Sustainable Development Goals and health research: are high-priority health problems being addressed with high-quality studies and with equity?


Oral session: Global health and equity (1)


Tuesday 22 October 2019 - 14:00 to 15:30


All authors in correct order:

Aleman A1, Solá I2, Tomasso G3, Antequera Martin AM4, Colomar M3, Cafferata ML5
1 Departament of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, The Ibero-American University, Cochrane Network, Uruguay
2 Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Iberoamerican Cochrane Network, Spain
3 Clinical and Epidemiological Research Unit, Montevideo, Uruguay
4 Iberoamerican Cochrane Centre, Sant Pau Biomedical Research Institute (IIB Sant Pau), Spain
5 Clinical and Epidemiological Research Unit, Montevideo, Argentina
Presenting author and contact person

Presenting author:

Alicia Aleman

Contact person:

Abstract text
Background: in 2015 the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which set up 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) focusing on ending poverty, protecting the planet and promoting health. The SDGs on communicable diseases included as targets ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. On the other hand, the Global Burden of Diseases project offers outcomes of mortality rates disaggregated by country or socio-demographic index (SDI). In 2015, the three leading causes of death among low SDI countries were cardiovascular diseases, respiratory infections and tuberculosis, and maternal and neonatal conditions; within high SDI countries those causes were cardiovascular diseases, neoplasms and neurological disorders. An analysis of the medical research produced in fields with a similar burden between low and high SDIs countries would shed light on the accomplishment of the UN agenda.

Objectives: we characterized and compared sound medical research produced for diseases with a similar death burden ranking between high and low SDIs (dementia and tuberculosis respectively). We compared some indicators (production, impact, source of funding) to assess a temporal trend after the UN SDG.

Methods: we searched guidelines, systematic reviews (SR) and trials in PubMed in the field of dementia and tuberculosis (according their most representative subject heading combined with a text term searched at title field). We searched globally and then limited the search to the core journals set in PubMed and the 15 top journals in the Scimago rankings for Geriatrics and Infectious Diseases. For the retrieved references, we described design, year of publication, country and source of funding. We tracked the inclusion of SR into guidelines and of trials into SR or guidelines. We performed descriptive analyses and compared temporal trends in research production over time.

Results: we obtained the following references globally for dementia and tuberculosis respectively: 135 and 229 guidelines, 1788 and 811 SR, and 3953 and 1783 trials. We will present a description and eventual differences within the two health problems at the Colloquium. We will focus on the inclusion of trials into SR and guidelines as a measure of impact, and we will analyse if the SDGs impacted on the number of studies conducted in tuberculosis.

Conclusions: the success of global agendas mainly relies on policy definitions and on the availability of sound medical research. Analysing potential gaps between priorities according to burden of diseases and burden of research is an essential feedback mechanism for policymakers and funding agencies. Additionally, concerning external validity, implications about applicability and indirectness may help to address proper design for future research in these settings.

Patient or healthcare consumer involvement: no