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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 7, Issue 6 (June 2010), Pages 2437-2744

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Hyperspectral Indices for Chlorophyll-a Concentration Estimation in Tangxun Lake (Wuhan, China)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2437-2451; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062437
Received: 1 April 2010 / Revised: 17 May 2010 / Accepted: 18 May 2010 / Published: 27 May 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (756 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration is a major indicator of water quality which is harmful to human health. A growing number of studies have focused on the derivation of Chl-a concentration information from hyperspectral sensor data and the identification of best
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Chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration is a major indicator of water quality which is harmful to human health. A growing number of studies have focused on the derivation of Chl-a concentration information from hyperspectral sensor data and the identification of best indices for Chl-a monitoring. The objective of this study is to assess the potential of hyperspectral indices to detect Chl-a concentrations in Tangxun Lake, which is the second largest lake in Wuhan, Central China. Hyperspectral reflectance and Chl-a concentration were measured at ten sample sites in Tangxun Lake. Three types of hyperspectral methods, including single-band reflectance, first derivative of reflectance, and reflectance ratio, were extracted from the spectral profiles of all bands of the hyperspectral sensor. The most appropriate bands for algorithms mentioned above were selected based on the correlation analysis. Evaluation results indicated that two methods, the first derivative of reflectance and reflectance ratio, were highly correlated (R2 > 0.8) with the measured Chl-a concentrations. Thus, the spatial and temporal variations of Chl-a concentration could be conveniently monitored with these hyperspectral methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Environmental Research)
Open AccessArticle Living with Companion Animals, Physical Activity and Mortality in a U.S. National Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2452-2459; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062452
Received: 22 April 2010 / Revised: 20 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 28 May 2010
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (166 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Living with a canine companion is postulated to increase physical activity. We test the hypotheses that adults living with a canine companion have a higher level of physical activity and reduced mortality risk compared to those not living with a companion animal. A
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Living with a canine companion is postulated to increase physical activity. We test the hypotheses that adults living with a canine companion have a higher level of physical activity and reduced mortality risk compared to those not living with a companion animal. A U.S. national health survey with longitudinal mortality follow-up studied 11,394 American men and women aged 40 years and over examined in 1988–1994 followed an average 8.5 years. Measurements at baseline included self-reported companion animals in the household, socio-demographics, health status, physical and biochemical measurements. Outcome measures were leisure-time physical activity (LTPA), and death from all causes. Death during follow-up occurred in 3,187 persons. In bivariate cross-sectional analyses living with a dog was associated with more frequent LTPA and higher survival. In proportional hazards regression analysis, no significant interaction of age, gender or ethnicity with animals was found. After adjusting for confounding by baseline socio-demographics and health status at ages 40+, the hazards ratio (95% confidence limits) for living with a canine companion compared to no animals was 1.21(1.04–1.41, p < 0.001). After also controlling for health behaviors, blood pressure and body mass, C-reactive protein and HDL-cholesterol, the HR was 1.19 (0.97–1.47, NS). In a nationwide cohort of American adults, analyses demonstrated no lower risk of death independent of confounders among those living with canine or feline companions, despite positive association of canine companions with LTPA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Cigarette Smoking in Indonesia: Examination of a Myopic Model of Addictive Behaviour
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2473-2485; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062473
Received: 22 March 2010 / Revised: 17 May 2010 / Accepted: 21 May 2010 / Published: 4 June 2010
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (371 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using aggregated panel data taken from three waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey (1993–2000), this article tests the myopic addiction behaviour of cigarette demand. Sensitivity analysis is done by examining a rational addiction behavior of cigarette demand. The results provide support for
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Using aggregated panel data taken from three waves of the Indonesian Family Life Survey (1993–2000), this article tests the myopic addiction behaviour of cigarette demand. Sensitivity analysis is done by examining a rational addiction behavior of cigarette demand. The results provide support for myopic addiction. The short- and long-run price elasticities of cigarette demand are estimated at −0.28 and −0.73 respectively. Excise taxes are more likely to act as an effective tobacco control in the long-run rather than a major source of government revenue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle Satellite Derived Forest Phenology and Its Relation with Nephropathia Epidemica in Belgium
