Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

Published by SciELO


Health and the quality of life
  • Article

February 2001


74 Reads

G.A.O. Alleyne
It is perhaps intuitively obvious that health and life are inseparable and, therefore, that matters of health must enter into any conceptualization of quality of life. However, the ethical and policy dimensions of the relationship between health and quality of life are not that straightforward.

FIGURE 1. Algorithm for referral to colposcopy at the seventh-anniversary visit, Guanacaste Project, Costa Rica, 2001-2002 a 
TABLE 2 . Case management at the exit colposcopy clinic during the seventh-anniversary year, Guanacaste Project, Costa Rica, 2001-2002 a 
TABLE 4 . Status of participants at the end of follow-up, by subcohort and overall, Guanacaste Project, Costa Rica, 2002 a 
TABLE 6 . Number of biospecimen samples collected during follow-up, Guanacaste Project, Costa Rica, 1994-2002 
Description of a seven-year prospective study of human papillomavirus infection and cervical neoplasia among 10 000 women in Guanacaste, Costa Rica
  • Article
  • Full-text available

February 2004


227 Reads

M Concepción Bratti






Rolando Herrero
The Guanacaste study ("Guanacaste Project," or GP), was designed to investigate the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and its cofactors in the development of cervical neoplasia and to evaluate new cervical cancer screening technologies. The follow-up phase of the GP was designed to study why a small proportion of women infected with HPV develop cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN 2), CIN 3, or cancer (these three together are globally referred to as > or = CIN 2, that is, CIN 2 or worse). The purpose of this article is to describe this prospective study in detail and to present the preliminary findings regarding the incidence of cervical neoplasia. A cohort of 10 049 randomly selected women from 18 to 97 years old from Guanacaste, a province in northwestern Costa Rica, was intensively screened in 1993-1994 and then followed up for seven years after being enrolled. A questionnaire for demographic and risk factors was administered, and a pelvic examination was performed on sexually active women at each follow-up visit in order to obtain samples for screening tests and for research purposes. The final diagnosis given at the end of the enrollment phase categorized women into several groups according to the perceived risk of their developing either high-grade precursors of cancer or cancer. These groups were followed up at different intervals according to the risk of developing > or = CIN 2. The most active follow-up (every 6-12 months) was concentrated on the women most likely to develop >or = CIN 2, based on cytology (n = 492). The remainder of the cohort was followed either annually (n = 2 574) or after five to seven years of passive follow-up (n = 3 926). All women with possibly severe lesions detected by any technique were referred to colposcopy for further evaluation and treatment, and they were also censored from the study. Lesions >or = CIN 2 served as both the censoring outcome and our surrogate for cancer risk. Participation during follow-up was high (near 90%). Suspected > or = CIN 2 by any screening technique censored 4.6% of women. Most of the women censored because of suspected > or = CIN 2 came from the large group perceived at entry as being at low risk of developing > or = CIN 2, but the greatest rates of progression to > or = CIN 2 were observed among women perceived at entry to be at highest risk of > or = CIN 2, based on their cytology, virology, or sexual behavior. The GP is the largest population-based longitudinal cohort for the study of HPV and cervical neoplasia in the world, and its results will hopefully let us soon plan future worldwide prevention strategies. Research projects such as this one require the long-term commitment of a large multidisciplinary team and ample financial resources. The intensive effort and expertise applied in all aspects of this study were key factors in its success as a model of cooperative, interdisciplinary cancer research in Latin America. Quality control played an important role at all times during the study and made it possible to adapt new diagnostic and screening technology to Guanacaste. The systematic follow-up of a population-based group of close to 10 000 women in Guanacaste should permit careful, time-dependent evaluation of factors postulated to be linked to the development of cervical cancer as well as the evaluation of clinical markers of disease progression. The study results that have already been published have validated sensitive screening techniques and have also promoted the use of more affordable screening techniques in resource-poor, developing countries. The GP has also contributed to building knowledge for the search for vaccines against HPV as part of the effort to develop an effective tool to reduce the incidence and mortality of cervical cancer worldwide.

[The Foundations of Bioethics by H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.: comments on James F. Drane's review] DOI: 10.1590/s1020-49891998000500017.

June 1998


6 Reads

Sirs: In the December 1997 issue of the Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública/Pan American Journal of Public Health, I read with great interest the review by Professor James F. Drane of the book by Hugo Tristram Engelhardt, Jr., The Foundations of Bioethics (second edition; New York: Oxford University Press; 1996). Reading motivated me to make some comments on aspects of the work that in my opinion are important and that readers should know about. I present them below with the intention that they serve as a complement to what has already been expressed about the work, about which I have been reflecting since I read its original in English in 1996.

