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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 11, Issue 9 (September 2014) , Pages 8612-9937

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Open AccessArticle
Community Knowledge and Experience of Mosquitoes and Personal Prevention and Control Practices in Lhasa, Tibet
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9919-9937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909919 - 23 Sep 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2559
Abstract
Since 2009, great public attention has been paid in Lhasa City (Tibet, China) to mosquito bites and accompanying inflammatory complications. However, the potential contribution of knowledge levels, experiences, disease control and preventive practices (KEP) towards mosquitoes has not received much attention. To investigate [...] Read more.
Since 2009, great public attention has been paid in Lhasa City (Tibet, China) to mosquito bites and accompanying inflammatory complications. However, the potential contribution of knowledge levels, experiences, disease control and preventive practices (KEP) towards mosquitoes has not received much attention. To investigate community KEP concerning mosquitoes in Lhasa, a cross-sectional survey was undertaken in four sub-districts of urban Lhasa in 2012. Questionnaires were designed to collect information regarding socio-demographics and KEP concerning the harmful effects of mosquitoes on participants. The scoring for KEP was developed after consultation of literature. A total of 591 eligible questionnaires were examined. The majority of respondents were female (61.8%) with a mean age of 46 years. Nearly all of the respondents were of Tibetan nationality (97.4%) and living in registered native households (92.7%), who have less than primary school education. The averages of overall score, knowledge score, experience score, and practice score were 9.23, 4.53, 1.80, 2.90, respectively. The registered household with the highest overall score, knowledge score and practice score was non-native. Female subjects with monthly incomes between 1000 and 3000 RMB had higher experience scores. The correlation analysis revealed that significant positive linear correlations existed between knowledge and experience, knowledge and practices, and experience and practices towards mosquitoes. Past experiences with mosquitoes can result in a better knowledge of effective mosquito control practices in the present and the future. Though the average of overall scores related to mosquitoes is high among the participants in Lhasa, however, the knowledge about the ecological habits of mosquitoes should be strengthened. The findings in this study may help to develop strategies and measures of mosquito and mosquito-borne diseases in the future, not only in Lhasa, but also in similar altitude, latitude and longitude regions worldwide. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Mitochondrial Toxicity in Human Pregnancy: An Update on Clinical and Experimental Approaches in the Last 10 Years
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9897-9918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909897 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2739
Abstract
Mitochondrial toxicity can be one of the most dreadful consequences of exposure to a wide range of external agents including pathogens, therapeutic agents, abuse drugs, toxic gases and other harmful chemical substances. However, little is known about the effects of mitochondrial toxicity on [...] Read more.
Mitochondrial toxicity can be one of the most dreadful consequences of exposure to a wide range of external agents including pathogens, therapeutic agents, abuse drugs, toxic gases and other harmful chemical substances. However, little is known about the effects of mitochondrial toxicity on pregnant women exposed to these agents that may exert transplacental activity and condition fetal remodeling. It has been hypothesized that mitochondrial toxicity may be involved in some adverse obstetric outcomes. In the present study, we investigated the association between exposure to mitochondrial toxic agents and pathologic conditions ranging from fertility defects, detrimental fetal development and impaired newborn health due to intra-uterine exposure. We have reviewed data from studies in human subjects to propose mechanisms of mitochondrial toxicity that could be associated with the symptoms present in both exposed pregnant and fetal patients. Since some therapeutic interventions or accidental exposure cannot be avoided, further research is needed to gain insight into the molecular pathways leading to mitochondrial toxicity during pregnancy. The ultimate objective of these studies should be to reduce the mitochondrial toxicity of these agents and establish biomarkers for gestational monitoring of harmful effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle
Association of Traumatic Dental Injuries with Individual-, Sociodemographic- and School-Related Factors among Schoolchildren in Midwest Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9885-9896; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909885 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2319
Abstract
The objective of this study was to assess the association of untreated traumatic dental injuries (TDI) with individual-, sociodemographic- and school-related factors among 12-year-old schoolchildren in Midwest Brazil. This cross-sectional study was carried out in 2010 in the city of Goiania, Brazil. A [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to assess the association of untreated traumatic dental injuries (TDI) with individual-, sociodemographic- and school-related factors among 12-year-old schoolchildren in Midwest Brazil. This cross-sectional study was carried out in 2010 in the city of Goiania, Brazil. A random sample of 2075 schoolchildren was examined and interviewed. Untreated TDI in the permanent incisors was assessed using the methodology of the Brazilian National Oral Health Survey. Rao-Scott test and multinomial logistic regression were used to analyze the associations between independent variables and three categories of TDI, using a hierarchical method. Independent variables were children’s sex, self rated color/race and size of incisal overjet, their mother’s level of schooling, and the schools’ type and geographic location. The prevalence of trauma was 17.3% (CI 95% = 15.2–19.4); enamel fractures were the most common TDI (13.1%). In the adjusted model, a higher chance of having two or more teeth with TDI was found among boys, those whose mothers had lowest level of schooling, and those attending schools located in health districts with lower socioeconomic indicators. It was concluded that the prevalence of TDI was low and that it was associated with individual factors as well as the school environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Assessment of Maternal Health Issues in Two Villages in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9871-9884; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909871 - 22 Sep 2014
Viewed by 2142
Abstract
The fifth Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health was placed on the international agenda and endorsed by global leaders at the Millennium Summit held in 2000. The aim of this baseline study was to conduct a situational analysis of key maternal health [...] Read more.
