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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Inflammation as the cause of coronary heart disease

The Lancet Infectious DiseasesVolume 10, Issue 3, March 2010, Pages 142-143

doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(10)70029-3 | How to Cite or Link Using DOI
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.
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Reflection and Reaction

Inflammation as the cause of coronary heart disease

Maria Inês Reinert AzambujaaE-mail The Corresponding Author

a Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS Brazil
Available online 22 February 2010. 
The time might have arrived to seriously consider substituting inflammation for degeneration as the main idea behind atherogenesis.11 The 2009 H1N1 pandemic is giving us the opportunity of widely reassess the role of infection, and particularly of influenza, on the cause of coronary heart disease.

The Review by Warren-Gash and colleagues is proof that change is already on its way. Now it is up to usto decide whether we are ready to advance, and how far.

Waist-to-Height Ratio with Cardiovascular Risk Factors

International Journal of Preventive Medicine, Vol 1, No 1, Winter 2010 (39-49)

Robespierre C. Ribeiro1, Mário Coutinho2 , Marco A Bramorski2, Isabela C. Giuliano2, Júlia Pavan3
1 Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Minas Gerais, Brazil.
2 Department of Cardiology, School of Medicine, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil.
3 Department of Statistics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.

Objectives: To determine the best anthropometric index in relation to cardiovascular disease risk factors among children and adolescents.
Methods: This cross-sectional school-based study was conducted among a random sample of 3179 students, aged 6 to 18 years, in three large cities in Brazil.
Results: The prevalence of overweight and obesity was 10% and 5%, respectively. In relation to the students in the lower quartile (Q1) of the distribution of subscapular skinfold, the students in the upper quartile (Q4) presented a 2.0 times higher risk (odds ratio) of having elevated total cholesterol levels. Overweight and obese students had a 3.3 times higher risk of having elevated systolic blood pressure, and a 1.9 times higher risk of elevated diastolic blood pressure than other students.
The less active students presented a 1.58 times higher risk of having waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) above the upper tertile (Q3). WHtR mean values was 0.46 (SE 0.00) presented the largest area under the curve (AUC) [0.613 (CI995%:0.578-0.647)] for high total cholesterol levels, [0.546 (CI995%: 0.515-0.578)] for low HDL-C levels, and [0.614 (CI95%: 0.577-0.651)] for high LDL-C levels, while body mass index presented the largest AUC [0.669 (CI95%: 0.64-0.699)] for increased diastolic blood pressure followed by the waist circumference for increased systolic blood pressure [0.761 (CI95%: 0.735-0.787)].
Conclusions: WHtR is considered as a simple and accurate anthropometric parameter that identifies youth with cardiovascular risk factors.
In this study, WHtR above 0.44 was indicative of risk factors in children and adolescents. These findings can be applied in future preventive strategies against CVDs, and screening programs.
Keywords: Anthropometry; Cardiovascular risk factors;

Coffe & Stroke

ASA: Coffee Drinkers Have Lower Stroke Risk

By Todd Neale, Staff Writer, MedPage TodayPublished: February 26, 2010
Reviewed by 
Zalman S. Agus, MD; Emeritus Professor
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner
SAN ANTONIO -- Drinking just one cup of coffee a day -- either regular or decaffeinated -- was associated with a 30% reduced risk of stroke, a large, prospective study showed.

Greater consumption did not heighten the apparent protective effect, according to Yangmei Li, MPhil, of the University of Cambridge in England./.../

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stenting and endarterectomy: similar

CREST: Stenting and endarterectomy show similar net safety and efficacy for carotid stenosis

FEBRUARY 26, 2010 | Susan Jeffrey
From Medscape Medical News—a professional news service of WebMD

San Antonio, TX - Final results of the long-awaited Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy Versus Stenting Trial (CREST) show similar net outcomes with carotid artery stenting (CAS) and carotid endarterectomy (CEA) for the treatment of carotid stenosis, researchers report [1]. The results were presented here at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2010.
On the composite primary end point of any stroke, MI, or death during the periprocedural period or ipsilateral stroke on follow-up, stenting was associated with a 7.2% rate of these events vs 6.8% with surgery, a nonsignificant difference.
However, individual risks varied, they found. At 30 days, the rate of stroke was significantly higher with stenting, at 4.1% vs 2.3% with surgery. Major stroke, though, was not different, at less than 1% in both groups. Conversely, MI was higher with carotid endarterectomy, at 2.3% vs 1.1% with stenting, again a statistically significant difference.
Patients who had an MI, however, reported a better quality of life after recovery than those who had a stroke, the authors noted.
Rates of ipsilateral stroke during a mean follow-up of 2.5 years were equal between groups, at 2.0% for stenting and 2.4% with surgery./.../