Aportaciones de dos clasificaciones psiquiátricas latinoamericanas para el desarrollo de la CIE-11 [Contributions from two Latin American psychiatric classifications to the development of ICD-11]

February 2011


101 Reads

Dentro del marco del análisis de la décima revisión de la Clasificación Internacional de Enfermedades y Problemas de Salud Asociados (CIE-10), se realizó una comparación código a código entre las categorías diagnósticas de dos clasificaciones latinoamericanas —el Tercer Glosario Cubano de Psiquiatría (GC-3) y la Guía Latinoamericana para el Diagnóstico Psiquiátrico (GLADP)— y el capítulo de “Trastornos mentales y del comportamiento” de la CIE-10. El objetivo fue ayudar a definir qué categorías de la clasificación actual deberían ampliarse y qué nuevas categorías podrían añadirse a la futura CIE-11 para lograr una mayor aplicabilidad local en contextos socioculturales y clínicos distintos del estadounidense y del europeo, cuyas perspectivas han dominado la CIE históricamente. Se espera que el resultado contribuya a los es- fuerzos que se están llevando a cabo para desarrollar un sistema clasificatorio que sea genuinamente internacional. English: In the context of the updating of the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision (ICD-10), this study conducted a code-by-code comparison between the ICD-10 chapter "Mental and Behavioural Disorders" and the diagnostic categories of two Latin American classification schemes: the Third Cuban Psychiatric Glossary (GC-3) and the Latin American Guide to Psychiatric Diagnosis (GLADP). The objective was to help define what categories in the current classification should be broadened and what new categories might be added to the future ICD-11 to make it more applicable in local sociocultural and clinical contexts that differ from those found in regions whose perspectives have historically dominated the ICD, namely, the United States and Europe. It is hoped that the results will contribute to the efforts under way to develop a genuinely international classification system.

The relationship between socioeconomic factors and maternal and infant health programs in 13 Argentine provinces

April 2007


28 Reads

To analyze the relationship between maternal and infant health and socioeconomic, cultural, and sanitation factors in Argentina; to evaluate how health program quality affects the primary health indicators for mothers and infants. This is a cross-sectional study with multiple variables. The authors studied six indicators for maternal and infant health: rates for maternal, infant, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality; the percentage of newborns with low birthweight; and the percentage of premature newborns. The study was conducted in 79 administrative units in 13 provinces that represent different geographic regions of Argentina. They included (1) the provinces of Salta and Jujuy in northwest Argentina; (2) the provinces of Córdoba, Santa Fe, and Buenos Aires in central Argentina; (3) the provinces of Entre Ríos and Misiones in the Mesopotamia or northeast region; (4) the provinces of San Luis, San Juan, and Mendoza in the Cuyo or northwest, Andean region; and (5) the provinces of Neuquén, Río Negro, and Chubut in the south. The explanatory variable in the study was the quality of health programs, controlled by socioeconomic, cultural, and sanitation factors in 1999 and 2000. The definition of program quality ("poor," "average," "good," and "very good") was based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of selected variables such as policies, organization, and procedures as determined by the investigators. Documentation was obtained from secondary official sources. The investigators interviewed 117 health system managers (including supervisors of provincial and local health programs, administrators of maternal and child health programs, and hospital directors), who provided information on characteristics and indicators of the health programs. There were marked geographic differences in the levels of maternal and infant health, medical care, and socioeconomic, cultural, and sanitation factors. Only 10.0% of health programs were classified as "very good," 35.4% as "good," 31.6% as "average," and 23.0% as "poor." There was a significant correlation (P < 0.05) between rates of infant and postneonatal mortality and adverse socioeconomic circumstances. There was also a significant correlation between the percentage of low birthweight infants and the quality of health programs. There are clear disparities in the level of maternal and infant health care in different administrative units in Argentina. The infant mortality rate was associated with variations in socioeconomic, cultural, and sanitation factors and with the quality of health programs. Health programs improved infant health when appropriately implemented, even in adverse socioeconomic and sanitation conditions.

