President’s Message

November 2020

Raul D. Santos MD, MSc, PhD
President, IAS

Despite some good perspectives about a vaccine we are still feeling the severe impact of COVID-19 specifically the second wave in Europe and the persistent one in the Americas. At any rate, IAS has continued to provide you with informative webinars, programs, and information about society’s and member activities.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a frequent cause of early atherosclerosis and death. In 2014, both the International Journal of Cardiology and the Journal of Clinical Lipidology published the efforts of the former International FH Foundation in a document entitled, “Integrated Guidance on The Care of Familial Hypercholesterolemia from the International FH Foundation”.  Since then, knowledge about the disease has grown exponentially, awareness of disease has increased, and many patient organizations are extremely active fighting for access to modern diagnosis and novel and efficacious treatments. The IAS believes that now is an appropriate time for a panel to reconvene for the purpose of updating the Integrated Guidance Document considering new definitions, therapeutics, and data affecting patient outcomes. The IAS has convened an international panel of FH experts and has reached out to multiple organizations for their input. The proposal is to come with an evidence-based action statement to improve and standardize the models of care for FH. The effort by the IAS will culminate in a convergence of many interconnecting elements that should consolidate ideas and principles used by clinicians globally to address risk and implement treatments.  An initial goal is to publish in time for global release of our statement at the International Symposium on Atherosclerosis (ISA2021) in Kyoto, Japan in late October 2021.

Considering the current states of the pandemic it looks like the 19th International Symposium on Atherosclerosis (ISA2021) scheduled for October 24-27, 2021, will be a hybrid meeting – both virtual and in-person.  We will keep you all informed as more information becomes available.

Service Evaluation and Quality Improvement Project for patients with FCS/MCS

Familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS) is a rare but devastating disease. Fortunately, newer therapies are on the horizon and this may change the lives of affected individuals. On the other hand, there is still an enormous gap on the knowledge about this disease and the similar multifactorial chylomicronemia syndrome or MCS.

The aim of this project is to look at the type and frequency of genetic variants in these patients from different parts of the world with a view to help with understanding the natural history of this disease and to use healthcare resources more efficiently and effectively. The information collected will also be used to validate the current FCS scoring system in a larger cohort of patients.  This project has been defined as a service evaluation/quality improvement project by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust research management team using the Health Research Authority’s guidelines, and as this is not defined as research, the project does not therefore need research governance review or approval by the Health Research Authority in the United Kingdom.  For more information visit on this project visit the “Latest” section of our website.

If you have not already done so, check out the programs available in the IAS Education Center.  It can be found on the website under the “Resources” tab.

Please stay safe and well

Raul Santos