Introduction: Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of infections that are prevalent in many of the tropical and sub-tropical developing countries where poverty is rampant. NTDs have remained largely unnoticed in the global health agenda. There is a substantial gap between the burden of disease for NTDs in cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and research devoted to the affected populations. We created a Latin-American initiative with emerging leaders (EL) from the Interamerican Society of Cardiology (IASC) with the objective to perform multiple systematic reviews of NTDs and other infectious diseases affecting the heart: The NET-Heart Project. Objective: To describe the rationale and design considerations of the NET-Heart project. Methods: The NET-Heart Project is a collaborative work of the IASC EL program. The main objective of the NET-Heart project is to systematically evaluate the available evidence of NTDs and other infectious diseases and their cardiovascular involvement. As a secondary objective, this initiative aims to offer recommendations and potential diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms that can aid the management of cardiovascular complications of these infectious diseases. After an expert discussion 17 initial infectious diseases were selected, for each disease we created one working group. The project was structured in different phases: Systematic review, brainstorming workshops, analysis and results, manuscript writing and recommendations and evaluation of clinical implications. Conclusion: The NET-Heart project is an innovative collaborative initiative created to assess burden and impact of NTDs and other infectious diseases in CVD. NTDs can no longer be ignored and must be prioritised on the health and research agenda. This project aims to review in depth the evidence regarding cardiac compromise of these serious conditions and to propose strategies to overcome barriers for efficient diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular complications.
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