Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 12 (December 2013) , Pages 6215-7326

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-60
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle
The Association between Splenocyte Apoptosis and Alterations of Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA Expression, and Oxidative Stress Induced by Dietary Nickel Chloride in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7310-7326; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127310
Received: 5 November 2013 / Revised: 7 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 2605 | PDF Full-text (944 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Two hundred and forty avian broilers were equally divided into four groups, and raised with a corn-soybean basal diet or the same diet supplemented with 300, 600, 900 mg/kg NiCl2 for 42 days. Numbers or percentages of apoptotic splenocytes by flow cytometry [...] Read more.
Two hundred and forty avian broilers were equally divided into four groups, and raised with a corn-soybean basal diet or the same diet supplemented with 300, 600, 900 mg/kg NiCl2 for 42 days. Numbers or percentages of apoptotic splenocytes by flow cytometry (FCM) and TUNEL were higher (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups than those in the control group. Results measured by qRT-PCR and ELISA showed that mRNA expression and contents were significantly higher (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in Bax and Caspase-3, and were significantly lower (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in Bcl-2 of the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups. Also, the SOD, CAT and GSH-Px activities, and the ability to inhibit hydroxyl radical, and GSH contents were significantly decreased (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01), and MDA contents were increased (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) in all groups. In conclusion, dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg caused apoptosis, altered Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA expression levels and contents, and induced oxidative stress in the spleen. Also, splenocyte apoptosis was closely related to the alternations of Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3 mRNA expression, and oxidative damage. The splenic immunity and blood filtration functions were impaired in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Tobacco Retail Outlets and Vulnerable Populations in Ontario, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7299-7309; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127299
Received: 22 October 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3586 | PDF Full-text (460 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Interest has been increasing in regulating the location and number of tobacco vendors as part of a comprehensive tobacco control program. The objective of this paper is to examine the distribution of tobacco outlets in a large jurisdiction, to assess: (1) whether tobacco [...] Read more.
Interest has been increasing in regulating the location and number of tobacco vendors as part of a comprehensive tobacco control program. The objective of this paper is to examine the distribution of tobacco outlets in a large jurisdiction, to assess: (1) whether tobacco outlets are more likely to be located in vulnerable areas; and (2) what proportion of tobacco outlets are located close to schools. Retail locations across the Province of Ontario from Ministry of Health Promotion data were linked to 2006 Census data at the neighbourhood level. There was one tobacco retail outlet for every 1,000 people over age 15 in Ontario. Density of outlets varied by public health unit, and was associated with the number of smokers. Tobacco outlets were more likely to be located in areas that had high neighbourhood deprivation, in both rural and urban areas. Outlets were less likely to be located in areas with high immigrant populations in urban areas, with the reverse being true for rural areas. Overall, 65% of tobacco retailers were located within 500 m of a school. The sale of tobacco products is ubiquitous, however, neighbourhoods with lower socio-economic status are more likely to have easier availability of tobacco products and most retailers are located within walking distance of a school. The results suggest the importance of policies to regulate the location of tobacco retail outlets. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Elderly Healthcare Monitoring Using an Avatar-Based 3D Virtual Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7283-7298; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127283
Received: 3 September 2013 / Revised: 12 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3372 | PDF Full-text (1511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Homecare systems for elderly people are becoming increasingly important due to both economic reasons as well as patients’ preferences. Sensor-based surveillance technologies are an expected future trend, but research so far has devoted little attention to the User Interface (UI) design of such [...] Read more.
Homecare systems for elderly people are becoming increasingly important due to both economic reasons as well as patients’ preferences. Sensor-based surveillance technologies are an expected future trend, but research so far has devoted little attention to the User Interface (UI) design of such systems and the user-centric design approach. In this paper, we explore the possibilities of an avatar-based 3D visualization system, which exploits wearable sensors and human activity simulations. We present a technical prototype and the evaluation of alternative concept designs for UIs based on a 3D virtual world. The evaluation was conducted with homecare providers through focus groups and an online survey. Our results show firstly that systems taking advantage of 3D virtual world visualization techniques have potential especially due to the privacy preserving and simplified information presentation style, and secondly that simple representations and glancability should be emphasized in the design. The identified key use cases highlight that avatar-based 3D presentations can be helpful if they provide an overview as well as details on demand. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Impact of Flavour Variability on Electronic Cigarette Use Experience: An Internet Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7272-7282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127272
Received: 19 November 2013 / Revised: 11 December 2013 / Accepted: 12 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 113 | Viewed by 22370 | PDF Full-text (192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: A major characteristic of the electronic cigarette (EC) market is the availability of a large number of different flavours. This has been criticised by the public health authorities, some of whom believe that diverse flavours will attract young users and that ECs [...] Read more.
