Regional Area Councillor: Elisabete Weiderpass
IEA-EFF also maintains its own website, with more detailed information on European events and activities.
The IEA European Federation (IEA-EEF) incorporates epidemiological societies in 15 European countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom). Each country is represented in the board. Board meetings were held in November 2010 in Florence and in August 2011 at the WCE in Edinburgh.
In Europe, epidemiological patterns of diseases and health are evolving rapidly following social and economical changes. The European population is aging, health inequalities are increasing, immigration is continuing. Climate change, among other environmental determinants, is of great concern. Beside understanding the fundamental determinants of health, epidemiologists are facing substantial questions concerning health care and prevention: what interventions are really beneficial for individuals and communities? By how much should we advance population based prevention or personalised interventions. How does the current scientific evidence support the two different approaches? How should the scientific evidence be transferred into policy? How do different policies influence health? Finding acceptable and equitable solutions is urgent in a Europe under economic stress.
The IEA-EEF intends to maintain its objective of holding regional conferences in each of the non-WCE years aimed at focusing on major scientific and public health questions.
Regional conferences provide the opportunity for researchers to present their work to colleagues across Europe and to hear what is being done in countries other than their own.
While most of us owe our primary allegiance to our own ‘national’ (epidemiological) societies it is important to recognize that many of the same scientific, medical and public health questions are being asked, addressed and answered in neighbouring countries.
European Educational Programme in Epidemiology (EEPE) Registration Open 1st December 2015 Residential 3-week Summer Course in Epidemiology, 20 June – 8 July 2016, Florence, Italy
The course, now in its 29th year, is intended for epidemiologists, statisticians, clinicians and public health practitioners with an interest in epidemiology. The course offers in the first two weeks five general modules on epidemiological study design and statistical analysis of epidemiological data, and in the third week seven special modules on topics of current relevance for health and advanced methodological issues. The course is taught in English by lecturers mostly from European universities and research institutes and is held in residential form in the “Studium” centre on the hills of Florence. Read more…
On February 2016, IEA announced a call for application for partial support towards the course fees of the EEPE 29th Residential Summer Course in Epidemiology for one member from low or middle-income countries. By the closing date, on April 3 2016, 37 applications were received from the following countries: China (1), Egypt (6), India (8), Indonesia (1), Iran (1), Lebanon (2), Liberia (1), Malawi (1), Nigeria (1), Pakistan (8), Sudan (3), Thailand (2), United Arab Emirates (1), Yemen (1).
The IEA Executive Committee appointed an Evaluation Committee that assessed the applications on the basis of pre-defined criteria.
Shahrzad Nematollahi (Iran) has been awarded the fellowship, which covers the course fees ($3,000, which is a reduced price from EEPE).
Congratulations to the awarded candidate! IEA thanks all the applicants and wish them all the best in their professional development.Read the rest of this article
Stephen Leeder, Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of Sydney, Australia, has been appointed Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE). He is a longstanding member of IEA and has a wide network of international associations. He was recommended for the post by four past Presidents of IEA.
Stephen was Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia in 2013-15. In the 1990s he was President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association and head of the Sydney School of Public Health. Later he served as Dean of the Medical School at the University of Sydney. Early in his career Stephen spent time working in departments of public health and/or community medicine in the UK, Canada and the USA and he is currently Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health in New York. He has also ...Read the rest of this article
The IEA will provide partial support towards the course fees of the 29th Residential Summer Course in Epidemiology, on a competitive basis, for 1 IEA member from low or middle-income countries. Those interested should write firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 3, 2016, attaching a copy of their CV and a short statement on why they would like to attend the course.
The course (Florence, Italy, 20 June – 8 July 2016) is intended for epidemiologists, statisticians, clinicians and public health practitioners with an interest in epidemiology. The course offers in the first two weeks five general modules on epidemiological study design and statistical analysis of epidemiological data, and in the third week seven special modules on topics of current relevance for health and advanced methodological issues. The course is taught in English by an international faculty and is held in residential form in the “Studium” ...Read the rest of this article
The International Epidemiological Association (IEA) is seeking new Editor(s)-in-Chief for its influential flagship journal, the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE). The IJE, owned by IEA, is published by Oxford University Press (OUP).
IJE is one of the most highly respected and cited journals in the field of epidemiology. Its Impact Factor increased from 4.5 in 2006, to 9.2 in 2014, and it is currently ranked 2nd in the list for all journals on Public, Environmental and Occupational Health. Around 130 original articles, together with editorials, commentaries, letters and commissioned content are published annually, in six issues. The Journal receives over 1,500 article submissions a year.
