Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 344

Archive for 24 novembre 2014

Is it possible to return warming to below 1.5°C within this century?

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

climate_changeThe world community has agreed a global warming limit of holding warming below 2°C above preindustrial levels. Small island states and the least developed countries have called for warming to be brought back to below 1.5° by 2100. The 1.5°C warming limit is now under review for consideration next year by the UNFCCCC.Due to past emissions, and taking into account the most aggressive mitigation strategies, peak mean global warming in the 21st Century can limited close to 1.5°C, with warming dropping to below 1.5° by 2100. This means that the world is unlikely to be able to avoid impacts projected close to 1.5°C, including major damage to coral reef systems and the emergence of regular occurrences of unusual heat extremes of a over substantial land area. This is reflected in the World Bank’s “Turn Down the Heat: Confronting the New Climate Normal” (TDTH) report and also in the press release launching it:Climate change impacts such as extreme heat events may now be unavoidable because the Earth’s atmospheric system is locked into warming close to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by mid-century, the report said. Even very ambitious mitigation action taken today will not change this, it said. This does not mean, however, that long-term warming of 1.5°C is locked in, or that achievement of the 1.5°C warming limit, as called for by the vulnerable countries, is no longer possible. As is shown in the TDTH report, this message is a call for strong early action and a further warning that time is running out. Limiting warming below 1.5°C by 2100 is still feasible. Climate projections based on energy-economic emissions scenarios show that, in the best case, warming will peak close to 1.5°C by mid-century before slowly declining to below this level. With continuing negative emissions post 2100, warming levels would decline further.Limiting peak warming close to 1.5°C by mid century will still result in significant damage. At present levels of warming (about 0.8°C above preindustrial) the impacts of climate change are already being felt in many regions of the world. Climate change has left its negative imprint on crop yields, caused marine species to migrate to cooler waters; it has increased heat waves and drought, and placed pressure on water resources and damaged coral reefs.Even with the most aggressive mitigation action limiting peak warming close to 1.5°C, there will be substantial damages in the form of extreme heat events, damages to water resources, and risks to regional food security. Both the IPCC and the TDTH report show that risks to unique and threatened systems, such as coral reefs, are high at 1.5°C and sea-level rise would continue long after 2100. The example given in the World Bank’s press release illustrates the scale of the risk of warming even at 1.5°C for unusual heat extremes: for the three regions covered in this TDTH report and from 2013, unusual heat extremes, which are currently largely absent, increase to cover 10 to 60% of land area by the time global warming reaches around 1.5°C.

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South Africa: Higher political risk to business, factional infighting in ANC’s hybrid regime

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

jacob_zuma_0423The report was written for South African Monitor (http://sa-monitor.com). The report comes to the following conclusions:
1. There has been a major change in foreign media reporting on the Zuma government in the one-party-dominant state of South Africa. It is epitomized by The Economist’s call in May 2014: “Time to ditch the ANC”.
2. Under the rule of president Jacob Zuma, South Africa has moved from a flawed democracy to a hybrid regime. The fracas in Parliament on 13 November 2014, with riot police removing an opposition politician, and Zuma’s opaque nuclear deal with Russia, are just the latest signals in this regard.
3. The locus of politics is no longer parliament and elections, but a field of power where non-democratic and democratic elements interact. These elements include: an unaccountable presidentialism; the securitization of politics and political assassinations; weak democratic checks on the executive; extending the ANC’s power in a one-partydominant state through state patronage and pro-ANC crony capitalists.
4. Factional competition over positions and resources is intensifying in the ANC, its allies and breakaway factions, like the Economic Freedom Fighters and NUMSA trade union. These dynamics will result in shifts, uncertainty and discretionary decisions in economic policy-making. They will also result in militant strikes, political tensions and protests, and local political assassinations.
5. High levels of state debt and the ANC’s own funding problems are driving a search for sources of income. The ANC has “eaten the state”. Higher taxes, new licence conditions and more beneficiation requirements are now likely in the next five years.
6. The ANC government is proceeding with several initiatives and legislation that will weaken property rights and increase government intervention in the economy. Sectors like minerals and energy, the security industry, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and agriculture will be most exposed. The ANC could become more dependent on foreign patrons like Russia and China.
7. Political competition and factionalism over positions and resources will intensify in the run-up to the local elections in 2016, the ANC’s leadership succession in 2017, and the national elections in 2019.South African Monitor has also announced that the report will be discussed on 10 December 2014, International Human Rights Day. The event will take place at 19.00-22.00 at the Nieuwspoort Press Centre, The Hague (Netherlands). The participants will be Dr. Ineke van Kessel, senior researcher at the Africa Studies Centre, Leiden (Netherlands) and Prof. Koos Malan, constitutional expert at the University of Pretoria (South Africa). Confirmation of attendance should be sent to admin@sa-monitor.com by or before 5 December 2014.

