On behalf of the scientific committee and the Fondazione Internazionale
Menarini, it is a great pleasure to welcome you to the ancient city of
Athens and the first International training course on rare and inherited
cardiovascular disease. There are between 6,000 and 8,000 known rare
disorders and it is estimated that 1 in 17 of the general population
will be affected by a rare disease at some point in their lives. Inherited
cardiovascular conditions are a group of more than 50 disorders that
include electrical, structural and vascular diseases that affect around 1 in
240 European citizens. In addition, many rare metabolic and neurological
conditions are characterised by cardiovascular involvement that can be
the major determinant of prognosis and quality of life.
The importance of rare conditions in general to the European research
agenda is reflected in the priorities of national funding agencies and
the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme. However, the
planning and organization of national health services remains focused
on all encompassing diagnoses such as heart failure and coronary artery
disease that conceal a diverse and complex range of rare disorders which
are frequently misdiagnosed or overlooked, resulting in poor medical
care and potentially adverse consequences for individuals and families.
The aim of this meeting is to improve the education and training of
cardiologists in the field of rare and genetic disorders and to prepare
individual practitioners for the new era of personalized healthcare. With
reference to our host country, the course is ‘Socratic’ in style with an
emphasis on clinical questions to be answered by interactive discussion
between attendees. We are enormously fortunate in having some of the
World’s greatest experts in our faculty and sincerely hope that you will use
this great opportunity to ask questions and network with your peers.
We wish you a successful and enjoyable meeting.