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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 3 (March 2017)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) There has been little examination of the effects that pets may have on the development of youths. [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Occupational Respiratory Diseases of Miners from Two Gold Mines in Ghana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030337
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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Abstract
Objective: This study investigated respiratory disorders among gold miners in Ghana, a sub-Saharan African country. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional exploratory design that employed quantitative methods was conducted among 1001 male workers from the Obuasi and Tarkwa mines from December 2015
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Objective: This study investigated respiratory disorders among gold miners in Ghana, a sub-Saharan African country. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional exploratory design that employed quantitative methods was conducted among 1001 male workers from the Obuasi and Tarkwa mines from December 2015 to April 2016. A total of 1001 workers, consisting of 505 and 496 underground and surface miners, respectively, were involved. The cross-sectional descriptive design was used because data was collected from participants of different experiences by selected participants at a time. Results: The study found significant association between age, educational background, marital status and drinking alcohol on respiratory disorders. The prevalence of asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and emphysema were respectively 47.55%, 14.29%, 9.69% and 5.10%. Coughing was the most cited respiratory symptom (35.4%). Conclusions: The study documents important evidence on the level of respiratory disorders among miners in Ghana. Instituting appropriate health education interventions and improving the working environment is critical to improving the overall health and preventing respiratory disorders among miners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
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Open AccessArticle Impacts from Land Use Pattern on Spatial Distribution of Cultivated Soil Heavy Metal Pollution in Typical Rural-Urban Fringe of Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 336; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030336
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2355 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Under rapid urban sprawl in Northeast China, land conversions are not only encroaching on the quantity of cultivated lands, but also posing a great threat to black soil conservation and food security. This study’s aim is to explore the spatial relationship between comprehensive
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Under rapid urban sprawl in Northeast China, land conversions are not only encroaching on the quantity of cultivated lands, but also posing a great threat to black soil conservation and food security. This study’s aim is to explore the spatial relationship between comprehensive cultivated soil heavy metal pollution and peri-urban land use patterns in the black soil region. We applied spatial lag regression to analyze the relationship between PLI (pollution load index) and influencing factors of land use by taking suburban cultivated land of Changchun Kuancheng District as an empirical case. The results indicate the following: (1) Similar spatial distribution characteristics are detected between Pb, Cu, and Zn, between Cr and Ni, and between Hg and Cd. The Yitong River catchment in the central region, and the residential community of Lanjia County in the west, are the main hotspots for eight heavy metals and PLI. Beihu Wetland Park, with a larger-area distribution of ecological land in the southeast, has low level for both heavy metal concentrations and PLI values. Spatial distribution characteristics of cultivated heavy metals are related to types of surrounding land use and industry; (2) Spatial lag regression has a better fit for PLI than the ordinary least squares regression. The regression results indicate the inverse relationship between heavy metal pollution degree and distance from long-standing residential land and surface water. Following rapid urban land expansion and a longer accumulation period, residential land sprawl is going to threaten cultivated land with heavy metal pollution in the suburban black soil region, and cultivated land irrigated with urban river water in the suburbs will have a higher tendency for heavy metal pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals: Environmental and Human Health)
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Open AccessReview Reducing Risk of Salmonellosis through Egg Decontamination Processes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030335
Received: 13 December 2016 / Revised: 16 March 2017 / Accepted: 20 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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Abstract
Eggs have a high nutritional value and are an important ingredient in many food products. Worldwide foodborne illnesses, such as salmonellosis linked to the consumption of eggs and raw egg products, are a major public health concern. This review focuses on previous studies
[...] Read more.
Eggs have a high nutritional value and are an important ingredient in many food products. Worldwide foodborne illnesses, such as salmonellosis linked to the consumption of eggs and raw egg products, are a major public health concern. This review focuses on previous studies that have investigated the procedures for the production of microbiologically safe eggs. Studies exploring pasteurization and decontamination methods were investigated. Gamma irradiation, freeze drying, hot air, hot water, infra-red, atmospheric steam, microwave heating and radiofrequency heating are all different decontamination methods currently considered for the production of microbiologically safe eggs. However, each decontamination procedure has different effects on the properties and constituents of the egg. The pasteurization processes are the most widely used and best understood; however, they influence the coagulation, foaming and emulsifying properties of the egg. Future studies are needed to explore combinations of different decontamination methods to produce safe eggs without impacting the protein structure and usability. Currently, eggs which have undergone decontamination processes are primarily used in food prepared for vulnerable populations. However, the development of a decontamination method that does not affect egg properties and functionality could be used in food prepared for the general population to provide greater public health protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessReview Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Endometrial Cancer: An Overview of Recent Laboratory Evidence and Epidemiological Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 334; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030334
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (364 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Although exposure to endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) has been suggested as a contributing factor to a range of women’s health disorders including infertility, polycystic ovaries and the early onset of puberty, considerable challenges remain in attributing cause and effect on gynaecological
[...] Read more.
Background: Although exposure to endocrine disruptor compounds (EDCs) has been suggested as a contributing factor to a range of women’s health disorders including infertility, polycystic ovaries and the early onset of puberty, considerable challenges remain in attributing cause and effect on gynaecological cancer. Until recently, there were relatively few epidemiological studies examining the relationship between EDCs and endometrial cancer, however, in the last years the number of these studies has increased. Methods: A systematic MEDLINE (PubMed) search was performed and relevant articles published in the last 23 years (from 1992 to 2016) were selected. Results: Human studies and animal experiments are confirming a carcinogenic effect due to the EDC exposure and its carcinogenesis process result to be complex, multifactorial and long standing, thus, it is extremely difficult to obtain the epidemiological proof of a carcinogenic effect of EDCs for the high number of confusing factors. Conclusions: The carcinogenic effects of endocrine disruptors are plausible, although additional studies are needed to clarify their mechanisms and responsible entities. Neverthless, to reduce endocrine disruptors (ED) exposure is mandatory to implement necessary measures to limit exposure, particularly during those periods of life most vulnerable to the impact of oncogenic environmental causes, such as embryonic period and puberty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle Physical Limitations, Walkability, Perceived Environmental Facilitators and Physical Activity of Older Adults in Finland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030333
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (320 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim was to study objectively assessed walkability of the environment and participant perceived environmental facilitators for outdoor mobility as predictors of physical activity in older adults with and without physical limitations. 75–90-year-old adults living independently in Central Finland were interviewed (n
[...] Read more.