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We, established corporates, partners of the Startup Europe Partnership and European Digital Forum, publicly reaffirm the need of a vibrant startup scene for Europe to thrive

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

european-unionThe very nature of startups makes them appropriate vehicles for testing and commercialising new technologies, products, services, and business models for the benefit of consumers. Startups are not marginal players in the modern economy. Young firms (five years old or less) accounted for only about 20% of non-financial business sector employment over the past decade, but generated nearly half of all new jobs, according to the OECD. According to SEP Monitor and the Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth, a growing number of them are turning into Scaleups, i.e companies able to produce revenue, employment and innovation at a scale.
Therefore, if we take action now to focus on startups and scaleups, we will secure significant growth in jobs, taxes, wealth and the competitive advantage of Europe for generations to come. Why Startups are important to Corporates and viceversa: In an increasingly complex business context, the rules for new value creation have changed. In the New Economy, no organization is an island and the value comes from the network. Value creation will increasingly depend on networks and ecosystems and less on closed systems. The way innovation is done in large companies is changing: it’s become more “open,” and more based on a broader, collaborative “ecosystem.” “Open Innovation”, “co-creation” and “collaboration” have become much more than buzzwords. The best way to embrace this new context is by setting up the bridges to work with startups and paving the way for innovation ecosystems to emerge and develop, so startups are able to scale-up and accelerate the reach to market on our and other agents contribution to this vision. We recognise the importance of startups and local ecosystems as a key engine to grow grass root innovation and job creation.
We emphasise the need of public entities and corporates for the development of local ecosystems, scaleups and startups able to grow and deliver products and services at a global scale.
We recognise the need to play an active role to support the scale-up of the best European startups with the ultimate goal of creating a new generation of large corporates able to become worldwide leaders and innovators.
We recognise our essential role for the support of a dynamic scale-up ecosystem, through a more active role in mentoring, opening our procurement channels and/or evaluating acquisition/acqui-hires as a way to maintain an edge in innovation.
We recognise the importance of sharing best practices among us, with the goal of accelerating the learning curve of intra-preneurship culture within the corporation.
We recognise the need to innovate by adopting open and lean approaches and the opportunity to learn from each other with startups. We recognise that our R&D and innovation efforts need to be coordinated with the innovation potential coming from startup companies.
We recognise the role of European Commission to drive a joint effort through the Startup Europe initiatives such as Startup Europe Partnership and European Digital Forum.
We recognise the need for the European Union to elevate entrepreneurship and investment at the centre of its policies, actions and strategies.

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Fundamental rights and non-discrimination conference in Tirana – final statement

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

tiranaTirana. At the end of the conference on “Fundamental rights, non-discrimination and the protection of vulnerable groups, including LGBTI”, which took place in Albania on 20-21 November 2014, the participating Members of the European Parliament, the Italian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Commission issued the following statement:”This conference has shown that enlargement countries have put in place key elements of the legal and policy framework for fundamental rights and non-discrimination. Vulnerable groups, among them LGBTI citizens, nonetheless often remain at risk of discrimination, marginalization or even violence. We encourage governments and political leaders of the region to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that all minorities and vulnerable groups are accepted and can participate freely in society. They should also ensure that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited in law and that persons belonging to minorities can equally exercise their rights. A hierarchy of grounds must be avoided and attention should be paid to multiple forms of discrimination. Finally, sustained efforts are needed to implement and enforce relevant legislation and policies, to adopt pending reforms and to work at changing societal attitudes from prejudice and even hostility to respect and acceptance.”

