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Preventing the Preventable: Transforming Cardiovascular Health

PERFECTO — Leading Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Paediatric Screening for a Heart-Healthy Europe

PERFECTO is at the forefront of combating cardiovascular disease through early detection and personalised prevention. Our mission targets Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH), the most common genetic cause of heart conditions, affecting millions from birth. Together, we're championing paediatric screening to safeguard future generations and ensure a lifetime of cardiovascular well-being.

Consultant speaking to family
family walking along a boardwalk at the beach.
2.5 Million
people affected by FH in Europe
Read the story behind this photo

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: The Silent Influence on Heart Health

FH affects an estimated 2.5 million people in Europe alone, leading to premature heart attacks

High cholesterol isn't just an adult concern. From birth, Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) can set the stage for early heart disease. Knowing is the first step to prevention. PERFECTO champions early screening to unveil this hidden risk and steer young lives towards heart-healthy futures.

FH remains an unresolved CVD public health issue in Europe and globally today.

Early Detection: The First Decade

Initiating screening and detection in the first decade of life is vital. It paves the way for a normal, CVD-free life, intercepting cardiovascular diseases before they take hold. With PERFECTO, early detection is not just an option; it's a pathway to health.

Mission: Evidence for Prevention

PERFECTO is dedicated to generating compelling evidence to support the widescale implementation of FH Paediatric Screening in Europe. Our mission is clear – to have a profound impact on individuals, families, society, and healthcare systems.

Collaboration: Unity in Prevention

Joining forces with those affected by FH, alongside Patient Ambassadors and medical experts, we strive to lead the advancement of innovative CVD prevention and promote cardiovascular health. PERFECTO is where collaboration brings change.

WoRk Packages: The Five Pillars of PERFECTO

Collaborative strategies for maximum impact

PERFECTO orchestrates change through five synergistic Work Packages (WPs), each tailored to advance our understanding, communication, and implementation of paediatric screening for Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) across Europe. From in-depth research to inclusive health literacy and policy advocacy, our integrated approach lays the groundwork for a healthier, heart-conscious society

The packages consist of Strategic Management, Evidence and Advocacy, Tailored Communications, Health Equity and Community Engagement.

5 Children giving a high 5 representing the 5 pillars of PERFECTO and the collaboration
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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HaDEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.
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The black-and-white photo illustrates a family walking along a boardwalk at the beach. The family consists of two adults and a young child, all dressed in striped tops. Initially, the child's top was plain white when the photo was taken. Prof. Dr. Eric Sijbrands came up with an idea to represent inheriting genes from both parents with the help of the image. In 1992, he skilfully added horizontal and vertical stripes to the child's top, transforming the T-shirt and the whole image, which he then used in a presentation at his department. The matching patterns and the act of walking together metaphorically highlight the transfer of genetic traits from parents to offspring, emphasizing the continuity of genetic information across generations. Today, the image is used in many presentations across the world as a visual analogy for how genetic traits are passed down within families.

Prof. Dr. Eric Sijbrands is a full professor of vascular medicine at the department of internal medicine of the Erasmus MC, the university hospital in Rotterdam. After he qualified as a medical doctor in 1990, he was given the opportunity to receive his training in internal medicine and perform scientific research at the Universities of Leiden and Amsterdam. He was one of the founding fathers of the worldwide first and largest population-based genetic diagnostic cascade screening program: the Dutch national molecular screening program for familial hypercholesterolemia. His work improved the insurability of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia globally: identified and on statins, they now pay regular premiums.