JANUARY 13, 2009
(STAR) Noted cardiologists from North America, Europe, Asia and Japan recently launched a unique global program designed to evaluate and reduce the excess risk of heart attack and other related diseases.

The program, Residual Risk Reduction initiative (R3i), also aims to combat stroke, kidney disease, vision loss and non-traumatic limb amputation that exist in many patients with heart ailment. It was launched in the recent 2008 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Initially funded by Solvay Pharmaceuticals, R3i is a worldwide, academic, multi-disciplinary and non-profit organization that seeks to successfully address the excessively high risk of macro­vascular and microvascular complications in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia.

Atherogenic dyslipidemia is described as the presence of elevated triglycerides and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol or good cholesterol, which remains not addressed by current standards of care.

Professor Jean-Charles Fruchart of the University of Lille, France, and the president of R3i, said they already have clear evidence from numerous studies conducted that greater reductions in bad cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar alone will have little, if any, additional impact on residual vascular risk.

“Therefore, we urgently need new strategies to address other modifiable risk factors such as atherogenic dyslipidemia, a strong contributor to residual vascular risk in millions of patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said Fruchart.

In a manifesto published in Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research and a supplement to the American Journal of Cardiology, R3i calls for:

• Original research to quantify the full extent of residual vascular risk in patients with atherogenic dyslipidemia and to identify new targets for interventions.

• Educational programs to create awareness of residual vascular risk and to encourage healthcare professionals, particularly primary care physicians (PCPs), to translate available research findings into improved treatment strategies.

• Advocacy to ensure that the issue of residual vascular risk associated with atherogenic dyslipidemia is given appropriate priority in national and international guidelines.

Prof. Frank Sacks, vice president of R3i, emphasized the group’s overall goal in forming this initiative: “Our overall goal must be to provide knowledge and understanding to allow physicians to get closer to normalizing residual vascular risk in patients with heart disease and/or diabetes.”

A professor of cardiovascular disease prevention in the Harvard School of Public Health, Sacks added that the group hopes that their original research conducted under the auspices of R3i and the widespread information dissemination of current knowledge and new data will lead to significant improvements in diminishing the risk beyond the levels the group achieve.

Also, the group invites colleagues to join them in addressing this important challenge.

R3i is led by a board of trustees and an international steering committee of 21 officers and members from different fields such as cardiology, diabetology, lipidology, endocrinology, epidemiology, nutrition, ophthalmology, nephrology and basic science. The legal body of R3i will be a foundation established in Switzerland.

The beneficiaries of the R3i Foundation will implement research and educational programs in their respective countries and will also initiate their own national initiatives, according to the mission of the R3i.

Renowned Filipino cardiologist Dr. Rody Sy, past president of the Philippine Heart Association, contributed to this global health initiative.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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