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The ESC & German National Cardiac Society to launch HeartScore ® Deutschland

Sophia Antipolis, France 10 April 2006:

HeartScore® Deutschland, an interactive software program designed to improve the assessment and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the German population will be launched at the annual German Cardiac Society meeting, April 20-22 in Mannheim. The new prevention tool will help doctors in the country more accurately determine their patients’ absolute health 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.

“HeartScore® Deutschland was developed after careful analysis of mortality data and specific health risks within the Germany population and now, for the first time in this country, we can say to a patient quite accurately ‘your risk of dying from a CVD in the next 10 years is this’,” said Professor Ulrich Keil, ESC’s national coordinator for CVD prevention for Germany. “This new tool also provides us with the possibility to calculate absolute risks for CVD not only for the whole of Germany, but also for subregions, such as Bavaria, Saxony or North-Rhine-Westphalia. As we know of a north-south gradient in CVD mortality in Germany, such data for different regions will be worthwhile to better plan for preventive actions.”

HeartScore® was created in 2004 to help physicians easily define and clearly explain a patient’s absolute risk of becoming ill or dying from a CVD within the next 10 years. The tool 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® Deutschland was developed because epidemiologists and members of the national cardiac society believed that Germany was neither a high-risk or low-risk country, but fell somewhere in the middle, something that was confirmed during the revision process.

“Risk factors but more so absolute risks of CVD vary from country to country and we felt that risk in Germany was being overestimated,” said Professor Keil. “Working closely with the ESC, with those who developed HeartScore®, and with German cardiologists we spent an intensive year calibrating HeartScore® for the German audience and it was worth the effort. Risk was indeed being overestimated – Germany is not terrible when it comes to CVD nor is it great – it falls in the middle. HeartScore® Deutschland is an important tool that when used properly has a profound effect on patients’ understanding of their risk of disease and the ways he or she can minimize these risks.”

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.

Germany is the second country to adapt HeartScore® to more accurately reflect the risk of its population. HeartScore® Sweden was released at the ESC Congress 2005.

Demonstrations of HeartScore® Deutschland will be conducted at the ESC booth at the German Cardiac Society meeting, April 20-22 in Mannheim.

Notes to editor

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.