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New Guidelines for VHD

A number of diseases or disorders of the valves in the heart come under the title of VHD, and they include damage caused by diseases such as rheumatic fever, or degenerative// conditions often caused by old age.

Recently published guidelines for valvular heart disease (VHD) highlight the need for improvement in the management of VHD.

Professor Alec Vahanian, chair of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) task force responsible for the VHD guidelines and head of the cardiology department of the Bichat Hospital in Paris, France, said: "Data from the recent Euro Heart Survey on VHD show that there is a real gap between the existing guidelines and their effective application. It is for this reason that we have produced these guidelines, which are the first European guidelines on this topic. It is a unique feature of these guidelines that we have been able to integrate the current practice in Europe and emphasise particular issues that were not adequately performed in current practice."

The guidelines on also published recently in the EHJ [2], underline the fact that diabetes and cardiovascular heart diseases often go hand in hand, and that physicians should check for both conditions when they see a patient who appears to have only one of them.

Professor Eberhard Standl, co-chair of the task force for the diabetes and CVD guidelines, chair of the Diabetes Research Institute in Munich and president-elect of the International Diabetes Federation of Europe, said: "We are dealing with two sides of the same coin: diabetes on one side and cardiovascular diseases on the other. The great merit of these guidelines is that they recognise this. Cardiologists and diabetologists from all over Europe were involved in writing these guidelines and we hope that they will improve the management and care of the millions of patients who have both cardiovascular and metabolic diseases in common."

Experts from different European c
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