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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2009), Pages 414-861

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Open AccessArticle Predictors of Childhood Exposure to Parental Secondhand Smoke in the House and Family Car
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 433-444; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020433
Received: 31 December 2008 / Accepted: 24 January 2009 / Published: 2 February 2009
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is a serious threat to public health and can be influenced by parental lifestyle habits and beliefs. Taking the above into account we aimed at locating predictors of parental induced exposure to SHS in the house and
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Childhood exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) is a serious threat to public health and can be influenced by parental lifestyle habits and beliefs. Taking the above into account we aimed at locating predictors of parental induced exposure to SHS in the house and family car among 614 children who visited the emergency department of two large pediatric hospitals in Athens, Greece. The multivariate analysis revealed that the factors found to mediate household exposure to paternal SHS were the number of cigarettes smoked per day (O.R 1.13, p<0.001) while, having a non-smoking spouse had a protective effect (O.R 0.44, p=0.026). Maternally induced household SHS exposure was related to cigarette consumption. For both parents, child exposure to SHS in the family car was related to higher numbers of cigarettes smoked (p<0.001), and for fathers was also more often found in larger families. Additionally, lower educated fathers were more likely to have a spouse that exposes their children to SHS inside the family car (O.R 1.38 95%C.I: 1.04-1.84, p=0.026). Conclusively, efforts must be made to educate parents on the effects of home and household car exposure to SHS, where smoke free legislation may be difficult to apply. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle Tobacco Smoke: Involvement of Reactive Oxygen Species and Stable Free Radicals in Mechanisms of Oxidative Damage, Carcinogenesis and Synergistic Effects with Other Respirable Particles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 445-462; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020445
Received: 12 November 2008 / Accepted: 25 January 2009 / Published: 2 February 2009
Cited by 129 | PDF Full-text (1250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco smoke contains many toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, as well as stable and unstable free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the particulate and the gas phase with the potential for biological oxidative damage. Epidemiological evidence established that smoking is one
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Tobacco smoke contains many toxic, carcinogenic and mutagenic chemicals, as well as stable and unstable free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the particulate and the gas phase with the potential for biological oxidative damage. Epidemiological evidence established that smoking is one of the most important extrinsic factor of premature morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to investigate oxidative and carcinogenic mechanisms of tobacco and synergistic action with other respirable particles in the respiratory system of smokers. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) and spin- trapping techniques were used to study stable free radicals in the cigarette tar, and unstable superoxide anion (O2·-) and hydroxyl (HO·) radicals in the smoke Results showed that the semiquinone radical system has the potential for redox recycling and oxidative action. Further, results proved that aqueous cigarette tar (ACT) solutions can generate adducts with DNA nucleobases, particularly the mutagenic 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (a biomarker for carcinogenesis).Also, we observed synergistic effects in the generation of HO·, through the Fenton reaction, with environmental respirable particles (asbestos fibres, coal dust, etc.) and ambient particulate matter (PM), such as PM10, PM2.5 and diesel exhaust particles (DEP). The highest synergistic effects was observed with the asbestos fibres (freshly grounded), PM2.5 and DEP. Finally, we discuss results from our previous study of conventional cellulose acetate filters and “bio-filters” with hemoglobin impregnated activated carbon, which showed that these filters do not substantially alter the free radical content of smoke in the particulate and in the gaseous phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle Estimating Intervention Effects in a Complex Multi-Level Smoking Prevention Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 463-477; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020463
Received: 9 December 2008 / Accepted: 22 January 2009 / Published: 3 February 2009
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (201 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper illustrates how to estimate cumulative and non-cumulative treatment effects in a complex school-based smoking intervention study. The Instrumental Variable method is used to tackle non-compliance and measurement error for a range of treatment exposure measures (binary, ordinal and continuous) in the
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This paper illustrates how to estimate cumulative and non-cumulative treatment effects in a complex school-based smoking intervention study. The Instrumental Variable method is used to tackle non-compliance and measurement error for a range of treatment exposure measures (binary, ordinal and continuous) in the presence of clustering and drop-out. The results are compared to more routine analyses. The empirical findings from this study provide little encouragement for believing that poorly resourced school-based interventions can bring about substantial long-lasting reductions in smoking behaviour but that novel components such as a computer game might have some short-term effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Emerging Patient-Driven Health Care Models: An Examination of Health Social Networks, Consumer Personalized Medicine and Quantified Self-Tracking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 492-525; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020492
Received: 9 January 2009 / Accepted: 2 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 217 | PDF Full-text (3229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A new class of patient-driven health care services is emerging to supplement and extend traditional health care delivery models and empower patient self-care. Patient-driven health care can be characterized as having an increased level of information flow, transparency, customization, collaboration and patient choice
