OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of the Brazilian Cardioprotective Diet Program in reducing blood pressures, fasting glucose levels and body mass indices in patients with established atherothrombotic disease. METHOD: This randomized controlled pilot trial included outpatients who were over 45 years of age with atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease. Group A, who received the Brazilian Cardioprotective Diet Program, had weekly sessions with dietitians. Groups B and C received the usual dietary therapy that is given to patients with cardiovascular diseases as proposed by the Brazilian guidelines. This diet had the same nutrient profile as that given to Group A, but it was customized by the integration of typical Mediterranean foods. The difference between Groups B and C was the number of sessions with the dietitian. Group B received weekly sessions, while group C only had monthly sessions. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT 01453166. RESULTS: There was a greater reduction in systolic (7.8%) and diastolic (10.8%) blood pressures in Group A compared with Group B (2.3% and 7.3%), and Group C (3.9% and 4.9%, respectively). Fasting glucose decreased by 5.3% and 2% in Groups A and B, respectively. Fasting glucose increased by 3.7% in Group C. The BMIs decreased by 3.5% and 3.3% in Groups A and B, respectively. Group C did not present with any changes in BMI. However, none of these data showed statistical differences between the groups, which is methodologically acceptable in pilot trials. CONCLUSIONS: The Brazilian Cardioprotective Diet Program seems to be more effective in reducing blood pressures, fasting glucose levels, weights and BMIs in patients with previous cardiovascular disease compared with the diet that has been proposed by the Brazilian guidelines.
Toxoplasmosis, a protozoan disease, causes severe disease in fetuses during pregnancy and deadly encephalitis in HIV patients. There are several studies on its seroprevalence around the world, but studies focusing on African countries are limited in number and mostly anecdotal. We studied two groups of samples from Mozambique by ELISA, using serum samples from 150 pregnant women and six Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from AIDS patients with encephalitis. HIV status was confirmed, and CD4 blood counts were obtained from HIV-positive pregnant women. IgG seroprevalence of the group as a whole was 18.7% (28/150), with a higher prevalence in HIV-positive individuals compared to those who were HIV-negative (31.3%, [18/58] vs. 10.9%, [10/92]) patients. These data may be biased due to cumulative effects of exposition affecting disease prevalence. If corrected, this data may indicate an interaction of HIV and T. gondii. Prevalence of both diseases increases with age, but this is more clearly seen for toxoplasmosis (p < 0.005) than HIV infection, possibly explained by higher transmission of HIV after childhood. In HIV patients suffering from encephalitis, CSF serology showed that 33% of specific IgG CSF had a high avidity, which was in accordance with the data from the group of pregnant women. Lower prevalence rates of both infections in older groups could be explained by more deaths in the infected groups, resulting in an artificially lower prevalence. Using CD4 counts as a marker of time of HIV infection, and correcting for age, patients with contact with T. gondii had fewer CD4 cells, suggesting prolonged HIV disease or other causes. Toxoplasma IgG prevalence is higher in HIV+ groups, which could be ascribed to HIV- and T. gondii-associated risk factors, such as exposure to higher and more diverse social contacts. The low incidence of Toxoplasma IgG in younger age groups shows that transmission could be related to better access to cyst-containing meat in adulthood, as environmental transmission due to oocysts is usually blamed for higher incidence in children. Taken together, these data support the urgent need of research in toxoplasmosis in Africa, especially in the presence of HIV epidemics.
Toxoplasmose, uma protozoonose, causa doença grave em fetos de mulheres grávidas com infecção aguda e encefalite letal em portadores de HIV. Apesar de muitos estudos sobre sua prevalência no Mundo, existem apenas alguns relatos da toxoplasmose na África Austral, geralmente anedóticos. Estudamos por ELISA dois grupos de amostras de Moçambique, usando 150 amostras de soros de mulheres grávidas e seis amostras de Liquido Cefalorraquidiano (LCR) de pacientes com AIDS e encefalite. O estado da infecção pelo HIV foi confirmado e a contagem de células CD4+ no sangue foi obtida das pacientes grávidas infectadas pelo HIV. No grupo das gestantes, IgG anti T.gondii foi encontrada em 18.7% (28/150), mais freqüente em pacientes HIV positivas (31.3%, 18/58) do que em HIV negativas (10.9%, 10/92). A ocorrência de ambas as doenças aumenta com a idade, mais claramente vista na toxoplasmose (p < 0.005) do que na infecção pelo HIV, devido maior transmissão do HIV após a infância. Na encefalite em pacientes HIV+, a sorologia do LCR mostrou uma ocorrência de 33% de IgG especifica de alta avidez, que está de acordo com a ocorrência neste grupo etário, baseado nos dados de nossas gestantes. A menor ocorrência de ambas as infecções em grupos etários mais idosos pode ser explicada pela mortalidade cumulativa por qualquer causa nos grupos mais idosos, resultando em menor ocorrência relativa. Usando as contagens de células CD4+ como marcadores da progressão da infecção pelo HIV e corrigindo para grupos etários, as gestantes HIV+ com contato com T. gondii tem menores níveis de células CD4+ do que as gestantes HIV+ sem contato com T.gondii. A ocorrência maior da toxoplasmose em gestantes HIV+ pode ser atribuída a fatores de risco semelhantes, como exposição a maior contato social. A baixa ocorrência da toxoplasmose em grupos mais jovens pode se relacionar com menor acesso a carne contendo cistos, já que a transmissão ambiental por oocistos está associada à maior incidência em crianças. Todos estes dados reforçam a necessidade de pesquisa da toxoplasmose na África Austral, especialmente na presença da epidemia pelo HIV.