WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A century ago, a small group of physicians banded together to unlock the secrets of the body's hormones – the chemical signals that govern breathing, metabolism, growth, reproduction and other critical biological functions. They were endocrinologists, and from this impassioned gathering, the Endocrine Society was born.
Over the next 100 years, endocrinologists would discover lifesaving treatments and provide quality care for hundreds of millions of people with diabetes, osteoporosis, thyroid conditions, infertility, sleep disorders, hormone-related cancers and many other conditions. Today, the Society has more than 18,000 members in 122 countries and is the world's oldest and largest organization devoted to hormone research and the clinical practice of endocrinology.
During its centennial year, the Endocrine Society will celebrate endocrinology's contributions to science and public health – while keeping an eye on today's promising research which will lead to the discoveries of tomorrow. Nobel Prize winners in the field (including four Society Past-Presidents) and historic breakthroughs such as the 1921 discovery of insulin, which transformed diabetes from a death sentence to a manageable chronic condition, are highlighted on the Society's new interactive "Century of Endocrinology Timeline". Each month, this new site will offer a wealth of content on some of the most pressing endocrine-related health conditions of our time, starting with thyroid health and thyroid cancer in January.
"The global contributions in the field over the last 100 years form the backbone of our Society," said Endocrine Society President Lisa H. Fish, MD. "Today, our members are at the forefront of numerous important efforts, including research into the health effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment and the development of treatment guidelines for transgender individuals. We are proud to be celebrating 100 years of breakthroughs and are looking forward to what the next century brings."
Because hormones affect nearly every cell of the human body, the work of endocrinologists is essential to manage conditions that affect millions, including:
- About 415 million adults worldwide who have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation;
- More than 36 percent of American adults who are obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- An estimated 48.5 million couples worldwide who were infertile as of 2010, according to the World Health Organization; and
- More than 10 million American adults who have osteoporosis, according to the Society's Endocrine Facts and Figures report.
As more people are diagnosed with hormone conditions, it is crucial to train more specialists who can treat them. There is a shortage of endocrinologists to treat adults and children who have hormone disorders, and the number of new entrants to the workforce must grow at a rate of 14 percent a year to close the gap within five years, according to the Society's 2014 workforce analysis.
"The need for more trained endocrinologists will be among the issues we will highlight in April when we celebrate the inaugural Endocrinology Month honoring the field and its contributions to public health through basic and applied research, science, clinical treatments and disease management," said Endocrine Society CEO Barbara Byrd Keenan, FASAE, CAE. "Our public education arm, the Hormone Health Network, will use its interactive Journey Through the Endocrine System and other platforms to educate consumers about endocrinology and its impact on health. We also plan to hold a Congressional briefing on the importance of the field."
Endocrinology Month will kick off with ENDO 2016, the Society's 98th Annual Meeting and Expo, in Boston. ENDO is the world's premier event for getting the latest updates in endocrine science and medicine, drawing thousands of endocrinologists from around the globe. ENDO 2016 will feature special programming celebrating the field's history and notable achievements.
For more information on the Society's centennial, visit http://escentennial.org. To join the discussion on social media, use the hashtag #ENDO100.
Endocrinologists are at the core of solving the most pressing health problems of our time, from diabetes and obesity to infertility, bone health, and hormone-related cancers. The Endocrine Society is the world's oldest and largest organization of scientists devoted to hormone research and physicians who care for people with hormone-related conditions.
The Society, which is celebrating its centennial in 2016, has more than 18,000 members, including scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in 122 countries. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at @TheEndoSociety and @EndoMedia.
Contact: Aaron Lohr
Director, Communications and Media Relations
Contact: Jenni Glenn Gingery
Associate Director, Communications and Media Relations
SOURCE The Endocrine Society