Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública]]> http://www.scielosp.org/rss.php?pid=1020-498920060011&lang=en vol. 20 num. 6 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielosp.org/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielosp.org <![CDATA[<B>Health care costs of persons with diabetes prior to and following hospitalization in Argentina</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100001&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVO: Analizar los costos de atención ambulatoria de personas con diabetes hospitalizadas por causas relacionadas con esta enfermedad -anteriores o posteriores a la hospitalización- y compararlos con los de personas diabéticas que no fueron hospitalizadas durante el mismo período. MÉTODOS: Determinamos los gastos de atención hospitalaria y ambulatoria de personas con diabetes afiliadas a una empresa argentina de medicina prepaga que habían sido hospitalizadas durante el período de estudio y comparamos estos últimos con los de afiliados diabéticos que no habían sido hospitalizados durante dicho período. RESULTADOS: Identificamos 2 760 personas con diabetes (2,4% del total de afiliados a la empresa de medicina prepaga); de ellas, 1 683 (59%) trataban la diabetes y los factores de riesgo cardiovascular asociados con medicación específica; la diabetes se asociaba con uno (41%) o dos (24%) factores de riesgo cardiovascular. De estas 1 683 personas, 102 (6%) fueron hospitalizadas por causas relacionadas con la diabetes durante el período estudiado; la frecuencia de hospitalización aumentó significativamente cuando la diabetes se asociaba con hipertensión arterial y dislipidemia. La enfermedad cardiovascular originó el 43,1% de las hospitalizaciones, con un costo per capita significativamente mayor que el registrado por otras causas (media ± error estándar de la media [1 673 ± 296,8] dólares estadounidenses [US$]; P < 0,05). Los costos totales anuales per capita de atención de las personas que fueron hospitalizadas resultaron mayores que los relativos a las que no fueron hospitalizadas (US$ [2 907,8 ± 262,5] frente a US$ [473,4 ± 9,8], respectivamente; P < 0,01). Los costos totales de atención ambulatoria posteriores a la hospitalización fueron un 12% mayores que los del período anterior a la hospitalización (US$ [903,6 ± 108,6] frente a US$ [797,6 ± 14,9]; diferencia no significativa). CONCLUSIÓN: Los costos de atención ambulatoria aumentan significativamente en el período anterior y posterior a la hospitalización. Los resultados obtenidos sugieren que el tratamiento intensivo de la hiperglucemia y de los factores de riesgo cardiovascular asociados puede prevenir hospitalizaciones con un costo menor que el de la hospitalización y la atención ambulatoria durante el período posthospitalario.<hr/>OBJECTIVE: To analyze and compare the ambulatory care expenditures for persons with diabetes during prehospitalization and posthospitalization periods with those of diabetics who were not hospitalized for diabetes-related illnesses during the same period. METHODS: We determined the hospitalization and ambulatory care expenses incurred by an Argentine health insurer for the hospitalization of diabetic clients during the study period, and compared these expenses to the expenses of insured diabetics who were not hospitalized during that period. RESULTS: We identified 2 760 persons with diabetes (2.4% of the total number of persons covered by the insurance company). Of those, 1 683 (59%) were on medication for diabetes and its associated cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetes was associated with either one (41%) or two (24%) cardiovascular risk factors. Of those 1 683 persons, 102 (6%) were hospitalized for diabetes-related reasons during the study period. The frequency of hospitalization increased significantly in cases where diabetes was associated with arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia. Cardiovascular illness was the cause of 43.1% of the hospitalizations, with a significantly higher per capita cost than any of the other causes identified (mean ± standard error of the mean: US$ 1 673 ± US$ 296.8; P < 0.05). The total annual per capita cost for health care for the diabetics who had been hospitalized was greater than for those who had not (US$ 2 907.8 ± US$ 262.5 compared to US$ 473.4 ± US$ 9.8, respectively; P < 0.01). While the total posthospitalization ambulatory care expenditures were 12% higher than the prehospitalization costs (US$ 903.6 ± US$ 108.6 vs. US$ 797.6 ± US$ 14.9), the difference was not significant. CONCLUSION: Ambulatory care expenditures increase significantly in the prehospitalization and posthospitalization periods. The results suggest that