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New ‘CoCo’ bonds may worsen financial crisis situations

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

Technische Universität MünchenBanks are increasingly issuing ‘CoCo’ bonds to boost the levels of equity they hold. In a crisis situation, bondholders are forced to convert these bonds into a bank’s equity. To date, such bonds have been regarded only as a means of averting a crisis. A study by economists at Technische Universität München (TUM) and University of Bonn now shows that if such bonds are badly constructed, they worsen a crisis instead of stabilizing the banking system – because they incentivize a bank’s owners to worsen a bank’s situation themselves so as to leave bondholders out in the cold. One lesson that policymakers and financial regulators have drawn from the financial market crisis is that banks need to be backed by more equity. But banks have found it hard to increase their core capital positions – in other words, the equity available to them long-term. Since 2009, this has led European banks to increasingly deploy an instrument that allows them to convert debt into equity in times of need: contingent convertible bonds, also known as CoCo bonds. Banks issue these bonds at fixed interest rates – as is normal with corporate bonds. The special aspect of CoCo bonds is that if banks fall short of their predetermined core capital ratio levels – mostly 7 percent – the bonds are converted into the banks’ equity. In other words, bondholders are forced to convert their securities into the banks’ shares, or even waive their claims entirely. Banks use these instruments as it is generally easier for them to place them on the market than shares, and they also entail tax advantages. For investors, CoCo bonds are interesting because they offer higher interest rates than other corporate bonds. Policymakers and regulators welcome them because banks that are in financial difficulties ‘bail in’ their bond creditors, rather than resorting directly to taxpayers to bail them out. This has led various European states and the European Central Bank to recognize CoCo bonds as bank equity capital. US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner concluded in 2010 that CoCo bonds could function as ‘shock absorbers’ in market upheavals.

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EFactor Group Corp. Acquires Robson Dowry Associates, Ltd.

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

Bank-of-EnglandEFactor Group Corp. (OTCQB: EFCT) (“EFactor Group Corp.” or “the Company”), the owner of a group of entrepreneur-focused service companies and EFactor.com, a niche social network providing content and resources for entrepreneurs worldwide, today announced the acquisition of Robson Dowry Associates, Ltd. (“Robson Dowry”). Robson Dowry will become part of EFactor Group Corp.’s “Business Services” pillar through which this EFactor Group division provides business services to its entrepreneur members on EFactor.com. Robson Dowry is an independent branding and design group with a track record of over 30 years. The company is based in the United Kingdom and maintains a roster of brand-leading clientele such as; The Bank of England, Admiralty Ukho and Felix Solis Wines. The firm is headed by Ian Robson, who founded the Company more than 30 years ago. Robson Dowry provides its clients with graphic design, marketing and corporate positioning to help improve their clients’ visual identity and packaging. “Our ‘business services’ offering to support our entrepreneur-members on EFactor.com will greatly benefit from having Robson Dowry in our portfolio of companies under EFactor Group Corp,” said Adriaan Reinders, CEO of EFactor Group Corp. “The team at Robson Dowry have built a fantastic brand for themselves in addition to helping position and brand their own clients worldwide. In combination with our PR agency, MCC International, we are confident these two acquired businesses will significantly help our entrepreneur membership base research the options in both public relations and company-branding needed to excel in their businesses. ”
Robson Dowry’s unaudited financial statements for the twelve month period ending December 31, 2014 forecasts revenues of approximately $812,000. The management of Robson Dowry has budgeted 34% top line growth in 2015. All of the revenues and earnings from Robson Downy will be recognized by EFactor Group Corp. beginning on the acquisition date of November 15, 2014
Robson Dowry is an independent branding and design group with a track record of over 30 years. Our principled, rigorous approach to design sets us apart in a world of industry babble, clichés and economic uncertainty. It’s why we are chosen by brands with something special to preserve and promote, from Spain’s leading winemaker to the global leader in maritime navigation.
Everything we do is underpinned by a respect for our craft and a belief in doing things in precisely the right ways. This is how we help brands navigate successfully through a world of increasing complexity, clutter and confusion – and quick-fix solutions. Every project, whether branding, literature, packaging or a website, is part of a long-term investment in a brand’s successful evolution.
EFactor Group Corp. (OTCQB: EFCT) has at its core EFactor.com, a niche social network for entrepreneurs. EFactor.com provides its members with the people, tools, marketing and expertise to succeed and make real, trustworthy and lasting connections. At the core of the network lies a strong algorithm that allows members to not only connect with people, but with the right people. In addition, EFactor.com provides knowledge, facilitates preparing for funding and resources to reduce business costs, delivered through a mix of online social networking and offline domestic and international events. EFactor.com has over one million members in 222 territories across 240 industries. It is incorporated in Nevada and headquartered in San Francisco. For more information, visit http://www.efactor.com. EFactor Group Corp. also has various subsidiary service organizations including a UK communications and public relations agency and a company that delivers matching software for mentees to get matched to the perfect mentor. For more information about EFactor Group Corp. please visit, http://efactorgroup.com/ EFactor.com is a social network designed to support you as your business grows, along every step of your journey. We’ll be there to congratulate you every time you win and will coach and inspire you whenever you feel frustrated by setbacks. You can count on us to connect you with the right people for you and your company and offer you the resources and talent that will help you succeed. We are highly motivated everyday people who genuinely care about our team and customers. We cheer each other on and have each other’s back. We get to see our ideas come to life every single day. We’re entrepreneurs, contributing our expertise to the community.