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2486-2500; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062486
Received: 17 May 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (786 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The connection between nephropathia epidemica (NE) and vegetation dynamics has been emphasized in recent studies. Changing climate has been suggested as a triggering factor of recently observed epidemiologic peaks in reported NE cases. We have investigated whether there is a connection between the
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The connection between nephropathia epidemica (NE) and vegetation dynamics has been emphasized in recent studies. Changing climate has been suggested as a triggering factor of recently observed epidemiologic peaks in reported NE cases. We have investigated whether there is a connection between the NE occurrence pattern in Belgium and specific trends in remotely sensed phenology parameters of broad-leaved forests. The analysis of time series of the MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index revealed that changes in forest phenology, considered in literature as an effect of climate change, may affect the mechanics of NE transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Assessment of Environmental Distribution of Lead in Some Municipalities of South-Eastern Nigeria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2501-2513; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062501
Received: 7 May 2010 / Revised: 1 June 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 10 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (290 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Lead (Pb) levels were measured in roadside surface soils, dust particles and rain water samples from the urban cities of Enugu, Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Aba, Port Harcourt and Warri in Southern Nigeria in 2007 and 2008. Samples were collected during the dry season,
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Lead (Pb) levels were measured in roadside surface soils, dust particles and rain water samples from the urban cities of Enugu, Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Aba, Port Harcourt and Warri in Southern Nigeria in 2007 and 2008. Samples were collected during the dry season, while rain water samples were collected during the early rain (April–June), mid rain (July–August) and late rain seasons (September–October) for the two years. Soil samples were collected from traffic congested roads, dust was collected by tying a plastic basin on a pole 1.5 m above ground level and leaving it for 45 days. Rain samples were collected from three equidistant points. Samples were analyzed by AAS. The highest soil Pb of 120.00 ± 0.00 and 80.36 ± 0.00 mg/kg were reported in Onitsha for 2007 and 2008, respectively. Nnewi showed 33.40 ± 0.01 and 4,238.29 ± 0.00 mg/kg for 2007 and 2008. Aba had 22.56 ± 0.01 and 21.28 ± 0.00 mg/kg for 2007 and 2008. Higher concentrations were recorded for Nnewi and Port Harcourt in 2008 than in 2007. Enugu had more in 2007 while Awka had more in 2008. Dust Pb ranged from 0.13–0.49 mg/kg and 0.15–0.47 mg/kg for 2007 and 2008, respectively. Rain samples had the least Pb concentration, ranging from 0.103 ± 0.000 to 0.163 ± 0.046 mg/L. We may conclude that Nigerians are exposed to environmental Pb. Full article
Open AccessArticle Prevalence of Psychotic Symptoms and Their Risk Factors in Urban Tanzania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2514-2525; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062514
Received: 10 May 2010 / Accepted: 1 June 2010 / Published: 10 June 2010
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (114 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to determine the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in urban Tanzania and their relationship with demographic, socio-economic and social factors. A random sample of 899 adults aged 15–59 was surveyed. The main outcome measure was endorsement of one or more psychotic
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This study aimed to determine the prevalence of psychotic symptoms in urban Tanzania and their relationship with demographic, socio-economic and social factors. A random sample of 899 adults aged 15–59 was surveyed. The main outcome measure was endorsement of one or more psychotic symptoms identified by the Psychosis Screening Questionnaire. 3.9% respondents reported one or more psychotic symptoms in the preceding year. Significantly higher rates of symptoms were found in those who had recently experienced two or more stressful life events, those with CMD and people who had used cannabis in the preceding year. Full article
Open AccessArticle Outcomes of 28+1 to 32+0 Weeks Gestation Babies in the State of Qatar: Finding Facility-Based Cost Effective Options for Improving the Survival of Preterm Neonates in Low Income Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2526-2542; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062526
Received: 4 May 2010 / Revised: 31 May 2010 / Accepted: 2 June 2010 / Published: 11 June 2010
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (185 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this retrospective study we did a comparative analysis of the outcome of 28+1 to 32+0 weeks gestation babies between the State of Qatar and some high income countries with an objective of providing an evidence base for improving the survival