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Return of Ancient Viruses

Viruses are paragons of efficiency. They tote along only their genes, maybe a few proteins, and acquire everything else, from energy to temporary housing, through various acts of piracy. They are sometimes considered simple entities, inferior to living organisms because they do not possess cells. It is perhaps more accurate, however, to describe them as tiny, complex machines, whose reproduction is contingent on infiltration and manipulation of host cells, but whose persistence on Earth is made indefinite by the ability to lie dormant for many years and in extreme environments.Ebola virus.
It is this latter capacity that has contributed to scientists’ concerns about the future of human health in a warming world. As temperatures rise, mosquitoes and certain other animal carriers of infectious viral diseases will expand their populations into areas that were once too cool or otherwise ecologically unsuited to support their survival. This alone stands to incite the spread of tropical diseases such asyellow feverEbola, and dengue, to areas north and south—to subtropical and temperate regions that are being gradually transformed by local and global climate change. But the warming of Earth’s atmosphere is likely to be exploited by viruses in other ways as well. For viruses that have been biding their time in a dormant state, locked away in ice or buried in rocks deep beneath Earth’s surface, slight increases in temperature offer an opportunity for reawakening./.../

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Latin American, Caribbean: new regional group

Latin American, Caribbean countries create a new regional group
Leaders from 32 countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America have agreed to create a new regional bloc to streamline efforts on poverty and economic issues. The new grouping will include Cuba, but exclude Canada and the U.S. "We will strengthen our voice in the concert of nations through this new mechanism, to become protagonists and no longer mere spectators of what happens in the world," Mexican President Felipe Calderon said of the agreement. The New York Times (free registration) (2/23) 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Time Line

Editado pela Secretaria de Comunicação Social da Presidência da República
Nº 988 - Brasília, 23 de Fevereiro de 2010
Linha do tempo marca previsões da ciência para até 2030
O Centro de Gestão e Estudos Estratégicos (CGEE/MCT) produziu uma linha do tempo com previsões de avanços na ciência, tecnologia e inovação (CT&I) até 2030. A base de dados prevê, por exemplo, que as baterias de celular durarão dois meses entre uma recarga e outra em 2012. Em 2027, o número de mulheres nas universidades deve superar o dos homens. Além disso, no quesito infraestrutura, em 2028, 45% da energia produzida no Brasil serão renováveis. Mas nem tudo são boas notícias. Segundo a linha do tempo, no ano de 2020, o Brasil perderá R$ 7,4 bilhões em safras de grãos por causa do aquecimento global. Ainda assim, em 2030, a demanda por petróleo no mundo continuará alta, em particular no setor de aviação. Todos esses dados vêm acompanhados de suas respectivas fontes.

“É uma ferramenta que auxiliará na construção de visões de futuro, focos de atuação, além de servir como um balizador de eventos futuros na gestão estratégica de instituições na área de CT&I”, explica Cláudio Chauke, assessor do CGEE e um dos responsáveis pelo instrumento. A linha do tempo mostra onde haverá impacto, podendo ser, por exemplo, institucional, regional, municipal, estadual ou mundial. Inicialmente, o horizonte temporal da sucessão de eventos previstos é de 2009 a 2030. A abrangência espacial é definida pelas dimensões nacionais e internacionais de observação.

Metodologia –
 Os elementos da base metodológica de construção da linha do tempo são os imperativos globais e os eventos futuros. Os primeiros representam questões relacionadas com o planejamento sobre as quais se tem pouco ou nenhum controle ou ingerência e que restringem as possibilidades de se configurar o futuro. Representam aspectos relacionados às necessidades humanas no longo prazo, elementos essenciais a serem considerados em exercícios de planejamento.

Os especialistas consideraram imperativos globais distribuídos em nove dimensões: Alimentos; Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação; Demografia e Questões Sociais; Infraestrutura, Organização Produtiva e Logística; Energia; Educação; Meio Ambiente; Economia e Geopolítica; Saúde. A escolha dessas áreas deve-se aos eixos estratégicos de atuação do CGEE, junto a outras áreas de seu interesse.
Os eventos futuros contemplam, de um lado, elementos com perspectivas de impacto no mundo de forma mais genérica, que também podem se refletir em impactos e preocupações para um planejamento de país, região ou setor. Representam eventos pontuais, com possibilidade de ocorrência no horizonte temporal estudado, identificados e dispostos em uma linha do tempo.

De acordo com Chauke, a linha do tempo é diferente da criação de cenários. “Nos cenários, tomamos como premissa que alguns acontecimentos podem ocorrer segundo um conjunto de delimitadores definidos a priori, assim, trabalhamos dentro dessas situações. A linha do tempo prospectiva dá grandes contornos para que se façam análises e definições de estratégias”, diz Chauke.

