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

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Comments by the Academic Editors to Responses and Replies Concerning Mroczek et al.’s “Evaluation of Quality of Life of Those Living near a Wind Farm“: Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 6066–6083
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 272; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030272
Received: 28 February 2017 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Radioactive Materials and Heavy Metals in the Surface Soil around the Bayanwula Prospective Uranium Mining Area in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 300; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030300
Received: 10 February 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
The present work is the first systematic and large scale study on radioactive materials and heavy metals in surface soil around the Bayanwula prospective uranium mining area in China. In this work, both natural and anthropogenic radionuclides and heavy metals in 48 surface
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The present work is the first systematic and large scale study on radioactive materials and heavy metals in surface soil around the Bayanwula prospective uranium mining area in China. In this work, both natural and anthropogenic radionuclides and heavy metals in 48 surface soil samples were analyzed using High Purity Germanium (HPGe) γ spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The obtained mean activity concentrations of 238U, 226Ra, 232Th, 40K, and 137Cs were 25.81 ± 9.58, 24.85 ± 2.77, 29.40 ± 3.14, 923.0 ± 47.2, and 5.64 ± 4.56 Bq/kg, respectively. The estimated average absorbed dose rate and annual effective dose rate were 76.7 ± 3.1 nGy/h and 83.1 ± 3.8 μSv, respectively. The radium equivalent activity, external hazard index, and internal hazard index were also calculated, and their mean values were within the acceptable limits. The estimated lifetime cancer risk was 3.2 × 10−4/Sv. The heavy metal contents of Cr, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, and Pb from the surface soil samples were measured and their health risks were then assessed. The concentrations of all heavy metals were much lower than the average backgrounds in China except for lead which was about three times higher than that of China’s mean. The non-cancer and cancer risks from the heavy metals were estimated, which are all within the acceptable ranges. In addition, the correlations between the radionuclides and the heavy metals in surface soil samples were determined by the Pearson linear coefficient. Strong positive correlations between radionuclides and the heavy metals at the 0.01 significance level were found. In conclusion, the contents of radionuclides and heavy metals in surface soil around the Bayanwula prospective uranium mining area are at a normal level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 302; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030302
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically,
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Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1) examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA)’s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI); and (2), to measure the mercury levels of paco (Piaractus brachypomus) fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight). We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred) in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing geodesic distance from the Madre de Dios headwaters, did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute to human mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury and Health: Current Perspectives and Future Directions)
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Open AccessArticle A Community Multi-Omics Approach towards the Assessment of Surface Water Quality in an Urban River System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 303; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030303
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
A multi-omics approach was applied to an urban river system (the Brisbane River (BR), Queensland, Australia) in order to investigate surface water quality and characterize the bacterial population with respect to water contaminants. To do this, bacterial metagenomic amplicon-sequencing using Illumina next-generation sequencing
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A multi-omics approach was applied to an urban river system (the Brisbane River (BR), Queensland, Australia) in order to investigate surface water quality and characterize the bacterial population with respect to water contaminants. To do this, bacterial metagenomic amplicon-sequencing using Illumina next-generation sequencing (NGS) of the V5–V6 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene and untargeted community metabolomics using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were utilized. The multi-omics data, in combination with fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) counts, trace metal concentrations (by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)) and in-situ water quality measurements collected from various locations along the BR were then used to assess the health of the river ecosystem. Sites sampled represented the transition from less affected (upstream) to polluted (downstream) environments along the BR. Chemometric analysis of the combined datasets indicated a clear separation between the sampled environments. Burkholderiales and Cyanobacteria were common key factors for differentiation of pristine waters. Increased sugar alcohol and short-chain fatty acid production was observed by Actinomycetales and Rhodospirillaceae that are known to form biofilms in urban polluted and brackish waters. Results from this study indicate that a multi-omics approach enables a deep understanding of the health of an aquatic ecosystem, providing insight into the bacterial diversity present and the metabolic output of the population when exposed to environmental contaminants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Self-Confidence and Attitudes towards Suicidal Patients at Emergency and Psychiatric Departments: A Randomised Controlled Trial of the Effects of an Educational Poster Campaign
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 304; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030304
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Educational posters are used to enhance knowledge, attitudes and self-confidence of patients. Little is known on their effectiveness for educating health care professionals. As these professionals may play an important role in suicide prevention, the effects of a poster and accompanying evaluation and
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Educational posters are used to enhance knowledge, attitudes and self-confidence of patients. Little is known on their effectiveness for educating health care professionals. As these professionals may play an important role in suicide prevention, the effects of a poster and accompanying evaluation and triage guide on knowledge, self-confidence and attitudes regarding suicidal thoughts and behaviours, were studied in a multicentre cluster randomised controlled trial, involving staff from 39 emergency and 38 psychiatric departments throughout Flanders (n = 1171). Structured self-report questionnaires assessed the knowledge, confidence and beliefs regarding suicidal behaviour management, and attitudes. Data were analysed through a Solomon four-group design, with random assignment to the different conditions. Baseline scores for knowledge and provider confidence were high. The poster and accompanying evaluation and triage guide did not have an effect on knowledge about suicide and self-confidence in suicidal behaviour management. However, the poster campaign appeared to be beneficial for attitudes towards suicidal patients, but only among staff from mental health departments that were assigned to the un-pretested condition. Given the limited effects of the poster campaign in the studied population with a relatively high baseline knowledge, the evaluation of this poster as part of a multimodal educational programme in a more heterogeneous sample of health care professionals is recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Open AccessArticle The Relation between Frequency of E-Cigarette Use and Frequency and Intensity of Cigarette Smoking among South Korean Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 305; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030305
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Introduction: The prevalence of adolescent electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased in most countries. This study aims to determine the relation between the frequency of e-cigarette use and the frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking. Additionally, the study evaluates the association between the
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Introduction: The prevalence of adolescent electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased in most countries. This study aims to determine the relation between the frequency of e-cigarette use and the frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking. Additionally, the study evaluates the association between the reasons for e-cigarette use and the frequency of its use. Materials and Methods: Using the 2015 Korean Youth Risk Behavior Web-Based Survey, we included 6655 adolescents with an experience of e-cigarette use who were middle and high school students aged 13–18 years. We compared smoking experience, the frequency and intensity of cigarette smoking, and the relation between the reasons for e-cigarette uses and the frequency of e-cigarette use. Results: The prevalence of e-cigarette ever and current (past 30 days) users were 10.1% and 3.9%, respectively. Of the ever users, approximately 60% used e-cigarettes not within 1 month. On the other hand, 8.1% used e-cigarettes daily. The frequent and intensive cigarette smoking was associated with frequent e-cigarette uses. The percentage of frequent e-cigarette users (≥10 days/month) was 3.5% in adolescents who did not smoke within a month, but 28.7% among daily smokers. Additionally, it was 9.1% in smokers who smoked less than 1 cigarette/month, but 55.1% in smokers who smoked ≥20 cigarettes/day. The most common reason for e-cigarette use was curiosity (22.9%), followed by the belief that they are less harmful than conventional cigarettes (18.9%), the desire to quit smoking (13.1%), and the capacity for indoor use (10.7%). Curiosity was the most common reason among less frequent e-cigarette users; however, the desire to quit smoking and the capacity for indoor use were the most common reasons among more frequent users. Conclusions: Results showed a positive relation between frequency or intensity of conventional cigarette smoking and the frequency of e-cigarette use among Korean adolescents, and frequency of e-cigarette use differed according to the reason for the use of e-cigarettes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Microbial Remobilisation on Riverbed Sediment Disturbance in Experimental Flumes and a Human-Impacted River: Implication for Water Resource Management and Public Health in Developing Sub-Saharan African Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 306; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030306
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 9 March 2017 / Accepted: 10 March 2017 / Published: 15 March 2017
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Abstract
Resuspension of sediment-borne microorganisms (including pathogens) into the water column could increase the health risk for those using river water for different purposes. In the present work, we (1) investigated the effect of sediment disturbance on microbial resuspension from riverbed sediments in laboratory
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Resuspension of sediment-borne microorganisms (including pathogens) into the water column could increase the health risk for those using river water for different purposes. In the present work, we (1) investigated the effect of sediment disturbance on microbial resuspension from riverbed sediments in laboratory flow-chambers and in the Apies River, Gauteng, South Africa; and (2) estimated flow conditions for sediment-borne microorganism entrainment/resuspension in the river. For mechanical disturbance, the top 2 cm of the sediment in flow-chambers was manually stirred. Simulating sudden discharge into the river, water (3 L) was poured within 30 s into the chambers at a 45° angle to the chamber width. In the field, sediment was disturbed by raking the riverbed and by cows crossing in the river. Water samples before and after sediment disturbance were analysed for Escherichia coli. Sediment disturbance caused an increase in water E. coli counts by up to 7.9–35.8 times original values. Using Shields criterion, river-flow of 0.15–0.69 m3/s could cause bed particle entrainment; while ~1.57–7.23 m3/s would cause resuspension. Thus, sediment disturbance in the Apies River would resuspend E. coli (and pathogens), with possible negative health implications for communities using such water. Therefore, monitoring surface water bodies should include microbial sediment quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Social Norms of Suicidal and Self-Harming Behaviours in Scottish Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 307; doi: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)
Open AccessArticle Economic Burden for Lung Cancer Survivors in Urban China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 308; doi: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 Economics)
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; doi: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 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; doi: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 Mosquito Traps: An Innovative, Environmentally Friendly Technique to Control Mosquitoes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 313; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030313 (registering DOI)
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 AccessArticle Health and Wellbeing of Occupants in Highly Energy Efficient Buildings: A Field Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 314; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030314 (registering DOI)
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 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030315 (registering DOI)
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 Risk of Suicide and Dysfunctional Patterns of Personality among Bereaved Substance Users
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 316; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030316 (registering DOI)
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 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030317 (registering DOI)
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 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030318 (registering DOI)
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 Economics)
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Open AccessArticle Trends of Esophageal Cancer Mortality in Rural China from 1989 to 2013: An Age-Period-Cohort Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 218; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030218
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Background: Esophageal cancer is one of the most common cancers in rural China. The aim of this study was to describe the time trends of esophageal cancer mortality in rural China and to better elucidate the causes of these trends. Methods:
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Background: Esophageal cancer is one of the most common cancers in rural China. The aim of this study was to describe the time trends of esophageal cancer mortality in rural China and to better elucidate the causes of these trends. Methods: The mortality data were obtained from the World Health Organization Mortality Database and the China Health Statistical Yearbook Database. The mortality data were analyzed with age-period-cohort (APC) analysis. Results: Our study indicates that the Age-Standardized Mortality Rates (ASMRs) in rural China generally decreased from 1989 to 2003, and thereafter increased until the year 2008 in both sexes. After 2008, the ASMRs decreased again. The results of APC analysis suggest that the general decrease in esophageal cancer mortality in rural China from 1989 to 2003 might be caused by the downtrend of the cohort effects and period effects, while the general increase in mortality from 2004 to 2008 might be caused by the uptrend of the period effects. The decrease in mortality after 2008 may be relevant to the Four Trillion RMB Investment Plan launched by the Chinese Government. Conclusions: The declining cohort effects were probably related to the improvement of socioeconomic status in childhood and the decreasing consumptions of alcohol drinking and smoking, while the trends of the period effects were relevant to the changes in the dietary pattern. Our findings may help predict future changes in esophageal cancer mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030319 (registering DOI)
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 Public 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030320 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 January 2017 / Revised: 7 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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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 Influencing Factors of the Body Mass Index of Elementary Students in Southern Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 220; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030220
Received: 23 December 2016 / Revised: 29 January 2017 / Accepted: 29 January 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
The body mass index (BMI) of school children in Taiwan is markedly increasing. According to statistical data from the Taiwan Ministry of Education, the prevalence of obesity in school children from the southern part of the country is the highest in Taiwan. Thus,
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The body mass index (BMI) of school children in Taiwan is markedly increasing. According to statistical data from the Taiwan Ministry of Education, the prevalence of obesity in school children from the southern part of the country is the highest in Taiwan. Thus, exploring the factors influencing BMI in elementary school children from southern Taiwan is crucial. This study investigated the influencing factors including physical activity levels, sedentary behaviors, dietary habits, and perceived body shape on the BMIs of elementary school children from southern Taiwan. A cross-sectional design was used, and the participants consisted of 3251 fifth-grade students (1628 boys, 50.1%; 1623 girls, 49.9%). The average BMI values for boys and girls were 19.69 and 18.70 (kg/cm) respectively. Statistically significant associations were observed between BMI and sex, 31–60 min of daily vigorous or moderate physical activities levels, length of time spent watching television, time spent on video games or the computer, and intake of vegetable or meat gravy with rice (p < 0.001). Perceived body shape also affected the BMI of school children. The results of this study enable educational institutions in Taiwan to understand the factors affecting the BMI of school children and use this information as the basis for future healthy body weight policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Implementing a Public Health Objective for Alcohol Premises Licensing in Scotland: A Qualitative Study of Strategies, Values, and Perceptions of Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 221; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030221
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
The public health objective for alcohol premises licensing, established in Scotland in 2005, is unique globally. We explored how public health practitioners engaged with the licensing system following this change, and what helped or hindered their efforts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13
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The public health objective for alcohol premises licensing, established in Scotland in 2005, is unique globally. We explored how public health practitioners engaged with the licensing system following this change, and what helped or hindered their efforts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 public health actors, audio-recorded, and analysed using an inductive framework approach. Many interviewees viewed the new objective as synonymous with reducing population-level alcohol consumption; however, this view was not always shared by licensing actors, some of whom did not accept public health as a legitimate goal of licensing, or prioritised economic development instead. Some interviewees were surprised that the public health evidence they presented to licensing boards did not result in their hoped-for outcomes; they reported that licensing officials did not always understand or value health data or statistical evidence. While some tried to give “impartial” advice to licensing boards, this was not always easy; others were clear that their role was one of “winning hearts and minds” through relationship-building with licensing actors over time. Notwithstanding the introduction of the public health objective, there remain significant, and political, challenges in orienting local premises licensing boards towards decisions to reduce the availability of alcohol in Scotland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030322 (registering DOI)
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 14 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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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
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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 AccessArticle High Prevalence and Genetic Polymorphisms of Legionella in Natural and Man-Made Aquatic Environments in Wenzhou, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 222; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030222
Received: 28 November 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Natural and engineered water systems are the main sources of Legionnaires’ disease. It is essential from a public health perspective to survey water environments for the existence of Legionella. To analyze the main serogroups, genotypes and pathogenicity of the pathogen, a stratified
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Natural and engineered water systems are the main sources of Legionnaires’ disease. It is essential from a public health perspective to survey water environments for the existence of Legionella. To analyze the main serogroups, genotypes and pathogenicity of the pathogen, a stratified sampling method was adopted to collect water samples randomly from shower water, cooling tower water, and local public hot springs in Wenzhou, China. Suspected strains were isolated from concentrated water samples. Serum agglutination assay and real-time PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) were used to identify L. pneumophila. Sequence-based typing (SBT) and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) were used to elucidate the genetic polymorphisms in the collected isolates. The intracellular growth ability of the isolates was determined through their interaction with J774 cells and plating them onto BCYE (Buffered Charcoal Yeast Extract) agar plates. Overall, 25.56% (46/180) of water samples were Legionella-positive; fifty-two strains were isolated and two kinds of serogroups were co-detected from six water samples from 2015 to 2016. Bacterial concentrations ranged from 20 CFU/100 mL to 10,720 CFU/100 mL. In detail, the Legionella-positive rates of shower water, cooling tower water and hot springs water were 15.45%, 13.33%, and 62.5%, respectively. The main serogroups were LP1 (30.69%) and LP3 (28.85%) and all strains carried the dot gene. Among them, 52 isolates and another 10 former isolates were analyzed by PFGE. Nineteen distinct patterns were observed in 52 strains isolated from 2015 to 2016 with three patterns being observed in 10 strains isolated from 2009 to 2014. Seventy-three strains containing 52 from this study and 21 former isolates were selected for SBT analysis and divided into 25 different sequence types in 4 main clonal groups belonging to 4 homomorphic types. Ten strains were chosen to show their abilities to grow and multiply in J744 cells. Taken together, our results demonstrate a high prevalence and genetic polymorphism of Legionella in Wenzhou’s environmental water system. The investigated environmental water sources pose a potential threat to the public where intervention could help to prevent the occurrence of Legionnaires’ disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Simultaneous Detection of Nine Key Bacterial Respiratory Pathogens Using Luminex xTAG® Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 223; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030223
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to the outcome of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs). In this study, we developed an assay combining multiplex PCR and Luminex technology (MPLT) for the detection of nine important respiratory bacterial pathogens, which frequently cause LRTIs. These
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Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to the outcome of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs). In this study, we developed an assay combining multiplex PCR and Luminex technology (MPLT) for the detection of nine important respiratory bacterial pathogens, which frequently cause LRTIs. These were Streptococcus pneumoniae, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Haemophilus influenzae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Legionella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Through the hybridization reaction between two new synthesized multiplex PCR products and MagPlex-TAG Microspheres, we demonstrate that the detection limits for these nine pathogens were as low as 102–103 CFU/mL. Furthermore, 86 clinical bronchoalveolar lavage fluid specimens were used to evaluate this method. Compared with the results of nine simplex real-time PCR reactions targeting these nine pathogens, this MPLT assay demonstrated a high diagnostic accuracy for Streptococcus pneumoniae (sensitivity, 87.5% and specificity, 100%). Furthermore, sensitivity and specificity for the other eight pathogens all attained 100% diagnostic accuracy. In addition, the consistency between MPLT and the nine real-time PCR reactions exceeded 98.8%. In conclusion, MPLT is a high-throughput, labor-saving and reliable method with high sensitivity and specificity for identifying nine respiratory pathogens responsible for LRTIs. Indeed, this assay may be a promising supplement to conventional methods used to diagnose LRTIs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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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; doi: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
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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 Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Health-Related Quality of Life of Chinese Adults in Heilongjiang Using EQ-5D-3L
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 224; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030224
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Heilongjiang adult populations by using the EuroQol five-dimension three-level (EQ-5D-3L) questionnaire and to identify factors associated with HRQOL. Data from the National Health Services Survey (NHSS) 2008 in Heilongjiang province were obtained.