intensive treatment of hyperglycemia and its associated cardiovascular risk factors may prevent hospitalization and is a more cost-effective option than hospitalization and posthospitalization ambulatory care. <![CDATA[<B>A case-control study of microenvironmental risk factors for urban visceral leishmaniasis in a large city in Brazil, 1999-2000</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100002&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVES: We investigated potential microenvironmental risk factors for visceral leishmaniasis in urban and suburban areas, and developed risk scores to characterize the household and the neighborhood. These scores may be useful to identify microenvironments within cities that place residents at greater risk of visceral leishmaniasis. METHODS: In this case-control study, cases were all persons with visceral leishmaniasis reported from July 1999 through December 2000 in the Belo Horizonte metropolitan area, Brazil. Two kinds of controls-neighborhood and hospital-were used. Cases and controls were matched by age (±2 years). We developed four scores to characterize the microenvironment (indoor, outdoor, animal indoor, and animal outdoor), and also considered the level of urbanization of the area. RESULTS: A total of 106 neighborhood controls and 60 hospital controls were identified for 109 cases. Among the cases, 69 (63.3%) were men and 40 (36.7%) were women. Most cases were under 15 years old (64.2%), and 39 (35.8%) were 15 years old or more. The outdoor score [odds ratio (OR) = 1.49; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-2.14] and animal outdoor scores (OR = 1.79[95% CI 1.21-2.65]) were significantly associated with the odds of visceral leishmaniasis in our sample. We also found a significant interaction between sex and age. Compared to females 15 years old or more, males 15 years old or more were more likely to have visceral leishmaniasis (OR = 7.02[95% CI 2.20-22.20]). CONCLUSIONS: Animals in the neighborhood were associated with a greater odds of visceral leishmaniasis. Cases were more likely than controls to live in transitional or rural areas, although this difference was not statistically significant, possibly because of the small sample size.<hr/>OBJETIVOS: Se investigaron los posibles factores microambientales de riesgo de leishmaniasis visceral en áreas urbanas y suburbanas y se elaboraron sistemas de puntuación del riesgo para caracterizar los hogares y los vecindarios. Estas puntuaciones pueden ayudar a identificar dentro de las ciudades microambientes que implican un mayor riesgo de leishmaniasis visceral para sus habitantes. MÉTODOS: En este estudio de casos y controles, los casos fueron todas las personas con leishmaniasis visceral informadas entre julio de 1999 y diciembre de 2000 en el área metropolitana de Belo Horizonte, Brasil. Se utilizaron dos tipos de controles: de vecindario y de hospital. Los casos y controles se parearon por la edad (± 2 años). Se establecieron cuatro puntuaciones para caracterizar el microambiente: interior de los hogares, exterior de los hogares, animales en los hogares y animales en el vecindario. También se consideró el nivel de urbanización del área. RESULTADOS: Se identificaron 106 controles de vecindario y 60 de hospital para los 109 casos. De estos, 69 (63,3%) eran hombres y 40 (36,7%) eran mujeres. La mayoría de los casos (64,2%) tenían menos de 15 años de edad y 39 (35,8%) tenían 15 años o más. La puntuación del exterior de los hogares (OR = 1,49; intervalo de confianza de 95% [IC95%] = 1,03-2,14) y de animales en el vecindario (OR = 1,79; [1,21-2,65]) mostraron una asociación significativa con la posibilidad de padecer leishmaniasis visceral en la muestra. También se encontró una interacción significativa entre el sexo y la edad. Los hombres de 15 años de edad o más tuvieron mayor probabilidad de padecer leishmaniasis visceral que las mujeres de 15 años o más (OR = 7,02; [2,20-22,20]). CONCLUSIONES: La presencia de animales en el vecindario estuvo asociada con una mayor posibilidad de leishmaniasis visceral. Los casos presentaron mayor probabilidad de vivir en áreas rurales o de transición que los controles, aunque esta diferencia no fue estadísticamente significativa, posiblemente debido al pequeño tamaño de la muestra. <![CDATA[<B>Burden of diarrhea among children in Honduras, 2000-2004</B>: <B>estimates of the role of rotavirus</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100003&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJECTIVES: To estimate the annual burden of diarrhea and of diarrhea that is associated with rotavirus (RV) in children who are treated at public clinics and hospitals in Honduras. METHODS: Data were collected from