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American University opens gates to refugees around th world, tuition free

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

pasadena(Pasadena, University of the People (UoPeople) President Shai Reshef in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Israel has announced the launch of a collaborative project opening the gates to tuition-free, accredited higher education for refugees and asylum seekers all over the world.UoPeople together with UNHCR have established a special policy to admit refugees and asylum seekers, in cases where official transcripts and documents could not be obtained. The unique policy was approved by DETC, the US national educational accreditation agency of UoPeople, thereby enabling refugees to pursue higher education and earn a university degree.UoPeople is granting scholarships to African refugees and asylum seekers as part of a special pilot made available with the collaboration of Amnesty International, HIAS and ARDC (African Refugee Development Center). The first group of students has now formally begun their first week at the Californian virtual university. President Reshef will meet with students of the first cohort of African refugees in the program at Amnesty International offices.“UoPeople is reaching out to the least upwardly mobile population – refugees and asylum seekers – the ones most in line with our mission, to open the gates to higher education to all qualified students and those most in need of education in order to overcome other barriers,” said Reshef. “This model of collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency and HIAS can be replicated wherever there are refugees and can be scaled to serve millions of refugees around the world, providing them with access to higher education.”
According to Reshef the academic activity of the African asylum seekers who have either been accepted to the University, or who are currently in the process of enrollment, has been built upon UoPeople’s successful experience working with over 250 earthquake survivors and Internally Displaced Persons in Haiti, and will be a model for refugees world-wide who meet the University’s academic criteria and are eager to access higher education.“The number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide, has, for the first time since post World War II, exceeded 50 million people,” said Walpurga Englbrecht, UNHCR Representative in Israel. “In order to improve the welfare of these people we commit ourselves to stepping up the efforts to collaborate with forward-thinking organizations like UoPeople. Accessing education is the key to human dignity, to advancement, and to a better future.” UoPeople has established a special scholarship fund for refugees who can’t afford even the University’s minimal examination fees; the first donation has already been received. A total of 300 African refugees and asylum seekers began the process of applying for the special scholarship.University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. Using open-source technology, Open Educational Resources, peer-to-peer learning, and the assistance of academic volunteers, UoPeople is designed to provide access to college studies for qualified high school graduates, despite financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints.UoPeople offers Associate and Bachelor degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science and is currently in the process of developing a new program in Health Sciences.
Founded in 2009, UoPeople has partnered with Yale ISP law School for research; New York University (NYU) to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships, access to its certificate programs, mentoring, internships and employment opportunities; and Hewlett-Packard, for general support, scholarships for women and internships. The University has enrolled students from 150 different countries and is supported by a network of over 3,000 dedicated volunteers.The institution has gained the widespread support of leading academics from leading universities around the world. Its Council of Presidents, chaired by New York University President John Sexton, includes Oxford Vice-Chancellor Sir Colin Lucas, U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter and UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, among others. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Hewlett Foundation, Fondation Hoffmann, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.
Founder and President of University of the People, Shai Reshef is an educational entrepreneur, with over 25 years of experience in the international education market. President Reshef has been widely recognized for his work with UoPeople. In 2010, the Huffington Post named him the ‘Ultimate Game Changer in Education,’ and WIRED included him in its list of the 50 people who will change the world. He was named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business as well as a Top Global Thinker by Foreign Policy Magazine. Before founding University of the People, Reshef directed KIT e-learning, the first online university in Europe. More at http://www.uopeople.edu

