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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 12, Issue 12 (December 2015)

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Open AccessArticle
Views from the Coalface: What Do English Stop Smoking Service Personnel Think about E-Cigarettes?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16157-16167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215048 - 21 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3530
Abstract
The UK Stop Smoking Services (SSS) are a source of information and advice on e-cigarettes for smokers and thus it is important to understand the knowledge of, and attitudes towards, e-cigarettes held by stop smoking practitioners. The datasets were English SSS quarterly monitoring [...] Read more.
The UK Stop Smoking Services (SSS) are a source of information and advice on e-cigarettes for smokers and thus it is important to understand the knowledge of, and attitudes towards, e-cigarettes held by stop smoking practitioners. The datasets were English SSS quarterly monitoring returns (n = 207,883) and an online survey of English SSS practitioners, managers, and commissioners between 26th November and 15th December 2014 (n = 1801). SSS monitoring data suggested 2% of clients were using e-cigarettes to quit with SSS and that clients using e-cigarettes had similar quit rates to clients using Varenicline. Most SSS personnel are waiting for licenced e-cigarettes to become available before they will recommend them to clients. However, less than a quarter view e-cigarettes as “a good thing”. Managers and commissioners were more positive than practitioners. SSS personnel working for the NHS (hospitals and GP surgeries) were less positive about e-cigarettes than those employed elsewhere. E-cigarettes were cited as the most important reason for the recent decline in service footfall. Thus dissemination of information about e-cigarettes needs to be examined and services should address their stance on e-cigarettes with some urgency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control 2015)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Extreme Temperatures on Cause-Specific Cardiovascular Mortality in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16136-16156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215042 - 21 Dec 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2322
Abstract
Objective: Limited evidence is available for the effects of extreme temperatures on cause-specific cardiovascular mortality in China. Methods: We collected data from Beijing and Shanghai, China, during 2007–2009, including the daily mortality of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and [...] Read more.
Objective: Limited evidence is available for the effects of extreme temperatures on cause-specific cardiovascular mortality in China. Methods: We collected data from Beijing and Shanghai, China, during 2007–2009, including the daily mortality of cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and hypertensive disease, as well as air pollution concentrations and weather conditions. We used Poisson regression with a distributed lag non-linear model to examine the effects of extremely high and low ambient temperatures on cause-specific cardiovascular mortality. Results: For all cause-specific cardiovascular mortality, Beijing had stronger cold and hot effects than those in Shanghai. The cold effects on cause-specific cardiovascular mortality reached the strongest at lag 0–27, while the hot effects reached the strongest at lag 0–14. The effects of extremely low and high temperatures differed by mortality types in the two cities. Hypertensive disease in Beijing was particularly susceptible to both extremely high and low temperatures; while for Shanghai, people with ischemic heart disease showed the greatest relative risk (RRs = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.34) to extremely low temperature. Conclusion: People with hypertensive disease were particularly susceptible to extremely low and high temperatures in Beijing. People with ischemic heart disease in Shanghai showed greater susceptibility to extremely cold days. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Temporal Association between Accumulated Petrol (Gasoline) Lead Emissions and Motor Neuron Disease in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16124-16135; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215047 - 19 Dec 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3955
Abstract
Background: The age standardised death rate from motor neuron disease (MND) has increased from 1.29 to 2.74 per 100,000, an increase of 112.4% between 1959 and 2013. It is clear that genetics could not have played a causal role in the increased rate [...] Read more.
Background: The age standardised death rate from motor neuron disease (MND) has increased from 1.29 to 2.74 per 100,000, an increase of 112.4% between 1959 and 2013. It is clear that genetics could not have played a causal role in the increased rate of MND deaths over such a short time span. We postulate that environmental factors are responsible for this rate increase. We focus on lead additives in Australian petrol as a possible contributing environmental factor. Methods: The associations between historical petrol lead emissions and MND death trends in Australia between 1962 and 2013 were examined using linear regressions. Results: Regression results indicate best fit correlations between a 20 year lag of petrol lead emissions and age-standardised female death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 4.88 × 10−23), male age standardised death rate (R2 = 0.86, p = 9.4 × 10−23) and percent all cause death attributed to MND (R2 = 0.98, p = 2.6 × 10−44). Conclusion: Legacy petrol lead emissions are associated with increased MND death trends in Australia. Further examination of the 20 year lag between exposure to petrol lead and the onset of MND is warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lead: Risk Assessment and Health Effects)
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Open AccessArticle
A Spatial Framework to Map Heat Health Risks at Multiple Scales
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16110-16123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215046 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 3313
Abstract
In the last few decades extreme heat events have led to substantial excess mortality, most dramatically in Central Europe in 2003, in Russia in 2010, and even in typically cool locations such as Vancouver, Canada, in 2009. Heat-related morbidity and mortality is expected [...] Read more.
In the last few decades extreme heat events have led to substantial excess mortality, most dramatically in Central Europe in 2003, in Russia in 2010, and even in typically cool locations such as Vancouver, Canada, in 2009. Heat-related morbidity and mortality is expected to increase over the coming centuries as the result of climate-driven global increases in the severity and frequency of extreme heat events. Spatial information on heat exposure and population vulnerability may be combined to map the areas of highest risk and focus mitigation efforts there. However, a mismatch in spatial resolution between heat exposure and vulnerability data can cause spatial scale issues such as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP). We used a raster-based model to integrate heat exposure and vulnerability data in a multi-criteria decision analysis, and compared it to the traditional vector-based model. We then used the Getis-Ord Gi index to generate spatially smoothed heat risk hotspot maps from fine to coarse spatial scales. The raster-based model allowed production of maps at spatial resolution, more description of local-scale heat risk variability, and identification of heat-risk areas not identified with the vector-based approach. Spatial smoothing with the Getis-Ord Gi index produced heat risk hotspots from local to regional spatial scale. The approach is a framework for reducing spatial scale issues in future heat risk mapping, and for identifying heat risk hotspots at spatial scales ranging from the block-level to the municipality level. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Classifying Natural Waters with the Forel-Ule Colour Index System: Results, Applications, Correlations and Crowdsourcing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16096-16109; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215044 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3441
Abstract
Societal awareness of changes in the environment and climate has grown rapidly, and there is a need to engage citizens in gathering relevant scientific information to monitor environmental changes due to recognition that citizens are a potential source of critical information. The apparent [...] Read more.