computerized records of all children < 5 years old treated for diarrhea at clinics and hospitals operated by the Secretary of Health for the period of 2000 through 2004. A review of studies of RV in Honduras and neighboring countries provided estimates of detection rates of RV among children treated for acute diarrhea as outpatients or as inpatients. From these data, we estimated the annual number of cases of diarrhea and of rotavirus-related diarrhea in Honduras, the cumulative incidence of diarrhea and of rotavirus-related diarrhea for a child from birth to age 5 years, and the number of fatalities due to RV among children hospitalized for diarrhea. RESULTS: From 2000 through 2004, a mean of 222 000 clinic visits, 4 390 hospitalizations, and 162 in-hospital deaths due to diarrhea were recorded annually among children < 5 years of age in the public health facilities in Honduras. From our review of scientific literature on Honduras and neighboring countries, an estimated 30% of outpatients and 43% of inpatients who were treated for diarrhea would be expected to have RV. Consequently, we estimated that 66 600 outpatient visits, 1 888 hospitalizations, and 70 in-hospital deaths among children < 5 years in Honduras could be attributed to RV each year. Therefore, a child in the first five years of life has a respective risk for consultation, hospitalization, and in-hospital death of 1:1, 1:46, and 1:1 235 for diarrhea. For an episode associated with RV, the respective risks are 1:3, 1:106, and 1:2 857. These values likely underestimate the true burden of diarrhea in Honduras, since some 51% of children with acute diarrhea do not receive formal care for the illness, 70% do not receive oral rehydration solution, and 80% of diarrheal deaths occur outside of hospitals. CONCLUSIONS: Diarrhea is a major cause of illness among children < 5 years old in Honduras, and RV is likely the most common cause. Our preliminary estimates need to be refined so that health planners in Honduras can make decisions on the future use of rotavirus vaccines. A program of hospital-based surveillance for rotavirus in Honduras has been established to address this need.<hr/>OBJETIVOS: Estimar la carga anual por diarrea y por diarrea asociada con la infección por rotavirus (RV) en niños atendidos en clínicas y hospitales públicos de Honduras. MÉTODOS: Los datos se obtuvieron a partir de los registros computarizados de todos los niños menores de 5 años atendidos por diarrea en clínicas y hospitales operados por la Secretaría de Salud de Honduras durante el período 2000-2004. Una revisión de los estudios realizados sobre RV en Honduras y los países vecinos ofreció estimados de las tasas de detección de RV en niños tratados por diarrea aguda hospitalizados o de forma ambulatoria. Con estos datos se estimó el número anual de casos de diarrea y de diarrea asociada con la infección por RV en Honduras, la incidencia acumulativa de diarrea y de diarrea asociada con la infección por RV en niños menores de 5 años y el número de muertes debido a RV en niños hospitalizados por diarrea. RESULTADOS: Entre los años 2000 y 2004 se registraron medias anuales de 222 000 visitas médicas, 4 390 hospitalizaciones y 162 muertes hospitalarias por diarrea en niños menores de 5 años en instalaciones sanitarias públicas de Honduras. A partir de la revisión de la literatura científica relativa a Honduras y los países vecinos se estimó que 30% de los casos de diarrea atendidos ambulatoriamente y 43% de los hospitalizados podrían deberse a RV. En consecuencia, se estimó que 66 600 visitas médicas ambulatorias, 1 888 hospitalizaciones y 70 muertes hospitalarias de niños menores de 5 años pueden atribuirse a la infección por RV anualmente en Honduras. Por lo tanto, los riesgos de un niño en sus primeros 5 años de vida de asistir a una consulta, de ser hospitalizado y de morir en un hospital por diarrea son de 1:1, 1:46 y 1:1 235, respectivamente. Los riesgos asociados con la infección por RV son de 1:3, 1:106 y 1:2 857, respectivamente. Posiblemente, estos valores subestiman la carga real por diarrea en Honduras, ya que alrededor de 51% de los niños con diarrea aguda no reciben atención médica formal por esa enfermedad, 70% no reciben sales de rehidratación oral y 80% de las muertes por diarrea ocurren fuera de los hospitales. CONCLUSIONES: La diarrea es una importante causa de enfermedad en niños menores de 5 años en Honduras y la infección por RV es posiblemente su causa más frecuente. Estos estimados preliminares deben precisarse más para que los encargados de la planificación sanitaria en Honduras puedan tomar decisiones acerca de la aplicación de vacunas contra el RV en el futuro. En Honduras se estableció un programa basado