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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 7, Issue 3 (March 2010), Pages 698-1247

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Open AccessArticle The Impact of School Tobacco Policies on Student Smoking in Washington State, United States and Victoria, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 698-710; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030698
Received: 22 December 2009 / Accepted: 23 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper measures tobacco polices in statewide representative samples of secondary and mixed schools in Victoria, Australia and Washington, US (N = 3,466 students from 285 schools) and tests their association with student smoking. Results from confounder-adjusted random effects (multi-level) regression models [...] Read more.
This paper measures tobacco polices in statewide representative samples of secondary and mixed schools in Victoria, Australia and Washington, US (N = 3,466 students from 285 schools) and tests their association with student smoking. Results from confounder-adjusted random effects (multi-level) regression models revealed that the odds of student perception of peer smoking on school grounds are decreased in schools that have strict enforcement of policy (odds ratio (OR) = 0.45; 95% CI: 0.25 to 0.82; p = 0.009). There was no clear evidence in this study that a comprehensive smoking ban, harsh penalties, remedial penalties, harm minimization policy or abstinence policy impact on any of the smoking outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking and Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle Smoking Behavior among Coronary Heart Disease Patients in Jordan: A Model from a Developing Country
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 751-764; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030751
Received: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 23 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to compare the frequency of cigarette smoking before and after diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), detect the reasons that discourage quitting smoking and resources of advice about quitting, and investigate the relationship between smoking behaviors [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to compare the frequency of cigarette smoking before and after diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), detect the reasons that discourage quitting smoking and resources of advice about quitting, and investigate the relationship between smoking behaviors and demographic variables. A convenient sample of 300 CHD patients from cardiac outpatient clinics participated. Before disease occurrence, nonsmokers composed 40% of all participants, former smokers 11.7%, and current smokers 48.3%. Surprisingly, after disease occurrence only 29.7% of the patients quit smoking, while 60.7% continued smoking, and 9.6% relapsed. The most frequent reasons given by smokers for not quitting smoking were "do not incline to stop smoking" (25.6%) and “craving for a cigarette” (25%). Doctors were cited most frequently as the reason individuals quit smoking (19.0%). The Jordanian health care system needs to implement systematic intensive smoking cessation programs to maintain and promote CHD patients' motivation to quit smoking. Full article
Open AccessArticle Perceived Exercise Benefits and Barriers of Non-Exercising Female University Students in the United Kingdom
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 784-798; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030784
Received: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 21 February 2010 / Published: 1 March 2010
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (132 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many individuals do not engage in sufficient physical activity due to low perceived benefits and high perceived barriers to exercise. Given the increasing incidence of obesity and obesity related health disorders, this topic requires further exploration. We used the Exercise Benefits/Barriers Scale to assess perceived benefit and barrier intensities to exercise in 200 non-exercising female university students (mean age 19.3 years, SD = 1.06) in the UK. Although our participants were selected because they self reported themselves to be non-exercising, however they reported significantly higher perceived benefits from exercise than perceived barriers to exercise [t(199) = 6.18, p < 0.001], and their perceived benefit/barrier ratio was 1.33. The greatest perceived benefit from exercise was physical performance followed by the benefits of psychological outlook, preventive health, life enhancement, and then social interaction. Physical performance was rated significantly higher than all other benefits. Psychological outlook and preventive health were not rated significantly different, although both were significantly higher than life enhancement and social interaction. Life enhancement was also rated significantly higher than social interaction. The greatest perceived barrier to exercise was physical exertion, which was rated significantly higher than time expenditure, exercise milieu, and family discouragement barriers. Implications from this investigation for the design of physical activity programmes include the importance, for females, of a perception of high benefit/barrier ratio that could be conducive to participation in exercise. Applied interventions need to assist female students to ‘disengage’ from or overcome any perceived ‘unpleasantness’ of physical exertion during physical activity (decrease their perceived barriers), and to further highlight the multiple health and other benefits of regular exercising (increase their perceived benefits). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults)
Open AccessArticle An Exploratory Approach to Analyzing Alcohol Control Policy Opinions Held by Ontario Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 827-841; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030827
Received: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 2 March 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Telephone interview data from a representative sample of 1,216 Ontario adults were analyzed using latent class analysis to determine whether distinct and homogeneous classes of individuals could be identified based on their responding patterns to 11 alcohol policy items. Five latent classes [...] Read more.