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Un nouveau rapport européen appelle à protéger la diversité cinématographique

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

hqdefaultAlors que la Commission européenne vient de renouveler ses membres, que le nouveau programme Europe Créative est en cours d’application et que le principe de territorialisation des aides a été confirmé, le think tank européen Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors, l’ifa (Institut pour les relations culturelles avec l’étranger) et UniFrance films publient un rapport sur la diffusion du film européen dans l’Union européenne et sur le marché mondial, rédigé par Josef Wutz, spécialiste de la distribution internationale de films, également disponible en anglais et en allemand.bCe rapport a été présenté aujourd’hui dans le cadre des rencontres franco-allemandes de Leipzig, en présence de Costa Gavras, cinéaste et président de la Cinémathèque française qui a signé la préface de ce rapport, Yves Bertoncini, directeur de Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors, Sebastian Körber, secrétaire général adjoint de l’ifa et Jean-Paul Salomé, président d’UniFrance films.
Ce rapport cherche à dresser un état des lieux de la diffusion du film européen dans les pays européens et dans le monde entre 2002 et 2014. Il prend en compte l’ensemble des acteurs de la chaîne du film et s’attache plus spécifiquement à quatre pays : l’Allemagne, l’Espagne, la France et l’Italie. Valentin Pérez formule ensuite des recommandations visant à rendre plus visible le cinéma européen.
La conclusion du rapport est sans appel: seuls des soutiens renforcés, notamment à la distribution, et une régulation assumée permettront l’éclosion réelle de cinématographies nationales solides. L’objectif consiste à renforcer le désir de diversité qu’incarne aujourd’hui le cinéma européen (fiction, documentaires, animation, etc.), dans l’Union européenne mais aussi dans le monde.
Trois recommandations apparaissent cruciales pour améliorer les conditions visant à garantir la diversité et la diffusion des films européens :
1. Mieux accompagner les salles européennes
Une action forte et rapide en ce sens est indispensable pour poursuivre le maillage du territoire européen en salles, offrant au public des œuvres reflétant la richesse de la production mondiale dans toute sa diversité.
2. Réinventer une forme de régulation qui corresponde à l’ère économique et technologique que nous vivons
Un renforcement des aides à la distribution des films européens en Europe et en dehors de l’Europe doit être examiné rapidement pour que nos films ne se cantonnent pas à leur propre pays.
3. Placer les œuvres européennes au cœur des programmes des chaînes de télévision publiques et stimuler les nouvelles voies de distributionLes services publics télévisuels doivent, de ce fait, être les lieux d’éditorialisation d’une certaine offre culturelle encore davantage que par le passé. Parallèlement, des outils d’accompagnement doivent être développés pour que le cinéma européen ne reste pas au bord du chemin de la vidéo à la demande.Notre Europe – Institut Jacques Delors est le think tank européen fondé par Jacques Delors en 1996 dont l’objectif est de produire des analyses et des propositions destinées aux décideurs européens et à un public plus large, ainsi que de contribuer aux débats relatifs à l’Union européenne. Nous diffusons de nombreuses publications, des vidéos et des sons, organisons et participons à des séminaires et conférences partout en Europe et intervenons régulièrement dans les médias européens, par la voix de nos présidents, de notre directeur et de notre équipe.
Fondée en 1949, UniFrance films est une association à but non lucratif basée à Paris, avec des bureaux à New York, Bombay, Pékin et Tokyo, visant à promouvoir le cinéma français dans le monde entier. Cette association rassemble plus de 950 professionnels français de l’industrie cinématographique (exportateurs, producteurs, comédiens, agents artistiques, etc.) qui promeuvent et soutiennent leurs films auprès du public, des acheteurs et des médias internationaux.Une coexistence pacifique et ouverte entre les hommes et les cultures à l’échelle mondiale: c’est la vision animant l’ifa, un Institut pour les relations culturelles avec l’étranger. Nos missions principales portent sur la compréhension entre les peuples, l’échange artistique, le dialogue interculturel et la gestion civile des conflits. Grâce à des programmes comportant des expositions, des dialogues et des conférences, nous encourageons l’échange artistique et culturel international. En tant que centre de compétences de la politique culturelle et éducative allemande à l’étranger, bénéficiant d’un réseau mondial, nous réunissons la société civile, la culture, l’art, la politique, les médias et la science. Ce rapport a reçu le soutien du programme de recherche « Culture et politique étrangère » de l’ifa, au sein duquel des chercheurs travaillent sur des questions et domaines clés en matière de politique culturelle et éducative à l’étranger. L’ifa est financé par le ministère allemand des Affaires étrangères, le Land de Bade-Wurtemberg et sa capitale Stuttgart.