en hospitales para la vigilancia de la infección por RV y para responder a esa necesidad. <![CDATA[<B>Risk analysis of nitrate contamination in wells supplying drinking water in a rural area of Chile</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100004&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVOS: Evaluar el riesgo asociado a la contaminación con nitrato de pozos noria de suministro de agua potable rural en la zona de Parral, Chile. MÉTODOS: Se recogieron datos de concentración de nitrato obtenidos de un muestreo de agua de 94 pozos noria. Se analizó la distribución de la concentración de nitrato en los pozos para determinar la existencia de algún tipo de correlación espacial. En el análisis de riesgo, se identificaron dos situaciones de exposición de la población (adultos y lactantes) y se elaboraron mapas de riesgo para la salud. RESULTADOS: El 14% de los pozos estudiados presentó valores de concentración de nitrato mayores que los permitidos por la normativa nacional relativa al agua potable. No se detectó correlación espacial de las concentraciones de nitrato. El valor medio del cociente de peligro (CP) para los adultos en la zona de estudio fue 0,12, lo que indica la ausencia de riesgo para la salud de esa población. Para los lactantes, el cociente de peligro medio fue 0,69, pero se identificaron algunos pozos donde el cociente de peligro indica un riesgo para esta población. CONCLUSIONES: En la zona de Parral, la contaminación de pozos noria por nitrato está asociada principalmente a la existencia de ciertos factores, como los métodos constructivos o la cercanía de animales, que afectan de manera aislada la calidad del agua. No se detectó la existencia de riesgo para la población adulta, pero sí para los lactantes alimentados con fórmulas preparadas con agua proveniente de los pozos contaminados.<hr/>OBJECTIVES: To assess the risk associated with nitrate contamination of wells that supply drinking water in the rural, Parral region of central Chile. METHODS: The nitrate concentration levels were determined using water samples from 94 wells. An analysis of the distribution of nitrate concentration levels was performed in order to assess possible geographic correlations. For the risk analysis, two exposure situations were identified among the population (for adults and for infants), and the health risks were mapped. RESULTS: Fourteen percent of the wells studied had nitrate concentration levels greater than what the Chilean health standards allow for drinking water. There was no geographic correlation for the nitrate concentration levels. The mean hazard quotient (HQ) for adults in the study area was 0.12, indicating an absence of risk for this population group. For infants, the HQ values had a maximum value of 3.1 in some locations, but the average was 0.69 (still below 1.0), indicating that the well water in the study area was generally not hazardous for infants. CONCLUSIONS: In the Parral region of Chile, nitrate contamination of wells is primarily linked to certain factors such as construction practices and the proximity of livestock. These factors affect the quality of drinking water in isolated cases. There was no risk found for the adult population, but there was for infants fed on formula mixed with water coming from the contaminated wells. <![CDATA[<B>Controlling diabetes mellitus and its complications in Medellín, Colombia, 2001-2003</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100005&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en OBJETIVOS: Identificar las principales características sociodemográficas, clínicas y conductuales de los pacientes que participaban en los programas de atención al diabético en Medellín, Colombia, y evaluar el cumplimiento de las metas de control metabólico y de los estándares de control en el diabético. MÉTODOS: Se realizó un estudio descriptivo transversal mediante el análisis de las historias clínicas de todos los pacientes que asistían a los programas de atención al diabético desde al menos 6 meses en nueve instituciones de salud entre enero de 2001 y diciembre de 2003. Se tomaron datos sociodemográficos (edad y sexo), clínicos (tiempo de evolución de la enfermedad, tipo y tratamiento de la diabetes y enfermedades concurrentes y su tratamiento), sobre los hábitos de vida (práctica de ejercicios físicos, hábito de fumar y consumo de azúcar y grasas) y sobre las complicaciones crónicas y los resultados de las pruebas de laboratorio del último año. Todos los datos confusos o faltantes se registraron como ausentes. RESULTADOS: De las 3 583 historias clínicas evaluadas, se logró conocer el tipo de diabetes que padecían 3 554 pacientes, de ellos 95,1% correspondieron a pacientes con diabetes