Preventing heart disease requires a universal approach

March 19, 2013

Preventive cardiology is now on the political as well as clinical agenda. In 2011 a UN heads-of-state meeting agreed to reduce mortality from chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 25% by 2025.

The facts (and the social pressure) before the politicians were unequivocal:

  • Cardiovascular diseases account for most NCD deaths in the world, or 17 million people annually - followed by cancers (7.6 million), (4.2 million), and diabetes (1.3 million).
  • These four groups of diseases account for around 80% of all NCD deaths.
  • They share four risk factors: , physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets.
While these are often associated with older age groups, evidence shows that more than 9 million of all deaths attributed to NCDs occur before the age of 60. Children, adults and the elderly are all vulnerable to the risk factors, whether from unhealthy diets, , exposure to or the effects of the harmful use of alcohol.

This year's EuroPRevent congress, already the world's leading forum for the presentation of new research in preventive cardiology, has adopted as its theme the Universal Approach to Preventive Cardiology and includes in the scientific programme sessions on how to achieve the UN's target of a 25% by 2025. Professor Volker Adams, Chairperson of the Congress Programme Committee highlights that "as is now increasingly recognised and as this congress will reflect, the prevention of CVD cannot be achieved by alone. A team approach is needed including exercise physiologists, nutritionists, psychologists and governments. Prevention networks will be an important feature at EuroPRevent."

Among the congress's sessions are two conventions of the Global Forum on CVD Prevention in Clinical Practice, in which national and international associations outline their strategies to achieve NCD mortality targets. "Key messages still relate to banning tobacco use, promoting healthy diets, increasing physical exercise and moderating alcohol consumption," says Professor Stephan Gielen, President of the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR), the congress organisers. "CVD is preventable," he adds, "but lifestyles must change and this will only come about with a concerted effort."

Also on the congress's political agenda is a presentation on the impact of the Lazy Town TV series in the USA. The series encourages children in a fun and creative way to adopt a healthy diet and daily physical activity - and is featured here as an example of how to convey preventive messages to a young audience.

More than 550 abstracts of new scientific research in CVD prevention have been accepted for this congress, and many will provide much public health interest. The leading nations reporting new studies are Italy (the congress's host country), Russia, Spain, Germany and UK.

EuroPRevent 2013 will take place at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Rome, Italy, from 18-20 April 2013.

The event promises to be the leading event of the year in preventive cardiology and we encourage you to mark the event in your news diaries. The scientific programme contains many new reports on a subject which is traditionally of great public interest.

Building on Italy's emphasis on sports medicine, the congress will open with a Master Class on Diagnostic imaging in Sports Cardiology , highlighting its importance in prevention and rehabilitation. A screening protocol developed by the EACPR has the power to identify (or raise suspicion for) most of the cardiac disease at risk.

Other scientific sessions will highlight further emerging themes and provide new evidence in established themes, three of which will be featured in press releases issued during the congress:

  • On the impact of heavy work on cardiovascular risk
  • On pollution and air particle composition
  • On the relative risks of smoking cessation and weight gain
While such presentations will be among the scientific highlights of EuroPRevent 2013 for the press, Professor Gielen sees the congress as a forum for primary care physicians, politicians, and nurses – as well as cardiologists and young researchers. Three out of five of the world's most costly diseases are cardiovascular in nature, and their prevention is now recognised as an urgent public health need.

Explore further: Mortality from CVD in Brazil has increased 3.5 times more than in other developing countries

More information: Further details of EuroPRevent 2013 can be found at www.escardio.org/congresses/eu … 3/Pages/welcome.aspx

Related Stories

Mortality from CVD in Brazil has increased 3.5 times more than in other developing countries

September 14, 2012
Despite Brazil's successful prevention campaigns which have contributed to a reduction in risk factors such as smoking, cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the first cause of death in the country, at 32%. Tobacco consumption ...

Global CVD leaders call the world to action—25 by 2025—from the World Congress of Cardiology

April 23, 2012
The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce called on the 11,000 World Congress of Cardiology delegates in Dubai, and the cardiovascular disease (CVD) community at large, to support the adoption of a global goal to reduce ...

Prevention is better than cure for killer cardiovascular disease

July 6, 2012
European experts in cardiovascular medicine will today gather at a two day symposium to address the national agenda on cardiovascular disease prevention, held at Imperial College London and sponsored by leading independent ...

Cardiovascular disease community calls for tougher targets to curb global risk

September 18, 2012
Agreement by governments, by the end of 2012, on a set of ambitious global targets to curb the growing scourge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which includes cardiovascular disease (CVD; heart disease and stroke), is ...

Increasing cardiovascular disease in China: Urgent need for prevention

October 12, 2011
At over 40%, the mortality rate due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in China is amongst the highest in the world¹ and has been rightly described as an epidemic.

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.