Societal awareness of changes in the environment and climate has grown rapidly, and there is a need to engage citizens in gathering relevant scientific information to monitor environmental changes due to recognition that citizens are a potential source of critical information. The apparent colour of natural waters is one aspect of our aquatic environment that is easy to detect and an essential complementary optical water quality indicator. Here we present the results and explore the utility of the Forel-Ule colour index (FUI) scale as a proxy for different properties of natural waters. A FUI scale is used to distinguish the apparent colours of different natural surface water masses. Correlation analysis was completed in an effort to determine the constituents of natural waters related to FUI. Strong correlations with turbidity, Secchi-disk depth, and coloured dissolved organic material suggest the FUI is a good indicator of changes related to other constituents of water. The increase in the number of tools capable of determining the FUI colours, (i) ocean colour remote sensing products; (ii) a handheld scale; and (iii) a mobile device app, make it a versatile relative measure of water quality. It has the potential to provide higher spatial and temporal resolution of data for a modernized classification of optical water quality. This FUI colour system has been favoured by several scientists in the last century because it is affordable and easy to use and provides indicative information about the colour of water and the water constituents producing that colour. It is therefore within the scope of a growing interest in the application and usefulness of basic measurement methodologies with the potential to provide timely benchmark information about the environment to the public, scientists and policymakers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Anthropometric Status and Nutritional Intake in Children (6–9 Years) in Valencia (Spain): The ANIVA Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16082-16095; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215045 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2150
Abstract
The aim of our study was to assess nutritional intake and anthropometric statuses in schoolchildren to subsequently determine nutritional adequacy with Spanish Dietary Reference Intake (DRIs). The ANIVA study, a descriptive cross-sectional study, was conducted in 710 schoolchildren (6–9 years) in 2013–2014 in [...] Read more.
The aim of our study was to assess nutritional intake and anthropometric statuses in schoolchildren to subsequently determine nutritional adequacy with Spanish Dietary Reference Intake (DRIs). The ANIVA study, a descriptive cross-sectional study, was conducted in 710 schoolchildren (6–9 years) in 2013–2014 in Valencia (Spain). Children’s dietary intake was measured using 3-day food records, completed by parents. Anthropometric measures (weight and height) were measured according to international standards, and BMI-for-age was calculated and converted into z-scores by WHO-Anthro for age and sex. Nutrient adequacy was assessed using DRI based on estimated average requirement (EAR) or adequate intake (AI). Pearson’s chi-square and Student’s t-test were employed. Of our study group (47.61% boys, 52.39% girls), 53.1% were normoweight and the weight of 46.9% was inadequate; of these, 38.6% had excess body weight (19.6% overweight and 19.0% obesity). We found intakes were lower for biotin, fiber, fluoride, vitamin D (p < 0.016), zinc, iodine, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium and iron (p < 0.017), and higher for lipids, proteins and cholesterol. Our results identify better nutritional adequacy to Spanish recommendations in overweight children. Our findings suggest that nutritional intervention and educational strategies are needed to promote healthy eating in these children and nutritional adequacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
A Survey of 42 Semi-Volatile Organic Contaminants in Groundwater along the Grand Canal from Hangzhou to Beijing, East China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16070-16081; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215043 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2091
Abstract
The status of organic pollution in groundwater in eastern China along the Grand Canal from Hangzhou to Beijing was evaluated. Forty-two semi-volatile organic contaminants were analyzed, including 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 12 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and seven organophosphorus [...] Read more.
The status of organic pollution in groundwater in eastern China along the Grand Canal from Hangzhou to Beijing was evaluated. Forty-two semi-volatile organic contaminants were analyzed, including 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), seven polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 12 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and seven organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs). Among the detected contaminants, PAHs were the most widespread compounds. One PCB and six OCPs were detected in the groundwater samples, but none of the target OPPs was detected. The total concentration of the 16 PAHs ranged from 0.21 to 1006 ng/L, among which phenanthrene (271 ng/L) and fluoranthene (233 ng/L) were present at very high concentrations and naphthalene (32 positive detections in 50 samples) and fluorene (28 detections in 50 samples) were the most frequently detected. Benzo[a]pyrene equivalents indicated a high environmental risk related to PAHs in a few groundwater samples. To identify the possible sources of PAHs, three concentration ratios, low molecular weight PAHs/high molecular weight PAHs, anthracene/(anthracene + phenanthrene) and fluoranthene/(fluoranthene + pyrene), were determined, that indicated that the PAHs mainly originated from mixed sources: pyrolytic and petrogenic sources with different ratios at different sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Dietary Factors and Self-Reported Physical Health in Chinese Scientific Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16060-16069; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215041 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1950
Abstract
Background: Scientific workers play an important role in the development of science and technology. However, evidence is lacking with regard to the associations between their dietary factors and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among [...] Read more.
