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BCS 'A Year in Cardiology – 2014'
Blood pressure control
Roads and sudden cardiac death
ESC launches new journal
Study results of new stent
New ESC President statement
Jose Roelandt death

British Cardiovascular Society ‘A Year in Cardiology – 2014’

‘A Year in Cardiology’ is a very popular one-day symposium, which returns to the Royal College of Physicians in London for its fourth year. Held annually at the end of the international conference calendar by the British Cardiovascular Society, it has rapidly become an essential opportunity for cardiologists to update themselves with the year’s most important developments in Cardiology.

The internationally renowned expert faculty will present a comprehensive review of the headline news for the year. The much anticipated keynote lecture this year will be given by Professor Philippe Gabriel Steg, Professor of Cardiology at the Université Paris and Imperial College London, a leading figure in coronary artery disease.

The morning session provides a succinct update on the important ESC and NICE Guideline updates, whilst the afternoon session reviewing key developments in all major cardiology subspecialties. At the end of each session delegates have the opportunity to pose questions to the speakers in the ‘Ask the Expert’ debate.

This year’s conference will be held on Friday 12 December 2014. The symposium is accredited by EBAC with delegates earning 6 CME or CPD for attendance.

For details on ‘A Year in Cardiology - 2014’ and other symposia run by the British Cardiovascular Society please see www.bcs.com/education/.


Doctor visits are greatest predictor of BP control

Visiting a doctor at least twice a year increases likelihood of blood pressure control by more than three-fold compared to one or fewer annual visits.

Visits to the doctor are the greatest predictor of blood pressure control, according to research published in Circulation.

The researchers studied 37,000 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey who had their blood pressure checked in 1999-2012. They found that people who visited their doctor at least twice a year were 3.2 times more likely to keep their blood pressure under control than those who saw their doctor once a year or less.

Brent M Egan
Photo courtesy American Heart Association & copyright Greenville Health System

After controlling for diabetes, health insurance, body mass index, smoking and other factors, the investigators found that doctor visits were the strongest predictor of blood pressure control. Having healthcare insurance and getting treated for high cholesterol also increased the likelihood of controlling blood pressure.

Obese people in the study were also more likely to keep their blood pressure under control. This is ‘probably because doctors recognise the need to control risk factors and may be quicker to give them blood pressure medications’, said study author Brent M. Egan (Greenville, South Carolina, US).


Living near major roads may increase risk of sudden cardiac death in women

Living near a major road may increase women’s risk of dying from sudden cardiac death (SCD), according to new research.

On a population level, living near a major roadway was as important a risk factor as smoking, poor diet or obesity.

The researchers studied data from 107,130 women (predominately white, average age 60) who took part in the prospective Nurses’ Health Study from 1986-2012. A total of 523 cases of SCD were identified over 26 years of follow-up. The distance from roadways to homes was calculated.

After adjusting for a large number of factors including age, race, calendar time, cigarette smoking, physical activity and diet, the researchers found that living within 50 metres of a major road increased the risk of SCD by 38% compared to living at least 500 metres away. Each 100 metres closer to roadways was associated with a 6% increased risk for SCD. In the 1,159 cases of fatal coronary heart disease, risk increased by 24%.

The investigators said that the public’s exposure to major roadways was comparable to major SCD risk factors. They added that more research was needed among men and among women of different ages, races and income levels because nearly all participants in the study were middle-age to elderly, white and of middle- to upper-socioeconomic class.

The next step in their research will be to determine what specific exposures, such as air pollution, are driving the association between heart disease and major roadway proximity.

The Circulation paper can be found here.


ESC Launches Journal on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy

A new ESC journal on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy was launched at ESC Congress by the ESC and Oxford University Press. European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy officially starts publishing in 2015. The journal’s website went live in September 2014.

Editor in chief Professor Stefan Agewall said: “We aim to become the number one journal in the field of clinical cardiovascular pharmacology within a couple of years.” The journal aims to improve the pharmacological treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease. Four issues will be published in 2015. Prof Agewall said: “The number of issues will increase annually with the goal of producing a monthly publication within 5 to 6 years.”

