Hospital Clínic participates in a European project for the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation

On May 21st the European consortium CATCH ME (Characterizing Atrial fibrillation by Translating into STI Health Causes Modifiers in the Elderly) was launched at the office of the European Society of Cardiology in Brussels. The aim of this project is to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of patients with atrial fibrillation and its complications. Dr. Lluís Mont, coordinator of Atrial Fibrillation Unit of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, participates in this project, coordinated by the University of Birmingham (UK). Horizon 2020, which is the largest EU research and innovation programme, supports the consortium with a 5 Mio Euro grant over the consortium’s duration of 4 years.

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia and affects 2% of the general population in Europe, reaching a 12-15% in people over 80 years. It consists in an abnormal heart rhythm characterized by rapid and irregular beating that increases the risk of stroke, cognitive impairment, heart failure and premature death.

The CATCH ME project aims to improve the prevention and treatment of AF and its complications. The goal is to develop and validate better disease management strategies based on the improved understanding of the main health modifiers, such as genes, drugs, and behavior, leading to atrial fibrillation in the European population.

Researchers will identify the main risk factors causing AF in the Elderly in Europe and develop that will personalize the prevention and management of AF patients. The consortium will propose the novel AF classification to researchers, health care professionals, and patients throughout Europe. This will be realized by solid scientific underpinning of the clinical tools, educational programmes, and by world-wide provision of CATCH ME apps that can be used on any smart phone, targeted at health care professionals and patients.

The project will combine research excellence with the knowledge transfer and communication competence of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the Network of Atrial Fibrillation (AFNET) for the result dissemination. The consortium will also work closely with Roche Professional Diagnostics, which will support the development of intellectual property generated under the project.

This consortium is coordinated by Professor Paulus Kirchhof, University of Birmingham (UK). The other participants are: Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, the Maastricht University (Netherlands), the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich (Germany), University of Oxford (UK), the Université Pierre Marie Curie (France), the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), Atrial Fibrillation Network (AFNET) and the UK Health & Environment Research Institute (UK-HERI).