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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

Print version ISSN 1415-790X

Rev. bras. epidemiol. vol.4 n.3 São Paulo Nov. 2001 




José da Rocha Carvalheiro

The Editor



The present number achieves one of the major goals of Revista: to present methodological advances in approaches to epidemiological processes. When the Editorial Board chose Time Series it was considering the importance of methodological innovation in the field. There is also strong evidence that recent decades have witnessed a fact that led to one of the Central Panels at Abrasco's IV Congress of Epidemiology: "Restoring the Value of Descriptive Epidemiology ".

Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira Latorre, a teacher from the Department of Epidemiology of São Paulo University's School of Public Health (FSP) was invited to coordinate the effort to present the most commonly used statistical models for analyzing time series. The way the theme was handled and the studies chosen for this issue of Revista was a welcome confirmation of what the Editors expected. The formalism of statistical treatment was toned down to what is expected from a journal of epidemiology: to present concrete studies that utilize the methodology, without lacking the necessary rigor demanded by peer review.

The guest editor and her collaborator gave a general appreciation of methodological aspects in the first article of the issue, in addition to summarizing the content of the remaining articles. It is not by chance that almost all of the articles analyze series of indicators of mortality due to various causes. An acknowledged truth has been confirmed: Since its introduction at the end of 1975, the Brazilian System for Information on Mortality has taken its rightful place in the epidemiological and demographic scenario. It is even used for time series studies! Studies whose basic requirement is reliability.

One of the articles is written by three Professors from Rio de Janeiro's National School of Public Health (ENSP/ FIOCRUZ). The other articles are related in several ways to São Paulo University - USP, the university to which the guest Editor belongs. At any rate, the great variety of themes, places, and filiations of authors is evident: three authors from ENSP have already been mentioned; six authors belong to FSP/USP's faculty, one of whom is an M.Sc. student; another is the Health Secretary of the city of Guarulhos in the Greater São Paulo area; and another is from the Health State Department of Santa Catarina; three authors work in the Experimental Air Pollution Laboratory of the Department of Pathology of São Paulo University Medical School; one author is from the Department of Statistics of USP's Institute of Mathematics and Statistics; and another one is from the Department of Pediatrics of Santo Amaro University Medical School.

The present issue consolidates Revista's new trend of publishing thematic issues, while meeting the rigor of peer review. By accepting the mission to coordinate the present issue of Revista, the guest Editor automatically committed herself to continuing along the same lines. Hopefully readers will send new contributions to follow those presented here.