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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 13, Issue 4 (April 2016)

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Open AccessReview Exploring the Climate Change, Migration and Conflict Nexus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040443
Received: 23 November 2015 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1233 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The potential link between climate change, migration, and conflict has been widely discussed and is increasingly viewed by policy makers as a security issue. However, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the role that climate variability and change play among the many drivers of migration
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The potential link between climate change, migration, and conflict has been widely discussed and is increasingly viewed by policy makers as a security issue. However, considerable uncertainty remains regarding the role that climate variability and change play among the many drivers of migration and conflict. The overall objective of this paper is to explore the potential pathways linking climate change, migration and increased risk of conflict. We review the existing literature surrounding this issue and break the problem into two components: the links between climate change and migration, and those between migration and conflict. We found a large range of views regarding the importance of climate change as a driver for increasing rates of migration and subsequently of conflict. We argue that future research should focus not only on the climate-migration-conflict pathway but also work to understand the other pathways by which climate variability and change might exacerbate conflict. We conclude by proposing five questions to help guide future research on the link between climate change, migration, and conflict. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Prevalence of Thyroid Nodules and an Analysis of Related Lifestyle Factors in Beijing Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040442
Received: 21 February 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (488 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Thyroid nodules (TNs) have annual increasing trends worldwide, and large-scale investigations on the prevalence of TNs in Beijing communities have not been conducted since the introduction of salt iodization in 1995. We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of TNs, their
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Thyroid nodules (TNs) have annual increasing trends worldwide, and large-scale investigations on the prevalence of TNs in Beijing communities have not been conducted since the introduction of salt iodization in 1995. We performed a cross-sectional study to determine the prevalence of TNs, their epidemiological characteristics, and their correlation with lifestyle factors. A total of 6324 permanent residents aged 18 years or older (mean age, 52.15 ± 11.58 years) from seven representative communities in Beijing were included in the analyses. Once informed consent was obtained, the subjects were asked to complete questionnaires, a physical examination, and thyroid ultrasound. A total of 3100 cases had TNs. The overall prevalence rate was 49.0%, and the age-standardized prevalence was 40.1%, which increased significantly as age increased (p < 0.001). The prevalence was significantly higher in females compared to males (p < 0.001), and it was significantly higher among female current smokers and former smokers compared to non-smokers (p = 0.007). There was no correlation between alcohol consumption and TNs, and there were no significant differences in the prevalence among different groups of taste preference. The prevalence decreased with an increased frequency of seafood intake (p = 0.015) and with higher literacy levels (p < 0.001). The Cochran–Armitage trend test showed that the prevalence significantly increased with decreased physical labor and exercise intensity (p < 0.001, p = 0.009). Logistic regression analysis showed that age (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.039 (1.034–1.044), p < 0.001), the female sex (OR = 1.789 (1.527–2.097)), Body mass index (BMI) (OR = 1.019 (1.005–1.034)), and current smoking habits (OR = 1.246 (1.046–1.483)) were independent risk factors for TNs. Our findings indicate that there is a high prevalence of TNs in Beijing, with a higher prevalence in females than in males. Moreover, the prevalence increases as age increases. Smoking and BMI are independent risk factors for TNs. Therefore, intervention against smoking and weight loss might help reduce the risk of TN occurrence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Post-Amalgam Era: Norwegian Dentists’ Experiences with Composite Resins and Repair of Defective Amalgam Restorations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040441
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1701 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Amalgam was banned as a dental restorative material in Norway in 2008 due to environmental considerations. An electronic questionnaire was sent to all dentists in the member register of the Norwegian Dental Association (NTF) one year later, to evaluate dentists’ satisfaction with alternative
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Amalgam was banned as a dental restorative material in Norway in 2008 due to environmental considerations. An electronic questionnaire was sent to all dentists in the member register of the Norwegian Dental Association (NTF) one year later, to evaluate dentists’ satisfaction with alternative restorative materials and to explore dentists’ treatment choices of fractured amalgam restorations. Replies were obtained from 61.3%. Composite was the preferred restorative material among 99.1% of the dentists. Secondary caries was the most commonly reported cause of failure (72.7%), followed by restoration fractures (25.1%). Longevity of Class II restorations was estimated to be ≥10 years by 45.8% of the dentists, but 71.2% expected even better longevity if the restoration was made with amalgam. Repair using composite was suggested by 24.9% of the dentists in an amalgam restoration with a fractured cusp. Repair was more often proposed among young dentists (p < 0.01), employees in the Public Dental Service (PDS) (p < 0.01) and dentists working in counties with low dentist density (p = 0.03). There was a tendency towards choosing minimally invasive treatment among dentists who also avoided operative treatment of early approximal lesions (p < 0.01). Norwegian dentists showed positive attitudes towards composite as a restorative material. Most dentists chose minimally- or medium invasive approaches when restoring fractured amalgam restorations. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mitigating Stress and Supporting Health in Deprived Urban Communities: The Importance of Green Space and the Social Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 440; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040440
Received: 30 January 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 22 April 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (12231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Environment-health research has shown significant relationships between the quantity of green space in deprived urban neighbourhoods and people’s stress levels. The focus of this paper is the nature of access to green space (i.e., its quantity or use) necessary before any
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Environment-health research has shown significant relationships between the quantity of green space in deprived urban neighbourhoods and people’s stress levels. The focus of this paper is the nature of access to green space (i.e., its quantity or use) necessary before any health benefit is found. It draws on a cross-sectional survey of 406 adults in four communities of high urban deprivation in Scotland, United Kingdom. Self-reported measures of stress and general health were primary outcomes; physical activity and social wellbeing were also measured. A comprehensive, objective measure of green space quantity around each participant’s home was also used, alongside self-report measures of use of local green space. Correlated Component Regression identified the optimal predictors for primary outcome variables in the different communities surveyed. Social isolation and place belonging were the strongest predictors of stress in three out of four communities sampled, and of poor general health in the fourth, least healthy, community. The amount of green space in the neighbourhood, and in particular access to a garden or allotment, were significant predictors of stress. Physical activity, frequency of visits to green space in winter months, and views from the home were predictors of general health. The findings have implications for public health and for planning of green infrastructure, gardens and public open space in urban environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Natural Environments and Childhood Experiences Promoting Physical Activity, Examining the Mediational Effects of Feelings about Nature and Social Networks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040439
