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A Q&A with Professor Stefan Agewall

As the European Society of Cardiology gets ready to welcome a new journal to its prestigious family, we meet the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Stefan Agewall, to find out how he came to specialise in this field and what he has in store for the European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy.

What encouraged you to pursue a career in the field of cardiology?

I qualified as a doctor at Göteborg University in Sweden in 1986. I became fascinated by emergency medicine early on in my career. I was soon drawn to cardiology as it covers such a broad spectrum of medicine, from acute emergency medicine to physiology, invasive and non-invasive examination and treatment techniques, pharmacology and cardiovascular prevention. I have mainly worked at coronary care units; first at the coronary care unit of Sahlgrenska University Hospital and then at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden.  At Karolinska, I was the head of the coronary care unit. In 2006 I became professor in Cardiology and moved to Oslo University Hospital.

What do you think are the challenges being faced in the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy today?

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Professor Stefan Agewall, the new Editor-in-Chief of European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy

Pharmacological treatment is very good now and the mortality rate in patients with acute coronary syndrome is quite low. Clinical studies therefore need to be huge in order to demonstrate beneficial effects on hard end-points. We need to put more focus on quality of life in these larger studies and it is also extremely important that some emphasis is placed on preventive medicine, both with and without pharmacotherapy.

How do you see this field developing in the future?

Although the market place for cardiology-related journals is crowded and competitive, I believe the new publication will cover an area that has changed dramatically over the last few decades. This new journal will focus specifically on clinical cardiovascular pharmacology. The production of papers within this area is enormous; in Medline there are almost 500,000 references to the search term ‘cardiovascular pharmacology’ and the rate of publication in this field appears to be steadily increasing. Despite this fast development, we still need even more data from pharmacology studies aimed at improving prognosis for cardiovascular disease as it remains the most common cause of death world-wide.

What are you most looking forward to about being Editor-in-Chief for EHJ-Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy?

I am looking forward to launching this key new journal and establishing it as a member of the European Society of Cardiology journal family. I hope and believe the Journal will help readers to improve their knowledge in pharmacological treatment of patients with cardiovascular disease through the publication of high quality original research and reviews.

What does your typical day as the Editor-in-Chief look like?

Each day, I will start by handling new submissions and making decisions on papers which have been reviewed by experts within the field. If the submitted papers are of potential interest, they will be sent out for review. We have already recruited a fantastic editorial board, which guarantees a high quality review process. Time will be spent at different kinds of meetings to consider how to develop the journal, how to market it, and how to attract quality submissions from authors in the field.

How do you see the journal developing in the future?

The number of submissions to the journal will hopefully increase every year. In 2015 we aim for four issues and the number of issues will increase year on year.  Monthly publication is a goal to achieve within five years. We will of course aim for an increasing impact factor and to become number one within the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.

What do you think readers will take away from the journal?

We hope that by inviting respected and well-known authors, readers will be provided with excellent review papers. We want to provide readers with new information about cardiovascular therapy and, above all, we hope to help the readers to interpret and integrate new scientific developments within the area of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.

European Heart Journal – Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy is an official journal of the European Society of Cardiology and the Working Group on Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Drug Therapy. This Journal will launch in 2015 and aims to publish the highest quality research, interpreting and integrating new scientific developments within the field of cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.  The overarching goal of the Journal is to improve the care of patients with cardiovascular disease with a specific focus on cardiovascular pharmacotherapy.

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Image credit: Headshot courtesy of Professor Stefan Agewall. Do not re-use without permission.

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