The project started in 2006 with an international cooperation of three members (CAPS, Germany; Rotterdam Study, Netherlands; and MDCS, Sweden) for a first meta-analysis of the association between single cIMT measurement and clinical vascular events (Lorenz et al 2007). In 2008 we ratified formal guidelines to determine membership rights, responsibilities, authorships and a data distribution policy. Since then the study group constantly grew (figure 1). A first milestone of the project was the publication of a rationale (Lorenz et al 2010) in 2010. 

In 2012, the main results of stage 1 of the PROG-IMT project were published in The Lancet (see publications), and presented orally on the European Stroke Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Surprisingly, we found no evidence that in the general population, cIMT progression relates to the risk of MI, stroke, vascular death or total mortality in the principal analysis and a large number of secondary and sensitivity analyses. In contrast, the association between cIMT at one occasion and vascular risk was reproduced in a robust and consistent way.

In 2015, the first paper of stage 2 was published in Diabetes Care (see publications). No convincing association between IMT progression and vascular event risk in persons with diabetes was found. More publications on specific risk groups are currently in preparation.
Currently we are working on the analyses for stage 3. In the meantime, a series of neighboring scientific questions have been and are being attended.

Up to date, the study group comprises 110 studies and trials from Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia (figure 2).

In 2017, the PROG-IMT project is going to end, when the principal project objectives are reached. This is necessary to satisfy the guarantees we gave all collaborators, in order to protect their data from further uncontrolled distribution. However, a large subset of PROG-IMT collaborators opt for transferring their data into a successive project called Proof-ATHERO, coordinated by a team located in Innsbruck, Austria. This project is building upon the large database collated by PROG-IMT and expanding it to reach beyond IMT and its progression.

Figure 1: Evolution of study group members and of the total person-years included in the studies.

Figure 2: Geographical distribution of study group members

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