As a result of successful events organised last year, a second Joint Scientific Forum, organised by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), two of the most respected professional medical organisations in Europe, will be held from 27-29 November at three venues across China - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The theme is the Optimal Management of Diabetes, with talks given to an audience of clinicians who treat diabetes and cardiology patients. Subjects to be covered include long-term efficacy for current treatment, early intervention and combination treatment for maximum benefit, Hyperglycaemia and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), and Diabetic cardiopathy.
In recent years, the link between diabetes and heart disease has been the focus of international attention. Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing public health problems in both developed and developing countries (1) and coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death among patients with type 2 diabetes (2). Results from large-scale studies have raised questions on the safety of new diabetic drugs in connection with heart disease. At this forum, leading cardiologists and diabetologists will explore the concerns to be considered in the multidisciplinary management of diabetic patients and identify optimal treatment strategies for the Asian and European patient.
A speaker at the event, Dr Ernst Rietzschel (Ghent University, Belgium) said the purpose of the meeting is "sharing knowledge and viewpoints". Dr Rietzschel who is a cardiologist interested in Prevention, will be speaking about the optimal treatment of diabetes from the point of view of the cardiologist and about diabetic myopathy.
He said: "We have in the West a long track record in preventive research. China (at least in the cities) is now overtaking us with its "western lifestyle" and will be faced with similar huge problems caused by changes in lifestyle and downstream diabetes. The main question for them is how to implement the parts of our European experience which they find useful/interesting and how to do so quickly and efficiently in such a vast (and disparate) country."
He went on to explain that: "Changing lifestyle is crucial but notoriously difficult.
China is a huge country which is developing very rapidly and now facing the same problems we've had for a long time, but on a massive scale. Their problems are very similar to ours. There is a trend in the data showing that Asians are slightly more susceptible to developing diabetes and so this should be tackled more aggressively."
This event will not only heighten awareness of the relationship between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but also the differences in treatment of Asian versus European patients. At least 100 participants are expected in each venue, with each meeting also beamed by satellite, for others to follow.
Professor Thierry Gillebert (Ghent University, Belgium) is responsible for the educational meetings in Asia within the ESC Education Committee. He explained why the Asia programmes are so important:
"China is a country with several different races so the challenges are different. We are trying to establish the best medication and how to realise the best health benefits. The goal is to develop a network with them to increase cooperation.
The ESC cares for the cardiovascular health in member states but feels responsible for the global health of the world."
All slides and texts used during the meetings will be translated into Chinese.