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Highlights from the EAS congress 2024: Diet & Lifestyle

The 92nd European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS) congress took place  26-29th May 2024 in Lyon, France. The annual meeting aims to explore recent developments in basic, translational and clinical research into the causes of atherosclerosis and related vascular disease, and how these may affect the clinical guidelines for diagnosis and treatment. This year, the congress was attended by more than 2,500 people (record high), and the EAS was celebrating its 60-year anniversary.

“Diet and Lifestyle in CVD prevention”

One notable highlight was the session facilitated by Professor Kirsten B Holven and Prof. Maciej Banach, who spoke convincingly about this important foundation for heart promotion.

Dietician Jacob Christensen presented the rationale for the dietary recommendations for fat intake, as he eloquently reported in recent publication in Atherosclerosis.1 The main aim of Christensen’s work is to provide a comprehensive overview of the rationale for dietary recommendations for fat intake, in the context of ASCVD as outcome. His methods involve providing a core framework (causal model) and addressing the evidence base to feed into the causal model. As in his published work, Christensen presented the evidence for the causal link between dietary fat quality and CVD risk by addressing three key research questions :

  • Does plasma LDL-cholesterol causally affect risk of ASCVD?
  • Does fat quality causally affect plasma LDL-cholesterol?
  • Does fat quality in the diet affect plasma LDL-cholesterol and thereby the risk of ASCVD?

Each of the three questions determined which scientific methods are most appropriate to use to populate the model. Appropriate evidence was used to address the questions including observational and intervention studies, resulting in the following summary/findings as presented and published by Christensen.1

  • LDL particle concentration (LDL-cholesterol) causally affects ASCVD,
  • dietary fat quality is the main environmental determinant of plasma LDL-C,
  • fat quality affects the risk of ASCVD risk mainly by modifying plasma LDL-C and dietary guidelines for fat are based on the breadth and strength of the evidence.

Physical activity and ASCVD prevention: is there a dose response curve?

Professor Signe Sørensen Torekov spoke about physical activity and ASCVD prevention with a focus on quantity versus benefit. She presented a great body of evidence related to achieving and maintaining healthy body weight throughout life and the role of physical activity.

Professor Torekov summarised her findings that emphasise the benefits of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity in reducing the low-grade inflammation of obesity that could help prevent related metabolic diseases.

Access the full congress

It’s not too late to tune into the congress, if you are interested, the virtual recordings of the meeting will be accessible to registered participants for three months following the event, after which it will be available to all members on the EAS academy.

Register for EAS congress

Reference: 1. Christensen JJ, et al. Dietary fat quality, plasma atherogenic lipoproteins, and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: An overview of the rationale for dietary recommendations for fat intake. Atherosclerosis 2024; 389: 117433.