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EuroPRevent 09: Changing hearts and minds in the drive to prevent cardiovascular disease

EuroPRevent 2009, the congress of the European Association of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, will this year mark the culmination of a five-year period of heart-healthy political activity in Europe which saw in 2007 the presentation of the European Heart Health Charter to the European Parliament.

"How far has Europe come?" asks congress joint organiser Professor Joep Perk. "Now is the time to evaluate."

EuroPRevent will assess progress in preventive cardiology in the eight features of the Charter: smoking; blood pressure; cholesterol; physical activity; diet; obesity; glucose metabolism; and stress.

"Our main achievement so far is that there is now political agreement that prevention is a major issue" says Professor Perk, "but there is still huge diversity in how individual countries in Europe turn words into action. Some countries - like Slovenia have done exceptionally well in their introduction of programmes, while others have made little progress. EuroPRevent 2009 will bring all countries together and hopefully inspire them with a common purpose and how to achieve it."

EuroPRevent 2009 will take place at the Stockholmsmassan in Stockholm, Sweden, from 6-9 May 2009.

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.

Professor Perk admits that none of the eight preventive measures are easily defined or easily achieved. How low should blood pressure go? How to reshape supersized kids? We need cholesterol, but how much? How can we avoid stress in a stressful world?

EuroPRevent 2009's revisit to the European Heart Health Charter will provide some answers in its main sessions on 7 May, and, with the results of the ESC's latest EUROASPIRE survey still showing huge gaps between target and reality even in secondary prevention, evaluate how far Europe has come in primary prevention.

Other scientific sessions will highlight further contentious and emerging themes (such as dietary salt, cardiac risk in athletes, and the role of genes) and provide new evidence in established themes. For example:

1. A 30-year follow-up of 54,000 middle-aged men and women in Norway shows that two in three of the heavy-smoking men and half the heavy smoking women had died or suffered a cardiovascular event during the 30 years in contrast to one in three non-smoking men and one in four non-smoking women.

2. A study of more than 5000 participants in a UK birth cohort of 1958 shows that, regardless of physical activity, television watching during adulthood is associated with cardiac risk factors (obesity, raised blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels) during early middle age. High TV viewing was defined as watching more than five times a week at the age of 23, and more than two hours a day at the age of 44.

3. A study of 11-year-old schoolchildren in Germany finds that the proportion of those overweight or obese was lower in those randomised to a one-year exercise programme than in controls. There were also improvements in systolic blood pressure and levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

4. An echocardiographic study shows that the heart muscle of black female athletes adapts differently to identical sporting disciplines from white female athletes: black female athletes demonstrate a greater thickness of the left ventricular wall than white athletes.

While such presentations will be among the scientific highlights of EuroPRevent 2009, Professor Perk sees the congress as a forum for primary care physicians, politicians, and nurses as well as cardiologists and 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.

This announcement will be followed by an advance press release in May. In the meantime, we encourage you to mark the EuroPRevent 2009 dates in your diary, and to contact the ESC press office for more information.


Contact: ESC Press Office
European Society of Cardiology

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