Background: Scientific workers play an important role in the development of science and technology. However, evidence is lacking with regard to the associations between their dietary factors and their health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 775 scientific workers from multiple universities and institutes in the Southwest region of China. A self-administered food-frequency questionnaire was used to collect the food consumption information, and the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey was used to assess physical HRQOL. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used to identify the factors associated with scientific workers’ HRQOL. Results: Physical HRQOL was negatively associated with age and intake of fresh pork (fat) and animal viscera, whereas consumption of vegetables, fruits, refined cereals and dairy products were positively correlated with physical HRQOL. Participants with daily intake of vegetable oils or mixed oils showed higher physical HRQOL scores than those with intake of animal oils. Conclusions: Dietary habits are closely associated with the physical HRQOL of scientific workers. The dietary patterns that had more vegetables and fruits, less fresh pork (fat) and animal viscera, and used vegetable oils during cooking corresponded to higher physical HRQOL scores. These findings are important for planning dietary strategies to improve physical health in scientific workers. Full article
Open AccessReview
Effectiveness of Interventions to Reduce Tobacco Smoke Pollution in Homes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16043-16059; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215038 - 18 Dec 2015
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 2834
Abstract
Introduction: Smoke-free homes can help protect children from tobacco smoke exposure (TSE). The objective of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to quantify effects of interventions on changes in tobacco smoke pollution in the home, as measured by air nicotine and [...] Read more.
Introduction: Smoke-free homes can help protect children from tobacco smoke exposure (TSE). The objective of this study was to conduct a meta-analysis to quantify effects of interventions on changes in tobacco smoke pollution in the home, as measured by air nicotine and particulate matter (PM). Methods: We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, Web of Science, PsycINFO, and Embase. We included controlled trials of interventions which aimed to help parents protect children from tobacco smoke exposure. Two reviewers identified relevant studies, and three reviewers extracted data. Results: Seven studies were identified. Interventions improved tobacco smoke air pollution in homes as assessed by nicotine or PM. (6 studies, N = 681, p = 0.02). Analyses of air nicotine and PM separately also showed some benefit (Air nicotine: 4 studies, N = 421, p = 0.08; PM: 3 studies, N = 340, p = 0.02). Despite improvements, tobacco smoke pollution was present in homes in all studies at follow-up. Conclusions: Interventions designed to protect children from tobacco smoke are effective in reducing tobacco smoke pollution (as assessed by air nicotine or PM) in homes, but contamination remains. The persistence of significant pollution levels in homes after individual level intervention may signal the need for other population and regulatory measures to help reduce and eliminate childhood tobacco smoke exposure. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Time Perspective and Emotion Regulation as Predictors of Age-Related Subjective Passage of Time
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16027-16042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215034 - 17 Dec 2015
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2729
Abstract
Hardly any empirical work exists concerning the relationship between the intra-individually stable time perspective relating to the past, present, and future and the subjective speed of time passing in everyday life. Moreover, studies consistently show that the subjective passage of time over the [...] Read more.
Hardly any empirical work exists concerning the relationship between the intra-individually stable time perspective relating to the past, present, and future and the subjective speed of time passing in everyday life. Moreover, studies consistently show that the subjective passage of time over the period of the last ten years speeds up as we get older. Modulating variables influencing this phenomenon are still unknown. To investigate these two unresolved issues, we conducted an online survey with n = 423 participants ranging in age between 17 and 81 assessing trait time perspective of the past, present, and future, and relating these subscales with a battery of measures pertaining to the subjective passage of time. Moreover, the subjective passage of time as an age-dependent variable was probed in relationship to emotion awareness, appraisal and regulation. Results show how present hedonism is linked with having fewer routines in life and a faster passage of the last week; the past negative perspective is related to time pressure, time expansion and more routine; a pronounced future perspective is related to a general faster passage of time. Importantly, increased emotion regulation and a balanced time perspective are related to a slower passage of the last ten years. These novel findings are discussed within models of time perception and the time perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aging and Cognition)
Open AccessArticle
Electronic Cigarette Trial and Use among Young Adults: Reasons for Trial and Cessation of Vaping
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16019-16026; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215039 - 17 Dec 2015
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 3244
Abstract
This paper identifies predictors of trial and current use, and reasons for trying and ceasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among young adults, with particular attention to former and never smokers. Data are from a mail survey of a population-based sample of adults [...] Read more.
This paper identifies predictors of trial and current use, and reasons for trying and ceasing use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) among young adults, with particular attention to former and never smokers. Data are from a mail survey of a population-based sample of adults aged 18 to 35 (N = 4740) in three U.S. metropolitan areas. Survey items assessed trial and use of e-cigarettes, cigarette smoking status, and reasons for trial and for ceasing use of e-cigarettes. Almost 23% reported trial of e-cigarettes, and 8.4% reported using them in the past month. Current smokers were much more likely to have tried e-cigarettes (70.2%) than both former (32.3%) and never smokers (7.6%; p < 0.001) and to have used them in the past month (30.8%, 10.1%, 2.0% respectively; p < 0.001). Smoking status and scores on sensation seeking were significant independent predictors of both trial and current use of e-cigarettes. Never-smokers cite curiosity as the reason for trying e-cigarettes and also that their friends used them. The most frequent reason for ceasing use among never and former smokers was health concerns. For virtually none of them were e-cigarettes their first exposure to nicotine. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control 2015)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Pattern Detection of Tuberculosis: A Case Study of Si Sa Ket Province, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 16005-16018; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215040 - 17 Dec 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
This retrospective population-based study was conducted to analyze spatial patterns of tuberculosis (TB) incidence in Si Sa Ket province, Thailand. TB notification data from 2004 to 2008 collected from TB clinics throughout the province was used along with population data to reveal a [...] Read more.
This retrospective population-based study was conducted to analyze spatial patterns of tuberculosis (TB) incidence in Si Sa Ket province, Thailand. TB notification data from 2004 to 2008 collected from TB clinics throughout the province was used along with population data to reveal a descriptive epidemiology of TB incidences. Global clustering patterns of the occurrence were assessed by using global spatial autocorrelation techniques. Additionally, local spatial pattern detection was performed by using local spatial autocorrelation and spatial scan statistic methods. The findings indicated clusters of the disease occurred in the study area. More specifically, significantly high-rate clusters were mostly detected in Mueang Si Sa Ket and Khukhan districts, which are located in the northwestern part of the province, while significantly low-rate clusters were persistent in Kantharalak and Benchalak districts, which are located at the southeastern area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mobile Phone-Based Lifestyle Intervention for Reducing Overall Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Guangzhou, China: A Pilot Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15993-16004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215037 - 17 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2302
Abstract
With the rapid and widespread adoption of mobile devices, mobile phones offer an opportunity to deliver cardiovascular disease (CVD) interventions. This study evaluated the efficacy of a mobile phone-based lifestyle intervention aimed at reducing the overall CVD risk at a health management center [...] Read more.