Received: 31 October 2015 / Revised: 15 April 2016 / Accepted: 18 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (596 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The importance of natural environments (NEs) for physical activity (PA) has been studied extensively. However, there is scant evidence to explain the motivational processes underlying the NE-PA relation. The aim of this study was to investigate the NE-PA relation using an ecological framework,
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The importance of natural environments (NEs) for physical activity (PA) has been studied extensively. However, there is scant evidence to explain the motivational processes underlying the NE-PA relation. The aim of this study was to investigate the NE-PA relation using an ecological framework, focusing on perception of NEs, childhood experiences and possible intra- and inter-individual mediators. Data were retrieved from a cross-sectional survey among 2168 adults from all over Norway. In addition, the coverage of NEs by municipalities was retrieved from national registers. Logistic regression showed that, unlike the self-reported proximity to NEs, higher ratings of perceived supportiveness of NEs for PA predicted participation in NE-based PA for at least 60 min/week or 150 min/week, before and after controlling for socio-demographic characteristics. Reporting frequent experiences in nature during childhood was also an important predictor of higher levels of NE-based PA. Furthermore, a mediational analysis showed that the effect of both predictors was mediated by “feelings about nature” and “social networks”. These findings indicate that to encourage the use of local NE for PA, not only should environmental perceptions be taken into account, positive feelings towards nature alongside opportunities to share activity in nature with others should also be promoted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Health Aspects of Climate Change in Cities with Mediterranean Climate, and Local Adaptation Plans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 438; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040438
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities with a Mediterranean-type climate (Med-cities) are particularly susceptible to health risks from climate change since they are located in biogeographical hot-spots that experience some of the strongest effects of the changing climate. The study aims to highlight health impacts of climate change
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Cities with a Mediterranean-type climate (Med-cities) are particularly susceptible to health risks from climate change since they are located in biogeographical hot-spots that experience some of the strongest effects of the changing climate. The study aims to highlight health impacts of climate change in Med-cities, analyze local climate adaptation plans and make adaptation policy recommendations for the Med-city level. We identified five Med-cities with a climate change adaptation plan: Adelaide, Barcelona, Cape Town, Los Angeles and Santiago. Beyond their similar Med-climate features (although Santiago’s are slightly different), the cities have different socio-economic characteristics in various aspects. We analyzed each plan according to how it addresses climate change-related drivers of health impacts among city dwellers. For each driver, we identified the types of policy adaptation tools that address it in the urban climate adaptation plans. The surveyed cities address most of the fundamental climate change-related drivers of risks to human health, including rising temperatures, flooding and drought, but the policy measures to reduce negative impacts vary across cities. We suggest recommendations for Med-cities in various aspects, depending on their local needs and vulnerability challenges: assessment of health risks, extreme events management and long-term adaptation, among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Smoking on Ultrasonographic Thickness and Elastosonographic Strain Ratio Measurements of Distal Femoral Cartilage
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 434; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040434
Received: 12 January 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 21 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although adverse effects of smoking on bone health are all well known, data on how smoking interacts with cartilage structure in otherwise healthy individuals remains conflicting. Here, we ascertain the effects of cigarette smoking on sonoelastographic properties of distal femoral cartilage in asymptomatic
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Although adverse effects of smoking on bone health are all well known, data on how smoking interacts with cartilage structure in otherwise healthy individuals remains conflicting. Here, we ascertain the effects of cigarette smoking on sonoelastographic properties of distal femoral cartilage in asymptomatic adults. Demographic characteristics and smoking habits (packets/year) of healthy volunteers were recorded. Medial, intercondylar, and lateral distal femoral cartilage thicknesses and strain ratios on the dominant extremity were measured with ultrasonography (US) and real time US elastography. A total of 88 subjects (71 M, 17 F; aged 18–56 years, N = 43 smokers and N = 45 nonsmokers) were evaluated. Mean amount of cigarette smoking was 10.3 ± 8.9 (1–45) packets/year. Medial, intercondylar and lateral cartilage were thicker in smokers than nonsmokers (p = 0.002, p = 0.017, and p = 0.004, respectively). Medial distal femoral cartilage strain ratio was lower in smokers (p = 0.003). The amount of smoking was positively correlated with cartilage thicknesses and negatively correlated with medial cartilage strain ratios (p < 0.05). Femoral cartilage is thicker in smokers but has less strain ratio representing harder cartilage on the medial side. Future studies are needed to understand how these structural changes in the knee cartilage should be interpreted with regard to the development of knee osteoarthritis in smokers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Eating Behaviours of Preadolescent Children over Time: Stability, Continuity and the Moderating Role of Perceived Parental Feeding Practices
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 437; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040437
Received: 22 January 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (854 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The links between childhood eating behaviours and parental feeding practices are well-established in younger children, but there is a lack of research examining these variables in a preadolescent age group, particularly from the child’s perspective, and longitudinally. This study firstly aimed to examine
