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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 6, Issue 7 (July 2009), Pages 1930-2089

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Levels of Urinary Metals in the U.S. Youth and Adult Population: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2004
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 1930-1946; doi:10.3390/ijerph6071930
Received: 27 April 2009 / Accepted: 28 June 2009 / Published: 2 July 2009
Cited by 51 | PDF Full-text (347 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We assessed 12 urine metals in tobacco smoke-exposed and not exposed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants. Our analysis included age, race/ethnicity, and poverty status. Gender and racial/ethnic differences in cadmium and lead and creatinine-adjusted and unadjusted data for group comparisons [...] Read more.
We assessed 12 urine metals in tobacco smoke-exposed and not exposed National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey participants. Our analysis included age, race/ethnicity, and poverty status. Gender and racial/ethnic differences in cadmium and lead and creatinine-adjusted and unadjusted data for group comparisons are presented. Smokers’ had higher cadmium, lead, antimony, and barium levels than nonsmokers. Highest lead levels were in the youngest subjects. Lead levels among adults with high second-hand smoke exposure equaled smokers. Older smokers had cadmium levels signaling the potential for cadmium-related toxicity. Given the potential toxicity of metals, our findings complement existing research on exposure to chemicals in tobacco smoke. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Smoking and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Connectivity for Healthcare and Well-Being Management: Examples from Six European Projects
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 1947-1971; doi:10.3390/ijerph6071947
Received: 26 May 2009 / Accepted: 2 July 2009 / Published: 6 July 2009
Cited by 48 | PDF Full-text (731 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Technological advances and societal changes in recent years have contributed to a shift in traditional care models and in the relationship between patients and their doctors/carers, with (in general) an increase in the patient-carer physical distance and corresponding changes in the modes [...] Read more.
Technological advances and societal changes in recent years have contributed to a shift in traditional care models and in the relationship between patients and their doctors/carers, with (in general) an increase in the patient-carer physical distance and corresponding changes in the modes of access to relevant care information by all groups. The objective of this paper is to showcase the research efforts of six projects (that the authors are currently, or have recently been, involved in), CAALYX, eCAALYX, COGKNOW, EasyLine+, I2HOME, and SHARE-it, all funded by the European Commission towards a future where citizens can take an active role into managing their own healthcare. Most importantly, sensitive groups of citizens, such as the elderly, chronically ill and those suffering from various physical and cognitive disabilities, will be able to maintain vital and feature-rich connections with their families, friends and healthcare providers, who can then respond to, and prevent, the development of adverse health conditions in those they care for in a timely manner, wherever the carers and the people cared for happen to be. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Informatics)
Open AccessArticle Heavy Metal Hazards of Pediatric Syrup Administration in Nigeria: A Look at Chromium, Nickel and Manganese
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 1972-1979; doi:10.3390/ijerph6071972
Received: 31 May 2009 / Accepted: 30 June 2009 / Published: 9 July 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fifty different pediatric syrups were randomly sampled from patent medicine stores and pharmaceutical shops within Awka (Anambra State, Nigeria) between November 2007 and May 2008. Syrups were ashed before digestion using conc. aqua regia, HCl: HNO3 (3:1). Chromium, nickel and manganese [...] Read more.
Fifty different pediatric syrups were randomly sampled from patent medicine stores and pharmaceutical shops within Awka (Anambra State, Nigeria) between November 2007 and May 2008. Syrups were ashed before digestion using conc. aqua regia, HCl: HNO3 (3:1). Chromium, nickel and manganese were assayed with AAS 205A. The highest levels of nickel were seen in Magcid suspension (4.13 mg/L) and Gaviron (0.79 mg/L) whereas lowest levels were found in Asco–J vitamin and Jawaron Syrup (0.01 mg/L). About 44.1, 73.6 and 20.6% of the sampled syrups made in Nigeria had non detectable levels of nickel, chromium and manganese respectively. Chromium levels ranged from 0.01 mg/L in Magcid suspension to 0.58 mg/L in emvite. Ferobin and Jawaron Syrup plus had 28.23 and 4.37 mg/L manganese, respectively. With the exception of Cephalexin Syrup, all the imported syrups had non detectable levels of chromium. The level of chromium in Cephalexin Syrup was 0.01 mg/L. About 68.8 and 43.7% of these imported syrups had non-detectable levels of nickel and manganese respectively. Nickel levels ranged from 0.01-0.09 mg/L in the imported syrups. Haemoglobin Syrup showed highest level of manganese of 0.36 mg/L whereas the lowest concentration was 0.02 mg/L in Cadiphen. Taken together the Nigerian made syrup samples had higher concentrations of the studied heavy metals. It is feared that ingestion of these syrups may constitute a significant source of heavy metal exposure to the children and should therefore be considered a public health problem. The public health hazards from ingestion of these syrups should be identified and disclosed by in-depth risk assessment studies. Full article
Open AccessArticle Epistasis between IL1A, IL1B, TNF, HTR2A, 5-HTTLPR and TPH2 Variations Does Not Impact Alcohol Dependence Disorder Features
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 1980-1990; doi:10.3390/ijerph6071980
