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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 11, Issue 12 (December 2014) , Pages 12088-13143

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Open AccessArticle
Protective Roles of Sodium Selenite against Aflatoxin B1-Induced Apoptosis of Jejunum in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13130-13143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213130
Received: 16 July 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 17 December 2014
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2163 | PDF Full-text (634 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) exposure and sodium selenite supplementation on cell apoptosis of jejunum in broilers were studied. A total of 240 one-day-old male AA broilers were randomly assigned four dietary treatments containing 0 mg/kg of AFB1 [...] Read more.
The effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) exposure and sodium selenite supplementation on cell apoptosis of jejunum in broilers were studied. A total of 240 one-day-old male AA broilers were randomly assigned four dietary treatments containing 0 mg/kg of AFB1 (control), 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 (AFB1), 0.4 mg/kg supplement Se (+ Se) and 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 + 0.4 mg/kg supplement Se (AFB1 + Se), respectively. Compared with the control broilers, the number of apoptotic cells, the expression of Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA were significantly increased, while the expression of Bcl-2 mRNA and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio were significantly decreased in AFB1 broilers. The number of apoptotic cells and the expression of Caspase-3 mRNA in AFB1 + Se broilers were significantly higher than those in the control broilers, but significantly lower than those in AFB1 broilers. There were no significant changes in the expression of Bax mRNA between AFB1 + Se and control broilers; the expression of Bcl-2 mRNA and the Bcl-2/Bax ratio in AFB1 + Se broilers were significantly lower than those in the control broilers, but significantly higher than those in AFB1 broilers. In conclusion, 0.3 mg/kg AFB1 in the diet can increase cell apoptosis, decrease Bcl-2 mRNA expression, and increase of Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA expression in broiler’s jejunum. However, supplementation of dietary sodium selenite at the concentration of 0.4 mg/kg Se may ameliorate AFB1-induced apoptosis by increasing Bcl-2 mRNA expression, and decreasing Bax and Caspase-3 mRNA expression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chlorpyrifos Exposure and Respiratory Health among Adolescent Agricultural Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13117-13129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213117
Received: 29 October 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 11 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2213 | PDF Full-text (787 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a commonly used organophosphate insecticide (OP). In adults, exposure to OPs has been inconsistently associated with reduced lung function. OP exposure and lung function has not been assessed in adolescents. The objective of this study was to assess CPF exposure [...] Read more.
Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a commonly used organophosphate insecticide (OP). In adults, exposure to OPs has been inconsistently associated with reduced lung function. OP exposure and lung function has not been assessed in adolescents. The objective of this study was to assess CPF exposure and lung function among Egyptian adolescents. We conducted a 10-month study of male adolescent pesticide applicators (n = 38) and non-applicators of similar age (n = 24). Urinary 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TPCy), a CPF-specific metabolite, was analyzed in specimens collected throughout the study. Spirometry was performed twice after pesticide application: day 146, when TCPy levels were elevated and day 269, when TCPy levels were near baseline. Applicators had higher levels of TCPy (mean cumulative TCPy day 146 = 33,217.6; standard deviation (SD) = 49,179.3) than non-applicators (mean cumulative TCPy day 146 = 3290.8; SD = 3994.9). Compared with non-applicators, applicators had higher odds of reporting wheeze, odds ratio = 3.41 (95% CI: 0.70; 17.41). Cumulative urinary TCPy was inversely associated with spirometric measurements at day 146, but not at day 269. Although generally non-significant, results were consistent with an inverse association between exposure to CPF and lung function. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health Care Facilities Resilient to Climate Change Impacts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13097-13116; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213097
Received: 5 June 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 21 November 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3735 | PDF Full-text (687 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Climate change will increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events and create risks that will impact health care facilities. Health care facilities will need to assess climate change risks and adopt adaptive management strategies to be resilient, but guidance tools are [...] Read more.
Climate change will increase the frequency and magnitude of extreme weather events and create risks that will impact health care facilities. Health care facilities will need to assess climate change risks and adopt adaptive management strategies to be resilient, but guidance tools are lacking. In this study, a toolkit was developed for health care facility officials to assess the resiliency of their facility to climate change impacts. A mixed methods approach was used to develop climate change resiliency indicators to inform the development of the toolkit. The toolkit consists of a checklist for officials who work in areas of emergency management, facilities management and health care services and supply chain management, a facilitator’s guide for administering the checklist, and a resource guidebook to inform adaptation. Six health care facilities representing three provinces in Canada piloted the checklist. Senior level officials with expertise in the aforementioned areas were invited to review the checklist, provide feedback during qualitative interviews and review the final toolkit at a stakeholder workshop. The toolkit helps health care facility officials identify gaps in climate change preparedness, direct allocation of adaptation resources and inform strategic planning to increase resiliency to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather-Related Morbidity and Mortality: Risks and Responses)
Open AccessArticle
Metabolic Influence of Psychrophilic Diatoms on Travertines at the Huanglong Natural Scenic District of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13084-13096; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213084
Received: 25 October 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2209 | PDF Full-text (1960 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Diatoms are a highly diversified group of algae that are widely distributed in aquatic ecosystems, and various species have different nutrient and temperature requirements for optimal growth. Here, we describe unusual psychrophilic diatoms of Cymbella in a travertine deposition environment in southwestern China [...] Read more.