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A new class of patient-driven health care services is emerging to supplement and extend traditional health care delivery models and empower patient self-care. Patient-driven health care can be characterized as having an increased level of information flow, transparency, customization, collaboration and patient choice and responsibility-taking, as well as quantitative, predictive and preventive aspects. The potential exists to both improve traditional health care systems and expand the concept of health care though new services. This paper examines three categories of novel health services: health social networks, consumer personalized medicine and quantified self-tracking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
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Open AccessArticle Nicotine Pretreatment Increases Dysphoric Effects of Alcohol in Luteal-Phase Female Volunteers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 526-546; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020526
Received: 27 November 2008 / Accepted: 2 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present report shows that nicotine enhances some of alcohol’s positive and negative effects in women and that these effects are most pronounced during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Ten low progesterone and 10 high progesterone/luteal-phase women received nicotine patch pretreatments
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The present report shows that nicotine enhances some of alcohol’s positive and negative effects in women and that these effects are most pronounced during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. Ten low progesterone and 10 high progesterone/luteal-phase women received nicotine patch pretreatments (placebo or 21 mg) 3 hours before an alcohol challenge (0.4 g/kg). Subjective effects were recorded on mood adjective scales and the Addiction Research Center Inventory (ARCI). Heart rate and skin temperature were recorded. Luteal-phase women reported peak positive (e.g. “stimulated”) and peak negative effects (e.g. “clumsy”, “dizzy”) almost twice as great as low progesterone women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle A Study of 279 General Outbreaks of Gastrointestinal Infection in the North-East Region of England
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 547-557; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020547
Received: 28 October 2008 / Accepted: 3 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
All outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease reported to the authorities were entered on a computer database with outbreak control teams being established to investigate larger or more significant incidents. The outbreak database and, when set up, the notes of outbreak team meetings were
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All outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease reported to the authorities were entered on a computer database with outbreak control teams being established to investigate larger or more significant incidents. The outbreak database and, when set up, the notes of outbreak team meetings were examined for the 279 outbreaks reported in a three-year period (2003-2005). Faeces specimens submitted as part of an outbreak were examined for microbial pathogens and the results cross-matched to the outbreak number. Almost half of the general outbreaks reported (137) occurred in long-term care facilities for the elderly, 51 outbreaks were recorded in hospitals and 31 occurred in the wider community. In 76 outbreaks no specimen was logged. A microbial cause was confirmed in about one-third of outbreaks, with noroviruses being the most common (19%). Salmonellas accounted for 12 of the 21 community outbreaks linked to social events and all were foodborne. Suggestions for improving notification and surveillance are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Radioactivity of Tobacco Leaves and Radiation Dose Induced from Smoking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 558-567; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020558
Received: 21 November 2008 / Accepted: 20 January 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (2510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The radioactivity in tobacco leaves collected from 15 different regions of Greece and before cigarette production was studied in order to find out any association between the root uptake of radionuclides from soil ground by the tobacco plants and the effective dose induced
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The radioactivity in tobacco leaves collected from 15 different regions of Greece and before cigarette production was studied in order to find out any association between the root uptake of radionuclides from soil ground by the tobacco plants and the effective dose induced to smokers from cigarette tobacco due to the naturally occurring primordial radionuclides , such as 226Ra and 210Pb of the uranium series and 228Ra of the thorium series and/or man-made radionuclides, such as 137Cs of Chernobyl origin. Gamma-ray spectrometry was applied using Ge planar and coaxial type detectors of high resolution and high efficiency. It was concluded that the activities of the radioisotopes of radium, 226Ra and 228Ra in the tobacco leaves reflected their origin from the soil by root uptake rather than fertilizers used in the cultivation of tobacco plants. Lead-210 originated from the air and was deposited onto the tobacco leaves and trapped by the trichomes. Potassium-40 in the tobacco leaves was due to root uptake either from soil or from fertilizer. The cesium radioisotopes 137Cs and 134Cs in tobacco leaves were due to root uptake and not due to deposition onto the leaf foliage as they still remained in soil four years after the Chernobyl reactor accident, but were absent from the atmosphere because of the rain washout (precipitation) and gravitational settling. The annual effective dose due to inhalation for adults (smokers) for 226Ra varied from 42.5 to 178.6 μSv/y (average 79.7 μSv/y), while for 228Ra from 19.3 to 116.0 μSv/y (average 67.1 μSv/y) and for 210Pb from 47.0 to 134.9 μSv/y (average 104.7 μSv/y), that is the same order of magnitude for each radionuclide. The sum of the effective doses of the three radionuclides varied from 151.9 to 401.3 μSv/y (average 251.5 μSv/y). The annual effective dose from 137Cs of Chernobyl origin was three orders of magnitude lower as it varied from 70.4 to 410.4 nSv/y (average 199.3 nSv/y). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Correlation Analysis of Cocoa Consumption Data with Worldwide Incidence Rates of Testicular Cancer and Hypospadias
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 568-578; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020578
Received: 31 December 2008 / Accepted: 2 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (271 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The underlying reasons for the increasing occurrence of male reproductive diseases (MRD) such as hypospadias, cryptorchidism, and testicular cancer (TC) over the last decades are still unknown. It has been hypothesized that the risk of MRD is determined in utero and that pregnancy