Risk factors for recurrent wheezing in children under 13 years old in the South of Brazil

November 2006


37 Reads

To study the prevalence of and major factors associated with recurrent wheezing in children younger than 13 years of age in the urban area of Rio Grande, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The presence of recurrent wheezing was investigated in a cohort as part of a cross-sectional study that was begun in 1997 that focused on the morbidity from respiratory diseases in children then between 0 and 5 years of age. During home visits in 2004 a standardized questionnaire given by trained interviewers was used to obtain information concerning the family's socioeconomic and living conditions, maternal care during pregnancy and delivery, and children's current and previous morbidity patterns. The statistical analysis included the calculation of the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI), with nonconditional logistic regression adjustment for potential confounding factors, according to a predefined hierarchical model. Of the 775 children studied in 1997, 685 were located in 2004 (loss of 11.6%). In this group, the prevalence of recurrent wheezing at the time of the interview was 27.9%. After adjustment, the risk factors were: current rhinitis (OR=45.7; 95% CI: 24.2 to 86.5), use of wood stove for cooking (OR=2.7; 95% CI: 1.4 to 4.9), child's history of acute respiratory infection (OR=2.1; 95% CI: 1.3 to 3.5), bottle feeding (OR=2.1; 95% CI: 1.1 to 3.8), history of asthma in siblings (OR=1.9; 95% CI: 1.2 to 3.2), maternal history of asthma (OR=1.8; 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.9), and fewer than six prenatal medical consultations (OR=1.6; 95% CI: 1.1 to 2.4). Paternal schooling<9 years was a protective factor against recurrent wheezing (OR=0.6; 95% CI: 0.4 to 0.9). These results suggest that the management of recurrent wheezing and asthma must consider checking for and simultaneously treating rhinitis. The measures to minimize the effects of recurrent wheezing should include educational and treatment programs focusing on asthma.

Vaccination coverage among children aged 13 to 59 months in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002

October 2004


127 Reads

To estimate antigen-specific and series-complete vaccination coverage among children aged 13 to 59 months in Buenos Aires; to compare the results of a community-based household survey with coverage rates obtained from administrative records; and to identify risk factors for incomplete vaccination. Census tracts in Buenos Aires were surveyed systematically in March and April, 2002. Three children aged 13 to 24 months and 25 to 59 months were surveyed per block in each census tract. Written documentation of vaccination was required. Risk factors associated with incomplete vaccination were identified with univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression. A total of 1391 children were surveyed. Antigen-specific coverage ranged from 69.4% (95% CI 66.7%-72%) for Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccination to 99% (95% CI 98.4%-99.6%) for BCG vaccination. Except for measles, coverage estimates found in the survey did not differ substantially from those obtained from city health authority records. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed child's age (P < 0.001) and vaccination provider (public or private) (P = 0.001) to be risk factors associated with incomplete vaccination. Not being the first child (P < 0.001) was associated with incomplete coverage under the long-standing program. Living in the Northern zone of the city (P = 0.001), being uninsured (P = 0.02), and lower educational level of the primary caregiver (P = 0.04) were risk factors associated with incomplete coverage under the current vaccination program. Although coverage rates for some vaccines were high, complete vaccination coverage remains low among children aged 13 to 59 months in Buenos Aires. Increasing coverage will require better access to vaccination, particularly in sections of the community with risk factors.

Immunogenicity and safety of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Mexico

June 2013


43 Reads

To assess the safety and immune responses induced by a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) after immunization of infants in Mexico. PCV13 was given with other routine childhood vaccinations to 225 infants in Mexico at ages 2, 4, 6, and 12 months. The proportions of subjects achieving immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations ≥0.35 µg/mL after the infant series and toddler dose were ≥93.1% and ≥96.7%, respectively, for all 13 serotypes. The serotype-specific pneumococcal IgG geometric mean concentrations after the infant series and toddler dose ranged from 1.18 to 9.13 µg/mL and from 1.62 to 15.41 µg/mL, respectively. The most common local reaction and systemic event after each dose were tenderness and irritability, respectively. Most fever was mild; no fever >40.0°C (i.e., severe) was reported. One subject withdrew because of Kawasaki disease 5 days after the first dose of vaccines, but this condition was not considered related to PCV13. Overall, PCV13 administered with routine pediatric vaccines was immunogenic and safe in healthy infants in Mexico.