Diatoms are a highly diversified group of algae that are widely distributed in aquatic ecosystems, and various species have different nutrient and temperature requirements for optimal growth. Here, we describe unusual psychrophilic diatoms of Cymbella in a travertine deposition environment in southwestern China in winter season. Travertine surfaces are colonized by these psychrophilic diatoms, which form biofilms of extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS) with active metabolic activities in extremely cold conditions. The travertine in Huanglong, is a typical single crystalline calcite with anisotropic lattice distortions of unit cell parameters along axes of a and c, and this structure is suggestive of some level of metabolic mediation on mineralization. Near-edge X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy (NEXAFS) results further confirmed the occurrence of biogenic distortion of the crystal lattice of travertine calcite. Overall, our results imply that the metabolic influence of psychrophilic diatoms may be particularly important for promoting formation and dissolution of travertine in extremely cold environments of Huanglong. The EPS of psychrophilic diatoms will protect travertine from HCO3 etching and provide template for forming travertine when water re-flowing, in warm season. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Difference in Health Inequity between Two Population Groups due to a Social Determinant of Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13074-13083; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213074
Received: 25 July 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 16 December 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3641 | PDF Full-text (705 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as “complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems” that are responsible for most health inequities. Similar to the individual-level risk factors such as behavioral and biological risk factors that influence disease, we [...] Read more.
The World Health Organization defines social determinants of health as “complex, integrated, and overlapping social structures and economic systems” that are responsible for most health inequities. Similar to the individual-level risk factors such as behavioral and biological risk factors that influence disease, we consider social determinants of health such as the distribution of income, wealth, influence and power as risk factors for risk of disease. We operationally define health inequity in a disease within a population due to a risk factor that is unfair and avoidable as the difference between the disease outcome with and without the risk factor in the population. We derive expressions for difference in health inequity between two populations due to a risk factor that is unfair and avoidable for a given disease. The difference in heath inequity between two population groups due to a risk factor increases with increasing difference in relative risks and the difference in prevalence of the risk factor in the two populations. The difference in health inequity could be larger than the difference in health outcomes between the two populations in some situations. Compared to health disparities which are typically measured and monitored using absolute or relative disparities of health outcomes, the methods presented in this manuscript provide a different, yet complementary, picture because they parse out the contributions of unfair and avoidable risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Open AccessArticle
The Development of a Bilingual Interactive Video to Improve Physical Activity and Healthful Eating in a Head Start Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13065-13073; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213065
Received: 30 September 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 15 December 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2282 | PDF Full-text (773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The prevalence of obesity in the Hispanic preschool population remains elevated, particularly among children in low income families below the poverty level. Obesity leads to the early onset of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The Head Start population of Texas is largely [...] Read more.
The prevalence of obesity in the Hispanic preschool population remains elevated, particularly among children in low income families below the poverty level. Obesity leads to the early onset of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The Head Start population of Texas is largely comprised of this high risk group. Their physical activity level is suboptimal in part due to lack of available outside play areas and time spent watching television and playing sedentary video games. Dietary intake is frequently high in sugar sweetened beverages and low in vegetables. The group is frequently bilingual with limited vocabulary and has not learned to read. Preserving their Mexican American culture is a concern. This article describes the development and assessment of a group of bilingual interactive video interventions to improve age appropriate physical activity while providing basic nutrition education focusing on increasing vegetable and water intake and decreasing sugar sweetened beverages. Suggestions for development and assessment of content were provided by focus groups of Head Start teachers, managers and dietitians in the Texas counties of Bastrop, Hidalgo and McLennon. A demonstration of the videos was conducted in Bastrop County. Teachers, students and managers felt that the videos provided excellent information, improved exercise participation and engaged the children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urinary Concentrations of Toxic and Essential Trace Elements among Rural Residents in Hainan Island, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13047-13064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213047
Received: 28 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2326 | PDF Full-text (921 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Toxic element exposure and essential trace element consumption may have changed after the Chinese economy transformed to a market-oriented system. The objectives of this study were to measure urinary concentrations of toxic (arsenic, cadmium, lead) and essential trace (selenium, zinc, copper) [...] Read more.
Background: Toxic element exposure and essential trace element consumption may have changed after the Chinese economy transformed to a market-oriented system. The objectives of this study were to measure urinary concentrations of toxic (arsenic, cadmium, lead) and essential trace (selenium, zinc, copper) elements among rural residents in Hainan, China and to examine if variations in economic development are linked to differences in toxic and trace element exposure. Methods: We conducted a questionnaire-based survey and undertook anthropometric measurements of residents aged ≥20 years (n = 599). Urinary samples were collected and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: The median (μg/g creatinine) element concentrations were: arsenic, 73.2; cadmium, 1.8; lead, 3.1; selenium, 36.5; zinc, 371; and copper, 11.0. Intra-community variation in element concentrations was explained by age (arsenic, cadmium, zinc and copper), sex (arsenic, cadmium and selenium: higher in females; zinc: higher in males), body mass index (cadmium) and individual involvement in the market economy as indexed by agrochemical use (lead and selenium). The degree of community-level economic development, which was determined by the proportion of people living in better housing among the study communities, was positively associated with cadmium concentration. Conclusions: The degree of community-level economic development was positively associated with urinary cadmium concentration while individual involvement in the market economy was positively associated with lead and selenium. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Occupational Hazards Education for Nursing Staff through Web-Based Learning
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13035-13046; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213035
Received: 28 October 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2582 | PDF Full-text (655 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to explore the efficiency of using online education as an intervention measure to prevent occupational hazards in a clinical nursing setting. The subjects were 320 female nursing staff from two hospitals in Taiwan. The questionnaire results indicated that the subjects [...] Read more.
