Details of forthcoming cardiology conferences in and around Europe
Professor John Camm, consultant cardiologist, St George’sHospital, London
The American Heart Association started their own journal in 1950, at a time when cardiovascular medicine was a rapidly growing field. What started as a journal for a small group of cardiologists has become a global medium for cardiovascular science and medicine and has more than 22 000 subscribers with another 10 000 who see it online. It ranks #1 for impact out of 70 journals in the cardiac and cardiovascular systems category.
The global nature of Circulation is demonstrated by the origin of the corresponding authors. Strikingly, out of the 6976 submissions that the journal received within the last 12 months, 2985 (43%) were from Europe. Some 10% of European manuscripts were accepted for publication, and in the last twelve months, 30% of the articles in Circulation were written by European authors.
Ajournal not only needs excellent manuscripts, but also their assessment by qualified peers. The peer-review system has greatly contributed to the prestige of journals such as Circulation. With the global nature of modern science, we cannot depend on national reviewers alone. In the last twelve months, 4058 independent reviewers were used by Circulation , with 1234 or 30% of these experts coming from Europe. Also, 17 out of 113 editorials were written by Europeans.
These figures suggest that contrary to a common perception among many European scientists and physicians, Circulation is also truly their journal, with Europe a major contributor to its content and quality. It is therefore appropriate that on the initiative of its editor-in-chief Joseph Loscalzo, the AHA has decided to launch a European version of the journal.
It might be argued that this is against today’s global trends, but it is not a reintroduction of local science. The review process and papers published will remain the same. But a local flavour remains important in medicine, because the perception of what is important and necessary evidence varies according to the perspective of specific countries, economies and health care systems.
One example of this is the use of implantable cardioverter defibrillators. This differs markedly in the United States, Spain and the UK, although all physicians are aware of the same body of evidence. It is likely that cultural, administrative, economic and personal factors influence the clinical implemention of trial evidence, and when questions of value arise, factors beyond science become important.
The local framework is also relevant. Funding, regulations and ethics are significantly different between the United States and Europe, and even within Europe itself. The European Union has a scientific programme, but a true equivalent of the US National Institutes of Health does not exist. Differences also exist in the funding for research. Some national scientific bodies are effective grant providers, while, in other countries, scientists have to rely mainly on industry. Also the academic system, an important element of the scientific process, varies greatly from one country to another and has an effect on young researchers and physicians seeking a career in cardiovascular medicine. In the field of ethics, cultural perceptions are undoubtedly an influence.
Historically, Europe has been one of the most important contributors to cardiology. Andreas Vaselius, William Harvey and John Hunter were Europeans who shaped cardiac anatomy. William Withering and Thomas L. Brunton initiated cardiovascular pharmacology, and without Willem Einthoven and Thomas Lewis, the electrocardiogram would not be a routine diagnostic tool. Echocardiography was introduced by Swedish engineers, and the introduction of cardiac catheterization by Werner Forssmann, pacemaking by Ake Senning and balloon angioplasty by Andreas Grüntzig were seminal contributions from the old continent. And today, Europe remains a leading home of cardiology with many influential scientists and the highly successful annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
Against this background, the editor-in-chief and the European editor are proud to give European cardiology the reference it deserves. Keith Barnard, a physician and an experienced medical writer and journalist based in the UK, will together with the European editor provide relevant features in each issue of from January 2006, and European clinicians, scientists and researchers will be asked to comment from a European perspective. will still provide the best science in cardiovascular medicine, but with a European highlight. We hope our European readers will enjoy it.
Editor of Circulation: European perspectives in cardiology, welcomes you