Utrecht, July 5, 2019 - The Center for Circulatory Health of the UMC Utrecht is the first center in the Netherlands to receive an accreditation for prevention from the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC). The accreditation means that the Center for Circulatory Health works in accordance with the standards and guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for primary and secondary prevention and sport. "The accreditation has been granted for a period of 3 years," says Hendrik Nathoe. There are only 5 hospitals in Europe that have this accreditation. The UMC Utrecht is the only hospital accredited for all categories.

Hendrik Nathoe is cardiologist and medical head of the Center for Circulatory Health and received the certificate from Barbara Casadei, president of the ESC. “The certificate is based on three parts: primary and secondary prevention and sport," says Nathoe proudly. “Primary prevention is the prevention of cardiovascular diseases in basically healthy people. Secondary prevention aims to prevent the exacerbation of cardiovascular diseases in patients who are known to have a cardiovascular condition. Sport is about preventive sports medical examination, sports medical advice and rehabilitation in case of cardiovascular diseases.”

Prevention

Patients with a cardiovascular condition can go to the Center for Circulatory Health for diagnosis, care and treatment. The aim of the center is to treat cardiovascular diseases and prevent these problems from recurring. “To this end, we assess risk factors and calculate the risk of a subsequent vascular problem, using the U-prevent calculator, which was developed in the UMC Utrecht. If necessary, patients start with treatment for the risk factors in the form of lifestyle adjustments," explains Nathoe. In addition, persons without cardiovascular diseases but with a strongly increased risk can be started on medication (primary prevention). According to current guidelines, patients with diagnosed cardiovascular disease are always started on cholesterol-lowering medication to prevent future vascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke or intermittent claudication (secondary prevention).

Sports medical advice

Patients with sport-related health problems and exercise-related complaints can also go to the UMC Utrecht. The aim is for these patients to be able to exercise in a safe and responsible manner. “We carry out preventive sports medical examinations, sports physical examinations and cardiac rehabilitation," explains professor and sports physician Frank Backx. “We offer maximum exercise tests with respiratory gas analysis in healthy athletes as well as athletes with a disability, also to detect risk factors for sudden cardiac death. In addition, we provide sports medical advice to people with chronic conditions, such as cardiac patients.”

One-stop shop

The Center for Circulatory Health works according to the one-stop shop principle: patients see several specialists in one day and undergo additional examinations such as an ultrasound or exercise test if necessary. In the Center for Circulatory Health, four medical specialisms (internists, vascular surgeons, neurologists and cardiologists) work together at a single location to offer patients with complex cardiovascular diseases the best possible care.