This study aims to explore the efficiency of using online education as an intervention measure to prevent occupational hazards in a clinical nursing setting. The subjects were 320 female nursing staff from two hospitals in Taiwan. The questionnaire results indicated that the subjects primarily experienced human factor occupational hazards, as well as psychological and social hazards. Specifically, 73.1% and 69.8% of the subjects suffered from poor sleep quality and low back pain, respectively. After web-based learning, the experimental group had higher post-test scores than the control group in terms of knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP). However, there was only a significant difference (p < 0.05) in their knowledge about the prevention of occupational hazards. It is suggested that an online discussion may enhance nursing staff’s participation in web-based learning, and further facilitate their comments on negative factors. The findings can highly promote nursing staff’s attitudes and practices toward preventing occupational hazards through web-based learning. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Disparities in Rates of Inpatient Mortality and Adverse Events: Race/Ethnicity and Language as Independent Contributors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 13017-13034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111213017
Received: 31 July 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 9 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2929 | PDF Full-text (718 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Patients with limited English proficiency have known limitations accessing health care, but differences in hospital outcomes once access is obtained are unknown. We investigate inpatient mortality rates and obstetric trauma for self-reported speakers of English, Spanish, and languages of Asia and the Pacific [...] Read more.
Patients with limited English proficiency have known limitations accessing health care, but differences in hospital outcomes once access is obtained are unknown. We investigate inpatient mortality rates and obstetric trauma for self-reported speakers of English, Spanish, and languages of Asia and the Pacific Islands (API) and compare quality of care by language with patterns by race/ethnicity. Data were from the United States Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 2009 State Inpatient Databases for California. There were 3,757,218 records. Speaking a non-English principal language and having a non-White race/ethnicity did not place patients at higher risk for inpatient mortality; the exception was significantly higher stroke mortality for Japanese-speaking patients. Patients who spoke API languages or had API race/ethnicity had higher risk for obstetric trauma than English-speaking White patients. Spanish-speaking Hispanic patients had more obstetric trauma than English-speaking Hispanic patients. The influence of language on obstetric trauma and the potential effects of interpretation services on inpatient care are discussed. The broader context of policy implications for collection and reporting of language data is also presented. Results from other countries with and without English as a primary language are needed for the broadest interpretation and generalization of outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Open AccessArticle
Changing Patterns of Health in Communities Impacted by a Bioenergy Project in Northern Sierra Leone
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12997-13016; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212997
Received: 8 November 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2773 | PDF Full-text (3258 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Large private sector investments in low- and middle-income countries are often critically evaluated with regards to their environmental, social, human rights, and health impacts. A health impact assessment, including a baseline health survey, was commissioned by the Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone project in [...] Read more.
Large private sector investments in low- and middle-income countries are often critically evaluated with regards to their environmental, social, human rights, and health impacts. A health impact assessment, including a baseline health survey, was commissioned by the Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone project in 2010. As part of the monitoring, a follow-up survey was conducted three years later. A set of health indicators was assessed at six impacted and two control sites. Most of these indices improved, particularly at the impacted sites. The prevalences of stunting, wasting, and Plasmodium falciparum in children under five years of age decreased significantly at impacted sites (all p < 0.05) and non-significantly at control sites. Anemia in children and in women of reproductive age (15–49 years) decreased significantly at impacted and control sites (p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively). Health facility-based deliveries increased significantly at the impacted sites (p < 0.05). The prevalences of helminth infections in children aged 10–15 years remained approximately at the same levels, although focal increases at the impacted sites were noted. Access to improved sanitation decreased significantly (p < 0.05) at control and non-significantly at impacted sites. Water quality remained poor without significant changes. The epidemiologic monitoring of a bioenergy project provides a useful contribution for evidence-based decision-making. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
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Open AccessArticle
Six-Month Outcome in Bipolar Spectrum Alcoholics Treated with Acamprosate after Detoxification: A Retrospective Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12983-12996; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212983
Received: 8 August 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1991 | PDF Full-text (683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Glutamate system is modified by ethanol and contributes both to the euphoric and the dysphoric consequences of intoxication, but there is now growing evidence that the glutamatergic system also plays a central role in the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, [...] Read more.
Background: Glutamate system is modified by ethanol and contributes both to the euphoric and the dysphoric consequences of intoxication, but there is now growing evidence that the glutamatergic system also plays a central role in the neurobiology and treatment of mood disorders, including major depressive disorders and bipolar disorders. We speculate that, using acamprosate, patients with bipolar depression (BIP-A) can take advantage of the anti-glutamate effect of acamprosate to “survive” in treatment longer than peers suffering from non-bipolar depression (NBIP-A) after detoxification. Method: We retrospectively evaluated the efficacy of a long-term (six-month) acamprosate treatment, after alcohol detoxification, in 41 patients (19 males and 22 females), who could be classified as depressed alcoholics, while taking into account the presence/absence of bipolarity. Results: During the period of observation most NBIP-A patients relapsed, whereas a majority of BIP-A patients were still in treatment at the end of their period of observation. The cumulative proportion of ‘surviving’ patients was significantly higher in BIP-A patients, but this finding was not related to gender or to other demographic or clinically investigated characteristics. The treatment time effect was significant in both subgroups. The treatment time-group effect was significant (and significantly better) for bipolar patients on account of changes in the severity of their illness. Limitations: Retrospective methodology and the lack of DSM criteria in diagnosing bipolarity. Conclusions: Bipolarity seems to be correlated with the efficacy of acamprosate treatment in inducing patients to refrain from alcohol use after detoxification (while avoiding relapses) in depressed alcoholics. Placebo-controlled clinical trials are now warranted to check the validity of this hypothesis. Full article
Open AccessArticle
General Practitioners’ Knowledge and Concern about Electromagnetic Fields
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12969-12982; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212969
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2138 | PDF Full-text (681 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Our aim is to explore general practitioners’ (GPs’) knowledge about EMF, and to assess whether different knowledge structures are related to the GPs’ concern about EMF. Random samples were drawn from lists of GPs in Germany in 2008. Knowledge about EMF was assessed [...] Read more.
