Europe to personalise prevention of second heart attacks

A major EU-funded project to personalise prevention of second heart attacks is being launched today by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the top cause of death in Europe and worldwide, accounting for 47% of deaths in women and 39% of deaths in men.1 CVD costs the EU more than €210 billion a year,2 a sum expected to escalate with an ageing population and the cost of novel therapies.

The new project, CoroPrevention, has nearly €20 million of Horizon 2020 funding to discover the lifestyle improvements and medications needed by individual patients with coronary heart disease to prevent another cardiovascular event. Clinical centres were selected mainly from countries with suboptimal programmes, according to an ESC survey.

The project features a randomised clinical trial in high risk patients with coronary heart disease identified with a new set of risk markers. The trial will test a novel, personalised prevention programme designed by the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC), a branch of the ESC. Tailored approaches will take patient preferences for behaviour change into account. Nurses and mobile apps will provide personalised coaching on exercise, diet, improving sleep, mindfulness, stress reduction, reducing screen time and sitting, quitting smoking, moderating alcohol intake, and adhering to preventive medications.

Professor Reijo Laaksonen, Project Lead from Tampere University and Zora Biosciences said: “The prevention programme’s objective is be the patient’s guiding companion for life, helping them maintain long-term behaviour changes that preserve their health. We expect it to reduce premature deaths and severe disabilities in patients with coronary heart disease in Europe.”

Patient workshops will be held at recruiting sites to share experiences of participating in the trial and create ambassadors to communicate with new participants. The ESC Patient Forum will share the learning from these workshops across study sites to optimise patient engagement.

Cost-effectiveness will also be assessed. Professor Paul Dendale, EAPC President, said: “The project will establish a cutting edge, economically sustainable personalised prevention programme for use throughout Europe. Regulators, policy makers and payers will receive compelling evidence for the economic and social value of preventing cardiovascular disease. We estimate that the ESC designed programme will reduce the cardiovascular event rate by 25% in high-risk patients – with annual savings of tens of billions of euros to the EU.”