Publications by authors named "Vanda Azevedo"

11 Publications

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May Measurement Month 2018: an analyses of blood pressure screening results from Cabo Verde.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2020 Aug 28;22(Suppl H):H30-H32. Epub 2020 Aug 28.

Imperial Clinical Trials Unit, Imperial College London, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, London W12 7RH, UK.

Raised blood pressure (BP) is the biggest contributor to mortality and disease burden in Cabo Verde. May Measurement Month (MMM) is a global campaign set up in 2017 to raise awareness of high BP. In 2018, we aimed to expand the campaign by including a greater number of centres to increase awareness. Nine islands participated in MMM 2018. Volunteers (≥18 years) were recruited through opportunistic sampling at a variety of screening sites. Each participant had three BP measurements and completed a questionnaire on demographic, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Hypertension was defined as a systolic BP ≥140 mmHg and/or diastolic BP ≥90 mmHg, or taking antihypertensive medication. In total, 98.0% of screenees provided three BP readings and multiple imputation using chained equations was used to impute missing readings. A total of 8008 individuals (mean age 40.4 years; 68.5% female) were screened. After multiple imputation, 2666 (33.3%) individuals had hypertension, of whom 74.8% were aware of their previous diagnosis and 55.8% were taking antihypertensive medication. Of those on medication, 39.1% were controlled and of all hypertensives, 21.8% were controlled. We detected 44.2% of individuals with untreated hypertension and 60.9% of treated individuals were inadequately treated. The Cape Verdean population is ageing and consequently cardiovascular disease is increasing, with hypertension being an important risk factor. Corrective actions need to be taken by the government. MMM is an ideal initiative to reach the public by raising awareness of this major cardiovascular risk factor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suaa020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7455268PMC
August 2020

Telemedicine Consultation as an Indicator of Local Telemedicine Champions' Contributions, Health Care System Needs or Both: Tales from Two Continents.

Telemed J E Health 2021 02 17;27(2):200-206. Epub 2020 Jul 17.

International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation, Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

Telemedicine systems increase access to care, particularly in remote and developing countries. Nationwide telemedicine programs in Cabo Verde and Albania have been built by the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation (IVeH) and based on the effective Initiate-Build-Operate-Transfer (IBOT) strategy. The aim of this study was to compare the clinical results between the two programs and examine the relationship between the clinical teleconsultations as an indicator of health care system needs and the contribution of local telemedicine champions. Data were prospectively collected between 2014 and 2018 from Albania and Cabo Verde. Telemedicine champions were defined as programs, physicians, or hospitals who have contributed at least 100 telemedicine consultations during the study periods. Chi-squared test was utilized to analyze the data. There were 2,442 teleconsultations in Cabo Verde and 2,724 teleconsultations in Albania during the study periods. Using the 100-consultation benchmark as the indicator of telemedicine champion, we identified radiology (n = 1,061), neurotrauma (n = 742), and general neurology or stroke (n = 489) as champion clinical disciplines in Albania. With the same method of 100 consultations, we identified eight champion clinical disciplines in Cabo Verde, including neurology (n = 720), cardiology (n = 313), orthopedics (n = 190), surgery (143), endocrinology (141), otolaryngology (n = 139), urology (n = 139), and dermatology (126). The patient transfer/nontransfer ratio was 0.5 in Cabo Verde and 0.3 in Albania (p < 0.001). Three hospitals in Albania and eight community hospitals/health care centers in Cabo Verde requested the majority of teleconsultations. Two main hospitals in Cabo Verde and Albania responded to the consultations. The successful implementation of a telemedicine program depends on many factors. However, physician champions, who eventually create clinical discipline champions, and represent the hospital champions, are the backbone of the sustainability and progress of any telemedicine program. The number of consultations reflects the lack of local specialty expertise to provide health care service and thus can be used for future planning and investment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2019.0290DOI Listing
February 2021

Cabo Verde Telemedicine Program: An Update Report and Analysis of 2,442 Teleconsultations.