Our aim is to explore general practitioners’ (GPs’) knowledge about EMF, and to assess whether different knowledge structures are related to the GPs’ concern about EMF. Random samples were drawn from lists of GPs in Germany in 2008. Knowledge about EMF was assessed by seven items. A latent class analysis was conducted to identify latent structures in GPs’ knowledge. Further, the GPs’ concern about EMF health risk was measured using a score comprising six items. The association between GPs’ concern about EMF and their knowledge was analysed using multiple linear regression. In total 435 (response rate 23.3%) GPs participated in the study. Four groups were identified by the latent class analysis: 43.1% of the GPs gave mainly correct answers; 23.7% of the GPs answered low frequency EMF questions correctly; 19.2% answered only the questions relating EMF with health risks, and 14.0% answered mostly “don’t know”. There was no association between GPs’ latent knowledge classes or between the number of correct answers given by the GPs and their EMF concern, whereas the number of incorrect answers was associated with EMF concern. Greater EMF concern in subjects with more incorrect answers suggests paying particular attention to misconceptions regarding EMF in risk communication. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Overall Accessibility to Traveling by Rail for the Elderly with and without Functional Limitations: The Whole-Trip Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12938-12968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212938
Received: 17 September 2014 / Revised: 30 November 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2234 | PDF Full-text (1348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Elderly persons’ perceived accessibility to railway traveling depends on their functional limitations/diseases, their functional abilities and their travel behaviors in interaction with the barriers encountered during whole trips. A survey was conducted on a random sample of 1000 city residents (65–85 years old; [...] Read more.
Elderly persons’ perceived accessibility to railway traveling depends on their functional limitations/diseases, their functional abilities and their travel behaviors in interaction with the barriers encountered during whole trips. A survey was conducted on a random sample of 1000 city residents (65–85 years old; 57% response rate). The travels were perceived least accessible by respondents with severely reduced functional ability and by those with more than one functional limitation/disease (e.g., restricted mobility and chronic pain). Those who traveled “often”, perceived the accessibility to be better than those who traveled less frequently. For travelers with high functional ability, the main barriers to more frequent traveling were travel costs and low punctuality. For those with low functional ability, one’s own health was reported to be the main barrier. Our results clarify the links among existing functional limitations/functional abilities, the barriers encountered, the travel behavior, and the overall accessibility to traveling. By operationalizing the whole-trip concept as a chain of events, we deliver practical knowledge on vulnerable groups for decision-making to improve the transport environment for all. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Histological Changes in Gills of Two Fish Species as Indicators of Water Quality in Jansen Lagoon (São Luís, Maranhão State, Brazil)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12927-12937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212927
Received: 21 July 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3853 | PDF Full-text (9341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water quality of the Jansen Lagoon (São Luís, Maranhão State, Brazil) was assessed through histological biomarkers and microbiological parameters. To this end, 29 fish specimens (11 Centropomus undecimalis and 18 Sardinella sp) and eight water samples were collected during the rainy and dry [...] Read more.
Water quality of the Jansen Lagoon (São Luís, Maranhão State, Brazil) was assessed through histological biomarkers and microbiological parameters. To this end, 29 fish specimens (11 Centropomus undecimalis and 18 Sardinella sp) and eight water samples were collected during the rainy and dry periods of 2013. The lagoon water showed thermotolerant coliform indices above the limit set forth in CONAMA Resolution 357/2005. Histological changes observed in the gills were: lifting of the respiratory epithelium, hyperplasia of the lamellar epithelium, incomplete and complete fusion of several lamellae, disorganization of the lamellae, congestion of blood vessels, aneurysms, hypertrophy of the respiratory epithelium, hemorrhage and rupture of the lamellar epithelium and parasite. The histological alteration index (HAI) average value to Sardinella sp was 31.8 and to C. undecimalis was 22.2. The average HAI value in both species corresponds to category 21–50, with tissue injuries being classified from moderate to severe. The presence of histological injuries and the HAI values indicate that the fish sampled from the Jansen Lagoon are reacting to non-specific xenobiotics present at the site. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Rat Lung Response to PM2.5 Exposure under Different Cold Stresses
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12915-12926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212915
Received: 12 October 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 2640 | PDF Full-text (1131 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ambient particulate matters and temperature were reported to have additive effects over the respiratory disease hospital admissions and deaths. The purpose of this study is to discuss the interactive pulmonary toxicities of cold stress and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure by [...] Read more.
Ambient particulate matters and temperature were reported to have additive effects over the respiratory disease hospital admissions and deaths. The purpose of this study is to discuss the interactive pulmonary toxicities of cold stress and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure by estimating inflammation and oxidative stress responses. 48 Wistar male rats, matched by weight and age, were randomly assigned to six groups, which were treated with cold stress alone (0 °C, 10 °C, and 20 °C (Normal control)) and cold stresses plus PM2.5 exposures respectively. Cold stress alone groups were intratracheal instillation of 0.25 mL normal saline, while cold stress plus PM2.5 exposure groups were intratracheal instillation of 8 mg/0.25 mL PM2.5. These procedures were carried out for three times with an interval of 48 hours for each treatment. All rats were sacrificed after 48 hours of the third treatment. The bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) was collected for analyzing inflammatory cells and cytokines, and lung homogenate MDA was determined for oxidative stress estimation. Results showed higher level of total cell and neutrophil in the BALF of PM2.5 exposed groups (p < 0.05). Negative relationships between cold stress intensity and the level of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), C-reactive protein (CRP) interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-8 (IL-8) in BALF were indicated in PM2.5 exposure groups. Exposure to cold stress alone caused significant increase of inflammatory cytokines and methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA) and decline of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity only in 0 °C exposure group (p < 0.05). The two-way ANOVA found significant interactive effects between PM2.5 exposure and cold stress in the level of neutrophil, IL-6 and IL-8 and SOD activity (p < 0.05). These data demonstrated that inflammation and oxidative stress involved in the additive effect of PM2.5 exposure and cold stress on pulmonary toxicity, providing explanation for epidemiological studies on the health effect of ambient PM2.5 and cold stress. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Health Impact Assessment Framework for Assessing Vulnerability and Adaptation Planning for Climate Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12896-12914; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212896
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 5 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2971 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a detailed description of an approach designed to investigate the application of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework to assess the potential health impacts of climate change. A HIA framework has been combined with key climate change terminology and concepts. [...] Read more.