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This study aimed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of Heilongjiang adult populations by using the EuroQol five-dimension three-level (EQ-5D-3L) questionnaire and to identify factors associated with HRQOL. Data from the National Health Services Survey (NHSS) 2008 in Heilongjiang province were obtained. Results of EQ-5D-3L questionnaires completed by 11,523 adult respondents (18 years or older) were converted to health index scores using a recently developed Chinese value set. Multivariate linear regression and logistic regression models were established to determine demographic, socioeconomic, health, and lifestyle factors that were associated with HRQOL and reported problems in the five dimensions of EQ-5D-3L. The Heilongjiang population had a mean EQ-5D-3L index score of 0.959. Lower EQ-5D-3L index scores were associated with older age, lower levels of education, chronic conditions, temporary accommodation, poverty, unemployment, and lack of regular physical activities. Older respondents and those who were unemployed, had chronic conditions, and lived in poverty were more likely to report problems in all of the five health dimensions. Higher educational attainment was associated with lower odds of reporting health problems in mobility, pain/discomfort, and anxiety/depression. Low socioeconomic status is associated with poor HRQOL. Regional population norms for EQ-5D-3L are needed for health economic studies due to great socioeconomic disparities across regions in China. Overall, the Heilongjiang population has a similar level of HRQOL compared with the national average. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030324
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 11 March 2017 / Accepted: 13 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
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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 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; doi: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
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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 Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Accelerators: Sparking Innovation and Transdisciplinary Team Science in Disparities Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 225; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030225
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Development and implementation of effective, sustainable, and scalable interventions that advance equity could be propelled by innovative and inclusive partnerships. Readied catalytic frameworks that foster communication, collaboration, a shared vision, and transformative translational research across scientific and non-scientific divides are needed to foster
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Development and implementation of effective, sustainable, and scalable interventions that advance equity could be propelled by innovative and inclusive partnerships. Readied catalytic frameworks that foster communication, collaboration, a shared vision, and transformative translational research across scientific and non-scientific divides are needed to foster rapid generation of novel solutions to address and ultimately eliminate disparities. To achieve this, we transformed and expanded a community-academic board into a translational science board with members from public, academic and private sectors. Rooted in team science, diverse board experts formed topic-specific “accelerators”, tasked with collaborating to rapidly generate new ideas, questions, approaches, and projects comprising patients, advocates, clinicians, researchers, funders, public health and industry leaders. We began with four accelerators—digital health, big data, genomics and environmental health—and were rapidly able to respond to funding opportunities, transform new ideas into clinical and community programs, generate new, accessible, actionable data, and more efficiently and effectively conduct research. This innovative model has the power to maximize research quality and efficiency, improve patient care and engagement, optimize data democratization and dissemination among target populations, contribute to policy, and lead to systems changes needed to address the root causes of disparities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Association between Ambient Air Pollution and Allergic Rhinitis: Further Epidemiological Evidence from Changchun, Northeastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 226; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030226
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 13 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
With the continuous rapid urbanization process over the last three decades, outdoors air pollution has become a progressively more serious public health hazard in China. To investigate the possible associations, lag effects and seasonal differences of urban air quality on respiratory health (allergic
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With the continuous rapid urbanization process over the last three decades, outdoors air pollution has become a progressively more serious public health hazard in China. To investigate the possible associations, lag effects and seasonal differences of urban air quality on respiratory health (allergic rhinitis) in Changchun, a city in Northeastern China, we carried out a time-series analysis of the incidents of allergic rhinitis (AR) from 2013 to 2015. Environmental monitoring showed that PM2.5 and PM10 were the major air pollutants in Changchun, followed by SO2, NO2 and O3. The results also demonstrated that the daily concentrations of air pollutants had obvious seasonal differences. PM10 had higher daily mean concentrations in spring (May, dust storms), autumn (October, straw burning) and winter (November to April, coal burning). The mean daily number of outpatient AR visits in the warm season was higher than in the cold season. The prevalence of allergic rhinitis was significantly associated with PM2.5, PM10, SO2 and NO2, and the increased mobility was 10.2% (95% CI, 5.5%–15.1%), 4.9% (95% CI, 0.8%–9.2%), 8.5% (95% CI, −1.8%–19.8%) and 11.1% (95% CI, 5.8%–16.5%) for exposure to each 1-Standard Deviation (1-SD) increase of pollutant, respectively. Weakly or no significant associations were observed for CO and O3. As for lag effects, the highest Relative Risks (RRs) of AR from SO2, NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 were on the same day, and the highest RR from CO was on day 4 (L4). The results also indicated that the concentration of air pollutants might contribute to the development of AR. To summarize, this study provides further evidence of the significant association between ambient particulate pollutants (PM2.5 and PM10, which are usually present in high concentrations) and the prevalence of respiratory effects (allergic rhinitis) in the city of Changchun, located in Northeastern China. Environmental control and public health strategies should be enforced to address this increasingly challenging problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030327
Received: 23 January 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 21 March 2017
PDF Full-text (390 KB)
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
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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 Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Blood Concentrations of Zinc, Germanium, and Lead and Relevant Environmental Factors in a Population Sample from Shandong Province, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 227; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030227
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Trace elements, including zinc (Zn) and germanium (Ge), are essential for health; deficiency or excess levels of trace elements results is harmful. As a result of industrial and agricultural production, Pb widely exists in people’s living environment. It is absorbed mainly through the
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Trace elements, including zinc (Zn) and germanium (Ge), are essential for health; deficiency or excess levels of trace elements results is harmful. As a result of industrial and agricultural production, Pb widely exists in people’s living environment. It is absorbed mainly through the respiratory and digestive tracts, producing systemic harm. Reference values for a normal, healthy population are necessary for health assessment, prevention and treatment of related diseases, and evaluation of occupational exposures. Reference ranges for the Chinese population have not been established. From March 2009 to February 2010; we collected data and blood samples (n = 1302) from residents aged 6–60 years living in Shandong Province, China. We measured blood concentrations of Zn, Ge, and Pb using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine reference ranges. Results were stratified by factors likely to affect the concentrations of these trace elements: sex, use of cosmetics or hair dye, age, alcohol intake, smoking habits, and consumption of fried food. The overall geometric mean (GM) concentrations (95% confidence interval) were 3.14 (3.08–3.20) mg/L for Zn, 19.9 (19.3–20.6) μg/L for Ge, and 24.1 (23.2–25.1) μg/L for Pb. Blood Zn concentrations were higher in women than in men (p < 0.001), while the opposite was found for Pb (p < 0.001) and sex did not influence Ge (p = 0.095). Alcohol use was associated with higher blood concentrations of Zn (p = 0.002), Ge (p = 0.002), and Pb (p = 0.001). The GM concentration of Zn was highest in 20–30-year-olds (p < 0.001), while Pb concentrations were highest in 12–16-year-olds (p < 0.001). Use of hair dye was associated with lower blood concentrations of Ge (p < 0.05). GM blood concentrations of Pb differed significantly between those who consumed fried foods 1–2 times/month (18.7 μg/L), 1–2 times/week (20.9 μg/L), and every day (28.5 μg/L; p < 0.001). Blood Pb concentrations were higher in subjects who used cosmetics (p < 0.05), hair dye (p < 0.05), and who smoked cigarettes (p < 0.001) than in those who did not. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Mississippi: Is There A Disparity? Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 228; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030228
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Although consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is a key contributor to epidemic obesity and has dramatically increased over the past decade in the United States, little is known about its prevalence and associated factors. Data from the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System
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Although consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) is a key contributor to epidemic obesity and has dramatically increased over the past decade in the United States, little is known about its prevalence and associated factors. Data from the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used to estimate the prevalence of SSB consumption and to explore the associations between socio-demographic characteristics, behavioral factors and SSB intake in Mississippi (n = 7220). Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were conducted using SAS Proc Survey procedures, to account for the BRFSS′s multistage complex survey design and sample weights. Overall prevalence of self-reported daily SSB intake was 41.1%. Our findings showed that males (aOR = 1.4, 95% CI: 1.2–1.7, ref = female), blacks (aOR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.4–2.1, ref = whites), adults aged 18–24 years (aOR = 5.0, 95% CI: 3.4–7.5, ref = 65 years or older), those with less than high school education (aOR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4–2.6, ref = college graduate), annual income <$25,000 (aOR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1–1.7, ref ≥ $50,000) and $25,000–49,999 (aOR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1–1.6, ref ≥ $50,000), those with no physical activity (OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1–1.6, ref = physically active), daily smokers (aOR = 2.2, 95% CI: 1.7–2.7, ref = non-smokers), and those who reported eating at fast food or chain restaurants (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2–2.5, ref = do not eat at fast food or chain restaurants) were more likely to consume SSBs, raising concerns about overweight and obesity in Mississippi. Full article
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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030328
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Efficacy and Safety Evaluation of a Chlorine Dioxide Solution
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 329; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030329
Received: 24 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Occupational Safety and Health Conditions Aboard Small- and Medium-Size Fishing Vessels: Differences among Age Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 229; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030229
Received: 18 October 2016 / Revised: 12 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
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Abstract
Although marine fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations, research on the occupational safety and health (OSH) conditions aboard marine fishing vessels is scarce. For instance, little is known about the working conditions of vulnerable groups such as young and aging fishermen.
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Although marine fishing is one of the most hazardous occupations, research on the occupational safety and health (OSH) conditions aboard marine fishing vessels is scarce. For instance, little is known about the working conditions of vulnerable groups such as young and aging fishermen. The objective of the current paper is to study the OSH conditions of young and aging fishermen compared to middle-aged fishermen in the small- and medium-size (SM) marine fishing sector. A cross-sectional study was designed, and 686 fishermen working aboard SM fishing vessels were interviewed to collect information about their safety and health. The associations of physical and psychosocial work conditions with safety and health outcomes, e.g., injuries, illnesses and job satisfaction, are presented. The results of the current study can be utilized in the design of effective accident prevention and OSH training programs for the three age groups and in the regulation of working conditions aboard fishing vessels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030330
Received: 25 December 2016 / Revised: 13 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Increased Risk of Stroke in Patients of Concussion: A Nationwide Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 230; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030230
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
Long-term morbidities can develop after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some studies have suggested that the risk of stroke is higher after TBI, but the association between concussion and stroke remains unclear. Using a national cohort, the authors analyzed the incidence of both hemorrhagic
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Long-term morbidities can develop after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Some studies have suggested that the risk of stroke is higher after TBI, but the association between concussion and stroke remains unclear. Using a national cohort, the authors analyzed the incidence of both hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes in patients with previous concussion. A representative cohort of approximately one million people was followed up for four years. Patients with new-onset concussion were identified (n = 13,652) as the concussion group. Subsequently, the incidence rates of later stroke events in the concussion group were compared to a sex-, age- and propensity score–matched comparison group (n = 13,652). The overall incidence rate of stroke in the concussion group was higher than that of the comparison group (9.63 versus 6.52 per 1000 person-years, p < 0.001). Significantly higher stroke risk was observed in the concussion group than in the comparison group (crude hazard ratio 1.48, p < 0.001; adjusted HR 1.65, p < 0.001). In the concussion group, the cumulative incidence rates of both ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke were higher than those of the comparison group (8.9% vs. 5.8% and 2.7% vs. 1.6%, respectively, both p < 0.001). Concussion is an independent risk factor for both ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Prevention and monitoring strategies of stroke are therefore suggested for patients who have experienced concussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030331
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 10 March 2017 / Accepted: 19 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030332
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 18 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Physical Limitations, Walkability, Perceived Environmental Facilitators and Physical Activity of Older Adults in Finland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 333; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030333
Received: 23 February 2017 / Revised: 17 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Cross-Sectional Study of the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and Associated Factors in Colombian Collegiate Students: The FUPRECOL-Adults Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 233; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030233
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 21 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is one of the major public health problems worldwide. The objective of the present study is to investigate the prevalence and the associated variables of MetS in Colombian collegiate students. This cross-sectional study included a total of 890 (52% women)
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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is one of the major public health problems worldwide. The objective of the present study is to investigate the prevalence and the associated variables of MetS in Colombian collegiate students. This cross-sectional study included a total of 890 (52% women) healthy collegiate students (21.3 ± 3.2 years old). The prevalence of MetS was determined by the definition provided by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). We further examined associations between the prevalence of MetS and related factors, such as age, gender, anthropometric and body composition, weight status, and nutrition profile. The overall prevalence of MetS was 6.0% (95% CI = 4.5% to 7.6%), and it was higher in men than women. The most prevalent components were low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglyceride levels, waist circumference, and blood pressure levels. The predisposing factors for having a MetS included: being male, over 23 years old, overweight or obese, and having an unhealthy waist-to-height ratio. In conclusion, the occurrence of MetS in young adults is substantial. These findings may be relevant to health promotion efforts for collegiate students in order to develop prospective studies and screening for young adults, which will aid in targeted intervention development to decrease cardiometabolic risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Neighbourhood Green Space and Child Mental Wellbeing Depends upon Whom You Ask: Multilevel Evidence from 3083 Children Aged 12–13 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 235; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030235
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Recent reviews of the rapidly growing scientific literature on neighbourhood green space and health show strong evidence for protective and restorative effects on mental wellbeing. However, multiple informants are common when reporting mental wellbeing in studies of children. Do different informants lead to
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Recent reviews of the rapidly growing scientific literature on neighbourhood green space and health show strong evidence for protective and restorative effects on mental wellbeing. However, multiple informants are common when reporting mental wellbeing in studies of children. Do different informants lead to different results? This study utilised nationally representative data on Goodman’s 25-item Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire reported by 3083 children (aged 12–13 years old), and their parents and teachers. Multilevel models were used to investigate whether similar associations between child mental wellbeing (as measured using the total difficulties score and the internalising and externalising subscales) and neighbourhood green space quantity and quality are obtained regardless of the informant. After adjustment for confounders, higher green space quantity and quality were associated with consistently more favourable child mental wellbeing on all three measures, regardless of the informant. However, associations with green space quantity were statistically significant (p < 0.05) only for the parent-reported total difficulties score and the internalising subscale. Significant associations with green space quality were consistently observed for both parent- and child-reported outcomes. Teacher-reported outcomes were not significantly associated with green space exposure. Future studies of green space and child health should acknowledge when different informants of outcomes could lead to different conclusions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscapes and Human Health)
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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030336
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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 AccessArticle Use of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube Test in the Diagnosis and Monitoring of Treatment Efficacy in Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 236; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030236
Received: 6 January 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
The value of QuantiFERON in the diagnosis of tuberculosis disease and in the monitoring of the response to anti-tuberculosis treatment is unclear. The aims of this study were to evaluate the accuracy of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test in the diagnosis of
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The value of QuantiFERON in the diagnosis of tuberculosis disease and in the monitoring of the response to anti-tuberculosis treatment is unclear. The aims of this study were to evaluate the accuracy of the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFT-GIT) test in the diagnosis of tuberculosis and in the monitoring of the response to anti-tuberculosis treatment in patients with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB). Between January 2013 and December 2015, 133 cases with active PTB and 133 controls with no mycobacterial infection, matched by age (within 3 years) and by the week that they visited Tainan Chest Hospital, were enrolled in the study. Serial testing by QFT-GIT at baseline and after 2 and 6 months of treatment was performed. At these time points, a comparison of the performance of QFT-GIT with that of sputum culture status among study subjects was conducted. Compared to baseline, 116 (87.2%) cases showed a decreased response, whereas 17 (12.8%) showed persistent or stronger interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) responses at 2 months. PTB patients IFN-γ responses declined significantly from baseline to 2 months (median, 6.32 vs. 4.12; p < 0.005). The sensitivity values of the QFT-GIT test for the detection of pulmonary tuberculosis at cut-off points of 0.35 IU/mL, 0.20 IU/mL, and 0.10 IU/mL were 74.4%, 78.2%, and 80.5%, respectively. The specificity values at cut-off points of 0.35 IU/mL, 0.20 IU/mL, and 0.10 IU/mL were 66.2%, 63.9%, and 57.1%, respectively. Our results support the QFT-GIT assay as a potential tool for diagnosing tuberculosis and for monitoring the efficacy of anti-tuberculosis treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030337
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 16 March 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of the Use of Urban Green Spaces and External Factors Contributing to Their Use in Central Beijing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 237; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030237
Received: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Urban green spaces encourage outdoor activity and social communication that contribute to the health of local residents. Examining the relationship between the use of urban green spaces and factors influencing their utilization can provide essential references for green space site selection in urban
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Urban green spaces encourage outdoor activity and social communication that contribute to the health of local residents. Examining the relationship between the use of urban green spaces and factors influencing their utilization can provide essential references for green space site selection in urban planning. In contrast to previous studies that focused on internal factors, this study highlights the external factors (traffic convenience, population density and commercial facilities) contributing to the use of urban green spaces. We conducted a spatiotemporal analysis of the distribution of visitors in 208 selected green spaces in central Beijing. We examined the relationship between the spatial pattern of visitor distribution within urban green spaces and external factors, using the Gini coefficient, kernel density estimation, and geographical detectors. The results of the study were as follows. The spatial distribution of visitors within central Beijing’s green spaces was concentrated, forming different agglomerations. The three examined external factors are all associated with the use of green spaces. Among them, commercial facilities are the important external factor associated with the use of green spaces. For the selection of sites for urban green spaces, we recommend consideration of external factors in order to balance urban green space utilization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Disease Burden and Clinical Characteristics of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Chinese Population: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 238; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030238
