Welcome to EAS Helsinki 2021 – Virtual: New directions for the EAS

The EAS is evolving….

In his welcome address, EAS President Professor Kausik Ray (Imperial College, London, UK) overviewed the new direction for the Society. Beyond its established role in scientific research, education – expanding to a new Digital platform – and dissemination, the EAS is building on links to the community. The Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Studies Collaboration (FHSC) registry is an important example, currently involving over 64,000 patients, with a key publication anticipated in the coming month. Another is the Lipid Clinics Network, which aims to connect clinics, healthcare personnel and patients with the overall aim of improving the diagnosis and care of patients with lipid disorders. This currently involves over 28 national societies and about 200 clinics.

In addition to these activities, the EAS is strengthening mentoring programmes, such as the EAS Young Fellows Programme, and widening its social media presence via a number of Social Media Ambassadors, led by Jeanine Roeters Van Lennep, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Collaboration with other societies and organisations is also key to the mission of the EAS: to advance and exchange knowledge concerning the causes, natural history, treatment and prevention of atherosclerotic disease.

The EAS Consensus Panel structure is changing. Over the last 12 years, this highly successful initiative, created by Professor John Chapman (Paris, France) and Professor Henry Ginsberg (New York, USA), and chaired by both with Professor Alberico Catapano (Milan, Italy), has published a series of consensus papers, focusing on lipoproteins (lipoprotein(a), triglycerides and HDL, and LDL), familial hypercholesterolaemia, plant stanols and sterols, and statin-associated muscle symptoms. Indeed, the first EAS Consensus Panel publication on FH (1) was a trail blazer in highlighting the global underdiagnosis and undertreatment of FH, providing a unique catalyst for the creation of the FHSC.

From this year, the Consensus Panel system changes. Professor Alberico Catapano, Professor Lale Tokgözoğlu (Ankara, Turkey) and Professor Kausik Ray will act as coordinators for each consensus initiative, selecting two or more independent chairs for each topic who will then drive the focus and content together with experts from around the world with the relevant expertise.

Professor Ray concluded: ‘The EAS needs to evolve to address the critical challenges for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease prevention in the 21st century. As highlighted by the recent Europe-wide DA VINCI study, implementing guideline-recommended therapy is far from optimal; we urgently need new approaches to address this.’

President of the International Atherosclerosis Society, Professor Raul Santos (University of São Paulo Medical School, and Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein in São Paulo, Brazil) added his welcome: ‘I congratulate the EAS for its foresight and initiatives. Key among these, the global FHSC is making a difference to the care of patients with FH’ .

The Chairs of the EAS 2021 Local Organizing Committee, Professor Katriina Aalto-Setälä (Tampere University) and Professor Vesa Olkkonen (University of Helsinki) welcomed all registrants on behalf of the Finnish Atherosclerosis Society. ‘The Finnish Society has, together with the EAS Scientific Program Committee led by Professor Paolo Parini (Stockholm, Sweden), done its utmost to assemble a topical and exciting scientific programme aimed at both clinical and basic researchers.’

Professor Paolo Parini added: ‘Explore the cutting-edge research and education covering all aspects of atherosclerosis. And while science is fighting back against COVID-19, our challenge is to address the global health threat from the associated pandemic of cardiometabolic death, particularly in the context of the UN 2030 Agenda.’

To conclude the session, a unique Finnish musical experience, with music by Ida Elani on the kantele, a traditional Finnish musical instrument.

Welcome to EAS Helsinki 2021 Virtual! Enjoy the science, state-of-the art lectures and networking.

For more information on the initiatives

  Professor Alberico L. Catapano explains the rationale for the Lipid Clinics Network.
     
  Professor Lale Tokgözoğlu (Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey) discusses EAS digital activities.
     
  Professor Paolo Parini (Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden) discusses why the EAS is a key player in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 Agenda for cardiovascular disease in Europe.

Reference

  1. Nordestgaard BG, Chapman MJ, Humphries SE, et al. Familial hypercholesterolaemia is underdiagnosed and undertreated in the general population: guidance for clinicians to prevent coronary heart disease: consensus statement of the European Atherosclerosis Society. Eur Heart J 2013;34:3478-90a.

For more information on the EAS publications see: https://www.eas-society.org/page/consensus_papers

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