With the rapid and widespread adoption of mobile devices, mobile phones offer an opportunity to deliver cardiovascular disease (CVD) interventions. This study evaluated the efficacy of a mobile phone-based lifestyle intervention aimed at reducing the overall CVD risk at a health management center in Guangzhou, China. We recruited 589 workers from eight work units. Based on a group-randomized design, work units were randomly assigned either to receive the mobile phone-based lifestyle interventions or usual care. The reduction in 10-year CVD risk at 1-year follow-up for the intervention group was not statistically significant (–1.05%, p = 0.096). However, the mean risk increased significantly by 1.77% (p = 0.047) for the control group. The difference of the changes between treatment arms in CVD risk was –2.83% (p = 0.001). In addition, there were statistically significant changes for the intervention group relative to the controls, from baseline to year 1, in systolic blood pressure (–5.55 vs. 6.89 mmHg; p < 0.001), diastolic blood pressure (–6.61 vs. 5.62 mmHg; p < 0.001), total cholesterol (–0.36 vs. –0.10 mmol/L; p = 0.005), fasting plasma glucose (–0.31 vs. 0.02 mmol/L; p < 0.001), BMI (–0.57 vs. 0.29 kg/m2; p < 0.001), and waist hip ratio (–0.02 vs. 0.01; p < 0.001). Mobile phone-based intervention may therefore be a potential solution for reducing CVD risk in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Eight Functional Polymorphisms and Haplotypes in the Cholesterol Ester Transfer Protein (CETP) Gene and Dyslipidemia in National Minority Adults in the Far West Region of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15979-15992; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215036 - 16 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1796
Abstract
We have investigated the relationship between the polymorphisms and haplotypes in the CETP gene, and dyslipidemia among the Xinjiang Kazak and Uyghur populations in China. A total of 712 patients with dyslipidemia and 764 control subjects of CETP gene polymorphism at rs12149545, rs3764261, [...] Read more.
We have investigated the relationship between the polymorphisms and haplotypes in the CETP gene, and dyslipidemia among the Xinjiang Kazak and Uyghur populations in China. A total of 712 patients with dyslipidemia and 764 control subjects of CETP gene polymorphism at rs12149545, rs3764261, rs1800775, rs711752, rs708272, rs289714, rs5882, and rs1801706 loci were studied by the Snapshot method, linkage disequilibrium analysis and haplotype construction. The results are as follows: (1) the minor allele of eight loci of frequencies in the two groups were different from other results of similar studies in other countries; (2) In the linear regression analysis, the HDL-C levels of rs708272 TT, rs1800775 AA, rs289714 CC and rs711752 AA genotypes were significantly higher than those of other genotypes, however, the rs3764261 GG and rs12149545 GG genotypes were significantly lower than those of other genotypes in the two ethnic groups. The HDL-C levels of the rs12149545 GG genotype were lower than those of other genotypes; (3) in the control group, the rs708272 CT genotype of TG levels were lower than in the CC genotype, the T genotype of LDL-C levels were lower than in the CC genotype, and the HDL-C levels were higher than in the CT genotype; the rs1800775 AC genotype of TG levels were higher than in the AA genotype, the rs711752 AG genotype of TG levels were lower than in the GG genotype, the AA genotype LDL-C levels were lower than in the GG genotype, and the HDL-C levels were higher than in the AG genotype; the rs1800775 AC genotype of TG levels were higher than in the AA genotype. In the dyslipidemia group, the rs708272 TT genotype of TC and LDL-C levels were higher than in the CT genotype and the rs3764261 TT genotype of TC levels were higher than in the GG genotype. The rs711752 AA genotype of TC and LDL-C levels were higher than in the AG genotype, and the rs12149545 AA genotype of TC and LDL-C levels were higher than in the GG genotype; (4) perfect Linkage Disequilibrium was observed for two sets of two SNPs: rs3764261 and rs12149545; rs711752 and rs708272. (5) Using SHEsis software analysis, the five A/T/A/A/T/C/A/G, A/T/A/A/T/T/G/A, G/G/A/G/C/C/G/G, G/G/C/G/C/C/A/G and G/G/C/G/C/T/G/G haplotypes were between dyslipidemia group and control group statistically significantly different (p < 0.05 in each case). The polymorphism of CETP genes rs708272, rs3764261, rs1800775, rs711752, rs12149545 was closely related to the dyslipidemia in the Xinjiang Uyghur and Kazakh ethnic groups; and the rs708272 T, rs3764261 T, rs711752 A, and rs12149545 A alleles could reduce risk of dyslipidemia in the Uyghur and Kazakh populations, however, the rs1800775 C allele showed risk factors. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Lifestyle Factors and Metabolic Syndrome among Workers: The Role of Interactions between Smoking and Alcohol to Nutrition and Exercise
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15967-15978; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215035 - 16 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2340
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate (1) relations of smoking and alcohol to metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components, with nutrition and exercise controlled; and (2) interactions between smoking/alcohol and nutrition/exercise on MetS. This cross-sectional study enrolled 4025 workers. Self-reported lifestyles, anthropometric values, blood [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate (1) relations of smoking and alcohol to metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components, with nutrition and exercise controlled; and (2) interactions between smoking/alcohol and nutrition/exercise on MetS. This cross-sectional study enrolled 4025 workers. Self-reported lifestyles, anthropometric values, blood pressure (BP), and biochemical determinations were obtained. Among males, smoking significantly increased the risk of low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), high triglyceride, abdominal obesity (AO), and MetS. Additionally, smoking showed significant interaction effects with nutrition on high BP, AO, and MetS; after further analysis, nutrition did not decrease above-mentioned risks for smokers. However, there was no significant interaction of smoking with exercise on any metabolic parameter. Alcohol increased the risk of AO, but decreased low HDL-C. It also showed an interaction effect with exercise on AO; after further analysis, exercise decreased AO risk for drinkers. Among females, alcohol significantly decreased the risk of high fasting blood glucose, but did not show significant interaction with nutrition/exercise on any metabolic parameter. In conclusion, in males, smoking retained significant associations with MetS and its components, even considering benefits of nutrition; exercise kept predominance on lipid parameters regardless of smoking status. Alcohol showed inconsistencies on metabolic parameters for both genders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
An Autistic Endophenotype and Testosterone Are Involved in an Atypical Decline in Selective Attention and Visuospatial Processing in Middle-Aged Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15960-15966; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215033 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
Mothers of offspring with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) could present mild forms of their children’s cognitive characteristics, resulting from prenatal brain exposure and sensitivity to testosterone (T). Indeed, their cognition is frequently characterized by hyper-systemizing, outperforming in tests that assess cognitive domains such [...] Read more.