This paper presents a detailed description of an approach designed to investigate the application of the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) framework to assess the potential health impacts of climate change. A HIA framework has been combined with key climate change terminology and concepts. The fundamental premise of this framework is an understanding of the interactions between people, the environment and climate. The diversity and complexity of these interactions can hinder much needed action on the critical health issue of climate change. The objectives of the framework are to improve the methodology for understanding and assessing the risks associated with potential health impacts of climate change, and to provide decision-makers with information that can facilitate the development of effective adaptation plans. While the process presented here provides guidance with respect to this task it is not intended to be prescriptive. As such, aspects of the process can be amended to suit the scope and available resources of each project. A series of working tables has been developed to assist in the collation of evidence throughout the process. The framework has been tested in a number of locations including Western Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
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Open AccessConcept Paper
The Public Health Exposome: A Population-Based, Exposure Science Approach to Health Disparities Research
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12866-12895; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212866
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 12 November 2014 / Accepted: 27 November 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 45 | Viewed by 6262 | PDF Full-text (1777 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The lack of progress in reducing health disparities suggests that new approaches are needed if we are to achieve meaningful, equitable, and lasting reductions. Current scientific paradigms do not adequately capture the complexity of the relationships between environment, personal health and population level [...] Read more.
The lack of progress in reducing health disparities suggests that new approaches are needed if we are to achieve meaningful, equitable, and lasting reductions. Current scientific paradigms do not adequately capture the complexity of the relationships between environment, personal health and population level disparities. The public health exposome is presented as a universal exposure tracking framework for integrating complex relationships between exogenous and endogenous exposures across the lifespan from conception to death. It uses a social-ecological framework that builds on the exposome paradigm for conceptualizing how exogenous exposures “get under the skin”. The public health exposome approach has led our team to develop a taxonomy and bioinformatics infrastructure to integrate health outcomes data with thousands of sources of exogenous exposure, organized in four broad domains: natural, built, social, and policy environments. With the input of a transdisciplinary team, we have borrowed and applied the methods, tools and terms from various disciplines to measure the effects of environmental exposures on personal and population health outcomes and disparities, many of which may not manifest until many years later. As is customary with a paradigm shift, this approach has far reaching implications for research methods and design, analytics, community engagement strategies, and research training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Open AccessArticle
Addressing Health Disparities in Chronic Kidney Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12848-12865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212848
Received: 19 August 2014 / Revised: 21 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3208 | PDF Full-text (2730 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
According to the official health statistics, Taiwan has the highest prevalence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the world. Each year, around 60,000 ESRD patients in Taiwan consume 6% of the national insurance budget for dialysis treatment. The prevalence of chronic kidney [...] Read more.
According to the official health statistics, Taiwan has the highest prevalence of end stage renal disease (ESRD) in the world. Each year, around 60,000 ESRD patients in Taiwan consume 6% of the national insurance budget for dialysis treatment. The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been climbing during 2008–2012. However, the spatial disparities and clustering of CKD at the public health level have rarely been discussed. The aims of this study are to explore the possible population level risk factors and identify any clusters of CKD, using the national health insurance database. The results show that the ESRD prevalence in females is higher than that in males. ESRD medical expenditure constitutes 87% of total CKD medical expenditure. Pre-CKD and pre-ESRD disease management might slow the progression from CKD to ESRD. After applying ordinary least-squares regression, the percentages of high education status and the elderly in the townships are positively correlated with CKD prevalence. Geographically weighted regression and Local Moran’s I are used for identifying the clusters in southern Taiwan. The findings can be important evidence for earlier and targeted community interventions and reducing the health disparities of CKD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
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Open AccessArticle
Secondhand Smoke Exposure, Indoor Smoking Bans and Smoking-Related Knowledge in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12835-12847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212835
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2234 | PDF Full-text (688 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although previous studies have provided strong evidence that Chinese individuals are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) and lack knowledge of its harmful effects, there has not been an in-depth exploration of the variability in exposure and knowledge by geographic region, occupation, and socioeconomic [...] Read more.
