A global view on the prevention of cardiovascular disease

April 15, 2014

The United Nations and the World Health Organization pledged in 2011 to reduce premature mortality from non-communicable diseases - most notably cardiovascular diseases - by 25% by the year 2025. It's an ambitious target, reached with much controversy by UN members, and progress so far will be charted at this year's major congress on cardiovascular prevention, EuroPRevent 2014.

EuroPRevent 2014 will take place at the RAI Congress Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, from 8-10 May 2014.

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.

The theme of this year's congress is "global cardiovascular health", and chairman of the Congress Programme Committee, Professor Johan de Sutter from AZ Maria Middelares Hospital in Ghent, Belgium, insists that the known modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular and other non-communicable disease are no longer confined to the affluent countries of the West.

"There are more cardiovascular deaths in India and China than in all developed countries together," says De Sutter. "The lessons learned in the West need to be blended with those factors now responsible for the steady rise of metabolic and cardiovascular disease around the globe. The dynamics of these disease patterns demand that we join forces to enter a new era of fight against the burden of cardiovascular disease on an unprecedented scale."

One session of EuroPRevent 2014 will review targets for the prevention of non-communicable diseases and the WHO's action plan for 2013-2020. Hosted by the Global Forum on CVD Prevention in clinical practice (a common platform for multiple organisations facilitated by the EACPR, a registered branch of the ESC), a session on 9 May (11.00-12.30) will offer an update report from Shanthi Mendis of the WHO, assess those prevention strategies which work for the rich and the poor, and focus on obesity as an emerging global challenge, particularly in children.

EACPR will be taking part in an initiative of the city of Amsterdam during the congress to highlight the risks of childhood obesity in local schools. "Jump In" will promote healthy diets and exercise in over 80 primary schools, where fruit will be served.

One new study to be reported from the congress in an ESC press release will describe the shape of things to come, with a modeled forecast of obesity trends (and incidence rates in heart disease) up to the year 2030.

Data reported to the UN General Assembly in 2011 indicated that only 3% of all current healthcare spending is directed at prevention. The rest is consumed by treatment. While all are "treatable", rarely are they curable - although the majority of them are indisputably preventable.

EuroPRevent will also emphasise the "heart-lung interaction in preventive cardiology" in a featured scientific session. This important session, co-organised by the Dutch Heart Foundation and Belgian Working Group on Preventive Cardiology, will focus on the disastrous effects of smoking on the prevalence of all chronic diseases (9 May, 14.00-15.30). A comprehensive tobacco control strategy is being promoted by the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. One of the speakers during this session, Dr Goran Boëthius, Chairman of the European Heart Network (EHN) Tobacco Expert Group, will describe smoking as "one of the most important modifiable risk factors in the development of ", but one whose control must be applied at the population (ie, political) as well as individual level. Congress participants will have the opportunity to sign a statement initiated by the EHN for plain packaging on cigarettes.

Other scientific sessions will highlight emerging themes in sports medicine, hypertension (with reports on renal denervation) and exercise, and provide new evidence in established themes. There will be consideration here of new CVD prevention guidelines in the USA, which appear to prioritise lowering cholesterol but without the precise targets apparent in European guidelines. "This could have a huge impact on how we apply prevention guidelines," says De Sutter.

He also singles out the featured lecture given by Dr Greg Thomas on the Horus study, which analysed by CT scanning 137 mummified bodies of ancient history. Contrary to what one might expect in people who died so young, atherosclerosis was apparent in these subjects. The implication, says Thomas, is that the basic diets of ancient history were not necessarily protective against CVD - and that we as humans are all susceptible.

Explore further: Preventing heart disease requires a universal approach

Related Stories

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.

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 ...

US, European cholesterol guidelines differ in statin use recommendations

March 29, 2014
Application of U.S. and European cholesterol guidelines to a European population found that proportions of individuals eligible for statins differed substantially, with one U.S. guideline recommending statins for nearly all ...

Knowing true age of your heart key to curbing lifetime heart disease risk

March 25, 2014
Understanding the true age of your heart is key to curbing the lifetime risk of developing—and dying from—heart disease, say new consensus recommendations on how best to stave off the worldwide epidemic of cardiovascular ...

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.

CVD expert calls for mandatory screening of 18 year-old Mexicans

November 23, 2013
A cardiovascular disease (CVD) expert is calling for mandatory screening of 18 year-old Mexicans to halt the CVD epidemic plaguing the nation. Cardiovascular risk factors will be a key theme at the Mexican Congress of Cardiology, ...

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.