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The links between childhood eating behaviours and parental feeding practices are well-established in younger children, but there is a lack of research examining these variables in a preadolescent age group, particularly from the child’s perspective, and longitudinally. This study firstly aimed to examine the continuity and stability of preadolescent perceptions of their parents’ controlling feeding practices (pressure to eat and restriction) over a 12 month period. The second aim was to explore if perceptions of parental feeding practices moderated the relationship between preadolescents’ eating behaviours longitudinally. Two hundred and twenty nine preadolescents (mean age at recruitment 8.73 years) completed questionnaires assessing their eating behaviours and their perceptions of parental feeding practices at two time points, 12 months apart (T1 and T2). Preadolescents’ perceptions of their parental feeding practices remained stable. Perceptions of restriction and pressure to eat were continuous. Perceptions of parental pressure to eat and restriction significantly moderated the relationships between eating behaviours at T1 and T2. The findings from this study suggest that in a preadolescent population, perceptions of parental pressure to eat and restriction of food may exacerbate the development of problematic eating behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Patterns of Ischemic Heart Disease in Shenzhen, China: A Bayesian Multi-Disease Modelling Approach to Inform Health Planning Policies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 436; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040436
Received: 19 February 2016 / Revised: 31 March 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
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Abstract
Incorporating the information of hypertension, this paper applies Bayesian multi-disease analysis to model the spatial patterns of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) risks. Patterns of harmful alcohol intake (HAI) and overweight/obesity are also modelled as they are common risk factors contributing to both IHD
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Incorporating the information of hypertension, this paper applies Bayesian multi-disease analysis to model the spatial patterns of Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) risks. Patterns of harmful alcohol intake (HAI) and overweight/obesity are also modelled as they are common risk factors contributing to both IHD and hypertension. The hospitalization data of IHD and hypertension in 2012 were analyzed with three Bayesian multi-disease models at the sub-district level of Shenzhen. Results revealed that the IHD high-risk cluster shifted slightly north-eastward compared with the IHD Standardized Hospitalization Ratio (SHR). Spatial variations of overweight/obesity and HAI were found to contribute most to the IHD patterns. Identified patterns of IHD risk would benefit IHD integrated prevention. Spatial patterns of overweight/obesity and HAI could supplement the current disease surveillance system by providing information about small-area level risk factors, and thus benefit integrated prevention of related chronic diseases. Middle southern Shenzhen, where high risk of IHD, overweight/obesity, and HAI are present, should be prioritized for interventions, including alcohol control, innovative healthy diet toolkit distribution, insurance system revision, and community-based chronic disease intervention. Related health resource planning is also suggested to focus on these areas first. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Arts Activity on Nursing Staff Well-Being: An Intervention in the Workplace
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040435
Received: 15 December 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 20 March 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (592 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over 59 million workers are employed in the healthcare sector globally, with a daily risk of being exposed to a complex variety of health and safety hazards. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of arts activity on the well-being
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Over 59 million workers are employed in the healthcare sector globally, with a daily risk of being exposed to a complex variety of health and safety hazards. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of arts activity on the well-being of nursing staff. During October–December 2014, 115 nursing staff working in a hospital, took part in this study, which lasted for 10 weeks. The intervention group (n = 56) took part in silk painting activities once a week. Data was collected using socio-demographic questions, the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale, Short Form—36 Health Survey questionnaire, Reeder stress scale, and Multidimensional fatigue inventory (before and after art activities in both groups). Statistical data analysis included descriptive statistics (frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation), non-parametric statistics analysis (Man Whitney U Test; Wilcoxon signed—ranks test), Fisher’s exact test and reliability analysis (Cronbach’s Alpha). The level of significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. In the intervention group, there was a tendency for participation in arts activity having a positive impact on their general health and mental well-being, reducing stress and fatigue, awaking creativity and increasing a sense of community at work. The control group did not show any improvements. Of the intervention group 93% reported enjoyment, with 75% aspiring to continue arts activity in the future. This research suggests that arts activity, as a workplace intervention, can be used to promote nursing staff well-being at work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Related Impacts on Health and the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Up-Regulation of Long Non-Coding RNA AB073614 Predicts a Poor Prognosis in Patients with Glioma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 433; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040433
Received: 13 February 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (768 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Dysregulated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found in human diseases, especially in cancer. Emerging evidence indicates that dysregulated lncRNAs are implicated in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. LncRNA AB073614 characterized as a new candidate lncRNA promotes the development of ovarian cancer. However, the
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Dysregulated long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been found in human diseases, especially in cancer. Emerging evidence indicates that dysregulated lncRNAs are implicated in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. LncRNA AB073614 characterized as a new candidate lncRNA promotes the development of ovarian cancer. However, the role of lncRNA AB073614 in human gliomas remains unknown. The expression of AB073614 was detected in 65 glioma tissues and 13 normal brain tissues by qRT-PCR, showing that lncRNA AB073614 expression was significantly up-regulated in cancerous tissues compared with normal brain tissues (p < 0.001), and it was positively correlated with tumor grade (I–II grades vs. III–IV grades, p = 0.013) in glioma patients. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that increased AB073614 expression contributed to poor overall survival (HR (hazard ratio) = 1.952, 95%CI: 1.202–3.940, p = 0.0129). Further, univariate Cox regression analysis indicated that lncRNA AB073614 overexpression was an unfavorable prognostic factor in gliomas (HR = 1.997, 95%CI: 1.135–3.514, p = 0.016), regardless of the tumor grade (I–II grades vs. III–IV grades, HR = 1.902, 95%CI: 1.066–3.391, p = 0.029). Finally, after adjustment with age, sex, tumor grade and tumor location, multivariate Cox regression analysis suggested that both highly expressed lncRNA AB073614 (HR = 2.606, 95%CI: 1.408–4.824, p = 0.002) and high tumor grade (III–IV grades, HR = 2.720, 95%CI: 1.401–5.282, p = 0.003) could be considered independent poor prognostic indicators for glioma patients. In conclusion, our study suggested that increased lncRNA AB073614 expression may be identified as a poor prognostic biomarker in gliomas. Full article
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Open AccessReview Associations of Extrinsic and Intrinsic Components of Work Stress with Health: A Systematic Review of Evidence on the Effort-Reward Imbalance Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 432; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040432
Received: 14 March 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 32 | PDF Full-text (605 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mainstream psychological stress theory claims that it is important to include information on people’s ways of coping with work stress when assessing the impact of stressful psychosocial work environments on health. Yet, some widely used respective theoretical models focus exclusively on extrinsic factors.
