Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of mortality in Argentina, accounting for a third of all deaths in 2017. It represents the leading cause of premature death in both genders (35% in men and 28% in women), making it the leading cause of preventable death in our country. Among the risk factors for CVD, high cholesterol is one of the most important. Numerous studies have shown the relationship between lowering cholesterol and its impact on reducing the risk of developing atherosclerotic CVD; for which is one of the main therapeutic targets recommended by clinical practice guidelines
The World Heart Federation has been convening Roundtables on the topic of the WHF Roadmap on Cholesterol to provide an opportunity for National key stakeholders to discuss their situation and agree on roadblocks and subsequent solutions to improve CVD mortality. As part of a series of WHF Roundtables on Cholesterol around the globe, WHF members Argentinean Society of Cardiology (SAC) in collaboration with Argentinean Federation of Cardiology (FAC) led a group of professionals, made up of experts in different specialties and covering the numerous areas of the Argentinean Health System, linked to CVD prevention. The multistakeholder event was held in Buenos Aires on 29 November 2021 with the objective to work together towards reducing by 30% the mortality caused by heart attacks in Argentina by the year 2030.
In the lead up to the Roundtable a survey collecting of opinions of 900 physicians from different specialties from all over the country was used as part of the discussion, to highlight the main barriers, difficulties and limitations in the control of LDL cholesterol for cardiovascular prevention of atherosclerotic causes. Based on the results of the survey, the discussion in the forum and the reflection of the experts, different initiatives were proposed in order to reduce by 30% the mortality caused by atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease by 2030:
- Promote the implementation of Clinical Practice Guidelines for the management of hypercholesterolemia at all levels of the health care system. Specifically, the development of a simple learning tools to facilitate their application.
- Encourage the promotion of healthy and more active lifestyle. Actions such as healthy food and maintaining an appropriate weight, increasing physical activity, reducing the level of stress and maintaining adequate sleep as the basis of treatment for all patients with
- Encourage and support state-driven regulatory public policies dedicated to the promotion of cardiovascular health.
- Promote effective communication between health professionals and patients about the importance of the concept of cardiovascular risk. To provide concrete and practical information on the benefit and safety of pharmacological treatment of hypercholesterolaemia in order to facilitate shared decision-making.
- Modify biochemical laboratory reports by removing confusing data and adding information to empower the patient and the treating physician.
- Promote screening programmes for severe hypercholesterolaemia, such as familial hypercholesterolaemia in both adults and children.
- Reinforce the importance of intensive treatment in patients at high cardiovascular risk with the aim of reducing severe events, as well as highlighting the safety of currently available lipid-lowering therapies.
- Prioritise accessibility to proven effective lipid-lowering treatments and seek the genesis of drug programmes including combinations and patient management.
- Development of a virtual course aimed at primary care doctors and members of health teams (health workers, nurses, health educators, social workers).
- To carry out intersectoral work, where the sectors of the health system, scientific societies and funders work in and for the achievement of the goal “to reduce 30% of heart attack mortality in Argentina by 2030”.
To this end, three priority actions will be developed in an inter-institutional manner:
- Establish a multi-sectoral working group to implement the proposals arising from this forum.
- Establish LDL cholesterol as the etiological factor in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
- Implement clinical cholesterol guidelines for the management of high-risk patients in the country, with a focus on achieving LDL-cholesterol targets.
This agreement is a commitment of the health system actors involved to encourage a public policy that leads to the reduction of cholesterol deaths in Argentina, to improve the quality of life of patients at risk and the sustainability of the health system.
This event was convened by the Argentinean Society of Cardiology (SAC) in collaboration with Argentinean Federation of Cardiology (FAC) and World Heart Federation (WHF) and was supported by Novartis Argentina.