tipo 2. En general, 56,9% (intervalo de confianza de 95% [IC95%]: 55,2 a 58,6%) de los pacientes realizaban ejercicios periódicos; 15,1% (IC95%: 13,9 a 16,3%) aún fumaba en el momento del corte, 17,7% (IC95%: 16,4 a 19,0%) había dejado de fumar y 67,2% (IC95%: 65,6 a 68,8%) nunca había fumado. En total, 21,0% (IC95%: 19,6 a 22,5%) de los pacientes consumía azúcar regularmente, mientras 24,8% (IC95%: 23,3 a 26,3%) consumía grasas y solo 19,5% (IC95%: 17,8 a 21,3%) realizaba automonitoreo de la glucemia con una frecuencia semanal o mayor. La prevalencia general de hipertensión arterial fue de 68,8% y de 98,2% de dislipidemia en los diabéticos tipo 2. El promedio general del índice de masa corporal fue de 28,0 kg/m² (IC95%: 27,8 a 28,2). El promedio del número de medicamentos utilizados fue de 1,3 para el tratamiento de la diabetes tipo 2, de 1,9 para la hipertensión arterial y de 0,6 para la dislipidemia. No se encontraron los datos de dislipidemia de colesterol de lipoproteínas de baja densidad (LDL) en 44,8% de las historias clínicas y de colesterol de lipoproteínas de alta densidad (HDL) en 16,4%. Las complicaciones oculares fueron las más frecuentes (31,8%; IC95%: 30,1 a 33,5%), seguidas de las afecciones renales (25,9%; IC95%: 24,4 a 27,5%) y las cardiovasculares (22,5%; IC95%: 21,1 a 23,8%). El cumplimiento de las metas de control del colesterol de LDL, los triglicéridos y el colesterol de HDL fue insuficiente (14,2%, 36,9% y 47,4%, respectivamente). CONCLUSIONES: En la población estudiada, las tres complicaciones crónicas que más influyen en el pronóstico y el costo de salud en los diabéticos fueron la nefropatía, la retinopatía y la dislipidemia. El gran subregistro de datos encontrado en las historias clínicas se puede reducir si se toman medidas para estandarizar las historias clínicas y se realizan evaluaciones periódicas de la calidad de las mismas.<hr/>OBJECTIVES: To identify the principal sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral characteristics of patients participating in diabetic care programs in the city of Medellín, Colombia, and to evaluate progress toward the goal of metabolic control and diabetic care standards. METHODS: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was done, analyzing the clinical records of patients who had been participating for at least 6 months in the diabetic care programs of nine health care centers in Medellín. The study period ran from January 2001 to December 2003. The following data were collected: sociodemographic (age and sex), clinical (time since disease onset, diabetes type and treatment, and concurrent illnesses and their treatment), lifestyle habits (exercise routine, smoking, and sugar and fat consumption), chronic complications, and laboratory test results from the prior year. Questionable or missing data were categorized as unavailable. RESULTS: Of the 3 583 clinical histories evaluated, we were able to confirm the form of diabetes for 3 554 patients. Of those 3 554, 95.1% had type 2 diabetes. Overall, 56.9% (95% confidence interval (95% CI): 55.2% to 58.6%) of the patients exercised regularly, 15.1% (95% CI: 13.9% to 16.3%) were current smokers, 17.7% (95% CI: 16.4% to 19.0%) were former smokers, and 67.2% (95% CI: 65.6% to 68.8%) had never smoked. In all, 21.0% (95% CI: 19.6% to 22.5%) of the patients consumed sugar regularly, while 24.8% (95% CI: 23.3% to 26.3%) consumed fats and only 19.5% (95% CI: 17.8% to 21.3%) were self-monitoring their glucose levels at least weekly. Among the type 2 diabetics, 68.8% had high blood pressure, and 98.2% had dyslipidemia. The average body mass index was 28.0 kg/m² (95% CI: 27.8 to 28.2). The average number of medications that the patients were taking to treat type 2 diabetes was 1.3; to treat high blood pressure, 1.9; and to treat dyslipidemia, 0.6. There were no data on low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in 44.8% of the clinical records, and no data on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in 16.4% of the records. Among the complications, the most common were ocular ones (31.8%; 95% CI: 30.1% to 33.5%), followed by renal ones (25.9%; 95% CI: 24.4% to 27.5%), and cardiovascular ones (22.5%; 95% CI: 21.1% to 23.8%). Cholesterol control achievement was inadequate for LDL (reached by only 14.2% of the patients), for triglycerides (36.9% of patients), and HDL (47.4% of patients). CONCLUSIONS: Among the study population in Medellín, the three chronic complications with the greatest impact on prognosis and health care costs of the diabetics were nephropathy, retinopathy, and dyslipidemia. The noticeable amount of unavailable data in the clinical records could be greatly reduced by standardizing the clinical record forms