Background: A major characteristic of the electronic cigarette (EC) market is the availability of a large number of different flavours. This has been criticised by the public health authorities, some of whom believe that diverse flavours will attract young users and that ECs are a gateway to smoking. At the same time, several reports in the news media mention that the main purpose of flavour marketing is to attract youngsters. The importance of flavourings and their patterns of use by EC consumers have not been adequately evaluated, therefore, the purpose of this survey was to examine and understand the impact of flavourings in the EC experience of dedicated users. Methods: A questionnaire was prepared and uploaded in an online survey tool. EC users were asked to participate irrespective of their current smoking status. Participants were divided according to their smoking status at the time of participation in two subgroups: former smokers and current smokers. Results: In total, 4,618 participants were included in the analysis, with 4,515 reporting current smoking status. The vast majority (91.1%) were former smokers, while current smokers had reduced smoking consumption from 20 to 4 cigarettes per day. Both subgroups had a median smoking history of 22 years and had been using ECs for 12 months. On average they were using three different types of liquid flavours on a regular basis, with former smokers switching between flavours more frequently compared to current smokers; 69.2% of the former subgroup reported doing so on a daily basis or within the day. Fruit flavours were more popular at the time of participation, while tobacco flavours were more popular at initiation of EC use. On a scale from 1 (not at all important) to 5 (extremely important) participants answered that variability of flavours was “very important” (score = 4) in their effort to reduce or quit smoking. The majority reported that restricting variability will make ECs less enjoyable and more boring, while 48.5% mentioned that it would increase craving for cigarettes and 39.7% said that it would have been less likely for them to reduce or quit smoking. The number of flavours used was independently associated with smoking cessation. Conclusions: The results of this survey of dedicated users indicate that flavours are marketed in order to satisfy vapers’ demand. They appear to contribute to both perceived pleasure and the effort to reduce cigarette consumption or quit smoking. Due to the fact that adoption of ECs by youngsters is currently minimal, it seems that implementing regulatory restrictions to flavours could cause harm to current vapers while no public health benefits would be observed in youngsters. Therefore, flavours variability should be maintained; any potential future risk for youngsters being attracted to ECs can be sufficiently minimized by strictly prohibiting EC sales in this population group. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarettes as a Tool in Tobacco Harm Reduction)
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of COPD and Tobacco Smoking in Tunisia — Results from the BOLD Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7257-7271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127257
Received: 26 September 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 17 December 2013
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3554 | PDF Full-text (910 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Tunisia, there is a paucity of population-based data on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevalence. To address this problem, we estimated the prevalence of COPD following the Burden of Lung Disease Initiative. We surveyed 807 adults aged 40+ years and have collected [...] Read more.
In Tunisia, there is a paucity of population-based data on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) prevalence. To address this problem, we estimated the prevalence of COPD following the Burden of Lung Disease Initiative. We surveyed 807 adults aged 40+ years and have collected information on respiratory history and symptoms, risk factors for COPD and quality of life. Post-bronchodilator spirometry was performed and COPD and its stages were defined according to the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines. Six hundred and sixty one (661) subjects were included in the final analysis. The prevalence of GOLD Stage I and II or higher COPD were 7.8% and 4.2%, respectively (Lower Limit of Normal modified stage I and II or higher COPD prevalence were 5.3% and 3.8%, respectively). COPD was more common in subjects aged 70+ years and in those with a BMI < 20 kg/m2. Prevalence of stage I+ COPD was 2.3% in <10 pack years smoked and 16.1% in 20+ pack years smoked. Only 3.5% of participants reported doctor-diagnosed COPD. In this Tunisian population, the prevalence of COPD is higher than reported before and higher than self-reported doctor-diagnosed COPD. In subjects with COPD, age is a much more powerful predictor of lung function than smoking. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7235-7256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127235
Received: 13 October 2013 / Revised: 30 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 6358 | PDF Full-text (259 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy over recent decades, particularly among infants and young children. The cause of this increase is unknown but one putative factor is a change in the composition, richness and balance of [...] Read more.
There has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy over recent decades, particularly among infants and young children. The cause of this increase is unknown but one putative factor is a change in the composition, richness and balance of the microbiota that colonize the human gut during early infancy. The coevolution of the human gastrointestinal tract and commensal microbiota has resulted in a symbiotic relationship in which gut microbiota play a vital role in early life immune development and function, as well as maintenance of gut wall epithelial integrity. Since IgE mediated food allergy is associated with immune dysregulation and impaired gut epithelial integrity there is substantial interest in the potential link between gut microbiota and food allergy. Although the exact link between gut microbiota and food allergy is yet to be established in humans, recent experimental evidence suggests that specific patterns of gut microbiota colonization may influence the risk and manifestations of food allergy. An understanding of the relationship between gut microbiota and food allergy has the potential to inform both the prevention and treatment of food allergy. In this paper we review the theory and evidence linking gut microbiota and IgE-mediated food allergy in early life. We then consider the implications and challenges for future research, including the techniques of measuring and analyzing gut microbiota, and the types of studies required to advance knowledge in the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergy, Genes and Environment)
Open AccessEditorial
Leptospirosis: A Silent Epidemic Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7229-7234; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127229
Received: 9 December 2013 / Accepted: 9 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 4072 | PDF Full-text (145 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to leptospirosis, an endemic zoonotic disease that is a cause of many acute undifferentiated fevers, especially in tropical countries [1,2]. While it can be debated whether leptospirosis is an [...] Read more.
This special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is dedicated to leptospirosis, an endemic zoonotic disease that is a cause of many acute undifferentiated fevers, especially in tropical countries [1,2]. While it can be debated whether leptospirosis is an emerging disease, it is evident that it is becoming an emerging public health problem. It is recognized as a disease of epidemic potential that has a significant health impact in many parts of the world. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Autocorrelation of Cancer Incidence in Saudi Arabia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7207-7228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127207
Received: 6 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3602 | PDF Full-text (1192 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Little is known about the geographic distribution of common cancers in Saudi Arabia. We explored the spatial incidence patterns of common cancers in Saudi Arabia using spatial autocorrelation analyses, employing the global Moran’s I and Anselin’s local Moran’s I statistics to detect nonrandom [...] Read more.
