Luis Afonso, M.D., F.A.C.C., speaks at the American College of Cardiology’s 2013 Scientific Sessions Highlights Program in India last month.
Dr. Afonso is associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology.
A Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty member was one of three cardiologists from the United States invited to represent the American College of Cardiology at a weeklong series of presentations in India.
Luis Afonso, M.D., F.A.C.C., associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Cardiology and director of the WSU Cardiology Fellowship Program and the Echocardiography Laboratory at Harper University Hospital in Detroit, traveled to the cities of Lucknow, Kolkata and Delhi to present highlights and clinical updates from the ACC’s 2013 Scientific Sessions, held last March in San Francisco.
The speaking trio included medical faculty from Temple University School of Medicine in Pittsburgh and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans.
Dr. Afonso was asked to attend by WSU Professor and Division of Cardiology Chair Kim Williams Sr., M.D., vice president of the ACC, and the ACC Presidential Committee, in recognition of his role as a leader in the field of lipids, a group of naturally occurring molecules.
In “Lipids: Management in 2013 and Beyond,” Dr. Afonso presented the status of managing patients with statin medications (used to lower cholesterol levels), including side effects and intolerance, and highlighted newer developments and treatments to elevate high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol, believed to reduce the likelihood of a heart attack or recurrent heart attack, through medications such as niacin and newer agents such as dalcetrapib and Anacetrapib, he said.
He also discussed a new class of medications called PCSK9 inhibitors. These injectable medications “are administered every two weeks and have been found to dramatically reduce low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol,” he said, adding they will be available soon.
“These agents would serve as excellent alternatives for patients who do not respond to standard treatment with statin medications,” he said.
The series was organized by the ACC’s International Affairs Department and Alkem Laboratories, one of India’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Afonso said.
“There were between 150 to 400 attendees for these talks, with lively (question-and-answer) sessions that often exceeded the 30-minute allotted time, with moderator panels comprised of well-informed cardiologists from leading institutions in India,” he added.The ACC is an international organization that represents more than 30,000 cardiovascular physician practitioners and several thousand allied health and cardiac care associates. The college promotes high quality cardiovascular care with registries for intervention and device therapies, disease treatment and procedure guidelines, position statements, and appropriate use criteria for diagnostic studies and cardiac interventions.