and by periodic quality checks of the records themselves. <![CDATA[<B>Evaluating in-home water purification methods for communities in Texas on the border with Mexico</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100006&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en This study evaluated user preferences among three alternative in-home water treatment technologies suitable for households relying on trucked water in El Paso County, Texas, which is on the border with Mexico. The three technologies were: chlorination of household storage tanks, small-scale batch chlorination, and point-of-use ultraviolet disinfection. Fifteen households used each of the three technologies in succession for roughly four weeks each during April through June of 2004. Data were collected on treated water quality, and a face-valid survey was administered orally to assess user satisfaction with the technologies on a variety of attributes. Treatment with a counter-top ultraviolet disinfection system received statistically significantly higher ratings for taste and odor and likelihood of future use than the other two approaches. Ultraviolet disinfection and small-scale batch chlorination both received significantly higher ratings for ease of use than did storage tank chlorination. Over-chlorination was a common problem with both batch chlorination and storage tank chlorination. Water quality in the households using trucked water is now higher than was reported by a previous study, suggesting that water quality has improved over time.<hr/>Este estudio evaluó las preferencias de los consumidores de tres tecnologías domésticas para el tratamiento del agua, apropiadas para viviendas del condado de El Paso, Texas, situado en la frontera con México, que dependen del agua transportada en camiones. Las tres tecnologías fueron cloración de los tanques domésticos de almacenamiento, cloración de pequeños lotes de agua y desinfección mediante luz ultravioleta en el punto de dispensación. Quince viviendas utilizaron sucesivamente cada una de las tres tecnologías durante aproximadamente cuatro semanas entre abril y junio de 2004. Se registraron los datos sobre la calidad del agua tratada y se realizó una encuesta oral aceptada por los expertos para medir el grado de satisfacción de los usuarios con relación a diversos atributos de esas tecnologías. El tratamiento con el sistema de desinfección mediante luz ultravioleta instalado sobre la barra de la cocina tuvo una mejor valoración según el gusto y el olor del agua y una mayor probabilidad de uso futuro que los otros dos métodos. La desinfección mediante luz ultravioleta y la cloración de pequeños lotes recibieron mayor puntuación por su facilidad de uso con respecto a la cloración de los tanques de almacenamiento. La cloración excesiva fue un problema frecuente, tanto en la cloración de pequeños lotes como de los tanques de almacenamiento. La calidad del agua en las viviendas que utilizan agua transportada en camiones es ahora superior que la encontrada en estudios anteriores, lo que parece indicar que la calidad del agua ha mejorado. <![CDATA[<B>Dengue in the Americas and Southeast Asia</B>: <B>do they differ?</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100007&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The populations of Southeast Asia (SE Asia) and tropical America are similar, and all four dengue viruses of Asian origin are endemic in both regions. Yet, during comparable 5-year periods, SE Asia experienced 1.16 million cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), principally in children, whereas in the Americas there were 2.8 million dengue fever (DF) cases, principally in adults, and only 65 000 DHF cases. This review aims to explain these regional differences. In SE Asia, World War II amplified Aedes aegypti populations and the spread of dengue viruses. In the Americas, efforts to eradicate A. aegypti in the 1940s and 1950s contained dengue epidemics mainly to the Caribbean Basin. Cuba escaped infections with the American genotype dengue-2 and an Asian dengue-3 endemic in the 1960s and 1970s. Successive infections with dengue-1 and an Asian genotype dengue-2 resulted in the 1981 DHF epidemic. When this dengue-2 virus was introduced in other Caribbean countries, it encountered populations highly immune to the American genotype dengue-2. During the 1980s and 1990s, rapidly expanding populations of A. aegypti in Brazil permitted successive epidemics of dengue-1, -2, and -3. These exposures, however, resulted mainly in DF, with surprisingly few cases of DHF. The absence of high rates of severe dengue disease in Brazil, as elsewhere in the Americas, may be partly explained by the widespread prevalence of human dengue resistance genes. Understanding the nature and distribution of these genes holds promise for containing severe dengue. Future research on dengue infections should emphasize population-based designs.