Brasile     .      Salute     .     Nordeste      .      Rio      .      Blog     .     Commenti sul Brasile     .     Ciaobrasile     .    Chi siamo     .       Foto     .     Mappa del sito


Natal . Nordeste

Rio de Janeiro



Sesso e salute

Foto Brasile





We are always television curious, and I've always wondered about the statistic as to why most heart attacks occur in January.

For years, I've heard explanations that less active people typically force their bodies outside to shovel all that snow.

But then I saw a recent CNN report outlining the importance of Vitamin D and the heart.  The body can easily obtain the Vitamin D it needs from only 20 minutes in direct sun.  But that's rarely obtained during the winter months where I live.

It especially hit home when the younger brother of a good friend of mine died of a massive heart attack the other day.  He was fit, worked out, and there was no snow shovelling involved.

I realize that diet and genetics play a part, but both of his parents have lived into their 80s.  Very sad.

Another study mentioned the health benefits of simply having sex.

Having sex  12 times per month  is equivalent to running 7 miles. I think some our members have made that lap within a week

From CNN:

1. A longer life

In a British study, men who had intercourse at least twice a week lived longer than men who had sex less than once a month. A U.S. study had similar findings, and a Swedish study examining the sex lives of 70-year-olds found that men who died before their 75th birthday had ceased having sexual intercourse at earlier ages.

The Swedish study didn't find that women lived longer if they had sex more frequently, and neither did a study in North Carolina. However, in the North Carolina study, women who reported enjoying sex more lived longer than those who didn't report enjoyment.

2. A healthier heart

In a British study, people who had intercourse twice a week or more were less likely to have heart attacks and other fatal coronary events. Those who had sex less than once a month had twice the rates of fatal coronary events, compared with those with the highest frequency of intercourse.

3. Lower blood pressure

In a study published in the journal Biological Psychology, people who had sex more often tended to have lower diastolic blood pressure, or the bottom number in a blood pressure reading. Brody's experiment, in which more sexually active study subjects had markedly less dramatic blood pressure spikes when they were put under stress, also supports the benefit.

4. Lower risk of prostate cancer

A Minnesota study found that men who'd had intercourse more than 3,000 times in their lives had half the prostate cancer risk of those who had not. While it's not clear why this would be true, studies have found that men who had more intercourse tended to have better prostate function and eliminated more waste products in their semen. "These differences could conceivably impact prostate cancer risk," Brody writes in his article.

5. Pain relief

Whipple and others have conducted studies suggesting that more sexual activity helps relieve lower back pain and migraines.

6. A slimmer physique

A study of healthy German adults revealed that men and women who had sex more frequently tended to be slimmer than folks who didn't have as much sex. Sex burns 50 to 60 calories per encounter, Whipple says, so sex three times a week for a month would burn about 700 calories -- or the equivalent of jogging about seven miles.

7. Better testosterone levels

A group of men being treated for erectile problems saw greater increases in testosterone when, along with the treatments, they had frequent sex. Specifically, men who had sex at least eight times per month had greater increases than those who had sex less than eight times per month.












Notes on Health care

Sanità a Rio de Janeiro  -  Sanità a Natal  -  Sanità a Salvador



Rio de Janeiro


Health care and insurance if you live in Brazil


If you're going to be living in Brazil for extended periods, you want to be sure you've got medical insurance that will cover you while you're outside your own country. The following info is for U.S. residents. Residents of other countries need to check with their own insurers to determine what kind of coverage they have abroad. If additional coverage is necessary, look online for "travel medical insurance" and "medical evacuation."

Americans should first check with their insurance carriers about coverage. If coverage isn't satisfactory, consider switching to Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which covers you worldwide.

If you're covered by Kaiser Permanente you're also OK. Kaiser will cover emergency hospital care and non-routine doctor's services abroad on a reimbursable basis. Kaiser also will transfer its members from foreign hospitals back to a Kaiser facility once the member is stabilized after an emergency hospitalization, at no cost to the member. Other HMOSs probably won't have such extensive coverage. You'll have to consult your HMO for its coverage outside the U.S. and look into supplemental insurance, if necessary.

