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ESC and Brazilian society join forces

An educational programme to combat high mortality rates from cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Brazil was unveiled recently by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), at the 66th Annual Congress of the Brazilian Society of Cardiology (BSC), held in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The ESC’s Global Scientific Activities (GSA) Committee organised a senior ESC faculty to present a series of papers in a dedicated one-day session jointly chaired with the host society. The ESC’s educational programme¹  is structured to provide an overview of recent congresses and an insight into new and updated Clinical Guidelines.  ESC experts also summarised the Ivabradine SHIFT trial and discussed the implications for treating ischaemic heart disease; reviewed relevant case studies to illustrate clinical experience, and hosted an atrial fibrillation (AF) symposium.

The ESC was represented by its President, Professor Michel Komajda, along with members of the ESC Board, and others including authors of its most recent Guidelines.  Professor Komajda firmly believes that CVD should be tackled as a global challenge rather than a series of regional issues.  “This kind of exchange between peers from different geographic regions is the best way to create a truly international cardiology community, and will build on a long history of successful cooperation between the ESC and the Brazilian Society of Cardiology.”

Mortality rates from CVD in Brazil are the highest in Latin America, and are around double the European average.²  At least 50% of the population over the age of 60 have hypertension and 25% of all hospitalisations in this age group are CVD-related.  In addition, Brazil is facing worrying trends that point to an increase in diabetes and widespread obesity.  This raises the possibility that the nation’s CVD profile is following the European pattern – and underlines the rationale for a closer relationship with the ESC.

In recent years, the BSC has actively sought greater international collaboration.  Over 700 Brazilian cardiologists attended the ESC Congress 2010 in Stockholm, while its members have recently submitted in excess of 400 abstracts for the 2011 event in Paris.  Jorge Ilha Guimarães is President of the BSC.  “We have established professional exchanges with the ESC in several specialty topics,” he says.  “Now we are preparing for even closer cooperation in other areas such as integrating surveys and registries.  It is our wish to create closer scientific and friendly ties with the ESC.”

The ESC’s GSA Committee was established to meet demand for ESC science and knowledge outside of Europe, to build closer ties with international cardiology organisations, and to extend the ESC mission beyond its traditional borders.  In what has been a busy year, the GSA Committee has delivered education programmes at both the Saudi Heart Association conference in Riyadh and the Asia Pacific Congress of Cardiology in Kuala Lumpur, and has been invited to participate in similar meetings in Argentina, China and Mexico over the next three months.

“We are very happy to make a contribution to the Brazilian Congress,” notes Professor Fausto Pinto, the ESC Vice-President responsible for National Societies and Affiliated Societies, and a member of the GSA Committee.  “While there is huge demand for the ESC to share its Guidelines, training and knowledge, there is undoubtedly much for us to learn as well.”


1 The full ESC scientific programme to be presented at the Brazilian Society of Cardiology Congress can be found at:

2 Chronic non-communicable diseases in Brazil: burden and current challenges, Dr. Maria Ines Schmidt et al, May 2011

Published on: September 28, 2011

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  • ArrhythmiaAlliance
  • Stars
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  • Atrial Fibrillation Association

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