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The underlying reasons for the increasing occurrence of male reproductive diseases (MRD) such as hypospadias, cryptorchidism, and testicular cancer (TC) over the last decades are still unknown. It has been hypothesized that the risk of MRD is determined in utero and that pregnancy dietary intake could also affect MRD risk in the offspring. Various studies in animals reported that cocoa and theobromine, the main stimulant of cocoa, exert toxic effects on the testis, inducing testicular atrophy and impaired sperm quality. A correlation analysis was conducted to examine the possible role of cocoa consumption on the occurrence of selected MRD during the prenatal and early life period of cases. The incidence rates between 1998-2002 of TC in 18 countries obtained from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents were correlated with the average per-capita consumption of cocoa (kg/capita/year) (FAOSTAT-Database) in these countries from 1965 to 1980, i.e. the period corresponding to the early life of TC cases. In order to test the above correlation in the case of hypospadias, the mean prevalence at birth in 20 countries (1999-2003) with average per-capita consumption of cocoa in these countries in the same period corresponding to pregnancy were used. The consumption of cocoa in the period 1965–80, was most closely correlated with the incidence of TC in young adults (r=0.859; p<0.001). An analogous significant correlation was also observed between early cocoa consumption and the prevalence rates of hypospadias in the period 1999-2003 (r=0.760; p<0.001). Although the ecological approach used in this study cannot provide an answer on the causal relationship between consumption of cocoa in early life and TC and hypospadias, the results are suggestive and indicate the need of further analytic studies to investigate the role of individual exposure to cocoa, particularly during the prenatal and in early life of the patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Postprandial Oxidative Stress in Exercise Trained and Sedentary Cigarette Smokers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 579-591; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020579
Received: 29 October 2008 / Accepted: 2 February 2009 / Published: 6 February 2009
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (221 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cigarette smokers experience an exaggerated triglyceride (TAG) and oxidative stress response to high fat feeding. Exercise training may serve to attenuate the rise in these variables, by improving TAG clearance and antioxidant defense. We compared blood TAG, antioxidant capacity, and oxidative stress biomarkers
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Cigarette smokers experience an exaggerated triglyceride (TAG) and oxidative stress response to high fat feeding. Exercise training may serve to attenuate the rise in these variables, by improving TAG clearance and antioxidant defense. We compared blood TAG, antioxidant capacity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in exercise trained (>2 hrs per wk) and untrained smokers matched for age, in response to a high fat test meal. We report here that low volume exercise training can attenuate postprandial lipid peroxidation, but has little impact on blood TAG and other markers of oxidative stress. Higher volumes of exercise may be needed to allow for clinically meaningful adaptations in postprandial lipemia and oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Pubic Lice (Pthirus pubis): History, Biology and Treatment vs. Knowledge and Beliefs of US College Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 592-600; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020592
Received: 29 December 2008 / Accepted: 25 January 2009 / Published: 6 February 2009
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (241 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis) maintain a worldwide parasitic population infesting two to over 10 percent of human populations, continuing a presence that has been constant since early evidence 10,000 years ago. Outbreaks in the 1970s have been recorded, but incomplete records
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Pubic lice (Pthirus pubis) maintain a worldwide parasitic population infesting two to over 10 percent of human populations, continuing a presence that has been constant since early evidence 10,000 years ago. Outbreaks in the 1970s have been recorded, but incomplete records preclude description of a definitive population cycle. Current levels of infestation in a US college student population were investigated in this study. Knowledge and opinions of students were also recorded in an online survey administered to college students taking a basic health course at a mid-sized East Coast University. In a group of 817 students, 35 reported experience with pubic lice or other STD infection. Knowledge, beliefs, and treatment attitudes were examined for the 782 students who did not have experience with either pubic lice or STD infection. These students deemed antibiotics as a viable treatment for pubic lice infestation. They also indicated negative attitudes toward the use of pesticide crèmes, which are the most useful prescription. Symptoms and transmission myths in student answers are described. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessCommunication Nicotine Contamination in Particulate Matter Sampling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 601-607; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020601
Received: 31 December 2008 / Accepted: 4 February 2009 / Published: 9 February 2009
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We have addressed potential contamination of PM2.5 filter samples by nicotine from cigarette smoke. We collected two nicotine samples – one nicotine sampling filter was placed in-line after the collection of PM2.5 and the other stood alone. The overall correlation between
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We have addressed potential contamination of PM2.5 filter samples by nicotine from cigarette smoke. We collected two nicotine samples – one nicotine sampling filter was placed in-line after the collection of PM2.5 and the other stood alone. The overall correlation between the two nicotine filter levels was 0.99. The nicotine collected on the “stand-alone” filter was slightly greater than that on the “in-line” filter (mean difference = 1.10 μg/m3), but the difference was statistically significant only when PM2.5 was low (≤ 50 μg/m3). It is therefore important to account for personal and secondhand smoke exposure while assessing occupational and environmental PM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle “It’s All We Got Left”. Why Poor Smokers are Less Sensitive to Cigarette Price Increases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 608-621; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020608
Received: 29 December 2008 / Accepted: 6 February 2009 / Published: 10 February 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (326 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In France, between 2000 and 2008, concurrently to the increase in cigarette price, we observed an increasing social differentiation of cigarette smoking: smoking prevalence decreased among executive managers and professional occupations, it remained stable among manual workers, and it increased among the unemployed.