You may not want to be hospitalized for any extended period of time while abroad, however your own insurance policy probably doesn't cover medical evacuations. In that case, you need to purchase separate medical evacuation insurance. There are numerous companies that provide this kind of service. I signed up with MedjetAssist, which I'd seen written about in the travel sections of the NY Times and SF Chronicle. Unlike some companies, Medjet will transport you back to the hospital you choose, and not just the nearest suitable U.S. medical facility. That means they'll take you back to a facility in your home town (like Seattle) and not just drop you in a hospital in Miami, which may be far from your family, friends and your own doctors. The cost is quite reasonable, considering that a medical evacuation from someplace as far as Brazil could run $50,000 and up! You can find info at You can check out other companies providing such services by Googling on "medical evacuation". Some of these companies also provide medical insurance for persons traveling abroad, and there are some companies based in Europe and elsewhere.

Acquiring permanent residency is not a prerequisite for acceptance into a local health insurance plan in brazil. if you find yourself spending about half your time in brazil, you may want to consider a local plan as a complement to your home-country plan, especially if it does not cover overseas emergencies or hospital stays, with the added benefit that any routine visits, which would definitely not be covered in your home plan, to medical doctors, first-aid posts, and specialists are covered. if you find yourself spending MORE than half of your time in brazil, in this case probably but not necessarily as a permanent resident, you may want to consider the more radical step of complete substitution of yr home plan for a local plan, supplemented by an overseas option in the local plan covering overseas emergencies and hospital stays, covering you for visits back to your home country or any third country for vacation stays.

Individual health plans in brazil are generally less expensive than in the U.S. and are closely regulated by the ANS (associacao nacional de saude). unlike in the u.s. where insurance companies will rarely if ever share with you the "faixa etaria," or a grid demonsrating the cost of care based upon your age, in brazil you will know the faixas etarias for all of the insurance companies when you shop around, usually but not necessarily through a corretor or broker. of course, these grids change all the time but cannot change once you are accepted into a plan. the only subsequent cost increases to yr plan are your falling into a new age bucket and the annual adjustments by an inflation index approved by the ANS. in rio the choice of health carriers for an individual plan is limited. the market is mainly oriented, just like in the u.s., to corporate plans. however, there are two established carriers that stand out for individual plans: amil (assistancia medica internacional limitada) AMIL - and Unimed, a cooperative of medical practioners, they both offer options for "urgencias em viagens ao exterior" and you can tailor your plan - and the cost- as to whether you want routine coverage confined to certain large metropolitan areas in brazil, for example, with urgent care everywhere else; or routine coverage available nationwide.

be sure to evaluate the private hospital network that is included in your plan, because each carrier and each plan within each carrier permits covered visits to only certain private hospitals. for example, certain plans of amil and unimed may cover visits to the copad'or hospital, referred to in this forum, for first aid, emergency, and long-term stays (internacoes), as well as the samaritano. copad'or, located in copacabana (along with the samaritano, in botafogo) is generally considered the best hospital in rio. several banks, such as bradesco, unibanco, and itau, offer health plans as well. you obviously need to consider the medical practitioner and specialist network of your potential carrier. once you have been referred to a doctor from a friend, your consulate, or another doctor, be sure to ask in which plans he participates. often they will participate in a variety of plans. just like in the u.s., there are plans in brazil that will allow you to choose "out of network," but these are very expensive, with generally low reimbursement rates.

This is how Brazilian health plans work! Many readers who spend extensive time in Brazil (or want to do so) will find this very interesting! (My boyfriend has Unimed, with the overseas care option, and it's network of doctors and hospitals is extensive.) If anyone opts for a Brazilian health plan, be sure to look over the various levels of coverage carefully to be sure nothing that is of interest to you is excluded. There are independent insurance brokers in Rio who can go over your needs and all the plans and help you select the one that's right for you.