Little is known about the geographic distribution of common cancers in Saudi Arabia. We explored the spatial incidence patterns of common cancers in Saudi Arabia using spatial autocorrelation analyses, employing the global Moran’s I and Anselin’s local Moran’s I statistics to detect nonrandom incidence patterns. Global ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and local geographically-weighted regression (GWR) were applied to examine the spatial correlation of cancer incidences at the city level. Population-based records of cancers diagnosed between 1998 and 2004 were used. Male lung cancer and female breast cancer exhibited positive statistically significant global Moran’s I index values, indicating a tendency toward clustering. The Anselin’s local Moran’s I analyses revealed small significant clusters of lung cancer, prostate cancer and Hodgkin’s disease among males in the Eastern region and significant clusters of thyroid cancers in females in the Eastern and Riyadh regions. Additionally, both regression methods found significant associations among various cancers. For example, OLS and GWR revealed significant spatial associations among NHL, leukemia and Hodgkin’s disease (r² = 0.49–0.67 using OLS and r² = 0.52–0.68 using GWR) and between breast and prostate cancer (r² = 0.53 OLS and 0.57 GWR) in Saudi Arabian cities. These findings may help to generate etiologic hypotheses of cancer causation and identify spatial anomalies in cancer incidence in Saudi Arabia. Our findings should stimulate further research on the possible causes underlying these clusters and associations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Epidemiology)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Characterising the Smoking Status and Quit Smoking Behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers in South Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7193-7206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127193
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2513 | PDF Full-text (251 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study objectives were to characterise the smoking status and quit smoking behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) in South Australia (SA), Australia; and identify the psychosocial, socio-demographic, and household smoking characteristics that distinguish smokers from quitters and never smokers. A self-reported cross-sectional [...] Read more.
The study objectives were to characterise the smoking status and quit smoking behaviour of Aboriginal Health Workers (AHWs) in South Australia (SA), Australia; and identify the psychosocial, socio-demographic, and household smoking characteristics that distinguish smokers from quitters and never smokers. A self-reported cross-sectional survey was completed by AHWs in SA. Non-parametric statistics were used for inferential analyses. Eighty-five AHWs completed surveys representing a response rate of 63.0%. The prevalence of current smokers was 50.6%. Non-smokers (49.5%) included quitters (22.4%) and never smokers (27.1%). Smoking status did not differ by gender or geographic location. Of current smokers, 69.0% demonstrated a readiness to quit and 50.0% had made at least one quit attempt in the last 12 months. Compared to quitters and never smokers, current smokers expressed lower emotional wellbeing, and three times as many resided with another smoker. Quitters had the highest levels of perceived social support and part-time employment. A high proportion of AHWs who smoke desire, and are ready to quit. Individual, social and household factors differentiated smokers from non-smokers and quitters. Social support, and relationships and structures that favour social support, are implicated as necessary to enable AHWs who smoke to act on their desire to quit smoking. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Integrated Human Surveillance Systems of West Nile Virus Infections in Italy: The 2012 Experience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7180-7192; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127180
Received: 8 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 13 December 2013
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3072 | PDF Full-text (296 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Italy, a West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance plan was firstly implemented in 2008 and 2009 in two affected regions and, since 2010, according to a national plan, a WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) surveillance has to be carried out each year during the [...] Read more.
In Italy, a West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance plan was firstly implemented in 2008 and 2009 in two affected regions and, since 2010, according to a national plan, a WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) surveillance has to be carried out each year during the period 15 June–30 November, in those regions where WNV circulation has been demonstrated among humans, animals or vectors. Moreover, since WNV can be transmitted to humans even by blood transfusions and organ transplants obtained from infected donors, the national surveillance integrates the blood transfusions and organs transplant surveillances too. The paper describes the results of this integrated human surveillance in Italy in 2012. Overall, in 2012, 28 autochthonous confirmed cases of WNND were reported, 14 blood donations were found WNV positive by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test and no solid organ donors tested positive for WNV. Moreover, 17 cases of WNV fever were confirmed in Veneto region. When comparing the number of WNND cases reported to the surveillance system in previous 4 years (43 cases during the period 2008–2011), with those reported in 2012 an important increase was observed in 2012. The geographic distribution of human cases was consistent with the WNV circulation among animals and vectors. Moreover, the implementation of preventive measures for WNV transmission through blood components allowed the detection of blood donors positive for WNV, avoiding the further spread of the disease. Since surveillance strategies and preventive measures are based on the integration among human, animal and vector control activities, the Italian experience could be considered a good example of collaboration among different sectors of public health in a “one health” perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Natural Radioactivity Levels of Cements and Cement Composites in the Slovak Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7165-7179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127165
Received: 7 November 2013 / Revised: 29 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2322 | PDF Full-text (325 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The radionuclide activities of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K and radiological parameters (radium equivalent activity, gamma and alpha indices, the absorbed gamma dose rate and external and internal hazard indices) of cements and cement composites commonly used in the Slovak Republic [...] Read more.
The radionuclide activities of 226Ra, 232Th and 40K and radiological parameters (radium equivalent activity, gamma and alpha indices, the absorbed gamma dose rate and external and internal hazard indices) of cements and cement composites commonly used in the Slovak Republic have been studied in this paper. The cement samples of 8 types of cements from Slovak cement plants and five types of composites made from cement type CEM I were analyzed in the experiment. The radionuclide activities in the cements ranged from 8.58–19.1 Bq·kg−1, 9.78–26.3 Bq·kg−1 and 156.5–489.4 Bq·kg−1 for 226Ra, 232Th and 40K, respectively. The radiological parameters in cement samples were calculated as follows: mean radium equivalent activity Raeq = 67.87 Bq·kg−1, gamma index Iγ = 0.256, alpha index Iα = 0.067, the absorbed gamma dose rate D = 60.76 nGy·h−1, external hazard index Hex = 0.182 and internal hazard index Hin was 0.218. The radionuclide activity in composites ranged from 6.84–10.8 Bq·kg−1 for 226Ra, 13.1–20.5 Bq·kg−1 for 232Th and 250.4–494.4 Bq·kg−1 for 40K. The calculated radiological parameters of cements were lower than calculated radiological parameters of cement composites. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Increased Pathogenicity of West Nile Virus (WNV) by Glycosylation of Envelope Protein and Seroprevalence of WNV in Wild Birds in Far Eastern Russia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7144-7164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127144
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2726 | PDF Full-text (2518 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this review, we discuss the possibility that the glycosylation of West Nile (WN) virus E-protein may be associated with enhanced pathogenicity and higher replication of WN virus. The results indicate that E-protein glycosylation allows the virus to multiply in a heat-stable manner [...] Read more.