Gestão estratégica - A ferramenta (disponível na página web do CGEE apresenta os futuros possíveis em horizontes definidos por planos de gestão estratégica para empresas e órgãos governamentais. “É um elemento complementar para que tomadores de decisão possam ver possibilidades e definir estratégias”, avalia Igor Carneiro, especialista que também participou da concepção da linha do tempo do CGEE. 

Cigarette package warnings

General Messages
by Mr. Rob Cunningham
Go to other forums  | Rate this article  | Reply to author  | Reply to all 

The fifth anniversary of the coming into force of the FCTC will take place on Feb. 27, 2010.  For package warnings, the FCTC has been a pivotal factor in helping to spur improvements worldwide.  When the FCTC was approved in May 2003, only 2 countries (Canada, Brazil) had required picture warnings, and by the end of 2005 only three more (Singapore, Thailand, Venezuela) had picture warnings required to appear on packages.
Now, at least 35 countries/jurisdictions have finalized laws to require picture-based health warnings for cigarette packages. In some of these cases, although the law/regulation/decree has received final adoption, a transition period has not yet been completed.
These 35 countries/jurisdictions are listed in the attached (2 page) Word and pdf documents, and are also listed in the body of this email. Also included are rankings of the countries with the largest-sized health warnings, in terms of the package front, and in terms of an average of the front and back. The largest size is in Uruguay where warnings cover 80% of the package front and back./.../

Diabetes costs on poor countries

Diabetes to exact huge costs on poor countries
23 Feb 2010 01:00:20 GMT
Source: Reuters
HONG KONG, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Diabetes and its complications -- such as strokes and heart disease -- will place an enormous financial burden on poorer countries in years to come, researchers warned in a report published on Tuesday.
"Diabetes is moving from being a disease of developed countries to a disease in developing countries like India and China, and this could put pressure on healthcare systems through rising healthcare costs," said Philip Clarke, associate professor at University of Sydney's School of Public Health.
Clarke and his colleagues examined records of 11,140 patients with severe diabetes in 20 countries, including the complications they suffered, money spent and length of hospital stays; and they found diabetes hit healthcare costs more severely in poorer countries./.../

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bernard Lown & Mikhail Gorbachev...

February 22, 2010 · 

Bernard Lown's Blog

Posted: 22 Feb 2010 08:42 AM PST
U.S. Media: Unending Frustration (Part 1) Imagine a new head of state rising to absolute power in a country threatening our extinction. Imagine further that an American doctor enters that leader’s inner sanctum and that the two hold a lengthy conversation. Would the American media not widely report the meeting and besiege the physician? Such an event [...]
U.S. Media: Unending Frustration (Part 1)
Imagine a new head of state rising to absolute power in a country threatening our extinction. Imagine further that an American doctor enters that leader’s inner sanctum and that the two hold a lengthy conversation. Would the American media not widely report the meeting and besiege the physician?
Such an event actually took place. The country was the Soviet Union, then targeting the United States with a vast nuclear arsenal. The new leader was Mikhail Gorbachev, and I was the American doctor. We met in the Kremlin on December 18, 1985, and conversed for three hours./.../

growing electronic waste

What about the intelectual waste vehiculated by these hardware???

UN calls for action on growing electronic waste

Study suggests the increased dumping of used computers, mobile phones and other electronic equipment poses a serious threat to health and the environment
Electronic waste in China
Migrant workers in Guiyu, China, scavenge used electronic equipment, which often contains highly toxic material. Photograph: Jim Puckett/AP
The world must do more to cope with the drastic rise in electronic waste, according to a UN study published today.
The report suggests that in some countries, the amount of e-waste being produced – including mobile phones and computers – could rise by as much as 500% over the next decade. Such rapid growth, it argues, will create intractable problems for people's health and the environment as the waste, much of it containing toxic material, decays./.../

Saturday, February 20, 2010

America's Falling Crime Rate

Michael Nagle / Getty
  • Print
  • Health care, climate change, terrorism--is it even possible to solve big problems? The mood in Washington is not very hopeful these days. But take a look at what has happened to one of the biggest, toughest problems facing the country 20 years ago: violent crime. For years, Americans ranked crime at or near the top of their list of urgent issues. Every politician, from alderman to President, was expected to have a crime-fighting agenda, yet many experts despaired of solutions. By 1991, the murder rate in the U.S. reached a near record 9.8 per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, criminologists began to theorize that a looming generation of so-called superpredators would soon make things even worse. Read more:,9171,1963761,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily#ixzz0g5GcT3dE

