Sophia Antipolis, 6 September 2016: More than 31,700 healthcare professionals from a record 153 countries gathered in Barcelona for ESC Congress 2017 last month to share some of the most anticipated cardiovascular science of the year.
“CVD is the leading cause of all deaths (31%) around the world. It claims the lives of more than 17.5 million people a year,” said ESC President, Prof. Jeroen Bax. “ESC Congress is the world’s largest and most influential cardiovascular event contributing to global awareness. Let’s not forget that 80 % of CVD is preventable. Prevention must be emphasized. That is why the ESC included a public health event in downtown Barcelona, just a week after the terrible attacks in the city. These acts, meant to terrorise and disrupt, only succeed if we allow them to succeed. ESC Congress was determined to proceed as planned and it was a complete success.”
This year’s congress featured 20 Late Breaking Clinical Trials, 12 Late Breaking Registry Results and 12 Clinical Trial Updates, four new ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines and 4 515 abstracts. “This has been one of the most exciting and comprehensive scientific programmes yet,” said Prof. Stephan Achenbach, Chair of the Congress Programme Committee. “Major studies were presented reflecting the excellent scientific content submitted to our congress. Some of them will effectively change practise and move cardiology to new directions.”
EESC Congress is the summit of cardiovascular medicine. It is seen by healthcare professionals the world over as the place to be for the latest developments in cardiology and its unique networking opportunities with renowned experts from every subspecialty in the field.
“We had many interesting studies presented this year but if I had to highlight one study, I would quote the COMPASS trial” said Prof. Steen Dalby Kristensen, Chair of the ESC Media Committee. “This is a very important randomized study showing that very low dose of rivaroxaban added to low dose of aspirin improves outcome in patients with stable coronary and/or peripheral artery disease.”
Some other notable trials presented at ESC Congress 2017 that will change practice and knowledge:
- CANTOS: The IL-1β inhibitor canakinumab lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease and lung cancer risk by reducing inflammation
- CASTLE AF: Catheter ablation improves outcomes for patients with left ventricular dysfunction and atrial fibrillation
- DETO2X-AMI: Oxygen therapy does not improve survival in patients with heart attack symptoms
- PURE: High carbohydrate intake is linked to worse total mortality and non-cardiovascular (CV) mortality outcomes, while high fat intake is associated with lower risk. The large dietary study showed that even relatively moderate intake of fruit, vegetables and legumes such as beans and lentils may lower a person’s risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death.
“ESC Congress is a great source of information for the medical, financial and news media,” added Prof. Kristensen. “This year’s scientific programme was reflected in the dense press programme. Over 500 journalists registered for ESC Congress 2017 and many more followed the congress from afar. We have had coverage from all over the world. Hot Line LBCTs like CANTOS and COMPASS for this edition, are always the main focus of media attention. Lifestyle and prevention topics were also very well covered.”
Some of the most popular news stories coming out of ESC Congress (apart from Hot Lines) this year were:
- Dietary fats - Limiting total fat consumption is unlikely to improve health in populations - Press release
- Nutrition Reassessing the benefits of plant-based eating - Press release
- Coffee consumption Higher coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of death - Press release
- Breast cancer - Women with high cholesterol have significantly lower rates of breast cancer and improved mortality - Press release
- Chocolate and Olive Oil - Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile - Press release
In addition to ESC Congress, a three-day public health event was held in downtown Barcelona, “Ciutat Cardiosaludable”. Through this interactive event, the ESC wished to honour the city of Barcelona, which has hosted ESC Congress six times in the last 25 years. This was a great opportunity for adults, teenagers, families and children to enjoy fun moments together while learning more about cardiovascular disease (sugar levels, blood pressure, use of portable defibrillators, nutrition workshops… ). This public health event included the arrival of the Swiss Society of Cardiology bikers, who travel to ESC Congress by bicycle from Switzerland every year.