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Stenosi aortica

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 novembre 2014

valvola-aortica-stenosi“Non bisogna preoccuparsene più di tanto”. “È pericolosa sì, ma ci sono malattie più letali come il tumore al polmone, l’insufficienza renale o l’alzheimer”. “Non la conosco, è causata dall’ostruzione di un’arteria?”. Quando si parla di malattie delle valvole cardiache e in particolare di stenosi aortica le idee sono confuse. A sfatare alcuni “falsi miti” che circolano su queste malattie è una ricerca condotta dall’istituto di ricerca britannico Opinion Matters, su incarico di Edwards Lifesciences, disegnata per valutare la conoscenza e la comprensione delle malattie delle valvole cardiache su un campione rappresentativo di 8.926 persone over 60 provenienti da 10 paesi europei, 1.000 dall’Italia. I risultati dimostrano quanto poco si sappia e soprattutto quanto queste malattie siano sottovalutate.
Scendendo nel dettaglio, è emerso che in Europa meno del 3% delle persone è preoccupata per le malattie delle valvole cardiache; i tumori (28%) e il morbo di alzheimer (20%) spaventano di più. Lo stesso vale per gli italiani, anche se emerge una maggior preoccupazione per le malattie delle valvole cardiache (3,6%) rispetto al resto degli europei. Anche dal punto di vista della possibilità di sopravvivenza alla malattia nel lungo periodo, la ricerca ha confermato la scarsa conoscenza intorno alla stenosi aortica. Infatti, mentre circa la metà (44,6%) degli europei dichiara che il tumore al polmone sia tra le malattie con minor possibilità di sopravvivenza, solo 1 su 20, il 4,1%, riconosce, a ragione, che la stenosi aortica abbia un altissimo rischio di mortalità. In Italia la situazione è simile al resto d’Europa – il 5% riconosce che è la stenosi aortica ad avere a minor probabilità di sopravvivenza -, anche se la percentuale di chi è convinto che la minor probabilità di sopravvivenza a lungo termine sia da attribuirsi al cancro al polmone è significativamente maggiore rispetto agli europei (60%).In quanto a conoscenza della stenosi aortica gli italiani dimostrano di saperne un poco di più: solo 2 europei su 5, il 38,6%, sanno cosa sia esattamente la malattia, mentre in Italia 1 persona su 2 è a conoscenza del fatto che la stenosi aortica sia un restringimento della valvola aortica.In Europa la stenosi aortica è la meno conosciuta tra le malattie delle valvole cardiache – 1 su 5 riferisce di avere poca familiarità con questa malattia -, mentre quasi tutti sanno cos’è l’angina – solo il 2% sostiene infatti di non conoscerla. In Italia la conoscenza della stenosi aortica è migliore, 1 su 10 ha poca familiarità con la malattia; la condizione più familiare è l’aritmia (2%), seguita da malattia coronarica (4%) e angina (5%).“I risultati dell’indagine dimostrano che, nonostante la gravità, la stenosi aortica sia una malattia poco conosciuta e per lo più sottovalutata” commenta Roberto Di Bartolomeo, Direttore Cardiochirurgia, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna. “In Europa, Italia inclusa, le persone sembrano ignorare la serietà di questa malattia, potenzialmente più letale di molti tumori. È indispensabile innanzitutto far chiarezza sulla natura della stenosi aortica: è un restringimento provocato da depositi di calcio a livello della valvola del cuore che regola la quantità di sangue che fluisce dal ventricolo sinistro all’aorta e da lì raggiunge i vari organi del corpo umano. È la malattia delle valvole più frequente oltre i 75 anni ed è potenzialmente mortale, soprattutto nella sua forma più grave” continua Di Bartolomeo. “Secondo le stime più recenti, il 4,6% della popolazione oltre i 75 anni, quasi 