In this review, we discuss the possibility that the glycosylation of West Nile (WN) virus E-protein may be associated with enhanced pathogenicity and higher replication of WN virus. The results indicate that E-protein glycosylation allows the virus to multiply in a heat-stable manner and therefore, has a critical role in enhanced viremic levels and virulence of WN virus in young-chick infection model. The effect of the glycosylation of the E protein on the pathogenicity of WN virus in young chicks was further investigated. The results indicate that glycosylation of the WN virus E protein is important for viral multiplication in peripheral organs and that it is associated with the strong pathogenicity of WN virus in birds. The micro-focus reduction neutralization test (FRNT) in which a large number of serum samples can be handled at once with a small volume (15 μL) of serum was useful for differential diagnosis between Japanese encephalitis and WN virus infections in infected chicks. Serological investigation was performed among wild birds in the Far Eastern region of Russia using the FRNT. Antibodies specific to WN virus were detected in 21 samples of resident and migratory birds out of 145 wild bird samples in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Nationwide Surveillance for Pathogenic Microorganisms in Groundwater near Carcass Burials Constructed in South Korea in 2010
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7126-7143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127126
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2769 | PDF Full-text (821 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza occurred in South Korea during 2010. In response to the culling of many animals to attenuate the spread of disease, South Korea used mass burial sites to dispose of the large number of carcasses; consequently, [...] Read more.
Widespread outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease and avian influenza occurred in South Korea during 2010. In response to the culling of many animals to attenuate the spread of disease, South Korea used mass burial sites to dispose of the large number of carcasses; consequently, concerns about groundwater contamination by leachate from these burial sites are increasing. Groundwater is one of the main sources of drinking water, and its cleanliness is directly related to public health. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the safety of groundwater around the burial sites (total of 600 sites). A total of 1,200 groundwater samples were collected though the country, and microbial analysis was conducted during two time periods: during the spring (n = 600; April to June 2012) and after rainfall (n = 600; August to October, 2012; fall). Fecal coliform and Escherichia coli were detected in 173 (14.4%) and 85 (7.1%) of the 1,200 samples, respectively. Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. each were detected only once (0.083%). Clostridium perfringens was detected from 7 groundwater samples (0.583%), and E. coli O157:H7 was not detected. With respect to norovirus, only the GII type was detected from six groundwater samples (0.5%), and enterovirus was detected in 15 groundwater samples (1.25%). The frequency of E. coli that we detected was lower than that found in previous studies conducted in South Korea, but we detected higher frequency of fecal coliform than that observed in a previous report. The contamination frequencies of Salmonella spp. and Shigella spp. were very low, but C. perfringens, which could be an indicator of fecal pollution, was detected in seven regions. Overall, the results of the present study indicate a low possibility of contamination from burial sites. However, consistent monitoring is required to prevent microbial contamination of groundwater near the burial sites. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Can Smartphones Enhance Telephone-Based Cognitive Assessment (TBCA)?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7110-7125; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127110
Received: 28 August 2013 / Revised: 3 December 2013 / Accepted: 4 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2517 | PDF Full-text (205 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
TBCA has emerged to solve the limitations of administering cognitive assessments face-to-face. The recent development of telephones and knowledge advances in the area of cognitive impairment may affect the development of TBCA. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how smartphones can [...] Read more.
TBCA has emerged to solve the limitations of administering cognitive assessments face-to-face. The recent development of telephones and knowledge advances in the area of cognitive impairment may affect the development of TBCA. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how smartphones can be used to enhance the applicability of TBCA, which has previously been administered by conventional telephone. This paper will first review, describe and critique the existing TBCA instruments. It will then discuss the recent developments in tele-technology, the popularity of tele-technology among the elderly, potential benefits and challenges in using smartphones for cognitive assessment, and possible future developments in this technology. In the systematic review, eighteen TBCA instruments were identified. They were found to be valid in differentiating between people with and without dementia. TBCA was previously found to be launched on a conventional telephone platform. The advances in understanding of cognitive impairment may demand that telephones be equipped with more advanced features. Recently, the development and penetration of smartphones among the elderly has been rapid. This may allow the smartphone to enhance its TBCA applicability by overcoming the limitations of the conventional telephone, rendering the TBCA more efficient in addressing the increasing demand and complexity of cognitive assessments in the future. However, more research and technology developments are needed before smartphones can become a valid platform for TBCA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
Open AccessReview
A Review of National-Level Adaptation Planning with Regards to the Risks Posed by Climate Change on Infectious Diseases in 14 OECD Nations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7083-7109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127083
Received: 16 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3416 | PDF Full-text (385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change is likely to have significant implications for human health, particularly through alterations of the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of infectious diseases. In the context of these risks, governments in high income nations have begun developing strategies to reduce potential climate change [...] Read more.
Climate change is likely to have significant implications for human health, particularly through alterations of the incidence, prevalence, and distribution of infectious diseases. In the context of these risks, governments in high income nations have begun developing strategies to reduce potential climate change impacts and increase health system resilience (i.e., adaptation). In this paper, we review and evaluate national-level adaptation planning in relation to infectious disease risks in 14 OECD countries with respect to “best practices” for adaptation identified in peer-reviewed literature. We find a number of limitations to current planning, including negligible consideration of the needs of vulnerable population groups, limited emphasis on local risks, and inadequate attention to implementation logistics, such as available funding and timelines for evaluation. The nature of planning documents varies widely between nations, four of which currently lack adaptation plans. In those countries where planning documents were available, adaptations were mainstreamed into existing public health programs, and prioritized a sectoral, rather than multidisciplinary, approach. The findings are consistent with other scholarship examining adaptation planning indicating an ad hoc and fragmented process, and support the need for enhanced attention to adaptation to infectious disease risks in public health policy at a national level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle
Waterpipe Smoking among Middle and High School Jordanian Students: Patterns and Predictors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7068-7082; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127068
Received: 21 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 2793 | PDF Full-text (190 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite the increase in attention to waterpipe tobacco smoking, the patterns and predictors of this method of tobacco use among Jordanian youth are not well known. The current study was conducted to assess the patterns and the predictors of waterpipe tobacco smoking among [...] Read more.