Mothers of offspring with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) could present mild forms of their children’s cognitive characteristics, resulting from prenatal brain exposure and sensitivity to testosterone (T). Indeed, their cognition is frequently characterized by hyper-systemizing, outperforming in tests that assess cognitive domains such as selective attention, and fine motor and visuospatial skills. In the general population, all these start to decline around the mid-forties. This study aimed to characterize whether middle-aged women who are biological mothers of individuals with ASD had better performance in the aforementioned cognitive skills than mothers of normative children (in both groups n = 22; mean age = 45), using the standardized Stroop and mirror-drawing tests. We also examined the role of T in their performance in the aforementioned tests. ASD mothers outperformed controls in both tests, giving more correct answers and making fewer mistakes. In addition, they presented higher T levels, which have been associated with better cognitive performance. Cognitive decline in specific skills with aging could be delayed in these middle-aged women, corresponding to a cognitive endophenotype, T playing an important role in this process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Healthcare and Autism)
Open AccessArticle
Virulence Profiles of Vibrio vulnificus in German Coastal Waters, a Comparison of North Sea and Baltic Sea Isolates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15943-15959; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215031 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2252
Abstract
Vibrio vulnificus is a halophilic bacterium of coastal environments known for sporadically causing severe foodborne or wound infections. Global warming is expected to lead to a rising occurrence of V. vulnificus and an increasing incidence of human infections in Northern Europe. So far, [...] Read more.
Vibrio vulnificus is a halophilic bacterium of coastal environments known for sporadically causing severe foodborne or wound infections. Global warming is expected to lead to a rising occurrence of V. vulnificus and an increasing incidence of human infections in Northern Europe. So far, infections in Germany were exclusively documented for the Baltic Sea coast, while no cases from the North Sea region have been reported. Regional variations in the prevalence of infections may be influenced by differences in the pathogenicity of V. vulnificus populations in both areas. This study aimed to compare the distribution of virulence-associated traits and genotypes among 101 V. vulnificus isolates from the Baltic Sea and North Sea in order to assess their pathogenicity potential. Furthermore, genetic relationships were examined by multilocus sequence typing (MLST). A high diversity of MLST sequences (74 sequence types) and differences regarding the presence of six potential pathogenicity markers were observed in the V. vulnificus populations of both areas. Strains with genotypes and markers associated with pathogenicity are not restricted to a particular geographic region. This indicates that lack of reported cases in the North Sea region is not caused by the absence of potentially pathogenic strains. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Reading Books and Watching Films as a Protective Factor against Suicidal Ideation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15937-15942; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215032 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3052
Abstract
Reading books and watching films were investigated as protective factors for serious suicidal ideation (SSI) in young people with low perceived social belonging. Cross-sectional and longitudinal (12-month) analyses were performed using data from a representative European sample of 3256 students from the “Saving [...] Read more.
Reading books and watching films were investigated as protective factors for serious suicidal ideation (SSI) in young people with low perceived social belonging. Cross-sectional and longitudinal (12-month) analyses were performed using data from a representative European sample of 3256 students from the “Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe” study. Low social belonging was associated to SSI. However, reading books and watching films moderated this association, especially for those with lowest levels of belonging. This was true both at baseline and at 12 months of follow-up analyses. These media may act as sources of social support or mental health literacy and thus reduce the suicide risk constituted by low sense of belonging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention among Youth)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Length of Stay on Smoking among Turkish and Eastern European Immigrants in Germany—Interpretation in the Light of the Smoking Epidemic Model and the Acculturation Theory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15925-15936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215030 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2238
Abstract
Background: We analyzed changes in smoking by length of stay among immigrants in Germany and related them to the “smoking epidemic” model and the acculturation theory. Methods: We used data from a longitudinal survey (German Socio-economic Panel). Immigrants were identified by [...] Read more.