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In France, between 2000 and 2008, concurrently to the increase in cigarette price, we observed an increasing social differentiation of cigarette smoking: smoking prevalence decreased among executive managers and professional occupations, it remained stable among manual workers, and it increased among the unemployed. Poor smokers were heavier smokers, they were more frequently tobacco-dependent, and they were more prone to smoke automatically or to reduce “negative feelings”. In-depth interviews provided a more comprehensive insight into poor smokers’ motivations: they were aware of their addiction, but they also talked about the pleasure they get from smoking, and they highlighted the essential needs satisfied by smoking: stress relief, cheap leisure, compensation for loneliness, break-up or redundancy… Acknowledging the functional aspects of smoking experienced by poor smokers helps to understand why increasing the cigarette price is unlikely to deter many poor smokers from smoking. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Application of Bayesian Methods to Exposure Assessment of Area Concentrations at a Rubber Factory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 622-634; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020622
Received: 10 December 2008 / Accepted: 5 February 2009 / Published: 11 February 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present study estimated area concentrations of airborne benzene in several workshops using Bayesian methods based on available historical measurements. A rubber products factory utilizing benzene was investigated. Historical measurements of benzene concentrations, expert experiences, and deterministic modeling were utilized in a Bayesian
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The present study estimated area concentrations of airborne benzene in several workshops using Bayesian methods based on available historical measurements. A rubber products factory utilizing benzene was investigated. Historical measurements of benzene concentrations, expert experiences, and deterministic modeling were utilized in a Bayesian Method to estimate area concentrations. Historical concentrations (n=124) were available with the geometric mean of 15.3 mg/m3. The geometric mean of the current field measurements on the workstations ranged from 0.7 to 89.0 mg/m3. One of the seven historical geometric means by work locations significantly differed from the field measurements for equivalent locations, but none of the geometric means of Bayesian estimates were significantly different from the field measurement results. The Bayesian methods based on the historical measurements appeared to be a useful tool for more closely estimating area concentrations shown by field data than that predicted only using historical measurements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Lack of Cholesterol Awareness among Physicians Who Smoke
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 635-642; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020635
Received: 2 December 2008 / Accepted: 9 February 2009 / Published: 11 February 2009
PDF Full-text (180 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cigarette use is a known risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) as it adversely affects HDL cholesterol levels and promotes thrombogenesis. Smoking may also be associated with behavioral characteristics that potentiate the risk of CAD. A lack of cholesterol
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Cigarette use is a known risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease (CAD) as it adversely affects HDL cholesterol levels and promotes thrombogenesis. Smoking may also be associated with behavioral characteristics that potentiate the risk of CAD. A lack of cholesterol knowledge would indicate an aversion to a prevention-oriented lifestyle. Thus, our goal was to determine the association between tobacco use and knowledge of self-reported cholesterol among male physicians. Using the 1982 and follow-up questionnaires from the physician health study, we report the changes in the frequencies of awareness of self-reported total cholesterol and cardiovascular risk factors among the 22,067 participants. We classified physicians as being aware of their cholesterol if they reported a cholesterol level and unaware if the question was left unanswered. In 1997, 207 physicians were excluded, as the recorded cholesterol was not interpretable, leaving 21,860 for our follow up analyses. Using unadjusted logistic models, we determined the odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of not reporting a cholesterol level in either 1982 or 1997 for each specified risk factor. We then evaluated whether the lack of cholesterol awareness at both time points was associated with the use of tobacco throughout the study. After 14-years of follow up, cholesterol awareness increased from 35.9 to 58.6 percent. During this period, the frequency of hypertension and hyperlipidemia treatment increased (13.5 to 40.5% and 0.57% to 19.6% respectively), as did the diagnosis of diabetes (2.40 to 7.79%). Behavioral characteristics such as a sedentary lifestyle and obesity also increased (27.8 to 42% and 43.5 to 53.5%, respectively), however the proportion