The aim was to study objectively assessed walkability of the environment and participant perceived environmental facilitators for outdoor mobility as predictors of physical activity in older adults with and without physical limitations. 75–90-year-old adults living independently in Central Finland were interviewed (n = 839) and reassessed for self-reported physical activity one or two years later (n = 787). Lower-extremity physical limitations were defined as Short Physical Performance Battery score ≤9. Number of perceived environmental facilitators was calculated from a 16-item checklist. Walkability index (land use mix, street connectivity, population density) of the home environment was calculated from geographic information and categorized into tertiles. Accelerometer-based step counts were registered for one week (n = 174). Better walkability was associated with higher numbers of perceived environmental facilitators (p < 0.001) and higher physical activity (self-reported p = 0.021, step count p = 0.010). Especially among those with physical limitations, reporting more environmental facilitators was associated with higher odds for reporting at least moderate physical activity (p < 0.001), but not step counts. Perceived environmental facilitators only predicted self-reported physical activity at follow-up. To conclude, high walkability of the living environment provides opportunities for physical activity in old age, but among those with physical limitations especially, awareness of environmental facilitators may be needed to promote physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
Open AccessArticle A Pilot Study to Examine Exposure to Residential Radon in Under-Sampled Census Tracts of DeKalb County, Georgia, in 2015
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030332
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 18 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2339 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
While DeKalb County, Georgia, offers free radon screening for all eligible residents, portions of the county remain relatively under-sampled. This pilot study focused on 10% of the census tracts in the county with the lowest proportion of radon testing; most were in southern
[...] Read more.
While DeKalb County, Georgia, offers free radon screening for all eligible residents, portions of the county remain relatively under-sampled. This pilot study focused on 10% of the census tracts in the county with the lowest proportion of radon testing; most were in southern DeKalb County. In total, 217 households were recruited and homes were tested for indoor radon concentrations on the lowest livable floor over an eight-week period from March–May 2015. Tract-level characteristics were examined to understand the differences in socio-demographic and economic factors between the pilot study area and the rest of the county. The pilot study tracts had a higher proportion of African Americans compared to the rest of DeKalb County (82% versus 47%). Radon was detected above 11.1 Bq/m3 (0.3 pCi/L) in 73% of the indoor samples and 4% of samples were above 148 Bq/m3 (4 pCi/L). Having a basement was the strongest predictive factor for detectable and hazardous levels of radon. Radon screening can identify problems and spur homeowners to remediate but more research should be done to identify why screening rates vary across the county and how that varies with radon levels in homes to reduce radon exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Adverse Childhood Experiences, Commitment Offense, and Race/Ethnicity: Are the Effects Crime-, Race-, and Ethnicity-Specific?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030331
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adverse childhood experiences are associated with an array of health, psychiatric, and behavioral problems including antisocial behavior. Criminologists have recently utilized adverse childhood experiences as an organizing research framework and shown that adverse childhood experiences are associated with delinquency, violence, and more chronic/severe
[...] Read more.
Adverse childhood experiences are associated with an array of health, psychiatric, and behavioral problems including antisocial behavior. Criminologists have recently utilized adverse childhood experiences as an organizing research framework and shown that adverse childhood experiences are associated with delinquency, violence, and more chronic/severe criminal careers. However, much less is known about adverse childhood experiences vis-à-vis specific forms of crime and whether the effects vary across race and ethnicity. Using a sample of 2520 male confined juvenile delinquents, the current study used epidemiological tables of odds (both unadjusted and adjusted for onset, total adjudications, and total out of home placements) to evaluate the significance of the number of adverse childhood experiences on commitment for homicide, sexual assault, and serious persons/property offending. The effects of adverse childhood experiences vary considerably across racial and ethnic groups and across offense types. Adverse childhood experiences are strongly and positively associated with sexual offending, but negatively associated with homicide and serious person/property offending. Differential effects of adverse childhood experiences were also seen among African Americans, Hispanics, and whites. Suggestions for future research to clarify the mechanisms by which adverse childhood experiences manifest in specific forms of criminal behavior are offered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Psychology and Crime)
Open AccessArticle Variation in Older Adult Characteristics by Residence Type and Use of Home- and Community-Based Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030330
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (305 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: The majority of older adults prefer to remain in their homes, or to “age-in-place.” To accomplish this goal, many older adults will rely upon home- and community-based services (HCBS) for support. However, the availability and accessibility of HCBS may differ based on
[...] Read more.