Despite the increase in attention to waterpipe tobacco smoking, the patterns and predictors of this method of tobacco use among Jordanian youth are not well known. The current study was conducted to assess the patterns and the predictors of waterpipe tobacco smoking among school aged students in one of Jordan’s Central Governorates. A cross-sectional survey was conducted to investigate the patterns and predictors of waterpipe tobacco smoking among youth (grades 6, 8, 10 and 12). Using a multistage random sampling more than 1,000 students was selected. Data were collected using the Arabic Youth Tobacco Use Composite Measure (YTUCM). Waterpipe smoking was assessed for “past 12 months”, “past month” and “past week”. Students’ ages ranged from 11 to 18 years, (mean age ± 14.7; SD ± 1.9 years). The percentage of girls who smoked waterpipe was greater for all frequencies of use than it was for boys. Age, gender, and belief that smoking makes more friends were predictors of smoking among study participants. This is the first known study to examine waterpipe smoking among youth aged 11 and 12. Our findings illustrate the need for public health campaigns to reach and educate youth, their families, teachers and school systems regarding the growing recognized health risks of waterpipe smoking. Full article
Open AccessReview
Factors Increasing Vulnerability to Health Effects before, during and after Floods
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7015-7067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127015
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 4820 | PDF Full-text (1216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Identifying the risk factors for morbidity and mortality effects pre-, during and post-flood may aid the appropriate targeting of flood-related adverse health prevention strategies. We conducted a systematic PubMed search to identify studies examining risk factors for health effects of precipitation-related floods, among [...] Read more.
Identifying the risk factors for morbidity and mortality effects pre-, during and post-flood may aid the appropriate targeting of flood-related adverse health prevention strategies. We conducted a systematic PubMed search to identify studies examining risk factors for health effects of precipitation-related floods, among Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) member countries. Research identifying flood-related morbidity and mortality risk factors is limited and primarily examines demographic characteristics such as age and gender. During floods, females, elderly and children appear to be at greater risk of psychological and physical health effects, while males between 10 to 29 years may be at greater risk of mortality. Post-flood, those over 65 years and males are at increased risk of physical health effects, while females appear at greater risk of psychological health effects. Other risk factors include previous flood experiences, greater flood depth or flood trauma, existing illnesses, medication interruption, and low education or socio-economic status. Tailoring messages to high-risk groups may increase their effectiveness. Target populations differ for morbidity and mortality effects, and differ pre-, during, and post-flood. Additional research is required to identify the risk factors associated with pre- and post-flood mortality and post-flood morbidity, preferably using prospective cohort studies. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Maternal Exposure to Bisphenol-A and Fetal Growth Restriction: A Case-Referent Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 7001-7014; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10127001
Received: 4 November 2013 / Revised: 25 November 2013 / Accepted: 29 November 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2868 | PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We conducted a case-referent study of the effect of exposure to bisphenol-A on fetal growth in utero in full-term, live-born singletons in Alberta, Canada. Newborns <10 percentile of expected weight for gestational age and sex were individually matched on sex, maternal smoking and [...] Read more.
We conducted a case-referent study of the effect of exposure to bisphenol-A on fetal growth in utero in full-term, live-born singletons in Alberta, Canada. Newborns <10 percentile of expected weight for gestational age and sex were individually matched on sex, maternal smoking and maternal age to referents with weight appropriate to gestational age. Exposure of the fetus to bisphenol-A was estimated from maternal serum collected at 15–16 weeks of gestation. We pooled sera across subjects for exposure assessment, stratified on case-referent status and sex. Individual 1:1 matching was maintained in assembling 69 case and 69 referent pools created from 550 case-referent pairs. Matched pools had an equal number of aliquots from individual women. We used an analytical strategy conditioning on matched set and total pool-level values of covariates to estimate individual-level effects. Pools of cases and referents had identical geometric mean bisphenol-A concentrations (0.5 ng/mL) and similar geometric standard deviations (2.3–2.5). Mean difference in concentration between matched pools was 0 ng/mL, standard deviation: 1 ng/mL. Stratification by sex and control for confounding did not suggest bisphenol-A increased fetal growth restriction. Our analysis does not provide evidence to support the hypothesis that bisphenol-A contributes to fetal growth restriction in full-term singletons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessConcept Paper
Proposed Toxic and Hypoxic Impairment of a Brainstem Locus in Autism
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6955-7000; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126955
Received: 20 September 2013 / Revised: 7 November 2013 / Accepted: 11 November 2013 / Published: 11 December 2013
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4755 | PDF Full-text (721 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Electrophysiological findings implicate site-specific impairment of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in autism. This invites hypothetical consideration of a large role for this small brainstem structure as the basis for seemingly disjointed behavioral and somatic features of autism. The NTS is the brain’s [...] Read more.