Telephone interview data from a representative sample of 1,216 Ontario adults were analyzed using latent class analysis to determine whether distinct and homogeneous classes of individuals could be identified based on their responding patterns to 11 alcohol policy items. Five latent classes were identified and labeled as: dedicated liberalizers, moderate liberalizers, moderate controllers, dedicated controllers, and an ambivalent class. Multinomial regression analysis indicated that demographic and alcohol factors differentiated the classes. Those most opposed to alcohol controls, dedicated liberalizers, were more likely to be male, younger and heavier drinkers. Given their young age it is possible that further erosion of public support for alcohol controls may be expected. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle Waist Circumference and BMI in Relation to Serum High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hs-CRP) in Cuban Americans With and Without Type 2 Diabetes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 842-852; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030842
Received: 10 February 2010 / Accepted: 4 March 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Relationship between high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and adiposity by diabetes status and gender in Cuban-Americans with and without type 2 diabetes (T2D) was studied. Adult subjects, 226 females, 129 males participated in a case control, single time point study. Subjects with T2D were older, had higher waist circumference (WC) and body mass index (BMI). WC and BMI were associated with ln hs-CRP (P < 0.001). An interaction with diabetes status was found for BMI (P = 0.037). Gender showed a strong relationship with ln hs-CRP (P < 0.001), which was moderated by diabetes status. Only males without diabetes exhibited a significant relationship for both WC and BMI with ln hs-CRP. In this sample of Cuban-Americans, WC and BMI had stronger associations with ln hs-CRP but not with diabetes status. Obesity prevention and controlling for CRP levels may be necessary to eliminate its contributions to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Full article
Open AccessArticle Workplace Vaccination and Other Factors Impacting Influenza Vaccination Decision among Employees in Israel
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 853-869; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030853
Received: 28 December 2009 / Revised: 29 January 2010 / Accepted: 23 February 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (318 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study examined the factors affecting the decision to be vaccinated against influenza among employees in Israel. The research, conducted in 2007/2008, included 616 employees aged 18−65 at various workplaces in Israel, among them companies that offered their employees influenza vaccination. The [...] Read more.
The study examined the factors affecting the decision to be vaccinated against influenza among employees in Israel. The research, conducted in 2007/2008, included 616 employees aged 18−65 at various workplaces in Israel, among them companies that offered their employees influenza vaccination. The research questionnaire included socio-demographic characteristics, and the Health Belief Model principles. The results show that the significant factors affecting vaccination compliance include a vaccination program at workplaces, vaccinations in the past, higher levels of vaccine's perceived benefits, and lower levels of barriers to getting the vaccine. We conclude that vaccine compliance is larger at companies with workplace vaccination programs providing easier accessibility to vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Accuracy of the Simplified Thylstrup & Fejerskov Index in Rural Communities with Endemic Fluorosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 927-937; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030927
Received: 21 December 2009 / Revised: 29 January 2010 / Accepted: 22 February 2010 / Published: 9 March 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (463 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to compare the values of the Thylstrup & Fejerskov Index (TF index) for the determination of the prevalence of dental fluorosis using either all teeth (gold standard) or six upper anterior teeth (simplified TF index). The sample was made up of 396 individuals aged six to 22 years from three Brazilian cities with endemic fluorosis caused by the ingestion of water with high fluoride concentration. The prevalence of dental fluorosis was evaluated by a single trained examiner with excellent intraexaminer agreement (kappa = 0.95). Intraexaminer reproducibilities were calculated at tooth level. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the simplified TF compared to gold standard were 90.6 (95%CI: 86.6 to 93.6), 100 (95%CI: 95.3 to 100), 100 (95%CI: 98.3 to 100) and 77.5 (95%CI: 69.8 to 83.5), respectively. The ROC value was 0.953 (95%CI: 0.933 to 0.973). The simplified TF index proved suitable for determining the prevalence of dental fluorosis in regions with endemic fluorosis caused by the ingestion of water with high concentrations of fluoride. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mechanisms of Geomagnetic Field Influence on Gene Expression Using Influenza as a Model System: Basics of Physical Epidemiology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 938-965; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030938
Received: 22 December 2009 / Revised: 14 January 2010 / Accepted: 22 February 2010 / Published: 10 March 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Recent studies demonstrate distinct changes in gene expression in cells exposed to a weak magnetic field (MF). Mechanisms of this phenomenon are not understood yet. We propose that proteins of the Cryptochrome family (CRY) are "epigenetic sensors" of the MF fluctuations, i.e. [...] Read more.
