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1.  Mortality from Congenital Heart Disease in Mexico: A Problem on the Rise 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(3):e0150422.
Background and Objectives
Temporal trends in mortality from congenital heart disease (CHD) vary among regions. It is therefore necessary to study this problem in each country. In Mexico, congenital anomalies were responsible for 24% of infant mortality in 2013 and CHD represented 55% of total deaths from congenital anomalies among children under 1 year of age. The objectives of this study were to analyze the trends in infant mortality from CHD in Mexico (1998 to 2013), its specific causes, age at death and associated socio-demographic factors.
Population-based study which calculated the compounded annual growth rate of death rom CHD between 1998 and 2013. Specific causes, age at which death from CHD occurred and risk factors associated with mortality were analyzed for the year 2013.
Infant mortality from CHD increased 24.8% from 1998 to 2013 (114.4 to 146.4/ 100,000 live births). A total of 3,593 CHD deaths occurred in 2013; the main causes were CHD with left-to-right shunt (n = 487; 19.8/100,000 live births) and cyanotic heart disease (n = 410; 16.7/100,000). A total of 1,049 (29.2%) deaths from CHD occurred during the first week of life. Risk factors associated with mortality from CHD were, in order of magnitude: non-institutional birth, rural area, birth in a public hospital and male sex.
Mortality from CHD has increased in Mexico. The main causes were CHD with left-to-right shunt, which are not necessarily fatal if treated promptly. Populations vulnerable to death from CHD were identified. Approximately one-third of the CHD occurred during the first week of life. It is important to promote early diagnosis, especially for non-institutional births.
PMCID: PMC4777408  PMID: 26937635
2.  Value of the tuberculin skin testing and of an interferon-gamma release assay in haemodialysis patients after exposure to M. tuberculosis 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2012;12:195.
Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection pose a high risk of developing active TB disease. It is therefore important to detect latent TB infection (LTBI) to be able to offer treatment and prevent progression to TB disease. We assessed the value of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and of an interferon-gamma release assay (Quantiferon®-TB Gold in-Tube, QFT) for diagnosing LTBI in ESRD patients, after prolonged exposure to a highly contagious TB case in a haemodialysis unit. As a high number of patients presented erythema without induration in the TST response, this type of reaction was also analysed.
The TST and QFT were simultaneously performed twelve weeks after the last possible exposure to a bacilliferous TB patient. If the first TST (TST-1) was negative, a second TST (TST-2) was performed 15 days later to detect a booster response. A comparison was made between the TST responses (including those cases with erythema without induration) and those for the QFT. The correlation with risk of infection and the concordance between tests were both analysed.
A total of 52 patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Overall, 11 patients (21.2%) had a positive TST response: 3 for TST-1 and 8 for TST-2, and 18 patients (34.6%) showed a positive QFT response (p = 0.065). Erythema without induration was found in 3 patients at TST-1 and in a further 9 patients at TST-2. The three patients with erythema without induration in TST-1 had a positive TST-2 response. Concordance between TST and QFT was weak for TST-1 (κ = 0.21); it was moderate for overall TST (κ = 0.49); and it was strong if both induration and erythema (κ = 0.67) were considered.
In patients with ESRD, erythema without induration in the TST response could potentially be an indicator of M. tuberculosis infection. The QFT shows better accuracy for LTBI diagnosis than the TST.
PMCID: PMC3447656  PMID: 22905901
3.  Attributable mortality to radon exposure in Galicia, Spain. Is it necessary to act in the face of this health problem? 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:256.
Radon is the second risk factor for lung cancer after tobacco consumption and therefore it is necessary to know the burden of disease due to its exposure. The objective of this study is to estimate radon-attributable lung cancer mortality in Galicia, a high emission area located at the Northwest Spain.
A prevalence-based attribution method was applied. Prevalence of tobacco use and radon exposure were obtained from a previously published study of the same area. Attributable mortality was calculated for each of six possible risk categories, based on radon exposure and smoking status. Two scenarios were used, with 37 Bq/m3 and 148 Bq/m3 as the respective radon exposure thresholds. As the observed mortality we used lung cancer mortality for 2001 from the Galician mortality registry.
Mortality exclusively attributable to radon exposure ranged from 3% to 5% for both exposure thresholds, respectively. Attributable mortality to combined exposure to radon and smoking stood at around 22% for exposures above 148 Bq/m3. Applying the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level, radon has a role in 25% of all lung cancers.
Although the estimates have been derived from a study with a relatively limited sample size, these results highlight the importance of radon exposure as a cause of lung cancer and its effect in terms of disease burden. Radon mitigation activities in the study area must therefore be enforced.