The fifth Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health was placed on the international agenda and endorsed by global leaders at the Millennium Summit held in 2000. The aim of this baseline study was to conduct a situational analysis of key maternal health issues in two rural Eastern Cape villages in South Africa: Glenmore and Ndwayana. Ten focus group discussions were conducted with village leaders, community health workers and three different women self-help groups from Glenmore and Ndwayana, with five to eight voluntary participants in each focus group discussion. One of the themes highlighted was inadequate service delivery of ambulance services, which frequently failed to timeously reach expectant mothers in urgent need of transportation to a referral hospital. Adolescent pregnancy was highlighted as the maternal health issue of most concern to the community participants. In this context, a consensus was reached to design and implement an educational intervention to address adolescent pregnancy, which will form the focus of the next phase of this project. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Ending Open Defecation in Rural Tanzania: Which Factors Facilitate Latrine Adoption?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9854-9870; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909854 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3860
Abstract
Diarrheal diseases account for 7% of deaths in children under five years of age in Tanzania. Improving sanitation is an essential step towards reducing these deaths. This secondary analysis examined rural Tanzanian households’ sanitation behaviors and attitudes in order to identify barriers and [...] Read more.
Diarrheal diseases account for 7% of deaths in children under five years of age in Tanzania. Improving sanitation is an essential step towards reducing these deaths. This secondary analysis examined rural Tanzanian households’ sanitation behaviors and attitudes in order to identify barriers and drivers to latrine adoption. The analysis was conducted using results from a cross-sectional study of 1000 households in five rural districts of Tanzania. Motivating factors, perceptions, and constraints surrounding open defecation and latrine adoption were assessed using behavioral change theory. Results showed a significant association between use of improved sanitation and satisfaction with current sanitation facility (OR: 5.91; CI: 2.95–11.85; p = 0.008). Livestock-keeping was strongly associated with practicing open defecation (OR: 0.22; CI 0.063–0.75; p < 0.001). Of the 93 total households that practiced open defecation, 79 (85%) were dissatisfied with the practice, 62 (67%) had plans to build a latrine and 17 (18%) had started saving for a latrine. Among households that planned to build a latrine, health was the primary reason stated (60%). The inability to pay for upgrading sanitation infrastructure was commonly reported among the households. Future efforts should consider methods to reduce costs and ease payments for households to upgrade sanitation infrastructure. Messages to increase demand for latrine adoption in rural Tanzania should integrate themes of privacy, safety, prestige and health. Findings indicate a need for lower cost sanitation options and financing strategies to increase household ability to adopt sanitation facilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Nitrogen and Phosphorus Removal from Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent via Bacterial Sulfate Reduction in an Anoxic Bioreactor Packed with Wood and Iron
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9835-9853; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909835 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4610
Abstract
We investigated the removal of nitrogen and phosphate from the effluent of a sewage treatment plant over a long-term operation in bioreactors packed with different combinations of wood and iron, with a trickling filter packed with foam ceramics for nitrification. The average nitrification [...] Read more.
We investigated the removal of nitrogen and phosphate from the effluent of a sewage treatment plant over a long-term operation in bioreactors packed with different combinations of wood and iron, with a trickling filter packed with foam ceramics for nitrification. The average nitrification rate in the trickling filter was 0.17 kg N/m3∙day and remained at 0.11 kg N/m3∙day even when the water temperature was below 15 °C. The denitrification and phosphate removal rates in the bioreactor packed with aspen wood and iron were higher than those in the bioreactor packed with cedar chips and iron. The bioreactor packed with aspen wood and iron continued to remove nitrate and phosphate for >1200 days of operation. The nitrate removal activity of a biofilm attached to the aspen wood from the bioreactor after 784 days of operation was 0.42 g NO3-N/kg dry weight wood∙ day. There was no increase in the amount of dissolved organic matter in the outflow from the bioreactors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Removal and Recovery)
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Open AccessArticle
Protective Effect of Prolactin against Methylmercury-Induced Mutagenicity and Cytotoxicity on Human Lymphocytes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9822-9834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909822 - 22 Sep 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2635
Abstract
Mercury exhibits cytotoxic and mutagenic properties as a result of its effect on tubulin. This toxicity mechanism is related to the production of free radicals that can cause DNA damage. Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the most toxic of the mercury compounds. It [...] Read more.
Mercury exhibits cytotoxic and mutagenic properties as a result of its effect on tubulin. This toxicity mechanism is related to the production of free radicals that can cause DNA damage. Methylmercury (MeHg) is one of the most toxic of the mercury compounds. It accumulates in the aquatic food chain, eventually reaching the human diet. Several studies have demonstrated that prolactin (PRL) may be differently affected by inorganic and organic mercury based on interference with various neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of PRL secretion. This study evaluated the cytoprotective effect of PRL on human lymphocytes exposed to MeHg in vitro, including observation of the kinetics of HL-60 cells (an acute myeloid leukemia lineage) treated with MeHg and PRL at different concentrations, with both treatments with the individual compounds and combined treatments. All treatments with MeHg produced a significant increase in the frequency of chromatid gaps, however, no significant difference was observed in the chromosomal breaks with any treatment. A dose-dependent increase in the mitotic index was observed for treatments with PRL, which also acts as a co-mitogenic factor, regulating proliferation by modulating the expression of genes that are essential for cell cycle progression and cytoskeleton organization. These properties contribute to the protective action of PRL against the cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of MeHg. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Immunomagnetic Separation for the Detection of Salmonella in Surface Waters by Polymerase Chain Reaction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9811-9821; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909811 - 19 Sep 2014
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2343
Abstract
Salmonella spp. is associated with fecal pollution and capable of surviving for long periods in aquatic environments. Instead of the traditional, time-consuming biochemical detection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows rapid identification of Salmonella directly concentrated from water samples. However, prevalence of Salmonella may [...] Read more.