Although previous studies have provided strong evidence that Chinese individuals are exposed to secondhand smoke (SHS) and lack knowledge of its harmful effects, there has not been an in-depth exploration of the variability in exposure and knowledge by geographic region, occupation, and socioeconomic status. The objectives of this study were to examine: (1) the demographic factors associated with the level of knowledge of the harmful effects of smoking; (2) the factors related to implementation of in-home and workplace smoking bans; and (3) geographic differences in being exposed to SHS in government buildings, healthcare facilities, restaurants, public transportations, and schools. We used data from the 2010 Global Adult Tobacco Survey-China. Chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis. The results suggested that among Chinese citizens age 15 years and older, there is poor knowledge of the harmful effects of tobacco, and knowledge varies with region and socioeconomic status. Over three-quarters of the households had no smoking restrictions, and a large percentage of workers reported working in places with no smoking ban. In public places, exposure to SHS was high, particularly in rural areas and in the Southwest. These results suggest Chinese individuals are not well informed of smoking and SHS associated risks and are regularly exposed to SHS at home, work and public places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control)
Open AccessReview
A Critical Review of an Authentic and Transformative Environmental Justice and Health Community — University Partnership
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12817-12834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212817
Received: 8 July 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2594 | PDF Full-text (694 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Distressed neighborhoods in North Charleston (SC, USA) are impacted by the cumulative effects of multiple environmental hazards and expansion of the Port of Charleston. The Low Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) built an environmental justice partnership to address local concerns. This case [...] Read more.
Distressed neighborhoods in North Charleston (SC, USA) are impacted by the cumulative effects of multiple environmental hazards and expansion of the Port of Charleston. The Low Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC) built an environmental justice partnership to address local concerns. This case study examines the process of building and sustaining a successful transformative and authentic community-university partnership. We apply the framework established by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH), focusing on four of the nine principles of Good Practice of Community Campus Partnerships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
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Open AccessArticle
Preliminary Evaluation of a Regional Atmospheric Chemical Data Assimilation System for Environmental Surveillance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12795-12816; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212795
Received: 20 September 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 11 December 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2221 | PDF Full-text (1385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We report the progress of an ongoing effort by the Air Resources Laboratory, NOAA to build a prototype regional Chemical Analysis System (ARLCAS). The ARLCAS focuses on providing long-term analysis of the three dimensional (3D) air-pollutant concentration fields over the continental U.S. It [...] Read more.
We report the progress of an ongoing effort by the Air Resources Laboratory, NOAA to build a prototype regional Chemical Analysis System (ARLCAS). The ARLCAS focuses on providing long-term analysis of the three dimensional (3D) air-pollutant concentration fields over the continental U.S. It leverages expertise from the NASA Earth Science Division-sponsored Air Quality Applied Science Team (AQAST) for the state-of-science knowledge in atmospheric and data assimilation sciences. The ARLCAS complies with national operational center requirement protocols and aims to have the modeling system to be maintained by a national center. Meteorology and chemistry observations consist of land-, air- and space-based observed and quality-assured data. We develop modularized testing to investigate the efficacies of the various components of the ARLCAS. The sensitivity testing of data assimilation schemes showed that with the increment of additional observational data sets, the accuracy of the analysis chemical fields also increased incrementally in varying margins. The benefit is especially noted for additional data sets based on a different platform and/or a different retrieval algorithm. We also described a plan to apply the analysis chemical fields in environmental surveillance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Mobile Applications for Participation at the Shopping Mall: Content Analysis and Usability for Persons with Physical Disabilities and Communication or Cognitive Limitations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12777-12794; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212777
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2463 | PDF Full-text (708 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the important features in content and usability of existing mobile applications evaluating environmental barriers and facilitators (EBF) to participation for persons with physical disabilities presenting mild communication or cognitive limitations. A rigorous process based [...] Read more.
The aim of this exploratory study was to determine the important features in content and usability of existing mobile applications evaluating environmental barriers and facilitators (EBF) to participation for persons with physical disabilities presenting mild communication or cognitive limitations. A rigorous process based on a user-centered design approach led to the identification of two relevant mobile applications to evaluate the EBF. An accessibility expert, the research team as well as five users then tested the mobile applications in a shopping mall. A thematic content analysis of the research team’s and users’ comments established 10 categories of key features that adequately respond to the needs of the clientele targeted in this study. In terms of content, granularity and contextualization of the information provided were considered important. With respect to usability, relevant features were place finding, rating system, presentation of results, compatibility, user-friendliness, aesthetics, credibility of the information as well as connectivity/interactiveness. The research team and the users agreed on some aspects such as aesthetics, but had different perspectives on features such as the rating system or the connectivity/interactiveness of the application. The users proposed new features suggesting that the existing mobile applications did not correspond to all their needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disability and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Alanine Aminotransferase within Reference Range Is Associated with Metabolic Syndrome in Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese Men and Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12767-12776; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212767
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 10 December 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2164 | PDF Full-text (712 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To investigate the association between serum ALT level within reference range (≤40 U/L) and morbidity of MetS in a large middle-aged and elderly Chinese community population. Methods: Our study was a community-based cross-sectional survey which used cluster sampling method. From [...] Read more.
Objective: To investigate the association between serum ALT level within reference range (≤40 U/L) and morbidity of MetS in a large middle-aged and elderly Chinese community population. Methods: Our study was a community-based cross-sectional survey which used cluster sampling method. From November 2011 to August 2012 a total of 16,539 subjects (males 5184; females 11,355) with serum ALT levels in the normal range aged ≥40 years from Shijingshan District (Beijing, China) were included in the study. Data on demographic information, lifestyle, history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, dyslipidemia and liver disease were collected. Body height, body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and blood pressure were recorded. The oral glucose tolerance test or a standard meal test and blood lipid test was performed. The determination of metabolic syndrome was according to the unified criteria published in 2009. The association between serum ALT level and metabolic syndrome was evaluated by logistic regression. The association between serum ALT level and all components of metabolic syndrome was evaluated by multiple linear regression. p < 0.05 was regarded as statistically significant. Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 41.4% in males and 40.6% in females. We found ALT level was positively associated with odds of metabolic syndrome after adjustment for age, smoking, and alcohol intake. The odds ratio values of MetS in the ALT quartiles 2–4 groups were 1.920 (95%CI: 1.619–2.277), 2.853 (95%CI: 2.407–3.381), and 4.171 (95%CI: 3.510–4.956) in males; 1.889 (95%CI: 1.671–2.136), 3.490 (95%CI: 3.095–3.935), and 5.593 (95%CI: 4.957–6.311) in females, respectively, compared with the ALT quartile 1 group. Conclusions: Higher serum ALT level within the reference range was associated with increased odds of MetS in middle-aged and elderly Chinese men and women. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Creating Locally-Resolved Mobile-Source Emissions Inputs for Air Quality Modeling in Support of an Exposure Study in Detroit, Michigan, USA
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12739-12766; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212739
Received: 15 August 2014 / Revised: 27 November 2014 / Accepted: 3 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2443 | PDF Full-text (6313 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This work describes a methodology for modeling the impact of traffic-generated air pollutants in an urban area. This methodology presented here utilizes road network geometry, traffic volume, temporal allocation factors, fleet mixes, and emission factors to provide critical modeling inputs. These inputs, assembled [...] Read more.