Received: 30 June 2009 / Accepted: 13 July 2009 / Published: 16 July 2009
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (361 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We assessed a set of biological (HDL, LDL, SGOT,SGPT, GGT, HTc, Hb and T levels) and psychometric variables (investigated through HAM-D, HAM-A, GAS, Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Mark & Mathews Scale, Leyton scale, and Pilowski scale) in a sample of 64 alcohol dependent patients, at baseline and after a detoxification treatment. Moreover, we recruited 47 non-consanguineous relatives who did not suffer alcohol related disorders and underwent the same tests. In both groups we genotyped 11 genetic variations (rs1800587; rs3087258; rs1799724; 5-HTTLPR; rs1386493; rs1386494; rs1487275; rs1843809; rs4570625; rs2129575; rs6313) located in genes whose impact on alcohol related behaviors and disorders has been hypothesized (IL1A, IL1B, TNF, 5-HTTLPR, TPH2 and HTR2A). We analyzed the epistasis of these genetic variations upon the biological and psychological dimensions in the cases and their relatives. Further on, we analyzed the effects of the combined genetic variations on the short – term detoxification treatment efficacy. Finally, being the only not yet investigated variation within this sample, we analyzed the impact of the rs6313 alone on baseline assessment and treatment efficacy. We detected the following results: the couple rs6313 + rs2129575 affected the Leyton -Trait at admission (p = 0.01) (obsessive-compulsive trait), whilst rs1800587 + 5-HTTLPR impacted the Pilowski test at admission (p = 0.01) (hypochondriac symptoms). These results did not survive Bonferroni correction (p ≤ 0.004). This lack of association may depend on the incomplete gene coverage or on the small sample size which limited the power of the study. On the other hand, it may reflect a substantial absence of relevance of the genotype variants toward the alcohol related investigated dimensions. Nonetheless, the marginal significance we detected could witness an informative correlation worth investigating in larger samples. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption and Hazardous Drinking, Tobacco and Drug Use in Urban Tanzania, and Their Associated Risk Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 1991-2006; doi:10.3390/ijerph6071991
Received: 4 June 2009 / Accepted: 9 July 2009 / Published: 16 July 2009
Cited by 23 | PDF Full-text (253 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Evidence suggests substance abuse in Tanzania is a growing public health problem. A random sample of 899 adults aged 15-59 in two urban sites of differing levels of poverty surveyed alcohol, tobacco and illicit substance use. Rates of substance use were 17.2%. [...] Read more.
Evidence suggests substance abuse in Tanzania is a growing public health problem. A random sample of 899 adults aged 15-59 in two urban sites of differing levels of poverty surveyed alcohol, tobacco and illicit substance use. Rates of substance use were 17.2%. 8.7% and 0.8% for alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, respectively. Living in the less affluent area was associated with higher lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use. Substance use is less prevalent in Tanzania than in richer countries, but lifetime consumption is higher in poorer areas. The association of substance use with a range of socio-economic factors warrants further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Silent Trace Eliminates Differential Eyeblink Learning in Abstinent Alcoholics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2007-2027; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072007
Received: 19 June 2009 / Accepted: 10 July 2009 / Published: 20 July 2009
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (435 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chronic alcoholism has profound effects on the brain, including volume reductions in regions critical for eyeblink classical conditioning (EBCC). The current study challenged abstinent alcoholics using delay (n = 20) and trace (n = 17) discrimination/reversal EBCC. Comparisons revealed a significant difference between delay and trace conditioning performance during reversal (t (35) = 2.08, p < 0.05). The difference between the two tasks for discrimination was not significant (p = 0.44). These data support the notion that alcoholics are increasingly impaired in the complex task of reversing a previously learned discrimination when a silent trace interval is introduced. Alcoholics’ impairment in flexibly altering learned associations may be central to their continued addiction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Environmental Factors on Persons Living with HIV/AIDS
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2041-2054; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072041
Received: 30 June 2009 / Accepted: 21 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (72 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In recent years, environmental awareness has received a great deal of public attention. However, little emphasis has been put on the influence of environmental factors (weather, personal attitudes, policies, physical structures, transportation, etc.) on the quality of life of persons infected with HIV/AIDS. The goal of this study was to assess the effect of selected environmental factors on the quality of life of persons affected by HIV/AIDS. To achieve this goal, the Craig Hospital Inventory of Environmental Factors (CHIEF) subscales including Policies, Physical Structure, Work/School, Attitudes/Support, and Service/ Assistance were evaluated in patients selected from a STD/HIV clinic in Jackson, MS. They were chosen based on previously diagnosed HIV/AIDS status and age (16-95). Written consents, demographics sheets and self-administered questionnaires were obtained. Data were analyzed using Excel and SPSS software. Interviews started in July 2007 and ended in August, 2007. One hundred and thirteen patients responded. Participants were 72.6% (82) male, 26.5% (30) female and 0.9% (1) transgender. The median age of