The study of atherosclerosis using tools of the 21st century: The PESA study

Valentin Fuster is an outstanding academic cardiologist who needs no introduction. The scope of his work and the contribution of his team to the management and prevention of cardiovascular disease is simply remarkable.

In a recent review article published in the high-impact Journal of the American College of Cardiology, for which he also acts as the Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Fuster and his colleagues provide an extensive and well-illustrated report of the key findings of the PESA (Progression of Early Subclinical Atherosclerosis) study. PESA is a comprehensive population study that uses noninvasive imaging methodologies to assess subclinical atherosclerosis in various regions before the manifestation of symptoms. The main objective of the PESA study is to characterize subclinical atherosclerosis as well as its development over a 16-year period in a sample of healthy middle-aged individuals. These extensive measurements of subclinical atherosclerosis (carotids, iliofemorals, aorta and coronaries) are combined with a comprehensive set of biological (traditional and emerging risk factors) and behavioral (dietary and sleep habits, physical activity) variables providing further insights on factors related to its early development.

Reading this paper is a must for anyone interested by the latest findings on biological and behavioral risk factors associated with the early development of atherosclerosis. PESA is an ongoing study that will provide additional and important findings for years to come.