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In this retrospective study we did a comparative analysis of the outcome of 28+1 to 32+0 weeks gestation babies between the State of Qatar and some high income countries with an objective of providing an evidence base for improving the survival of preterm neonates in low income countries. Data covering a five year period (2002–2006) was ascertained on a pre-designed Performa. A comparative analysis with the most recent data from VON, NICHD, UK, France and Europe was undertaken. Qatar’s 28+1 to 32+0 weeks Prematurity Rate (9.23 per 1,000 births) was less than the UK’s (p < 0.0001). Of the 597 babies born at 28+1 to 32+0 weeks of gestation, 37.5% did not require any respiratory support, while 31.1% required only CPAP therapy. 80.12% of the MV and 96.28% of CPAP therapy was required for <96 hours. 86.1% of the mothers had received antenatal steroids. The 28+1 to 32+0 weeks mortality rate was 65.3/1,000 births with 30.77% deaths attributable to a range of lethal congenital and chromosomal anomalies. The survival rate increased with increasing gestational age (p < 0.001) and was comparable to some high income countries. The incidence of in hospital pre discharge morbidities in Qatar (CLD 2.68%, IVH Grade III 0.84%, IVH Grade IV 0.5%, Cystic PVL 0.5%) was less as compared to some high income countries except ROP ≥ Stage 3 (5.69%), which was higher in Qatar. The incidence of symptomatic PDA, NEC and severe ROP decreased with increasing gestational age (p < 0.05). We conclude that the mortality and in hospital pre discharge morbidity outcome of 28+1 to 32+0 weeks babies in Qatar are comparable with some high income countries. In two thirds of this group of preterm babies, the immediate postnatal respiratory distress can be effectively managed by using two facility based cost effective interventions; antenatal steroids and postnatal CPAP. This finding is very supportive to the efforts of international perinatal health care planners in designing facility-based cost effective options for low income countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults)
Open AccessArticle Common Mental Disorders and Risk Factors in Urban Tanzania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2543-2558; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062543
Received: 24 April 2010 / Revised: 24 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (132 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A cross sectional population based epidemiological survey of 899 adults aged between 15 and 59 was undertaken in two urban areas of demographic surveillance sites in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, using the Clinical Interview Schedule Revised. Significantly higher rates were found among those
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A cross sectional population based epidemiological survey of 899 adults aged between 15 and 59 was undertaken in two urban areas of demographic surveillance sites in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, using the Clinical Interview Schedule Revised. Significantly higher rates were found among those who had experienced more than three severe life events in the last six months and relationship difficulties and death of a loved one. Full article
Open AccessArticle Public Perceptions of Climate Change as a Human Health Risk: Surveys of the United States, Canada and Malta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2559-2606; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062559
Received: 4 May 2010 / Revised: 3 June 2010 / Accepted: 9 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 42 | PDF Full-text (609 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We used data from nationally representative surveys conducted in the United States, Canada and Malta between 2008 and 2009 to answer three questions: Does the public believe that climate change poses human health risks, and if so, are they seen as current or
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We used data from nationally representative surveys conducted in the United States, Canada and Malta between 2008 and 2009 to answer three questions: Does the public believe that climate change poses human health risks, and if so, are they seen as current or future risks? Whose health does the public think will be harmed? In what specific ways does the public believe climate change will harm human health? When asked directly about the potential impacts of climate change on health and well-being, a majority of people in all three nations said that it poses significant risks; moreover, about one third of Americans, one half of Canadians, and two-thirds of Maltese said that people are already being harmed. About a third or more of people in the United States and Canada saw themselves (United States, 32%; Canada, 67%), their family (United States, 35%; Canada, 46%), and people in their community (United States, 39%; Canada, 76%) as being vulnerable to at least moderate harm from climate change. About one third of Maltese (31%) said they were most concerned about the risk to themselves and their families. Many Canadians said that the elderly (45%) and children (33%) are at heightened risk of harm, while Americans were more likely to see people in developing countries as being at risk than people in their own nation. When prompted, large numbers of Canadians and Maltese said that climate change can cause respiratory problems (78–91%), heat-related problems (75–84%), cancer (61–90%), and infectious diseases (49–62%). Canadians also named sunburn (79%) and injuries from extreme weather events (73%), and Maltese cited allergies (84%). However, climate change appears to lack salience as a health issue in all three countries: relatively few people answered open-ended questions in a manner that indicated clear top-of-mind associations between climate change and human health risks. We recommend mounting public health communication initiatives that increase the salience of the human health consequences associated with climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of High Ambient Temperature on the Elderly Population in Three Regions of Sweden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2607-2619; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062607
Received: 11 May 2010 / Accepted: 4 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (176 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The short-term effects of high temperatures are a serious concern in the context of climate change. In areas that today have mild climates the research activity has been rather limited, despite the fact that differences in temperature susceptibility will play a fundamental role