TABLE 4 . Formal bases for national health research systems in the countries studied 
National health research systems in Latin America: A 14-country review

November 2009


257 Reads

This article discusses the main features of the national health research systems (NHRS) of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela, based on documents prepared by their country experts who participated in the First Latin American Conference on Research and Innovation for Health held in April 2008, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The review also includes sources cited in the reports, published scientific papers, and expert opinion, as well as regional secondary sources. Six countries reported having formal entities for health research governance and management: Brazil and Costa Rica's entities are led by their ministries of health; while Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela have entities shared by their ministries of health and ministries of science and technology. Brazil and Ecuador each reported having a comprehensive national policy devoted specifically to health science, technology, and innovation. Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela reported having established health research priorities. In conclusion, encouraging progress has been made, despite the structural and functional heterogeneity of the study countries' NHRS and their disparate levels of development. Instituting good NHRS governance/management is of utmost importance to how efficiently ministries of health, other government players, and society-at-large can tackle health research.

Endemic goiter prevalence survey in Brazilian schoolchildren 6 to 14 years old, 1994-1996

November 2002


28 Reads

To determine the national and state-level prevalence of endemic goiter associated with iodine deficiency in schoolchildren between 6 and 14 years of age in Brazil, based on data from a national survey carried out from 1994 to 1996. Thyroid inspection and palpation were performed on 178,774 schoolchildren between 6 and 14 years of age, in all the states of Brazil. A subsample was selected to measure the iodine content in their urine as well as the iodine content of the table salt used for cooking in their homes. The last survey before this one was carried out in 1975. We found an 86% decrease in the median prevalence of grade 1 and 2 grade 2 goiter, from 12% to 1%. In 21% of the municipalities, the observed prevalence was zero. From the 16,803 urine samples collected for iodine measurement, 7,702 were matched with the corresponding clinical record (a loss of 54%). The median urinary iodine level was 14.0 micrograms/dL, and without a significant correlation with the clinical data on goiter. The median iodine excretion level for the population in the states of Acre, Amapá, and Tocantins was equal to or below 9.0 micrograms/dL. In three municipalities, urinary iodine was below 2.5 micrograms/dL in all the samples: Paranã (in the state of Tocantins), Conceição (Paraíba), and Nova Roma (Goiás). The supplementary iodine found in the salt collected from households (458 samples collected) was below recommended levels, with 50% of them below 20 mg/kg (20 ppm). In 7% of the samples, the level of iodine was below 10 mg/kg of salt, even in salt-producing states such as Rio Grande do Norte. There is evidence goiter is expanding to parts of Brazil that more recently have been opened up for agriculture, with children in those areas being exposed to low levels of supplementary iodine in the salt used for cooking. We found an increased risk of goiter in areas with deficient iodine supplementation (< 10 mg/kg) (odds ratio = 1.85; Cornfield 95% confidence interval: 1.68-2.03).

[Defining generic drugs: an end or a means? Analysis of regulations in 14 countries in the Region of the Americas]

December 2006


26 Reads

To characterize current regulatory practices and trends relating to competing medications in 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries. Between July 2004 and April 2005 we collected information on national regulations and policies that established or contained a definition of "generic drug" and related terms in 14 Latin American and Caribbean countries: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela. We also compiled information on the incentives to register and produce competing medications, promotion of the use of International Nonproprietary Names (INNs) for pharmaceutical substances, the regulation of bioequivalence studies, and the replacement of prescription medications with less expensive alternatives. We noted three patterns in the regulations: (1) countries that encourage financial support for competing medications, extensively promote the use of INNs, and place no restrictions on the replacement of innovative (proprietary) medications with competing products (Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Paraguay); (2) countries with policies aimed at showing therapeutic equivalence, which limits substitutions to approved products from a list of authorized competing medications that must be prescribed by their INN and must use distinctive labeling (Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and Venezuela); and (3) countries at a beginning stage in the process of regulation (Barbados, Bolivia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru). This variety leads to difficulties in characterizing pharmaceutical markets, and can lead to misleading categorizations. Efforts to harmonize policies should consider the possible relationship among definitions adopted in different countries, the development of national pharmaceutical markets, and national policies to stimulate competition.

FIGURE 5. Distribution by infecting serovars of Leptospira spp. detected by the microscopic agglitination test (MAT) in 100 randomly-selected sera from 147 immunoglobulin M enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-confirmed cases of human leptospirosis from 14 Caribbean countries, 1997-2005 
Human leptospirosis in the Caribbean, 1997-2005: Characteristics and serotyping of clinical samples from 14 countries

