Sophia Antipolis. 13 April 2012. European Society of Cardiology (ESC) leaders will be present at the World Congress of Cardiology (WCC) in Dubai to help raise awareness of the global burden of cardiovascular disease. CVD remains the main cause of death in the world (1) even though most cardiac events could be prevented. As a supporter of the NCD Alliance (2) , the ESC is pushing for a number of targets such as 80% coverage of multidrug therapy for people at risk of heart attack or stroke; targets on all major risk factors including exercise, smoking, salt, blood pressure, alcohol, and obesity; and a target to reduce preventable deaths from non-communicable diseases by 25% by 2025. The World Congress of Cardiology is organised by the World Heart Federation (WHF) (3).
World Health Organization (WHO) targets for non-communicable diseases -including cardiovascular disease- are set to be a hot topic for debate. They are part of the concrete implementation of the Political Declaration adopted by the United Nations on the occasion of the High Level Meeting on NCDs held last September The ESC has been working with European Union policy makers and national policy makers, with the help of national cardiac societies, to raise awareness of the targets and push governments for action.
Leaders from the ESC, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and World Heart Federation (WHF) will meet to discuss the targets and other pressing global issues in cardiovascular disease.
Professor Panos Vardas (Greece), President Elect of the ESC, says the meeting “will be a step further in the global fight against cardiovascular disease”. He adds: “I am going to the WCC in Dubai because this important scientific meeting, with participants coming from all over the world, will provide the ESC with a fresh opportunity to contact delegates from Asian, Latin American and African countries where we are hoping to expand our activities. As CVD increases world-wide, so does demand for the ESC’s scientific knowledge.”
A large leadership delegation from the ESC will attend the Congress, including Professor Michel Komajda (France), ESC President and Chairman of the ESC Global Scientific Activities Committee.
ESC members are participating as topic group leaders and experts. Basic Science for example will see contributions from European Heart Journal editor Professor Thomas Lüscher (Switzerland) as a topic group leader and ESC Past President Roberto Ferrari (Italy) as a topic group expert.
Professor Ferrari, who is also a board member of the WHF, says: “The WCC offers a very broad view of cardiology not only in developed countries, but also in the less developed countries. Sometimes this information is important and relevant for our profession.” He adds: “Nowadays in Italy for instance we have much more immigration than in the past and it is not rare to be confronted with conditions like Chagas disease. In this congress we learn about these types of diseases.”
Professor Jeroen Bax (Netherlands) is a co-chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for this year’s Congress, which will feature joint ESC sessions. One session will be devoted to innovations for targeting the global challenge of cardiovascular disease, such as bromocriptine for peripartal cardiomyopathy and renal denervation for resistant hypertension. Another session will focus on implementing the ESC and European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery guidelines on myocardial revascularisation.
The ESC last organised the WCC in 2006, when it was held in Barcelona as a joint event with the ESC Congress. It set a record for WCC attendance, attracting more than 32,500 participants from over 100 countries. The next major international event in cardiology is the ESC Congress 2012 which takes place from 25 to 29 August in Munich, Germany.