participants was 38.8 (18-63). Over 50% (65) had some college or higher education, and 35.4% reported annual incomes less than $10,000. Multivariate analysis showed marginal significance between disease diagnosis and gender (p < 0.10), and statistical significance between disease diagnosis and income (p = 0.03). Also, age (p = 0.01) and education (p = 0.03) were significant predictors in one of the subscales. The CHIEF subscales that showed the greatest significance among AIDS respondents were Attitudes and Support, and Government Policies with mean sensitivity scores of 1.39 and 1.42, respectively. The element with the least effect on AIDS patients was the Work/School subscale, with a mean score of 0.74. In general AIDS patients were disproportionately affected in all but one of the five subscales observed. Conversely those with HIV were more affected in the Work/School subscale with a mean score of 1.70. This proved to be the only subscale responsible for causing the greatest degree of perceived barriers for the HIV population. With a mean score of 0.75, Physical/Structural subscale showed the least negative impact on those infected HIV without AIDS. It is therefore recommended that the environmental barriers identified in this study be addressed in order to eliminate/minimize their negative effect and improve the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Liver-Brain Axis of Alcohol-Mediated Neurodegeneration: Role of Toxic Lipids
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2055-2075; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072055
Received: 24 June 2009 / Accepted: 16 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 39 | PDF Full-text (762 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Alcohol abuse causes progressive toxicity and degeneration in liver and brain due to insulin resistance, which exacerbates oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokine activation. Alcohol-induced steatohepatitis promotes synthesis and accumulation of ceramides and other toxic lipids that cause insulin resistance. Ceramides can readily [...] Read more.
Alcohol abuse causes progressive toxicity and degeneration in liver and brain due to insulin resistance, which exacerbates oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory cytokine activation. Alcohol-induced steatohepatitis promotes synthesis and accumulation of ceramides and other toxic lipids that cause insulin resistance. Ceramides can readily cross the blood-brain barrier, and ceramide exposure causes neurodegeneration with insulin resistance and oxidative stress, similar to the effects of alcohol. Therefore, in addition to its direct neurotoxic effects, alcohol misuse establishes a liver-brain axis of neurodegeneration mediated by toxic lipid trafficking across the blood-brain barrier, leading to progressive white matter degeneration and cognitive impairment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Concurrent Substance Use Disorders and Eating Disorders with Personality Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2076-2089; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072076
Received: 15 June 2009 / Accepted: 19 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (177 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: The current pilot study investigated whether patients with concurrent substance use disorders and eating disorders (SUD and ED) who experienced a reduction in SUD and ED symptoms following treatment for SUD and ED also experienced a reduction in personality disorder (PD) [...] Read more.
Objective: The current pilot study investigated whether patients with concurrent substance use disorders and eating disorders (SUD and ED) who experienced a reduction in SUD and ED symptoms following treatment for SUD and ED also experienced a reduction in personality disorder (PD) symptoms. Method: Twenty patients with SUD and ED and PD were assessed pre and post treatment using clinical interviews, self-report questionnaires, and a therapist questionnaire on DSM-IV-TR symptoms for PD. Results: Symptoms for the personality disorders were reduced following treatment. This reduction was correlated with a decrease in the number of symptoms of ED at post treatment. Discussion: Chronic concurrent SUD and ED may make it difficult to separate PD symptoms from co-occurring disorders. Many features attributed to PDs may be reduced when problematic substance use and disordered eating are addressed, a fact that may increase clinician and patients’optimism about therapeutic change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug Abuse and Addiction)

Review

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Open AccessReview Ecological Sustainability: What Role for Public Health Education?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6(7), 2028-2040; doi:10.3390/ijerph6072028
Received: 10 June 2009 / Accepted: 20 July 2009 / Published: 23 July 2009
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (66 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the notion of ecological sustainability in the context of public health education and the contribution Universities can make in creating environments that include ecologically sustainable practices. It considers the important role of environmental health in building a sustainable future [...] Read more.
This article explores the notion of ecological sustainability in the context of public health education and the contribution Universities can make in creating environments that include ecologically sustainable practices. It considers the important role of environmental health in building a sustainable future for the population as a central plank of public health. It presents the evidence for the need for comprehensive approaches to ecological sustainability within the University and offers suggestions about how this can take place. It concludes by arguing that to date there is a substantial gap between the rhetoric and the reality in the University context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability: Environmental Studies and Public Health)

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