Background: The majority of older adults prefer to remain in their homes, or to “age-in-place.” To accomplish this goal, many older adults will rely upon home- and community-based services (HCBS) for support. However, the availability and accessibility of HCBS may differ based on whether the older adult lives in the community or in a senior housing apartment facility. Methods: This paper reports findings from the Pathways to Life Quality study of residential change and stability among seniors in upstate New York. Data were analyzed from 663 older adults living in one of three housing types: service-rich facilities, service-poor facilities, and community-dwelling in single-family homes. A multinomial logistic regression model was used to examine factors associated with residence type. A linear regression model was fitted to examine factors associated with HCBS utilization. Results: When compared to community-dwelling older adults, those residing in service-rich and service-poor facilities were more likely to be older, report more activity limitations, and provide less instrumental assistance to others. Those in service-poor facilities were more likely to have poorer mental health and lower perceived purpose in life. The three leading HCBS utilized were senior centers (20%), homemaker services (19%), and transportation services (18%). More HCBS utilization was associated with participants who resided in service-poor housing, were older, were female, and had more activity limitations. More HCBS utilization was also associated with those who received instrumental support, had higher perceived purpose in life, and poorer mental health. Conclusions: Findings suggest that older adults’ residential environment is associated with their health status and HCBS utilization. Building upon the Person–Environment Fit theories, dedicated efforts are needed to introduce and expand upon existing HCBS available to facility residents to address physical and mental health needs as well as facilitate aging-in-place. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Efficacy and Safety Evaluation of a Chlorine Dioxide Solution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030329
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2531 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, a chlorine dioxide solution (UC-1) composed of chlorine dioxide was produced using an electrolytic method and subsequently purified using a membrane. UC-1 was determined to contain 2000 ppm of gaseous chlorine dioxide in water. The efficacy and safety of UC-1
[...] Read more.
In this study, a chlorine dioxide solution (UC-1) composed of chlorine dioxide was produced using an electrolytic method and subsequently purified using a membrane. UC-1 was determined to contain 2000 ppm of gaseous chlorine dioxide in water. The efficacy and safety of UC-1 were evaluated. The antimicrobial activity was more than 98.2% reduction when UC-1 concentrations were 5 and 20 ppm for bacteria and fungi, respectively. The half maximal inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of H1N1, influenza virus B/TW/71718/04, and EV71 were 84.65 ± 0.64, 95.91 ± 11.61, and 46.39 ± 1.97 ppm, respectively. A 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test revealed that the cell viability of mouse lung fibroblast L929 cells was 93.7% at a 200 ppm UC-1 concentration that is over that anticipated in routine use. Moreover, 50 ppm UC-1 showed no significant symptoms in a rabbit ocular irritation test. In an inhalation toxicity test, treatment with 20 ppm UC-1 for 24 h showed no abnormality and no mortality in clinical symptoms and normal functioning of the lung and other organs. A ClO2 concentration of up to 40 ppm in drinking water did not show any toxicity in a subchronic oral toxicity test. Herein, UC-1 showed favorable disinfection activity and a higher safety profile tendency than in previous reports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Malocclusion in 3- to 5-Year-Old Children in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 328; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030328
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (680 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to obtain the prevalence of malocclusions in preschool children in Shanghai, China. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2335 children aged 3–5 years from kindergartens. Several occlusal parameters were clinically assessed, including second deciduous molar terminal
[...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to obtain the prevalence of malocclusions in preschool children in Shanghai, China. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 2335 children aged 3–5 years from kindergartens. Several occlusal parameters were clinically assessed, including second deciduous molar terminal plane, canine relationship, degree of overjet and overbite, anterior and posterior crossbite, and the presence or absence of physiologic spaces and crowding. All parents of subjects were asked to fill in the oral health knowledge questionnaires. The prevalence of malocclusion in primary dentition in Shanghai was 83.9%, and no significant differences were found in genders. Data showed that the prevalence of deep overbite (63.7%) was the highest in children with malocclusion, followed by deep overjet (33.9%), midline deviation (26.6%), anterior crossbite (8.0%) and anterior crowding (6.5%). The results revealed a high prevalence of malocclusion in primary dentition in children aged 3–5 years old of Shanghai, especially in vertical anomalies. The need for preventive orthodontic therapy is extremely desired and oral health education about malocclusion should be strengthened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology and Determinants of Dental Caries in Children)
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Open AccessArticle Is Accessibility to Dental Care Facilities in Rural Areas Associated with Number of Teeth in Elderly Residents?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030327
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (255 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Given that public transportation networks are less developed in rural than in urban areas, a lack of accessibility to dental care facilities could be a barrier to routine dental checkups. Thus, we hypothesized that the distance to the dental care facilities is a
[...] Read more.
Given that public transportation networks are less developed in rural than in urban areas, a lack of accessibility to dental care facilities could be a barrier to routine dental checkups. Thus, we hypothesized that the distance to the dental care facilities is a risk factor for tooth loss. The aim of this study was to test whether there is an association between the distance to dental care facilities, estimated by geographic information systems, and number of teeth, assessed by an oral examination, among elderly residents of a rural area in Japan. Data were collected in 2016 from a cross-sectional study conducted in Shimane prefecture, Japan. After excluding participants with missing data (n = 21), we analyzed data from 710 participants. Of them, 40.6% were male and the mean (standard deviation) age was 67.4 (7.4) years. Further, 68.0% (n = 483) had at least 20 teeth. We found that the distance to dental care facilities was significantly associated with the number of teeth (less than 20) (odds ratio = 1.07, 95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.12) after adjustment for potential confounders. This result suggested that individuals without easy access to dental care facilities may be important targets for dental care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessArticle The Development of Psychiatric Services Providing an Alternative to Full-Time Hospitalization Is Associated with Shorter Length of Stay in French Public Psychiatry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 325; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030325
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 3 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
International recommendations for mental health care have advocated for a reduction in the length of stay (LOS) in full-time hospitalization and the development of alternatives to full-time hospitalizations (AFTH) could facilitate alignment with those recommendations. Our objective was therefore to assess whether the
[...] Read more.
