The first cause of death and morbidity, worldwide, is cardiovascular diseasecontributing to 18 million deaths annually. More than 75% of deaths from cardiovascular disease occur in low- to middle-income countries, but access to care and treatment can be a problem anywhere. Air pollution is responsible for 25% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease, killing 7 million people each year.
These important data were presented during a press conference on the occasion of World Heart Day (September 29), which was held by the Hellenic Cardiology Society (HCS), under its president Ioannis Kanakakis.
The message of this year’s world day is “USE HEART FOR EVERY HEART”. “This day is an opportunity for everyone to think about how best to use the heart for humanity, nature and much more for each person. Dealing with cardiovascular disease is something that concerns every beating heart. ‘Using heart’ means thinking differently. To make the right decisions and act with courage to help others. The heart is the only organ we can hear and feel, and it is the first and last sign of life. The heart is one of the few things with the power to unite us all as human beings.”explained Mr. Kanakis.
Increased cardiovascular morbidity in Greece
The Dean of the Medical School of the University of Crete and Vice-President of the EKE, George Kochiadakis, referring to the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Europe, noted that they are an important public health problem due to the aging of the population.
It is worth noting that cardiovascular diseases increase in frequency with age (10% >75 years have heart failure) and 80% of deaths occur in the elderly after 75.
“Evidence from Europe shows that cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 45% of deaths, while their incidence seems to be increasing. Greece in particular seems to be one of the European countries where mortality and morbidity from cardiovascular diseases has increased much more compared to all other chronic diseases,” he said.
According to him this is due to the fact that the incidence and regulation of all modifiable risk factors such as hypertension and hypercholesterolemia has worsened. This fact comes with the significant advances that have been made in the last 50 years in Cardiology, as a result of which the mortality of patients in cardiology units has been reduced by more than 50% and corresponding numbers of improved prognosis and quality of life are also shown by patients with heart attacks or heart attacks. inadequacy.
In turn, the Emeritus Professor of Cardiology at the Medical School of the University of Ioannina, Ioannis Gudevenos, reminded that the prevention of cardiovascular diseases is a lifelong affair that must focus on 4 behavioral factors (Lifestyle): smoking, poor diet, increased body weight , sedentary lifestyle and in 3 main risk factors: dyslipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus (obesity).
“Identifying high-risk patients who would benefit most from intensive preventive measures has been recognized as a top priority for decades. however, population-based screening has not been shown to be beneficial as it has been in oncology. While at the same time, almost all scientific research concerns the treatment of established cardiovascular diseases and not primary prevention. And for prevention to be effective, there must be a forecast, which is not at all easy when it concerns the future”, noted Mr. Gudevenos.
Greece acquires a Museum of Cardiology
On the occasion of this year’s World Heart Day, the Hellenic Cardiology Association (HCA), opened the doors of the Cardiology Museum it created.
The museum is the result of a continuous effort by the Boards of Directors, from 2017 until today, with the aim of gathering in an elegant space representative samples of devices and materials that have been used for many decades in the field of cardiology, mainly, and secondarily, vascular/cardio- surgery.
The primary form of the EKE museum was created during the Presidency of Professor Constantinos Tsioufis in 2017, with contributions from retired EKE members. It was then completely constructed, following the architectural plans of other museums, and handed over to EKE in 2020 under the chairmanship of Professor Gudevenou. In its final form, it includes donations from the industry, while in the possession of EKE there are also many leather-bound editions of major publishing houses related to Cardiology.
The museum’s exhibits include old electrocardiogram machines and displays of heart sound recordings used to train doctors. Also on display are materials used mainly in coronary angioplasty such as balloons and metal prostheses (stents), carotid and lower limb angioplasty, devices for dealing with structural problems of the heart such as specialized “umbrellas” for problems in the diaphragms of the heart cavities, pacemaker generators to treat arrhythmias, and finally extracorporeal oxygenation and blood circulation materials as well as synthetic grafts used in surgical operations.