Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, regardless of gender, ethnicity or income. The concept that vascular age, as opposed to chronological age, is better related to the prognosis of CVD is rapidly evolving. Arterial stiffness is an important component of vascular ageing and a potent CVD risk predictor, and as such is emerging as an appealing therapeutic target. Despite recent technological advances for the measurement of vascular ageing in clinical practice, unmet needs remain including: complexity of use and heterogeneity of approaches, insufficient validation in clinical settings, fragmentation of expertise, and lack of research driven studies regarding treatment and head-to-head comparisons between different techniques.
Therefore, the aim of the COST action is:
To establish a network which will work to refine, harmonise and promote the use of vascular ageing measures, in order to improve clinical practice and to reduce the burden of CVD globally.
This will be achieved by:
- Refining the development of novel, easy-to-use technologies for the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and monitoring of vascular aging by cross-talk between industry and scientists using a translational approach and establishing protocols for validation of new technologies.
- Harmonising knowledge by initiating a registry to complete clinical validation of the most established surrogate endpoints, including comparisons of techniques, and by initiating peer network driven intervention studies to utilize the multiplicative effect of the network.
- Promoting a vascular ageing culture and to propagate the use of technologies and preventative strategies, fostering solutions feasible in low income countries.