International recommendations for mental health care have advocated for a reduction in the length of stay (LOS) in full-time hospitalization and the development of alternatives to full-time hospitalizations (AFTH) could facilitate alignment with those recommendations. Our objective was therefore to assess whether the development of AFTH in French psychiatric sectors was associated with a reduction in the LOS in full-time hospitalization. Using data from the French national discharge database of psychiatric care, we computed the LOS of patients admitted for full-time hospitalization. The level of development of AFTH was estimated by the share of human resources allocated to those alternatives in the hospital enrolling the staff of each sector. Multi-level modelling was carried out to adjust the analysis on other factors potentially associated with the LOS (patients’, psychiatric sectors’ and environmental characteristics). We observed considerable variations in the LOS between sectors. Although the majority of these variations resulted from patients’ characteristics, a significant negative association was found between the LOS and the development of AFTH, after adjusting for other factors. Our results provide first evidence of the impact of the development of AFTH on mental health care and will provide a lever for policy makers to further develop these alternatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Public Preferences for the Use of Taxation and Labelling Policy Measures to Combat Obesity in Young Children in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030324
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (950 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Objective: Childhood obesity is a serious concern for developed and developing countries. This study aimed to assess the level of support in Australia for regulation and to assess whether systematic differences occur between individuals who support increased regulation and individuals who oppose
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Objective: Childhood obesity is a serious concern for developed and developing countries. This study aimed to assess the level of support in Australia for regulation and to assess whether systematic differences occur between individuals who support increased regulation and individuals who oppose it. Methods: An online survey (n = 563) was used to assess parental/caregiver preferences for taxation policy options and nutrition labelling designed to address the incidence of childhood obesity. Participants were parents or caregivers of young children (3 to 7 years) who were actively enrolled in an existing birth cohort study in South-East Queensland, Australia. Results: The majority of the parents (over 80%) strongly agreed or agreed with labelling food and drink with traffic light or teaspoon labelling. Support for taxation was more variable with around one third strongly supporting and a further 40% of participants equivocal about using taxation; however, a quarter strongly rejected this policy. Cluster analysis did not detect any socio-demographic differences between those who strongly supported taxation and those who did not. Conclusions: Better food labelling would be welcomed by parents to enhance food choices for their children. Taxation for health reasons would not be opposed by most parents. Implications for Public Health: Governments should consider taxation of unhealthy drinks and improved labelling to encourage healthy food purchasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity 2016)
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Open AccessArticle An Eco-Safety Assessment of Glyoxal-Containing Cellulose Ether on Freeze-Dried Microbial Strain, Cyanobacteria, Daphnia, and Zebrafish
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030323
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate the aquatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether with four different glyoxal concentrations (0%, 1.4%, 2.3%, and 6.3%) in response to global chemical regulations, e.g., European Union Classification, Labeling and Packaging (EU CLP). Toxicity tests of
[...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate the aquatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether with four different glyoxal concentrations (0%, 1.4%, 2.3%, and 6.3%) in response to global chemical regulations, e.g., European Union Classification, Labeling and Packaging (EU CLP). Toxicity tests of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether on 11 different microbial strains, Microcystis aeruginosa, Daphnia magna, and zebrafish embryos were designed as an initial stage of toxicity screening and performed in accordance with standardized toxicity test guidelines. Glyoxal-containing cellulose ether showed no significant toxic effects in the toxicity tests of the 11 freeze-dried microbial strains, Daphnia magna, and zebrafish embryos. Alternatively, 6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether led to a more than 60% reduction in Microcystis aeruginosa growth after 7 days of exposure. Approximately 10% of the developmental abnormalities (e.g., bent spine) in zebrafish embryos were also observed in the group exposed to 6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether after 6 days of exposure. These results show that 6.3% less glyoxal-containing cellulose ether has no acute toxic effects on aquatic organisms. However, 6.3% less glyoxal-containing cellulose ether may affect the health of aquatic organisms with long-term exposure. In order to better evaluate the eco-safety of cellulosic products containing glyoxal, further studies regarding the toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether with long-term exposure are required. The results from this study allow us to evaluate the aquatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulosic products, under EU chemical regulations, on the health of aquatic organisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Transportation Noise and Noise Sensitivity on Annoyance: A Cross-Sectional Study in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 322; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030322
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Environmental noise is known to cause noise annoyance. Since noise annoyance is a subjective indicator, other mediators—such as noise sensitivity—may influence its perception. However, few studies have thus far been conducted on noise annoyance in South Korea that consider noise sensitivity and noise
[...] Read more.