Salmonella spp. is associated with fecal pollution and capable of surviving for long periods in aquatic environments. Instead of the traditional, time-consuming biochemical detection, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) allows rapid identification of Salmonella directly concentrated from water samples. However, prevalence of Salmonella may be underestimated because of the vulnerability of PCR to various environmental chemicals like humic acid, compounded by the fact that various DNA polymerases have different susceptibility to humic acid. Because immunomagnetic separation (IMS) theoretically could isolate Salmonella from other microbes and facilitate removal of aquatic PCR inhibitors of different sizes, this study aims to compare the efficiency of conventional PCR combined with immunomagnetic separation (IMS) for Salmonella detection within a moderately polluted watershed. In our study, the positive rate was increased from 17.6% to 47% with nearly ten-fold improvement in the detection limit. These results suggest the sensitivity of Salmonella detection could be enhanced by IMS, particularly in low quality surface waters. Due to its effects on clearance of aquatic pollutants, IMS may be suitable for most DNA polymerases for Salmonella detection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Social and Physical Environmental Correlates of Adults’ Weekend Sitting Time and Moderating Effects of Retirement Status and Physical Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9790-9810; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909790 - 19 Sep 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2773
Abstract
Emerging research suggests that prolonged sedentary behaviour (SB) is detrimental to health. Changes in SB patterns are likely to occur during particular life stages, for example at retirement age (55–65-year-old). Evidence on socio-ecological SB correlates is scarce and inconsistent in this age group. [...] Read more.
Emerging research suggests that prolonged sedentary behaviour (SB) is detrimental to health. Changes in SB patterns are likely to occur during particular life stages, for example at retirement age (55–65-year-old). Evidence on socio-ecological SB correlates is scarce and inconsistent in this age group. Moreover, the influence of socio-ecological correlates may vary depending on health and retirement status. This study examined social and environment correlates of overall weekend day sitting among adults at or approaching retirement age, and moderating effects of perceived physical health and retirement status. Baseline data from the Wellbeing, Eating and Exercise for a Long Life study in 2839 Australian adults (55–65-year-old) were analysed. Participants self-reported proximal social factors, neighbourhood social and physical environment, physical health and retirement status. MLwiN multilevel regression analyses were conducted. In the multivariable model, only social support from friends/colleagues to discourage sitting (B = −0.891; p = 0.036) was associated with overall weekend day sitting. No moderation of retirement status, nor physical health were found in the multivariable results. Results from this study suggest the importance of social factors in relation to weekend day sitting among 55–65-year-old adults. Health promotion initiatives in this age group should pay special attention to enhancing social interaction opportunities. Moreover, findings suggest that SB-specific correlates may need to be examined in future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Resampling Methods Improve the Predictive Power of Modeling in Class-Imbalanced Datasets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9776-9789; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909776 - 18 Sep 2014
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 2805
Abstract
In the medical field, many outcome variables are dichotomized, and the two possible values of a dichotomized variable are referred to as classes. A dichotomized dataset is class-imbalanced if it consists mostly of one class, and performance of common classification models on this [...] Read more.
In the medical field, many outcome variables are dichotomized, and the two possible values of a dichotomized variable are referred to as classes. A dichotomized dataset is class-imbalanced if it consists mostly of one class, and performance of common classification models on this type of dataset tends to be suboptimal. To tackle such a problem, resampling methods, including oversampling and undersampling can be used. This paper aims at illustrating the effect of resampling methods using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) wave 2009–2010 dataset. A total of 4677 participants aged ≥20 without self-reported diabetes and with valid blood test results were analyzed. The Classification and Regression Tree (CART) procedure was used to build a classification model on undiagnosed diabetes. A participant demonstrated evidence of diabetes according to WHO diabetes criteria. Exposure variables included demographics and socio-economic status. CART models were fitted using a randomly selected 70% of the data (training dataset), and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) was computed using the remaining 30% of the sample for evaluation (testing dataset). CART models were fitted using the training dataset, the oversampled training dataset, the weighted training dataset, and the undersampled training dataset. In addition, resampling case-to-control ratio of 1:1, 1:2, and 1:4 were examined. Resampling methods on the performance of other extensions of CART (random forests and generalized boosted trees) were also examined. CARTs fitted on the oversampled (AUC = 0.70) and undersampled training data (AUC = 0.74) yielded a better classification power than that on the training data (AUC = 0.65). Resampling could also improve the classification power of random forests and generalized boosted trees. To conclude, applying resampling methods in a class-imbalanced dataset improved the classification power of CART, random forests, and generalized boosted trees. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Innovations and Reflections-1)
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Open AccessArticle
Mercury Exposure in Ireland: Results of the DEMOCOPHES Human Biomonitoring Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9760-9775; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909760 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4799
Abstract
Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed [...] Read more.
Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children’s samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Patient Experienced Continuity of Care in the Psychiatric Healthcare System—A Study Including Immigrants, Refugees and Ethnic Danes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9739-9759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909739 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2725
Abstract
Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate continuity of care in the psychiatric healthcare system from the perspective of patients, including vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees. Method: The study is based on 19 narrative interviews conducted with 15 [...] Read more.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate continuity of care in the psychiatric healthcare system from the perspective of patients, including vulnerable groups such as immigrants and refugees. Method: The study is based on 19 narrative interviews conducted with 15 patients with diverse migration backgrounds (immigrants, descendents, refugees, and ethnic Danes). Patients were recruited from a community psychiatric centre situated in an area with a high proportion of immigrants and refugees. Data were analysed through the lens of a theoretical framework of continuity of care in psychiatry, developed in 2004 by Joyce et al., which encompasses four domains: accessibility, individualised care, relationship base and service delivery. Results: Investigating continuity of care, we found issues of specific concern to immigrants and refugees, but also commonalities across the groups. For accessibility, areas pertinent to immigrants and refugees include lack of knowledge concerning mental illness and obligations towards children. In terms of individualised care, trauma, additional vulnerability, and taboo concerning mental illness were of specific concern. In the domain of service delivery, social services included assistance with immigration papers for immigrants and refugees. In the relationship base domain, no differences were identified. Implications for priority area: The treatment courses of patients in the psychiatric field are complex and diverse and the patient perspective of continuity of care provides important insight into the delivery of care. The study highlights the importance of person-centred care irrespective of migration background though it may be beneficial to have an awareness of areas that may be of more specific concern to immigrants and refugees. Conclusions: The study sheds light on concerns specific to immigrants and refugees in a framework of continuity of care, but also commonalities across the patient groups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
Open AccessArticle
Benefit and Adherence of the Disease Management Program “Diabetes 2”: A Comparison of Turkish Immigrants and German Natives with Diabetes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9723-9738; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909723 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2355
Abstract
There is an ongoing debate about equity and equality in health care, and whether immigrants benefit equally from services as the non-immigrant population. The study focuses on benefits from and adherence to the diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM 2) disease management program (DMP) [...] Read more.