May 2011


88 Reads

To determine the frequency of human leptospirosis in the sera of suspected clinical cases sent by 14 Caribbean countries for diagnosis to a regional laboratory in 1997-2005. All serum samples were initially tested using the immunoglobulin M (IgM) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for leptospirosis. Demographic data (such as age and sex), month of the year and clinical manifestations that had been observed by the attending physician were related to seropositivity. The microscopic agglutination test (MAT) was used to serotype sera using a panel of 23 international serovars. Of 3 455 samples tested, 452 (13.1%) were seropositive for IgM antibodies to leptospirosis by the ELISA, with frequencies significantly (P < 0.05; χ2) different across countries and years. Among seropositive patients, the frequency of detection of leptospirosis (23.1%) was significantly higher in the age groups 1-20 years and 31-40 years combined compared with other age groups; and in male patients (72.1%) compared with female patients (19.7%) (P < 0.05; χ2). Chills, jaundice, vomiting, weakness, diarrhea, and kidney failure/problems were significantly (P < 0.05; χ2) exhibited at a higher frequency in seropositive, rather than seronegative patients. Using the MAT on 100 sera tested, 98 (98%) were seropositive, of which the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae was most prevalent with the detection of serovars Copenhageni (70%), Icterohaemorrhagiae (67%), and Mankarso (29%). Since only 13.1% of the suspected cases of leptospirosis were seropositive for IgM ELISA antibodies, other clinical conditions may have been responsible for the clinical manifestations observed, or the patient may have had chronic leptospirosis (IgG). In the Caribbean, serovars of the serogroup Icterohaemorrhagiae were responsible for most infections in the cases tested.

Health and economic impact of human papillomavirus 16 and 18 vaccination of preadolescent girls and cervical cancer screening of adult women in Peru

December 2012


33 Reads

Objective: To estimate the benefits, cost-effectiveness (i.e., value for money), and required financial costs (e.g., affordability) of adding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to Peru's cervical cancer screening program. Methods: Evidence (e.g., coverage, delivery costs) from an HPV vaccination demonstration project conducted in Peru was combined with epidemiological data in an empirically calibrated mathematical model to assess screening (HPV DNA testing three to five times per lifetime) and HPV vaccination under different cost, coverage, and efficacy assumptions. Model outcomes included lifetime risk of cancer reduction, cancer cases averted, lives saved, average life expectancy gains, short-term financial costs, and discounted long-term economic costs. Results: Status quo low levels of screening (e.g., cytologic screening at 10.0% coverage) reduced lifetime risk of cervical cancer by 11.9%, compared to not screening. Adding vaccination of preadolescent girls at a coverage achieved in the demonstration program (82.0%) produced an additional 46.1% reduction, and would cost less than US$ 500 per year of life saved (YLS) at ~US$ 7/dose or ~US$ 1 300 at ~US$ 20/dose. One year of vaccination was estimated to cost ~US$ 5 million at ~US$ 5/dose or ~US$ 16 million at ~US$ 20/dose, including programmatic costs. Enhanced screening in adult women combined with preadolescent vaccination had incremental cost-effectiveness ratios lower than Peru's 2005 per capita gross domestic product (GDP; US$ 2 852, in 2009 US$), and would be considered cost-effective. Conclusions: Preadolescent HPV vaccination, followed by enhanced HPV DNA screening in adult women, could prevent two out of three cervical cancer deaths. Several strategies would be considered "good value" for resources invested, provided vaccine prices are low. While financial costs imply substantial immediate investments, the high-value payoff should motivate creative mechanisms for financing and scale-up of delivery programs.

Treatment of type 2 diabetes in Latin America: a consensus statement by the medical associations of 17 Latin American countries. Latin American Diabetes Association

December 2010


159 Reads

Latin America faces unique challenges in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The Asociación Latinoamericana de Diabetes (Latin American Diabetes Association, ALAD) brought together medical associations in 17 countries in Latin America to produce a consensus statement regarding the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The goal of the document is to provide practical recommendations that will guide clinicians through a simple decision-making process for managing patients. The cornerstone elements for therapeutic decision making are: severity of hyperglycemia, clinical condition of the patient (stable or with metabolic decompensation), and body mass index. The consensus includes a section devoted specifically to patients with obesity. Information is presented as highly-relevant clinical questions. The algorithm is based on the scientific recommendations of the 2006 ALAD guidelines (a document prepared using an evidence-based approach) and data from recent randomized controlled studies.