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
The temporal trend of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence is reported to be increasing in worldwide regions; however, reports focusing on China are sparse. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the disease burden and clinical features of IBD
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The temporal trend of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence is reported to be increasing in worldwide regions; however, reports focusing on China are sparse. The aim of this study was to provide an overview of the disease burden and clinical features of IBD in the Chinese population. We searched Medline, EMBASE, and another two Chinese databases. A parallel literature review and data extraction were conducted. Meta-analysis was performed to estimate the summary incidence rate of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). The constituent ratios with 95% CI were calculated for clinical phenotypes and classifications. The literature review included 47 publications. The summary incidence rate of IBD was 1.74 (95% CI: 1.08; 2.40) per 100,000 person years, and the corresponding incidence rates of CD and UC were 0.40 (95% CI: 0.23; 0.57) and 1.18 (95% CI: 0.81; 1.56) per 100,000 person years, respectively. The sex distribution analysis indicated a male predominance in both CD (sex ratio: 1.64; 95% CI: 1.47–1.84) and UC (sex ratio: 1.29; 95% CI: 1.21–1.38). The clinical characteristics were summarized using data from 2283 CD cases and 17,958 UC cases; in which the majority of CD patients were diagnosed between 17–40 years of age, with non-stricturing and non-penetrating disease, varied disease locations, and less extra-intestinal manifestation. UC cases were featured with later disease diagnosis, a more severe disease course, more segmental lesions, and less extra-intestinal manifestations. Our study provided an estimated disease burden of IBD and demonstrated distinct clinical features in the Chinese population. Large-scale population-based studies are needed to further evaluate these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Exploring the Linkage between Urban Flood Risk and Spatial Patterns in Small Urbanized Catchments of Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 239; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030239
Received: 15 January 2017 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
In the context of global urbanization, urban flood risk in many cities has become a serious environmental issue, threatening the health of residents and the environment. A number of hydrological studies have linked urban flooding issues closely to the spectrum of spatial patterns
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In the context of global urbanization, urban flood risk in many cities has become a serious environmental issue, threatening the health of residents and the environment. A number of hydrological studies have linked urban flooding issues closely to the spectrum of spatial patterns of urbanization, but relatively little attention has been given to small-scale catchments within the realm of urban systems. This study aims to explore the hydrological effects of small-scaled urbanized catchments assigned with various landscape patterns. Twelve typical residential catchments in Beijing were selected as the study areas. Total Impervious Area (TIA), Directly Connected Impervious Area (DCIA), and a drainage index were used as the catchment spatial metrics. Three scenarios were designed as different spatial arrangement of catchment imperviousness. Runoff variables including total and peak runoff depth (Qt and Qp) were simulated by using Strom Water Management Model (SWMM). The relationship between catchment spatial patterns and runoff variables were determined, and the results demonstrated that, spatial patterns have inherent influences on flood risks in small urbanized catchments. Specifically: (1) imperviousness acts as an effective indicator in affecting both Qt and Qp; (2) reducing the number of rainwater inlets appropriately will benefit the catchment peak flow mitigation; (3) different spatial concentrations of impervious surfaces have inherent influences on Qp. These findings provide insights into the role of urban spatial patterns in driving rainfall-runoff processes in small urbanized catchments, which is essential for urban planning and flood management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Healthy Lifestyle in the Implementation of Regressing Suboptimal Health Status among College Students in China: A Nested Case-Control Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 240; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030240
Received: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
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Abstract
Background: Suboptimal health status (SHS) is the intermediate health state between health and disease, it is medically undiagnosed and is also termed functional somatic syndrome. Although its clinical manifestations are complicated and various, SHS has not reached the disease status. Unhealthy lifestyle is
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Background: Suboptimal health status (SHS) is the intermediate health state between health and disease, it is medically undiagnosed and is also termed functional somatic syndrome. Although its clinical manifestations are complicated and various, SHS has not reached the disease status. Unhealthy lifestyle is associated with many chronic diseases and mortality. In accordance with the impact of lifestyle on health, it is intriguing to determine the association between unhealthy lifestyle and SHS risk. Methods: We conducted a nested case-control study among healthy Chinese college students from March 2012 to September 2013, which was nested in a prospective cohort of 5676 students. We performed 1:1 incidence density sampling with matched controls for birth year, sex, grade, specialty and individual character. SHS was evaluated using the medical examination report and Sub-health Measurement Scale V1.0 (SHMS V1.0). Exposure was defined as an unhealthy lifestyle per the frequency of six behavioral dimensions from the Health-promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II). Results: We matched 543 cases of SHS (42.66%) in a cohort of 1273 students during the 1.5 years mean follow-up time with controls. A significant difference (t = 9.79, p < 0.001) and a reduction in HPLP-II total score was present at 1.5 years follow-up (135.93 ± 17.65) compared to baseline (144.48 ± 18.66). A level-response effect was recorded with an increase of the total HPLP-II (every dimension was correlated with a decreased SHS risk). Compared to respondents with the least exposure (excellent level), those reporting a general HPLP-II level were approximately 2.3 times more likely to develop SHS (odd ratio = 2.333, 95% CI = 1.471 to 3.700); and those with less HPLP-II level (good level) were approximately 1.6 times more likely (1.644, 1.119–2.414) to develop SHS (p < 0.05). Our data indicated that unhealthy lifestyle behavior with respect to behavioral dimensions significantly affected SHS likelihood. Further analyses revealed a marked increase (average increased 14.73 points) in lifestyle level among those SHS regression to health after 1.5 years, with respect to the HPLP-II behavioral dimensions, in addition to the total score (t = -15.34, p < 0.001). Conclusions: SHS is highly attributable to unhealthy lifestyles, and the Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 240 2 of 17 mitigation of modifiable lifestyle risk factors may lead to SHS regression. Increased efforts to modify unhealthy lifestyles are necessary to prevent SHS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Analysis of Behavioural Characteristics Related to Unintentional Injury in Southeast Chinese Adolescents: Evidence from a School-Based Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 241; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030241
Received: 21 December 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2017 / Accepted: 26 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore the epidemiological features of common unintentional injury-related behaviours and to identify possible factors that lead to these unsafe behaviours among adolescents. A representative sample of 10,806 students was recruited from 77 schools by using the
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The purpose of this study was to explore the epidemiological features of common unintentional injury-related behaviours and to identify possible factors that lead to these unsafe behaviours among adolescents. A representative sample of 10,806 students was recruited from 77 schools by using the two-stage stratified random sampling method. All participants took a self-administered questionnaires and data were analysed to estimate the prevalence of unintentional injury-related behaviours and to identify the influential factors for these behaviours. The prevalence of unsafe swimming, jaywalking, illegal bicycling and not wearing a seat belt was 6.35%, 33.08%, 18.10% and 15.73%, respectively. The proportion of students who had two, three or four unintentional injury-related behaviours was 14.59%, 4.27% and 0.57%, respectively. Multiple regression analysis showed that male adolescents, living in an urban area and attending a vocational-technical school might contribute to the occurrence of four unintentional injury-related behaviours. In addition, the marital status of parents and father with a college degree or above were negatively associated with the adolescent’s behaviour of not wearing a seat belt. Considering diverse epidemiological characteristics of unintentional injury-related behaviours among adolescents, targeted interventions such as enhancing self-protection capabilities and strengthening safety consciousness by family, school and related departments should be implemented to lower the occurrence of unintentional injury-related behaviours. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Domain-Specific Self-Reported and Objectively Measured Physical Activity in Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 242; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030242
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Little is known about the extent that different domains contribute to total sedentary (SED), light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We aimed to identify domain-specific physical activity (PA) patterns in school-aged children who were assessed by questionnaire and accelerometry. For the study,
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Little is known about the extent that different domains contribute to total sedentary (SED), light (LPA) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). We aimed to identify domain-specific physical activity (PA) patterns in school-aged children who were assessed by questionnaire and accelerometry. For the study, 298 German school children and adolescents aged 6–17 years wore an accelerometer for one week and completed a PA recall-questionnaire for the same period. Spearman coefficients (r) were used to evaluate the agreement between self-reported and objectively measured PA in five domains (transport, school hours, physical education, leisure-time, organized sports activities). School hours mainly contributed to the total objectively measured SED, LPA and MVPA (55%, 53% and 46%, respectively), whilst sports activities contributed only 24% to total MVPA. Compared to accelerometry, the proportion of self-reported LPA and MVPA during school hours was substantially underestimated but overestimated during leisure-time. The agreement of self-reported and objectively measured PA was low for total LPA (r = 0.09, 95% CI (confidence interval): −0.03–0.20) and total MVPA (r = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.10–0.32), while moderate agreement was only found for total SED (r = 0.44, 95% CI: 0.34–0.53), LPA during transport (r = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.49–0.67) and MVPA during organized sports activities (r = 0.54; 95% CI: 0.38–0.67). Since school hours mainly contribute to total SED, LPA and MVPA and self-reported LPA and MVPA during school were importantly underestimated compared to objectively measured LPA and MVPA, the application of objective measurements is compulsory to characterize the entire activity pattern of school-aged children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Technical Approach to the Evaluation of Radiofrequency Radiation Emissions from Mobile Telephony Base Stations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 244; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030244
Received: 6 July 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
During the last two decades, the number of macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas emitting radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in residential areas has increased significantly, and therefore much more attention is being paid to RF EMR and its effects on human health.
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During the last two decades, the number of macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas emitting radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in residential areas has increased significantly, and therefore much more attention is being paid to RF EMR and its effects on human health. Scientific field measurements of public exposure to RF EMR (specifically to radio frequency radiation) from macrocell mobile telephony base station antennas and RF electromagnetic field (EMF) intensity parameters in the environment are discussed in this article. The research methodology is applied according to the requirements of safety norms and Lithuanian Standards in English (LST EN). The article presents and analyses RF EMFs generated by mobile telephony base station antennas in areas accessible to the general public. Measurements of the RF electric field strength and RF EMF power density were conducted in the near- and far-fields of the mobile telephony base station antenna. Broadband and frequency-selective measurements were performed outside (on the roof and on the ground) and in a residential area. The tests performed on the roof in front of the mobile telephony base station antennas in the near-field revealed the presence of a dynamic energy interaction within the antenna electric field, which changes rapidly with distance. The RF EMF power density values on the ground at distances of 50, 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500 m from the base station are very low and are scattered within intervals of 0.002 to 0.05 μW/cm2. The results were compared with international exposure guidelines (ICNIRP). Full article
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Open AccessArticle Oil Price Uncertainty, Transport Fuel Demand and Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 245; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030245
Received: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
Based on the panel data of 306 cities in China from 2002 to 2012, this paper investigates China’s road transport fuel (i.e., gasoline and diesel) demand system by using the Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) and the Quadratic AIDS (QUAIDS) models. The results
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Based on the panel data of 306 cities in China from 2002 to 2012, this paper investigates China’s road transport fuel (i.e., gasoline and diesel) demand system by using the Almost Ideal Demand System (AIDS) and the Quadratic AIDS (QUAIDS) models. The results indicate that own-priceelasticitiesfordifferentvehiclecategoriesrangefrom−1.215to−0.459(byAIDS)andfrom −1.399 to−0.369 (by QUAIDS). Then, this study estimates the air pollution emissions (CO, NOx and PM2.5) and public health damages from the road transport sector under different oil price shocks. Compared to the base year 2012, results show that a fuel price rise of 30% can avoid 1,147,270 tonnes of pollution emissions; besides, premature deaths and economic losses decrease by 16,149 cases and 13,817.953 million RMB yuan respectively; while based on the non-linear health effect model, the premature deaths and total economic losses decrease by 15,534 and 13,291.4 million RMB yuan respectively. Our study combines the fuel demand and health evaluation models and is the first attempt to address how oil price changes influence public health through the fuel demand system in China. Given its serious air pollution emission and substantial health damages, this paper provides important insights for policy makers in terms of persistent increasing in fuel consumption and the associated health and economic losses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Economics)
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Open AccessArticle “Looking over the Backyard Fence”: Householders and Mosquito Control
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 246; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030246
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
(1) Background: Vector-borne diseases are a significant public health problem in Western Australia. Mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of a number of pathogens and may pose a serious nuisance problem. Prevention efforts in the State are multi-faceted and include physical, chemical, and
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(1) Background: Vector-borne diseases are a significant public health problem in Western Australia. Mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of a number of pathogens and may pose a serious nuisance problem. Prevention efforts in the State are multi-faceted and include physical, chemical, and cultural control methods for restricting mosquito breeding. This is less complex where breeding areas are located within public open spaces. In Australia’s developed urban areas, breeding sites are, however, frequently located within private residential landholdings, where the scope of public health officials to act is constrained by law and practicality. Consequently, mosquito prevention in these locations is predominantly the responsibility of the residents. This research addressed a gap, both in understanding the degree to which “backyard” mosquito breeding has the potential to contribute to local mosquito problems, and in assessing what residents “think and do” about mosquito control within their home environment. (2) Methods: The study was conducted in the Town of Bassendean, a metropolitan Local Government Area of Perth, Western Australia, in close proximity to two natural, productive mosquito breeding sites, namely Ashfield Flats and Bindaring Park. A total of 150 householders were randomly surveyed during the summer of 2015–2016, to gauge residents’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP (knowledge, attitudes, and practices) Survey) in regards to mosquitoes, their breeding and ecology, and avoidance or minimization strategies. The survey comprised nine questions covering residents’ knowledge (3 questions), attitudes (3 questions), and practices (3 questions), as well as additional questions regarding the basic demographics of the resident. Larvae were collected from backyard containers and reared to adults for species identification. A series of Encephalitis Vector Surveillance carbon dioxide (EVS CO2) traps were also deployed, to assess adult mosquito density and species composition. (3) Results: Aedes notoscriptus (Skuse), a known container-inhabiting species, accounted for just over 50% of all mosquitoes identified. Most residents were aware of mosquito-borne disease and its risk in their local area. While the majority (79%) of the sample correctly identified Ross River virus as the most common infection in WA, a significant gap in the general knowledge of residents in regards to mosquito biology and breeding habits, was noted. Furthermore, only 50% of residents reported using personal protective measures to reduce mosquito bites and only one in six residents undertook physical or chemical mosquito control around their home. Additionally, 60% of respondents believed that mosquito control was “a job for the council and the state government”, rather than for individual householders. (4) Conclusions: A significant gap in the knowledge of residents in the study area existed in regards to the general knowledge of mosquitoes and their breeding habits; types of treatments that could be employed within the home; and the residents’ responsibility for the management of mosquito breeding on their private property. A public education campaign has been deployed to educate the residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mosquito Control Innovations into The 21st Century)
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Open AccessArticle Google-Earth Based Visualizations for Environmental Flows and Pollutant Dispersion in Urban Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 247; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030247
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 26 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
In the present study, we address the development and application of an efficient tool for conversion of results obtained by an integrated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational reaction dynamics (CRD) approach and their visualization in the Google Earth. We focus on results
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In the present study, we address the development and application of an efficient tool for conversion of results obtained by an integrated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and computational reaction dynamics (CRD) approach and their visualization in the Google Earth. We focus on results typical for environmental fluid mechanics studies at a city scale that include characteristic wind flow patterns and dispersion of reactive scalars. This is achieved by developing a code based on the Java language, which converts the typical four-dimensional structure (spatial and temporal dependency) of data results in the Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format. The visualization techniques most often used are revisited and implemented into the conversion tool. The potential of the tool is demonstrated in a case study of smog formation due to an intense traffic emission in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). It is shown that the Google Earth can provide a computationally efficient and user-friendly means of data representation. This feature can be very useful for visualization of pollution at street levels, which is of great importance for the city residents. Various meteorological and traffic emissions can be easily visualized and analyzed, providing a powerful, user-friendly tool for traffic regulations and urban climate adaptations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Pollution and Human Health Risk)
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Open AccessArticle Detection of Low Adherence in Rural Tuberculosis Patients in China: Application of Morisky Medication Adherence Scale
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 248; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030248
Received: 9 November 2016 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
The detection and analysis of cases of low medication adherence is important for helping to control tuberculosis (TB). The purpose of this study was to detect low adherence in rural TB patients by using the eight-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale of Chinese version
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The detection and analysis of cases of low medication adherence is important for helping to control tuberculosis (TB). The purpose of this study was to detect low adherence in rural TB patients by using the eight-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale of Chinese version (C-MMAS-8) and to further analyze the adherence-related variables. A total of 358 rural TB patients recruited through multi-stage randomized sampling participated in the survey. Data were collected by the use of interviewer-led questionnaires. First, the reliability and validity of the C-MMAS-8 were determined. Second, the adherence level was assessed, and factors related to low adherence were analyzed by using Pearson’s chi-square test and then in multiple logistic regression model. Finally, the prediction of the logistic model was assessed with Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curves. The C-MMAS-8 could be used to detect low adherence in TB patients with good reliability and validity. By using the referred cutoff points of MMAS-8, it was found that more than one-third of the participants had low medication adherence. Further analysis revealed the variables of being older, a longer treatment time, and being depressive were significantly related to low adherence. The ROC of the model was assessed as good using the cutoff point. We conclude that appropriately tailored strategies are needed for health-care providers to help rural TB patients cope with low medication adherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Research and Application of an Air Quality Early Warning System Based on a Modified Least Squares Support Vector Machine and a Cloud Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 249; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030249
Received: 30 November 2016 / Revised: 11 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
The worsening atmospheric pollution increases the necessity of air quality early warning systems (EWSs). Despite the fact that a massive amount of investigation about EWS in theory and practicality has been conducted by numerous researchers, studies concerning the quantification of uncertain information and