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Mainstream psychological stress theory claims that it is important to include information on people’s ways of coping with work stress when assessing the impact of stressful psychosocial work environments on health. Yet, some widely used respective theoretical models focus exclusively on extrinsic factors. The model of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) differs from them as it explicitly combines information on extrinsic and intrinsic factors in studying workers’ health. As a growing number of studies used the ERI model in recent past, we conducted a systematic review of available evidence, with a special focus on the distinct contribution of its intrinsic component, the coping pattern “over-commitment”, towards explaining health. Moreover, we explore whether the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic components exceeds the size of effects on health attributable to single components. Results based on 51 reports document an independent explanatory role of “over-commitment” in explaining workers’ health in a majority of studies. However, support in favour of the interaction hypothesis is limited and requires further exploration. In conclusion, the findings of this review support the usefulness of a work stress model that combines extrinsic and intrinsic components in terms of scientific explanation and of designing more comprehensive worksite stress prevention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle A Toxicological Framework for the Prioritization of Children’s Safe Product Act Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040431
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (963 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In response to concerns over hazardous chemicals in children’s products, Washington State passed the Children’s Safe Product Act (CSPA). CSPA requires manufacturers to report the concentration of 66 chemicals in children’s products. We describe a framework for the toxicological prioritization of the ten
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In response to concerns over hazardous chemicals in children’s products, Washington State passed the Children’s Safe Product Act (CSPA). CSPA requires manufacturers to report the concentration of 66 chemicals in children’s products. We describe a framework for the toxicological prioritization of the ten chemical groups most frequently reported under CSPA. The framework scores lifestage, exposure duration, primary, secondary and tertiary exposure routes, toxicokinetics and chemical properties to calculate an exposure score. Four toxicological endpoints were assessed based on curated national and international databases: reproductive and developmental toxicity, endocrine disruption, neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity. A total priority index was calculated from the product of the toxicity and exposure scores. The three highest priority chemicals were formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and styrene. Elements of the framework were compared to existing prioritization tools, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ExpoCast and Toxicological Prioritization Index (ToxPi). The CSPA framework allowed us to examine toxicity and exposure pathways in a lifestage-specific manner, providing a relatively high throughput approach to prioritizing hazardous chemicals found in children’s products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Open AccessArticle Antiviral Activity of Graphene–Silver Nanocomposites against Non-Enveloped and Enveloped Viruses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040430
Received: 18 February 2016 / Revised: 14 April 2016 / Accepted: 15 April 2016 / Published: 19 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3516 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The discovery of novel antiviral materials is important because many infectious diseases are caused by viruses. Silver nanoparticles have demonstrated strong antiviral activity, and graphene is a potential antimicrobial material due to its large surface area, high carrier mobility, and biocompatibility. No studies
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The discovery of novel antiviral materials is important because many infectious diseases are caused by viruses. Silver nanoparticles have demonstrated strong antiviral activity, and graphene is a potential antimicrobial material due to its large surface area, high carrier mobility, and biocompatibility. No studies on the antiviral activity of nanomaterials on non-enveloped viruses have been reported. To investigate the antiviral activity of graphene oxide (GO) sheets and GO sheets with silver particles (GO-Ag) against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, feline coronavirus (FCoV) with an envelope and infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) without an envelope were chosen. The morphology and sizes of GO and GO-Ag were characterized by transmission, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. A virus inhibition assay was used to identify the antiviral activity of GO and GO-Ag. Go-Ag inhibited 25% of infection by FCoV and 23% by IBDV, whereas GO only inhibited 16% of infection by FCoV but showed no antiviral activity against the infection by IBDV. Further application of GO and GO-Ag can be considered for personal protection equipment to decrease the transmission of viruses. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Are Filter-Tipped Cigarettes Still Less Harmful than Non-Filter Cigarettes?—A Laser Spectrometric Particulate Matter Analysis from the Non-Smokers Point of View
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040429
Received: 24 January 2016 / Revised: 9 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with human morbidity and mortality, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and lung cancer. Although direct DNA-damage is a leading pathomechanism in active smokers, passive smoking is enough to induce bronchial asthma, especially in children. Particulate
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Background: Environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is associated with human morbidity and mortality, particularly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD and lung cancer. Although direct DNA-damage is a leading pathomechanism in active smokers, passive smoking is enough to induce bronchial asthma, especially in children. Particulate matter (PM) demonstrably plays an important role in this ETS-associated human morbidity, constituting a surrogate parameter for ETS exposure. Methods: Using an Automatic Environmental Tobacco Smoke Emitter (AETSE) and an in-house developed, non-standard smoking regime, we tried to imitate the smoking process of human smokers to demonstrate the significance of passive smoking. Mean concentration (Cmean) and area under the curve (AUC) of particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted by 3R4F reference cigarettes and the popular filter-tipped and non-filter brand cigarettes “Roth-Händle” were measured and compared. The cigarettes were not conditioned prior to smoking. The measurements were tested for Gaussian distribution and significant differences. Results: Cmean PM2.5 of the 3R4F reference cigarette: 3911 µg/m3; of the filter-tipped Roth-Händle: 3831 µg/m3; and of the non-filter Roth-Händle: 2053 µg/m3. AUC PM2.5 of the 3R4F reference cigarette: 1,647,006 µg/m3·s; of the filter-tipped Roth-Händle: 1,608,000 µg/m3·s; and of the non-filter Roth-Händle: 858,891 µg/m3·s. Conclusion: The filter-tipped cigarettes (the 3R4F reference cigarette and filter-tipped Roth-Händle) emitted significantly more PM2.5 than the non-filter Roth-Händle. Considering the harmful potential of PM, our findings note that the filter-tipped cigarettes are not a less harmful alternative for passive smokers. Tobacco taxation should be reconsidered and non-smoking legislation enforced. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Anthropometric and Atherogenic Indices as Screening Tools of Metabolic Syndrome in the Kazakh Adult Population in Xinjiang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040428