For U.S. readers, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which I have, will cover you fully outside the U.S., even for routine care. Members of Kaiser Permanente (which I had when I lived in California) are similarly covered. Both are largely on a reimbursable basis, so you'll have to pay for your care in Brazil and then submit a reimbursement request to the insurer. Blue Cross, though, does have agreements with some Brazilian hospitals and doctors to pay them directly. My understanding is that they have such an agreement with the Copa d'Or hospital, so if you're covered by Blue Cross and need care there, follow the instructions in your membership materials to call BC and have them arrange payment. That way you don't have to pay the hospital yourself, except for any required co-payments under your plan.

Worldwide coverage may be limited or non-existent under many other U.S. insurance policies or HMO plans, so check yours carefully. If it doesn't provide coverage, a Brazilian plan is a good alternative, coupled with a medical evacuation policy to be sure you can be treated in the U.S. if that's what you prefer in an emergency. Brazil has very good doctors and private medical facilities, but there is always the problem of language for many (perhaps most) foreigners, so you need to think carefully about what you would want to do in case you needed extensive surgery or care while you were living or on an extended stay in Brazil. As you can see, though, there are many ways to ensure that you're not "on your own" when you need health care in Brazil.

 The good and the bad

One part of the whole Brazil experience have been my fears concerning the level of the health care system. Really, who knows anyone who has actually had a major health issue/crisis in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo? And what were the results? And by this, I am not referring to nips and tucks, or a little injection of the juice. And definitely not thinking along the lines of dental surgery. I am talking surgery, IV's, in-patient hospital stuff, round-the- clock nursing care, etc.

As I live out on the island, the local hospital is run by the Prefeitura and my friends have always told me what a good place it is to receive care. In fact, with a population of only around 3500, our hospital has a registration base of over 10,000. This is due to the fact that residents from various cities around the northern end of Guanabara Bay such as Maua, Sao Goncalo and Itaoca come over to Paqueta by boat for a supposed, better level of health care and more plentiful prescription drugs!

For major surgery, everyone heads to a hospital in Rio. So until this trip, I always felt fairly safe. Luckily, before this departure, called up the health care agent and found that I had fairly good coverage at any private hospital.

Anyway, I came down with a high fever and a very large tumor/inflamation on my upper arm. Think avocado/mango size! After a couple of days, went to the hospital and received a script for amoxicillin and rest. This was all new for me. In the US of A we are taught to listen to the docs and be good little girls and boys. So after two days, went back to the hospital as instructed for a second visit and was admitted to the hospital with a staph infection and heard the two physicians talking about an ex-president of Brasil, Tancredo Neves, who died of septic shock brought on by a staph infection. Scary stuff.

Went on an IV drip, antibiotics every four hours, and thought (ha,ha...THOUGHT!!!) I was getting good care. After a day of this I started to have some doubts when I saw the IV start dripping (one of my favorite words in Portuguese by the way is "pingando or dripping", but just not in this context) slower and slower. And I wasn't feeling a whole lot better. And they were not very good about taking BP, temperature, etc on a regular basis.

I had a sneaking suspicion that the hospital was trying to save a few Reais on the necessary amount of medication for my treatment, or even worse, that they did not have the correct types of medication. Very scary!!! For some reason, I decided to check myself out and go the the ER of a private hospital. But which one? Copa D'Or, Barra D'Or or elsewhere? A friend in the US looked on an expatriate site and found Hospital Adventista Silvestre above Cosme Velho. Hey! Right near Christo Redentor. God's son. What could be better?

I think I made a good choice. Although not a doctor, the care was similar to what I have received in the US. BP, pulse and temp every two hours. My doctor normally visited me twice a day. My wound post surgery was checked every two hours. It turns out that the public hospital was treating me with the incorrect meds. At Silvestre, the treated me with the exact meds and dosages that my US surgeon would have recommended and also what the internet also recommends. IV's injected every 4 hours. Oral every 4 as well.

