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HeartScore® Greece launched

Sophia Antipolis, France 11 May 2006:

The Hellenic Cardiological Society and the European Society of Cardiology have created HeartScore® Greece, an interactive software program designed to improve the assessment and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the Greek population.

The new prevention tool will help doctors in the country more accurately determine their patients’ absolute risk of becoming sick or dying from a CVD in the next 10 years; will promote better heart health management and encourage adherence to the European Guidelines on CVD Prevention.

The new product will be introduced at a press conference at EuroPrevent 2006 in Athens, Greece.

HeartScore®, created in 2004, originally divided Europe into high or low-risk countries, providing measurement for several risk factors, and highlighting the relative impact of modifiable risk factors, such as smoking.

HeartScore® Greece was created because epidemiologists and members of the national cardiac society believed that Greece might differ from other low risk countries and that a tool that included statistics on the Greek population would more accurately reflect the risk of CVD within the country.

“HeartScore® Greece was developed after careful analysis of mortality data and prevalence of risk factors within the Greek population derived from ATTICA study,” said Prof. Christos Pitsavos, who did the relevant epidemiological studies. “The development of local risk charts is now considered essential for better understanding and preventing the burden of cardiovascular disease at population level.”

Dr. Demosthenes Panagiotakos, the biostatistician-epidemiologist who developed the programme in collaboration with the ESC, explained: “Although the relative effect of risk factors are considered similar across populations, even when the incidence of CVD varies, the prediction of future cardiovascular events may be over or underestimated when risk models from one population are applied to another. Thus the mathematical models used to predict future events should be based on local prevalence and mortality data.”

It is hoped that the new prevention tool will help improve adherence to the European Guidelines on CVD Prevention and that individuals at risk can be identified more accurately.

Prof. John Lekakis and Dr. Athanase Pipilis, (National Coordinators for Heartscore®) said that the National Society (that funded the epidemiological study ATTICA in part) will now try to implement this useful tool for everyday practice. “It is thought that doctors in Greece will happily adopt this version since it is derived from local data. The main advantage of the programme is that it will help doctors and patients to set priorities that will help reduce risk factors” Dr Pipilis believes.

HeartScore® is based on the Systematic Coronary Risk Evaluation (SCORE) and Denmark's PRECARD risk assessment tool and uses the latest European Guidelines on CVD Prevention. It is a fully functional computer program that provides physicians with a fully interactive piece of software that they can run from their PC and with which they can save patient records for future monitoring and comparison. It is a significant improvement over static charts and graphs and helps doctors to explain to their patients how a change in lifestyle factors, such as blood pressure or cholesterol levels, affects their risk of heart attack or stroke.

Greece is one of the first countries to adapt Heartscore®. Heartscore® Sweden and Germany have also adapted the prevention tool.

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC)

The ESC represents more than 45,000 cardiology professionals across Europe and the Mediterranean. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of the European population by reducing the impact of cardiovascular disease.

The ESC achieves this through a variety of scientific and educational activities including the coordination of: clinical practice guidelines, education courses and initiatives, pan-European surveys on specific disease areas and the ESC Annual Congress, the largest medical meeting in Europe. Furthermore, the ESC promotes cardiovascular disease prevention messages to the general public, most notably during its annual 'For Your Heart's Sake' event, a fun yet educational event offering risk assessment and prevention advice, held in parallel to the Congress each year.

The ESC comprises 2 Councils, 4 Associations, 23 Working Groups and 49 National Cardiac Societies. Both the ESC Congress and 'For Your Heart's Sake' take place in late August/early September each year in a European 'Heart-Healthy City'. The ESC Congress 2006, to be held from 2-6 September in Barcelona, Spain, will be a joint meeting with the World Heart Federation's XVth World Congress of Cardiology.

The ESC administrative headquarters are based at the European Heart House, Sophia Antipolis, France.