Recent studies demonstrate distinct changes in gene expression in cells exposed to a weak magnetic field (MF). Mechanisms of this phenomenon are not understood yet. We propose that proteins of the Cryptochrome family (CRY) are "epigenetic sensors" of the MF fluctuations, i.e., magnetic field-sensitive part of the epigenetic controlling mechanism. It was shown that CRY represses activity of the major circadian transcriptional complex CLOCK/BMAL1. At the same time, function of CRY, is apparently highly responsive to weak MF because of radical pairs that periodically arise in the functionally active site of CRY and mediate the radical pair mechanism of magnetoreception. It is known that the circadian complex influences function of every organ and tissue, including modulation of both NF-κB- and glucocorticoids- dependent signaling pathways. Thus, MFs and solar cycles-dependent geomagnetic field fluctuations are capable of altering expression of genes related to function of NF-κB, hormones and other biological regulators. Notably, NF-κB, along with its significant role in immune response, also participates in differential regulation of influenza virus RNA synthesis. Presented data suggests that in the case of global application (example—geomagnetic field), MF-mediated regulation may have epidemiological and other consequences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Excessive Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke among Hospitality Workers in Kyrgyzstan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 966-974; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030966
Received: 30 November 2009 / Revised: 21 February 2010 / Accepted: 22 February 2010 / Published: 10 March 2010
PDF Full-text (111 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to assess the levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure of men and women in public places in Kyrgyzstan. This cross-sectional study involved 10 bars and restaurants in Bishkek the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. Smoking was allowed [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to assess the levels of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure of men and women in public places in Kyrgyzstan. This cross-sectional study involved 10 bars and restaurants in Bishkek the capital city of Kyrgyzstan. Smoking was allowed in all establishments. Median (interquartile range) air nicotine concentrations were 6.82 (2.89, 8.86) μg/m3. Employees were asked about their smoking history and exposure to SHS at work. Employees were exposed to SHS for mean (SD) 13.5 (3.6) hours a day and 5.8 (1.4) days a week. Women were exposed to more hours of SHS at work compared to men. Hospitality workers are exposed to excessive amounts of SHS from customers. Legislation to ban smoking in public places including bars and restaurants is urgently needed to protect workers and patrons from the harmful effects of SHS. Full article
Open AccessArticle Specialty Care Use in US Patients with Chronic Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 975-990; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030975
Received: 30 December 2009 / Revised: 3 February 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 10 March 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (401 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite efforts to eliminate health disparities, racial, ethnic, and geographic groups continue lag behind their counterparts in health outcomes in the United States. The purpose of this study is to determine variation in specialty care utilization by chronic disease status. Data were [...] Read more.
Despite efforts to eliminate health disparities, racial, ethnic, and geographic groups continue lag behind their counterparts in health outcomes in the United States. The purpose of this study is to determine variation in specialty care utilization by chronic disease status. Data were extracted from the Commonwealth Fund 2006 Health Care Quality Survey (n = 2475). A stratified minority sample design was employed to ensure a representative sample. Logistic regression was used in analyses to predict specialty care utilization in the sample. Poor perceived health, minority status, and lack of insurance was associated with reduced specialty care use and chronic disease diagnosis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Climate Change and Health in British Columbia: Projected Impacts and a Proposed Agenda for Adaptation Research and Policy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1018-1035; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031018
Received: 19 January 2010 / Revised: 23 February 2010 / Accepted: 2 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (168 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This is a case study describing how climate change may affect the health of British Columbians and to suggest a way forward to promote health and policy research, and adaptation to these changes. After reviewing the limited evidence of the impacts of [...] Read more.
This is a case study describing how climate change may affect the health of British Columbians and to suggest a way forward to promote health and policy research, and adaptation to these changes. After reviewing the limited evidence of the impacts of climate change on human health we have developed five principles to guide the development of research and policy to better predict future impacts of climate change on health and to enhance adaptation to these change in BC. We suggest that, with some modification, these principles will be useful to policy makers in other jurisdictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Open AccessArticle Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1036-1046; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031036
Received: 26 January 2010 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 5 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
Cited by 66 | PDF Full-text (165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Research suggests that visual impressions of natural compared with urban environments facilitate recovery after psychological stress. To test whether auditory stimulation has similar effects, 40 subjects were exposed to sounds from nature or noisy environments after a stressful mental arithmetic task. Skin [...] Read more.
Research suggests that visual impressions of natural compared with urban environments facilitate recovery after psychological stress. To test whether auditory stimulation has similar effects, 40 subjects were exposed to sounds from nature or noisy environments after a stressful mental arithmetic task. Skin conductance level (SCL) was used to index sympathetic activation, and high frequency heart rate variability (HF HRV) was used to index parasympathetic activation. Although HF HRV showed no effects, SCL recovery tended to be faster during natural sound than noisy environments. These results suggest that nature sounds facilitate recovery from sympathetic activation after a psychological stressor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Noise and Quality of Life)
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Open AccessArticle Human Amebiasis: Breaking the Paradigm?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1105-1120; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031105
Received: 19 December 2009 / Revised: 2 February 2010 / Accepted: 8 March 2010 / Published: 16 March 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
For over 30 years it has been established that the Entamoeba histolytica protozoan included two biologically and genetically different species, one with a pathogenic phenotype called E. histolytica and the other with a non-pathogenic phenotype called Entamoeba dispar. Both of these [...] Read more.