Electrophysiological findings implicate site-specific impairment of the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) in autism. This invites hypothetical consideration of a large role for this small brainstem structure as the basis for seemingly disjointed behavioral and somatic features of autism. The NTS is the brain’s point of entry for visceral afference, its relay for vagal reflexes, and its integration center for autonomic control of circulatory, immunological, gastrointestinal, and laryngeal function. The NTS facilitates normal cerebrovascular perfusion, and is the seminal point for an ascending noradrenergic system that modulates many complex behaviors. Microvascular configuration predisposes the NTS to focal hypoxia. A subregion—the “pNTS”—permits exposure to all blood-borne neurotoxins, including those that do not readily transit the blood-brain barrier. Impairment of acetylcholinesterase (mercury and cadmium cations, nitrates/nitrites, organophosphates, monosodium glutamate), competition for hemoglobin (carbon monoxide, nitrates/nitrites), and higher blood viscosity (net systemic oxidative stress) are suggested to potentiate microcirculatory insufficiency of the NTS, and thus autism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment Risk of Autism)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Challenges to Achieving Sustainable Sanitation in Informal Settlements of Kigali, Rwanda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6939-6954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126939
Received: 6 September 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5774 | PDF Full-text (203 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Like most cities in developing countries, Kigali is experiencing rapid urbanisation leading to an increase in the urban population and rapid growth in the size and number of informal settlements. More than 60% of the city’s population resides in these settlements, where they [...] Read more.
Like most cities in developing countries, Kigali is experiencing rapid urbanisation leading to an increase in the urban population and rapid growth in the size and number of informal settlements. More than 60% of the city’s population resides in these settlements, where they experience inadequate and poor quality urban services including sanitation. This article discusses the issues and constraints related to the provision of sustainable sanitation in the informal settlements in Kigali. Two informal settlements (Gatsata and Kimisagara) were selected for the study, which used a mixed method approach for data collection. The research found that residents experienced multiple problems because of poor sanitation and that the main barrier to improved sanitation was cost. Findings from this study can be used by the city authorities in the planning of effective sanitation intervention strategies for communities in informal settlements. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Using Formative Research to Design a Behavior Change Strategy to Increase the Use of Improved Cookstoves in Peri-Urban Kampala, Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6920-6938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126920
Received: 9 September 2013 / Revised: 29 November 2013 / Accepted: 30 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3461 | PDF Full-text (321 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Household air pollution from cooking with biomass fuels negatively impacts maternal and child health and the environment, and contributes to the global burden of disease. In Uganda, nearly 20,000 young children die of household air pollution-related pneumonia every year. Qualitative research was used [...] Read more.
Household air pollution from cooking with biomass fuels negatively impacts maternal and child health and the environment, and contributes to the global burden of disease. In Uganda, nearly 20,000 young children die of household air pollution-related pneumonia every year. Qualitative research was used to identify behavioral determinants related to the acquisition and use of improved cookstoves in peri-urban Uganda. Results were used to design a behavior change strategy for the introduction of a locally-fabricated top-lit updraft gasifier (TLUD) stove in Wakiso district. A theoretical framework—opportunity, ability, and motivation—was used to guide the research and behavior change strategy development. Participants consistently cited financial considerations as the most influential factor related to improved cookstove acquisition and use. In contrast, participants did not prioritize the potential health benefits of improved cookstoves. The theoretical framework, research methodology, and behavior change strategy design process can be useful for program planners and researchers interested in identifying behavioral determinants and designing and evaluating improved cookstove interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessCommunication
Volcanic Ash and Daily Mortality in Sweden after the Icelandic Volcano Eruption of May 2011
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6909-6919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126909
Received: 27 September 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 21 November 2013 / Published: 10 December 2013
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3154 | PDF Full-text (1044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn’s eruption on 21 May 2011, volcanic ash reached Northern Europe. Elevated levels of ambient particles (PM) were registered in mid Sweden. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the Grimsvötn eruption had [...] Read more.
In the aftermath of the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn’s eruption on 21 May 2011, volcanic ash reached Northern Europe. Elevated levels of ambient particles (PM) were registered in mid Sweden. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the Grimsvötn eruption had an effect on mortality in Sweden. Based on PM measurements at 16 sites across Sweden, data were classified into an ash exposed data set (Ash area) and an unexposed data set (No ash area). Data on daily all-cause mortality were obtained from Statistics Sweden for the time period 1 April through 31 July 2011. Mortality ratios were calculated as the ratio between the daily number of deaths in the Ash area and the No ash area. The exposure period was defined as the week following the days with elevated particle concentrations, namely 24 May through 31 May. The control period was defined as 1 April through 23 May and 1 June through 31 July. There was no absolute increase in mortality during the exposure period. However, during the exposure period the mean mortality ratio was 2.42 compared with 2.17 during the control period, implying a relatively higher number of deaths in the Ash area than in the No ash area. The differences in ratios were mostly due to a single day, 31 May, and were not statistically significant when tested with a Mann-Whitney non-parametric test (p > 0.3). The statistical power was low with only 8 days in the exposure period (24 May through 31 May). Assuming that the observed relative differences were not due to chance, the results would imply an increase of 128 deaths during the exposure period 24–31 May. If 31 May was excluded, the number of extra deaths was reduced to 20. The results of the present study are contradicting and inconclusive, but may indicate that all-cause mortality was increased by the ash-fall from the Grimsvötn eruption. Meta-analysis or pooled analysis of data from neighboring countries might make it possible to reach sufficient statistical power to study effects of the Grimsvötn ash on morbidity and mortality. Such studies would be of particular importance for European societies preparing for future large scale volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Design and Experimental Approach to the Construction of a Human Signal-Molecule-Profiling Database
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6887-6908; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126887
Received: 22 September 2013 / Revised: 2 December 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2926 | PDF Full-text (3629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The human signal-molecule-profiling database (HSMPD) is designed as a prospective medical database for translational bioinformatics (TBI). To explore the feasibility of low-cost database construction, we studied the roadmap of HSMPD. A HSMPD-oriented tool, called “signal-molecule-profiling (SMP) chip” was developed for data acquisition, which [...] Read more.