Telemed J E Health 2021 02 26;27(2):172-177. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

National Telemedicine Service, Praia, Cabo Verde.

The Cabo Verde Telemedicine program (CVTP) was established by the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation using the Initiate-Build-Operate-Transfer strategy to improve access to specialty care for the population in the archipelago of Cabo Verde in 2012. Since its inception, the CVTP has proven a great success story of telemedicine in Africa. Our first report on the initial results of a nationwide CVTP was published in 2014. The aim of this article is to analyze the follow-up data and analyze the activity of CVTP. All telemedicine consultations of the CVTP from 2014 to 2018 were analyzed. Patient demographics, clinical discipline, and transfer status were analyzed. Categorical variables were compared with a chi-squared test. There were 2,442 telemedicine consultations in 24 clinical programs performed during the study period. The most common clinical disciplines with >100 consultations were neurology, cardiology, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, endocrinology, otolaryngology, urology, and dermatology. Overall, the transfer rate was 34.3%. The nationwide CVTP continues to increase access to specialized care, prevent unnecessary and costly transfers, and has become a great success story of telemedicine in Africa. Moreover, this program should serve as a model for establishing island-nations telemedicine programs worldwide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2020.0001DOI Listing
February 2021

May Measurement Month 2017: Results from Cabo Verde-Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eur Heart J Suppl 2019 Apr 24;21(Suppl D):D28-D30. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Imperial Clinical Trials Unit, Imperial College London, Stadium House, 68 Wood Lane, London, W12 7RH, UK.

Elevated blood pressure (BP) is a growing burden worldwide, leading to over 10 million deaths each year. May Measurement Month (MMM) is a global initiative aimed at raising awareness of high BP and to act as a temporary solution to the lack of screening programmes worldwide. Cabo Verde is in an epidemiological transition, with replacement of infectious diseases by chronic diseases, and the major cause of morbidity/mortality is cardiovascular disease which caused 28.9% of the total deaths in 2016. The only data we have are from 2007-the Ministry of Health and Social Security used a study STEP approach in which the prevalence of hypertension was 35%. An opportunistic cross-sectional survey of volunteers aged ≥18 was carried out in May 2017 (MMM17). Blood pressure measurement, the definition of hypertension and statistical analysis followed the standard MMM protocol. A total of five islands and eight centres, including hospitals and local health centres participated in this study, with about 20 volunteers/investigators. A total of 2630 individuals were screened during MMM17. After multiple imputation, 760 (29.0%) had hypertension defined as being on BP lowering treatment or having a BP ≥140/90 mmHg. Of individuals not receiving anti-hypertensive medication, 232 (11.1%) were hypertensive. Of 522 individuals receiving anti-hypertensive medication with an available BP, 225 (43.1%) had uncontrolled BP. MMM17 was the largest BP screening campaign undertaken in Cabo Verde. The proportion of hypertensives in the population in study was 29.0%, with most of these on treatment, and 43.1% of those on treatment with uncontrolled hypertension. These results suggest that opportunistic screening can identify significant numbers with raised BP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/suz080DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479414PMC
April 2019

Unusual cause of left ventricular dysfunction in a child.

Rev Port Cardiol 2019 02 21;38(2):159.e1-159.e5. Epub 2018 May 21.