And I had a daily visit from the hospital's nutritionist every day to see how they could tailor the menu to my likes and dislikes. Very nice to get fresh squeezed juices throught they day. And they make an incredible carrot soup. But certainly not a good enough reason to check into the hospital. And my private room was really nice with air conditioning, TV and frigo bar. Super large, clean and quiet. Modern bathroom. And they have a twenty_four hour medical center in Botafogo on dezenove de fevereiro just a couple of blocks from the Metro stop.

After a week in the hospital I continued with two weekly visits to my doctor and then came back to the states to find that the private care was up to the US standards back home. This made me feel good!

I am now off the heavy doses of antibiotics. My wound is almost healed. The fatigue is almost gone. And unfortunately now that I am feeling up to it...unable to enjoy this year's Carnaval. Going to a churrascaria back here in the states while wearing my Vasco jersey and speaking Portuguese to the waiters does not quite cut it. Oh well.

My friends came through with help taking care of my dog. Phone calls and visits. Escort and company to the doctor’s office on Botafogo.
...and the adventures continue.


It kind of depends on your HOME health insurance and their rules concerning how far in advance you can purchase medication. My plan has a vacation rule where you are able to purchase 60 days in advance. And then my pharmacist, if my physician's prescription hasn't expired, will issue the medication and charge my credit card, and then every thirty days, put in to my insurer for payment and at the same time credit my card less the co-pay difference.

Brazil has many of the generic matches to the US or Europeans meds. And at much better prices. The price for Brazilian Lipitor is less than my US co-pay for example. Same for Digoxin. Until the new drug law for Medicare in the US, I bought a number of drugsin RJ and brought them back for my Mom. No script needed. But no possibility of buying sleeping pills/narcotics such as Ambien, diazepam/flurazapam without an MD's script, as far as I have experienced. No reimbursement by my health insurance, except when in the hospital.

I find the number of farmacias in Rio quite fascinating. In Centro, just east of Rio Branco on Sete de Setembro there are three Pacheco's in one block. Two of them side by side. I was told that they are franchises. This explains the location. A friend's son, who works as a pharmacist in Rio, related that they work on salary plus commission, so a larger purchase, after some bargaining, will net you a bigger discount, and then also questioning about a payment in cash, will add on another discount. Also, every pharmacy has their own price lists. Also, each company's computers do not update with price increases on the same day, so for a larger purchase, it pays to go to two or three different chains. After a recommendation from a friend, I have found that Farmacia Nacoes normally has lower prices.

The lowest prices can be found at one of the government pharmacies. A Brazilian friend with a friendly Brazilian doctor who will write your script with a friend's name can save you big bucks.

I was told that the charge from a government outlet for the drugs is about ten percent of what is charge commercially. There can be long lines at times, but from personal experience, I have seen times when the lines are not bad, and other times when they can be horrendous.

I have experienced both the best of pivate and worst of public hospitals.   The private hospital hospital I stayed in is called Adventista Hospital in Silvestre.  Most everyone knows it.  For aftercare, they aslo have a 24 hour amubulatry clinici in Botafogo.  When I showed my charts back in the US  to my doctor she told me that the level of care was the exact same thing that she oulf have done here. PRrocdures, exams, tests, etc. And the price was much, much less. MY insurance compnay picked up the entire bill as approved. 

Less the deductible on my policy, of course.

Base fee was 300Reais/day for a private room. No extra charges for aspiriin, antibiotis, etc. Included.Ditto on toothrush and toothpaste.   The nutristionist visited everyday to see how they cold tailor the menus to fix my dietary needs as well as likes and dislikes.  As it was Adventists, there was limited staffing on Saturday, and no pork.  Coffee was Sanka, no caffeina inn the land of coffee. 

Treamtment was really good. One of my heart meds is not availbable in Brasil, but my interenist checked her books and found somehing acceptable(oe so I hoped) The claimed to NOT speak English.  Included in my bill were two after care visits at Botafogo amubulatory.  And they run buses up the hill frequently to the hospital in Silvestere under Christ's open arms. 