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The short-term effects of high temperatures are a serious concern in the context of climate change. In areas that today have mild climates the research activity has been rather limited, despite the fact that differences in temperature susceptibility will play a fundamental role in understanding the exposure, acclimatization, adaptation and health risks of a changing climate. In addition, many studies employ biometeorological indexes without careful investigation of the regional heterogeneity in the impact of relative humidity. We aimed to investigate the effects of summer temperature and relative humidity and regional differences in three regions of Sweden allowing for heterogeneity of the effect over the scale of summer temperature. To do so, we collected mortality data for ages 65+ from Stockholm, Göteborg and Skåne from the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute for the years 1998 through 2005. In Stockholm and Skåne on average 22 deaths per day occurred, while in Göteborg the mean frequency of daily deaths was 10. We fitted time-series regression models to estimate relative risks of high ambient temperatures on daily mortality using smooth functions to control for confounders, and estimated non-linear effects of exposure while allowing for auto-regressive correlation of observations within summers. The effect of temperature on mortality was found distributed over the same or following day, with statistically significant cumulative combined relative risk of about 5.1% (CI = 0.3, 10.1) per °C above the 90th percentile of summer temperature. The effect of high relative humidity was statistically significant in only one of the regions, as was the effect of relative humidity (above 80th percentile) and temperature (above 90th percentile). In the southernmost region studied there appeared to be a significant increase in mortality with decreasing low summer temperatures that was not apparent in the two more northerly situated regions. The effects of warm temperatures on the elderly population in Sweden are rather strong and consistent across different regions after adjustment for mortality displacement. The impact of relative humidity appears to be different in regions, and may be a more important predictor of mortality in some areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Open AccessArticle International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2638-2652; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062638
Received: 12 April 2010 / Revised: 26 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 18 | PDF Full-text (347 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Reviews find a likely adverse effect of air pollution on perinatal outcomes, but variation of findings hinders the ability to incorporate the research into policy. The International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO) was formed to better understand relationships between air
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Reviews find a likely adverse effect of air pollution on perinatal outcomes, but variation of findings hinders the ability to incorporate the research into policy. The International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes (ICAPPO) was formed to better understand relationships between air pollution and adverse birth outcomes through standardized parallel analyses in datasets from different countries. A planning group with 10 members from 6 countries was formed to coordinate the project. Collaboration participants have datasets with air pollution values and birth outcomes. Eighteen research groups with data for approximately 20 locations in Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America are participating, with most participating in an initial pilot study. Datasets generally cover the 1990s. Number of births is generally in the hundreds of thousands, but ranges from around 1,000 to about one million. Almost all participants have some measure of particulate matter, and most have ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide. Strong enthusiasm for participating and a geographically-diverse range of participants should lead to understanding uncertainties about the role of air pollution in perinatal outcomes and provide decision-makers with better tools to account for pregnancy outcomes in air pollution policies. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Health and Nutritional Evaluation of Changes in Agriculture in the Past Quarter Century in British Columbia: Implications for Food Security
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2653-2665; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062653
Received: 12 May 2010 / Revised: 3 June 2010 / Accepted: 12 June 2010 / Published: 17 June 2010
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper describes change in local food production in British Columbia with a focus on changes in the production of foods recommended for increased consumption by nutritionists. We determine, in one of the most productive agricultural provinces in Canada, whether secular trends in
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This paper describes change in local food production in British Columbia with a focus on changes in the production of foods recommended for increased consumption by nutritionists. We determine, in one of the most productive agricultural provinces in Canada, whether secular trends in agricultural land use and food production, over the past quarter century, have resulted in increased production of foods recommended by nutritionists as more healthy and nutritious. In particular we are concerned with estimating the extent to which changes in agriculture and food production are congruent with official nutrition advice to avoid less healthy foods and to consume more vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. We demonstrate, using regularly collected agricultural census data, in spite of nutritionists’ advocacy for improved access to locally produced fruits, vegetables, and grains, since 1986, that BC agriculture is moving firmly in the opposite direction with greater production of animal fats, and hay and grain for animal feed and much reduced production of traditional fruits, vegetables, and grains designed mainly for human consumption. While nutritionists advise us to increase consumption especially of whole grains, vegetables and fruit, local production capacity of these foods in BC has decreased markedly between 1986 and 2006. In conclusion, there is a structural disconnect between the kinds of foods produced in BC and the nutritional needs of the population. Full article