There is an ongoing debate about equity and equality in health care, and whether immigrants benefit equally from services as the non-immigrant population. The study focuses on benefits from and adherence to the diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM 2) disease management program (DMP) among Turkish immigrants in Germany. So far, it has not been researched whether this group benefits from enrollment in the DMP as well as diabetics from the non-immigrant population. Data on the non-immigrant sample (N = 702) stem from a survey among members of a German health insurance, the Turkish immigrant sample (N = 102) was recruited in the area of Hamburg. Identical questions in both surveys enable comparing major components. Regarding process quality, Turkish diabetics do not differ from the non-immigrant sample; moreover, they have significantly more often received documentation and diabetes training. In terms of outcome quality however, results display a greater benefit on behalf of the non-immigrant sample (e.g., blood parameters and body mass index), and they also met more of the DMP criteria. This underlines the need of diabetics with Turkish background for further education and information in order to become the empowered patient as is intended by the DMP as well as to prevent comorbidities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
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Open AccessArticle
A Conceptual Framework to Measure Systems’ Performance during Emergency Preparedness Exercises
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9712-9722; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909712 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3424
Abstract
Large-scale public health emergencies require a sophisticated, coordinated response involving multiple entities to protect health and minimize suffering. However, the rarity of such emergencies presents a barrier to gathering observational data about the effectiveness of the public health response before such events occur. [...] Read more.
Large-scale public health emergencies require a sophisticated, coordinated response involving multiple entities to protect health and minimize suffering. However, the rarity of such emergencies presents a barrier to gathering observational data about the effectiveness of the public health response before such events occur. For this reason, public health practitioners increasingly have relied on simulated emergencies, known as “exercises” as proxies to test their emergency capabilities. However, the formal evaluation of performance in these exercises, historically has been inconsistent, and there is little research to describe how data acquired from simulated emergencies actually support conclusions about the quality of the public health emergency response system. Over the past six years, we have designed and evaluated more than seventy public health emergency exercises, collaborating with public health agencies, hospitals and others to test a wide variety of systems and their capabilities. Using the data and experience that we gathered, we have developed a conceptual framework that describes the essential elements necessary to consider when applying performance measurement science to public health emergency exercises. We suggest that this framework may assist practitioners and researchers who wish to better measure performance in exercises and to improve public health emergency preparedness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
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Open AccessArticle
Factors Associated With Pupil Toilet Use in Kenyan Primary Schools
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9694-9711; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909694 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3259
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to quantify how school sanitation conditions are associated with pupils’ use of sanitation facilities. We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 60 primary schools in Nyanza Province, Kenya, using structured observations to measure facility conditions and pupils’ use [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to quantify how school sanitation conditions are associated with pupils’ use of sanitation facilities. We conducted a longitudinal assessment in 60 primary schools in Nyanza Province, Kenya, using structured observations to measure facility conditions and pupils’ use at specific facilities. We used multivariable mixed regression models to characterize how pupil to toilet ratio was associated with toilet use at the school-level and also how facility conditions were associated with pupils’ use at specific facilities. We found a piecewise linear relationship between decreasing pupil to toilet ratio and increasing pupil toilet use (p < 0.01). Our data also revealed significant associations between toilet use and newer facility age (p < 0.01), facility type (p < 0.01), and the number of toilets in a facility (p < 0.01). We found some evidence suggesting facility dirtiness may deter girls from use (p = 0.06), but not boys (p = 0.98). Our study is the first to rigorously quantify many of these relationships, and provides insight into the complexity of factors affecting pupil toilet use patterns, potentially leading to a better allocation of resources for school sanitation, and to improved health and educational outcomes for children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Initial Steps for Quality Improvement of Obesity Care Across Divisions at a Tertiary Care Pediatric Hospital
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9680-9693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909680 - 17 Sep 2014
Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Background: Pediatric subspecialists can participate in the care of obese children. Objective: To describe steps to help subspecialty providers initiate quality improvement efforts in obesity care. Methods: An anonymous patient data download, provider surveys and interviews assessed subspecialty providers’ identification and perspectives of [...] Read more.
Background: Pediatric subspecialists can participate in the care of obese children. Objective: To describe steps to help subspecialty providers initiate quality improvement efforts in obesity care. Methods: An anonymous patient data download, provider surveys and interviews assessed subspecialty providers’ identification and perspectives of childhood obesity and gathered information on perceived roles and care strategies. Participating divisions received summary analyses of quantitative and qualitative data and met with study leaders to develop visions for division/service-specific care improvement. Results: Among 13 divisions/services, subspecialists’ perceived role varied by specialty; many expressed the need for cross-collaboration. All survey informants agreed that identification was the first step, and expressed interest in obtaining additional resources to improve care. Conclusions: Subspecialists were interested in improving the quality and coordination of obesity care for patients across our tertiary care setting. Developing quality improvement projects to achieve greater pediatric obesity care goals starts with engagement of providers toward better identifying and managing childhood obesity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Combination Effects of (Tri)Azole Fungicides on Hormone Production and Xenobiotic Metabolism in a Human Placental Cell Line
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9660-9679; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909660 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2879
Abstract
Consumers are exposed to multiple residues of different pesticides via the diet. Therefore, EU legislation for pesticides requires the evaluation of single active substances as well as the consideration of combination effects. Hence the analysis of combined effects of substances in a broad [...] Read more.