Centro de Cirurgia Cardiotorácica, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Anomalous Origin of the Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery is a rare congenital heart disease and a cause of myocardial ischemia during childhood. Most undiagnosed cases die in the first year of life as an extensive collateral network is essential for survival. The diagnosis requires a high index of clinical suspicion. The authors present the case of an 8-year-old black asymptomatic child referred from Cape Verde Island in order to clarify left ventricular dilatation and dysfunction with systo-diastolic turbulent flows observed at the interventricular septum. At the age of 3 months, she was diagnosed with heart failure, in the context of showing dilated cardiomyopathy. She was managed and clinically improved with anticongestive therapy, which she was still taking at the time of admission to our Center. The echocardiogram findings suggested Anomalous Origin of the Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery and the diagnosis was confirmed by computerized angiotomography and cardiac catheterization. The patient was successfully submitted to direct implantation of the left coronary artery into the aorta, allowing the creation of a double coronary perfusion system. This case illustrates an unusual presentation of a rare pathology that survived without a diagnosis after the first year of life. It also reinforces the importance of multimodality image screening in these cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2017.07.017DOI Listing
February 2019

2017 Guidelines for the management of arterial hypertension in primary health care in Portuguese-speaking countries.

Rev Port Cardiol 2017 Nov 20;36(11):789-798. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

Hospital Américo Boavida, Luanda, Angola.

The World Health Organization goal's to reduce mortality due to chronic non-communicable diseases by 2% per year demands a huge effort from member countries. This challenge for health professionals requires global political action on implementation of social measures, with cost-effective population interventions to reduce chronic non-communicable diseases and their risk factors. Systemic arterial hypertension is highly prevalent in Portuguese-speaking countries, and is a major risk factor for complications such as stroke, acute myocardial infarction and chronic kidney disease, rivaling dyslipidemia and obesity in importance for the development of atherosclerotic disease. Joint actions to implement primary prevention measures can reduce outcomes related to hypertensive disease, especially ischemic heart disease and stroke. It is essential to ensure the implementation of guidelines for the management of systemic hypertension via a continuous process involving educational actions, lifestyle changes and guaranteed access to pharmacological treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2017.10.006DOI Listing
November 2017

[Implementation of Telemedicine in Cape Verde: Influencing Factors].

Acta Med Port 2017 Apr 28;30(4):255-262. Epub 2017 Apr 28.

Global Health and Tropical Medicine. Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical. Universidade NOVA. Lisboa. Portugal.

Introduction: Telemedicine is the provision of health services, where distance is a critical factor, using information and communication technologies. Cape Verde has bet on using this tool to increase access of the population of its islands to specialized care.

Material And Methods: Qualitative study, covering the period between 2013 and 2014. It uses document analysis, semi-structured interviews and focus groups to collect data and analysis of content for their analysis. The participant population includes doctors, nurses and professionals from some institutions related to telemedicine.

Results: The priorities of the National Telemedicine Program are set, the cores and reference centers are operational, with trained personnel and equipment installed. Several other policy instruments and conditioning factors and facilitators of the program have been identified.

Discussion: Telemedicine is contributing to the reduction of inequalities in access to health, in Cape Verde. However, the full adoption of a service based on a new technology depends on conditioning factors and facilitators, and several success factors of telemedicine, identified in the literature, are not observed and in conjunction with other existing weaknesses affect the overall development of the National Telemedicine Program. However the strengths and capabilities are highlighted opportunities to act.

Conclusion: Despite the progress, some telemedicine success factors highlighted on the literature are not seen in the country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20344/amp.7578DOI Listing
April 2017

Cabo Verde telemedicine program: initial results of nationwide implementation.

Telemed J E Health 2014 Nov 1;20(11):1027-34. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

1 Department of Surgery, University of Arizona , Tucson, Arizona.

Background: Telemedicine and e-health have been suggested as one solution for closing the health disparity gap between the developed world and the developing world. Yet evidence is lacking from current successful programs in the developing world and, in particular, from sub-Saharan Africa. The primary objective of our study was to present the preliminary results of our efforts in building the Integrated Telemedicine and e-Health Program for Cabo Verde (ITeHP-CV), with an emphasis on initial utilization and results.