This work describes a methodology for modeling the impact of traffic-generated air pollutants in an urban area. This methodology presented here utilizes road network geometry, traffic volume, temporal allocation factors, fleet mixes, and emission factors to provide critical modeling inputs. These inputs, assembled from a variety of sources, are combined with meteorological inputs to generate link-based emissions for use in dispersion modeling to estimate pollutant concentration levels due to traffic. A case study implementing this methodology for a large health study is presented, including a sensitivity analysis of the modeling results reinforcing the importance of model inputs and identify those having greater relative impact, such as fleet mix. In addition, an example use of local measurements of fleet activity to supplement model inputs is described, and its impacts to the model outputs are discussed. We conclude that with detailed model inputs supported by local traffic measurements and meteorology, it is possible to capture the spatial and temporal patterns needed to accurately estimate exposure from traffic-related pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Sex-Related Behaviours, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Knowledge and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among Men of Reproductive Age in Cameroon
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12726-12738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212726
Received: 7 August 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2132 | PDF Full-text (722 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are among the major public health challenges in Cameroon. This paper determined the effect of men’s sex-related behaviors and HIV knowledge on reported STIs. The data came from the 2012 Cameroon’s Demographic and Health [...] Read more.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are among the major public health challenges in Cameroon. This paper determined the effect of men’s sex-related behaviors and HIV knowledge on reported STIs. The data came from the 2012 Cameroon’s Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) that were collected from 7191 respondents in 2012. Descriptive and logistic regression methods were used for data analysis. Results showed that majority of the respondents were aware of STIs and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), while 3.96% reported STIs. Also, 49.45% of the men had no wife, while 75.58% and 84.58% noted that condoms and keeping of one partner could be used to prevent HIV transmission, respectively. Wrong impressions that mosquito bites and sharing of food could lead to HIV infection were held by 31.94% and 12.44% of the men, respectively. Among those that reported STIs, 33.33%, 30.18% and 13.33% respectively used condom during sex with most recent partner, second to most recent partner and third to most recent partner, compared to 24.69%, 15.04% and 4.17% among those that did not report STIs. Logistic regression results showed that probability of STI increased significantly (p < 0.05) with condom use with third most recent partners, being married, wrong knowledge that mosquito bites cause HIV and being away for more than one month, while it significantly reduced (p < 0.05) with number of children, knowledge that having one partner prevents STIs. It was concluded that policy initiatives and programmes to enhance right sexual knowledge and behavior among men would go a long way in reducing STI incidence in Cameroon. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Counseling Role of Primary Care Physicians in Preventing Early Childhood Caries in Children with Congenital Heart Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12716-12725; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212716
Received: 20 November 2014 / Revised: 4 December 2014 / Accepted: 4 December 2014 / Published: 9 December 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2464 | PDF Full-text (652 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dental health of preschool children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is usually poor, which may contribute to the development of infective endocarditis (IE). Primary care physicians play an important role in providing access to preventive dental services, particularly for preschool children. The [...] Read more.
The dental health of preschool children with congenital heart disease (CHD) is usually poor, which may contribute to the development of infective endocarditis (IE). Primary care physicians play an important role in providing access to preventive dental services, particularly for preschool children. The object of this study was to provide epidemiologic evidence for the impact of primary care physicians’ (PCP’s) counseling role on early childhood caries in children with CHD in Guangzhou, China, which might guide future caries prevention to decrease the risk of IE in children with CHD. A hospital-based, case-control study was performed, which contained 100 children with newly diagnosed early childhood caries and 100 matched (sex and age) children without dental caries. All of the subjects were diagnosed with CHD at birth and recruited from Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute from 2012 through 2013. A conditional multivariate logistic-regression model was used to assess the associations between PCPs’ role and early childhood caries with a significance level of 5%. Our findings revealed that mother’s education level (OR = 0.36, CL = 0.14–0.92) and knowledge, being educated on the relationship between CHD and infective endocarditis (OR = 0.48, CL = 0.25–0.94) and the impact of oral health on infective endocarditis (OR = 0.37, CL = 0.18–0.79) by the PCP were associated with early childhood caries. PCPs played an important role in preventing early childhood caries among preschool children with CHD in Guangzhou, China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Determinants of Oral Health)
Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Consumption Patterns among Adolescents are Related to Family Structure and Exposure to Drunkenness within the Family: Results from the SEYLE Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12700-12715; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212700
Received: 24 September 2014 / Revised: 25 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2939 | PDF Full-text (724 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is expedient evidence showing that differences in adolescent alcohol consumption and other risk-behaviour depend on both family structure and family member drunkenness exposure. Data were obtained among adolescents (N = 12,115, mean age 14.9 ± 0.89) in Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, [...] Read more.