Environmental noise is known to cause noise annoyance. Since noise annoyance is a subjective indicator, other mediators—such as noise sensitivity—may influence its perception. However, few studies have thus far been conducted on noise annoyance in South Korea that consider noise sensitivity and noise level simultaneously. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlations between noise sensitivity or noise level and noise annoyance on a large scale in South Korea. This study estimated the level of noise exposure based on a noise map created in 2014; identified and surveyed 1836 subjects using a questionnaire; and assessed the impact of transportation noise and noise sensitivity on noise annoyance. The result showed that noise exposure level and noise sensitivity simultaneously affect noise annoyance, and noise sensitivity has a relatively larger impact on noise annoyance. In conclusion, when study subjects were exposed to a similar level of noise, the level of noise annoyance differed depending on the noise sensitivity of the individual. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment)
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Open AccessReview Effects of Forest Therapy on Depressive Symptoms among Adults: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 321; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030321
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study systematically reviewed forest therapy programs designed to decrease the level of depression among adults and assessed the methodological rigor and scientific evidence quality of existing research studies to guide future studies. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred
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This study systematically reviewed forest therapy programs designed to decrease the level of depression among adults and assessed the methodological rigor and scientific evidence quality of existing research studies to guide future studies. This systematic review was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The authors independently screened full-text articles from various databases using the following criteria: (1) intervention studies assessing the effects of forest therapy on depressive symptoms in adults aged 18 years and older; (2) studies including at least one control group or condition; (3) peer-reviewed studies; and (4) been published either in English or Korean before July 2016. The Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network measurement tool was used to assess the risk of bias in each trial. In the final sample, 28 articles (English: 13, Korean: 15) were included in the systematic review. We concluded that forest therapy is an emerging and effective intervention for decreasing adults’ depression levels. However, the included studies lacked methodological rigor. Future studies assessing the long-term effect of forest therapy on depression using rigorous study designs are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Abundance of Pathogenic Escherichia coli Virulence-Associated Genes in Well and Borehole Water Used for Domestic Purposes in a Peri-Urban Community of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030320
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In the absence of pipe-borne water, many people in Africa, especially in rural communities, depend on alternative water sources such as wells, boreholes and rivers for household and personal hygiene. Poor maintenance and nearby pit latrines, however, lead to microbial pollution of these
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In the absence of pipe-borne water, many people in Africa, especially in rural communities, depend on alternative water sources such as wells, boreholes and rivers for household and personal hygiene. Poor maintenance and nearby pit latrines, however, lead to microbial pollution of these sources. We evaluated the abundance of Escherichia coli and the prevalence of pathogenic E. coli virulence genes in water from wells, boreholes and a river in a South African peri-urban community. Monthly samples were collected between August 2015 and November 2016. In all, 144 water samples were analysed for E. coli using the Colilert 18 system. Virulence genes (eagg, eaeA, stx1, stx2, flichH7, ST, ipaH, ibeA) were investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Mean E. coli counts ranged between 0 and 443.1 Most Probable Number (MPN)/100 mL of water sample. Overall, 99.3% of samples were positive for at least one virulence gene studied, with flicH7 being the most detected gene (81/140; 57.6%) and the stx2 gene the least detected gene (8/140; 5.7%). Both intestinal and extraintestinal pathogenic E. coli genes were detected. The detection of virulence genes in these water sources suggests the presence of potentially pathogenic E. coli strains and is a public health concern. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Enterovirus 71 Neutralizing Antibodies Seroepidemiological Research among Children in Guangzhou, China between 2014 and 2015: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030319
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
A hand-foot-mouth disease outbreak occurred in 2014 around Guangdong. The purpose of this study was investigating the status and susceptibility of infectious neutralizing antibodies to enterovirus 71 among children so as to provide scientific evidence for the population immunity level of hand-foot-mouth disease
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A hand-foot-mouth disease outbreak occurred in 2014 around Guangdong. The purpose of this study was investigating the status and susceptibility of infectious neutralizing antibodies to enterovirus 71 among children so as to provide scientific evidence for the population immunity level of hand-foot-mouth disease and prepare for enterovirus 71 vaccination implementation. Serum specimens were collected from children in communities from January 2014 to March 2015 in Guangzhou. A total of 197 serum samples from children 1–5 years old were collected for this cross-sectional study via non-probabilistic sampling from the database of Chinese National Science and Technique Major Project. Neutralization activity was measured via micro neutralization test in vitro. The positive rate of enterovirus 71 neutralizing antibodies was 59.4%, whereas the geometric mean titre was 1:12.7. A statistically significant difference in true positive rates was found between different age groups but not between different genders. Being the most susceptible population of hand–foot–mouth disease, children under 3 years of age are more likely to be infected with enterovirus 71, and the immunity of children increases with increasing age. Further cohort studies should be conducted, and measures for prevention and vaccination should be taken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring Impacts of Taxes and Hospitality Bans on Cigarette Prices and Smoking Prevalence Using a Large Dataset of Cigarette Prices at Stores 2001–2011, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 318; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030318
Received: 5 December 2016 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
In the USA, little is known about local variation in retail cigarette prices; price variation explained by taxes, bans, and area-level socio-demographics, and whether taxes and hospitality bans have synergistic effects on smoking prevalence. Cigarette prices 2001–2011 from chain supermarkets and drug stores
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In the USA, little is known about local variation in retail cigarette prices; price variation explained by taxes, bans, and area-level socio-demographics, and whether taxes and hospitality bans have synergistic effects on smoking prevalence. Cigarette prices 2001–2011 from chain supermarkets and drug stores (n = 2973) were linked to state taxes (n = 41), state and county bar/restaurant smoking bans, and census block group socio-demographics. Hierarchical models explored effects of taxes and bans on retail cigarette prices as well as county smoking prevalence (daily, non-daily). There was wide variation in store-level cigarette prices in part due to differences in state excise taxes. Excise taxes were only partially passed onto consumers (after adjustment, $1 tax associated with $0.90 increase in price, p < 0.0001) and the pass-through was slightly higher in areas that had bans but did not differ by area-level socio-demographics. Bans were associated with a slight increase in cigarette price (after adjustment, $0.09 per-pack, p < 0.0001). Taxes and bans were associated with reduction in smoking prevalence and taxes had a stronger association when combined with bans, suggesting a synergistic effect. Given wide variation in store-level prices, and uneven state/county implementation of taxes and bans, more federal policies should be considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