Friday, February 19, 2010

Increased risk of diabetes observed among statin-treated patients

Increased risk of diabetes observed among statin-treated patients

FEBRUARY 16, 2010 | Michael O'Riordan
Glasgow, Scotland - New data from a large meta-analysis of major statin trials suggests the LDL-cholesterol-lowering drugs slightly increase the risk of developing diabetes mellitus [1]. Investigators stress, however, that clinical practice should remain unchanged in patients with moderate or high cardiovascular risk, given the low absolute risk of developing diabetes, particularly when when compared with the benefit of statins.
"We found that there was indeed a risk of diabetes, about 9%, but it isn't a worrying increase as had been suggested by other studies," said co-lead investigator Dr David Preiss (University of Glasgow, Scotland). "Then again, it wasn't a completely flat result. We did see something. Our message would be that people on statins should be those we think are at moderate to high cardiovascular risk in the future. If you look at that group of patients, then what we really want to see come out of the study is a reassuring message, because there is little question that the protective effects in reducing heart attacks, strokes, and so on heavily outweigh this risk of developing diabetes."

HD*Calc -- Health Disparities Calculator

Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) on the SEER Website

Breen, Nancy (NIH/NCI) [E]

 to SDOH
Feb 17 
HD*Calc -- Health Disparities Calculator

The HD*Calc software is now available on the SEER Web site:

The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is a statistical software designed to generate multiple summary measures to evaluate and monitor health disparities (HD).  HD*Calc was created as an extension of SEER*Stat that allows the user to import SEER Data as well as with other population based health data such as National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).

HD*Calc can be used to produce summary measures of disparity.  Cancer rates and other data categorized by disparity groups can be used with HD*"Cal to generate output that can be presented in both tabular and graphic formats.  Several of the measures included in HD*Calc are not commonly used to evaluate cancer-related health disparities. An important function of HD*Calc is to facilitate use of a range of HD measures so that researchers can explore their utility in different situations.

The HD*Calc Website also includes a set of tutorial exercises at

Mobile pocket echo device: Revolutionizing medicine

Mobile pocket echo device: Revolutionizing medicine
The Scripps tests of the brand-new GE VScan device show favorable comparisons with a routine full echocardiogram. It's the size of a cell phone, portable, and with inherent wireless potential and has wide-ranging -- revolutionary -- possibilities that stretch beyond CV care. Click to watch my demo!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Connecting Ideas and Knowledge Sharing on Equity and Health

Connecting Ideas and Knowledge Sharing on Equity and Health
PAHO/WHO Symposium – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm February 24th, 2010
10th Anniversary of Equity and Health listserv

This symposium on health determinants and inequalities will be focused on the analysis of thematic trends and conceptual frameworks developed in the last 10 years and their policy implications. It also will address global methodological issues of measuring health inequalities and evaluating policy and program impact.

A draft of the agenda by topic is below. The names of some speakers and discussants TBC the final agenda will be sent before the meeting. The entire meeting will be web cast in order to reach a wide international audience of health equity researchers and advocates.

The format will be a short presentation on the subject of each panel 10-15 min max – Three/four discussants 5 to 10 min max. - Q&A 15 min max.from

Participants in person: 

PAHO Pan American Health Organization Regional Office of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Room A

Virtual participants via web:

To participate in person or virtually please confirm you availability before February 22nd

This event is being organized by WHO, PAHO/WHO, and Kellogg Fellows

Resources collection:  

We are also updating the collection of resources on Equity, Health and Human Development, please post the best resources you have online – Links below or send by email to

Link to post your best resources on Health and/or Equity, Social Disparities and/or  Social Determinants of Health:

To browse posted resources:



 Referência da Dra. Rosa Maria Villanova Sampaio
Pesquisa IRBEM (Nossa São Paulo/Ibope)
Veja a apresentação da pesquisa Nossa São Paulo/IBOPE resumida
Confira a pesquisa completa
Veja as perguntas da pesquisa de campo realizada pelo Ibope
Repercussão na mídia sobre a pesquisa do IRBEM
Consulta pública
Confira os resultados da consulta pública (realizada entre junho e outubro de 2009)
Conheça o questionário da consulta pública
Material de campanha
Guia para o professor

Histórico da construção do IRBEM
Em uma iniciativa inédita, o Movimento Nossa São Paulo lançou em junho de 2009 uma mobilização para elaborar um conjunto de indicadores que reúnem também aspectos subjetivos sobre as condições de vida em São Paulo. O objetivo da construção do IRBEM (Indicadores de Referência de Bem-Estar no Município) é orientar ações de empresas, organizações, governos e toda a sociedade, considerando como foco principal o bem-estar das pessoas. /.../

Arte para salud y el desarrollo

Published on November 26th, 2009no comments
El espacio virtual Arte y Salud es una iniciativa de la OPS-RLATS que se planteó en el 1er Foro Internacional de Arte, puente para la salud y el desarrollo con la finalidad de contar con un soporte web de intercambio y gestión del conocimiento.