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The worsening atmospheric pollution increases the necessity of air quality early warning systems (EWSs). Despite the fact that a massive amount of investigation about EWS in theory and practicality has been conducted by numerous researchers, studies concerning the quantification of uncertain information and comprehensive evaluation are still lacking, which impedes further development in the area. In this paper, firstly a comprehensive warning system is proposed, which consists of two vital indispensable modules, namely effective forecasting and scientific evaluation, respectively. For the forecasting module, a novel hybrid model combining the theory of data preprocessing and numerical optimization is first developed to implement effective forecasting for air pollutant concentration. Especially, in order to further enhance the accuracy and robustness of the warning system, interval forecasting is implemented to quantify the uncertainties generated by forecasts, which can provide significant risk signals by using point forecasting for decision-makers. For the evaluation module, a cloud model, based on probability and fuzzy set theory, is developed to perform comprehensive evaluations of air quality, which can realize the transformation between qualitative concept and quantitative data. To verify the effectiveness and efficiency of the warning system, extensive simulations based on air pollutants data from Dalian in China were effectively implemented, which illustrate that the warning system is not only remarkably high-performance, but also widely applicable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Knowledge of Critical Cardiovascular Risk Indicators among College Students: Does Stage of Education Matter?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 250; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030250
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 16 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
The health risk of college students in the United States (US) is on the rise, with a significant increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, costing approximately $475.3 billion yearly. The
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The health risk of college students in the United States (US) is on the rise, with a significant increase in the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the US, costing approximately $475.3 billion yearly. The goals of this “Know Your Numbers” study were to: (1) estimate the awareness of college students of their critical health numbers (CHN); and (2) compare a college of pharmacy entry class (IP1) with second semester non-commuter freshman college students (FCS) in knowing their numbers. A cross-sectional 15-item pre-test survey was conducted among a convenience sample of IP1 and FCS. All statistical tests were performed at α = 0.05. Awareness of their: cholesterol (7%), blood pressure (BP) (35%), glucose (8%), and body mass index (BMI) (42%) were low. The IP1, compared to FCS, were more knowledgeable of: (1) their BP (46% vs. 28%, p = 0.01); (2) BP normal range (74% vs. 63%, p = 0.02); and (3) BMI normal range (39% vs. 23%, p = 0.04). The IP1s maintained a healthier diet than the FCS (64% vs. 36%, p < 0.0001). Awareness of knowing CHN was very low. Knowledge of one’s CHN was significantly associated with knowledge of normal reference values for BP, glucose, and BMI. Full article
Open AccessArticle Risk Factors for Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in a Primary Care Context of Central Argentina: A Web-Based Interactive and Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 251; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030251
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Global health agencies estimate an increase of chronic diseases in South America. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated chronic diseases and their risk factors in the perspective of multimorbidity. This research aimed to identify these aspects in a primary health care setting of central
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Global health agencies estimate an increase of chronic diseases in South America. Nevertheless, few studies have investigated chronic diseases and their risk factors in the perspective of multimorbidity. This research aimed to identify these aspects in a primary health care setting of central Argentina. The Pan America version of the STEP wise approach surveillance (STEPS) instrument of the World Health Organization was applied to 1044 participants, 365 men and 679 women, with a mean age of 43 years. High prevalence of overweight (33.5%), obesity (35.2%), central obesity (54%), dyslipidemia (43.5%), metabolic syndrome (21.1%), low intake of fruit and vegetables (91.8%), low levels of physical activity (71.5%), risky alcohol consumption (28%), and smoking (22.5%) were detected. Hypertension and diabetes were the most prevalent chronic conditions and the total prevalence of multimorbidity was 33.1%, with 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 chronic conditions found in 19.9%, 9.1%, 2.6%, 1.1% and 0.4% of the population, respectively. Multimorbidity affected 6.4% of the young, 31.7% of the adults, and 60.6% of the elderly, and was more prevalent among women, and in participants with lower levels of education. Having multimorbidity was significantly associated with obesity, central obesity, and higher concentrations of total blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and glucose. A website was made available to the participants in order to share the experimental results and health-promoting information. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chronic Diseases and Multimorbidity in Primary Care)
Open AccessArticle Unequal Distribution of Overweight Adolescents in Immigrant-Rich Areas: Analysis of Disparities among Public and Private School Students in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 252; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030252
Received: 25 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Accelerated urbanization and rising immigration to the big cities in China has resulted in education policies that produce disparate treatment of immigrant and non-immigrant students. The two types of students frequently wind up in different types of junior high schools. However, there is
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Accelerated urbanization and rising immigration to the big cities in China has resulted in education policies that produce disparate treatment of immigrant and non-immigrant students. The two types of students frequently wind up in different types of junior high schools. However, there is little research on whether disparities exist between students in public and private schools with regard to overweight. This study aims to address this gap through a comparison of the overweight status of junior high school students in public and private schools in Shanghai and explore the possible reasons for the observed differences. Students from two public and two private junior high schools were measured. In order to determine what factors might shape overweight among adolescents. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess associations between overweight and personal characteristics, birth-related factors, levels of physical activity, diet, family socioeconomic status and school environment. Students in private schools proved more likely to be overweight (15.20%, p < 0.05) than public school students (10.18%). Similarly, gender, breastfeeding, parental care and number of classes excluding physical education per day were found to be significant factors. However, private school students were also influenced by gestational age (yes/no: OR = 4.50, p < 0.001), frequency of snacks (sometimes/often: OR = 0.53, p < 0.01) and family income (¥6001–12,000/below ¥6000: OR = 3.27, p < 0.05). Time for lunch was the sole risk factor for public school students in the study (p < 0.05). To reduce the unequal distribution of overweight students between the two types of schools, interventions that consider different multiple risk factors should be implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Open AccessArticle The Empirical Relationship between Mining Industry Development and Environmental Pollution in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 254; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030254
Received: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
This study uses a vector autoregression (VAR) model to analyze changes in pollutants among different mining industries and related policy in China from 2001 to 2014. The results show that: (1) because the pertinence of standards for mining waste water and waste gas
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This study uses a vector autoregression (VAR) model to analyze changes in pollutants among different mining industries and related policy in China from 2001 to 2014. The results show that: (1) because the pertinence of standards for mining waste water and waste gas emissions are not strong and because the maximum permissible discharge pollutant concentrations in these standards are too high, ammonia nitrogen and industrial sulfur dioxide discharges increased in most mining industries; (2) chemical oxygen demand was taken as an indicator of sewage treatment in environmental protection plans; hence, the chemical oxygen demand discharge decreased in all mining industries; (3) tax reduction policies, which are only implemented in coal mining and washing and extraction of petroleum and natural gas, decreased the industrial solid waste discharge in these two mining industries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Smoking Trends among U.S. Latinos, 1998–2013: The Impact of Immigrant Arrival Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 255; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030255
Received: 31 October 2016 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
Few studies examine nativity disparities in smoking in the U.S., thus a major gap remains in understanding whether immigrant Latinos’ smoking prevalence is stable, converging, or diverging, compared with U.S.-born Latinos. This study aimed to disentangle the roles of period changes, duration of
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Few studies examine nativity disparities in smoking in the U.S., thus a major gap remains in understanding whether immigrant Latinos’ smoking prevalence is stable, converging, or diverging, compared with U.S.-born Latinos. This study aimed to disentangle the roles of period changes, duration of U.S. residence, and immigrant arrival cohort in explaining the gap in smoking prevalence between foreign-born and U.S.-born Latinos. Using repeated cross-sectional data spanning 1998–2013 (U.S. National Health Interview Survey), regressions predicted current smoking among foreign-born and U.S.-born Latino men and women (n = 12,492). We contrasted findings from conventional regression analyses that simply include period and duration of residence effects, to two methods of assessing arrival cohort effects: the first accounted for baseline differences in smoking among arrival cohorts, while the second examined smoking probabilities by tracking foreign-born arrival cohorts as they increase their duration of U.S. residence. Findings showed that Latino immigrants maintained lower prevalence of current smoking compared with U.S.-born Latinos over the period 1998–2013, and that longer duration of U.S. residence is associated with lower odds of smoking among men. Two findings are particularly novel: (1) accounting for immigrant arrival cohort dampens the overall protective effect of duration of residence among men; and (2) the earliest arrival cohort of Latino immigrant men experienced the steepest decline in smoking over duration of U.S. residence. Results have methodological and theoretical implications for smoking studies and the Latino mortality paradox. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Therapeutic Horseback Riding Crossover Effects of Attachment Behaviors with Family Pets in a Sample of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 256; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030256
Received: 20 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
The unique needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have implications for animal welfare. This nested pilot study examined the effects of a randomized trial of 10-week therapeutic horseback riding (THR) intervention versus a no-horse barn activity (BA) control group on children’s
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The unique needs of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have implications for animal welfare. This nested pilot study examined the effects of a randomized trial of 10-week therapeutic horseback riding (THR) intervention versus a no-horse barn activity (BA) control group on children’s behaviors with family pets. Sixty-seven (THR n = 31; BA n = 36) participants with ASD (ages 6–16 years) with one or more family pet, were enrolled from a larger trial (n = 116) following their randomization to intervention groups, stratified by nonverbal intellectual ability. A consistent caregiver completed questionnaires about participants’ interactions with their household pets pre- and post-intervention. Caregivers of THR group participants reported significant improvements in participants’ caring actions with the family pet compared with the BA group (p = 0.013; effect size = 0.74). Engaging with horses during a standard THR intervention protocol may generalize to improving caring actions toward family pets in children and adolescents with ASD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
Open AccessArticle Modelling Gender Differences in the Economic and Social Influences of Obesity in Australian Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 257; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030257
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
In Australia, as in many other developed economies, the prevalence of obesity has risen significantly in all age groups and especially in young males and females over the past decade. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey,
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In Australia, as in many other developed economies, the prevalence of obesity has risen significantly in all age groups and especially in young males and females over the past decade. Using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, this paper investigates the influence of economic, personality and social factor demographics on the incidence of obesity in Australian youths. The study uses two random parameters logit models, including one that allows for gender-specific differences in the conditioning variables. The models reveal notable differences between the most important variables affecting the incidence of obesity amongst females compared to males. These differences are notable to consider for policy and intervention programs aimed at reducing the problem of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity 2016)
Open AccessArticle Racial Disparities in Obesity Prevalence in Mississippi: Role of Socio-Demographic Characteristics and Physical Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 258; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030258
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 27 January 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Although the etiology of obesity is complex, social disparities are gaining attention for their contribution to obesity. The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence of obesity and to explore the associations between socio-demographic characteristics and obesity by race in Mississippi. Data
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Although the etiology of obesity is complex, social disparities are gaining attention for their contribution to obesity. The aim of this study was to estimate prevalence of obesity and to explore the associations between socio-demographic characteristics and obesity by race in Mississippi. Data from the 2014 Mississippi Behavior Risk Factors Surveillance System (BRFSS) were used in this study (n = 3794). Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were conducted using SAS Proc. Survey procedures to account for BRFSS’s multistage complex survey design and sample weights. The overall prevalence of self-reported obesity was 37%. Multiple logistic regression model showed gender was the only variable associated with increased risk of obesity among blacks. Black females were more likely to be obese (Adjusted OR [aOR] = 2.0, 95% CI: 1.4–2.7, ref = male) after controlling for confounders. Among white adults, obesity was significantly associated with physical activity, gender, age and education levels. Those aged 25–44 years (aOR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1–2.6, ref ≥ 64 years), those were physically inactivity (aOR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.4–2.5, ref = physically active) or had high school education (OR = 1.6, 95% CI: 1.2–2.3, ref = college graduate) or some college (aOR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.2–2.3, ref = college graduate) were more likely to be obese; females (aOR = 0.8; 95% CI: 0.6–0.9, ref = male) and those aged 18–24 years (aOR = 0.50, 95% CI: 0.21–0.9, ref ≥ 64 years) were less likely to be obese. Full article
Open AccessArticle Suicide Behaviors in Adult Inpatients with Mental Disorders in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 259; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030259
Received: 3 January 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: This study examined the tendency and suicidal behavior rates of Chinese adult inpatients with different types of mental disorders from 2010 to 2015. The aim was to provide some interesting clues for further studies. Methods: Adult patients with mental disorders
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Background: This study examined the tendency and suicidal behavior rates of Chinese adult inpatients with different types of mental disorders from 2010 to 2015. The aim was to provide some interesting clues for further studies. Methods: Adult patients with mental disorders who were hospitalized in Beijing Anding hospital from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2015 were included. Chi-square tests were used to compare the difference among inpatients with mental disorders by gender and year. Frequency, trend and suicidal behavior rates of inpatients with mental disorders were graphed. Results: A total of 17,244 psychiatric adult inpatients were included in our study. About 53.2% of the inpatients had mood disorders, followed by schizophrenia, which accounted for 34.6%. The proportion of female inpatients with mental disorders was larger than that of males (52.6% to 47.4%). Of the total, 3296 psychiatric inpatients were recognized as having suicidal behaviors. The rate of suicidal behavior among all inpatients was 19.1%, and it varied over the years. The suicidal behavior rate of female inpatients with mood disorders was much higher than that of the corresponding male inpatients. Conclusions: The presence of suicidal behavior varied among people with different types of mental disorders. For each type of mental illness, identifying the risk of specific suicide behavior would help tailor-make preventive efforts accordingly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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Open AccessArticle Identifying and Classifying Pollution Hotspots to Guide Watershed Management in a Large Multiuse Watershed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 260; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030260
Received: 23 November 2016 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
In many locations around the globe, large reservoir sustainability is threatened by land use change and direct pollution loading from the upstream watershed. However, the size and complexity of upstream basins makes the planning and implementation of watershed-scale pollution management a challenge. In
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In many locations around the globe, large reservoir sustainability is threatened by land use change and direct pollution loading from the upstream watershed. However, the size and complexity of upstream basins makes the planning and implementation of watershed-scale pollution management a challenge. In this study, we established an evaluation system based on 17 factors, representing the potential point and non-point source pollutants and the environmental carrying capacity which are likely to affect the water quality in the Dahuofang Reservoir and watershed in northeastern China. We used entropy methods to rank 118 subwatersheds by their potential pollution threat and clustered subwatersheds according to the potential pollution type. Combining ranking and clustering analyses allowed us to suggest specific areas for prioritized watershed management (in particular, two subwatersheds with the greatest pollution potential) and to recommend the conservation of current practices in other less vulnerable locations (91 small watersheds with low pollution potential). Finally, we identified the factors most likely to influence the water quality of each of the 118 subwatersheds and suggested adaptive control measures for each location. These results provide a scientific basis for improving the watershed management and sustainability of the Dahuofang reservoir and a framework for identifying threats and prioritizing the management of watersheds of large reservoirs around the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Metal Exposure and Associated Health Risk to Human Beings by Street Dust in a Heavily Industrialized City of Hunan Province, Central China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 261; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030261
Received: 15 December 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 3 March 2017
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Abstract
Fifty-five urban street dust samples were collected from Zhuzhou, an industrial city in central China and analyzed for a range of toxic elements. Potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects on children and adults due to exposure to street dust were assessed. Concerning the
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Fifty-five urban street dust samples were collected from Zhuzhou, an industrial city in central China and analyzed for a range of toxic elements. Potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health effects on children and adults due to exposure to street dust were assessed. Concerning the two subgroups, the child cohort is confronted with considerably greater health risks than adults. According to the Hazard Quotient (HQ) method, ingestion of dust particles poses primary risk to children and adults, followed by dermal contact and inhalation for all of the metals investigated except Hg, for which inhalation of its elemental vapor constitute a slightly higher risk than ingestion. For children, Pb, As, Cd, Cr, Hg and Sb exposure were deemed as the highest contributors to non-cancer health risks, while As and Cr represent an enhanced cancer risk for children. For adults, risk indicator values for both cancer and non-cancer effects obtained were within the safety threshold. In a comparison with other locations within and outside mainland China, exposure to arsenic is prominent for the population of Zhuzhou, indicating more attention and preventive actions should been taken. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals: Environmental and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Time Prediction Models for Echinococcosis Based on Gray System Theory and Epidemic Dynamics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 262; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030262
Received: 20 December 2016 / Revised: 26 January 2017 / Accepted: 16 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
Echinococcosis, which can seriously harm human health and animal husbandry production, has become an endemic in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. In order to explore an effective human Echinococcosis forecasting model in Xinjiang, three grey models, namely, the traditional grey GM(1,1)
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Echinococcosis, which can seriously harm human health and animal husbandry production, has become an endemic in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China. In order to explore an effective human Echinococcosis forecasting model in Xinjiang, three grey models, namely, the traditional grey GM(1,1) model, the Grey-Periodic Extensional Combinatorial Model (PECGM(1,1)), and the Modified Grey Model using Fourier Series (FGM(1,1)), in addition to a multiplicative seasonal ARIMA(1,0,1)(1,1,0)4 model, are applied in this study for short-term predictions. The accuracy of the different grey models is also investigated. The simulation results show that the FGM(1,1) model has a higher performance ability, not only for model fitting, but also for forecasting. Furthermore, considering the stability and the modeling precision in the long run, a dynamic epidemic prediction model based on the transmission mechanism of Echinococcosis is also established for long-term predictions. Results demonstrate that the dynamic epidemic prediction model is capable of identifying the future tendency. The number of human Echinococcosis cases will increase steadily over the next 25 years, reaching a peak of about 1250 cases, before eventually witnessing a slow decline, until it finally ends. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Comparative Epidemiology of Human Fatal Infections with Novel, High (H5N6 and H5N1) and Low (H7N9 and H9N2) Pathogenicity Avian Influenza A Viruses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 263; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030263
Received: 18 January 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to assess the mortality risks for human infection with high (HPAI) and low (LPAI) pathogenicity avian influenza viruses. The HPAI case fatality rate (CFR) was far higher than the LPAI CFR [66.0% (293/444) vs. 68.75% (11/16) vs. 40.4% (265/656) vs.
