Advancing cardiac care: insights and initiatives from the 55th National Congress of the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists

The Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists (ANMCO) convened its 55th National Congress at the Rimini Palacongressi from May 16th to 18th. This significant event brought together hospital cardiologists from across Italy.

The event emphasizes the significance of providing preventive and high-quality cardiologic care for all, as reflected in the events theme: « The Heart of Quality – Improving Care for Everyone”. The Congress served as a platform to present the results of three studies conducted by ANMCO. The first study, entitled EyeShot, focuses on acute coronary syndromes. The second addresses cardiac insufficiency, and the third deals with secondary prevention. Regarding this third research, the event featured a notable lecture on the results of the Bring-Up Prevention study. This study examined a sample of 4,790 patients from 189 cardiologic centers nationwide, all with a history of cardiovascular diseases. The average age of the participants was 67 years, with females constituting 20% of the sample. The research highlighted that many patients had not achieved optimal risk factor management despite having experienced serious conditions such as heart attacks, coronary heart disease, obstructive lower limb disease, or cerebrovascular pathology. Notably, 20% of the participants were obese, and 21% were smokers.

Mainly, two key considerations emerged from the study. Firstly, it underscored the necessity of raising public awareness about the significance of managing risk factors such as smoking, obesity, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia to prevent new cardiovascular events like heart attacks and strokes. Secondly, it highlighted the crucial role cardiologists play in improving the management of patients with cardiovascular risks by optimizing treatments and reducing the risks of serious events. For instance, the study observed that 27% of patients were diabetic and 11% had chronic kidney disease. Before the cardiology visit, only 68% of patients were using statins, the first-line treatment for reducing cholesterol and preventing atherosclerotic diseases. After the visit, this percentage rose to 98%. The increased use of statins following the cardiology consultation demonstrates that cardiologist supervision can significantly improve patients’ risk profiles and reduce the likelihood of recurrent ischemic events, such as heart attacks or strokes.

Concerning obesity, an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, on June 5th, the updated draft of the 2016 Chronicity National Plan was published. Developed by planning technicians from the Ministry of Health, the plan is currently under review by the office of the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci. The updated plan now includes obesity among the ten conditions requiring specific therapeutic diagnostic pathways (PDTA). The aim is to ensure continuous care through shared PDTA and to provide a comprehensive, integrated, and personalized care approach for obese patients.

In conclusion, as the medical community continues to strive for excellence in cardiac care, events like this congress play a pivotal role in advancing innovations and strategies to ensure better health outcomes for all.