The evening before checking in, I was unsure where to go, Copa d'Or. Or Adventista.  The people at Copa d'Or were not very nice on the phone.  Adventista very.  I felt the care level wonderful.  Abouth the only major difference between Adventitsa and a US Hospital where the location and number of times temperaturse were checked. Blood pressure and pulse as well. I had the standadrd admittance testing. Blood work, questionaire. meeting with dietician, questions about visitation from someone of my religious afiliation(the whole world is not adventist) a nice room, frequent changes of bed linens, an array of phlebotemists(both goof and bad)trying to find my veins, 

When  I returned to the US, my surgeon looked at my records and agreed that the Brasilian level of care would have been no different here in the US.  Ditto with my cardiologist as to the medication and care received. 

When I went to my doctor's office, English started to be spoken.  I guess it was the old Brasilian disease.  They are all afraid that their accents are not up to par.  He English was wonderful. She was only afraid of bad pronunciation. 


I first spend two nights at a prefeitura hospital and did not feel I was getting better. I thought they were giving me the wrong drugs because I wasn't feeling any better.  I asked a friend visiting me to look on the internet for the drug -regime being used.  The prefeitura (I assume due to the lack of funds) was using an antibiotic that was no longer being used anywhere else put the People's Recuplic of China. No where else. When I got out,  I looked it up my self.  BEfore I checked myself out, I asked to see my doctor, Waiting over two hours, by the way.  And there were very few patients at the hospital. No x-ray machine, No MRI. No CAT. No blood testing equipment for screening. Basic care with none of the diagnostics which is now the norm. Just lots of open beds and meals of rice, bean and a protein. Oy! And this hospital gets a lot of people from off--island as the level of care there is better than at other hospitals ringing the bay. Lack of supplies, lack of diagnostic, lots of employees. must be the norm from Rio Hospitals. 



Rio Bonito over in Niteroi is where a friend goes and he swears by the place and/or Santa Casa near Santos Dumont is where my Paulista has been when he hurt his knee and needed surgery. 

Concludion for non-emergeny care:

Very good is the Adventista ambulatory clinic in Botafogo on Rua Dezenove de Fevereiro, 140. And then if you needed admittance, they have a bus service that circle back and forth up the hill to the main hospital in Silvestre, at the feet of Christ the Redeemer.


Regferred experiences with the emergency room at the Copa d'Or Hospital was very good.  Efficient, comfortable, clean, modern.   It is located on Rua Figueiredo de Magalhaes, past Avenida Tonelero, before the Tunnel to Humaita. 

I have seen the rooms are quite nice since the hospital was a former hotel. 

Those spending significant amounts of time in Brazil may well want to consider a local plan, depending on the degree of overseas coverage from their plans back home. 

In Rio, the two best providers for individual plans are Amil and Unimed.   Shop around for the best plans on your own or with a broker.   The most important considerations aside from cost are which hospitals are accepted in your plan, as well as the doctor network naturally.  A specifically good a plan which included unrestricted and unlimited coverage is the Copa d'Or.   

Nearly all plans in Brazil charge no deductible, no co-payments, and have no yearly or lifetime cap.  Many on this board may be relieved to know that Aetna tried and failed in Brazil to introduce the HMO concept and have completely exited the country- Brazilians saw right through that charade! - so no need for a primary care provider to gatekeep specialist visits.   Also, individual plans, by law, can only increase annual premiums in two ways - by a health inflation index; and by an age range table that is fully disclosed upfront (increases once every five years), so it is perfectly feasible for say an expatriate retiree to budget medical costs. 

I know some expat residents here that have cancelled their home country coverage and instead pay for a separate rider on their Brazil policy which would cover emergency situations on trips outside of Brazil. 

























commenti e quesiti: scrivici a


















































Sanità a Rio

Healhy Rio

Sanità Natal

Sanit Salvad



Blog Braz 10

Blog Braz 09

Blog Braz 08

Blog Braz 07

Blog Braz 06




Rio Flamengo

foto brasile