The human signal-molecule-profiling database (HSMPD) is designed as a prospective medical database for translational bioinformatics (TBI). To explore the feasibility of low-cost database construction, we studied the roadmap of HSMPD. A HSMPD-oriented tool, called “signal-molecule-profiling (SMP) chip” was developed for data acquisition, which can be employed in the routine blood tests in hospitals; the results will be stored in the HSMPD system automatically. HSMPD system can provide data services for the TBI community, which generates a stable income to support the data acquisition. The small-scale experimental test was performed in the hospital to verify SMP chips and the demo HSMPD software. One hundred and eighty nine complete SMP records were collected, and the demo HSMPD system was also evaluated in the survey study on patients and doctors. The function of SMP chip was verified, whereas the demo HSMPD software needed to be improved. The survey study showed that patients would only accept free tests of SMP chips when they originally needed blood examinations. The study indicated that the construction of HSMPD relies on the self-motivated cooperation of the TBI community and the traditional healthcare system. The proposed roadmap potentially provides an executable solution to build the HSMPD without high costs. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Evolutionary Puzzle of Suicide
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6873-6886; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126873
Received: 18 October 2013 / Revised: 29 November 2013 / Accepted: 29 November 2013 / Published: 9 December 2013
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3185 | PDF Full-text (220 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the [...] Read more.
Mechanisms of self-destruction are difficult to reconcile with evolution’s first rule of thumb: survive and reproduce. However, evolutionary success ultimately depends on inclusive fitness. The altruistic suicide hypothesis posits that the presence of low reproductive potential and burdensomeness toward kin can increase the inclusive fitness payoff of self-removal. The bargaining hypothesis assumes that suicide attempts could function as an honest signal of need. The payoff may be positive if the suicidal person has a low reproductive potential. The parasite manipulation hypothesis is founded on the rodent—Toxoplasma gondii host-parasite model, in which the parasite induces a “suicidal” feline attraction that allows the parasite to complete its life cycle. Interestingly, latent infection by T. gondii has been shown to cause behavioral alterations in humans, including increased suicide attempts. Finally, we discuss how suicide risk factors can be understood as nonadaptive byproducts of evolved mechanisms that malfunction. Although most of the mechanisms proposed in this article are largely speculative, the hypotheses that we raise accept self-destructive behavior within the framework of evolutionary theory. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Radioactivity of Drinking-Water in the Vicinity of Nuclear Power Plants in China Based on a Large-Scale Monitoring Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6863-6872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126863
Received: 21 October 2013 / Revised: 19 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2895 | PDF Full-text (508 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The public concern for radioactivity of drinking-water has been increasing in recent years after the rapid development of nuclear power plants, and especially after the Fukushima nuclear accident. In this study, the radioactivity of water samples collected in the vicinity of nuclear facilities [...] Read more.
The public concern for radioactivity of drinking-water has been increasing in recent years after the rapid development of nuclear power plants, and especially after the Fukushima nuclear accident. In this study, the radioactivity of water samples collected in the vicinity of nuclear facilities from seven provinces in China was measured and an average annual equivalent effective dose derived from drinking-water ingestion was calculated. The results showed that, in winter and spring, the activities of gross α and β ranged from 0.009 Bq/L to 0.200 Bq/L and from 0.067 Bq/L to 0.320 Bq/L, respectively. While, in summer and autumn, the activities of gross a and β varied from 0.002 Bq/L to 0.175 Bq/L and from 0.060 Bq/L to 0.334 Bq/L. Our results indicated that the gross a and β activities in these measured water samples were below the WHO recommended values (0.5 Bq/L for gross α and 1.0 Bq/L for gross β) and the annual equivalent effective dose derived from drinking-water ingestion was at a safe level. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution of Cosmetic-Procedure Businesses in Two U.S. Cities: A Pilot Mapping and Validation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6832-6862; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126832
Received: 17 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 22 November 2013 / Published: 6 December 2013
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2839 | PDF Full-text (9015 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cosmetic procedures have proliferated rapidly over the past few decades, with over $11 billion spent on cosmetic surgeries and other minimally invasive procedures and another $2.9 billion spent on U.V. indoor tanning in 2012 in the United States alone. While research interest is [...] Read more.
Cosmetic procedures have proliferated rapidly over the past few decades, with over $11 billion spent on cosmetic surgeries and other minimally invasive procedures and another $2.9 billion spent on U.V. indoor tanning in 2012 in the United States alone. While research interest is increasing in tandem with the growth of the industry, methods have yet to be developed to identify and geographically locate the myriad types of businesses purveying cosmetic procedures. Geographic location of cosmetic-procedure businesses is a critical element in understanding the public health impact of this industry; however no studies we are aware of have developed valid and feasible methods for spatial analyses of these types of businesses. The aim of this pilot validation study was to establish the feasibility of identifying businesses offering surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures and to characterize the spatial distribution of these businesses. We developed and tested three methods for creating a geocoded list of cosmetic-procedure businesses in Boston (MA) and Seattle (WA), USA, comparing each method on sensitivity and staff time required per confirmed cosmetic-procedure business. Methods varied substantially. Our findings represent an important step toward enabling rigorous health-linked spatial analyses of the health implications of this little-understood industry. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
The Involvement of Girls and Boys with Bullying: An Analysis of Gender Differences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6820-6831; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126820
Received: 2 October 2013 / Revised: 18 November 2013 / Accepted: 21 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 4756 | PDF Full-text (191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This exploratory and cross-sectional study aimed to identify the prevalence of bullying in a group of students and analyze the data regarding the gender of those involved in the violence. A questionnaire adapted from Olweus was applied in seven elementary education schools in [...] Read more.
