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Welcome to a new issue of European Cardiology Review (ECR). This issue of the journal coincides with the Annual Congress of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Barcelona. I hope to meet as many of our readers and contributors as possible at the conference, and I also look forward to getting acquainted with the results of the large studies that will be presented at that esteemed meeting. ECR will have a presence at the conference and I hope that you will visit us at our publisher’s – Radcliffe Cardiology’s – booth N610 during the event.

In this issue, we present a section on cardiovascular disease in women – guest edited by Angela Maas. Professor Mass highlights that “despite impressive progress in treatment over the past 40 years, sex and gender differences in ischemic heart disease are still underrecognized and even ignored in clinical practice”. This is a theme further explored by Tracey Keteepe-Arachi and Sanjay Sharma, who write on how to better understand cardiovascular symptoms and risk factors in women. Eva Prescott and colleagues present a timely review on the assessment of women with stable angina pectoris and no obstructive coronary artery disease. Finally, in the same series, Paul Leeson and colleagues provide an expert viewpoint on the increasing burden of cardiac disease after pregnancy.

Also in this issue, we begin to look at the issue of the impact of environmental factors in cardiovascular disease. This is a large and rapidly evolving field that will be explored further in future issues. Here, Sreenivasa Rao Kondapally Seshasai and I introduce Thomas Münzel and Mette Sørensen’s review, in which they examine the effects of noise pollution on the cardiovascular system.

Furthering the exciting partnership between ECR, Radcliffe Cardiology and the International Society of Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy (ISCP), I am delighted to present our ongoing special section on Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy – introduced by ISCP President, Antoni Martínez-Rubio and cardiovascular consultant Román Freixa Pamias. The review articles in this section focus on the use of anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents in cardiovascular disease. Kerry Layne and Albert Ferro review the use of antiplatelet therapy in acute coronary syndrome. Manav Sohal discusses current ESC recommendations for stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation and Julia Sikorska and James Uprichard provide a quick guide on the use of direct oral anticoagulants, providing an expert practical haematological view on the topic.

The final three review articles in this issue look at different aspects of cardiology with Colm Hanratty and colleagues discussing an hybrid approach to percutaneous coronary intervention to treat chronic total occlusions, Konstantinos N Aronis and colleagues telling us about health literacy and atrial fibrillation, and Konstantinos Bratis focusing on the use of cardiac magnetic resonance for the assessment and risk stratification of Takotsubo syndrome.

In our ongoing series that highlights the contributions of iconic clinicians and researchers in cardiology – Cardiology Masters – we are delighted that Professor Carlo Patrono has allowed us to profile him. We hope that these Cardiology Masters articles will help readers charting the many routes that lead to excellence in the field of cardiovascular disease.

All articles presented in the current issue deal with extremely important topics in cardiovascular medicine and provide expert views regarding diagnosis, prevention and management of diverse cardiovascular conditions. I extend my thanks to both the ECR Editorial Board and the Steering Committee as well as all the featured authors for their contributions to this issue of the journal. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed editing it.