Background: We analyzed changes in smoking by length of stay among immigrants in Germany and related them to the “smoking epidemic” model and the acculturation theory. Methods: We used data from a longitudinal survey (German Socio-economic Panel). Immigrants were identified by country of birth (Turkey: respondents n = 828, observations n = 3871; Eastern Europe: respondents n = 2009, observations n = 7202; non-immigrants: respondents n = 34,011, observations n = 140,701). Smoking status data was available for nine years between 1998 and 2012. Length of stay (LOS, in years) was used as proxy for acculturation. We calculated smoking prevalences, prevalence ratios and a random intercept multilevel logistic regression model. Results: With each year spent in Germany, smoking prevalence increases among Turkish women (OR = 1.14 (95%CI = 1.06–1.21)) and slightly decreases among men. Recently immigrated Turkish women smoke less than non-immigrant women (0–5 years: SPR = 0.25 (95%CI = 0.10–0.57)); prevalences converge with increasing LOS (31+ years: SPR = 1.25 (95%CI = 1.06–1.48)). Among Eastern European immigrants no significant changes were apparent. Conclusions: Immigrants from Turkey “import” their smoking prevalence from a country which is in the earlier stages of the “smoking epidemic”. With increasing LOS (thus, advancing acculturation), they “move” to the later stages. Anti-smoking interventions should consider different smoking attitudes in Turkey/Germany and need to discourage women from initiating smoking. Future research should also identify reasons for the possible differences between immigrant groups. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Active Travel by Built Environment and Lifecycle Stage: Case Study of Osaka Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15900-15924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215027 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2876
Abstract
Active travel can contribute to physical activity achieved over a day. Previous studies have examined active travel associated with trips in various western countries, but few studies have examined this question for the Asian context. Japan has high levels of cycling, walking and [...] Read more.
Active travel can contribute to physical activity achieved over a day. Previous studies have examined active travel associated with trips in various western countries, but few studies have examined this question for the Asian context. Japan has high levels of cycling, walking and public transport, similar to The Netherlands. Most studies have focused either on children or on adults separately, however, having children in a household will change the travel needs and wants of that household. Thus, here a household lifecycle stage approach is applied. Further, unlike many previous studies, the active travel related to public transport is included. Lastly, further to examining whether the built environment has an influence on the accumulation of active travel minutes, a binary logistic regression examines the built environment’s influence on the World Health Organization’s recommendations of physical activity. The findings suggest that there is a clear distinction between the urbanized centers and the surrounding towns and unurbanized areas. Further, active travel related to public transport trips is larger than pure walking trips. Females and children are more likely to achieve the WHO recommendations. Finally, car ownership is a strong negative influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Impacts of the Built Environment on Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Changes in Eating Behaviours among Czech Children and Adolescents from 2002 to 2014 (HBSC Study)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15888-15899; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215028 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
Many children skip breakfast, consume soft drinks/sweets and do not eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. Poor eating habits in children tend to be carried over into adulthood. The changes in eating behaviours of Czech 11-, 13- and 15-year-old children were [...] Read more.
Many children skip breakfast, consume soft drinks/sweets and do not eat the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. Poor eating habits in children tend to be carried over into adulthood. The changes in eating behaviours of Czech 11-, 13- and 15-year-old children were examined by frequency of breakfast (on weekdays and weekends), fruit, vegetable, sweet and soft drink consumption using data obtained from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) surveys in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Logistic regression was used to analyze changes in eating behaviours. The findings showed a significant increase (only in girls, p ≤ 0.001) in prevalence of breakfast consumption (on weekdays) and a decrease in daily consumption of soft drinks (in boys and girls, p ≤ 0.001), sweets (in boys and girls, p ≤ 0.01) and fruit (in boys, p ≤ 0.01; in girls, p ≤ 0.001) between 2002 and 2014. Daily vegetable and breakfast on weekends consumption remained statistically unchanged over time. More frequent daily fruit, vegetable and breakfast (on weekends) consumption was reported by girls and younger children, whereas daily soft drink intake was more prevalent in boys and older children. There is a need for re-evaluation of current policies and new initiatives to improve the eating habits of Czech children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
The Spatial-Temporal Characteristics of Air Pollution in China from 2001–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15875-15887; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215029 - 15 Dec 2015
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 2441
Abstract
To provide some useful information about the control of air pollution in China, we studied the spatial-temporal characteristics of air pollution in China from 2001–2014. First, we drew several line charts and histograms of the Air Pollution Index (API) and Air Quality Index [...] Read more.
To provide some useful information about the control of air pollution in China, we studied the spatial-temporal characteristics of air pollution in China from 2001–2014. First, we drew several line charts and histograms of the Air Pollution Index (API) and Air Quality Index (AQI) of 31 capital cities and municipalities to research the distribution across different times and cities; then, we researched the spatial clustering of API and AQI; finally, we examined the shift of the gravity center of API and AQI in different years and months. The API values had a decreasing trend: the high values had a clustering trend in some northern cities, and the low values had a clustering trend in some southern cities. The AQI values were relatively low, from 15:00–17:00 during the day. The gravity center of API had a trend of moving south from 2001–2003, then fluctuated in an unordered pattern and moved north in the winter. The AQI gravity center did not have a regular shift during different months. In conclusion, the government should take action to mitigate air pollution in some typical cities, as well as air pollution during the winter. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Autonomic Nervous System Responses to Viewing Green and Built Settings: Differentiating Between Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Activity
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15860-15874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215026 - 14 Dec 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3211
Abstract
This laboratory study explored buffering and recovery effects of viewing urban green and built spaces on autonomic nervous system activity. Forty-six students viewed photos of green and built spaces immediately following, and preceding acute stress induction. Simultaneously recorded electrocardiogram and impedance cardiogram signal [...] Read more.
This laboratory study explored buffering and recovery effects of viewing urban green and built spaces on autonomic nervous system activity. Forty-six students viewed photos of green and built spaces immediately following, and preceding acute stress induction. Simultaneously recorded electrocardiogram and impedance cardiogram signal was used to derive respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) and pre-ejection period (PEP), indicators of respectively parasympathetic and sympathetic activity. The findings provide support for greater recovery after viewing green scenes, as marked by a stronger increase in RSA as a marker of parasympathetic activity. There were no indications for greater recovery after viewing green scenes in PEP as a marker of sympathetic activity, and there were also no indications of greater buffering effects of green space in neither RSA nor PEP. Overall, our findings are consistent with a predominant role of the parasympathetic nervous system in restorative effects of viewing green space. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Rapid Monitoring and Evaluation Method of Schistosomiasis Based on Spatial Information Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15843-15859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215025 - 12 Dec 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2138
Abstract
Thanks to Spatial Information Technologies (SITs) such as Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) that are being quickly developed and updated, SITs are being used more widely in the public health field. The use of SITs to study the characteristics of [...] Read more.
