The ESC Congress

28/8 - 1/9 Munich Germany

25,000 visitors and medical professionals from 47 National Cardiac Societies across central and greater Europe, will attend the 2004 ESC Congress, where 'Diabetes and heart disease' will be the main theme. Lars Ryden, ESC Past-President, team member for the Euro-Heart Survey on Diabetes, and Chairman of the 'Guidelines for Diabetes & the Heart', and William Wijns, co-chair and Chairman of the Congress Programme Committee, explain why this has become such a central focus for cardiologists

Lars Ryden
Lars Ryden

Accumulating evidence indicates that the burden of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes is growing to such an extent that acknowledging the ‘epidemic’ growth of the problem represents by no means an exaggeration. This increased cardiovascular risk extends to the many patients with obesity, metabolic syndrome and other conditions that are associated with all too often unrecognised insulin resistance.

For instance, abnormal glucose regulation (defined as previously unknown diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance) is present in 67% of patients admitted for acute myocardial infarction to the Coronary Care Unit. These patients are at increased risk of death, re-infarction and progression to heart failure.

In order to respond to the growing burden of cardiovascular disease in patients with diabetes, the emphasis of the 2004 ESC Congress will be placed on the general theme of ‘Diabetes and
the Heart’.

Both education and science will be covered. This means that significant parts of the pre-arranged and abstract-based programme will present the latest information on molecular mechanisms, pathophysiology, epidemiology, prevention and treatment of cardiac disorders that are associated with diabetes.

As to the pre-arranged programme, we are introducing the ‘Diabetes Track’, a series of 12 didactic symposia, or clinical seminars, that will take place continuously during the congress.
In addition, for each major subspecialty topic, issues specifically related to diabetes will be addressed by dedicated lectures in several sessions.

The final results of the Euro Heart Survey on ‘The diabetic state of patients with coronary artery disease’ will be presented on 29 August. The overall results as well as a preliminary report of the one-year follow up, conducted during spring and summer 2004, are available.

Practical approaches to the management of the diabetic patient will be illustrated during one of the popular FOCUS Cardiology Practice sessions (on (August 30). The topics and patients to be discussed are chosen so that available and upcoming ‘Guidelines for Diabetes and the Heart’ may be used for commentary.

Even the satellite programme, organised by our industrial partners, will cover many important aspects of this new epidemic, with a special emphasis on the value of prescribing drugs such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin II receptor blockers, beta-blockers, metformin, moxonidine and others.
Because the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) will hold its annual meeting in Munich immediately after the ESC Congress, we will take advantage of this opportunity to share a number of initiatives.

We will have a joint main session entitled: ‘Caring for patients with type 2 diabetes - a responsibility to be shared between cardiologists and diabetologists’. Be sure to attend this session on August 30.

As for the abstract-based programme, we will hold a prestigious joint session called the EASD-ESC scholarship session. Six abstracts of outstanding quality (half selected by each organisation) will be presented at both meetings. Sincere congratulations to the Awardees: N Kraenkel (Leipzig, DE), T Mazurek (Warsaw, PL) and F Cipollone (Chieti, IT) on behalf of the ESC; and W Otter (Munich, DE), C B Kragelund (Frederiksberg, DK), and G Doronzo (Orbassano, IT) on behalf of the EASD.

The regular programme will discuss over 60 abstracts on topics related to Diabetes & the Heart, either during oral or poster presentations.

Last but not the least, some of the trials presented during the Hot Line sessions will release important data for the management of patients with diabetes, for example INTER-HEART (a world-wide study of the impact of risk factors), RIO-EUROPE (a randomised trial on weight reduction with Rimonabant in obese patients) and DETAIL (a trial on the value of Telmisartan & Enalapril in diabetics). Exciting results of Clinical Trial Updates are expected as well, including follow-up data of GAMI and the subgroup analysis of TAXUS VI in patients with diabetes.


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