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Bringing lifelong prevention to the heart of cardiology

EuroPrevent Congress News - Lisbon

Risk Factors, Prevention, Rehabilitation, Sports Cardiology

dendale-paul-2019.jpgProfessor Paul Dendale, EAPC President 2018–2020, explains his personal aim for preventive cardiology: “My goal is to make prevention more of a central focus for most cardiologists.”“Many cardiologists like to work in the acute setting, for example, performing interventions, ablations for atrial fibrillation or working in intensive cardiac care, but it is also very important for our patients and for the global population that we focus on prevention of cardiovascular (CV) disease. Over the years, we have learnt a lot about how to prevent CV disease by changing lifestyle and by the good use of medication and I think that we should bring these findings about prevention to the heart of what we do as cardiologists. Procedures are done acutely, sometimes over a matter of minutes, but prevention needs to be done all the time, which sometimes gets forgotten.”

Prof. Dendale continues, “At EuroPrevent 2019, we are trying to encourage the idea of lifelong prevention. Preventive cardiology doesn’t start with the first heart attack, it starts before conception. It is important that potential parents know that if they smoke, for example, their offspring will have an increased CV risk compared with smoking cessation before conception. During pregnancy, it is well known that factors such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension influence the CV risk of the baby. Continuing to childhood, we can teach about healthy eating and exercise habits. Steps that we can make in adulthood include occupational health and helping companies to promote a healthy lifestyle in their personnel. For patients who have experienced CV events, we can advise lifestyle modifications and optimisation of drug therapy.”

This is what I like about prevention—it’s a long-term pathway from start to finish and you accompany patients over their lifetime.”

“The lifelong nature of preventive cardiology is what we are all about at EAPC and this will be stressed and addressed at EuroPrevent 2019. We have a symposium entitled ‘It starts in the womb: Cardiovascular prevention from pregnancy to adolescency’ on Friday (14:00 – 15:30; Coimbra). This session will cover how conditions before birth can affect lifelong risk and how we can encourage healthy eating and prevent obesity in children. At the other end of the patient journey, where the aims are very different, we need to consider CV risk in the elderly and this will be addressed in a symposium entitled ‘Management of the elderly frail patient in cardiac rehabilitation’ on Thursday (08:30 – 10:00; Porto).

Prof. Dendale concludes, “EuroPrevent 2019 aims to bring people together from all over the world to share their research and ideas about prevention across the spectrum from young to old. We want to encourage more collaborative research at the European level and if anyone is interested in collaborating or getting involved in the activities of EAPC then they are encouraged to step forward so we can discuss opportunities and how they can play a greater part in primary and secondary prevention.”