[Non-HDL cholesterol levels in students aged 7 to 17 years in a Brazilian town]

May 2007


28 Reads

To describe the levels of non-HDL cholesterol and correlated factors in a group of Brazilian male and female children and adolescents. From March to October 2002 we evaluated 2,029 schoolchildren from 7 to 17 years old in the town of Maracaí, São Paulo, Brazil. The biochemical determinations of triglycerides, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were carried out using enzymatic reactions and the Vitros 750 analyzer. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels were calculated using the Friedewald formula: LDL cholesterol = total cholesterol-HDL cholesterol-(triglycerides/5). Non-HDL cholesterol was calculated by subtracting HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol. The correlation between non-HDL cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels was 0.971 (P < 0.001). Non-HDL cholesterol had a stronger correlation than did LDL cholesterol with all the variables under study: total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, very low-density lipoproteins, body mass index, and waist circumference. The non-HDL cutpoints identified as corresponding to the four cutpoints of LDL cholesterol (110, 130, 160, and 190 mg/dL) indicating the need to treat dyslipidemia in children and adolescents were, respectively: 127.8, 149.2, 181.2, and 213.2 mg/dL. Our findings contribute toward estimating non-HDL levels in Brazilian children and adolescents. The results also indicate that non-HDL cholesterol is a reliable and less costly method for researching the presence of dyslipidemias in this age group.

Efficacy of the 17D yellow fever vaccine: An epidemiologic evaluation in health services

September 1997


9 Reads

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the 17D yellow fever vaccine in the conditions under which it is used in public health services. In 1989, a nonconcurrent prospective study was carried out in Bocaiúva, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, 6 months after mass vaccination of the population. The study population was made up of first-grade students from all the schools in Bocaiúva. The exposed group consisted of a simple random sample of vaccinated students (n = 173) and the unexposed group consisted of all those who had not been vaccinated (n = 55). Serum samples were examined with the neutralization test in mice; these tests were conducted blind, that is, the examiner did not know the vaccination status of the subject. The serology results were as follows: of those vaccinated, 75% were seropositive, 17% were seronegative, and 7% showed an inconclusive result; in the unvaccinated children, these results were 9%, 87%, and 4%, respectively. The age-adjusted seropositivity ratio between vaccinated and unvaccinated children was 7.6 (95% CI: 3.4 to 16.7). The proportion of seropositivity attributable to vaccination, adjusted for age, was 86.8% (95% CI: 70.6 to 94.0). The results showed that the efficacy of the vaccine, defined by means of seropositivity for the virus, was below the levels expected for the 17D vaccine. This may have been due to operational failures in the conservation or application of the vaccine. The results point to the need for routine systematic evaluations by the health services after mass utilization of the vaccine.

Acute respiratory illnesses in the first 18 months of life

February 1997


33 Reads

To help assess the causes and frequency of acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) during the first 18 months of life in Chile, a cohort of 437 children born in good health between May 1991 and April 1992 was followed at an urban health clinic in northern Santiago. Information was obtained from medical checkups performed at the clinic, from emergency health care services, from private physicians, and from interviews with each child's mother when the child was enrolled in the study and when it was 6, 12, and 18 months old. Followup was completed for 379 (87%) of the children. ARI accounted for 67% of all 3762 episodes of illness recorded for these children in the 18-month study period, 1384 (55%) of the ARI episodes affecting the upper respiratory tract and the remaining 1144 (45%) affecting the lower. The overall rate of ARI observed was 33 episodes per 100 child-months of observation. The incidences of upper, lower, and total ARI episodes decreased significantly in the third six months of life. A statistically significant association was found between upper ARI ( > or = 2 episodes) and maternal smoking ( > or = 5 cigarettes per day), but no significant associations were found with any of the other risk factors studied. However, lower ARI ( > or = 2 episodes) was significantly associated with maternal schooling ( or = 4 episodes) was significantly associated with these factors and also with the existence of one or more siblings, birth in a cold season, limited breast-feeding (

Seroprevalence of Trypanosoma cruzi antibodies and associated risk factors among the population under 18 years of age in Veracruz, Mexico

September 2007


77 Reads

To determine the prevalence of Trypanasoma cruzi antibodies among the population under 18 years of age in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, and to identify risk factors associated with housing conditions and vector presence and distribution. A cross-sectional, epidemiological study of the population under 18 years of age living in 10 of the 11 health districts of the state of Veracruz, Mexico, from 2000 to 2001. Presence of T. cruzi antibodies was determined by hemagglutination inhibition test (HAI) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) of serum samples spotted on filter paper, and confirmed by HAI, ELISA, and indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) on serum samples. A questionnaire was administered to determined housing conditions, and entomological indices for triatomines were calculated for both the intra- and peridomiciliary areas. The results were analyzed using bifactorial and multifactorial unconditional logistic regression. Of the 150 individuals presenting an initial reaction, 14 were confirmed positive (5 by HAI, ELISA and IFA; 6 by HAI and ELISA, and 3 by ELISA and IFA), for a total prevalence rate of 0.91% (95% CI: 0.85-0.94). All of the confirmed-positive cases were from five of 14 health districts, with the Tuxpan district having the highest prevalence rate: 5.2% (95%CI: 1.2-9.0). Risk factors included having noticed cracks in the house walls and gaps in the roof. The only species of vector captured was Triatoma dimidiata. The entomologic indices for infestation, colonization, and natural infection were: 10.9%, 50.0%, and 9.0%, respectively. Active, vector-borne transmission of T. cruzi was confirmed in the state of Veracruz, Mexico, with an overall antibody seroprevalence rate of 0.19% among the population under 18 years of age. Seroprevalence rates among this segment of the population, which serves as a sentinel group, should be closely monitored to determine if more stringent methods of vector control and epidemiological surveillance are needed.