For over 30 years it has been established that the Entamoeba histolytica protozoan included two biologically and genetically different species, one with a pathogenic phenotype called E. histolytica and the other with a non-pathogenic phenotype called Entamoeba dispar. Both of these amoebae species can infect humans. E. histolytica has been considered as a potential pathogen that can cause serious damage to the large intestine (colitis, dysentery) and other extraintestinal organs, mainly the liver (amebic liver abscess), whereas E. dispar is a species that interacts with humans in a commensal relationship, causing no symptoms or any tissue damage. This paradigm, however, should be reconsidered or re-evaluated. In the present work, we report the detection and genotyping of E. dispar sequences of DNA obtained from patients with amebic liver abscesses, including the genotyping of an isolate obtained from a Brazilian patient with a clinical diagnosis of intestinal amebiasis that was previously characterized as an E. dispar species. The genetic diversity and phylogenetic analysis performed by our group has shown the existence of several different genotypes of E. dispar that can be associated to, or be potentiality responsible for intestinal or liver tissue damage, similar to that observed with E. histolytica. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Food Patterns According to Sociodemographics, Physical Activity, Sleeping and Obesity in Portuguese Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1121-1138; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031121
Received: 5 February 2010 / Revised: 23 February 2010 / Accepted: 4 March 2010 / Published: 17 March 2010
Cited by 29 | PDF Full-text (247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our study aimed to describe the association between food patterns and gender, parental education, physical activity, sleeping and obesity in 1976 children aged 5−10 years old. Dietary intake was measured by a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire; body mass index was calculated [...] Read more.
Our study aimed to describe the association between food patterns and gender, parental education, physical activity, sleeping and obesity in 1976 children aged 5−10 years old. Dietary intake was measured by a semi quantitative food frequency questionnaire; body mass index was calculated and categorized according to the IOTF classification. Factor analysis and generalized linear models were applied to identify food patterns and their associations. TV viewing and male gender were significant positive predictors for fast-food, sugar sweetened beverages and pastry pattern, while a higher level of maternal education and longer sleeping duration were positively associated with a dietary patterns that included fruit and vegetables. Full article
Open AccessCommunication A Multidisciplinary Investigation of a Polycythemia Vera Cancer Cluster of Unknown Origin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1139-1152; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031139
Received: 29 January 2010 / Revised: 13 March 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 17 March 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (67 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cancer cluster investigations rarely receive significant public health resource allocations due to numerous inherent challenges and the limited success of past efforts. In 2008, a cluster of polycythemia vera, a rare blood cancer with unknown etiology, was identified in northeast Pennsylvania. A [...] Read more.
Cancer cluster investigations rarely receive significant public health resource allocations due to numerous inherent challenges and the limited success of past efforts. In 2008, a cluster of polycythemia vera, a rare blood cancer with unknown etiology, was identified in northeast Pennsylvania. A multidisciplinary group of federal and state agencies, academic institutions, and local healthcare providers subsequently developed a multifaceted research portfolio designed to better understand the cause of the cluster. This research agenda represents a unique and important opportunity to demonstrate that cancer cluster investigations can produce desirable public health and scientific outcomes when necessary resources are available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle Real or Illusory? Case Studies on the Public Perception of Environmental Health Risks in the North West of England
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1153-1173; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031153
Received: 31 December 2009 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 18 March 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (450 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Applied research in a public health setting seeks to provide professionals with insights and knowledge into complex environmental issues to guide actions that reduce inequalities and improve health. We describe ten environmental case studies that explore the public perception of health risk. [...] Read more.
Applied research in a public health setting seeks to provide professionals with insights and knowledge into complex environmental issues to guide actions that reduce inequalities and improve health. We describe ten environmental case studies that explore the public perception of health risk. We employed logical analysis of components of each case study and comparative information to generate new evidence. The findings highlight how concerns about environmental issues measurably affect people’s wellbeing and led to the development of new understanding about the benefits of taking an earlier and more inclusive approach to risk communication that can now be tested further. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Open AccessArticle Can the Blood Alcohol Concentration Be a Predictor for Increased Hospital Complications in Trauma Patients Involved in Motor Vehicle Crashes?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1174-1185; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031174
Received: 8 February 2010 / Revised: 15 March 2010 / Accepted: 15 March 2010 / Published: 18 March 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (159 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this report is to assess the relationship of varying levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and hospital complications in patients admitted after motor vehicle crashes. Data for the study was collected by a retrospective review of the University of Wisconsin Hospital trauma registry between 1999 and 2007 using the National Trauma Registry of the American College of Surgeons (NTRACS). Of 3729 patients, 2210 (59%) had a negative BAC, 338 (9%) <100 mg/dL, 538 (14%) 100–199 mg/dL, and 643 (17%) >200 mg/dL. Forty-six percent of patients had one or more hospital related complications. The odds ratio (OR) for the occurrence of alcohol withdrawal in the three alcohol groups compared to the no alcohol group was 12.02 (CI 7.0–20.7), 16.81 (CI 10.4–27.2), and 30.96 (CI 19.5–49.2) as BAC increased with a clear dose response effect. While there were no significant differences in the frequency of the total hospital events following trauma across the four groups, rates of infections, coagulopathies, central nervous system events and renal complications were lower in the high BAC group. Prospective studies are needed to more precisely estimate the frequency of hospital complications in patients with alcohol use disorders and in persons intoxicated at the time of the motor vehicle accident. The study supports the use of routine BAC to predict patients at high risk for alcohol withdrawal and the early initiation of alcohol detoxification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Branching Processes: Their Role in Epidemiology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1186-1204; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031204
Received: 11 January 2010 / Revised: 1 March 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 19 March 2010
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (208 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Branching processes are stochastic individual-based processes leading consequently to a bottom-up approach. In addition, since the state variables are random integer variables (representing population sizes), the extinction occurs at random finite time on the extinction set, thus leading to fine and realistic [...] Read more.