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This study aimed to assess the mortality risks for human infection with high (HPAI) and low (LPAI) pathogenicity avian influenza viruses. The HPAI case fatality rate (CFR) was far higher than the LPAI CFR [66.0% (293/444) vs. 68.75% (11/16) vs. 40.4% (265/656) vs. 0.0% (0/18) in the cases with H5N1, H5N6, H7N9, and H9N2 viruses, respectively; p < 0.001]. Similarly, the CFR of the index cases was greater than the secondary cases with H5N1 [100% (43/43) vs. 43.3% (42/97), p < 0.001]. Old age [22.5 vs. 17 years for H5N1, p = 0.018; 61 vs. 49 years for H7H9, p < 0.001], concurrent diseases [18.8% (15/80) vs. 8.33% (9/108) for H5N1, p = 0.046; 58.6% (156/266) vs. 34.8% (135/388) for H7H9, p < 0.001], delayed confirmation [13 vs. 6 days for H5N1, p < 0.001; 10 vs. 8 days for H7N9, p = 0.011] in the fatalities and survivors, were risk factors for deaths. With regard to the H5N1 clusters, exposure to poultry [67.4% (29/43) vs. 45.2% (19/42), p = 0.039] was the higher risk for the primary than the secondary deaths. In conclusion, old age, comorbidities, delayed confirmation, along with poultry exposure are the major risks contributing to fatal outcomes in human HPAI and LPAI infections. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle eHealth Familias Unidas: Pilot Study of an Internet Adaptation of an Evidence-Based Family Intervention to Reduce Drug Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Hispanic Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 264; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030264
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper describes the Internet adaptation of an evidenced-based intervention for Hispanic families, eHealth Familias Unidas, and explores whether an Internet-based format is feasible and acceptable to Hispanic families. Core intervention components from the evidence-based intervention, Familias Unidas, were transposed into a video
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This paper describes the Internet adaptation of an evidenced-based intervention for Hispanic families, eHealth Familias Unidas, and explores whether an Internet-based format is feasible and acceptable to Hispanic families. Core intervention components from the evidence-based intervention, Familias Unidas, were transposed into a video format and edited for content. Additionally, interactive exercises and a soap opera series were incorporated to reinforce intervention content and optimize participant engagement and retention. To understand the feasibility and acceptability of eHealth Familias Unidas, we conducted a pilot study and examined findings from: (1) session completion rates for both e-parent group sessions and family sessions (n = 23 families); and (2) qualitative data collected from Hispanic parents (n = 29) that received the eHealth intervention. Engagement and attendance in the intervention showed that 83% of families engaged in the intervention and that there was an overall session completion rate of 78%. Qualitative interviews were conducted mid and post intervention with a combined total of 29 participants. A general inductive approach was used to derive themes from the collected data. Overall, parents expressed positive feedback in regards to the intervention and stated that there were multiple lessons learned from participating in eHealth Familias Unidas. Findings indicate that an Internet-based family intervention is not only feasible and acceptable for Hispanic families, but also offers a viable option to ameliorate barriers to participation and implementation of preventive interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Determinants of HIV, Substance Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Role for Functional SOD2 Polymorphism in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in a Chinese Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 266; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030266
Received: 11 December 2016 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 6 March 2017
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Abstract
The superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) gene is a pivotal part of oxidative stress system, which could induce the onset of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In this study, we quantified the influence of a SOD2exonic polymorphism (rs4880) on PAH susceptibility. We genotyped this single
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The superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) gene is a pivotal part of oxidative stress system, which could induce the onset of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). In this study, we quantified the influence of a SOD2exonic polymorphism (rs4880) on PAH susceptibility. We genotyped this single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) by TaqMan, and evaluated its association with PAH susceptibility in a case-control study of 460 patients and 530 controls in China. There were significant differences between PAH cases and controls in both CC and TC+CC genotypes (p = 0.013 and p = 0.010, respectively). Furthermore, the number of variant alleles followed a dose-response manner (p trend was 0.023). Besides, the mRNA level and protein expression also indicated that the C allele of this variant decreased the expression of SOD2 gene (p = 0.004 in mRNA level and p = 0.012 in protein level) after the transfection of plasmids containing the different genotype of rs4480. There is significant association between SOD rs4880 polymorphism and the PAH susceptibility, and this polymorphism influenced PAH susceptibility by altering the expression of SOD2. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Insight into the Earthquake Risk Information Seeking Behavior of the Victims: Evidence from Songyuan, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 267; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030267
Received: 22 November 2016 / Revised: 6 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Efficient risk communication is a vital way to reduce the vulnerability of individuals when facing emergency risks, especially regarding earthquakes. Efficient risk communication aims at improving the supply of risk information and fulfilling the need for risk information by individuals. Therefore, an investigation
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Efficient risk communication is a vital way to reduce the vulnerability of individuals when facing emergency risks, especially regarding earthquakes. Efficient risk communication aims at improving the supply of risk information and fulfilling the need for risk information by individuals. Therefore, an investigation into individual-level information seeking behavior within earthquake risk contexts is very important for improved earthquake risk communication. However, at present there are very few studies that have explored the behavior of individuals seeking earthquake risk information. Under the guidance of the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model as well as relevant practical findings using the structural equation model, this study attempts to explore the main determinants of an individual’s earthquake risk information seeking behavior, and to validate the mediator effect of information need during the seeking process. A questionnaire-based survey of 918 valid respondents in Songyuan, China, who had been hit by a small earthquake swarm, was used to provide practical evidence for this study. Results indicated that information need played a noteworthy role in the earthquake risk information seeking process, and was detected both as an immediate predictor and as a mediator. Informational subjective norms drive the seeking behavior on earthquake risk information through both direct and indirect approaches. Perceived information gathering capacity, negative affective responses and risk perception have an indirect effect on earthquake risk information seeking behavior via information need. The implications for theory and practice regarding risk communication are discussed and concluded. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazards, Disasters and Emergencies)
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Open AccessArticle Correlation between Prenatal Exposure to Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) and Infant Birth Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis and an Experimental Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 268; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030268
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 17 February 2017 / Accepted: 28 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Only a few epidemiological studies have focused on the correlation between prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and infant birth outcomes (IBO), and the results of these epidemiological studies are contradictory. The objective of this study was to assess the correlation between
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Only a few epidemiological studies have focused on the correlation between prenatal exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and infant birth outcomes (IBO), and the results of these epidemiological studies are contradictory. The objective of this study was to assess the correlation between prenatal exposure to PBDEs (PEP) and IBO (i.e., birth weight) in an analysis of epidemiological studies and an experimental animals study. We searched databases of the medical literature (PubMed, Excerpta Medica Database, Cochrane Library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure) for articles and pooled the results of the included epidemiological studies. In parallel, birth outcomes (i.e., birth weights of pups) were collected from female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats exposed to decabromodiphenyl ether (DecaBDE) in the diet from five weeks of age to delivery. A significant negative relationship was found between human PBDE burden and birth weight in the analysis of seven epidemiological studies based on a random-effects model (β = −50.598; 95% confidence interval (CI) −95.914, −5.282; I2 = 11.8%; p = 0.029). In the experimental animal study, a significant decrease in birth weight in the DecaBDE-treated group was also observed (5.26 ± 0.39 vs. 5.8 ± 0.58, p = 0.0132). The results of our study contribute to increasing evidence suggesting that PEP adversely impacts IBO, especially birth weight. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Mortality in Miners with Coal-Workers’ Pneumoconiosis in the Czech Republic in the Period 1992–2013
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 269; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030269
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
While working underground, miners are exposed to a number of risk factors that have a negative impact on their health and may be a cause of an increased mortality in miners. The aim of the study was to compare total and specific mortality
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While working underground, miners are exposed to a number of risk factors that have a negative impact on their health and may be a cause of an increased mortality in miners. The aim of the study was to compare total and specific mortality in black coal miners with acknowledged coal-workers’ pneumoconiosis (CWP) and without CWP, and the mortality of the general male population in the Czech Republic in the period 1992–2013. The sample consisted of 3476 coal miners with CWP and 6687 ex-coal miners without CWP, who were removed after achieving the maximum permissible exposure (MPE). The mortality risk differences were analyzed with the use of the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and 95% confidence interval. Significantly higher total mortality (SMR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.02–1.17), and mortality from malignant neoplasm (SMR = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.03–1.30), lung cancers (SMR = 1.70; 95% CI: 1.41–2.04), and non-malignant respiratory diseases (SMR = 2.78; 95% CI: 2.32–3.31) were found in the sample of coal miners with CWP. In this sample, the severity of CWP was assessed, and the SMR increased with the severity of CWP. The total (SMR = 0.86; 95% CI: 0.82–0.91) and specific mortality of miners without CWP were not higher compared with the general population. In the case where the miners were removed from underground work after achieving the MPE (without CWP), their mortality was not higher than that of the general population, but the mortality of miners with CWP was higher compared to the general population. This mortality was affected by malignant and non-malignant respiratory diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Perception of Policy and Environmental Action to Promote Healthy Behaviors in African American Communities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 271; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030271
Received: 1 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
The present study aimed to examine the perceptions of African American communities regarding the involvement of political leaders in facilitating policy and environmental change promoting healthy eating and physical activity. We selected the Metro Jackson Area comprised of Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties
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The present study aimed to examine the perceptions of African American communities regarding the involvement of political leaders in facilitating policy and environmental change promoting healthy eating and physical activity. We selected the Metro Jackson Area comprised of Hinds, Madison and Rankin Counties because it is a combination of urban and rural communities. The sample consisted of 70 participants from seven sites. A total of seven focus groups were asked to respond to one question to assess political leaders’ involvement in healthy living: “When you think about your political leaders that you have in the Jackson, Mississippi area, do any of them promote healthy eating and physical activity?” Focus groups consisted of six to 12 participants and were asked to comment on their participation in physical activity. The focus group interviews were digitally recorded. The recorded interviews were transcribed by a professional transcriptionist. Community members could not recollect much participation from political leaders in the health prevention/intervention efforts. In each of the counties, there was evidence that there was some involvement by local politicians in health promotion issues, but not on a large scale. In conclusion, making healthy foods and products available in neighborhood stores has long been associated with healthy behaviors and positive health outcomes. This can make a difference in the Mississippi communities where supermarkets are not accessible and health disparities abound. Full article
Open AccessArticle Optimizing Scoring and Sampling Methods for Assessing Built Neighborhood Environment Quality in Residential Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 273; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030273
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Optimization of existing measurement tools is necessary to explore links between aspects of the neighborhood built environment and health behaviors or outcomes. We evaluate a scoring method for virtual neighborhood audits utilizing the Active Neighborhood Checklist (the Checklist), a neighborhood audit measure, and
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Optimization of existing measurement tools is necessary to explore links between aspects of the neighborhood built environment and health behaviors or outcomes. We evaluate a scoring method for virtual neighborhood audits utilizing the Active Neighborhood Checklist (the Checklist), a neighborhood audit measure, and assess street segment representativeness in low-income neighborhoods. Eighty-two home neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Cardiovascular Health/Needs Assessment (NCT01927783) participants were audited using Google Street View imagery and the Checklist (five sections with 89 total questions). Twelve street segments per home address were assessed for (1) Land-Use Type; (2) Public Transportation Availability; (3) Street Characteristics; (4) Environment Quality and (5) Sidewalks/Walking/Biking features. Checklist items were scored 0–2 points/question. A combinations algorithm was developed to assess street segments’ representativeness. Spearman correlations were calculated between built environment quality scores and Walk Score®, a validated neighborhood walkability measure. Street segment quality scores ranged 10–47 (Mean = 29.4 ± 6.9) and overall neighborhood quality scores, 172–475 (Mean = 352.3 ± 63.6). Walk scores® ranged 0–91 (Mean = 46.7 ± 26.3). Street segment combinations’ correlation coefficients ranged 0.75–1.0. Significant positive correlations were found between overall neighborhood quality scores, four of the five Checklist subsection scores, and Walk Scores® (r = 0.62, p < 0.001). This scoring method adequately captures neighborhood features in low-income, residential areas and may aid in delineating impact of specific built environment features on health behaviors and outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Utilizing Crowdsourced Data for Studies of Cycling and Air Pollution Exposure: A Case Study Using Strava Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 274; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030274
Received: 17 November 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
With the development of information and communications technology, user-generated content and crowdsourced data are playing a large role in studies of transport and public health. Recently, Strava, a popular website and mobile app dedicated to tracking athletic activity (cycling and running), began offering
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With the development of information and communications technology, user-generated content and crowdsourced data are playing a large role in studies of transport and public health. Recently, Strava, a popular website and mobile app dedicated to tracking athletic activity (cycling and running), began offering a data service called Strava Metro, designed to help transportation researchers and urban planners to improve infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians. Strava Metro data has the potential to promote studies of cycling and health by indicating where commuting and non-commuting cycling activities are at a large spatial scale (street level and intersection level). The assessment of spatially varying effects of air pollution during active travel (cycling or walking) might benefit from Strava Metro data, as a variation in air pollution levels within a city would be expected. In this paper, to explore the potential of Strava Metro data in research of active travel and health, we investigate spatial patterns of non-commuting cycling activities and associations between cycling purpose (commuting and non-commuting) and air pollution exposure at a large scale. Additionally, we attempt to estimate the number of non-commuting cycling trips according to environmental characteristics that may help identify cycling behavior. Researchers who are undertaking studies relating to cycling purpose could benefit from this approach in their use of cycling trip data sets that lack trip purpose. We use the Strava Metro Nodes data from Glasgow, United Kingdom in an empirical study. Empirical results reveal some findings that (1) when compared with commuting cycling activities, non-commuting cycling activities are more likely to be located in outskirts of the city; (2) spatially speaking, cyclists riding for recreation and other purposes are more likely to be exposed to relatively low levels of air pollution than cyclists riding for commuting; and (3) the method for estimating of the number of non-commuting cycling activities works well in this study. The results highlight: (1) a need for policymakers to consider how to improve cycling infrastructure and road safety in outskirts of cities; and (2) a possible way of estimating the number of non-commuting cycling activities when the trip purpose of cycling data is unknown. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Avoiding the Health Hazard of People from Construction Vehicles: A Strategy for Controlling the Vibration of a Wheel Loader
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 275; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030275
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 15 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
The vibration control of a construction vehicle must be carried out in order to meet the aims of sustainable environmental development and to avoid the potential human health hazards. In this paper, based on market feedback, the driver seat vibration of a type
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The vibration control of a construction vehicle must be carried out in order to meet the aims of sustainable environmental development and to avoid the potential human health hazards. In this paper, based on market feedback, the driver seat vibration of a type of wheel loader in the left and right direction, is found to be significant over a certain speed range. In order to find abnormal vibration components, the order tracking technique (OTT) and transmission path analysis (TPA) were used to analyze the vibration sources of the wheel loader. Through this analysis, it can be seen that the abnormal vibration comes from the interaction between the tire tread and the road, and this is because the vibration was amplified by the cab mount, which was eventually transmitted to the cab seat. Finally, the seat vibration amplitudes were decreased by up to 50.8%, after implementing the vibration reduction strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effecting a Safe and Healthy Environment in Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Nitrate, Nitrite, and Ammonium Variability in Drinking Water Distribution Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 276; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030276