This is an exciting opportunity for an outstanding scientist(s) to take this successful journal onto the next stage in its development. Applicants should be specialists in epidemiology or public health with an international reputation and editorial experience. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world. Joint applications ...Read the rest of this article
28 August – 2 September 2016 – Munich | Germany
HEC2016 will represent the annual meetings of the European Epidemiological Federation of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA-EEF), of the German Society for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology (GMDS), of the German Society for Epidemiology (DGEpi) and the principal annual conference of the European Federation for Medical Informatics (EFMI), the Medical Informatics Europe (MIE2016) conference. Conference languages are English and German.Read the rest of this article
The IEA supports this plea for international support to help fighting this terrible disease. We believe epidemiologist have an important role to play in helping the teams working in Africa and in informing the public.
The Lancet: Leading health experts urge European governments to “mobilise all possible resources” to fight Ebola epidemic
Leading health experts today urge EU Member States to “mobilise all possible resources” to assist West Africans in controlling the Ebola epidemic, in an open letter published in The Lancet.
The letter is signed by 44 prominent academics, clinicians, and health professionals from 15 European countries . They call for European countries to take specific measures, including allowing health professionals to volunteer for temporary leave to assist with the crisis, and ...Read the rest of this article
In January 2012, the EU Commission published a proposal that would have allowed the use of identifiable personal data for scientific purposes. This is restricted, under the current EU directive of 1995, by the obligation to obtain the consent of every data subject. Since then, more than 3000 amendments were proposed.
In October 2013, the Committee for Civil Liberties Justice and Home Affairs of the EU Parliament (LIBE) passed a “compromise proposal” that makes amendments to the Commission’s proposal. Some of these amendments could impede the advancement of public health research and epidemiology. Articles 81 and 83 are particularly problematic. They limit use of personal health data without explicit informed consent only to cases of “high public interest,” and thus large areas of epidemiological research virtually impossible.
The Council, the third body of the EU, must agree upon a common proposal with ...Read the rest of this article
We have over the years provided comments to rules and regulations for data protection. We have especially provided information on the situation in Europe where new regulations is being negotiated. The rules have crucial importance for our access to use of data for research, especially for use of registers like the cancer Registry or the Death Registry. The main problem is that rules for research are regulated together with use of data from social media, bank business etc.
Under the regulations, all health data are classified as sensitive data and sensitive data cannot be used without informed consent. First principles state that research on data from existing health registers or research data collected for a different purpose without informed consent, or with an informed consent not addressing the current purpose, cannot be used. That eliminates most of our ...Read the rest of this article
The 27th Residential Summer Course in Epidemiology in Florence, Italy is organized by the European Educational Programme in Epidemiology (EEPE) under the patronage of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) and run in collaboration with several European Universities.
The 2014 edition of the three-week course (9 ECTS), which will run from 23 June – 11 July 2014 has been thoroughly revised and updated. The course offers a lively mixture of methodological lectures, guest lectures on special topics, and practical exercises, in a stunning environment in the hills above Florence. The course provides an overview of epidemiological methods, the core concepts of epidemiological thinking, and allows students to acquire skills in the analysis of epidemiological data. In the last week students can choose from different modules, including modules on advanced statistical analysis, advanced epidemiological concepts, and methodological issues in environmental, clinical epidemiology or reproductive ...Read the rest of this article
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, are responsible for the greatest burdenRead the rest of this article
of death and disability globally. No longer viewed as diseases of affluence, NCDs are of critical importance to all countries and are firmly on the global political agenda. Successfully addressing the complex causes of these diseases and reducing the global burden will involve interdisciplinary approaches and a systems viewpoint. Researchers and policy makers from around the world working in this field thus require a critical understanding of the commonalities and differences in perspectives across sectors, which will enable them to work effectively within a ‘global’ ecological perspective on NCDs.
It is with profound sadness that we inform IEA members and the epidemiology community of the passing of one of the giants of our profession, Patricia Buffler. Her untimely death on Thursday, September 26, at the age of 75, stopped her career at a point when she was as active as ever. Pat was President-Elect of the IEA. Her term was to start in August 2014, during the World Congress of Epidemiology to be held in Anchorage, Alaska, a state where she spent many cherished moments of her professional life, she used to remind us.
