Volpe, M., Borghi, C., Perin, P.C. et al. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev (2010) 17: 237. doi:10.2165/11311990-000000000-00000
Cardiovascular diseases still represent the leading cause of mortality and hospitalization, worldwide. As a consequence of the marked demographic changes observed in the general population, the improved survival rate after an acute cardiovascular event and the progressive rise of costs (mostly due to technological and pharmacological innovations), the estimated burden of cardiovascular diseases will be soon become insurmountable for national healthcare systems. In this view, an integrated approach aimed at improving strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention and, thus, limiting the negative outcomes, would probably be successful. Such an approach may not only achieve long-term benefits, but even significant advantages in the short to medium term, mostly in asymptomatic high-risk individuals. Indeed, this latter population of asymptomatic high-risk individuals would mostly benefit from extensive application and improvement of strategies for cardiovascular disease prevention with a favourable cost-benefit ratio.
The Italian Society for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention — Società Italiana per la Prevenzione Cardiovascolare (SIPREC) — has recognized this strategic aim, focusing a significant part of its institutional actions on the effort for providing educational supports and consensus documents, which represent an overview of the scientific knowledge and personal clinical expertise by national and international key opinion leaders. Expert committees periodically generate ‘state-of-the-art’ documents on specific scientific topics with relevant socioeconomic implications and large clinical impact. The present article is dedicated to healthcare professionals, is based on the available evidence, and provides information on diagnostic algorithms and therapeutic options on abnormal glucose regulation (or dysglycaemia).
The relationship between abnormalities in glucose metabolism and cardiovascular complications represents an important and relatively early target for cardiovascular disease prevention. SIPREC identified, even in this clinical setting, a group of scientific experts in order to form a multidisciplinary ‘task force’. This group has been asked to explain in a short, simple and effective fashion the epidemiological impact and the pathophysiological nature of the problem, its clinical features, potential diagnostic algorithms and therapeutic options, and its influence on the clinical practice of both specialist physicians and general practitioners.
This work provides the background for discussing novel future strategies for cardiovascular prevention. It is also aimed at highlighting the importance of an emerging marker of cardiovascular risk, which is often not recognized and underestimated.