TABLE 3 . Estimates of recent use of tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs among school students, Panama, 1996 
TABLE 4 . (continued) Cocaine 
Estimated occurrence of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use among 12- to 18-year-old students in Panama: results of Panama's 1996 National Youth Survey on Alcohol and Drug Use
This report provides the first epidemiological evidence on tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use among school students in Panama, using data from a student survey completed in 1996. Specifically, we examine sex, age, grade level, type of school, and urban-rural variations in the occurrence of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use. Estimates of lifetime prevalence and past-year use of these products were obtained using data from Panama's 1996 National Youth Survey on Alcohol and Drug Use (n = 6,477). To account for the multistage sampling design of the survey, all estimates and respective standard errors are derived by the Taylor series approximation method using Epi Info 6.0 CSAMPLE software. In general, more males, more older students, and more students in higher grades have used licit and illicit drugs, even though male-female differences tend to be small. Public-private school differences and urban-rural trends vary depending on the drug. The findings of this study are discussed in relation to the epidemiology and prevention of drug use in Panama. Based on these data, we seek to provide information to be used by the Government of Panama in its planning for prevention programs directed toward students in Panamanian schools.

[Injuries from external causes in minors (less than 18 years of age) and adults at a hospital in Colombia]

April 2009


28 Reads

To define and compare the types of injuries from external causes in patients more than and less than 18 years of age treated by the Mario Correa Rengifo Hospital. An analysis was conducted of data retrieved from the Sistema de Vigilancia de Lesiones de Causa Externa (Surveillance System for Injuries from External Causes) maintained by the Mario Correa Rengifo Hospital in Cali, Colombia, to compare minors (less than 18 years of age) with adults during January 2004-December 2007. A total of 4 507 minors were seen, most of whom (69.3%) were boys, with unintentional injuries (75.5%); however, 88% of the intentional injuries were person-to-person and 12% were self-inflicted. Injuries had occurred most frequently in the home (44.1%) and on the street (39.5%); the most frequent activity was recreation (53.3%). The minors had more head injuries (odds ratio [OR] = 1.62; P = 0.0000) and maxillofacial injuries (OR = 1.49; P = 0.0000) than did the adults. Alcohol had been consumed in 5.8% and drugs in 2.6%, both of which increased intentional injuries (alcohol OR = 4.25 and drugs OR = 1.56). The number of patients less than 18 years of age with injuries from external causes being treated at the Mario Correa Rengifo Hospital is constantly rising. The circumstances regarding injuries seen in children and adolescents differ from those of adults in that minors tend to suffer more unintentional injuries in the home or in the street where they play regularly. It is important that special educational and structural strategies be implemented to prevent injuries of this type.

Violence in Rio de Janeiro Municipality: Risk areas and mortality trends among adolescents 10 to 19 years old

June 1997


8 Reads

This study presents data on general mortality and mortality from external causes (traffic accidents and homicides) among adolescents 10 to 19 years of age in Rio de Janeiro Municipality, Brazil, from 1980 to 1994. The purpose of the study was to describe and put into context mortality from external causes and to identify areas of the Municipality where the risk of these occurrences is highest. The study also sought to identify trends and seasonal patterns of this mortality and to place violence within the ambit of public health through application of the epidemiologic surveillance approach. Information on mortality was extracted from death certificates provided by the State Health Secretariat of Rio de Janeiro. A total of 20,224 death certificates were studied. The populations used as the denominators for determining rates were estimated from the censuses of 1980 and 1991. For purposes of the analysis; the Municipality was divided into eight programmatic areas, each composed of diverse neighboring districts. A time series analysis was done for traffic accidents and homicides. The results showed that external causes were the leading causes of death in the 10-19 age group, and that during the study period deaths from these causes had increased, especially among males. The results also revealed that mortality was heterogeneously distributed in areas of the Municipality that differed socioeconomically. The study points to the need for better integration of the health sector with other sectors and institutions and for a restructuring of the health system with regard to epidemiologic surveillance of violence.

