Background

The role of health promotion is to promote and maintain the physical, intellectual and social health of the citizens through the upgrading of the natural and social environment or through the adoption of healthy behaviors, related to dietary habits (e.g. smoking, accommodation, social support etc). The work in this project will consist of the essential medical/clinical actions, but also of the technological facilities: analysis of data, processing and educational activities through the use of ICT which will be commonly used by both communities. Project activities such as clinical examinations & interventions will contribute to the improvement of health services in the region, easily transferable to the wider European area. The proposed educational strategy will contribute to the Continuing Medical Education and Continuing Professional Development (CME/CPD) by exploiting competent research institutes and universities in the metropolitan areas and minimizing disparities in the education level of human resources.
Atheromatosis is a lifelong process that begins and develops silently even during fetal development and generally shows clinical manifestations in adult life. The initiation and progressive formation of atheromatic lesions represents a complex interplay of both genetic and environmental factors. It is the major cause of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) leading to complications such as myocardial infarction and stroke and its complications constitute the main causes of death in western societies. In the United States, CVD is responsible for 41.4% of all deaths and constitutes the leading cause of mortality. Thus, primary prevention strategies beginning in childhood have great potential and might result in prevention of adult CVD.  Understanding the molecular base of the creation of atheromatic lesions, and having the possibility to determine the various factors that contribute to the development of atheromatosis we are in a position to timely recognize the individuals with severe risks.  Among the factors contributing to the formation of atheromatic lesions is obesity.  Nutrition and lifestyle plays an important role in the development of overweight in childhood. Moreover, dietary factors are also involved in the development of CVD, type II diabetes etc. In this proposal, we focus on overweight and obesity as major components of the onset of cardiovascular diseases. To stop the resulting epidemic of diet- and lifestyle induced morbidity, evidence-based efficient approaches are needed in order to implement strategies of intervention though information campaigns and prevent the onset of diseases from the childhood.
The effectiveness of the proposed project depends on the experience exchanged from the two regions, which is very important for the prevention of obesity and the timely diagnosis of high-risk individuals.
The design and the content of the proposed project correspond exactly to the strategic objectives of priority/meas. 1-4