Open AccessArticle Transdisciplinarity as an Inference Technique to Achieve a Better Understanding in the Health and Environmental Sciences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2692-2707; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062692
Received: 16 May 2010 / Revised: 3 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 June 2010 / Published: 21 June 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (94 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The problems of the world are not categorised into disciplines. They are far more complex, a reality that the tradition of transdisciplinary research has recognised. When faced with questions in public health and sustainability, the traditional scientific paradigm often seems inadequate, and, at
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The problems of the world are not categorised into disciplines. They are far more complex, a reality that the tradition of transdisciplinary research has recognised. When faced with questions in public health and sustainability, the traditional scientific paradigm often seems inadequate, and, at least in medicine, transdisciplinary research has not yet been fully appreciated or acknowledged. This lack of recognition may be partly caused by a lack of cooperation between disciplines and between science and society. In this paper, I discuss some of the challenges that scientists and policymakers face in public health and environment within a methodological context. I present transdisciplinarity as a modern research tool that should be applied in research in health and the environment and argue that these topics can be approached beyond the inherent obstacle of incommensurability between disciplines. Thus, a small step might be taken in this immense research arena. Full article

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview External Costs of Risky Health Behaviors Associated with Leading Actual Causes of Death in the U.S.: A Review of the Evidence and Implications for Future Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2460-2472; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062460
Received: 16 May 2010 / Revised: 1 June 2010 / Accepted: 1 June 2010 / Published: 3 June 2010
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (163 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the evidence on external costs of risky behaviors in the U.S. and provides a framework for estimating them. External costs arise when a person does not bear all the costs of his or her behavior. They provide one of the
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This paper reviews the evidence on external costs of risky behaviors in the U.S. and provides a framework for estimating them. External costs arise when a person does not bear all the costs of his or her behavior. They provide one of the strongest rationales for government interventions. Although the earlier estimates of external costs no longer have policy relevance, they demonstrated that the existence of external costs was an empirical question. We recommend that the estimates of external costs be updated as insurance structures, environments, and knowledge about these behaviors change. The general aspects of external costs may apply to countries other than the U.S. after taking into account differences in institutional, policy and epidemiological characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Inadequately Treated Wastewater as a Source of Human Enteric Viruses in the Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2620-2637; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062620
Received: 5 May 2010 / Revised: 4 June 2010 / Accepted: 4 June 2010 / Published: 14 June 2010
Cited by 59 | PDF Full-text (130 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Human enteric viruses are causative agents in both developed and developing countries of many non-bacterial gastrointestinal tract infections, respiratory tract infections, conjunctivitis, hepatitis and other more serious infections with high morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals such as meningitis, encephalitis and paralysis. Human
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Human enteric viruses are causative agents in both developed and developing countries of many non-bacterial gastrointestinal tract infections, respiratory tract infections, conjunctivitis, hepatitis and other more serious infections with high morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals such as meningitis, encephalitis and paralysis. Human enteric viruses infect and replicate in the gastrointestinal tract of their hosts and are released in large quantities in the stools of infected individuals. The discharge of inadequately treated sewage effluents is the most common source of enteric viral pathogens in aquatic environments. Due to the lack of correlation between the inactivation rates of bacterial indicators and viral pathogens, human adenoviruses have been proposed as a suitable index for the effective indication of viral contaminants in aquatic environments. This paper reviews the major genera of pathogenic human enteric viruses, their pathogenicity and epidemiology, as well as the role of wastewater effluents in their transmission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
Open AccessReview Methylmercury Exposure and Health Effects from Rice and Fish Consumption: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2666-2691; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062666
