This year's EuroPRevent meeting, 14 -16 April, is taking full advantage of its Geneva location and the close proximity to the European Headquarters of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Heart Federation (WHF), the United European Football Association (UEFA), and the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
On Thursday 14 April the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (EACPR) will host joint sessions including a session looking at the medical, legal and ethical aspects of eligibility screening for competitive sport with the IOC, a session looking at Cardiovascular prevention in Russia with WHO and WHF, a session looking at the Global challenges in CVD with the WHO and WHF, and a session looking at competitive sports in high risk patients with the IOC. "It's a marvelous opportunity to be able to bring together all these organisations that are engaged in prevention and rehabilitation to fight heart disease and to provide science and practical tools to improve cardiovascular health both in Europe and also around the world," says Hugo Saner, the local organizer of the Congress.
EuroPRevent 2011, which represents the biggest meeting in Europe on cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation, expects to attract over 1,500 delegates including epidemiologists, clinical cardiologists, sports physiologists, basic scientists, nutrition counsellors, physical therapists, nurses, sports teachers and psychologists. "The field of cardiovascular prevention is currently gaining real momentum," says Volker Adams, chair person of the EuroPRevent Congress Programme Committee. "For a while we've had the scientific knowledge, but now big strides are being made in improving the diagnostic technology and we're starting to see real political will power to bring about change. EuroPRevent 2011 brings all these aspects of prevention together."
The congress will be arranged around four main tracks: global challenges in prevention, new strategies and developments, sports cardiology and corporate health and prevention programmes.
This year, explains Adams, the sessions have been put together in a completely novel way with the intention of making them more inclusive and attractive to wider audiences. "We've taken a topic and got different professionals to talk about them from different perspectives. The idea is that viewing topics from different angles will allow delegates to gain greater insights," says Volker Adams.
Sports cardiology is a major theme of the meeting with sports sessions running continually throughout the programme in room 2. "Sport is really important for prevention because it helps promote healthy lifestyles across all age groups whether children or middle aged adults," says Hugo Saner.
Highlights of the meeting include two sessions on corporate health. "Industry is beginning to appreciate that with an ageing population there's a real danger that they'll lose good employees to health problems and that this could lead to a lack of skilled workers. Companies are starting to appreciate that they need to take preventive measures to avert disaster," says Saner.
Distinguished speakers at EuroPRevent include Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum who is looking to promote a good attitude towards corporate health; Salim Yusuf from McMaster's University, Canada, who will be giving a personal view of what is needed in cardiac prevention; and Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, who will talk about the cardiovascular challenges facing India.
For the first time this year EuroPRevent will feature one late breaking session with six presentations of new research. In addition, 420 abstracts have been selected including 270 on prevention and epidemiology, 152 on rehabilitation and implementation, 45 on sports cardiology and 61 on exercise and translational science. "Abstracts are really important because they give the young people starting out in the field a platform to showcase their work," says Adams.
This year's launch of TechnoPark at EuroPRevent recognises the increasingly important role that devices and technical equipment are playing in cardiovascular prevention. Of particular note will be the European launch of the CardioHealth®, an automated and portable cardiovascular imaging device that has been developed by Panasonic Health that includes an ultrasound probe to scan the arteries on both sides of the neck to detect hidden plaque build-up. The CardioHealth report then combines Framingham Risk Score with carotid IMT to provide a more accurate assessment of a patient's risk than measuring blood pressure and cholesterol alone.
The congress will be promoting healthy activities to delegates, with 100 bikes being placed at their disposal to help them get around Geneva. On Friday there will be a 5 km fun run and 2.5 km fun walk at 7:00 am to get the day off to a healthy start, and in breaks healthy snacks with be offered. "The idea is to allow cardiologists to practice what they preach," says Volker Adams.
Prevention will also be promoted for the first time to the general public, with the orange bus from the Ligue Vaudoise Contre les Maladies Cardiovasculaires and the Ligue de la Santé parked at the entrance to the congress centre offering detection tests and personal advice to improve cardiovascular risk factors.