The Italian Federation of Cardiology (IFC) is the representative body of Italian cardiology both in Italy and abroad. It includes approximately 8,000 members.
In 1935, the Italian Society of Cardiology (Società Italiana di Cardiologia, SIC) was founded as the first Italian association of cardiologists; it has played a key role in distinguishing cardiology as an independent branch of internal medicine. In 1963, the Italian Association of Hospital Cardiologists (Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri, ANMCO) was founded in order to meet the growing demand for cardiology services.
Subsequently, the gradual development and differentiation of the technical and clinical aspects of cardiovascular diseases has led to the creation of numerous sector-specific scientific societies, some of which originating from SIC, ANMCO, or both, and others independently.
This notable development of Italian cardiology reflects the growing weight of cardiovascular diseases and the success attained in their diagnosis, therapy and prevention.
However, any significant, rapid growth will tend to generate fragmentation.
In 1998, the wise leaders of SIC and ANMCO had a vision for the immense potential of a united Italian cardiology: this is how the Italian Federation of Cardiology was born, bringing together both ANMCO and SIC as well as the cardiovascular societies. The Italian Federation of Cardiology has two official journals: the Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine and the Giornale Italiano di Cardiologia.
IFC pursues three objectives through SIC, ANMCO and affiliated cardiovascular societies:
- optimizing cardiovascular clinical practice by recommending allocation of healthcare resources;
- optimizing professional cardiology training and developing testing standards;
- promoting cardiovascular research for personalized prevention.
The innovative challenge
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of disability, illness and healthcare costs. Currently, prevention should be carried out on a large scale (one size fits all!) but, even in the case of cardiovascular diseases, new and revolutionary possibilities are emerging.
The development of post-genomic biomolecular techniques will allow for the identification of genetic factors which confer individual vulnerability or protection with respect to cardiovascular risk factors.
This knowledge will allow for personalized prevention therapies (different shoe sizes for different people!), thereby reassuring individuals that they have “guardian angels” and focusing prevention in a targeted manner on those risk factors to which specific individuals are vulnerable. This would result in prevention strategies that are far more specific, selective, effective and cost-effective.
The Italian Federation of Cardiology has fully committed to this challenge by creating a Non-Profit Foundation devoted exclusively to fundraising for cardiovascular research, in collaboration with Conacuore, a non-profit association which brings together 96 voluntary societies in the field of cardiovascular diseases.