Consumers are exposed to multiple residues of different pesticides via the diet. Therefore, EU legislation for pesticides requires the evaluation of single active substances as well as the consideration of combination effects. Hence the analysis of combined effects of substances in a broad dose range represents a key challenge to current experimental and regulatory toxicology. Here we report evidence for additive effects for (tri)azole fungicides, a widely used group of antifungal agents, in the human placental cell line Jeg-3. In addition to the triazoles cyproconazole, epoxiconazole, flusilazole and tebuconazole and the azole fungicide prochloraz also pesticides from other chemical classes assumed to act via different modes of action (i.e., the organophosphate chlorpyrifos and the triazinylsulfonylurea herbicide triflusulfuron-methyl) were investigated. Endpoints analysed include synthesis of steroid hormone production (progesterone and estradiol) and gene expression of steroidogenic and non-steroidogenic cytochrome-P-450 (CYP) enzymes. For the triazoles and prochloraz, a dose dependent inhibition of progesterone production was observed and additive effects could be confirmed for several combinations of these substances in vitro. The non-triazoles chlorpyrifos and triflusulfuron-methyl did not affect this endpoint and, in line with this finding, no additivity was observed when these substances were applied in mixtures with prochloraz. While prochloraz slightly increased aromatase expression and estradiol production and triflusulfuron-methyl decreased estradiol production, none of the other substances had effects on the expression levels of steroidogenic CYP-enzymes in Jeg-3 cells. For some triazoles, prochloraz and chlorpyrifos a significant induction of CYP1A1 mRNA expression and potential combination effects for this endpoint were observed. Inhibition of CYP1A1 mRNA induction by the AhR inhibitor CH223191 indicated AhR receptor dependence this effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of an Intermediate-Frequency Magnetic Field of 23 kHz at 2 mT on Chemotaxis and Phagocytosis in Neutrophil-Like Differentiated Human HL-60 Cells
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9649-9659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909649 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2267
Abstract
Public concerns about potential health risks of intermediate-frequency (IF) electromagnetic fields are increasing, especially as the use of induction-heating cooktops has spread extensively in Japan and Europe. In order to investigate the properties of IF electromagnetic fields, we examined the effect of exposure [...] Read more.
Public concerns about potential health risks of intermediate-frequency (IF) electromagnetic fields are increasing, especially as the use of induction-heating cooktops has spread extensively in Japan and Europe. In order to investigate the properties of IF electromagnetic fields, we examined the effect of exposure to a 23-kHz IF magnetic field of 2 mT for 2, 3, or 4 h on neutrophil chemotaxis and phagocytosis using differentiated human HL-60 cells. Compared with sham exposure, exposure to the IF magnetic field had no effect on neutrophil chemotaxis or phagocytosis. Previous studies demonstrated that exposure to a 23-kHz IF magnetic field of 2 mT (about 74-times the maximum value recommended by the International Commission for Nonionizing Radiation Protection guidelines) may affect the first-line immune responses in humans. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the effects of IF magnetic fields on cellular immune responses. We found that exposure to an IF magnetic field of 2 mT has minimal if any effect on either the chemotaxis or phagocytic activity of neutrophil-like human HL-60 cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Shisha (Waterpipe) Smoking on Lung Functions and Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) among Saudi Young Adult Shisha Smokers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9638-9648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909638 - 17 Sep 2014
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2712
Abstract
Shisha (waterpipe) smoking is becoming a more prevalent form of tobacco consumption, and is growing worldwide, particularly among the young generation in the Middle East. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the effects of shisha smoking on lung functions and Fractional Exhaled Nitric [...] Read more.
Shisha (waterpipe) smoking is becoming a more prevalent form of tobacco consumption, and is growing worldwide, particularly among the young generation in the Middle East. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the effects of shisha smoking on lung functions and Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) among Saudi young adults. We recruited 146 apparently healthy male subjects (73 control and 73 shisha smokers). The exposed group consisted of male shisha smokers, with mean age 21.54 ± 0.41 (mean ± SEM) range 17–33 years. The control group consisted of similar number (73) of non-smokers with mean age 21.36 ± 0.19 (mean ± SEM) range 18–28 years. Between the groups we considered the factors like age, height, weight, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic status to estimate the impact of shisha smoking on lung function and fractional exhaled nitric oxide. Lung function test was performed by using an Spirovit-SP-1 Electronic Spirometer. Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) was measured by using Niox Mino. A significant decrease in lung function parameters FEV1, FEV1/FVC Ratio, FEF-25%, FEF-50%, FEF-75% and FEF-75–85% was found among shisha smokers relative to their control group. There was also a significant reduction in the Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide among Shisha smokers compared to control group. Full article
Open AccessReview
When Neurons Encounter Nanoobjects: Spotlight on Calcium Signalling
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9621-9637; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909621 - 16 Sep 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2796
Abstract
Nanosized objects are increasingly present in everyday life and in specialized technological applications. In recent years, as a consequence of concern about their potential adverse effects, intense research effort has led to a better understanding of the physicochemical properties that underlie their biocompatibility [...] Read more.
Nanosized objects are increasingly present in everyday life and in specialized technological applications. In recent years, as a consequence of concern about their potential adverse effects, intense research effort has led to a better understanding of the physicochemical properties that underlie their biocompatibility or potential toxicity, setting the basis for a rational approach to their use in the different fields of application. Among the functional parameters that can be perturbed by interaction between nanoparticles (NPs) and living structures, calcium homeostasis is one of the key players and has been actively investigated. One of the most relevant biological targets is represented by the nervous system (NS), since it has been shown that these objects can access the NS through several pathways; moreover, engineered nanoparticles are increasingly developed to be used for imaging and drug delivery in the NS. In neurons, calcium homeostasis is tightly regulated through a complex set of mechanisms controlling both calcium increases and recovery to the basal levels, and even minor perturbations can have severe consequences on neuronal viability and function, such as excitability and synaptic transmission. In this review, we will focus on the available knowledge about the effects of NPs on the mechanisms controlling calcium signalling and homeostasis in neurons. We have taken into account the data related to environmental NPs, and, in more detail, studies employing engineered NPs, since their more strictly controlled chemical and physical properties allow a better understanding of the relevant parameters that determine the biological responses they elicit. The literature on this specific subject is all quite recent, and we have based the review on the data present in papers dealing strictly with nanoparticles and calcium signals in neuronal cells; while they presently amount to about 20 papers, and no related review is available, the field is rapidly growing and some relevant information is already available. A few general findings can be summarized: most NPs interfere with neuronal calcium homeostasis by interactions at the plasmamembrane, and not following their internalization; influx from the extracellular medium is the main mechanism involved; the effects are dependent in a complex way from concentration, size and surface properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrafine Particles and Potential Health Effects)
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Open AccessArticle
Health Consequence Scales for Use in Health Impact Assessments of Climate Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9607-9620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909607 - 16 Sep 2014
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2992
Abstract
While health impact assessment (HIA) has typically been applied to projects, plans or policies, it has significant potential with regard to strategic considerations of major health issues facing society such as climate change. Given the complexity of climate change, assessing health impacts presents [...] Read more.