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Open AccessArticle Associations among Substance Use, Mental Health Disorders, and Self-Harm in a Prison Population: Examining Group Risk for Suicide Attempt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030317
Received: 14 January 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
Substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health disorders are significant public health issues that co-occur and are associated with high risk for suicide attempts. SUD and mental health disorders are more prevalent among offenders (i.e., prisoners or inmates) than the non-imprisoned population, raising
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Substance use disorders (SUD) and mental health disorders are significant public health issues that co-occur and are associated with high risk for suicide attempts. SUD and mental health disorders are more prevalent among offenders (i.e., prisoners or inmates) than the non-imprisoned population, raising concerns about the risk of self-harm. This cross-sectional study examined the population of a state prison system (10,988 out of 13,079) to identify associations among SUD (alcohol, cannabis, intravenous drugs, narcotics, and tobacco smoking), mental health disorders (anxiety, bipolar, depression, and psychotic disorders), and suicide attempts. The primary aim was to determine which groups (SUD, mental health disorders, and co-occurrences) were strongly association with suicide attempts. Groups with a documented SUD or mental health disorders compared to peers without these issues had 2.0 and 9.2 greater odds, respectively, for attempting suicide, which was significant at p < 0.0001 for both conditions. There were also significant differences within SUD and mental health disorders groups in regard to suicide attempts. Groups with the greatest odds for suicide attempts were offenders with comorbid bipolar comorbid and anxiety, alcohol combined with depression, and cannabis co-occurring with depression. Documentation of suicide attempts during imprisonment indicates awareness, but also suggest a need to continue enhancing screening and evaluating environmental settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Open AccessArticle Risk of Suicide and Dysfunctional Patterns of Personality among Bereaved Substance Users
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 316; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030316
Received: 3 February 2017 / Revised: 12 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: Research has shown that suicide is a phenomenon highly present among the drug dependent population. Different studies have demonstrated an upraised level of comorbidity between personality disorders (PD) and substance use disorders (SUD). This study aimed to describe which PDs are
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Background: Research has shown that suicide is a phenomenon highly present among the drug dependent population. Different studies have demonstrated an upraised level of comorbidity between personality disorders (PD) and substance use disorders (SUD). This study aimed to describe which PDs are more frequent among those patients with a risk of suicide. Methods: The study was based on a consecutive non-probabilistic convenience sample of 196 bereaved patients attended to in a Public Addiction Center in Girona (Spain). Sociodemographic data, as well as suicide and drug related characteristics were recorded. The risk of suicide was assessed with the Spanish version of “Risk of suicide”. Personality disorders were measured with the Spanish version of Millon Multiaxial Clinical Inventory. Results: The PDs more associated with the presence of risk of suicide were depressive, avoidant, schizotypal and borderline disorders. However, the histrionic, narcissistic and compulsive PDs are inversely associated with risk of suicide even though the narcissistic scale had no statistical correlation. Conclusions: The risk of suicide is a significant factor to take into account related to patients with SUD and especially with the presence of specific PDs. These findings underline the importance of diagnosing and treating rigorously patients with SUD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Open AccessArticle Monitoring of Selected Health Indicators in Children Living in a Copper Mine Development Area in Northwestern Zambia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030315
Received: 6 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 19 March 2017
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Abstract
The epidemiology of malaria, anaemia and malnutrition in children is potentially altered in mining development areas. In a copper extraction project in northwestern Zambia, a health impact assessment (HIA) was commissioned to predict, manage and monitor health impacts. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted:
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The epidemiology of malaria, anaemia and malnutrition in children is potentially altered in mining development areas. In a copper extraction project in northwestern Zambia, a health impact assessment (HIA) was commissioned to predict, manage and monitor health impacts. Two cross-sectional surveys were conducted: at baseline prior to project development (2011) and at four years into development (2015). Prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum, anaemia and stunting were assessed in under-five-year-old children, while hookworm infection was assessed in children aged 9–14 years in communities impacted and comparison communities not impacted by the project. P. falciparum prevalence was significantly higher in 2015 compared to 2011 in both impacted and comparison communities (odds ratio (OR) = 2.51 and OR = 6.97, respectively). Stunting was significantly lower in 2015 in impacted communities only (OR = 0.63). Anaemia was slightly lower in 2015 compared to baseline in both impacted and comparison communities. Resettlement due to the project and migration background (i.e., moving into the area within the past five years) were generally associated with better health outcomes in 2015. We conclude that repeated cross-sectional surveys to monitor health in communities impacted by projects should become an integral part of HIA to deepen the understanding of changing patterns of health and support implementation of setting-specific public health measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
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Open AccessArticle Health and Wellbeing of Occupants in Highly Energy Efficient Buildings: A Field Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 314; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030314
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 19 March 2017
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Abstract
Passive houses and other highly energy-efficient buildings need mechanical ventilation. However, ventilation systems in such houses are regarded with a certain degree of skepticism by parts of the public due to alleged negative health effects. Within a quasi-experimental field study, we investigated if