Branching processes are stochastic individual-based processes leading consequently to a bottom-up approach. In addition, since the state variables are random integer variables (representing population sizes), the extinction occurs at random finite time on the extinction set, thus leading to fine and realistic predictions. Starting from the simplest and well-known single-type Bienaymé-Galton-Watson branching process that was used by several authors for approximating the beginning of an epidemic, we then present a general branching model with age and population dependent individual transitions. However contrary to the classical Bienaymé-Galton-Watson or asymptotically Bienaymé-Galton-Watson setting, where the asymptotic behavior of the process, as time tends to infinity, is well understood, the asymptotic behavior of this general process is a new question. Here we give some solutions for dealing with this problem depending on whether the initial population size is large or small, and whether the disease is rare or non-rare when the initial population size is large. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle Community Mobilization and the Framing of Alcohol-Related Problems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1226-1247; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031226
Received: 29 December 2009 / Revised: 5 March 2010 / Accepted: 12 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (405 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The goal of this study was to describe how activists engaged in campaigns to change alcohol policies in inner city areas framed alcohol problems, and whether or not their frameworks reflected major models used in the field, such as the alcoholism as [...] Read more.
The goal of this study was to describe how activists engaged in campaigns to change alcohol policies in inner city areas framed alcohol problems, and whether or not their frameworks reflected major models used in the field, such as the alcoholism as a disease model, an alcohol problems perspective, or a public health approach to alcohol problems. The findings showed that activists’ models shared some aspects with dominant approaches which tend to focus on individuals and to a lesser extent on regulating alcohol marketing and sales. However, activists’ models differed in significant ways by focusing on community level problems with alcohol; on problems with social norms regarding alcohol use; and on the relationship of alcohol use to illicit drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)

Review

Jump to: Research, Other

Open AccessReview Usefulness of Mendelian Randomization in Observational Epidemiology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 711-728; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030711
Received: 29 December 2009 / Accepted: 16 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 27 | PDF Full-text (464 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mendelian randomization refers to the random allocation of alleles at the time of gamete formation. In observational epidemiology, this refers to the use of genetic variants to estimate a causal effect between a modifiable risk factor and an outcome of interest. In [...] Read more.
Mendelian randomization refers to the random allocation of alleles at the time of gamete formation. In observational epidemiology, this refers to the use of genetic variants to estimate a causal effect between a modifiable risk factor and an outcome of interest. In this review, we recall the principles of a “Mendelian randomization” approach in observational epidemiology, which is based on the technique of instrumental variables; we provide simulations and an example based on real data to demonstrate its implications; we present the results of a systematic search on original articles having used this approach; and we discuss some limitations of this approach in view of what has been found so far. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Open AccessReview Recent Developments in Public Health Nursing in the Americas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 729-750; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030729
Received: 18 December 2009 / Accepted: 22 January 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (224 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study presents an assessment of the participation and training of nurses in public health areas in the Americas. Information was gathered through a literature review and interviews with key informants from Mexico, Colombia, and Paraguay. Results demonstrate that there is significant [...] Read more.
This study presents an assessment of the participation and training of nurses in public health areas in the Americas. Information was gathered through a literature review and interviews with key informants from Mexico, Colombia, and Paraguay. Results demonstrate that there is significant variation in definitions of public health nursing across the region and current systematized data about the workforce profile of public health nursing personnel is not available for many countries in the Americas. There are significant regional differences in the levels and types of training of nurses working in public health areas and an increasing number of nurses are pursuing training in public health at the master’s and doctoral levels. Many nurses carry out some or all of the essential functions of public health, but are not considered to be public health nurses. Generally, auxiliary and technical nurses have a broader presence in public health areas than professional nurses. In the future, regional health systems reforms should support increased recruitment and training of public health nurses, as well as stronger roles in public health research and health care at the individual, community, and population levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: How Effective is the Current Public Health Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 765-783; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030765
Received: 25 January 2010 / Accepted: 25 February 2010 / Published: 26 February 2010
Cited by 63 | PDF Full-text (217 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Obesity is a public health problem that has become epidemic worldwide. Substantial literature has emerged to show that overweight and obesity are major causes of co-morbidities, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various cancers and other health problems, which can lead to [...] Read more.
