be the case in 2020, when the two meetings will be organised together in Glasgow.

Ambrosioni, S.E. Kjeldsen, L.H. Lindholm, L. Hanson, R. Cifkova, S. LaurentA. Zanchetti, G. Mancia for the ESH Council