Pat was a nurse and biologist at heart, skills she acquired as an undergraduate. Her passion for public health began in the early 60’s at her beloved University of California, Berkeley, where she earned two graduate degrees, in public health administration and epidemiology. ...Read the rest of this article
David JP Barker was a physician, a biologist and one of the most influential epidemiologists of our time. His ‘fetal programming hypothesis’ (‘Barker Hypothesis’) transformed our thinking about the causes of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. He challenged the idea that they are explained by bad genes and unhealthy adult lifestyles, and proposed that their roots lie in the early life environment: “the nourishment a baby receives from its mother, and its exposure to infection after birth, determine its susceptibility to chronic disease in later life”. By permanently ‘programming’ the body’s metabolism and growth, they determine the pathologies of old age. He set out this theory in a series of books, starting with Mothers, Babies and Disease in Later Life in 1994. His initially controversial, but now widely ...Read the rest of this article
In June 2013 the European parliament will start the postponed voting on the New Regulation on Data Protection. More than 4000 amendments have been proposed and the Regulation is one of the most lobbied texts in the EU history. Not because of the problems it may cause to epidemiology, but because it regulates important conditions for transferring data of any kind within the EU. Thanks to a number of epidemiologists and epidemiologic societies, including the IEA, the commission is now aware that the text will impact severely on our research options. Whether they know it will also impact on democracy and the principles of the open society is more questionable.
We may hope that our working conditions for doing epidemiologic research will not get much worse, but we have ...Read the rest of this article
The 200th anniversary of John Snow’s birth on 15th March 2013 provides an occasion to celebrate Snow’s achievements, to consider their original context, to discuss their place in contemporary epidemiology, and consider their likely future not only as the armamentarium of public health but as a framework of method for science and society. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and The Wellcome Trust, in collaboration with the International Epidemiological Association and the John Snow Society are hosting two meetings as part of a series of events to commemorate the bicentenary.Read the rest of this article
The congress is organized by the Danish Epidemiological Society (DES) under the auspices of the IEA-EEF. The NordicEpi 2013 (Nordic Meeting in Epidemiology and Register-based Health Research) will take place just after the EuroEPI 2013 at the same venue, and is open to all interested.
March 29 is the date for submitting a paper/poster, and for scholarship applications. Download the PDF for details.Read the rest of this article
The new developments in the saga on data protection in the EU have rightly generated lots of concern. Many years of investments in infrastructure to help improving our knowledge on how to improve treatment and prevention for diseases and ill health may all be wasted. Here is the latest report on the topic from cancer epidemiologists.
–From the Rapid Response Group
Proposal of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) on the proposed General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) of the European Parliament and of the Council of the European UnionFebruary 27, 2013
Observations of the IEA in reference totext of the GDRP as proposed by the European Commission (document COM(2012) 11 final – C7-0025/12 of 25.1.2012) and to the Draft Report by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament dated 16.1.2013Read the rest of this article
Evert Ben van Veen has written a summary of the LIBE views and makes comparisons to the proposed data protection regulation. The LIBE proposal will set back epidemiologic research in many European countries if used in the new law. It will threaten free and critical research and the principles of democracy and open societies.Read the rest of this article
The rapid response committee has kept IEA members up to date on important legal issues related to use of data in epidemiologic research, especially data collected for monitoring or administrative use. The proposed Regulation provided a legal framework that would not add new restrictions to our use of health data in research. That may unfortunately have changed. Albrecht’s revisions to the proposed text will have serious consequences for epidemiology if they are all accepted. Please note Welcome Trust’s concern below and have a look at the changes yourself – pay special attention to amendments 15,17,19,22 and 31.Read the rest of this article
SEE-SESPAS 2013 Congress, Granada, 4-6 September, 2013. The next Meeting of the SEE will be special as it always is when the call for a meeting is made together with SESPAS, and particularly when it is going to be held in a city like Granada.Read the rest of this article
The text on data protection for the EU is being debated and it is clear that several changes will be made. It is currently unclear whether we end up with a directive or a regulation. A directive will provide more flexibility for individual countries in how they practice the law. A regulation imposes a common law for all member states. By November 2012 6 countries support a ‘directive mode’. Not quite enough to avoid that a regulation will be implemented by parliament but many countries have not yet made their position clear. There are other part of the text being debated so the battle is far from over and we still run a risk of having less options for doing research after new legislation has been agreed upon next year.Read the rest of this article
We are pleased to announce that we have established a Joint Membership program with the Portuguese Association of Epidemiology and the Swedish Society of Epidemiology. They join nineteen other societies with which we share memberships. Visit our Joint Membership page and take a look!Read the rest of this article
At the IEA European Congress in Porto the new EU regulation was debated on Friday September 7th, 2012. At the session the Italian Judge Giovanni Buttarelli was present and took part in a panel debate with epidemiologists from Germany, Italy, Portugal and Denmark. He has worked as the supervisor and advisor (EDPS) for the EU on legal issues related to data protection.