Obesity is a public health problem that has become epidemic worldwide. Substantial literature has emerged to show that overweight and obesity are major causes of co-morbidities, including type II diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various cancers and other health problems, which can lead to further morbidity and mortality. The related health care costs are also substantial. Therefore, a public health approach to develop population-based strategies for the prevention of excess weight gain is of great importance. However, public health intervention programs have had limited success in tackling the rising prevalence of obesity. This paper reviews the definition of overweight and obesity and the variations with age and ethnicity; health consequences and factors contributing to the development of obesity; and critically reviews the effectiveness of current public health strategies for risk factor reduction and obesity prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Neighborhoods, Alcohol Outlets and Intimate Partner Violence: Addressing Research Gaps in Explanatory Mechanisms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 799-813; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030799
Received: 18 December 2009 / Accepted: 1 March 2010 / Published: 4 March 2010
Cited by 34 | PDF Full-text (146 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Indices of heavy drinking have consistently been linked with increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) among couples in the general household population. Because IPV is a ‘private’ event, most IPV research has focused on individual-level risk factors, but current social ecological [...] Read more.
Indices of heavy drinking have consistently been linked with increased risk for intimate partner violence (IPV) among couples in the general household population. Because IPV is a ‘private’ event, most IPV research has focused on individual-level risk factors, but current social ecological theory suggests that alcohol outlets can act with neighborhood conditions to increase risks for IPV. This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literatures relevant to identifying specific social mechanisms linking IPV to alcohol use in community settings, and discusses three social mechanisms relevant to these effects: greater numbers of alcohol outlets within a neighborhood may (1) be a sign of loosened normative constraints against violence; (2) promote problem alcohol use among at-risk couples, and; (3) provide environments where groups of persons at risk for IPV may form and mutually reinforce IPV-related attitudes, norms, and problem behaviors. Understanding these mechanisms is of critical public health importance for developing environmental strategies aimed at prevention of IPV, such as changes in zoning, community action and education, and policing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessReview Molecular Epidemiology for Vector Research on Leishmaniasis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 814-826; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030814
Received: 9 December 2009 / Revised: 3 February 2010 / Accepted: 16 February 2010 / Published: 5 March 2010
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (249 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Leishmaniasis is a protozoan disease caused by the genus Leishmania transmitted by female phlebotomine sand flies. Surveillance of the prevalence of Leishmania and responsive vector species in endemic and surrounding areas is important for predicting the risk and expansion of the disease. [...] Read more.
Leishmaniasis is a protozoan disease caused by the genus Leishmania transmitted by female phlebotomine sand flies. Surveillance of the prevalence of Leishmania and responsive vector species in endemic and surrounding areas is important for predicting the risk and expansion of the disease. Molecular biological methods are now widely applied to epidemiological studies of infectious diseases including leishmaniasis. These techniques are used to detect natural infections of sand fly vectors with Leishmania protozoa and are becoming powerful tools due to their sensitivity and specificity. Recently, genetic analyses have been performed on sand fly species and genotyping using PCR-RFLP has been applied to the sand fly taxonomy. In addition, a molecular mass screening method has been established that enables both sand fly species and natural leishmanial infections to be identified simultaneously in hundreds of sand flies with limited effort. This paper reviews recent advances in the study of sand flies, vectors of leishmaniasis, using molecular biological approaches. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessReview What is Learned from Longitudinal Studies of Advertising and Youth Drinking and Smoking? A Critical Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 870-926; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030870
Received: 29 December 2009 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 28 February 2010 / Published: 8 March 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper assesses the methodology employed in longitudinal studies of advertising and youth drinking and smoking behaviors. These studies often are given a causal interpretation in the psychology and public health literatures. Four issues are examined from the perspective of econometrics. First, [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the methodology employed in longitudinal studies of advertising and youth drinking and smoking behaviors. These studies often are given a causal interpretation in the psychology and public health literatures. Four issues are examined from the perspective of econometrics. First, specification and validation of empirical models. Second, empirical issues associated with measures of advertising receptivity and exposure. Third, potential endogeneity of receptivity and exposure variables. Fourth, sample selection bias in baseline and follow-up surveys. Longitudinal studies reviewed include 20 studies of youth drinking and 26 studies of youth smoking. Substantial shortcomings are found in the studies, which preclude a causal interpretation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessReview Effectiveness of Public Health Interventions in Reducing Morbidity and Mortality during Heat Episodes: a Structured Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 991-1001; doi:10.3390/ijerph7030991
Received: 29 December 2009 / Revised: 12 February 2010 / Accepted: 13 February 2010 / Published: 10 March 2010
Cited by 41 | PDF Full-text (105 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasing concern over the impact of hot weather on health has fostered the development of public health interventions to reduce heat-related health impacts. However, evidence of the effectiveness of such interventions is rarely cited for justification. Our objective was to review peer-reviewed [...] Read more.