of current smokers deceased from 11.1 to 4.05%. The percentages of individuals being unaware of their cholesterol decreased in all risk factor groups. However, individuals were likely to be unaware of their cholesterol at both time points if they were current smokers (1982 OR 1.44, CI 1.4-1.7; 1997 OR 1.71, CI 1.48-1.97), past smokers (1982 OR 1.12, CI 1.05-1.18; 1997 OR 1.13, CI 1.06-1.20), overweight (BMI 25 kg/m2) or sedentary. In addition, physicians who never quit smoking were likely to be unaware of their cholesterol throughout the study (OR 1.42, CI 1.21-1.67). Cholesterol awareness in general and among those with CAD risk factors improved after 14-years of follow-up. However, the likelihood of being unaware was greater among smokers at both time points. Therefore, smokers do not appear to take advantage of other preventive strategies that would minimize their risk of developing CAD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Potassium Dichromate Induced Cytotoxicity, Genotoxicity and Oxidative Stress in Human Liver Carcinoma (HepG2) Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 643-653; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020643
Received: 11 November 2008 / Accepted: 10 February 2009 / Published: 12 February 2009
Cited by 38 | PDF Full-text (286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chromium is a widespread industrial waste. The soluble hexavalent chromium Cr (VI) is an environmental contaminant widely recognized to act as a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen towards humans and animals. The fate of chromium in the environment is dependent on its oxidation state.
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Chromium is a widespread industrial waste. The soluble hexavalent chromium Cr (VI) is an environmental contaminant widely recognized to act as a carcinogen, mutagen and teratogen towards humans and animals. The fate of chromium in the environment is dependent on its oxidation state. Hexavalent chromium primarily enters the cells and undergoes metabolic reduction to trivalent chromium, resulting in the formation of reactive oxygen species together with oxidative tissue damage and a cascade of cellular events. However, the results from in vitro studies are often conflicting. The aim of this study was to develop a model to establish relationships between cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and oxidative stress, in human liver carcinoma [HepG2] cells exposed to potassium dichromate. HepG2 cells were cultured following standard protocols and exposed to various concentrations [0-50 µM] of potassium dichromate [K2Cr2O7]. Following exposure to the toxic metal, the MTT assay was performed to assess the cytotoxicity, the thiobarbituric acid test to evaluate the degree of lipid peroxidation as an indicator of oxidative stress and the alkaline comet assay was used to assess DNA damage to study genotoxicity. The results of the study indicated that potassium dichromate was cytotoxic to HepG2 cells. The LD50 values of 8.83 ± 0.89 µg/ml, 6.76 ± 0.99 µg/ml, respectively, for cell mortality at 24 and 48 hrs were observed, indicating a dose- and time-dependent response with regard to the cytotoxic effects of potassium dichromate. A statistically significant increase in the concentration of malondialdehyde [MDA], an indicator of lipid peroxidation, was recorded in exposed cells [15.9 – 69.9 µM] compared to control [13 µM]. Similarly, a strong dose-response relationship (p<0.05) was also obtained with respect to potassium dichromate induced DNA damage (comet assay) in HepG2 cells exposed [3.16 ± 0.70 – 24.84 ± 1.86 microns – mean comet tail length]; [12.4 ± 1.45% – 76 ± 1.49% – % tail DNA] to potassium dichromate than control [3.07 ± 0.26 microns – mean comet tail length]; [2.69 + 0.19% – % Tail DNA], respectively. The results demonstrated that potassium dichromatewas highly cytotoxic to HepG2 cells, and its cytotoxicity seems to be mediated by oxidative stress and DNA damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Small Area and Individual Level Predictors of Physical Activity in Urban Communities: A Multi-Level Study in Stoke on Trent, England
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 654-677; doi:10.3390/ijerph60200654
Received: 18 November 2008 / Accepted: 10 February 2009 / Published: 13 February 2009
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (419 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reducing population physical inactivity has been declared a global public health priority. We report a detailed multi-level analysis of small area indices and individual factors as correlates of physical activity in deprived urban areas. Multi-level regression analysis was used to investigate environmental and
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Reducing population physical inactivity has been declared a global public health priority. We report a detailed multi-level analysis of small area indices and individual factors as correlates of physical activity in deprived urban areas. Multi-level regression analysis was used to investigate environmental and individual correlates of physical activity. Nine individual factors were retained in the overall model, two related to individual intentions or beliefs, three to access to shops, work or fast food outlets and two to weather; age and gender being the other two. Four area level indices related to: traffic, road casualties, criminal damage and access to green space were important in explaining variation in physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Parasite Zoonoses and Wildlife: Emerging Issues