The discussion addressed the current draft of the regulation (July, 2012), but several changes are expected in the next version of the text. Most epidemiologists can live with the current draft version of the new text because its paragraph 83 provides a framework for us to use data generated for a different purpose in research. However, there is no guarantee that this exemption will remain in the final text.
Buttarelli’s advice was to follow the process ...Read the rest of this article
In a Statement released on July 24, national and international organisations that study the causes and prevention of disease epidemics, call, for the first time, for a global ban on the mining, use, and export of all forms of asbestos. The Statement has already been endorsed by over 150 public health, civil society organizations and individual scientists from twenty countries.Read the rest of this article
John Pemberton was the key figure in founding the ‘International corresponding club (ICS), later to become the International Epidemiological Association (IEA), and the Society for Social Medicine (SSM). A collection of papers, mostly relating to foundations and early years of IEA and SSM, collected by John Pemberton himself, has been lodged at Cardiff University.Read the rest of this article
The Winter School takes place in January during the week following the International Lauberhorn ski race, when Wengen is calm, with few people on the slopes. Students stay on site and work hard in the mornings. They then have an extended break to review course materials, catch up on emails or (more likely) go skiing or snowboarding. We reconvene at 5 pm for computer or practical sessions.
We offer 5 courses in 2013, building on the success of previous years. All courses will take place during the week of 21-26 January, 2013. One course will run for 5 days, the others for 3 days each. All courses are part of the ...Read the rest of this article
The count of IEA members from the European region has ranged from 265 to 285 over the last few years. At the end of 2011 there were more than 640 European members, of which 550 were from one of the 15 countries in the European Federation. There was a big contribution from the UK (290 associates). New members signed up at the WCE in Edinburgh as part of the conference fee. We hope all of these new members will renew their memberships.
At now, only the Finnish Epidemiological Society has taken a joint membership scheme. Some societies that wished initially to enter the scheme expressed some doubts for practical or legal / fiscal reasons.
Following the request of the IEA executive committee, the IEA-EEF has renewed the invitation to the national societies to take up joint membership. Many societies have declared their interest in doing it and are waiting for receiving specific ...Read the rest of this article
The matter of data protection regulation has been addressed in a workshop at the last WCE in Edinburgh and the impact that the EU proposal may have on the epidemiologists current work has been debated in some recent papers. The opportunity of harmonising data protection procedures among EU countries has been underlined by some researchers while others have considered that until the European Directive can be transformed into an instrument that explicitly facilitates public health research, the best existing research frameworks must be protected.
The final version of the new proposal by the European Commission (available at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/data-protection/news/120125_en.htm) brings back to the level of Member States much of the actual regulatory procedures, which would have the advantage of preserving arrangements favourable to epidemiological research in those countries that have adopted them, at the same time leaving open the issue of inter-country harmonisation.
The EEF intends to develop this debate and it ...Read the rest of this article
The idea of organising the European Young Epidemiologists network within the IEA European Epidemiology Federation was presented on the occasion of the European Congress of Epidemiology held in Porto in September 2004 and was received with enthusiasm by young people from several countries. The realisation of this initiative was immediately supported by the IEA-EEF board. Since then, the president of the EYE has been a member of the European Federation board.Read the rest of this article
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Many European epidemiologists will remember that the first draft EU proposed on Data Protection would have made it almost impossible to do epidemiologic research and many other types of research as well. Only after substantial consultations in Brussels by colleagues and patient organizations did we end up with a Directive that allowed (at least in some European countries) to continue research activities of importance to provide the best possible disease prevention and medical treatment to the citizens of the EU.
In some countries the interpretation of the Directive is still a major obstacle to epidemiologic research and some of these countries may have an interest in a restrictive interpretation of the Directive.
Since new communications methods are being used (Facebook mentioned as an example) EUs considers it necessary to revise the Directive. We hope that this revison will take into ...Read the rest of this article