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Passive houses and other highly energy-efficient buildings need mechanical ventilation. However, ventilation systems in such houses are regarded with a certain degree of skepticism by parts of the public due to alleged negative health effects. Within a quasi-experimental field study, we investigated if occupants of two types of buildings (mechanical vs. natural ventilation) experience different health, wellbeing and housing satisfaction outcomes and if associations with indoor air quality exist. We investigated 123 modern homes (test group: with mechanical ventilation; control group: naturally ventilated) built in the years 2010 to 2012 in the same geographic area and price range. Interviews of occupants based on standardized questionnaires and measurements of indoor air quality parameters were conducted twice (three months after moving in and one year later). In total, 575 interviews were performed (respondents’ mean age 37.9 ± 9 years in the test group, 37.7 ± 9 years in the control group). Occupants of the test group rated their overall health status and that of their children not significantly higher than occupants of the control group at both time points. Adult occupants of the test group reported dry eyes statistically significantly more frequently compared to the control group (19.4% vs. 12.5%). Inhabitants of energy-efficient, mechanically ventilated homes rated the quality of indoor air and climate significantly higher. Self-reported health improved more frequently in the mechanically ventilated new homes (p = 0.005). Almost no other significant differences between housing types and measuring time points were observed concerning health and wellbeing or housing satisfaction. Associations between vegetative symptoms (dizziness, nausea, headaches) and formaldehyde concentrations as well as between CO2 levels and perceived stale air were observed. However, both associations were independent of the type of ventilation. In summary, occupants of the mechanically ventilated homes rated their health status slightly higher and their health improved significantly more frequently than in occupants of the control group. As humidity in homes with mechanical ventilation was lower, it seems plausible that the inhabitants reported dry eyes more frequently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Quality and Health 2016)
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Open AccessArticle Mosquito Traps: An Innovative, Environmentally Friendly Technique to Control Mosquitoes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 313; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030313
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 18 March 2017
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Abstract
We tested the use of mosquito traps as an alternative to spraying insecticide in Camargue (France) following the significant impacts observed on the non-target fauna through Bti persistence and trophic perturbations. In a village of 600 inhabitants, 16 Techno Bam traps emitting CO
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We tested the use of mosquito traps as an alternative to spraying insecticide in Camargue (France) following the significant impacts observed on the non-target fauna through Bti persistence and trophic perturbations. In a village of 600 inhabitants, 16 Techno Bam traps emitting CO2 and using octenol lures were set from April to November 2016. Trap performance was estimated at 70% overall based on mosquitoes landing on human bait in areas with and without traps. The reduction of Ochlerotatus caspius and Oc. detritus, the two species targeted by Bti spraying, was, respectively, 74% and 98%. Traps were less efficient against Anopheles hyrcanus (46%), which was more attracted by lactic acid than octenol lures based on previous tests. Nearly 300,000 mosquitoes from nine species were captured, with large variations among traps, emphasizing that trap performance is also influenced by surrounding factors. Environmental impact, based on the proportion of non-target insects captured, was mostly limited to small chironomids attracted by street lights. The breeding success of a house martin colony was not significantly affected by trap use, in contrast to Bti spraying. Our experiment confirms that the deployment of mosquito traps can offer a cost-effective alternative to Bti spraying for protecting local populations from mosquito nuisance in sensitive natural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito Control Innovations into The 21st Century)
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Open AccessReview Traffic-Related Air Pollution and Childhood Asthma: Recent Advances and Remaining Gaps in the Exposure Assessment Methods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 312; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030312
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: Current levels of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) are associated with the development of childhood asthma, although some inconsistencies and heterogeneity remain. An important part of the uncertainty in studies of TRAP-associated asthma originates from uncertainties in the TRAP exposure assessment and
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Background: Current levels of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) are associated with the development of childhood asthma, although some inconsistencies and heterogeneity remain. An important part of the uncertainty in studies of TRAP-associated asthma originates from uncertainties in the TRAP exposure assessment and assignment methods. In this work, we aim to systematically review the exposure assessment methods used in the epidemiology of TRAP and childhood asthma, highlight recent advances, remaining research gaps and make suggestions for further research. Methods: We systematically reviewed epidemiological studies published up until 8 September 2016 and available in Embase, Ovid MEDLINE (R), and “Transport database”. We included studies which examined the association between children’s exposure to TRAP metrics and their risk of “asthma” incidence or lifetime prevalence, from birth to the age of 18 years old. Results: We found 42 studies which examined the associations between TRAP and subsequent childhood asthma incidence or lifetime prevalence, published since 1999. Land-use regression modelling was the most commonly used method and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) was the most commonly used pollutant in the exposure assessments. Most studies estimated TRAP exposure at the residential address and only a few considered the participants’ mobility. TRAP exposure was mostly assessed at the birth year and only a few studies considered different and/or multiple exposure time windows. We recommend that further work is needed including e.g., the use of new exposure metrics such as the composition of particulate matter, oxidative potential and ultra-fine particles, improved modelling e.g., by combining different exposure assessment models, including mobility of the participants, and systematically investigating different exposure time windows. Conclusions: Although our previous meta-analysis found statistically significant associations for various TRAP exposures and subsequent childhood asthma, further refinement of the exposure assessment may improve the risk estimates, and shed light on critical exposure time windows, putative agents, underlying mechanisms and drivers of heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessReview Social Networking Sites and Addiction: Ten Lessons Learned
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030311
Received: 1 February 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
Online social networking sites (SNSs) have gained increasing popularity in the last decade, with individuals engaging in SNSs to connect with others who share similar interests. The perceived need to be online may result in compulsive use of SNSs, which in extreme cases
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Online social networking sites (SNSs) have gained increasing popularity in the last decade, with individuals engaging in SNSs to connect with others who share similar interests. The perceived need to be online may result in compulsive use of SNSs, which in extreme cases may result in symptoms and consequences traditionally associated with substance-related addictions. In order to present new insights into online social networking and addiction, in this paper, 10 lessons learned concerning online social networking sites and addiction based on the insights derived from recent empirical research will be presented. These are: (i) social networking and social media use are not the same; (ii) social networking is eclectic; (iii) social networking is a way of being; (iv) individuals can become addicted to using social networking sites; (v) Facebook addiction is only one example of SNS addiction; (vi) fear of missing out (FOMO) may be part of SNS addiction; (vii) smartphone addiction may be part of SNS addiction; (viii) nomophobia may be part of SNS addiction; (ix) there are sociodemographic differences in SNS addiction; and (x) there are methodological problems with research to date. These are discussed in turn. Recommendations for research and clinical applications are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessArticle Clinical Prediction of Suicide and Undetermined Death: A Pseudo-Prospective Clinical and Medico-Legal Study of Substance Abusers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 310; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030310