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 678-693; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020678
Received: 4 January 2009 / Accepted: 10 February 2009 / Published: 13 February 2009
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (559 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of wildlife as important sources, reservoirs and amplifiers of emerging human and domestic livestock pathogens, in addition to well recognized zoonoses of public health significance, has gained considerable attention in recent years. However, there has been little attention given to the
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The role of wildlife as important sources, reservoirs and amplifiers of emerging human and domestic livestock pathogens, in addition to well recognized zoonoses of public health significance, has gained considerable attention in recent years. However, there has been little attention given to the transmission and impacts of pathogens of human origin, particularly protozoan, helminth and arthropod parasites, on wildlife. Substantial advances in molecular technologies are greatly improving our ability to follow parasite flow among host species and populations and revealing valuable insights about the interactions between cycles of transmission. Here we present several case studies of parasite emergence, or risk of emergence, in wildlife, as a result of contact with humans or anthropogenic activities. For some of these parasites, there is growing evidence of the serious consequences of infection on wildlife survival, whereas for others, there is a paucity of information about their impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle Use of a Remote Car Starter in Relation to Smog and Climate Change Perceptions: A Population Survey in Québec (Canada)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 694-709; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020694
Received: 25 December 2008 / Accepted: 8 February 2009 / Published: 16 February 2009
PDF Full-text (431 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Remote car starters encourage motorists to warm up their vehicles by idling the motor – thus increasing atmospheric pollutants, including several greenhouse gas (GHG) with impacts on public health. This study about climate change (CC) adaptation and mitigation actions examined perceptions on air
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Remote car starters encourage motorists to warm up their vehicles by idling the motor – thus increasing atmospheric pollutants, including several greenhouse gas (GHG) with impacts on public health. This study about climate change (CC) adaptation and mitigation actions examined perceptions on air pollution and climate change and individual characteristics associated with the use of a remote car starter. A telephone survey (n = 2,570; response rate: 70%) of adults living in Québec (Canada) measured the respondents’ beliefs and current behaviours regarding CC. Approximately 32.9% (daily car users) and 27.4% (occasional users) reported using a remote car starter during winter. The odds of the use of a remote car starter was higher in the less densely populated central (OR: 1.5) and peripheral regions (OR: 2.7) compared to the urban centers (ex. Montreal). The odds was also higher in population with a mother tongue other than English or French (OR: 2.6) and francophones than anglophones (OR: 2.1), women than men (OR: 1.5), daily drivers than occasional ones (OR: 1.2), and respondents who at least sometimes consulted temperature/humidity reports than those who consulted them less often (OR: 1.5). In multivariate analysis, the perception of living in a region susceptible to winter smog, being aware of smog warnings, or the belief in the human contribution to CC did not significantly influence the use of a remote car starter. The use of remote car starters encourages idling which produces increased atmospheric pollution and GHG production and it should be more efficiently and vigorously managed by various activities. A five-minute daily reduction in idling is equivalent to reducing the total car emissions by 1.8%. This would constitute a “no-regrets” approach to CC as it can simultaneously reduce GHG, air pollution and their health impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
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Open AccessArticle Exposure to High Fluoride Drinking Water and Risk of Dental Fluorosis in Estonia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 710-721; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020710
Received: 31 December 2008 / Accepted: 12 February 2009 / Published: 16 February 2009
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (399 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assess exposure to drinking water fluoride and evaluate the risk of dental fluorosis among the Estonian population. The study covered all 15 counties in Estonia and 93.7% of population that has access to public water supplies.