Thanks to Spatial Information Technologies (SITs) such as Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographical Information System (GIS) that are being quickly developed and updated, SITs are being used more widely in the public health field. The use of SITs to study the characteristics of the temporal and spatial distribution of Schistosoma japonicum and to assess the risk of infection provides methods for the control and prevention of schistosomiasis japonica has gradually become a hot topic in the field. The purpose of the present paper was to use RS and GIS technology to develop an efficient method of prediction and assessment of the risk of schistosomiasis japonica. We choose the Yueyang region, close to the east DongTing Lake (Hunan Province, China), as the study area, where a recent serious outbreak of schistosomiasis japonica took place. We monitored and evaluated the transmission risk of schistosomiasis japonica in the region using SITs. Water distribution data were extracted from RS images. The ground temperature, ground humidity and vegetation index were calculated based on RS images. Additionally, the density of oncomelania snails, which are the Schistosoma japonicum intermediate host, was calculated on the base of RS data and field measurements. The spatial distribution of oncomelania snails was explored using SITs in order to estimate the area surrounding the residents with transmission risk of schistosomiasis japonica. Our research result demonstrated: (1) the risk factors for the transmission of schistosomiasis japonica were closely related to the living environment of oncomelania snails. Key factors such as water distribution, ground temperature, ground humidity and vegetation index can be quickly obtained and calculated from RS images; (2) using GIS technology and a RS deduction technique along with statistical regression models, the density distribution model of oncomelania snails could be quickly built; (3) using SITs and analysis with overlaying population distribution data, the range of transmission risk of schistosomiasis japonica of the study area can be quickly monitored and evaluated. This method will help support the decision making for the control and prevention of schistosomiasis and form a valuable application using SITs for the schistosomiasis research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Consequence of Combined Pain and Stress on Work Ability in Female Laboratory Technicians: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15834-15842; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215024 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2501
Abstract
Musculoskeletal pain and stress-related disorders are leading causes of impaired work ability, sickness absences and disability pensions. However, knowledge about the combined detrimental effect of pain and stress on work ability is lacking. This study investigates the association between pain in the neck-shoulders, [...] Read more.
Musculoskeletal pain and stress-related disorders are leading causes of impaired work ability, sickness absences and disability pensions. However, knowledge about the combined detrimental effect of pain and stress on work ability is lacking. This study investigates the association between pain in the neck-shoulders, perceived stress, and work ability. In a cross-sectional survey at a large pharmaceutical company in Denmark 473 female laboratory technicians replied to questions about stress (Perceived Stress Scale), musculoskeletal pain intensity (scale 0–10) of the neck and shoulders, and work ability (Work Ability Index). General linear models tested the association between variables. In the multi-adjusted model, stress (p < 0.001) and pain (p < 0.001) had independent main effects on the work ability index score, and there was no significant stress by pain interaction (p = 0.32). Work ability decreased gradually with both increased stress and pain. Workers with low stress and low pain had the highest Work Ability Index score (44.6 (95% CI 43.9–45.3)) and workers with high stress and high pain had the lowest score (32.7 (95% CI 30.6–34.9)). This cross-sectional study indicates that increased stress and musculoskeletal pain are independently associated with lower work ability in female laboratory technicians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Stress, Human Health and Wellbeing)
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Open AccessArticle
An Environmentally Friendly Method for Testing Photocatalytic Inactivation of Cyanobacterial Propagation on a Hybrid Ag-TiO2 Photocatalyst under Solar Illumination
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15819-15833; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215023 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2368
Abstract
Cyanobacteria were inactivated under sunlight using mixed phase silver (Ag) and deposited titanium dioxide (TiO2) coated on the surface of diatomite (DM) as a hybrid photocatalyst (Ag-TiO2/DM). The endpoints of dose-response experiments were chlorophyll a, photosynthetic efficiency, and flow [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria were inactivated under sunlight using mixed phase silver (Ag) and deposited titanium dioxide (TiO2) coated on the surface of diatomite (DM) as a hybrid photocatalyst (Ag-TiO2/DM). The endpoints of dose-response experiments were chlorophyll a, photosynthetic efficiency, and flow cytometry measurements. In vitro experiments revealed that axenic cultures of planktonic cyanobacteria lost their photosynthetic activity following photocatalyzed exposure to sunlight for more than 24 h. Nearly 92% of Microcystis aeruginosa cells lost their photosynthetic activity, and their cell morphology was severely damaged within 24 h of the reaction. Preliminary carbon-14 (14CO3−2) results suggest that the complete inactivation of cyanobacteria arises from damage to cell wall components (peroxidation). A small concomitant increase in cell wall disorder and a consequent decrease in cell wall functional groups increase the cell wall fluidity prior to cell lysis. A high dosage of Ag-TiO2/DM during photocatalysis increased the concentration of extracellular polymeric substances (EPSs) in the Microcystis aeruginosa suspension by up to approximately 260%. However, photocatalytic treatment had a small effect on the disinfection by-product (DBP) precursor, as revealed by only a slight increase in the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Microbial Pollution and Disinfection)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation and Source Apportionment of Heavy Metals (HMs) in Sewage Sludge of Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTPs) in Shanxi, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15807-15818; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215022 - 11 Dec 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2036
Abstract
Heavy metals (HMs) in sewage sludge have become the crucial limiting factors for land use application. Samples were collected and analyzed from 32 waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Shanxi Province, China. HM levels in sewage sludge were assessed. The multivariate statistical [...] Read more.
