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ESC events in Asia tackle management of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

With the rapidly increasing problem of cardiovascular (CVD) disease in Asia Pacific (AP), there is an urgency to raise awareness of risk factors. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) is addressing the need to develop and adopt an integrated approach to CVD management, through important events organised in the region.

CVD has become more prevalent in India and China than in all of the economically-developed countries in the world combined.1 The trend is particularly evident in the younger population; data shows a 15% increase in prescriptions of agents to manage cardiovascular risk factors in young adults.2 One of the greatest concerns is the development of type 2 diabetes, with up to 50% of deaths in diabetes patients related to CVD.3 Estimates predict diabetes will rise in South East Asia by more than 33% by 2025 the highest percentage increase around the globe.4

Furthermore, there is evidence to show that CV risk factors may have greater impact in Asian populations; for the same levels of systolic blood pressure Asian patients have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke compared with Caucasians.5 The burden of CVD is predicted to severely impact healthcare systems the WHO estimates that China is likely to lose US $558 in national income as a result of rising heart disease, stroke and diabetes.4

Following on from successful events organised last year, a second Joint Scientific Forum, organised by the ESC and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), will be held on 27 November at three venues across China Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The theme is the Optimal Management for Diabetes, with talks given for an audience of clinicians who treat diabetes and cardiology patients. Subjects to be covered include long-term efficacy for current treatment, early intervention and combination treatment for maximum benefit, Hyperglycemia and CVD, and Diabetic cardiopathy.

Following last year's inaugural event, a second ESC Asia Cardiovascular Symposium was held in Beijing on 12 September. The one-day programme provided an opportunity for leading physicians from Asian countries to examine CVD risk factors and discuss management of an increasing precedence of the disease - attributed to westernisation of diet and lifestyle. The first ESC Asia Cardiovascular Symposium in Shanghai in September 2008 aimed to raise awareness of the growing burden of CVD in the AP region, and the need for screening and risk assessment tools for early detection and intervention.

The second symposium set out to take the next step by:

  • defining effective pharmacological management of hypertension, diabetes and the risk of thrombosis in the AP region.
  • translating clinical practice guidelines into reality in local practice.
  • underlining the importance of informing primary care physicians of current guidelines and to practise accordingly.
  • considering similarities and differences between East and West in the prevention and treatment of CVD.
  • providing an opportunity to exchange information and experience.

The September symposium was co-chaired by three experts in the fields of cardiovascular medicine: Professor Lars Rydn (Sweden) representing the ESC, Professor Lim Yean Teng (Singapore) and Professor Yong Huo (China). For the attending delegates, who came from all over AP and represented a number of specialties, the programme provided an opportunity to look at a multifactorial approach to CVD risk management. Using patient case studies, speakers demonstrated how lifestyle modification often has to be supplemented by pharmacotherapy. Panel discussions raised important issues such as the need to proactively manage patients with atrial fibrillation, who are at increased risk of stroke. There was agreement among the disciplines that intervention per se should be based on total cardiovascular risk, but that each of the contributing risk factors needs to be managed with appropriate, evidence based agents. However, putting this into practice remains a challenge for physicians across the globe, highlighting the need for greater awareness and education regarding the benefits of timely implementation, and for surveys on actual practice.


Contact: ESC Press Office
European Society of Cardiology

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