Received: 1 March 2016 / Revised: 1 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 16 April 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (606 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To compare the screening ability of various anthropometric and atherogenic indices for Metabolic syndrome (MetS) using three common criteria and to evaluate the validity of suitable parameters in combination for the screening of MetS among a Kazakh population in Xinjiang. Methods: A
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Objective: To compare the screening ability of various anthropometric and atherogenic indices for Metabolic syndrome (MetS) using three common criteria and to evaluate the validity of suitable parameters in combination for the screening of MetS among a Kazakh population in Xinjiang. Methods: A total of 3752 individuals were selected using the stratified cluster random sampling method from nomadic Kazakhs (≥18 years old) in Xinyuan county, Xinjiang, China, which is approximately 4407 km away from the capital Beijing. MetS was defined by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) and Joint Interim Statement (JIS) criteria. The receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) was used to compare the area under the ROC curve (AUC) of each index. The sensitivity, specificity, Youden’s index and cut-offs of each index for the screening of MetS were calculated. Results: According to the IDF, ATP III and JIS criteria, 18.61%, 10.51%, and 24.83% of males and 23.25%, 14.88%, and 25.33% of females had MetS. According to the IDF criteria, the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) was the index that most accurately identified individuals with and without MetS both in males (AUC = 0.872) and females (AUC = 0.804), with the optimal cut-offs of 0.53 and 0.52, respectively. According to both the ATP III and JIS criteria, the lipid accumulation product (LAP) was the best index to discriminate between individuals with and without MetS in males (AUC = 0.856 and 0.816, respectively) and females (AUC = 0.832 and 0.788, respectively), with optimal cut-offs of 41.21 and 34.76 in males and 28.16 and 26.49 in females, respectively. On the basis of the IDF standard, Youden’s indices of WHtR and LAP serial tests for the screening of MetS were 0.590 and 0.455 in males and females, respectively, and those of WHtR and LAP parallel tests were 0.608 and 0.479, accordingly. Conclusion: According to the IDF, ATP III and JIS criteria, both the WHtR and LAP were better indices for the screening of MetS. The WHtR and LAP parallel test was the most accurate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Variation Characteristic of Sulfides and VOSc in a Source Water Reservoir and Its Control Using a Water-Lifting Aerator
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 427; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040427
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 26 March 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
Sulfides and volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSc) in water are not only malodorous but also toxic to humans and aquatic organisms. They cause serious deterioration in the ecological environment and pollute drinking water sources. In the present study, a source water reservoir—Zhoucun Reservoir
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Sulfides and volatile organic sulfur compounds (VOSc) in water are not only malodorous but also toxic to humans and aquatic organisms. They cause serious deterioration in the ecological environment and pollute drinking water sources. In the present study, a source water reservoir—Zhoucun Reservoir in East China—was selected as the study site. Through a combination of field monitoring and in situ release experiments of sulfides, the characteristics of seasonal variation and distribution of sulfides and VOSc in the reservoir were studied, and the cause of the sulfide pollution was explained. The results show that sulfide pollution was quite severe in August and September 2014 in the Zhoucun Reservoir, with up to 1.59 mg·L−1 of sulfides in the lower layer water. The main source of sulfides is endogenous pollution. VOSc concentration correlates very well with that of sulfides during the summer, with a peak VOSc concentration of 44.37 μg·L−1. An installed water-lifting aeration system was shown to directly oxygenate the lower layer water, as well as mix water from the lower and the upper layers. Finally, the principle and results of controlling sulfides and VOSc in reservoirs using water-lifting aerators are clarified. Information about sulfides and VOSc fluctuation and control gained in this study may be applicable to similar reservoirs, and useful in practical water quality improvement and pollution prevention. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Isolation and Characterization of Aquatic-Borne Klebsiella pneumoniae from Tropical Estuaries in Malaysia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 426; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040426
Received: 26 July 2015 / Revised: 23 March 2016 / Accepted: 31 March 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that is responsible for causing nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Despite its common presence in soil and aquatic environments, the virulence potential of K. pneumoniae isolates of environmental origin is largely unknown. Hence, in this study, K. pneumoniae
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Klebsiella pneumoniae is an opportunistic pathogen that is responsible for causing nosocomial and community-acquired infections. Despite its common presence in soil and aquatic environments, the virulence potential of K. pneumoniae isolates of environmental origin is largely unknown. Hence, in this study, K. pneumoniae isolated from the estuarine waters and sediments of the Matang mangrove estuary were screened for potential virulence characteristics: antibiotic susceptibility, morphotype on Congo red agar, biofilm formation, presence of exopolysaccharide and capsule, possession of virulence genes (fimH, magA, ugE, wabG and rmpA) and their genomic fingerprints. A total of 55 strains of K. pneumoniae were isolated from both human-distributed sites (located along Sangga Besar River) and control sites (located along Selinsing River) where less human activity was observed, indicated that K. pneumoniae is ubiquitous in the environment. However, the detection of potentially virulent strains at the downstream of Kuala Sepetang village has suggested an anthropogenic contamination source. In conclusion, the findings from this study indicate that the Matang mangrove estuary could harbor potentially pathogenic K. pneumoniae with risk to public health. More studies are required to compare the environmental K. pneumoniae strains with the community-acquired K. pneumoniae strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Microbial Pollution and Disinfection)
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Open AccessArticle Seasonal and Geographic Variation of Pediatric Malaria in Burundi: 2011 to 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 425; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040425
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 15 April 2016
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Abstract
We analyzed hospitalization records from 2011 to 2012 to examine the spatial patterns of pediatric malaria in Burundi. Malaria case data for those below the age of five years were categorized according to the four principal seasons of Burundi, which are two rainy