Heavy metals (HMs) in sewage sludge have become the crucial limiting factors for land use application. Samples were collected and analyzed from 32 waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Shanxi Province, China. HM levels in sewage sludge were assessed. The multivariate statistical method principal component analysis (PCA) was applied to identify the sources of HMs in sewage sludge. HM pollution classes by geochemical accumulation index Igeo and correlation analyses between HMs were also conducted. HMs were arranged in the following decreasing order of mean concentration: Zn > Cu > Cr > Pb > As > Hg > Cd; the maximum concentrations of all HMs were within the limit of maximum content permitted by Chinese discharge standard. Igeo classes of HMs pollution in order from most polluted to least were: Cu and Hg pollution were the highest; Cd and Cr pollution were moderate; Zn, As and Pb pollution were the least. Sources of HM contamination in sewage sludge were identified as three components. The primary contaminant source accounting for 35.7% of the total variance was identified as smelting industry, coking plant and traffic sources; the second source accounting for 29.0% of the total variance was distinguished as household and water supply pollution; the smallest of the three sources accounting for 16.2% of the total variance was defined as special industries such as leather tanning, textile manufacturing and chemical processing industries. Source apportionment of HMs in sewage sludge can control HM contamination through suggesting improvements in government policies and industrial processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Comparison of Subjective Health Complaints between Chinese and German University Students: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15794-15806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215019 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
High rates of health complaints (HCs) with substantial variation are reported in different university populations, which can be linked to socio-demographic, lifestyle-related factors, and cultural differences. HCs can be categorized into distinct components. This study aimed to identify and compare underlying dimensions of [...] Read more.
High rates of health complaints (HCs) with substantial variation are reported in different university populations, which can be linked to socio-demographic, lifestyle-related factors, and cultural differences. HCs can be categorized into distinct components. This study aimed to identify and compare underlying dimensions of HCs (HC components); to access and compare HC prevalence, and the associations between HC components, socio-demographic, lifestyle-related factors, and perceived stress in German and Chinese university students. Two health surveys were conducted among 5159 university students (1853 Chinese, 3306 German). Factor analysis and logistic regression were applied. The prevalence of HC ranged from 4.6% to 40.2% over the two countries. Germans reported at least three HCs more often (47.2% vs. 35.8%). Chinese students more often reported gastrointestinal complaints. Perceived stress was positively associated with all three HC components in both countries (OR = 1.03–1.50) with stronger associations among Germans. Women more often reported HCs (OR = 1.32–2.43) with stronger associations among the Germans. Having a father with a low educational level was associated with high psychological symptoms among the Chinese (OR = 1.51), but with low gastrointestinal complaints among the Germans (OR = 0.79). The high prevalence of HCs in students requires country-specific interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Transfer Rates of 238U and 232Th for E. globulus, A. mearnsii, H. filipendula and Hazardous Effects of the Usage of Medicinal Plants From Around Gold Mine Dump Environs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15782-15793; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215021 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1728
Abstract
Medicinal plant consumption can be a source of human exposure to radioactive elements such as 238U and 232Th, which can lead to internal radiation doses. The uptake of 238U and 232Th from soils to the leaf samples of three [...] Read more.
Medicinal plant consumption can be a source of human exposure to radioactive elements such as 238U and 232Th, which can lead to internal radiation doses. The uptake of 238U and 232Th from soils to the leaf samples of three different medicinal plant species (Eucalyptus globulus, Acacia mearnsii and Hyparrhenia filipendula) from the purlieu of the Princess gold mine dump, an abandoned contaminated tailings storage site (TSS), located at longitude 27°55′00″E and latitude 26°09′30″S in Davidsonville (Roodepoort, west of Johannesburg, South Africa) was measured. This was done using ICP-MS spectrometry and substantial differences were observed in the soil-plant transfer factor (TF) values between these radionuclides. The plant species E. globulus exhibited the highest uptake of 238U, with an average TF of 3.97, while that of H. filipendula was 0.01 and the lowest TF of 0.15 × 10−2 was measured for A. mearnsii. However, in the case of 232Th, the highest average TF was observed for A. mearnsii (0.29), followed by E. globulus (0.10) and lowest was measured for H. filipendula (0.27 × 10−2). The ratio of TF average value i.e., 238U to 232Th in the soil-plant leaves was 38.05 for E. globulus, 0.01 for A. mearnsii and 4.38 for H. filipendula. Full article
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Open AccessReview
A Scoping Review of Maternal and Child Health Clinicians Attitudes, Beliefs, Practice, Training and Perceived Self-Competence in Environmental Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(12), 15769-15781; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121215018 - 10 Dec 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Clinicians regularly assess, diagnose and manage illnesses which are directly or indirectly linked to environmental exposures. Yet, various studies have identified gaps in environmental assessment in routine clinical practice. This review assessed clinicians’ environmental health practices, attitudes and beliefs, and competencies and training. [...] Read more.
Clinicians regularly assess, diagnose and manage illnesses which are directly or indirectly linked to environmental exposures. Yet, various studies have identified gaps in environmental assessment in routine clinical practice. This review assessed clinicians’ environmental health practices, attitudes and beliefs, and competencies and training. Relevant articles were sought using a systematic search strategy using five databases, grey literature and a hand search. Search strategies and protocols were developed using tailored mesh terms and keywords. 43 out of 11,291 articles were eligible for inclusion. Clinicians’ attitudes and beliefs towards environmental health and routine clinical practice were generally positive, with most clinicians believing that environmental hazards affect human health. However, with the exception of tobacco smoke exposure, environmental health assessment was infrequently part of routine clinical practice. Clinicians’ self-competence in environmental assessment was reported to be inadequate. Major challenges were the time required to complete an assessment, inadequate training and concerns about negative patients’ responses. Clinicians have strong positive attitudes and beliefs about the importance of environmental health assessments. However, more concerted and robust strategies will be needed to support clinicians in assuming their assessment and counselling roles related to a wider range of environmental hazards. Full article
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