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Dube L.,McGill University | Webb P.,Tufts University | Arora N.K.,Clinical Epidemiology | Pingali P.,Cornell University
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014

The causes of many vexing challenges facing 21st-century society are at the nexus of systems involved in agriculture, health and wealth production, consumption, and distribution. Using food as a test bed, and on the basis of emerging roadmaps that set achievable objectives over a 1- to 3-year horizon, we introduce this special feature with convergence thinking and practice at its core. Specifically, we discuss academic papers structured around four themes: (1) evidence for a need for convergence and underlying mechanisms at the individual and societal levels; (2) strategy for mainstreaming convergence as a driver of business engagement and innovation; (3) convergence in policy and governance; (4) convergence in metrics and methods. Academic papers under each theme are accompanied by a roadmap paper reporting on the current status of concrete transformative convergence-building projects associated with that theme. We believe that the insights provided by these papers have the potential to enable all actors throughout society to singly and collectively work to build supply and demand for nutritious food, in both traditional and modern food systems, while placing the burdens of malnutrition and ill health on their core strategic agendas. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

Bonet Beltran M.,Institute Oncologic del Valles CST HGC CSPT | Bonet Beltran M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona | Allal A.S.,Radiation Oncology | Gich I.,Clinical Epidemiology | And 2 more authors.
Cancer Treatment Reviews | Year: 2012

Background: The role for adjuvant radiotherapy (ART) after curative resection in extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma remains unclear. Due to the lack of randomized trials, available data comes from single center experiences or data-based population studies with inconclusive results. Objective: To assess the impact of radiotherapy (with or without concurrent chemotherapy) on toxicity and survival of radically resected patients with extrahepatic bile duct cancer (extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder cancer and pure ampullary cancer). Data sources and study selection: Eligible studies with data on survival, recurrence and toxicity were retrieved from the MEDLINE, ISI web of science, EMBASE and Cochrane databases from January 1995 to December 2008, to ensure that all ART treatments were performed with conventional 3D techniques. In the absence of randomized controlled-studies, all observational cohort studies (longitudinal and historical) were initially considered. Ten retrospective cohort studies (where the use of concurrent CT was reported only in 2), met all inclusion criteria and were enrolled for final meta-analysis. Hazard ratio (HR) had to be extracted from survival curves using the Tierney et al. methods. MIX 1.7 statistical software was used for meta-analysis. Results: All studies on ART used conventional 3D-techniques. Patients in the ART cohorts were more likely to have involved surgical margins and positive lymph nodes. For extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma location, ART significantly improved overall survival (HR 0.62; 95% CI 0.48 to 0.78, p< 0.001). Meta-analysis was not feasible for gallbladder cancer and ampullary cancer locations. Late radiation-induced toxicity was low (2-9% late obstruction or GI bleeding). Conclusion: In the absence of randomized controlled studies, we found in the present systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies that, patients with extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma treated with adjuvant RT have a significant lower risk of dying compared to patients treated with surgery alone. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Etchegary H.,Clinical Epidemiology | Green J.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Parfrey P.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Street C.,Memorial University of Newfoundland | Pullman D.,Memorial University of Newfoundland
Health Expectations | Year: 2015

Knowledge of molecular biology and genomics continues to expand rapidly, promising numerous opportunities for improving health. However, a key aspect of the success of genomic medicine is related to public understanding and acceptance. Design: Using community consultations and an online survey, we explored public attitudes and expectations about genomics research. Results: Thirty-three members of the general public in Newfoundland, Canada, took part in the community sessions, while 1024 Atlantic Canadians completed the online survey. Overall, many participants noted they lacked knowledge about genetics and associated research and took the opportunity to ask numerous questions throughout sessions. Participants were largely hopeful about genomics research in its capacity to improve health, not only for current residents, but also for future generations. However, they did not accept such research uncritically, and a variety of complex issues and questions arose during the community consultations and were reflected in survey responses. Discussion: With the proliferation of biobanks and the rapid pace of discoveries in genomics research, public support will be crucial to realize health improvements. If researchers can engage the public in regular, transparent dialogue, this two-way communication could allow greater understanding of the research process and the design of efficient and effective genetic health services, informed by the public that will use them. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Ng R.,McGill University | Bernatsky S.,McGill University | Rahme E.,Clinical Epidemiology
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2013

Objective. To determine how duration of observation affects estimation of incidence and prevalence of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods. SLE incidence and prevalence estimates from data periods as brief as 3 years (2001-2003) were compared to estimates from a 15-year period (1989-2003). Results. The 15-year period incidence was 5.6/100,000 (95% CI 5.0-6.1) and the prevalence was 59.1/100,000 (95% CI 57.4-60.8). When a 3-year period was used, incidence was overestimated by 238.1% and prevalence underestimated by 66.0%. Conclusion. SLE incidence and prevalence estimates vary considerably according to the observation period; more than 5 years of data is likely required. Copyright © The Journal of Rheumatology 2013.

Arora N.K.,Clinical Epidemiology | Pillai R.,Clinical Epidemiology | Dasgupta R.,Jawaharlal Nehru University | Garg P.R.,Clinical Epidemiology
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences | Year: 2014

India has experienced a rising prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in the past 15 years: the prevalence of diabetes has increased from 5.9% to 9.1%, hypertension from 17.2% to 29.2%, and obesity from 4% to 15%. The increase is among all socioeconomic groups and in urban and rural populations, though the quantum of change varies. A concomitant increase in per capita consumption of sugar from 22 to 55.3 g/day and total fat from 21.2 to 54 g/day was observed, with significant differences between states of high and low human development index (HDI). Per capita consumption of sugar, salt, and fat is consistently and significantly associated with overweight and obesity but variably associated with the occurrence of hypertension and diabetes. Market research shows that approximately 50-60% of total salt, sugar, and fat in Indian markets is procured by bulk purchasers, generally for manufacturing processed food items. This sector of the Indian economy is among the fastest growing, with several policy incentives. It is not clear from most of the data sets whether available information on per capita sugar, salt, and fat consumption has considered the contribution of processed and ready-to-eat food items. The unprecedented changes of rapid urbanization, mechanization, and globalization demand close monitoring of social, developmental, and economic determinants. This paper provides pieces of evidence to justify a whole-of-society (WoS) framework for monitoring the inputs, processes, and behavioral components of the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS) in India. © 2014 New York Academy of Sciences.

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