Received: 30 January 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Accurate assessments of exposure to nitrate in drinking water is a crucial part of epidemiological studies investigating long-term adverse human health effects. However, since drinking water nitrate measurements are usually collected for regulatory purposes, assumptions on (1) the intra-distribution system variability and (2)
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Accurate assessments of exposure to nitrate in drinking water is a crucial part of epidemiological studies investigating long-term adverse human health effects. However, since drinking water nitrate measurements are usually collected for regulatory purposes, assumptions on (1) the intra-distribution system variability and (2) short-term (seasonal) concentration variability have to be made. We assess concentration variability in the distribution system of nitrate, nitrite, and ammonium, and seasonal variability in all Danish public waterworks from 2007 to 2016. Nitrate concentrations at the exit of the waterworks are highly correlated with nitrate concentrations within the distribution net or at the consumers’ taps, while nitrite and ammonium concentrations are generally lower within the net compared with the exit of the waterworks due to nitrification. However, nitrification of nitrite and ammonium in the distribution systems only results in a relatively small increase in nitrate concentrations. No seasonal variation for nitrate, nitrite, or ammonium was observed. We conclude that nitrate measurements taken at the exit of the waterworks are suitable to calculate exposures for all consumers connected to that waterworks and that sampling frequencies in the national monitoring programme are sufficient to describe temporal variations in longitudinal studies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Calcium and Magnesium in Groundwater and Drinking Water on the Health of Inhabitants of the Slovak Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 278; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030278
Received: 7 December 2016 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
This work aims to evaluate the impact of the chemical composition of groundwater/drinking water on the health of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic. Primary data consists of 20,339 chemical analyses of groundwater (34 chemical elements and compounds) and data on the health of
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This work aims to evaluate the impact of the chemical composition of groundwater/drinking water on the health of inhabitants of the Slovak Republic. Primary data consists of 20,339 chemical analyses of groundwater (34 chemical elements and compounds) and data on the health of the Slovak population expressed in the form of health indicators (HI). Fourteen HIs were evaluated including life expectancy, potential years of lost life, relative/standardized mortality for cardiovascular and oncological diseases, and diseases of the gastrointestinal and respiratory systems. The chemical and health data were expressed as the mean values for each of the 2883 Slovak municipalities. Artificial neural network (ANN) was the method used for environmental and health data analysis. The most significant relationship between HI and chemical composition of groundwater was documented as Ca + Mg (mmol·L−1), Ca and Mg. The following limit values were set for these most significant groundwater chemical parameters: Ca + Mg 2.9–6.1 mmol·L−1, Ca 78–155 mg·L−1 and Mg 28–54 mg·L−1. At these concentration ranges, the health of the Slovak population is the most favorable and the life expectancy is the highest. These limit values are about twice as high in comparison to the current Slovak valid guideline values for drinking water. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Changes in Prevalence and Socioeconomic Factors of Psychiatric Disability among Children in China from 1987–2006: A Population Based Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 279; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030279
Received: 27 December 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 3 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
The prevalence and risk factors associated with psychiatric disability among Chinese children under 14 years of age has long been of interest. Data used in the study included two nationally representative population-based surveys from the first and second China National Sample Surveys on
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The prevalence and risk factors associated with psychiatric disability among Chinese children under 14 years of age has long been of interest. Data used in the study included two nationally representative population-based surveys from the first and second China National Sample Surveys on Disability, conducted in 1987 and 2006. Both surveys used multistage, stratified random cluster sampling, with probability proportion to size, to derive nationally representative samples. Age-standardized point prevalence of mental disability was estimated through direct standardization using the 2000 census-derived Chinese population as the standard. Associations between psychiatric disability in children and possible risk factors were examined by logistic regression. Age-standardized point prevalence of psychiatric disability in children increased sharply from 0.18% to 1.11% in the 20 years between surveys. In the logistic regression analysis, the children’s age and household size presented inverse associations with psychiatric disability in both surveys, although these associations were not all significant in 1987. Residential area, minority group status and gender of children were consistently associated with psychiatric disability in both surveys. To face the challenge of rising prevalence rates of psychiatric disability among children in China, the government should adopt more vigorous strategies to prevent it, especially for minority ethnicity children and those living in rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Nonfatal Injuries and Psychosocial Correlates among Middle School Students in Cambodia and Vietnam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 280; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030280
Received: 17 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of nonfatal injury among middle school students in Cambodia and Vietnam. Cross-sectional data from 7137 school children (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 1.4) who were randomly sampled for participation
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The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and psychosocial correlates of nonfatal injury among middle school students in Cambodia and Vietnam. Cross-sectional data from 7137 school children (mean age 15.5 years, SD = 1.4) who were randomly sampled for participation in nationally representative Global School-based Health Surveys (GSHS) in Cambodia and Vietnam were analyzed. The proportion of school children reporting one or more serious injuries in the past year was 22.6% among boys and 17.5% among girls in Cambodia and 34.3% among boys and 25.1% among girls in Vietnam. The most prevalent cause of the most serious injury in Cambodia was traffic injuries (4.7% among boys and 4.3% among girls) and in Vietnam it was falls (10.0% among boys and 7.0% among girls). In multinomial logistic regression analyses, experiencing hunger (as an indicator for low socioeconomic status) and drug use were associated with having sustained one injury and two or more injuries in the past 12 months in Cambodia. In addition, poor mental health was associated with two or more injuries. In Vietnam, being male, experiencing hunger, current alcohol use, poor mental health and ever having had sex were associated with having sustained one injury and two or more injuries in the past 12 months. Several psychosocial variables were identified which could help in designing injury prevention strategies among middle school children in Cambodia and Vietnam. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention 2017)
Open AccessArticle Oral Health Status of Patients with Lysosomal Storage Diseases in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 281; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030281
Received: 16 January 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Patients with lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) suffer from physical and mental disabilities, which together with poor access to professional care may lead to impaired oral health. This cross-sectional case-control study characterized the status of oral health in patients with LSDs in Poland. Thirty-six
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Patients with lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) suffer from physical and mental disabilities, which together with poor access to professional care may lead to impaired oral health. This cross-sectional case-control study characterized the status of oral health in patients with LSDs in Poland. Thirty-six children and young adults with various forms of LSDs were examined. The data were compared with those from age- and sex-matched healthy controls. Exemplary cases were presented to highlight typical problems in oral care associated with LSDs. When possible, saliva was collected and analyzed for total protein, inflammatory mediators, and antioxidant status. Generally, patients with LSDs had significantly higher prevalence of caries, inferior gingival status, and inadequate oral hygiene. The severity of oral health impairment in mucopolysaccaridoses, the most common LSD in Poland, was similar to that seen in patients with mannosidoses or Pompe disease. Saliva could be collected only from few less handicapped patients. In MPS, it did not appear to differ significantly from the controls, but in patients with Pompe disease it contained lower concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), but higher levels of tumor necrosis factor receptors 1 and 2 (TNF-R1, TNF-R2) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). In conclusion, Polish patients with LSDs have an inadequate level of oral hygiene and substantially deteriorated oral health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Role of Age-Friendly Environments on Quality of Life among Thai Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 282; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030282
Received: 27 January 2017 / Revised: 4 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Studies on the significance of age-friendly environments towards quality of life among older adults have been limited. This study aimed to examine the association between age-friendly environments and quality of life among Thai older adults. Cross-sectional interview survey data were collected from 4183
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Studies on the significance of age-friendly environments towards quality of life among older adults have been limited. This study aimed to examine the association between age-friendly environments and quality of life among Thai older adults. Cross-sectional interview survey data were collected from 4183 older adults (≥60 years) using multistage stratified systematic sampling from all four regions in Thailand. The outcome variable was the World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL-BREF) scale, while independent variables included sociodemographic factors, having a health problem, and neighbourhood age-friendly environment variables. In multivariable logistic regression, significant age-friendly environments predictors of quality of life included walkable neighbourhood, neighbourhood aesthetics, neighbourhood service accessibility, neighbourhood criminal safety, neighbourhood social trust, neighbourhood social support, and neighbourhood social cohesion. The present study confirms the important role of age-friendly neighbourhoods in terms of physical and social environments towards the quality of life of older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
Open AccessArticle The Health and Working Conditions of Women Employed in Child Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 283; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030283
Received: 13 January 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Over one million women are employed in child care and are among the lowest wage workers in the US. The health and working conditions of 674 child care workers (118 administrators and 556 staff) from 74 centers is described using baseline data from
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Over one million women are employed in child care and are among the lowest wage workers in the US. The health and working conditions of 674 child care workers (118 administrators and 556 staff) from 74 centers is described using baseline data from a larger intervention trial. Participants were 39.9 (±13.0) years old; 55.4% African American, 37.1% Caucasian, and 5.3% of Hispanic ethnicity. Seventy-six percent reported having an Associate’s degree or less; 42% were classified as at or below poverty (<$20,000); and exhibited many health risks such as excess weight, insufficient activity, poor diet, and inadequate sleep. We investigated potential differences by income and job category. Lower income participants were significantly more likely to be current smokers (19.9% vs. 11.7%), drink more sweetened beverages (1.9 vs. 1.5), and report higher depressive symptoms (15.5 vs. 12.6). Administrators worked more hours weekly compared to staff (46.4 vs. 40.6), are less active (100 vs. 126 min/week), more sedentary (501 vs. 477 min/day), and reported higher job demands (13.3 vs. 12.5). Given the numerous health issues and challenging work conditions, we hope our results serve as a call to action for addressing low wages and the work environment as a means of influencing the health and well-being of child care workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Health and the Work Environment)
Open AccessArticle Attitude of Health Care Workers (HCWs) toward Patients Affected by HIV/AIDS and Drug Users: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 284; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030284
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 14 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Caring for HIV/AIDS patients and/or drug users requires health care workers (HCWs) to have good knowledge of the issues. Cultural differences in HCWs, combined with professional ethics and personal beliefs, could also result in conflicting attitudes, leading to difficulties related to looking after
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Caring for HIV/AIDS patients and/or drug users requires health care workers (HCWs) to have good knowledge of the issues. Cultural differences in HCWs, combined with professional ethics and personal beliefs, could also result in conflicting attitudes, leading to difficulties related to looking after people affected by HIV/AIDS or drug users. A cross-sectional study was carried out to assess the attitude towards HIV/AIDS patients and/or drug users in a sample of workers operating in a large university hospital in southern Italy. A total of 736 workers were surveyed from May to November 2016. During the periodic occupational health surveillance, a questionnaire was administered about attitudes of discrimination, acceptance and fear towards these patients. Respondents showed average levels of acceptance to HIV/AIDS and drug user patients. As years of experience and professional training increased, scores for discrimination, acceptance of HIV/AIDS, acceptance of drug users and fear decreased. Factors positively influencing levels of attitudes were being female and younger. Supplementary education is needed to strengthen the awareness of HCWs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Determinants of HIV, Substance Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle Disparity in Retention in Care and Viral Suppression for Black Caribbean-Born Immigrants Living with HIV in Florida
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 285; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030285
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
(1) The study aim was to assess disparities in non-retention in HIV care and non-viral suppression among non-Hispanic Black Caribbean immigrants living with HIV in Florida. (2) We analyzed cases involving individuals, aged ≥13, who met CDC HIV case definition during 2000–2014. Chi
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(1) The study aim was to assess disparities in non-retention in HIV care and non-viral suppression among non-Hispanic Black Caribbean immigrants living with HIV in Florida. (2) We analyzed cases involving individuals, aged ≥13, who met CDC HIV case definition during 2000–2014. Chi square test was used to evaluate differences in non-retention and non-viral suppression by country of origin/race/ethnicity. Multilevel logistic regressions with three referent groups [US-born Blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs)] were used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (aOR). (3) Caribbean-born Blacks were less likely to be retained in care or be virally suppressed than US-born Blacks, Hispanics, and NHWs. Bahamians, Haitians, and Trinidadians and Tobagonians had increased odds of non-retention (aOR 3.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.40 –4.10; aOR 1.52, 95% CI 1.40–1.66; aOR 2.30, 95% CI 1.38–3.83), and non-viral suppression (aOR 3.23, 95% CI 2.48–4.21; aOR 1.82, 95% CI 1.68–1.98; aOR 1.76, 95% CI 1.06–2.90) compared with NHWs. (4) Caribbean-born Blacks living with HIV infection are less likely than other racial/ethnic groups to be retained in care and/or achieve viral suppression. Further research is urgently needed to determine social, cultural, and biological factors that contribute to this disparity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cultural Determinants of HIV, Substance Abuse and Addiction)
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Open AccessArticle Perceived Stigma of Sudden Bereavement as a Risk Factor for Suicidal Thoughts and Suicide Attempt: Analysis of British Cross-Sectional Survey Data on 3387 Young Bereaved Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 286; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030286
Received: 30 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
The sudden death of a friend or relative, particularly by suicide, is a risk factor for suicide. People who experience sudden bereavement report feeling highly stigmatised by the loss, potentially influencing access to support. We assessed whether perceived stigma following sudden bereavement is
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The sudden death of a friend or relative, particularly by suicide, is a risk factor for suicide. People who experience sudden bereavement report feeling highly stigmatised by the loss, potentially influencing access to support. We assessed whether perceived stigma following sudden bereavement is associated with suicidal thoughts and suicide attempt. We analysed cross-sectional survey data on 3387 young adults bereaved by the sudden death of a close contact. We tested the association of high versus low perceived stigma (on the stigma sub-scale of the Grief Experience Questionnaire) with post-bereavement suicidal ideation and suicide attempt, using random effects logistic regression, adjusting for socio-demographic factors, pre-bereavement psychopathology, and mode of sudden bereavement (natural causes/unnatural causes/suicide). Subjects with high perceived stigma scores were significantly more likely to report post-bereavement suicidal thoughts (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.74; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.93–3.89) and suicide attempt (AOR = 2.73; 95% CI = 2.33–3.18) than those with low stigma scores. People who feel highly stigmatised by a sudden bereavement are at increased risk of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempt, even taking into account prior suicidal behaviour. General practitioners, bereavement counsellors, and others who support people bereaved suddenly, should consider inquiring about perceived stigma, mental wellbeing, and suicidal thoughts, and directing them to appropriate sources of support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Open AccessArticle Pedestrians in Traffic Environments: Ultrafine Particle Respiratory Doses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 288; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030288
Received: 18 December 2016 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 6 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Particulate matter has recently received more attention than other pollutants. PM10 and PM2.5 have been primarily monitored, whereas scientists are focusing their studies on finer granulometric sizes due both to their high number concentration and their high penetration efficiency into the respiratory system.
