Evolution

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 followed (see publications).

In 2020, stage 3 was completed and published (see publications). For the first time, we were able to show that in RCTs, effects of an intervention on cIMT progression may predict also intervention effects of future cardiovascular endpoints. This evidence closes an important gap on the way to use cIMT progression as a surrogate parameter for clinical trials.

During 14 years of worldwide collaboration, we defined and completed a number of additional scientific projects linked with cIMT and cIMT progression, helping us to understand biological and technical aspects in the field of atherosclerosis (see publications).

In 2020, the PROG-IMT project ends, as the principal project objectives are reached. This was necessary to satisfy the guarantees we gave all collaborators, in order to protect their data from further uncontrolled distribution. As agreed from the start, all copies of all datasets that our numerous collaborators shared for this purposed were deleted.

 

However, a large subset of PROG-IMT collaborators opted 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.

Below, you can see the numbers of studies, trials and collaborators at the height of the project, before completion. Thanks to all collaborators for their trust, for taking us so far.





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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