There is expedient evidence showing that differences in adolescent alcohol consumption and other risk-behaviour depend on both family structure and family member drunkenness exposure. Data were obtained among adolescents (N = 12,115, mean age 14.9 ± 0.89) in Austria, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Romania, Slovenia and Spain within the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme funded project, ‘Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe (SEYLE)’. The current study reveals how adolescents’ alcohol consumption patterns are related to their family structure and having seen their family member drunk. The results revealed statistically significant differences in adolescent alcohol consumption depending on whether the adolescent lives in a family with both birth parents, in a single-parent family or in a family with one birth parent and one step-parent. The study also revealed that the abstaining from alcohol percentage among adolescents was greater in families with both birth parents compared to other family types. The study also showed that the more often adolescents see their family member drunk the more they drink themselves. There is no difference in adolescent drinking patterns whether they see their family member drunk once a month or once a week. This study gives an insight on which subgroups of adolescents are at heightened risk of alcohol abuse and that decrease of family member drunkenness may have positive effects on the drinking habits of their children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention among Youth)
Open AccessArticle
Health Impact Assessment Practice and Potential for Integration within Environmental Impact and Strategic Environmental Assessments in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12683-12699; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212683
Received: 3 October 2014 / Revised: 2 December 2014 / Accepted: 2 December 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3003 | PDF Full-text (700 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Avoiding or minimizing potential environmental impact is the driving idea behind protecting a population’s health via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs). However, both are often carried out without any systematic approach. This paper describes the findings of a review [...] Read more.
Avoiding or minimizing potential environmental impact is the driving idea behind protecting a population’s health via Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs). However, both are often carried out without any systematic approach. This paper describes the findings of a review of HIA, EIA and SEA experiences carried out by the authors, who act as institutional competent subjects at the national and regional levels in Italy. The analysis of how health is tackled in EIA and SEA procedures could support the definition of a protocol for the integration of HIA with EIA and SEA. Although EIA and SEA approaches include the aim of protecting health, significant technical and methodological gaps are present when assessing health systematically, and their basic principles regarding assessment are unsatisfactory for promoting and addressing healthcare concepts stated by the WHO. HIA is still poorly integrated into the decision-making process, screening and monitoring phases are only occasionally implemented, and operational details are not well-defined. The collaborative approach of institutions involved in environment and health is a core element in a systematic advancement toward supporting effective decisions and effective protection of the environment and health. At the Italian national level, the definition of guidelines and tools for HIA, also in relation with EIA and SEA, is of great interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
Open AccessArticle
Lead in School Children from Morelos, Mexico: Levels, Sources and Feasible Interventions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12668-12682; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212668
Received: 10 October 2014 / Revised: 18 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 8 December 2014
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2233 | PDF Full-text (1269 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Lead is a pervasive pollutant, associated at low levels to many adverse health effects. Objective: To investigate lead levels, exposure pathways and intervention possibilities in school children from Alpuyeca, in Morelos, Mexico. Methods: Blood lead concentrations (BPb) were measured [...] Read more.
Background: Lead is a pervasive pollutant, associated at low levels to many adverse health effects. Objective: To investigate lead levels, exposure pathways and intervention possibilities in school children from Alpuyeca, in Morelos, Mexico. Methods: Blood lead concentrations (BPb) were measured in 226 children in 2011. Exposure pathways were assessed through a questionnaire, lead measurements in different environmental matrices and spatial aggregation analysis of lead concentrations. Results: BPb ranged from 1.5 to 36.5 µg/dL, with a mean (SD) of 7.23 (4.9) µg/dL. Sixty-four and 18% of the children had BPb > 5 µg/dL and > 10 µg/dL, respectively. The use of lead glazed ceramics was reported in almost half of the households; it was the main BPb determinant and it was associated with an increased risk of having BPb > 5 g/dL by 2.7 times (p = 0.001). Environmental samples were within US EPA’s lead recommended limits, and blood lead levels were randomly distributed in the community. Conclusions: Lead remains a public health problem in Alpuyeca, Mexico. Unlike other local pollutants, lead exposure prevention can be achieved inexpensively and in a short term. Interventions should make mothers aware of lead’s health effects and empower them to safeguard their children’s health by avoiding the culturally ingrained use of lead glazed pottery. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Association between Road Traffic Noise Exposure, Annoyance and Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12652-12667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph111212652
Received: 23 May 2014 / Revised: 24 November 2014 / Accepted: 28 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 3040 | PDF Full-text (927 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between road traffic noise exposure, annoyance caused by different noise sources and validated health indicators in a cohort of 1375 adults from the region of Basel, Switzerland. Road traffic noise exposure for each [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to investigate the relationships between road traffic noise exposure, annoyance caused by different noise sources and validated health indicators in a cohort of 1375 adults from the region of Basel, Switzerland. Road traffic noise exposure for each study participant was determined using modelling, and annoyance from various noise sources was inquired by means of a four-point Likert scale. Regression parameters from multivariable regression models for the von Zerssen score of somatic symptoms (point symptom score increase per annoyance category) showed strongest associations with annoyance from industry noise (2.36, 95% CI: 1.54, 3.17), neighbour noise (1.62, 95% CI: 1.17, 2.06) and road traffic noise (1.53, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.96). Increase in modelled noise exposure by 10 dB(A) resulted in a von Zerssen symptom score increase of 0.47 (95% CI: −0.01, 0.95) units. Subsequent structural equation modelling revealed that the association between physical noise exposure and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is strongly mediated by annoyance and sleep disturbance. This study elucidates the complex interplay of different factors for the association between physical noise exposure and HRQOL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
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