While health impact assessment (HIA) has typically been applied to projects, plans or policies, it has significant potential with regard to strategic considerations of major health issues facing society such as climate change. Given the complexity of climate change, assessing health impacts presents new challenges that may require different approaches compared to traditional applications of HIA. This research focuses on the development of health consequence scales suited to assessing and comparing health effects associated with climate change and applied within a HIA framework. This assists in setting priorities for adaptation plans to minimize the public health impacts of climate change. The scales presented in this paper were initially developed for a HIA of climate change in Perth in 2050, but they can be applied across spatial and temporal scales. The design is based on a health effects pyramid with health measures expressed in orders of magnitude and linked to baseline population and health data. The health consequence measures are combined with a measure of likelihood to determine the level of risk associated with each health potential health impact. In addition, a simple visual framework that can be used to collate, compare and communicate the level of health risks associated with climate change has been developed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Impact Assessment: Realizing Its Potential)
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Open AccessArticle
Association Between Waist-to-Height Ratio, Isolated and Combined Morbidities and C-Reactive Protein in the Elderly: A Clinical-Epidemiological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9595-9606; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909595 - 16 Sep 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze the association between waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the elderly (considering their most prevalent morbidities and lifestyles), to investigate the relationship between this anthropometric index and the presence of the most prevalent [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze the association between waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) in the elderly (considering their most prevalent morbidities and lifestyles), to investigate the relationship between this anthropometric index and the presence of the most prevalent morbidities (isolated or combined), and to identify which morbidities (analyzed individually) would have greater associations with WHtR. This cross-sectional population-based epidemiological study of a stratified sampling comprised 170 elderly individuals between 60 and 90 years of age (both genders). Home visits were used to administer questionnaires and to perform anthropometric measurements and blood collection. The mean patient age was younger than 70 years, with women comprising the majority (69.41%) and with 90% of the patients presenting with inadequate WHtR. Hypertension was the most prevalent morbidity in this cohort (58.52%), and when analyzed in combination, hypertension plus obesity were the most frequently diagnosed morbidities (17.65%). Obesity, which was among the most prevalent comorbidities, was the only comorbidity combined with WHtR (p = 0.0019). Individuals with no morbidities had lower mean WHtR values compared with individuals with at least one morbidity (p = 0.0075). In the multiple linear regression model, it was identified that when individuals had one or more of the most prevalent comorbidities, the mean WHtR increased by 0.0415 (p = 0.0065). A correlation between WHtR and CRP (p = 0.0379) was also verified. Based on the relationships observed between WHtR (isolated or in combination, data unpublished) and CRP among the elderly, WHtR may represent a screening tool because it is a simple and effective anthropometric index. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Approach to Assess Exposure and Health-Risk from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in a Fastener Manufacturing Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9578-9594; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909578 - 15 Sep 2014
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2633
Abstract
An integrated approach was developed to assess exposure and health-risk from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in oil mists in a fastener manufacturing industry. One previously developed model and one new model were adopted for predicting oil mist exposure concentrations emitted from metal [...] Read more.
An integrated approach was developed to assess exposure and health-risk from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) contained in oil mists in a fastener manufacturing industry. One previously developed model and one new model were adopted for predicting oil mist exposure concentrations emitted from metal work fluid (MWF) and PAHs contained in MWF by using the fastener production rate (Pr) and cumulative fastener production rate (CPr) as predictors, respectively. By applying the annual Pr and CPr records to the above two models, long-term workplace PAH exposure concentrations were predicted. In addition, true exposure data was also collected from the field. The predicted and measured concentrations respectively served as the prior and likelihood distributions in the Bayesian decision analysis (BDA), and the resultant posterior distributions were used to determine the long-term exposure and health-risks posed on workers. Results show that long term exposures to PAHs would result in a 3.1%, 96.7%, and 73.4% chance of exceeding the PEL-TWA (0.2 mg/m3), action level (0.1 mg/m3), and acceptable health risk (10−3), respectively. In conclusion, preventive measures should be taken immediately to reduce workers’ PAH exposures. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Exposure Metrics for Traffic-Related Air Pollutants: Application to Epidemiology Studies in Detroit, Michigan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9553-9577; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909553 - 15 Sep 2014
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 3955
Abstract
Vehicles are major sources of air pollutant emissions, and individuals living near large roads endure high exposures and health risks associated with traffic-related air pollutants. Air pollution epidemiology, health risk, environmental justice, and transportation planning studies would all benefit from an improved understanding [...] Read more.