This exploratory and cross-sectional study aimed to identify the prevalence of bullying in a group of students and analyze the data regarding the gender of those involved in the violence. A questionnaire adapted from Olweus was applied in seven elementary education schools in Portugal. The sample consisted of 387 students between 7 and 14 years old. Data are presented in terms of descriptive statistics and differences between proportions were analyzed using chi-square tests. The gender analysis of victimization and aggression shows that boys and girls are both victims and aggressors, and there are significant differences in involvement in bullying between genders and the roles played. Boys are victims more often when considering different types of bullying, although significant differences were only found for physical aggression. Strategies that include gender roles are a priority for prevention and careful attention to this phenomenon in the school context. The questions addressed contribute to a broader understanding of the phenomenon, emphasizing the differential participation of boys and girls in bullying. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 10th Anniversary)
Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Newspaper Coverage of Active Aging through the Lens of the 2002 World Health Organization Active Ageing Report: A Policy Framework and the 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6799-6819; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126799
Received: 19 September 2013 / Revised: 6 November 2013 / Accepted: 19 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3513 | PDF Full-text (229 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
As populations continue to grow older, efforts to support the process of aging well are important goals. Various synonyms are used to cover aging well, such as active aging. The World Health Organization published in 2002 the report Active Ageing: A Policy [...] Read more.
As populations continue to grow older, efforts to support the process of aging well are important goals. Various synonyms are used to cover aging well, such as active aging. The World Health Organization published in 2002 the report Active Ageing: A Policy Framework that according to the call for papers, has brought active ageing to the forefront of international public health awareness. The 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity: A Global Call for Action was singled out in the call for papers as a key document promoting physical activity one goal of the 2002 WHO active aging policy framework. Media are to report to the public topics of importance to them. We investigated the newspaper coverage of aging well and synonymous terms such as active aging through the lens of the 2002 WHO active aging policy framework and the 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity. As sources we used the following newspapers: China Daily, The Star (Malaysia), two UK newspapers (The Guardian, The Times), a database of 300 Canadian newspapers (Canadian Newsstand) and a US newspaper (The New York Times). The study generated data answering the following four research questions: (1) how often are the 2002 WHO active aging policy framework and the 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity mentioned; (2) how often is the topic of active aging and terms conveying similar content (aging well, healthy aging, natural aging and successful aging) discussed; (3) which of the issues flagged as important in the 2002 WHO active aging policy framework and the 2010 Toronto Charter for Physical Activity are covered in the newspaper coverage of active aging and synonymous terms; (4) which social groups were mentioned in the newspapers covered. The study found a total absence of mentioning of the two key documents and a low level of coverage of “active aging” and terms conveying similar content. It found further a lack of engagement with the issues raised in the two key documents and a low level of mentioning of socially disadvantages groups. We posit that reading the newspapers we covered will not expose the reader to the two key documents and the issues linked to aging well including the need to increase physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care for Old People)
Open AccessArticle
Objectively Measured Activity Patterns among Adults in Residential Aged Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6783-6798; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126783
Received: 15 October 2013 / Revised: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 27 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3664 | PDF Full-text (441 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Objectives: To determine the feasibility of using the activPAL3TM activity monitor, and, to describe the activity patterns of residential aged care residents. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Randomly selected aged care facilities within 100 km of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Participants: Ambulatory, older [...] Read more.
Objectives: To determine the feasibility of using the activPAL3TM activity monitor, and, to describe the activity patterns of residential aged care residents. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Randomly selected aged care facilities within 100 km of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. Participants: Ambulatory, older (≥60 years) residential aged care adults without cognitive impairment. Measurements: Feasibility was assessed by consent rate, sleep/wear diary completion, and through interviews with staff/participants. Activity patterns (sitting/lying, standing, and stepping) were measured via activPAL3TM monitors worn continuously for seven days. Times spent in each activity were described and then compared across days of the week and hours of the day using linear mixed models. Results: Consent rate was 48% (n = 41). Activity patterns are described for the 31 participants (mean age 84.2 years) who provided at least one day of valid monitor data. In total, 14 (45%) completed the sleep/wear diary. Participants spent a median (interquartile range) of 12.4 (1.7) h sitting/lying (with 73% of this accumulated in unbroken bouts of ≥30 min), 1.9 (1.3) h standing, and 21.4 (36.7) min stepping during their monitored waking hours per day. Activity did not vary significantly by day of the week (p ≥ 0.05); stepping showed significant hourly variation (p = 0.018). Conclusions: Older adults in residential aged care were consistently highly sedentary. Feasibility considerations for objective activity monitoring identified for this population include poor diary completion and lost monitors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Care for Old People)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Participatory Research to Design a Novel Telehealth System to Support the Night-Time Needs of People with Dementia: NOCTURNAL
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(12), 6764-6782; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10126764
Received: 11 September 2013 / Revised: 15 November 2013 / Accepted: 18 November 2013 / Published: 4 December 2013
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3470 | PDF Full-text (630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Strategies to support people living with dementia are broad in scope, proposing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions as part of the care pathway. Assistive technologies form part of this offering as both stand-alone devices to support particular tasks and the more complex offering [...] Read more.
Strategies to support people living with dementia are broad in scope, proposing both pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions as part of the care pathway. Assistive technologies form part of this offering as both stand-alone devices to support particular tasks and the more complex offering of the “smart home” to underpin ambient assisted living. This paper presents a technology-based system, which expands on the smart home architecture, orientated to support people with daily living. The system, NOCTURNAL, was developed by working directly with people who had dementia, and their carers using qualitative research methods. The research focused primarily on the nighttime needs of people living with dementia in real home settings. Eight people with dementia had the final prototype system installed for a three month evaluation at home. Disturbed sleep patterns, night-time wandering were a focus of this research not only in terms of detection by commercially available technology but also exploring if automated music, light and visual personalized photographs would be soothing to participants during the hours of darkness. The NOCTURNAL platform and associated services was informed by strong user engagement of people with dementia and the service providers who care for them. NOCTURNAL emerged as a holistic service offering a personalised therapeutic aspect with interactive capabilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Telehealthcare)
Figures

Figure 1

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top