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Particulate matter has recently received more attention than other pollutants. PM10 and PM2.5 have been primarily monitored, whereas scientists are focusing their studies on finer granulometric sizes due both to their high number concentration and their high penetration efficiency into the respiratory system. The purpose of this study is to investigate the population exposure to UltraFine Particles (UFP, submicrons in general) in outdoor environments. The particle number doses deposited into the respiratory system have been compared between healthy individuals and persons affected by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). Measurements were performed by means of Dust Track and Nanoscan analyzers. Forty minute walking trails through areas with different traffic densities in downtown Rome have been considered. Furthermore, particle respiratory doses have been estimated for persons waiting at a bus stop, near a traffic light, or along a high-traffic road, as currently occurs in a big city. Large differences have been observed between workdays and weekdays: on workdays, UFP number concentrations are much higher due to the strong contribution of vehicular exhausts. COPD-affected individuals receive greater doses than healthy individuals due to their higher respiratory rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transportation and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Combined Effect of Silica Nanoparticles and Benzo[a]pyrene on Cell Cycle Arrest Induction and Apoptosis in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 289; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030289
Received: 8 February 2017 / Accepted: 5 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Particulate matter (PM) such as ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) and the organic compound pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) are widespread in the environment. UFP and PAH are present in the air, and their presence may enhance their individual adverse effects on
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Particulate matter (PM) such as ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) and the organic compound pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) are widespread in the environment. UFP and PAH are present in the air, and their presence may enhance their individual adverse effects on human health. However, the mechanism and effect of their combined interactions on human cells are not well understood. We investigated the combined toxicity of silica nanoparticles (SiNPs) (UFP) and Benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) (PAH) on human endothelial cells. Human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) were exposed to SiNPs or B[a]P, or a combination of SiNPs and B[a]P. The toxicity was investigated by assessing cellular oxidative stress, DNA damage, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis. Our results show that SiNPs were able to induce reactive oxygen species generation (ROS). B[a]P, when acting alone, had no toxicity effect. However, a co-exposure of SiNPs and B[a]P synergistically induced DNA damage, oxidative stress, cell cycle arrest at the G2/M check point, and apoptosis. The co-exposure induced G2/M arrest through the upregulation of Chk1 and downregulation of Cdc25C, cyclin B1. The co-exposure also upregulated bax, caspase-3, and caspase-9, the proapoptic proteins, while down-regulating bcl-2, which is an antiapoptotic protein. These results show that interactions between SiNPs and B[a]P synergistically potentiated toxicological effects on HUVECs. This information should help further our understanding of the combined toxicity of PAH and UFP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Sitting Time, Physical Activity and Sleep by Work Type and Pattern—The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 290; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030290
Received: 27 October 2016 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
Data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were used to examine how work was associated with time spent sleeping, sitting and in physical activity (PA), in working women. Young (31–36 years; 2009) and mid-aged (59–64 years; 2010) women reported sleep (categorised
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Data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health were used to examine how work was associated with time spent sleeping, sitting and in physical activity (PA), in working women. Young (31–36 years; 2009) and mid-aged (59–64 years; 2010) women reported sleep (categorised as shorter ≤6 h/day and longer ≥8 h/day) and sitting time (work, transport, television, non-work computer, and other; summed for total sitting time) on the most recent work and non-work day; and moderate and vigorous PA (categorised as meeting/not meeting guidelines) in the previous week. Participants reported occupation (manager/professional; clerical/sales; trades/transport/labourer), work hours (part-time; full-time) and work pattern (shift/night; not shift/night). The odds of shorter sleep on work days was higher in both cohorts for women who worked shift or night hours. Longer sitting time on work days, made up primarily of sitting for work, was found for managers/professionals, clerical/sales and full-time workers. In the young cohort, clerical/sales workers and in the mid-aged cohort, full-time workers were less likely to meet PA guidelines. These results suggest multiple behaviour interventions tailored to work patterns and occupational category may be useful to improve the sleep, sitting and activity of working women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Health and the Work Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Cumulative Risk Assessment in the Lorraine Region: A Framework to Characterize Environmental Health Inequalities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 291; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030291
Received: 2 December 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
The study explores spatial data processing methods and the associated impact on the characterization and quantification of a combined health risk indicator at a regional scale and at fine resolution. To illustrate the methodology of combining multiple publicly available data sources, we present
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The study explores spatial data processing methods and the associated impact on the characterization and quantification of a combined health risk indicator at a regional scale and at fine resolution. To illustrate the methodology of combining multiple publicly available data sources, we present a case study of the Lorraine region (France), where regional stakeholders were involved in the global procedures for data collection and organization. Different indicators are developed by combining technical approaches for assessing and characterizing human health exposure to chemical substances (in soil, air and water) and noise risk factors. The results permit identification of pollutant sources, determinants of exposure, and potential hotspot areas. A test of the model’s assumptions to changes in sub-indicator spatial distribution showed the impact of data transformation on identifying more impacted areas. Cumulative risk assessment permits the combination of quantitative and qualitative evaluation of health risks by including stakeholders in the decision process, helping to define a subjective conceptual analysis framework or assumptions when uncertainties or knowledge gaps operate. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Congenital Anomalies in Contaminated Sites: A Multisite Study in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 292; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030292
Received: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
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Abstract
The health impact on populations residing in industrially contaminated sites (CSs) is recognized as a public health concern especially in relation to more vulnerable population subgroups. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of congenital anomalies (CAs) in Italian CSs.
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The health impact on populations residing in industrially contaminated sites (CSs) is recognized as a public health concern especially in relation to more vulnerable population subgroups. The aim of this study was to estimate the risk of congenital anomalies (CAs) in Italian CSs. Thirteen CSs covered by regional CA registries were investigated in an ecological study. The observed/expected ratios (O/E) with 90% confidence intervals (CI) for the total and specific subgroups of CAs were calculated using the regional areas as references. For the CSs with waste landfills, petrochemicals, and refineries, pooled estimates were calculated. The total number of observed cases of CAs was 7085 out of 288,184 births (prevalence 245.8 per 10,000). For some CSs, excesses for several CA subgroups were observed, in particular for genital and heart defects. The excess of genital CAs observed in Gela (O/E 2.36; 90% CI 1.73–3.15) is consistent with findings from other studies. For CSs including petrochemical and landfills, the pooled risk estimates were 1.10 (90% CI 1.01–1.19) and 1.07 (90% CI 1.02–1.13), respectively. The results are useful in identifying priority areas for analytical investigations and in supporting the promotion of policies for the primary prevention of CAs. The use of short-latency effect indicators is recommended for the health surveillance of the populations residing in CSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
Open AccessArticle Life after Stroke in an Urban Minority Population: A Photovoice Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 293; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030293
Received: 2 January 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 27 February 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
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Abstract
Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States and disproportionately affects minority populations. We sought to explore the quality of life in urban, minority stroke survivors through their own photos and narratives. Using the Photovoice method, seventeen stroke survivors were
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Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States and disproportionately affects minority populations. We sought to explore the quality of life in urban, minority stroke survivors through their own photos and narratives. Using the Photovoice method, seventeen stroke survivors were instructed to take pictures reflecting their experience living with and recovering from stroke. Key photographs were discussed in detail; participants brainstormed ways to improve their lives and presented their work in clinical and community sites. Group discussions were recorded, transcribed, and coded transcripts were reviewed with written narratives to identify themes. Participants conveyed recovery from stroke in three stages: learning to navigate the initial physical and emotional impact of the stroke; coping with newfound physical and emotional barriers; and long-term adaptation to physical impairment and/or chronic disease. Participants navigated this stage-based model to varying degrees of success and identified barriers and facilitators to this process. Barriers included limited access for disabled and limited healthy food choices unique to the urban setting; facilitators included presence of social support and community engagement. Using Photovoice, diverse stroke survivors were able to identify common challenges in adapting to life after stroke and important factors for recovery of quality of life. Full article
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Open AccessArticle HIV Education and Welfare Services in Primary Care: An Empirical Model of Integration in Brazil’s Unified Health System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 294; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030294
Received: 19 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Integration of health education and welfare services in primary care systems is a key strategy to solve the multiple determinants of chronic diseases, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). However, there is a scarcity of conceptual models
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Integration of health education and welfare services in primary care systems is a key strategy to solve the multiple determinants of chronic diseases, such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). However, there is a scarcity of conceptual models from which to build integration strategies. We provide a model based on cross-sectional data from 168 Community Health Agents, 62 nurses, and 32 physicians in two municipalities in Brazil’s Unified Health System (UHS). The outcome, service integration, comprised HIV education, community activities (e.g., health walks and workshops), and documentation services (e.g., obtainment of working papers and birth certificates). Predictors included individual factors (provider confidence, knowledge/skills, perseverance, efficacy); job characteristics (interprofessional collaboration, work-autonomy, decision-making autonomy, skill variety); and organizational factors (work conditions and work resources). Structural equation modeling was used to identify factors associated with service integration. Knowledge and skills, skill variety, confidence, and perseverance predicted greater integration of HIV education alongside community activities and documentation services. Job characteristics and organizational factors did not predict integration. Our study offers an explanatory model that can be adapted to examine other variables that may influence integration of different services in global primary healthcare systems. Findings suggest that practitioner trainings to improve integration should focus on cognitive constructs—confidence, perseverance, knowledge, and skills. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Model-Based Evaluation of Strategies to Control Brucellosis in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 295; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030295
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 26 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
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Abstract
Brucellosis, the most common zoonotic disease worldwide, represents a great threat to animal husbandry with the potential to cause enormous economic losses. Brucellosis has become a major public health problem in China, and the number of human brucellosis cases has increased dramatically in
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Brucellosis, the most common zoonotic disease worldwide, represents a great threat to animal husbandry with the potential to cause enormous economic losses. Brucellosis has become a major public health problem in China, and the number of human brucellosis cases has increased dramatically in recent years. In order to evaluate different intervention strategies to curb brucellosis transmission in China, a novel mathematical model with a general indirect transmission incidence rate was presented. By comparing the results of three models using national human disease data and 11 provinces with high case numbers, the best fitted model with standard incidence was used to investigate the potential for future outbreaks. Estimated basic reproduction numbers were highly heterogeneous, varying widely among provinces. The local basic reproduction numbers of provinces with an obvious increase in incidence were much larger than the average for the country as a whole, suggesting that environment-to-individual transmission was more common than individual-to-individual transmission. We concluded that brucellosis can be controlled through increasing animal vaccination rates, environment disinfection frequency, or elimination rates of infected animals. Our finding suggests that a combination of animal vaccination, environment disinfection, and elimination of infected animals will be necessary to ensure cost-effective control for brucellosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Factors for Mortality among Adult HIV/AIDS Patients Following Antiretroviral Therapy in Southwestern Ethiopia: An Assessment through Survival Models
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 296; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030296
Received: 15 January 2017 / Revised: 27 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
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Abstract
Introduction: Efforts have been made to reduce HIV/AIDS-related mortality by delivering antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment. However, HIV patients in resource-poor settings are still dying, even if they are on ART treatment. This study aimed to explore the factors associated with HIV/AIDS-related mortality in
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Introduction: Efforts have been made to reduce HIV/AIDS-related mortality by delivering antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment. However, HIV patients in resource-poor settings are still dying, even if they are on ART treatment. This study aimed to explore the factors associated with HIV/AIDS-related mortality in Southwestern Ethiopia. Method: A non-concurrent retrospective cohort study which collected data from the clinical records of adult HIV/AIDS patients, who initiated ART treatment and were followed between January 2006 and December 2010, was conducted, to explore the factors associated with HIV/AIDS-related mortality at Jimma University Specialized Hospital (JUSH). Survival times (i.e., the time from the onset of ART treatment to the death or censoring) and different characteristics of patients were retrospectively examined. A best-fit model was chosen for the survival data, after the comparison between native semi-parametric Cox regression and parametric survival models (i.e., exponential, Weibull, and log-logistic). Result: A total of 456 HIV patients were included in the study, mostly females (312, 68.4%), with a median age of 30 years (inter-quartile range (IQR): 23–37 years). Estimated follow-up until December 2010 accounted for 1245 person-years at risk (PYAR) and resulted in 66 (14.5%) deaths and 390 censored individuals, representing a median survival time of 34.0 months ( IQR: 22.8–42.0 months). The overall mortality rate was 5.3/100 PYAR: 6.5/100 PYAR for males and 4.8/100 PYAR for females. The Weibull survival model was the best model for fitting the data (lowest AIC). The main factors associated with mortality were: baseline age (>35 years old, AHR = 3.8, 95% CI: 1.6–9.1), baseline weight (AHR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.90–0.97), baseline WHO stage IV (AHR = 6.2, 95% CI: 2.2–14.2), and low adherence to ART treatment (AHR = 4.2, 95% CI: 2.5–7.1). Conclusion: An effective reduction in HIV/AIDS mortality could be achieved through timely ART treatment onset and maintaining high levels of treatment adherence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Evaluation on the Cadmium Net Concentration for Soil Ecosystems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 297; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030297
Received: 17 December 2016 / Revised: 28 February 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 12 March 2017
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Abstract
Yixing, known as the “City of Ceramics”, is facing a new dilemma: a raw material crisis. Cadmium (Cd) exists in extremely high concentrations in soil due to the considerable input of industrial wastewater into the soil ecosystem. The in situ technique of diffusive
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Yixing, known as the “City of Ceramics”, is facing a new dilemma: a raw material crisis. Cadmium (Cd) exists in extremely high concentrations in soil due to the considerable input of industrial wastewater into the soil ecosystem. The in situ technique of diffusive gradients in thin film (DGT), the ex situ static equilibrium approach (HAc, EDTA and CaCl2), and the dissolved concentration in soil solution, as well as microwave digestion, were applied to predict the Cd bioavailability of soil, aiming to provide a robust and accurate method for Cd bioavailability evaluation in Yixing. Moreover, the typical local cash crops—paddy and zizania aquatica—were selected for Cd accumulation, aiming to select the ideal plants with tolerance to the soil Cd contamination. The results indicated that the biomasses of the two applied plants were sufficiently sensitive to reflect the stark regional differences of different sampling sites. The zizania aquatica could effectively reduce the total Cd concentration, as indicated by the high accumulation coefficients. However, the fact that the zizania aquatica has extremely high transfer coefficients, and its stem, as the edible part, might accumulate large amounts of Cd, led to the conclusion that zizania aquatica was not an ideal cash crop in Yixing. Furthermore, the labile Cd concentrations which were obtained by the DGT technique and dissolved in the soil solution showed a significant correlation with the Cd concentrations of the biota accumulation. However, the ex situ methods and the microwave digestion-obtained Cd concentrations showed a poor correlation with the accumulated Cd concentration in plant tissue. Correspondingly, the multiple linear regression models were built for fundamental analysis of the performance of different methods available for Cd bioavailability evaluation. The correlation coefficients of DGT obtained by the improved multiple linear regression model have not significantly improved compared to the coefficients obtained by the simple linear regression model. The results revealed that DGT was a robust measurement, which could obtain the labile Cd concentrations independent of the physicochemical features’ variation in the soil ecosystem. Consequently, these findings provide stronger evidence that DGT is an effective and ideal tool for labile Cd evaluation in Yixing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)
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Open AccessArticle Perceptions of Health Co-Benefits in Relation to Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions: A Survey among Urban Residents in Three Chinese Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 298; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030298
Received: 28 December 2016 / Revised: 5 March 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
Limited information is available on the perceptions of stakeholders concerning the health co-benefits of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of urban residents on the health co-benefits involving GHG abatement and related influencing factors
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Limited information is available on the perceptions of stakeholders concerning the health co-benefits of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceptions of urban residents on the health co-benefits involving GHG abatement and related influencing factors in three cities in China. Beijing, Ningbo and Guangzhou were selected for this survey. Participants were recruited from randomly chosen committees, following quotas for gender and age in proportion to the respective population shares. Chi-square or Fisher’s exact tests were employed to examine the associations between socio-demographic variables and individuals’ perceptions of the health co-benefits related to GHG mitigation. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was performed to investigate the influencing factors of respondents’ awareness about the health co-benefits. A total of 1159 participants were included in the final analysis, of which 15.9% reported that they were familiar with the health co-benefits of GHG emission reductions. Those who were younger, more educated, with higher family income, and with registered urban residence, were more likely to be aware of health co-benefits. Age, attitudes toward air pollution and governmental efforts to improve air quality, suffering from respiratory diseases, and following low carbon lifestyles are significant predictors of respondents’ perceptions on the health co-benefits. These findings may not only provide information to policy-makers to develop and implement public welcome policies of GHG mitigation, but also help to bridge the gap between GHG mitigation measures and public engagement as well as willingness to change health-related behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Association of Short-Term Exposure to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter with Skin Symptoms in Schoolchildren: A Panel Study in a Rural Area of Western Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 299; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030299
Received: 12 January 2017 / Revised: 23 February 2017 / Accepted: 11 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
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Abstract
Numerous studies have unmasked the deleterious effects of particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) on health. However, epidemiologic evidence focusing on the effects of PM2.5 on skin health remains limited. An important aspect of Asian dust (AD) in relationship
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Numerous studies have unmasked the deleterious effects of particulate matter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) on health. However, epidemiologic evidence focusing on the effects of PM2.5 on skin health remains limited. An important aspect of Asian dust (AD) in relationship to health is the amount of PM2.5 contained therein. Several studies have demonstrated that AD can aggravate skin symptoms. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of short-term exposure to PM2.5 and AD particles on skin symptoms in schoolchildren. A total of 339 children recorded daily skin symptom scores during February 2015. Light detection and ranging were used to calculate AD particle size. Generalized estimating equation logistic regression analyses were used to estimate the associations among skin symptoms and the daily levels of PM2.5 and AD particles. Increases in the levels of PM2.5 and AD particles were not related to an increased risk of skin symptom events, with increases of 10.1 μg/m3 in PM2.5 and 0.01 km−1 in AD particles changing odds ratios by 1.03 and 0.99, respectively. These results suggest that short-term exposure to PM2.5 and AD does not impact skin symptoms in schoolchildren. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment Health)

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Open AccessReview Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic Responses to Clopidogrel: Evidences and Perspectives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 301; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030301
Received: 8 February 2017 / Revised: 2 March 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Clopidogrel has significantly reduced the incidence of recurrent atherothrombotic events in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and in those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, recurrence events still remain, which may be partly due to inadequate platelet inhibition by standard clopidogrel therapy.