Received: 10 May 2010 / Revised: 4 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 21 June 2010
Cited by 66 | PDF Full-text (626 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Methylmercury (MeHg) is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in humans is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. The general population is primarily exposed to MeHg through consumption of contaminated fish and marine
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Methylmercury (MeHg) is highly toxic, and its principal target tissue in humans is the nervous system, which has made MeHg intoxication a public health concern for many decades. The general population is primarily exposed to MeHg through consumption of contaminated fish and marine mammals, but recent studies have reported high levels of MeHg in rice and confirmed that in China the main human exposure to MeHg is related to frequent rice consumption in mercury (Hg) polluted areas. This article reviews the progress in the research on MeHg accumulation in rice, human exposure and health effects, and nutrient and co-contaminant interactions. Compared with fish, rice is of poor nutritional quality and lacks specific micronutrients identified as having health benefits (e.g., n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid, selenium, essential amino acids). The effects of these nutrients on the toxicity of MeHg should be better addressed in future epidemiologic and clinical studies. More emphasis should be given to assessing the health effects of low level MeHg exposure in the long term, with appropriate recommendations, as needed, to reduce MeHg exposure in the rice-eating population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals and Health)
Open AccessReview Empirical Models of Demand for Out-Patient Physician Services and Their Relevance to the Assessment of Patient Payment Policies: A Critical Review of the Literature
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2708-2725; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062708
Received: 21 May 2010 / Revised: 10 June 2010 / Accepted: 21 June 2010 / Published: 23 June 2010
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (156 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper reviews the existing empirical micro-level models of demand for out-patient physician services where the size of patient payment is included either directly as an independent variable (when a flat-rate co-payment fee) or indirectly as a level of deductibles and/or co-insurance defined
[...] Read more.
This paper reviews the existing empirical micro-level models of demand for out-patient physician services where the size of patient payment is included either directly as an independent variable (when a flat-rate co-payment fee) or indirectly as a level of deductibles and/or co-insurance defined by the insurance coverage. The paper also discusses the relevance of these models for the assessment of patient payment policies. For this purpose, a systematic literature review is carried out. In total, 46 relevant publications were identified. These publications are classified into categories based on their general approach to demand modeling, specifications of data collection, data analysis, and main empirical findings. The analysis indicates a rising research interest in the empirical micro-level models of demand for out-patient physician services that incorporate the size of patient payment. Overall, the size of patient payments, consumer socio-economic and demographic features, and quality of services provided emerge as important determinants of demand for out-patient physician services. However, there is a great variety in the modeling approaches and inconsistencies in the findings regarding the impact of price on demand for out-patient physician services. Hitherto, the empirical research fails to offer policy-makers a clear strategy on how to develop a country-specific model of demand for out-patient physician services suitable for the assessment of patient payment policies in their countries. In particular, theoretically important factors, such as provider behavior, consumer attitudes, experience and culture, and informal patient payments, are not considered. Although we recognize that it is difficult to measure these factors and to incorporate them in the demand models, it is apparent that there is a gap in research for the construction of effective patient payment schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessReview Obesity Prevalence in Nepal: Public Health Challenges in a Low-Income Nation during an Alarming Worldwide Trend
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(6), 2726-2744; doi:10.3390/ijerph7062726
Received: 11 May 2010 / Revised: 5 June 2010 / Accepted: 8 June 2010 / Published: 23 June 2010
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The future toll of the obesity epidemic will likely hit hardest in low- and middle-income countries. Ongoing urbanization promotes risk factors including sedentary lifestyle and fat- and sugar-laden diets. Low-income countries like Nepal experience a double disease burden: infectious diseases as well as
[...] Read more.
The future toll of the obesity epidemic will likely hit hardest in low- and middle-income countries. Ongoing urbanization promotes risk factors including sedentary lifestyle and fat- and sugar-laden diets. Low-income countries like Nepal experience a double disease burden: infectious diseases as well as rising incidence of noncommunicable diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus) frequently characterized by obesity. Nepal currently directs efforts towards curing disease but pays little attention to preventive actions. This article highlights obesity prevalence in Nepal, delineates the challenges identified by our pilot study (including low health literacy rates), and suggests strategies to overcome this trend. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)

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