Vehicles are major sources of air pollutant emissions, and individuals living near large roads endure high exposures and health risks associated with traffic-related air pollutants. Air pollution epidemiology, health risk, environmental justice, and transportation planning studies would all benefit from an improved understanding of the key information and metrics needed to assess exposures, as well as the strengths and limitations of alternate exposure metrics. This study develops and evaluates several metrics for characterizing exposure to traffic-related air pollutants for the 218 residential locations of participants in the NEXUS epidemiology study conducted in Detroit (MI, USA). Exposure metrics included proximity to major roads, traffic volume, vehicle mix, traffic density, vehicle exhaust emissions density, and pollutant concentrations predicted by dispersion models. Results presented for each metric include comparisons of exposure distributions, spatial variability, intraclass correlation, concordance and discordance rates, and overall strengths and limitations. While showing some agreement, the simple categorical and proximity classifications (e.g., high diesel/low diesel traffic roads and distance from major roads) do not reflect the range and overlap of exposures seen in the other metrics. Information provided by the traffic density metric, defined as the number of kilometers traveled (VKT) per day within a 300 m buffer around each home, was reasonably consistent with the more sophisticated metrics. Dispersion modeling provided spatially- and temporally-resolved concentrations, along with apportionments that separated concentrations due to traffic emissions and other sources. While several of the exposure metrics showed broad agreement, including traffic density, emissions density and modeled concentrations, these alternatives still produced exposure classifications that differed for a substantial fraction of study participants, e.g., from 20% to 50% of homes, depending on the metric, would be incorrectly classified into “low”, “medium” or “high” traffic exposure classes. These and other results suggest the potential for exposure misclassification and the need for refined and validated exposure metrics. While data and computational demands for dispersion modeling of traffic emissions are non-trivial concerns, once established, dispersion modeling systems can provide exposure information for both on- and near-road environments that would benefit future traffic-related assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution Modeling)
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Open AccessArticle
Differences in Health Symptoms among Residents Living Near Illegal Dump Sites in Los Laureles Canyon, Tijuana, Mexico: A Cross Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9532-9552; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909532 - 15 Sep 2014
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2474
Abstract
Living near landfills is a known health hazard prompting recognition of environmental injustice. The study aim was to compare self-reported symptoms of ill health among residents of four neighborhoods, living in haphazardly constructed settlements surrounded by illegal dumpsites in Tijuana, Mexico. One adult [...] Read more.
Living near landfills is a known health hazard prompting recognition of environmental injustice. The study aim was to compare self-reported symptoms of ill health among residents of four neighborhoods, living in haphazardly constructed settlements surrounded by illegal dumpsites in Tijuana, Mexico. One adult from each of 388 households located in Los Laureles Canyon were interviewed about demographics, health status, and symptoms. Distance from each residence to both the nearest dumpsite and the canyon bottom was assessed. The neighborhoods were selected from locations within the canyon, and varied with respect to proximity to dump sites. Residents of San Bernardo reported significantly higher frequencies of ill-health symptoms than the other neighborhoods, including extreme fatigue (OR 3.01 (95% CI 1.6–5.5)), skin problems/irritations (OR 2.73 (95% CI 1.3–5.9)), stomach discomfort (OR 2.47 (1.3–4.8)), eye irritation/tears (OR 2.02 (1.2–3.6)), and confusion/difficulty concentrating (OR 2.39 (1.2–4.8)). Proximity to dumpsites did not explain these results, that varied only slightly when adjusted for distance to nearest dumpsite or distance to the canyon bottom. Because San Bernardo has no paved roads, we hypothesize that dust and the toxicants it carries is a possible explanation for this difference. Studies are needed to further document this association and sources of toxicants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Barriers to Cessation among Arab American Smokers of Cigarettes and Waterpipe
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9522-9531; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909522 - 15 Sep 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2144
Abstract
This cross-sectional study examined the differences in barriers to cessation and reasons for quitting smoking among dual smokers of cigarettes and waterpipe tobacco, exclusive cigarette smokers and exclusive waterpipe smokers. Participants were Arab American adults residing in Richmond, Virginia, who were recruited from [...] Read more.
This cross-sectional study examined the differences in barriers to cessation and reasons for quitting smoking among dual smokers of cigarettes and waterpipe tobacco, exclusive cigarette smokers and exclusive waterpipe smokers. Participants were Arab American adults residing in Richmond, Virginia, who were recruited from Middle Eastern grocery stores, restaurants/lounges and faith and charity organizations. The study yielded several key findings: (1) Exclusive cigarette and waterpipe smokers had similar mean barriers to quitting and were more concerned about their health than dual smokers. (F(2, 150) = 5.594, p = 0.0045). This implies that barriers to smoking and health concerns could be a function of the individual who smokes rather than the modality of smoking itself. (2) Exclusive cigarette or waterpipe smokers and dual smokers may have different reasons for quitting, since they have different reasons for smoking. The proportion of smokers who endorsed smoking as a messy habit as the reason among exclusive cigarette smokers was 0.37, whereas the proportion among exclusive waterpipe smokers was 0.04 and among dual smokers 0.39. The difference in proportions is significant, χ2 (df = 2, N = 154) = 13.17, p = 0.0014. In summary, this study supports the need to further investigate dual cigarette and waterpipe smokers, as the study results indicate greater barriers to smoking cessation in this group. Recognition and understanding of these barriers among dual tobacco users would be important for any future tobacco intervention among waterpipe smokers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control)
Open AccessArticle
Acculturation and Depressive Symptoms among Turkish Immigrants in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9503-9521; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909503 - 12 Sep 2014
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 4512
Abstract
The present study explores the impact of acculturation on depressive symptoms among Turkish immigrants in Germany, taking into account different dimensions of cultural orientation. A total of 471 patients from two selected samples (254 primary care patients and 217 outpatients of a psychosomatic [...] Read more.