Received: 31 January 2017 / Revised: 1 March 2017 / Accepted: 14 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
This study examines aspects of prediction of suicide and death of undetermined intent. We investigated all consecutive, autopsied patients between 1993 and 1997 who had been in contact with the Addiction Centre in Malmö from 1968 onwards. The staff was asked, shortly after
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This study examines aspects of prediction of suicide and death of undetermined intent. We investigated all consecutive, autopsied patients between 1993 and 1997 who had been in contact with the Addiction Centre in Malmö from 1968 onwards. The staff was asked, shortly after autopsy but before they knew of the manner of death, if they thought the patient had committed suicide. The case records were blindly evaluated, and toxicological autopsy findings for alcohol in blood samples investigated. The specificity of prediction was 83% and significantly more often correct than the sensitivity, which was only 45% for suicide and for suicide/death of undetermined intent (93% versus 39%). Suicidal communication was more often considered non-serious before death of undetermined intent than before suicide. The former could be predicted by ideation but not by suicide attempt reported in case records, unlike suicide, which was predicted by both. The undetermined group also showed higher levels of alcohol in the blood at autopsy. We concluded that more serious clinical investigation of suicidal feelings, which may be hidden and not taken seriously, and treatment of alcohol use disorders with active follow-up appear urgent in the efforts to prevent suicide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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Open AccessArticle Spatially Correlated Time Series and Ecological Niche Analysis of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Afghanistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030309
Received: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 17 March 2017
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Abstract
Leishmaniasis is the third most common vector-borne disease and a very important protozoan infection. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the most common types of leishmaniasis infectious diseases with up to 1.2 million occurrences of new cases each year worldwide. A dynamic transmission multivariate
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Leishmaniasis is the third most common vector-borne disease and a very important protozoan infection. Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of the most common types of leishmaniasis infectious diseases with up to 1.2 million occurrences of new cases each year worldwide. A dynamic transmission multivariate time series model was applied to the data to account for overdispersion and evaluate the effects of three environmental layers as well as seasonality in the data. Furthermore, ecological niche modeling was used to study the geographically suitable conditions for cutaneous leishmaniasis using temperature, precipitation and altitude as environmental layers, together with the leishmaniasis presence data. A retrospective analysis of the cutaneous leishmaniasis spatial data in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2009 indicates a steady increase from 2003 to 2007, a small decrease in 2008, and then another increase in 2009. An upward trend and regularly repeating patterns of highs and lows were observed related to the months of the year, which suggests seasonality effect in the data. Two peaks were observed in the disease occurrence—January to March and September to December—which coincide with the cold period. Ecological niche modelling indicates that precipitation has the greatest contribution to the potential distribution of leishmaniasis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-temporal Frameworks for Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Economic Burden for Lung Cancer Survivors in Urban China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030308
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: With the rapid increase in the incidence and mortality of lung cancer, a growing number of lung cancer patients and their families are faced with a tremendous economic burden because of the high cost of treatment in China. This study was
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Background: With the rapid increase in the incidence and mortality of lung cancer, a growing number of lung cancer patients and their families are faced with a tremendous economic burden because of the high cost of treatment in China. This study was conducted to estimate the economic burden and patient responsibility of lung cancer patients and the impact of this burden on family income. Methods: This study uses data from a retrospective questionnaire survey conducted in 10 communities in urban China and includes 195 surviving lung cancer patients diagnosed over the previous five years. The calculation of direct economic burden included both direct medical and direct nonmedical costs. Indirect costs were calculated using the human capital approach, which measures the productivity lost for both patients and family caregivers. The price index was applied for the cost calculation. Results: The average economic burden from lung cancer was $43,336 per patient, of which the direct cost per capita was $42,540 (98.16%) and the indirect cost per capita was $795 (1.84%). Of the total direct medical costs, 35.66% was paid by the insurer and 9.84% was not covered by insurance. The economic burden for diagnosed lung cancer patients in the first year following diagnosis was $30,277 per capita, which accounted for 171% of the household annual income, a percentage that fell to 107% after subtracting the compensation from medical insurance. Conclusions: The economic burden for lung cancer patients is substantial in the urban areas of China, and an effective control strategy to lower the cost is urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
Open AccessArticle The Social Norms of Suicidal and Self-Harming Behaviours in Scottish Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14030307
Received: 17 January 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Although the suicidal and self-harming behaviour of individuals is often associated with similar behaviours in people they know, little is known about the impact of perceived social norms on those behaviours. In a range of other behavioural domains (e.g., alcohol consumption, smoking, eating
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Although the suicidal and self-harming behaviour of individuals is often associated with similar behaviours in people they know, little is known about the impact of perceived social norms on those behaviours. In a range of other behavioural domains (e.g., alcohol consumption, smoking, eating behaviours) perceived social norms have been found to strongly predict individuals’ engagement in those behaviours, although discrepancies often exist between perceived and reported norms. Interventions which align perceived norms more closely with reported norms have been effective in reducing damaging behaviours. The current study aimed to explore whether the Social Norms Approach is applicable to suicidal and self-harming behaviours in adolescents. Participants were 456 pupils from five Scottish high-schools (53% female, mean age = 14.98 years), who completed anonymous, cross-sectional surveys examining reported and perceived norms around suicidal and self-harming behaviour. Friedman’s ANOVA with post-hoc Wilcoxen signed-ranks tests indicated that proximal groups were perceived as less likely to engage in or be permissive of suicidal and self-harming behaviours than participants’ reported themselves, whilst distal groups tended towards being perceived as more likely to do so. Binary logistic regression analyses identified a number of perceived norms associated with reported norms, with close friends’ norms positively associated with all outcome variables. The Social Norms Approach may be applicable to suicidal and self-harming behaviour, but associations between perceived and reported norms and predictors of reported norms differ to those found in other behavioural domains. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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