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We analyzed hospitalization records from 2011 to 2012 to examine the spatial patterns of pediatric malaria in Burundi. Malaria case data for those below the age of five years were categorized according to the four principal seasons of Burundi, which are two rainy seasons (February to May; September to November) and two dry seasons (June to August; December to January). The Getis-Ord Gi* statistic was used to examine seasonal spatial patterns of pediatric malaria, whereas geographically weighted regression (GWR) were used to examine the potential role of environmental variables on the spatial patterns of cases. There were a total of 19,890 pediatric malaria cases reported during the study period. The incidence among males was higher than that among females; and it was higher in rural districts. The seasonal incidence peaks occurred in the northern half of the country during the wet season while during the dry season, incidence was higher in southern Burundi. Elevation played a greater role in explaining variance in the prevalence of pediatric malaria during seasonal peaks than rainfall. The counterintuitive finding in northern Burundi confirms previous findings and suggests other factors (e.g., land cover/land use) facilitate the persistence of the mosquito population in the highlands of Africa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-temporal Frameworks for Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Depressive Symptoms and Related Factors in Korean Employees: The Third Korean Working Conditions Survey (2011)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040424
Received: 3 March 2016 / Revised: 11 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (276 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the association between general working conditions and depressive symptoms among Korean employees. The target population of the study was native employees nationwide who were at least 15 years old, and 50,032 such individuals were enrolled
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The aim of this study was to analyze the association between general working conditions and depressive symptoms among Korean employees. The target population of the study was native employees nationwide who were at least 15 years old, and 50,032 such individuals were enrolled in the study. Depressive symptoms was assessed using the WHO-5 wellbeing index. Associations between general characteristics, job-related characteristics, work environment, and depressive symptoms were tested using chi-square tests, t-tests, and multiple logistic regression analysis. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 39% (40.7% in males and 36.5% in females). Multiple regression analysis revealed that male subjects, older subjects, subjects with higher education status, subjects with lower monthly income, current smokers, and frequent drinkers were more likely to have depressive symptoms. In addition, longer weekly work hours, occupation type (skilled, unskilled, operative, or economic sector), shift work, working to tight deadlines, exposure to stress at work, and hazard exposure were associated with depressive symptoms. This representative study will be a guide to help manage depression among Korean employees. We expect that further research will identify additional causal relationships between general or specific working conditions and depression. Full article
Open AccessArticle Type and Proximity of Green Spaces Are Important for Preventing Cardiovascular Morbidity and Diabetes—A Cross-Sectional Study for Quebec, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 423; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040423
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 14 April 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1933 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed at determining the role of proximity to specific types of green spaces (GSes) as well as their spatial location in the relationship with the most morbid cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes. We measured the accessibility to various types of GS
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This study aimed at determining the role of proximity to specific types of green spaces (GSes) as well as their spatial location in the relationship with the most morbid cardiovascular diseases (CVD) and diabetes. We measured the accessibility to various types of GS and used a cross-sectional approach at census Dissemination Area (DA) levels in the Montreal and Quebec City metropolitan zones for the period 2006–2011. Poisson and negative binomial regression models were fitted to quantify the relationship between distances to specific types of GS and CVD morbidity as well as some risk factors (diabetes and hypertension) while controlling for several social and environmental confounders. GSes that have sports facilities showed a significant relationship to cerebrovascular diseases: the most distant population had an 11% higher prevalence rate ratio (PRR) compared to the nearest, as well as higher diabetes risk (PRR 9%) than the nearest. However, the overall model performance and the understanding of the role of GSes with sport facilities may be substantially achieved with lifestyle factors. Significantly higher prevalence of diabetes and cerebrovascular diseases as well as lower access to GSes equipped with sports facilities were found in suburban areas. GSes can advantageously be used to prevent some CVDs and their risk factors, but there may be a need to reconsider their types and location. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in Primary Care)
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Open AccessArticle A Survey of Current Knowledge on Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Sexual Behaviour in Italian Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040422
Received: 28 January 2016 / Revised: 8 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Worldwide, 500 million people a year acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Adolescents, accounting for 25% of the sexually active population, are the most affected. To analyze sexual behavior among Italian adolescents and their knowledge of STDs, with the goal of preventing their
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Worldwide, 500 million people a year acquire a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Adolescents, accounting for 25% of the sexually active population, are the most affected. To analyze sexual behavior among Italian adolescents and their knowledge of STDs, with the goal of preventing their transmission, a questionnaire was administered to 2867 secondary school students (1271 males and 1596 females) aged 14–21 years. For the study, 1492 students were interviewed in Genoa (Northern Italy) and 1375 in Lecce (Southern Italy). For 37% of the respondents, parents and teachers were the main source of information on sex, and 95% believed that school should play the primary role in sex education. However, only 9% considered the sex education they received in school good. Noteworthy, only 0.5% of the teenagers recognized the sexually transmitted diseases from a list of diseases, and 54% of them did not know what a Pap test was. Confusion about the meaning of contraception and prevention was evident; only 22% knew that condoms and abstinence are the only methods for preventing STDs. Finally, a consistent number of students are exposed to risk factors for STDs transmission; e.g., alcohol and recreational drug use, promiscuity and improper condom use. On the basis of our study, there is an urgent need for the introduction of sex education as a proper subject in Italian schools. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Preliminary Link between Hydroxylated Metabolites of Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Free Thyroxin in Humans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040421
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their hydroxylated metabolites (HO-PCBs) interfere with thyroid hormone action both in vitro and in vivo. However, epidemiologic studies on the link between PCB exposure and thyroid function have yielded discordant results, while very few data are