Increasing concern over the impact of hot weather on health has fostered the development of public health interventions to reduce heat-related health impacts. However, evidence of the effectiveness of such interventions is rarely cited for justification. Our objective was to review peer-reviewed and grey literature evaluating interventions aimed at reducing morbidity and/or mortality in populations during hot weather episodes. Among studies considering public risk perceptions, most respondents were aware when an extreme heat episode was occurring but did not necessarily change their practices, primarily due to a lack of self-perception as vulnerable and confusion about the appropriate actions to be taken. Among studies of health outcomes during and following heat episodes, studies were suggestive of positive impacts in reducing morbidity and mortality. While the limited evaluative work to date suggests a positive impact of public health interventions, concern persists about whether the most vulnerable groups, like the elderly and homeless, are being adequately reached. Full article
Open AccessReview GIS and Injury Prevention and Control: History, Challenges, and Opportunities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1002-1017; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031002
Received: 5 January 2009 / Revised: 20 February 2010 / Accepted: 8 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (330 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Intentional and unintentional injury is the leading cause of death and potential years of life lost in the first four decades of life in industrialized countries around the world. Despite surgical innovations and improved access to emergency care, research has shown that [...] Read more.
Intentional and unintentional injury is the leading cause of death and potential years of life lost in the first four decades of life in industrialized countries around the world. Despite surgical innovations and improved access to emergency care, research has shown that certain populations remain particularly vulnerable to the risks and consequences of injury. Recent evidence has shown that the analytical, data linkage, and mapping tools of geographic information systems (GIS) technology provide can further address these determinants and identify populations in need. This paper traces the history of injury prevention and discusses current and future challenges in furthering our understanding of the determinants of injury through the use of GIS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessReview Leg Length, Body Proportion, and Health: A Review with a Note on Beauty
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1047-1075; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031047
Received: 16 December 2009 / Revised: 28 January 2010 / Accepted: 8 March 2010 / Published: 11 March 2010
Cited by 64 | PDF Full-text (509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decomposing stature into its major components is proving to be a useful strategy to assess the antecedents of disease, morbidity and death in adulthood. Human leg length (femur + tibia), sitting height (trunk length + head length) and their proportions, for example, [...] Read more.
Decomposing stature into its major components is proving to be a useful strategy to assess the antecedents of disease, morbidity and death in adulthood. Human leg length (femur + tibia), sitting height (trunk length + head length) and their proportions, for example, (leg length/stature), or the sitting height ratio (sitting height/stature × 100), among others) are associated with epidemiological risk for overweight (fatness), coronary heart disease, diabetes, liver dysfunction and certain cancers. There is also wide support for the use of relative leg length as an indicator of the quality of the environment for growth during infancy, childhood and the juvenile years of development. Human beings follow a cephalo-caudal gradient of growth, the pattern of growth common to all mammals. A special feature of the human pattern is that between birth and puberty the legs grow relatively faster than other post-cranial body segments. For groups of children and youth, short stature due to relatively short legs (i.e., a high sitting height ratio) is generally a marker of an adverse environment. The development of human body proportions is the product of environmental x genomic interactions, although few if any specific genes are known. The HOXd and the short stature homeobox-containing gene (SHOX) are genomic regions that may be relevant to human body proportions. For example, one of the SHOX related disorders is Turner syndrome. However, research with non-pathological populations indicates that the environment is a more powerful force influencing leg length and body proportions than genes. Leg length and proportion are important in the perception of human beauty, which is often considered a sign of health and fertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
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Open AccessReview A New View of Alcohol Metabolism and Alcoholism—Role of the High-Km Class Ⅲ Alcohol Dehydrogenase (ADH3)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1076-1092; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031076
Received: 4 January 2010 / Revised: 12 February 2010 / Accepted: 22 February 2010 / Published: 15 March 2010
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (287 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The conventional view is that alcohol metabolism is carried out by ADH1 (Class I) in the liver. However, it has been suggested that another pathway plays an important role in alcohol metabolism, especially when the level of blood ethanol is high or [...] Read more.