300 mila persone in Italia, soffre di stenosi aortica severa, un quinto delle quali – tra le 50.000 e le 60.000 – è colpita dalla forma definita grave e sintomatica, destinata in un caso su due a prognosi infausta nel giro di un paio di anni, se non si interviene prontamente. Purtroppo, oltre ad essere sottovalutata, è spesso non trattata con appropriatezza, se si considera ad esempio che circa il 30% di questi malati non sono inviati alle cure più adeguate e non sempre quelli che vengono curati lo sono secondo i dettami delle linee guida internazionali” conclude.“Per la cura della stenosi aortica, le linee guida internazionali prevedono la sostituzione della valvola aortica con una protesi valvolare”, dichiara Mauro Rinaldi, Direttore Cardiochirurgia, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria Città della Salute e della Scienza, Torino. “Albert Starr, il 21 Settembre 1960, impiantò la prima valvola sostitutiva concepita e costruita assieme all’ingegnere idraulico Miles Lowell Edwards. A questo primo intervento sono seguite numerose tappe importanti delle quali l’impianto di valvola aortica per via transcatetere e lo sviluppo di protesi valvolari sempre più sofisticate rappresentano le ultime evoluzioni”, aggiunge.Tradizionalmente, l’operazione chirurgica di sostituzione della valvola aortica richiede di praticare un’apertura nella cavità toracica, che sia abbastanza ampia da permettere al chirurgo di avere un buon accesso al cuore e all’aorta, e quindi procedere con la sostituzione della valvola. Le nuove tecnologie permettono in molti casi di mandare in soffitta la tradizionale sternotomia e consentono la sostituzione della valvola con approcci minimamente invasivi. “Le protesi valvolari, oggi prevalentemente ‘biologiche’, ossia costituite da tessuto del pericardio animale, possono essere agevolmente impiantate con una piccola incisione attraverso la parte superiore dello sterno (mini-sternotomia) o con una incisione nella parte destra del torace (mini-toracotomia)” prosegue Rinaldi. “Il vantaggio non è solo estetico” interviene Francesco Alamanni, Direttore Chirurgia cardiovascolare, Centro Cardiologico Monzino, Milano. “La mini-sternotomia è associata a una riduzione dei sanguinamenti, minori complicazioni respiratorie, meno dolore post-operatorio, riduzione dei tempi di ricovero in terapia intensiva e più in generale in ospedale che si traducono in un miglior recupero del paziente e diminuzione del costo dell’intervento” prosegue.Parlando proprio di tecniche mini-invasive, all’inizio di aprile per la prima volta in Europa è stato impiantato al Centro Cardiologico Monzino di Milano dall’equipe del professor Alamanni, il nuovo modello di un’innovativa valvola aortica a impianto rapido, l’Intuity Elite di Edwards, studiata proprio per gli interventi di questo tipo. “Questa nuova protesi valvolare è del tipo ‘sutureless’, richiede solo poche suture di guida in quanto, in fase di impianto, si espande velocemente per adattarsi ai vasi aortici. Questo sistema offre vantaggi significativi per il paziente: l’impianto è più facile, più rapido, e può essere eseguito agevolmente con le tecniche mini-invasive, limitando le possibili criticità e gli effetti collaterali connessi con il trauma chirurgico”, spiega Alamanni. “Ogni anno in Italia migliaia di pazienti vengono sottoposti ad un intervento di sostituzione valvolare aortica; la mini-invasività è di notevole aiuto perché in molti casi si tratta di malati complessi, spesso con malattie concomitanti, e quindi tradizionalmente difficili da trattare, per cui è fondamentale trovare procedure e tecnologie efficaci con il minimo impatto sul paziente”, conclude.

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