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Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and their hydroxylated metabolites (HO-PCBs) interfere with thyroid hormone action both in vitro and in vivo. However, epidemiologic studies on the link between PCB exposure and thyroid function have yielded discordant results, while very few data are available for HO-PCBs. Objectives: Our study aimed at investigating the relationship between clinically available markers of thyroid metabolism and serum levels of both PCBs and HO-PCBs. Subjects and Methods: In a group of 180 subjects, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and free thyroxin (fT4), 29 PCBs (expressed both in lipid weight and in wet weight) and 18 HO-PCBs were measured in serum. Results: In regression models, adjusted for gender, age, current smoking behavior, BMI and total lipid levels, serum levels of 3HO-PCB118 and 3HO-PCB180, and PCB95lw, PCB99lw and PCB149lw were independent, significant predictors of fT4. A stepwise, multiple regression with gender, age, current smoking behavior, BMI and total lipid levels and all five previously identified significant compounds retained age, BMI, PCB95lw, PCB99lw and 3HO-PCB180 as significant predictors of fT4. TSH levels were not predicted by serum levels of any of the PCBs or HO-PCBs. Conclusions: Our study indicates that in vivo, circulating fT4 levels can be linked to serum levels of several PCBs and hydroxylated PCB metabolites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Restoration in Its Natural Context: How Ecological Momentary Assessment Can Advance Restoration Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 420; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040420
Received: 30 December 2015 / Revised: 22 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
More and more people use self-tracking technologies to track their psychological states, physiology, and behaviors to gain a better understanding of themselves or to achieve a certain goal. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) also offers an excellent opportunity for restorative environments research, which examines
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More and more people use self-tracking technologies to track their psychological states, physiology, and behaviors to gain a better understanding of themselves or to achieve a certain goal. Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) also offers an excellent opportunity for restorative environments research, which examines how our physical environment (especially nature) can positively influence health and wellbeing. It enables investigating restorative health effects in everyday life, providing not only high ecological validity but also opportunities to study in more detail the dynamic processes playing out over time on recovery, thereby bridging the gap between laboratory (i.e., short-term effects) and epidemiological (long-term effects) research. We have identified four main areas in which self-tracking could help advance restoration research: (1) capturing a rich set of environment types and restorative characteristics; (2) distinguishing intra-individual from inter-individual effects; (3) bridging the gap between laboratory and epidemiological research; and (4) advancing theoretical insights by measuring a more broad range of effects in everyday life. This paper briefly introduces restorative environments research, then reviews the state of the art of self-tracking technologies and methodologies, discusses how these can be implemented to advance restoration research, and presents some examples of pioneering work in this area. Full article
Open AccessReview Pain Assessment–Can it be Done with a Computerised System? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040415
Received: 10 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 13 April 2016
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Abstract
Background: Mobile and web technologies are becoming increasingly used to support the treatment of chronic pain conditions. However, the subjectivity of pain perception makes its management and evaluation very difficult. Pain treatment requires a multi-dimensional approach (e.g., sensory, affective, cognitive) whence the
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Background: Mobile and web technologies are becoming increasingly used to support the treatment of chronic pain conditions. However, the subjectivity of pain perception makes its management and evaluation very difficult. Pain treatment requires a multi-dimensional approach (e.g., sensory, affective, cognitive) whence the evidence of technology effects across dimensions is lacking. This study aims to describe computerised monitoring systems and to suggest a methodology, based on statistical analysis, to evaluate their effects on pain assessment. Methods: We conducted a review of the English-language literature about computerised systems related to chronic pain complaints that included data collected via mobile devices or Internet, published since 2000 in three relevant bibliographical databases such as BioMed Central, PubMed Central and ScienceDirect. The extracted data include: objective and duration of the study, age and condition of the participants, and type of collected information (e.g., questionnaires, scales). Results: Sixty-two studies were included, encompassing 13,338 participants. A total of 50 (81%) studies related to mobile systems, and 12 (19%) related to web-based systems. Technology and pen-and-paper approaches presented equivalent outcomes related with pain intensity. Conclusions: The adoption of technology was revealed as accurate and feasible as pen-and-paper methods. The proposed assessment model based on data fusion combined with a qualitative assessment method was revealed to be suitable. Data integration raises several concerns and challenges to the design, development and application of monitoring systems applied to pain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Informatics and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Multi-Stakeholder Decision Aid for Improved Prioritization of the Public Health Impact of Climate Sensitive Infectious Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 419; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040419
Received: 9 February 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The effects of climate change on infectious diseases are an important global health concern and necessitate decisions for allocation of resources. Economic tools have been used previously; however, how prioritization results might differ when done using broader considerations identified by local stakeholders has
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The effects of climate change on infectious diseases are an important global health concern and necessitate decisions for allocation of resources. Economic tools have been used previously; however, how prioritization results might differ when done using broader considerations identified by local stakeholders has yet to be assessed. A multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach was used to assess multi-stakeholder expressed concerns around disease prioritization via focus groups held in Quebec and Burkina Faso. Stakeholders weighted criteria and comparisons were made across study sites. A pilot disease prioritization was done to examine effects on disease rankings. A majority of identified criteria were common to both sites. The effect of context specific criteria and weights resulted in similar yet distinct prioritizations of diseases. The presence of consistent criteria between sites suggests that common concerns exist for prioritization; however, context-specific adjustments reveal much regarding resource availability, capacity and concerns that should be considered as this impacts disease ranking. Participatory decision aid approaches facilitate rich knowledge exchange and problem structuring. Furthermore, given multiple actors in low- and middle-income countries settings, multi-actor collaborations across non-governmental organizations, local government and community are important. Formal mechanisms such as MCDA provide means to foster consensus, shared awareness and collaboration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Necessity of Internal Monitoring for Nuclear Medicine Staff in a Large Specialized Chinese Hospital