Prevalence of and risk factors for overweight among school girls 12 to 19 years old in a semi-urban region of Ecuador

May 2003


41 Reads

To determine the prevalence of overweight and identify its risk factors in school girls between the ages of 12 and 19 in a semi-urban region of Ecuador and to explore the potential relationship between the adolescents' body mass index (BMI) and their physical activity, caloric intake, and macronutrient intake, as well as between their BMI and their parents' estimated BMI. From January through April 2001 a cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 302 adolescent girls who attended high schools in Cumbaya and Tumbaco (14 km northeast of Quito) and who were selected by systematic random sampling. Anthropometric measurements were taken on all girls and their total calorie and macronutrient intake was measured by means of a 24-hour recall questionnaire. A physical activity questionnaire was also administered, and estimates were made of their parents' BMI. Of the study participants, 8.3% were overweight and 0.7% were obese. In 40.7% of the first group, the excess body weight had a gluteofemoral distribution; in 51.9%, it had an intermediate type of distribution; and in 3.7% it had an abdominal distribution. There was a negative correlation between the adolescents' BMI and their physical activity and calorie intake (P < 0.05), whereas a positive correlation was seen between their BMI and the mother's estimated BMI (P < 0.05). The prevalence of overweight found in this study is similar to that found in an earlier country-wide study but was less than that detected in reports from industrialized countries and other countries of Latin America. Factors appearing to have the greatest impact on an adolescent girl's BMI were physical activity and estimated maternal BMI, regardless of total energy intake and dietary composition.

Cáncer por contaminación química del agua de consumo humano en menores de 19 años: una revisión sistemática - [Cancer in the population under 19 years of age caused by chemical contamination in drinking water: a systematic review.]

December 2012


354 Reads

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between exposure to the main chemical contaminants in drinking water and the rise in cancer cases among the population under age 19. METHODS: A systematic review was undertaken of the scientific literature compiled in the MEDLINE (via PubMed©), EMBASE©, Web of Knowledge, Cochrane Library Plus, Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS), SCOPUS, and SCIRUS databases. The descriptors used were "neoplasms" and "water pollution, chemical," limited to studies that included people under age 19. Articles selected were of any type in any language, from the inception of the indexing of the primary source until March of 2011. RESULTS: The search generated 266 articles, from which 20 were selected after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Drinking water contaminants analyzed were arsenic, disinfection byproducts, nitrogen compounds, petroleum derivatives, agricultural pesticides, radionuclides, and others of industrial origin. The majority of the studies did not find a significant link between exposure to drinking water contaminants and the increase in cancer cases in the under-19 population segment. In some of the studied populations a significant dose-response relationship was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Taking into account that the articles located were insufficiently up-to-date, more studies are required in order to know the effect of drinking water contamination on cancer rates, in particular among children and youths, who are more susceptible.

Bibliometric assessment of cancer research in Puerto Rico, 1903-2005

May 2009


91 Reads

The analysis of scientific production in Puerto Rico is largely unexplored. The main aim of this study is to present the characteristics and trends of cancer publications in Puerto Rico's biomedical journals and their relationship with the island's cancer mortality. A PubMed and a hard-copy search were performed to retrieve cancer-related articles published in the Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal and the Boletín de la Asociación Médica de Puerto Rico from 1903 to 2005. Bibliometric indicators studied included the number of authors and references by article, first author's institutional affiliation and country, document type, and language. The study type and tumor classification were also recorded. Cancer proportional mortality (M%) in Puerto Rico and the proportion of cancer-related articles (P%) published were also evaluated. The annual percent change (APC) was estimated to assess trends. A total of 369 articles were retrieved. The institutions with the majority of publications were universities (39.6%), English was the predominant publication language (72.1%), and the principal document type was original papers (69.6%). Epidemiologic studies were the dominant study type (62.1%), and the most studied cancers were digestive (15.4%) and gynecologic (9.6%). Although the P% has increased since 1913 (APC = 1.2%), the M% increased at a faster pace (APC = 2.7%). Although a growth in the number of cancer publications is observed in these journals, it does not parallel the increase in proportional mortality. A better understanding of the cancer publications in Puerto Rico is essential to establish priorities, define future areas of research, and develop cancer control strategies.

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