An expert and respected editorial board has been recruited from across the globe. Prof Agewall brings significant clinical, research and editorial experience to his role as editor in chief. Currently professor and senior consultant in cardiology at Oslo University Hospital and Oslo University in Norway, he has worked in cardiology for 20 years splitting his time between clinics, research and education.


Combo Dual Therapy Stent Findings Presented at TCT Meeting

Prof. Stephen W.L. Lee MD presented two-year optical coherence tomography (OCT) findings and three-year clinical follow up from the EGO COMBO study, showing the healing benefits of the COMBO™ Dual Therapy Stent, a drug eluting stent (DES) with active endothelial projenitor cell (EPC) capture technology. The findings were presented during the 26th Annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting, in Washington, D.C., 13-17 September, 2014.

“This is the first study to assess the healing profile of a dual therapy stent by optical coherence tomography,” said Dr Lee of the Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong. “The COMBO Stent approach shows early healing benefits and stability over the long-term. The results demonstrate no neoatherosclerosis observed by OCT at 24 months, and no late restenosis or stent thrombosis by 36 months.”

Latest evidence surrounding the COMBO Stent’s active EPC capture was also presented by Prof. Michael Haude, M.D., Lukaskrankenhaus, Neuss, Germany, who demonstrated how the COMBO Stent uses a bound antibody to capture EPCs and promotes accelerated endothelial coverage. The Stent has an abluminal sirolimus drug elution delivered from a biodegradable polymer that is dissipated within 90 days.

Prof. Haude said, “With the dual therapy approach of the COMBO Stent, the abluminal sirolimus release from a bioresorbable polymer matrix controls the restenosis and neointimal proliferation, whilst the luminal surface is coated with an antibody that enables an earlier and more mature healing of the stented lesion. Delayed healing is of continued concern in conventional DES today as it leads to stent thrombosis and in the long-term, to neoatherosclerosis. The COMBO Stent helps to address these concerns and may offer a long-term solution.”

More information at www.OrbusNeich.com.


New ESC President Prof Fausto Pinto Issues Statement

Firstly, a huge thanks to the 30,300 plus participants who travelled from 140 different countries to take part in the ESC Congress 2014, as well the 193,100 health care professionals who followed the latest scientific findings online.

ESC Congress 2014 was an extraordinary event, with important implications for the way we practice and treat patients. Highlights included a major breakthrough in the treatment of heart failure (PARADIGM-HF), the ongoing importance of prevention versus intervention, five new ESC Clinical Practice Guidelines and a new batteryless cardiac pacemaker. All resources from ESC Congress can of course be accessed free in the online library ESC Congress 365.

As I begin my two year Presidency of this hardworking society, there are three major areas in which I hope to build on the way in which it supports you - cardiologists, nurses, allied professionals and all those who strive with us to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in Europe and beyond:

  • Education to secure proper dissemination of knowledge, best practices and how to apply them
  • Supporting the young cardiologists in training, who will be the leaders of the future
  • Membership to increase the impact of ESC science, knowledge and expertise around the world

In these goals we must be innovative, strive for excellence, and make a lasting impact. I look forward to working with you, for you, and hope to meet many of you as we take ESC science around the world.

Professor Fausto Pinto, FESC
President, European Society of Cardiology 2014 - 2016


Jose Roelandt Death

The cardiology community was saddened to hear of the death of Professor Jose RTC Roelandt on 31 August 2014. A pioneer and innovator in echocardiography he was born in 1938, received his MD in 1964 and went on to become Cardiology chairman at the Thoraxcentre, Erasmus Medical Centre, Netherlands, in 1987.

Jos as he was known, was an author of over 1000 papers and 19 textbooks, he was the Founding Editor of the European Journal of Echocardiography and editor-in-chief from 1999 till 2010.

During his career he delivered many prestigious lectures, received a number of awards and was an honorary member of many cardiology societies.

The passing of Jos Roelandt is a great loss to European Cardiology and particularly to the echocardiography community. He will be greatly missed but not forgotten.

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