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040418
Received: 6 December 2015 / Revised: 17 January 2016 / Accepted: 4 March 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (280 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This work intends to quantify the risk of internal contaminations in the nuclear medicine staff of one hospital in Henan province, China. For this purpose, the criteria proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to determine whether it is necessary to conduct
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This work intends to quantify the risk of internal contaminations in the nuclear medicine staff of one hospital in Henan province, China. For this purpose, the criteria proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to determine whether it is necessary to conduct internal individual monitoring was applied to all of the 18 nuclear medicine staff members who handled radionuclides. The activity of different radionuclides used during a whole calendar year and the protection measures adopted were collected for each staff member, and the decision as to whether nuclear medicine staff in the hospital should be subjected to internal monitoring was made on the basis of the criteria proposed by IAEA. It is concluded that for all 18 members of the nuclear medicine staff in the hospital, internal monitoring is required. Internal exposure received by nuclear medicine staff should not be ignored, and it is necessary to implement internal monitoring for nuclear medicine staff routinely. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Related Impacts on Health and the Environment)
Open AccessArticle Frontal Cortex Transcriptome Analysis of Mice Exposed to Electronic Cigarettes During Early Life Stages
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 417; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040417
Received: 10 December 2015 / Revised: 11 March 2016 / Accepted: 1 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3930 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), battery-powered devices containing nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other substances, are increasing in popularity. They pose a potential threat to the developing brain, as nicotine is a known neurotoxicant. We hypothesized that exposure to e-cigarettes during early life stages
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Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), battery-powered devices containing nicotine, glycerin, propylene glycol, flavorings, and other substances, are increasing in popularity. They pose a potential threat to the developing brain, as nicotine is a known neurotoxicant. We hypothesized that exposure to e-cigarettes during early life stages induce changes in central nervous system (CNS) transcriptome associated with adverse neurobiological outcomes and long-term disease states. To test the hypothesis, pregnant C57BL/6 mice were exposed daily (via whole body inhalation) throughout gestation (3 h/day; 5 days/week) to aerosols produced from e-cigarettes either with nicotine (13–16 mg/mL) or without nicotine; following birth, pups and dams were exposed together to e-cigarette aerosols throughout lactation beginning at postnatal day (PND) 4–6 and using the same exposure conditions employed during gestational exposure. Following exposure, frontal cortex recovered from ~one-month-old male and female offspring were excised and analyzed for gene expression by RNA Sequencing (RNA-Seq). Comparisons between the treatment groups revealed that e-cigarette constituents other than nicotine might be partly responsible for the observed biological effects. Transcriptome alterations in both offspring sexes and treatment groups were all significantly associated with downstream adverse neurobiological outcomes. Results from this study demonstrate that e-cigarette exposure during early life alters CNS development potentially leading to chronic neuropathology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Which Environmental Factors Have the Highest Impact on the Performance of People Experiencing Difficulties in Capacity?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040416
Received: 11 February 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 7 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Disability is understood by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the outcome of the interaction between a health condition and personal and environmental factors. Comprehensive data about environmental factors is therefore essential to understand and influence disability. We aimed to identify which environmental
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Disability is understood by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the outcome of the interaction between a health condition and personal and environmental factors. Comprehensive data about environmental factors is therefore essential to understand and influence disability. We aimed to identify which environmental factors have the highest impact on the performance of people with mild, moderate and severe difficulties in capacity, who are at risk of experiencing disability to different extents, using data from a pilot study of the WHO Model Disability Survey in Cambodia and random forest regression. Hindering or facilitating aspects of places to socialize in community activities, transportation and natural environment as well as use and need of personal assistance and use of medication on a regular basis were the most important environmental factors across groups. Hindering or facilitating aspects of the general environment were the most relevant in persons experiencing mild levels of difficulties in capacity, while social support, attitudes of others and use of medication on a regular basis were highly relevant for the performance of persons experiencing moderate to higher levels of difficulties in capacity. Additionally, we corroborate the high importance of the use and need of assistive devices for people with severe difficulties in capacity. Full article
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Open AccessReview Antibacterial Applications of Nanodiamonds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 413; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13040413
Received: 23 December 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (3338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bacterial infectious diseases, sharing clinical characteristics such as chronic inflammation and tissue damage, pose a major threat to human health. The steady increase of multidrug-resistant bacteria infections adds up to the current problems modern healthcare is facing. The treatment of bacterial infections with
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Bacterial infectious diseases, sharing clinical characteristics such as chronic inflammation and tissue damage, pose a major threat to human health. The steady increase of multidrug-resistant bacteria infections adds up to the current problems modern healthcare is facing. The treatment of bacterial infections with multi-resistant germs is very difficult, as the development of new antimicrobial drugs is hardly catching up with the development of antibiotic resistant pathogens. These and other considerations have generated an increased interest in the development of viable alternatives to antibiotics. A promising strategy is the use of nanomaterials with antibacterial character and of nanostructures displaying anti-adhesive activity against biofilms. Glycan-modified nanodiamonds (NDs) revealed themselves to be of great promise as useful nanostructures for combating microbial infections. This review summarizes the current efforts in the synthesis of glycan-modified ND particles and evaluation of their antibacterial and anti-biofilm activities. Full article
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