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Clopidogrel has significantly reduced the incidence of recurrent atherothrombotic events in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and in those undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). However, recurrence events still remain, which may be partly due to inadequate platelet inhibition by standard clopidogrel therapy. Genetic polymorphisms involved in clopidogrel’s absorption, metabolism, and the P2Y12 receptor may interfere with its antiplatelet activity. Recent evidence indicated that epigenetic modification may also affect clopidogrel response. In addition, non-genetic factors such as demographics, disease complications, and drug-drug interactions can impair the antiplatelet effect of clopidogrel. The identification of factors contributing to the variation in clopidogrel response is needed to improve platelet inhibition and to reduce risk for cardiovascular events. This review encompasses the most recent updates on factors influencing pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic responses to clopidogrel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public 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; doi: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 Public Health)
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; doi: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 Environment Health)
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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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030321 (registering DOI)
Received: 24 December 2016 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 February 2017 / Published: 20 March 2017
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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 AccessReview Toxicity Research of PM2.5 Compositions In Vitro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 232; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030232
Received: 9 December 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 26 February 2017
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Abstract
According to the published literature, we surmise that particulate matter (PM) concentration, individually, may be less important than components in explaining health effects. PM2.5 (aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm) had similar cytotoxicity (e.g., cell viability reduction, oxidative damage, inflammatory effects and genetic toxicity)
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According to the published literature, we surmise that particulate matter (PM) concentration, individually, may be less important than components in explaining health effects. PM2.5 (aerodynamic diameter <2.5 μm) had similar cytotoxicity (e.g., cell viability reduction, oxidative damage, inflammatory effects and genetic toxicity) on different types of cells. The studies of cells are readily available for detailed mechanistic investigations, which is more appropriate for learning and comparing the mechanism caused by single or mixed ingredients coating a carbon core. No review exists that holistically examines the evidence from all components-based in vitro studies. We reviewed published studies that focus on the cytotoxicity of normal PM2.5. Those studies suggested that the toxicity of mixed compositions differs greatly from the single ingredients in mixed components and the target cells. The cytotoxic responses caused by PM2.5 components have not shown a consistent association with clear, specific health effects. The results may be beneficial for providing new targets for drugs for the treatment of PM2.5-related diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environment 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; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030334
Received: 1 January 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 22 March 2017
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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
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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 Environment Health)
Open AccessReview Companion Animals and Child/Adolescent Development: A Systematic Review of the Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 234; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030234
Received: 23 November 2016 / Revised: 16 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
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Abstract
Childhood and adolescence are important developmental phases which influence health and well-being across the life span. Social relationships are fundamental to child and adolescent development; yet studies have been limited to children’s relationships with other humans. This paper provides an evidence review for
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Childhood and adolescence are important developmental phases which influence health and well-being across the life span. Social relationships are fundamental to child and adolescent development; yet studies have been limited to children’s relationships with other humans. This paper provides an evidence review for the potential associations between pet ownership and emotional; behavioural; cognitive; educational and social developmental outcomes. As the field is in the early stages; a broad set of inclusion criteria was applied. A systematic search of databases and grey literature sources found twenty-two studies meeting selection criteria. The review found evidence for an association between pet ownership and a wide range of emotional health benefits from childhood pet ownership; particularly for self-esteem and loneliness. The findings regarding childhood anxiety and depression were inconclusive. Studies also showed evidence of an association between pet ownership and educational and cognitive benefits; for example, in perspective-taking abilities and intellectual development. Evidence on behavioural development was unclear due to a lack of high quality research. Studies on pet ownership and social development provided evidence for an association with increased social competence; social networks; social interaction and social play behaviour. Overall, pet ownership and the significance of children’s bonds with companion animals have been underexplored; there is a shortage of high quality and longitudinal studies in all outcomes. Prospective studies that control for a wide range of confounders are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Assisted Interventions and Activites for Health and Wellbeing)
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Open AccessReview Reducing Risk of Salmonellosis through Egg Decontamination Processes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 335; doi: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
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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 Public Health)
Open AccessReview Risk Estimates and Risk Factors Related to Psychiatric Inpatient Suicide—An Overview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 253; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030253
Received: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 22 February 2017 / Published: 2 March 2017
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Abstract
People with mental illness have an increased risk of suicide. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of suicide risk estimates among psychiatric inpatients based on the body of evidence found in scientific peer-reviewed literature; primarily focusing on the relative
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People with mental illness have an increased risk of suicide. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of suicide risk estimates among psychiatric inpatients based on the body of evidence found in scientific peer-reviewed literature; primarily focusing on the relative risks, rates, time trends, and socio-demographic and clinical risk factors of suicide in psychiatric inpatients. Psychiatric inpatients have a very high risk of suicide relative to the background population, but it remains challenging for clinicians to identify those patients that are most likely to die from suicide during admission. Most studies are based on low power, thus compromising quality and generalisability. The few studies with sufficient statistical power mainly identified non-modifiable risk predictors such as male gender, diagnosis, or recent deliberate self-harm. Also, the predictive value of these predictors is low. It would be of great benefit if future studies would be based on large samples while focusing on modifiable predictors over the course of an admission, such as hopelessness, depressive symptoms, and family/social situations. This would improve our chances of developing better risk assessment tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview A Review of the Field on Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants: A Risk Assessment Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 265; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030265
Received: 29 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 25 February 2017 / Published: 4 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: Children must be recognized as a sensitive population based on having biological systems and organs in various stages of development. The processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of environmental contaminants within a child’s body are considered less advanced than those
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Background: Children must be recognized as a sensitive population based on having biological systems and organs in various stages of development. The processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of environmental contaminants within a child’s body are considered less advanced than those of adults, making them more susceptible to disease outcomes following even small doses. Children’s unique activities of crawling and practicing increased hand-to-mouth ingestion also make them vulnerable to greater exposures by certain contaminants within specific environments. Approach: There is a need to review the field of children’s environmental exposures in order to understand trends and identify gaps in research, which may lead to better protection of this vulnerable and sensitive population. Therefore, explored here are previously published contemporary works in the broad area of children’s environmental exposures and potential impact on health from around the world. A discussion of children’s exposure to environmental contaminants is best organized under the last four steps of a risk assessment approach: hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment (including children’s activity patterns) and risk characterization. We first consider the many exposure hazards that exist in the indoor and outdoor environments, and emerging contaminants of concern that may help guide the risk assessment process in identifying focus areas for children. A section on special diseases of concern is also included. Conclusions: The field of children’s exposures to environmental contaminants is broad. Although there are some well-studied areas offering much insight into children exposures, research is still needed to further our understanding of exposures to newer compounds, growing disease trends and the role of gene-environment interactions that modify adverse health outcomes. It is clear that behaviors of adults and children play a role in reducing or increasing a child’s exposure, where strategies to better communicate and implement risk modifying behaviors are needed, and can be more effective than implementing   changes in the physical environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children’s Exposure to Environmental Contaminants)
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Open AccessReview Long Non-Coding RNA as Potential Biomarker for Prostate Cancer: Is It Making a Difference?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 270; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030270
Received: 3 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 7 March 2017
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Abstract
Whole genome transcriptomic analyses have identified numerous long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts that are increasingly implicated in cancer biology. LncRNAs are found to promote essential cancer cell functions such as proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, with the potential to serve as novel biomarkers of
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Whole genome transcriptomic analyses have identified numerous long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts that are increasingly implicated in cancer biology. LncRNAs are found to promote essential cancer cell functions such as proliferation, invasion, and metastasis, with the potential to serve as novel biomarkers of various cancers and to further reveal uncharacterized aspects of tumor biology. However, the biological and molecular mechanisms as well as the clinical applications of lncRNAs in diverse diseases are not completely understood, and remain to be fully explored. LncRNAs may be critical players and regulators in prostate cancer carcinogenesis and progression, and could serve as potential biomarkers for prostate cancer. This review focuses on lncRNA biomarkers that are already available for clinical use and provides an overview of lncRNA biomarkers that are under investigation for clinical development in prostate cancer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health)
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Open AccessReview Metal Concentrations in Newcomer Women and Environmental Exposures: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 277; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030277
Received: 14 November 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 4 March 2017 / Published: 8 March 2017
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Abstract
Newcomer women from developing countries are recognized to be at risk for elevated exposures to environmental contaminants and associated negative health effects. As such, data on exposure sources and contaminant body burden concentrations is critical in the development of effective public health policies
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Newcomer women from developing countries are recognized to be at risk for elevated exposures to environmental contaminants and associated negative health effects. As such, data on exposure sources and contaminant body burden concentrations is critical in the development of effective public health policies and interventions in support of newcomer health. We conducted a scoping review to gather evidence on important toxic metals of health concern, lead (Pb), mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd), and their concentrations and potential exposure sources among newcomer women. An initial 420 articles were identified through the databases MEDLINE, EMBASE and Scopus, many reporting by ethnicity rather than newcomer/immigrant status. Several articles reported metal concentrations for other biomarkers but did not include blood, nor stratify results. From the remainder, we selected a total of 10 articles for full textual review, which reported blood Pb, Hg or Cd levels for newcomer women and/or stratified blood metal results according to foreign birth or country of origin. Three of the articles reported higher Pb, Hg and Cd concentrations in newcomer women compared to their native-borne counterparts. Exposures identified as contributing to elevated Pb, Hg and Cd blood concentrations included: pica behaviour, the use of lead-glazed cookware or eye cosmetics, and fish/shellfish consumption. The review revealed a limited availability of data on metal body burden concentrations, exposure sources and routes among newcomer women specifically. More research is needed to better understand the extent to which newcomer women are disproportionately at risk of elevated metal exposures due to either country of origin or current exposures and to inform relevant, multi-national risk management strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Women’s Health and the Work Environment)
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Open AccessReview Parental Supply of Alcohol in Childhood and Risky Drinking in Adolescence: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 287; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030287
Received: 28 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 9 March 2017
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Abstract
Whether parental supply of alcohol affects the likelihood of later adolescent risky drinking remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize findings from longitudinal studies investigating this association. We searched eight electronic databases up to 10 September 2016 for relevant
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Whether parental supply of alcohol affects the likelihood of later adolescent risky drinking remains unclear. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to synthesize findings from longitudinal studies investigating this association. We searched eight electronic databases up to 10 September 2016 for relevant terms and included only original English language peer-reviewed journal articles with a prospective design. Two reviewers independently screened articles, extracted data and assessed risk of bias. Seven articles met inclusion criteria, six of which used analytic methods allowing for meta-analysis. In all seven studies, the follow-up period was ≥12 months and attrition ranged from 3% to 15%. Parental supply of alcohol was associated with subsequent risky drinking (odds ratio = 2.00, 95% confidence interval = 1.72, 2.32); however, there was substantial risk of confounding bias and publication bias. In all studies, measurement of exposure was problematic given the lack of distinction between parental supply of sips of alcohol versus whole drinks. In conclusion, parental supply of alcohol in childhood is associated with an increased likelihood of risky drinking later in adolescence. However, methodological limitations preclude a causal inference. More robust longitudinal studies are needed, with particular attention to distinguishing sips from whole drinks, measurement of likely confounders, and multivariable adjustment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
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Open AccessPerspective Network Analysis: A Novel Approach to Understand Suicidal Behaviour
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 219; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030219
Received: 22 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 23 February 2017
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Abstract
Although suicide is a major public health issue worldwide, we understand little of the onset and development of suicidal behaviour. Suicidal behaviour is argued to be the end result of the complex interaction between psychological, social and biological factors. Epidemiological studies resulted in
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Although suicide is a major public health issue worldwide, we understand little of the onset and development of suicidal behaviour. Suicidal behaviour is argued to be the end result of the complex interaction between psychological, social and biological factors. Epidemiological studies resulted in a range of risk factors for suicidal behaviour, but we do not yet understand how their interaction increases the risk for suicidal behaviour. A new approach called network analysis can help us better understand this process as it allows us to visualize and quantify the complex association between many different symptoms or risk factors. A network analysis of data containing information on suicidal patients can help us understand how risk factors interact and how their interaction is related to suicidal thoughts and behaviour. A network perspective has been successfully applied to the field of depression and psychosis, but not yet to the field of suicidology. In this theoretical article, I will introduce the concept of network analysis to the field of suicide prevention, and offer directions for future applications and studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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Open AccessBrief Report Financial Stress and Smoking within a Large Sample of Socially Disadvantaged Australians
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 231; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030231
Received: 7 October 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 25 February 2017
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Abstract
Financial stress is associated with fewer quit attempts and higher relapse rates. This study aimed to compare financial stress among smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers in a highly socioeconomically disadvantaged sample. The study also aimed to determine whether specific indicators of financial stress
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Financial stress is associated with fewer quit attempts and higher relapse rates. This study aimed to compare financial stress among smokers, ex-smokers and never smokers in a highly socioeconomically disadvantaged sample. The study also aimed to determine whether specific indicators of financial stress differ according to smoking status. Adult clients seeking welfare assistance from two Social and Community Service Organisation sites in New South Wales, Australia, were invited to complete a cross-sectional survey between March 2012 and December 2013. Responses to a financial stress scale, smoking status and demographics were collected. Linear and logistic regression modelling was used to examine associations between smoking status and financial stress. A total of 1463 participants completed the survey. Current smokers had significantly higher total financial stress scores than ex-smokers and non-smokers respectively. Current smokers also had higher odds of severe financial stress indicators, such as going without meals (Odds Ratio = 2.2 and 2.0), than both non-smokers and ex-smokers. Even among a highly socioeconomically disadvantaged sample with high levels of financial stress, smoking status further exacerbates experiences of deprivation. Given the relationship between financial stress, socioeconomic disadvantage and difficulty quitting, it is important to provide enhanced cessation support to smokers experiencing financial stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control and Priority Groups)
Open AccessConcept Paper A Novel Therapy for People Who Attempt Suicide and Why We Need New Models of Suicide
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 243; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030243
Received: 16 December 2016 / Revised: 21 February 2017 / Accepted: 24 February 2017 / Published: 1 March 2017
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Abstract
This paper presents a model of suicidal behaviour based on suicide as a goal-directed action, and its implications. An action theoretical model has guided the authors in the development of a brief therapy for individuals who attempt suicide (ASSIP—Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program).
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This paper presents a model of suicidal behaviour based on suicide as a goal-directed action, and its implications. An action theoretical model has guided the authors in the development of a brief therapy for individuals who attempt suicide (ASSIP—Attempted Suicide Short Intervention Program). Key elements are an early therapeutic alliance, narrative interviewing, psychoeducation, a joint case conceptualization, safety planning, and regular letters over 24 months. In a randomized controlled trial, ASSIP was highly effective in reducing the risk of suicide reattempts. The therapeutic elements in this treatment are described and possible implications for future directions in clinical suicide prevention discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From Understanding Suicide Risk to Preventing Suicide)
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