The conventional view is that alcohol metabolism is carried out by ADH1 (Class I) in the liver. However, it has been suggested that another pathway plays an important role in alcohol metabolism, especially when the level of blood ethanol is high or when drinking is chronic. Over the past three decades, vigorous attempts to identify the enzyme responsible for the non-ADH1 pathway have focused on the microsomal ethanol oxidizing system (MEOS) and catalase, but have failed to clarify their roles in systemic alcohol metabolism. Recently, using ADH3-null mutant mice, we demonstrated that ADH3 (Class III), which has a high Km and is a ubiquitous enzyme of ancient origin, contributes to systemic alcohol metabolism in a dose-dependent manner, thereby diminishing acute alcohol intoxication. Although the activity of ADH3 toward ethanol is usually low in vitro due to its very high Km, the catalytic efficiency (kcat/Km) is markedly enhanced when the solution hydrophobicity of the reaction medium increases. Activation of ADH3 by increasing hydrophobicity should also occur in liver cells; a cytoplasmic solution of mouse liver cells was shown to be much more hydrophobic than a buffer solution when using Nile red as a hydrophobicity probe. When various doses of ethanol are administered to mice, liver ADH3 activity is dynamically regulated through induction or kinetic activation, while ADH1 activity is markedly lower at high doses (3–5 g/kg). These data suggest that ADH3 plays a dynamic role in alcohol metabolism, either collaborating with ADH1 or compensating for the reduced role of ADH1. A complex two-ADH model that ascribes total liver ADH activity to both ADH1 and ADH3 explains the dose-dependent changes in the pharmacokinetic parameters (b, CLT, AUC) of blood ethanol very well, suggesting that alcohol metabolism in mice is primarily governed by these two ADHs. In patients with alcoholic liver disease, liver ADH3 activity increases, while ADH1 activity decreases, as alcohol intake increases. Furthermore, ADH3 is induced in damaged cells that have greater hydrophobicity, whereas ADH1 activity is lower when there is severe liver disease. These data suggest that chronic binge drinking and the resulting liver disease shifts the key enzyme in alcohol metabolism from low-Km ADH1 to high-Km ADH3, thereby reducing the rate of alcohol metabolism. The interdependent increase in the ADH3/ADH1 activity ratio and AUC may be a factor in the development of alcoholic liver disease. However, the adaptive increase in ADH3 sustains alcohol metabolism, even in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, which makes it possible for them to drink themselves to death. Thus, the regulation of ADH3 activity may be important in preventing alcoholism development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Beer and its Non-Alcoholic Compounds: Role in Pancreatic Exocrine Secretion, Alcoholic Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Carcinoma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1093-1104; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031093
Received: 8 February 2010 / Revised: 2 March 2010 / Accepted: 9 March 2010 / Published: 15 March 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
: In this article we provide an overview of the newest data concerning the effect of non-alcoholic constituents of alcoholic beverages, especially of beer, on pancreatic secretion, and their possible role in alcoholic pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma. The data indicate that non-alcoholic [...] Read more.
: In this article we provide an overview of the newest data concerning the effect of non-alcoholic constituents of alcoholic beverages, especially of beer, on pancreatic secretion, and their possible role in alcoholic pancreatitis and pancreatic carcinoma. The data indicate that non-alcoholic constituents of beer stimulate pancreatic enzyme secretion in humans and rats, at least in part, by direct action on pancreatic acinar cells. Some non-alcoholic compounds of beer, such as quercetin, resveratrol, ellagic acid or catechins, have been shown to be protective against experimentally induced pancreatitis by inhibiting pancreatic secretion, stellate cell activation or by reducing oxidative stress. Quercetin, ellagic acid and resveratrol also show anti-carcinogenic potential in vitro and in vivo. However, beer contains many more non-alcoholic ingredients. Their relevance in beer-induced functional alterations of pancreatic cells leading to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer in humans needs to be further evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessReview Impact of Direct Soil Exposures from Airborne Dust and Geophagy on Human Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1205-1223; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031205
Received: 10 February 2010 / Revised: 3 March 2010 / Accepted: 16 March 2010 / Published: 19 March 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Over evolutionary time humans have developed a complex biological relationship with soils. Here we describe modes of soil exposure and their biological implications. We consider two types of soil exposure, the first being the continuous exposure to airborne soil, and the second [...] Read more.
Over evolutionary time humans have developed a complex biological relationship with soils. Here we describe modes of soil exposure and their biological implications. We consider two types of soil exposure, the first being the continuous exposure to airborne soil, and the second being dietary ingestion of soils, or geophagy. It may be assumed that airborne dust and ingestion of soil have influenced the evolution of particular DNA sequences which control biological systems that enable individual organisms to take advantage of, adapt to and/or protect against exposures to soil materials. We review the potential for soil exposure as an environmental source of epigenetic signals which may influence the function of our genome in determining health and disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Archibong, A.E., et al. Effects of Benzo(a)pyrene on Intra-testicular Function in F-344 Rats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(3), 1224-1225; doi:10.3390/ijerph7031224
Received: 19 March 2010 / Published: 22 March 2010
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Abstract We found some errors in Figure 4 in our paper published in the International journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [1].[...] Full article
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