PMCID: PMC2885334  PMID: 20482770
4.  Impact of the Spanish Smoking Law on Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Offices and Hospitality Venues: Before-and-After Study 
Environmental Health Perspectives  2008;117(3):344-347.
A smoking law was passed by the Spanish Parliament in December 2005 and was enforced by 1 January 2006. The law bans smoking in all indoor workplaces but only in some hospitality venues, because owners are allowed to establish a smoking zone (venues > 100 m2) or to allow smoking without restrictions (venues < 100 m2). The objective of the study is to assess the impact of the Spanish smoking law on exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) in enclosed workplaces, including hospitality venues.
Materials and methods
The study design is a before-and-after evaluation. We studied workplaces and hospitality venues from eight different regions of Spain. We took repeated samples of vapor-phase nicotine concentration in 398 premises, including private offices (162), public administration offices (90), university premises (43), bars and restaurants (79), and discotheques and pubs (24).
In the follow-up period, SHS levels were markedly reduced in indoor offices. The median decrease in nicotine concentration ranged from 60.0% in public premises to 97.4% in private areas. Nicotine concentrations were also markedly reduced in bars and restaurants that became smoke-free (96.7%) and in the no-smoking zones of venues with separate spaces for smokers (88.9%). We found no significant changes in smoking zones or in premises allowing smoking, including discotheques and pubs.
Overall, this study shows the positive impact of the law on reducing SHS in indoor workplaces. However, SHS was substantially reduced only in bars and restaurants that became smoke-free. Most hospitality workers continue to be exposed to very high levels of SHS. Therefore, a 100% smoke-free policy for all hospitality venues is required.
PMCID: PMC2661901  PMID: 19337506
evaluation; hospitality sector; secondhand smoke; smoking law; workplaces
5.  Impact of the Spanish Smoking Law on Exposure to Second-Hand Smoke and Respiratory Health in Hospitality Workers: A Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(1):e4244.
A smoke-free law came into effect in Spain on 1st January 2006, affecting all enclosed workplaces except hospitality venues, whose proprietors can choose among totally a smoke-free policy, a partial restriction with designated smoking areas, or no restriction on smoking on the premises. We aimed to evaluate the impact of the law among hospitality workers by assessing second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and the frequency of respiratory symptoms before and one year after the ban.
Methods and Finding
We formed a baseline cohort of 431 hospitality workers in Spain and 45 workers in Portugal and Andorra. Of them, 318 (66.8%) were successfully followed up 12 months after the ban, and 137 nonsmokers were included in this analysis. We obtained self-reported exposure to SHS and the presence of respiratory symptoms, and collected saliva samples for cotinine measurement. Salivary cotinine decreased by 55.6% after the ban among nonsmoker workers in venues where smoking was totally prohibited (from median of 1.6 ng/ml before to 0.5 ng/ml, p<0.01). Cotinine concentration decreased by 27.6% (p = 0.068) among workers in venues with designated smoking areas, and by 10.7% (p = 0.475) among workers in venues where smoking was allowed. In Portugal and Andorra, no differences between cotinine concentration were found before (1.2 ng/ml) and after the ban (1.2 ng/ml). In Spain, reported respiratory symptom declined significantly (by 71.9%; p<0.05) among workers in venues that became smoke-free. After adjustment for potential confounders, salivary cotinine and respiratory symptoms decreased significantly among workers in Spanish hospitality venues where smoking was totally banned.
Among nonsmoker hospitality workers in bars and restaurants where smoking was allowed, exposure to SHS after the ban remained similar to pre-law levels. The partial restrictions on smoking in Spanish hospitality venues do not sufficiently protect hospitality workers against SHS or its consequences for respiratory health.
PMCID: PMC2621339  PMID: 19165321
6.  Methodologies used to estimate tobacco-attributable mortality: a review 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:22.
One of the most important measures for ascertaining the impact of tobacco on a population is the estimation of the mortality attributable to its use. To measure this, a number of indirect methods of quantification are available, yet there is no consensus as to which furnishes the best information. This study sought to provide a critical overview of the different methods of attribution of mortality due to tobacco consumption.
A search was made in the Medline database until March 2005 in order to obtain papers that addressed the methodology employed for attributing mortality to tobacco use.
Of the total of 7 methods obtained, the most widely used were the prevalence methods, followed by the approach proposed by Peto et al, with the remainder being used in a minority of studies.
Different methodologies are used to estimate tobacco attributable mortality, but their methodological foundations are quite similar in all. Mainly, they are based on the calculation of proportional attributable fractions. All methods show limitations of one type or another, sometimes common to all methods and sometimes specific.
PMCID: PMC2262075  PMID: 18211696

Results 1-6 (6)