<hr/>Las poblaciones de Asia suroriental y de la América tropical son similares y los cuatro tipos de virus del dengue de origen asiático son endémicos en ambas regiones. Aun así, durante períodos quinquenales comparables ocurrieron 1,16 millones de casos de dengue hemorrágico (DH) en Asia suroriental, principalmente en niños, mientras que en las Américas ocurrieron 2,8 millones de casos de dengue, principalmente en adultos, y solo 65 000 casos de DH. El objetivo de esta revisión es explicar estas diferencias regionales. En el sudeste asiático, con la Segunda Guerra Mundial se extendieron las poblaciones del mosquito Aedes aegypti y se diseminó el virus del dengue. En las Américas, los esfuerzos para erradicar el A. aegypti en las décadas de 1940 y 1950 restringieron las epidemias de dengue principalmente a la cuenca del Caribe. Cuba escapó a las infecciones por el genotipo americano del dengue-2 y un endémico asiático del dengue-3 en las décadas de 1960 y 1970. Infecciones sucesivas con el virus del dengue-1 y un genotipo asiático del dengue-2 dio como resultado una epidemia de DH en 1981. Cuando este virus del dengue-2 se introdujo en otros países caribeños encontró poblaciones con un alto grado de inmunidad al genotipo americano del dengue-2. Durante las décadas de 1980 y 1990, la rápida expansión de las poblaciones de A. aegyti en Brasil favorecieron la aparición de epidemias sucesivas de dengue-1, dengue-2 y dengue-3. Estas, no obstante, provocaron principalmente casos de dengue con sorpresivamente pocos casos de DH. La ausencia de altas tasas de formas graves de dengue en Brasil y otros países de la Región puede explicarse en parte por la amplia presencia de genes humanos de resistencia al dengue. La comprensión de la naturaleza y de la distribución de estos genes crea grandes expectativas para frenar las formas graves de dengue. Las investigaciones futuras sobre la infección por los virus del dengue deben poner énfasis en diseños basados en la población. <![CDATA[<B>Paradoxes of health decentralization policies in Brazil</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100008&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal. <![CDATA[<B>Asociación entre los antecedentes familiares de diabetes y la hiperinsulinemia en niños y adolescentes aparentemente saludables</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100009&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal. <![CDATA[<B>Predominio de variantes recombinantes del subtipo BF del VIH-1 en Argentina</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100010&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal. <![CDATA[<B>Métodos para el monitoreo y la vigilancia de la influenza</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal. <![CDATA[<B>Epidemiología molecular del virus del dengue tipo 3 en Brasil y Paraguay</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100012&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal. <![CDATA[<B>Método para la predicción del riesgo de muerte e infarto del miocardio en pacientes con el síndrome coronario agudo</B>]]> http://www.scielosp.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1020-49892006001100013&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en The constitution of Brazil directs that the country’s health system, the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde), be politically and administratively decentralized. Nevertheless, handing over competencies, responsibilities, and resources to subnational levels, especially to municipal governments, has been a slow process, lasting almost two decades. Advances have been brought about by the Unified Health System, which, from a analytical perspective, is a public and universal system. Despite that, the decentralization process needs to overcome norms that keep all levels of management dependent on Brazil’s federal Government. The subnational levels have consistently faced difficulties in performing their macromanagement functions with autonomy, especially when it comes to financing and to the establishment or organization of health care networks. Boldness and responsibility will be needed to prevent Brazil’s health decentralization process from leading to fragmentation. New political agreements between different levels of government, with a reassignment of responsibilities and the enhancement of a culture of technical cooperation, are fundamental requisites to making the Unified Health System have a health policy that is truly public and universal.