José da Rocha Carvalheiro
This number of Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia (Brazilian Journal of Epidemiology) only includes articles spontaneously sent by authors. All of them were submitted to peer review, the permanent and strict editorial procedure, even for the thematic numbers recently published. There is, however, an essential difference: the extreme diversity of themes, methodology and institutional filiations of authors, when an issue such as the present one is put together, with articles that flow naturally through Revista's system. "Induced" numbers, in addition to an understandable thematic monotony, will inevitably present greater institutional concentration of authors and an intentionally forced methodological diversity. Thematic numbers comply with an editorial option that, in our case, in addition to the Editorial Board, are assessed by regular consultation with Abrasco's Epidemiology Committee. Editions published according to the normal editorial system process, on the other hand, express the result of a complex process encompassing, in its origin, decisions pertaining to the scientific community of the area. Revista's profile becomes more like the research trends of the professional and institutional scope it is aimed at.
The present number presents seven studies, from various States and institutions. None have a sole author, ranging from 2 to 6, with an average of 3.4 authors. Three articles are from authors affiliated to the Faculdade de Saúde Pública da USP (São Paulo University School of Public Health). One of them analyzes a cohort of births in a university hospital, in relation to the duration of breastfeeding (mixed) after the introduction of other milks, as a function of the time when the introduction occurs. The later that the "other" is introduced, the longer breastfeeding (breastfeeding plus formula) lasts, demonstrating a clear intention of some, but not all mothers, to maintain breastfeeding. The authors of the other two studies come from one of the most experienced groups in mortality issues in Brazil. They analyze the problems of the National Mortality Information System and propose solutions. One of the articles refers to natural causes and the other to external causes. In the latter, on the topic of deaths due to accidents and violence, the information is substantially better, although in both groups, a simple salvage/recovery procedure improves the quality of the information from Death Certificates. The procedure consists of performing interviews in households, hospitals, Forensic Institutes, and Police Stations.
Two articles use the same cross-sectional home sampling procedure with interviews to analyze different themes. One uses a standardized questionnaire to determine the prevalence of "minor psychiatric disorders" in the city of Pelotas, by authors from Universidade Federal de Pelotas (Pelotas Federal University) and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (Rio Grande do Sul Federal University). The other study, performed in the city of Rio de Janeiro, took anthropometric measurements, in addition to interviews to study the association of the body mass index and the waist/hip ratio with hospitalizations. The authors belong to UERJ's Instituto de Medicina Social (Social Medicine Institute of Ri de Janeiro State University) - IMS/UERJ.
One study, by authors from Rio de Janeiro, from UFRJ (Rio de Janeiro Federal University) and IMS/ UERJ, discusses strategies for creating logical blocks ("blocking") in order to link large databases probabilistically (mortality, in the example analyzed).
Finally, one study analyzes the prevalence of respiratory disorders and assesses flu vaccination in an Occupational Health Clinic in the city of Bento Gonçalves, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. A cross-sectional approach was used for factory workers. It is encouraging to have researchers from this nature of services included among the authors of Revista.
As we had foreseen in a previous Editorial, the diversity in the institutional origin of authors is one of the major features of our Journal, whenever articles that flow naturally through the editorial system are put together.