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This Week in PLoS Medicine: Debate on the Future of Global Health Estimates; Retinal Microvasculature and Air Pollution

Image Credit: Michael Cavén

This is a large publishing week for PLoS Medicine. Our editorial sets the stage for a series of articles debating the future of global health estimates, and research article explores the relation between extended air pollution exposure and cardiovascular health.

The PLoS Medicine Editors review the debate on how and by whom global health estimates should be generated, and introduce a new cluster of articles by leading experts in the field published in the Journal this week.

This cluster of articles from a series of experts provides insights and opinion on what estimates mean for global health and how to move forward with better data, measurement, coordination, and leadership:

Peter Byass provides the introductory article and argues why the “estimates debate” is so important. Ties Boerma and colleagues from WHO describe the agency’s work and future in health indicator monitoring. Christopher Murray and Alan Lopez argue for the predominant role of academia in the production and analysis of health indicators. Osman Sankoh argues for much stronger collaboration between generators of global health estimates, and individuals and organizations working at the country level. Finally, Wendy Graham and Sam Adjei argue that more leadership, better coordination, and a stakeholder-centric approach are needed in “responsible” global health estimation.

In a research article unrelated to the debate, Sara Adar and colleagues show that residing in locations with higher air pollution concentrations and experiencing daily increases in air pollution are associated with narrower retinal arteriolar diameters in older individuals, thus providing a link between air pollution and cardiovascular disease.

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