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The purpose of this study was to assess exposure to drinking water fluoride and evaluate the risk of dental fluorosis among the Estonian population. The study covered all 15 counties in Estonia and 93.7% of population that has access to public water supplies. In Estonia groundwater is the main source for public water supply systems in most towns and rural settlements. The content of natural fluoride in water ranges from 0.01 to 7.20 mg/L. The exposure to different fluoride levels was assessed by linking data from previous studies on drinking water quality with databases of the Health Protection Inspectorate on water suppliers and the number of water consumers in water supply systems. Exposure assessment showed that 4% of the study population had excessive exposure to fluoride, mainly in small public water supplies in western and central Estonia, where the Silurian-Ordovician aquifer system is the only source of drinking water. There is a strong correlation between natural fluoride levels and the prevalence of dental fluorosis. Risk of dental fluorosis was calculated to different fluoride exposure levels over 1.5 mg/L. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of National Smoking Prevention Campaigns on Tobacco-Related Beliefs, Intentions to Smoke and Smoking Initiation: Results from a Longitudinal Survey of Youth in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 722-740; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020722
Received: 12 December 2008 / Accepted: 15 February 2009 / Published: 19 February 2009
Cited by 20 | PDF Full-text (243 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The national truth© campaign has exposed U.S. youth to antismoking messages since 2000. Tobacco industry–sponsored campaigns, such as “Think. Don’t Smoke” (TDS), have also aired nationally. We examine the effects of recall of the truth© and TDS campaigns on changes in tobacco-related
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The national truth© campaign has exposed U.S. youth to antismoking messages since 2000. Tobacco industry–sponsored campaigns, such as “Think. Don’t Smoke” (TDS), have also aired nationally. We examine the effects of recall of the truth© and TDS campaigns on changes in tobacco-related beliefs, intentions, and smoking initiation in a longitudinal survey of U.S. youth. Recall of truth© was associated with increased agreement with antismoking beliefs, decreased smoking intentions, and lower rates of smoking initiation. Recall of TDS was associated with increased intentions to smoke soon but was not significantly associated with tobacco beliefs or smoking initiation among youth overall. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle Valuing Climate Change Impacts on Human Health: Empirical Evidence from the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 759-786; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020759
Received: 29 December 2008 / Accepted: 17 February 2009 / Published: 23 February 2009
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a broad consensus that climate change will increase the costs arising from diseases such as malaria and diarrhea and, furthermore, that the largest increases will be in developing countries. One of the problems is the lack of studies measuring these costs
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There is a broad consensus that climate change will increase the costs arising from diseases such as malaria and diarrhea and, furthermore, that the largest increases will be in developing countries. One of the problems is the lack of studies measuring these costs systematically and in detail. This paper critically reviews a number of studies about the costs of planned adaptation in the health context, and compares current health expenditures with MDGs which are felt to be inadequate when considering climate change impacts. The analysis serves also as a critical investigation of the methodologies used and aims at identifying research weaknesses and gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Attitudes toward Methadone among Out-of-Treatment Minority Injection Drug Users: Implications for Health Disparities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 787-797; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020787
Received: 1 February 2009 / Accepted: 18 February 2009 / Published: 23 February 2009
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (183 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Injection drug use (IDU) continues to be a significant public health issue in the U.S. and internationally, and there is evidence to suggest that the burden of injection drug use and associatedmorbidity and mortality falls disproportionately on minority communities. IDU is responsible for
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Injection drug use (IDU) continues to be a significant public health issue in the U.S. and internationally, and there is evidence to suggest that the burden of injection drug use and associatedmorbidity and mortality falls disproportionately on minority communities. IDU is responsible for a significant portion of new and existing HIV/AIDS cases in many parts of the world. In the U.S., the prevalence of HIV and hepatitis C virus is higher among populations of African-American and Latino injection drug users (IDUs) than among white IDUs. Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) has been demonstrated to effectively reduce opiate use, HIV risk behaviors and transmission, general mortality and criminal behavior, but opiate-dependent minorities are less likely to access MMT than whites. A better understanding of the obstacles minority IDUs face accessing treatment is needed to engage racial and ethnic disparities in IDU as well as drug-related morbidity and mortality. In this study, we explore knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about methadone among 53 out-of-treatment Latino and African-American IDUs in Providence, RI. Our findings suggest that negative perceptions of methadone persist among racial and ethnic minority IDUs in Providence, including beliefs that methadone is detrimental to health and that people should attempt to discontinue methadone treatment. Additional potential obstacles to entering methadone therapy include cost and the difficulty of regularly attending a methadone clinic as well as the belief that an individual on MMT is not abstinent from drugs. Substance use researchers and treatment professionals should engage minority communities, particularly Latino communities, in order to better understand the treatment needs of a diverse population, develop culturally appropriate MMT programs, and raise awareness of the benefits of MMT. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Abuse and Addiction)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Effective Communication to Enhance Participation in Screening Mammography: A New Zealand Case
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 844-861; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020844
Received: 10 December 2008 / Accepted: 19 February 2009 / Published: 24 February 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (366 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Changes in the organisation of health care have dominated policy initiatives over the past two decades in many countries. An increasing reliance on public health initiatives to prevent or detect disease early has resulted in an increase in programs that screen for cancer
