The Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis (PESA) study aims to improve the prevention of atherosclerosis, the leading cause of death in the world, and to identify the risk factors and lifestyle that influence its progression before it can detect symptoms.
The research is led by cardiologist Dr. Valentín Fuster, General Director of the National Center for Cardiovascular Investigations (CNIC), part of Instituto de Salud Carlos III and Director of the Institute of Cardiology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
The Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation, Felipe Pétriz, and the President of Santander Group, Emilio Botín, signed an agreement on April 7th, 2010 in which was released the PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) study CNIC- Santander, who was conceived to increase knowledge of the progression of cardiovascular disease.
The consortium formed by Cerba Internacional and Analiza Sociedad de Diagnóstico won the bidding process to finalize the PESA CNIC-Santander study regarding clinical analysis.
The study aims to improve the cardiovascular health of the population through markers that allow the early detection of subclinical atherosclerosis. In this sense, among other tests, a series of measurements of biochemical and molecular variables are carried out with the participants.
The study's focus population are collaborators and former employees of Grupo Santander, aged between 47 and 62, who will have access to the most advanced imaging and laboratory techniques.
With the intention of using this information for future research, a collection of different types of biological samples of the participants, kept between -80ºC and -170ºC, duplicated in two venues, will also be stored, as determined by the technical specification of the bidding process.
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 1.9 million deaths annually just in the European Union. In Spain, these diseases represent 35% of all deaths among men and 43% among women. The most frequent etiologic factor is atherosclerosis, which is responsible for the highest number of deaths.
The General Director of the CNIC, Dr. Valentín Fuster, stated when the project began, that "the PESA CNIC-Santander study will undoubtedly contribute to a better knowledge of the disease and will allow a more effective prevention of its catastrophic consequences. Together with other studies such as the High Risk Plaque (HRP), the Multi-ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), both carried out in the United States, will contribute to a future against the 21st century epidemic which are heart and cerebrovascular diseases "