The present study explores the impact of acculturation on depressive symptoms among Turkish immigrants in Germany, taking into account different dimensions of cultural orientation. A total of 471 patients from two selected samples (254 primary care patients and 217 outpatients of a psychosomatic department) participated. Levels of acculturation were measured as orientation towards culture of origin (CO), and orientation towards the host culture (HC). Acculturation strategies (integration, assimilation, separation, and marginalization) were also assessed as well as their association with depressive symptoms (BDI). Furthermore, gender- and migration-related differences in terms of acculturation and levels of depressive symptomatology were analyzed. Integration was the acculturation strategy associated with the lowest level of depressive symptoms (M = 14.6, SD = 11.9), while marginalization was associated with the highest (M = 23.5, SD = 14.7). Gender was not found to have a significant impact on acculturation but influenced depressive symptoms, with women (M = 21.8, SD = 13.3) reporting higher levels of depressive symptomatology than men (M = 15.1, SD = 14.0; p < 0.001). In first generation immigrants, significantly higher CO (M = 46.6, SD = 8.3; p < 0.001), lower HC (M = 31.0, SD = 9.6; p < 0.001), and higher levels of depressive symptoms (M = 20.2, SD = 14.1; p < 0.001) were found in comparison to second generation immigrants (CO: M = 41.3, SD = 7.4; HC: M = 36.2, SD = 8.8; depressive symptoms: M = 14.0, SD = 12.9). Our results suggest that orientation towards both the heritage and the host culture has a positive effect on the mental health status of immigrants. Future research needs to include representative samples of migrants from different cultures to further explore the association between acculturation and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Increased NQO1 but Not c-MET and Survivin Expression in Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma with KRAS Mutations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9491-9502; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909491 - 12 Sep 2014
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3526
Abstract
Cigarette smoking is one of the most significant public health issues and the most common environmental cause of preventable cancer deaths worldwide. EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor)-targeted therapy has been used in the treatment of LC (lung cancer), mainly caused by the carcinogens [...] Read more.
Cigarette smoking is one of the most significant public health issues and the most common environmental cause of preventable cancer deaths worldwide. EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor)-targeted therapy has been used in the treatment of LC (lung cancer), mainly caused by the carcinogens in cigarette smoke, with variable success. Presence of mutations in the KRAS (Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog) driver oncogene may confer worse prognosis and resistance to treatment for reasons not fully understood. NQO1 (NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase), also known as DT-diaphorase, is a major regulator of oxidative stress and activator of mitomycins, compounds that have been targeted in over 600 pre-clinical trials for treatment of LC. We sequenced KRAS and investigated expression of NQO1 and five clinically relevant proteins (DNMT1, DNMT3a, ERK1/2, c-MET, and survivin) in 108 patients with non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). NQO1, ERK1/2, DNMT1, and DNMT3a but not c-MET and survivin expression was significantly more frequent in patients with KRAS mutations than those without, suggesting the following: (1) oxidative stress may play an important role in the pathogenesis, worse prognosis, and resistance to treatment reported in NSCLC patients with KRAS mutations, (2) selecting patients based on their KRAS mutational status for future clinical trials may increase success rate, and (3) since oxidation of nucleotides also specifically induces transversion mutations, the high rate of KRAS transversions in lung cancer patients may partly be due to the increased oxidative stress in addition to the known carcinogens in cigarette smoke. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Monitoring of the Environment at the Transplant Unit—Hemato-Oncology Clinic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9480-9490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909480 - 12 Sep 2014
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2040
Abstract
Aims: Aim of this study was to monitor the environment at the Transplant Unit—Hemato-Oncology Clinic, University Hospital Olomouc (Olomouc, Czech Republic) and identify risks for the patients. Methods and Results: Microorganisms were cultivated under standard aerobic conditions. Strains were biochemically identified [...] Read more.
Aims: Aim of this study was to monitor the environment at the Transplant Unit—Hemato-Oncology Clinic, University Hospital Olomouc (Olomouc, Czech Republic) and identify risks for the patients. Methods and Results: Microorganisms were cultivated under standard aerobic conditions. Strains were biochemically identified using the BD Phoenix™ PID Panel (USA). Legionella pneumophila was identified by DNA sequencing. From the air, the most frequently isolated strains were coagulase-negative staphylococci (94.3%), Micrococcus spp. and Bacillus spp. No Gram-negative strains were isolated from the air. From the surfaces, the most frequently isolated Gram-positive strains were coagulase-negative staphylococci (67.4%), Bacillus spp., enterococci (5.5%), Staphylococcus aureus (2.3%) and Micrococcus spp. (1.7%). From the surfaces, the most frequently isolated Gram-negative strains were from genera Pseudomonas (28%), Enterobacter (28%), E. coli (6%), and Klebsiella spp. (5%). From the personnel, the most frequently isolated Gram-positive strains were coagulase-negative staphylococci (59.6%), Bacillus spp. (24.1%) and Staphylococcus aureus (9.8%). From the personnel, the most frequently isolated Gram-negative strains were Enterobacter spp. (61%), Klebsiella oxytoca (18%), and E. coli (11%). Microscopic filamentous fungi were isolated in 13 cases (2.71%). Isolated strains were Aspergillus spp. (4), Trichoderma spp. (2), Penicillium spp. (2), one case of the strains Paecilomyces spp., Eurotium spp., Monilia spp. Conclusions: The study found no significant deviations in the microbial contamination of the cleanroom air. The personnel entrance of the Transplant Unit represent a high risk area, an extreme value (7270 CFU/m3) was recorded. Regime measures are fully effective, no other deficiencies were found. Significance and Impact of the Study: This epidemiological study, which was held for the duration of one year at the Transplant Unit—Hemato-Oncology Clinic, University Hospital Olomouc. The study monitored microbial contamination of the cleanroom air, surfaces, water, colonization of the personnel by bacterial strains of epidemiological consequence. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
EMF Monitoring—Concepts, Activities, Gaps and Options
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(9), 9460-9479; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110909460 - 11 Sep 2014
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is a cause of concern for many people. The topic will likely remain for the foreseeable future on the scientific and political agenda, since emissions continue to change in characteristics and levels due to new infrastructure deployments, smart [...] Read more.
Exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is a cause of concern for many people. The topic will likely remain for the foreseeable future on the scientific and political agenda, since emissions continue to change in characteristics and levels due to new infrastructure deployments, smart environments and novel wireless devices. Until now, systematic and coordinated efforts to monitor EMF exposure are rare. Furthermore, virtually nothing is known about personal exposure levels. This lack of knowledge is detrimental for any evidence-based risk, exposure and health policy, management and communication. The main objective of the paper is to review the current state of EMF exposure monitoring activities in Europe, to comment on the scientific challenges and deficiencies, and to describe appropriate strategies and tools for EMF exposure assessment and monitoring to be used to support epidemiological health research and to help policy makers, administrators, industry and consumer representatives to base their decisions and communication activities on facts and data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electromagnetic Fields and Health)
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