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Changes in the organisation of health care have dominated policy initiatives over the past two decades in many countries. An increasing reliance on public health initiatives to prevent or detect disease early has resulted in an increase in programs that screen for cancer in the community. In turn, this accentuates the need to persuasively communicate the value of such initiatives to encourage continued participation. Merely placing screening programs into a community setting is not sufficient to ensure that adequate numbers will voluntarily participate regularly to achieve anticipated cost and mortality savings in the population. In this research the influence of managing communication in a public screening mammography program was investigated. The results revealed that significant opportunities were overlooked for reassurance and information during the physical mammography process. In turn, this highlights the influence of constraints imposed by the structure of the screening program and the resources allocated to the process. This research suggests that it is important to address multiple influences, including ethnic differences, when asking questions about the effectiveness of public health policy, particularly when considering the choices women make about ongoing participation in breast screening programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Assessing the Effect of Disturbances on Ectomycorrhiza Diversity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 414-432; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020414
Received: 9 October 2008 / Accepted: 24 January 2009 / Published: 1 February 2009
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (412 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of ECM
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Ectomycorrhiza (ECM) communities can be described on a species level or on a larger scale at an ecosystem level. Here we show that the species level approach of successional processes in ECM communities is not appropriate for understanding the diversity patterns of ECM communities at contaminated sites. An ecosystem based approach improves predictability since different biotic and abiotic factors are included. However, it still does not take into account the hierarchical structure of the ecosystem. We suggest that diversity patterns of ECMs communities in forests can best be investigated at three levels. This hypothetical approach for investigation can be tested at sites of secondary succession in areas contaminated with metals. Once the diversity patterns are appropriately described by a hierarchical ecosystem approach, to the species level is used to explain these patterns by populational and ecotoxicological mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview Environmental Impact of Flame Retardants (Persistence and Biodegradability)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 478-491; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020478
Received: 22 January 2009 / Accepted: 3 February 2009 / Published: 5 February 2009
Cited by 45 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Flame-retardants (FR) are a group of anthropogenic environmental contaminants used at relatively high concentrations in many applications. Currently, the largest market group of FRs is the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Many of the BFRs are considered toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Bioremediation of contaminated
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Flame-retardants (FR) are a group of anthropogenic environmental contaminants used at relatively high concentrations in many applications. Currently, the largest market group of FRs is the brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Many of the BFRs are considered toxic, persistent and bioaccumulative. Bioremediation of contaminated water, soil and sediments is a possible solution for the problem. However, the main problem with this approach is the lack of knowledge concerning appropriate microorganisms, biochemical pathways and operational conditions facilitating degradation of these chemicals at an acceptable rate. This paper reviews and discusses current knowledge and recent developments related to the environmental fate and impact of FRs in natural systems and in engineered treatment processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodegradability and Environmental Sciences)
Open AccessReview The Control of Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Policy Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 741-758; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020741
Received: 16 December 2008 / Accepted: 14 February 2009 / Published: 20 February 2009
Cited by 35 | PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
According to World Health Organisation figures, 30% of all cancer deaths, 20% of all coronary heart diseases and strokes and 80% of all chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are caused by cigarette smoking. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) exposure has also been shown to be
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According to World Health Organisation figures, 30% of all cancer deaths, 20% of all coronary heart diseases and strokes and 80% of all chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are caused by cigarette smoking. Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) exposure has also been shown to be associated with disease and premature death in non-smokers. In response to this environmental health issue, several countries have brought about a smoking ban policy in public places and in the workplace. Countries such as the U.S., France, Italy, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, Spain, and England have all introduced policies aimed at reducing the population exposure to ETS. Several investigations have monitored the effectiveness of these smoking ban policies in terms of ETS concentrations, human health and smoking prevalence, while others have also investigated a number of alternatives to smoking ban policy measures. This paper reviews the state of the art in research, carried out in the field of ETS, smoking bans and Tobacco Control to date and highlights the need for future research in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
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Open AccessReview Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) Smoking and Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). A Critical Review of the Relevant Literature and the Public Health Consequences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(2), 798-843; doi:10.3390/ijerph6020798
Received: 4 January 2009 / Accepted: 8 February 2009 / Published: 23 February 2009
Cited by 60 | PDF Full-text (807 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hookah (narghile, shisha, “water-pipe”) smoking is now seen by public health officials as a global tobacco epidemic. Cigarette Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is classically understood as a combination of Side-Stream Smoke (SSS) and Exhaled Main-Stream Smoke (EMSS), both diluted and aged. Some of
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Hookah (narghile, shisha, “water-pipe”) smoking is now seen by public health officials as a global tobacco epidemic. Cigarette Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) is classically understood as a combination of Side-Stream Smoke (SSS) and Exhaled Main-Stream Smoke (EMSS), both diluted and aged. Some of the corresponding cigarette studies have served as the scientific basis for stringent legislation on indoor smoking across the world. Interestingly, one of the distinctive traits of the hookah device is that it generates almost no SSS. Indeed, its ETS is made up almost exclusively by the smoke exhaled by the smoker (EMSS), i.e. which has been filtered by the hookah at the level of the bowl, inside the water, along the hose and then by the smoker’s respiratory tract itself. The present paper reviews the sparse and scattered scientific evidence available about hookah EMSS and the corresponding inferences that can be drawn from the composition of cigarette EMSS. The reviewed literature shows that most of hookah ETS is made up of EMSS and that the latter qualitatively differs from MSS. Keeping in mind that the first victim of passive smoking is the active smoker her/himself, the toxicity of hookah ETS for non-smokers should not be overestimated and hyped in an unscientific way. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health: Feature Papers)

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