Materials And Methods: This is a prospective study of data collected while we worked to establish a fully functional, integrated national telemedicine network and virtual education network in Cabo Verde. We used the International Virtual e-Hospital Foundation strategic approach known as "initiate-build-operate-transfer" over a 26-month period (November 2011-December 2013). We describe herein the five main pillars of this process that have been implemented: (1) capacity building; (2) network development and deployment of equipment; (3) implementation of clinical telemedicine; (4) implementation of activities related to continuing medical education, delivered from within the country and from abroad; and (5) establishment and use of the electronic virtual library.

Results: Based on comprehensive technical and medical assessment of the country's needs, 10 fully functional telemedicine centers in all nine inhabited islands of the Republic of Cabo Verde have been established. RESULTS are presented under the five main pillars of capacity building, network deployment, implementation of clinical telemedicine, implementation of continuing medical education activities, and establishment of the electronic virtual library.

Conclusions: The ITeHP-CV has been successfully launched, and the initial results are encouraging. The continuity of the program and sustainability are primary goals once the program is transferred fully to the Ministry of Health of Cabo Verde. A long-term follow-up study is required in order to ensure sustainability and continuity goals are met.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2014.0026DOI Listing
November 2014

Contrast echocardiography in segmental analysis and intraventricular gradient quantification in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Rev Port Cardiol 2003 Jun;22(6):789-98

Laboratório de Ecocardiografia-Hospital de São Francisco Xavier, Lisboa.

Introduction: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a hereditary disorder characterized by ventricular hypertrophy, diastolic dysfunction and hyperdynamic left ventricular systolic function. This excessive contraction is sometimes associated with significant intraventricular pressure gradients. These gradients are dynamic and therefore vary at different times. Echocardiography can identify and quantify the functional and morphologic changes characteristic of the disease. Ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) are indicated in patients with poor transthoracic image quality, enabling better visualization of the endocardial border. These agents also strengthen the Doppler signal, which enables better quantification of the transvalvular and intraventricular gradients. In HCM, definition of the endocardial/blood interface and visualization of the myocardial structure, as well as quantification of intraventricular gradients, are fundamental to the study of the pathology.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of new UCAs in morphologic study (segmental analysis) and quantification of maximum intraventricular gradients (IVG Max) in HCM, as well as the feasibility and interest of determining mean gradients (IVG Med) in HCM.

Methods: Thirty-four patients with clinical and echocardiographic diagnosis of HCM were studied. Baseline IVG was considered significant when over 30 mmHg. Left ventricular morphology and IVG quantification were assessed before (study A) and after (study B) UCA injection. Maximum (Max) and mean (Med) values of delta IVG were calculated. Endocardial border definition of ventricular segments was analyzed in studies A and B and the percentage of ventricular segments that were completely visualized throughout the cardiac cycle was established.

Results: The mean values of delta IVG Max for studies A and B were 51 +/- 31 mmHg and 61 +/- 32 mmHg, p = NS. The mean values of delta IVG Med were 26 +/- 16 mmHg in study A and 31 +/- 17 mmHg in study B, p = NS. The correlation between delta IVG Max and Med in study A was r2 = 0.74, p < 0.01, while in study B it rose to a value of r2 = 0.82, p < 0.01. Segmental analysis: In all segments studied the visualization percentage was higher after UCA injection, with a statistically significant difference in all lateral and anterior wall segments.

Discussion And Conclusions: HCM is usually evaluated in a non-invasive way by echocardiography. There are no references to systematic use of UCAs in HCM patients. The value of determining the maximum gradient in HCM is generally accepted, but the importance of the mean gradient is not known. In this work, UCAs improved the Doppler signal without distorting values. In HCM, values measured using UCAs have a better correlation, with a smaller discrepancy between Max and Med gradients. This study suggests that mean gradient determination enables better characterization of the dynamic variability of the gradients because there is a correlation between Max and Med gradients. The real importance of mean gradients is not yet established, so further studies are necessary. In conclusion. UCAs are very useful in morphological assessment. The interest of UCAs in determining intraventricular gradients and the value of mean gradients in HCM are not clearly demonstrated in this study.
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June 2003