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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 12, Issue 9 (September 2015) , Pages 10235-11987

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Open AccessArticle
Treatment of Ammonia Nitrogen Wastewater in Low Concentration by Two-Stage Ozonization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11975-11987; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911975 - 23 Sep 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2117
Abstract
Ammonia nitrogen wastewater (about 100 mg/L) was treated by two-stage ozone oxidation method. The effects of ozone flow rate and initial pH on ammonia removal were studied, and the mechanism of ammonia nitrogen removal by ozone oxidation was discussed. After the primary stage [...] Read more.
Ammonia nitrogen wastewater (about 100 mg/L) was treated by two-stage ozone oxidation method. The effects of ozone flow rate and initial pH on ammonia removal were studied, and the mechanism of ammonia nitrogen removal by ozone oxidation was discussed. After the primary stage of ozone oxidation, the ammonia removal efficiency reached 59.32% and pH decreased to 6.63 under conditions of 1 L/min ozone flow rate and initial pH 11. Then, the removal efficiency could be over 85% (the left ammonia concentration was lower than 15 mg/L) after the second stage, which means the wastewater could have met the national discharge standards of China. Besides, the mechanism of ammonia removal by ozone oxidation was proposed by detecting the products of the oxidation: ozone oxidation directly and ·OH oxidation; ammonia was mainly transformed into NO3-N, less into NO2-N, not into N2. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Adaptive Strategies and Person-Environment Fit among Functionally Limited Older Adults Aging in Place: A Mixed Methods Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11954-11974; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911954 - 23 Sep 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2869
Abstract
Older adults prefer to age in place, necessitating a match between person and environment, or person-environment (P-E) fit. In occupational therapy practice, home modifications can support independence, but more knowledge is needed to optimize interventions targeting the housing situation of older adults. In [...] Read more.
Older adults prefer to age in place, necessitating a match between person and environment, or person-environment (P-E) fit. In occupational therapy practice, home modifications can support independence, but more knowledge is needed to optimize interventions targeting the housing situation of older adults. In response, this study aimed to explore the accessibility and usability of the home environment to further understand adaptive environmental behaviors. Mixed methods data were collected using objective and perceived indicators of P-E fit among 12 older adults living in community-dwelling housing. Quantitative data described objective P-E fit in terms of accessibility, while qualitative data explored perceived P-E fit in terms of usability. While accessibility problems were prevalent, participants’ perceptions of usability revealed a range of adaptive environmental behaviors employed to meet functional needs. A closer examination of the P-E interaction suggests that objective accessibility does not always stipulate perceived usability, which appears to be malleable with age, self-perception, and functional competency. Findings stress the importance of evaluating both objective and perceived indicators of P-E fit to provide housing interventions that support independence. Further exploration of adaptive processes in older age may serve to deepen our understanding of both P-E fit frameworks and theoretical models of aging well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Therapies and Human Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Exercising in Different Natural Environments on Psycho-Physiological Outcomes in Post-Menopausal Women: A Simulation Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11929-11953; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911929 - 23 Sep 2015
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2517
Abstract
The current study examined potential psycho-physiological benefits from exercising in simulated natural environments among a sample of post-menopausal women using a laboratory based protocol. Participants cycled on a stationary exercise bike for 15 min while facing either a blank wall (Control) or while [...] Read more.
The current study examined potential psycho-physiological benefits from exercising in simulated natural environments among a sample of post-menopausal women using a laboratory based protocol. Participants cycled on a stationary exercise bike for 15 min while facing either a blank wall (Control) or while watching one of three videos: Urban (Grey), Countryside (Green), Coast (Blue). Blood pressure, heart rate and affective responses were measured pre-post. Heart rate, affect, perceived exertion and time perception were also measured at 5, 10 and 15 min during exercise. Experience evaluation was measured at the end. Replicating most earlier findings, affective, but not physiological, outcomes were more positive for exercise in the simulated Green and, for the first time, Blue environment, compared to Control. Moreover, only the simulated Blue environment was associated with shorter perceived exercise duration than Control and participants were most willing to repeat exercise in the Blue setting. The current research extended earlier work by exploring the effects of “blue exercise” and by using a demographic with relatively low average levels of physical activity. That this sample of postmenopausal women were most willing to repeat a bout of exercise in a simulated Blue environment may be important for physical activity promotion in this cohort. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Fine-Scale Spatial Heterogeneity in the Distribution of Waterborne Protozoa in a Drinking Water Reservoir
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11910-11928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911910 - 23 Sep 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
Background: The occurrence of faecal pathogens in drinking water resources constitutes a threat to the supply of safe drinking water, even in industrialized nations. To efficiently assess and monitor the risk posed by these pathogens, sampling deserves careful design, based on preliminary knowledge [...] Read more.
Background: The occurrence of faecal pathogens in drinking water resources constitutes a threat to the supply of safe drinking water, even in industrialized nations. To efficiently assess and monitor the risk posed by these pathogens, sampling deserves careful design, based on preliminary knowledge on their distribution dynamics in water. For the protozoan pathogens Cryptosporidium and Giardia, only little is known about their spatial distribution within drinking water supplies, especially at fine scale. Methods: Two-dimensional distribution maps were generated by sampling cross-sections at meter resolution in two different zones of a drinking water reservoir. Samples were analysed for protozoan pathogens as well as for E. coli, turbidity and physico-chemical parameters. Results: Parasites displayed heterogeneous distribution patterns, as reflected by significant (oo)cyst density gradients along reservoir depth. Spatial correlations between parasites and E. coli were observed near the reservoir inlet but were absent in the downstream lacustrine zone. Measurements of surface and subsurface flow velocities suggest a role of local hydrodynamics on these spatial patterns. Conclusion: This fine-scale spatial study emphasizes the importance of sampling design (site, depth and position on the reservoir) for the acquisition of representative parasite data and for optimization of microbial risk assessment and monitoring. Such spatial information should prove useful to the modelling of pathogen transport dynamics in drinking water supplies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Childhood ADHD Symptoms: Association with Parental Social Networks and Mental Health Service Use during Adolescence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11893-11909; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911893 - 22 Sep 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2339
Abstract
Objective: This study examines the associations of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) risk status with subsequent parental social network characteristics and caregiver strain in adolescence; and examines predictors of adolescent mental health service use. Methods: Baseline ADHD screening identified children at high [...] Read more.
Objective: This study examines the associations of childhood attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) risk status with subsequent parental social network characteristics and caregiver strain in adolescence; and examines predictors of adolescent mental health service use. Methods: Baseline ADHD screening identified children at high risk (n = 207) and low risk (n = 167) for ADHD. At eight-year follow-up, parents reported their social network characteristics, caregiver strain, adolescents’ psychopathology and mental health service utilization, whereas adolescents self-reported their emotional status and ADHD stigma perceptions. Analyses were conducted using ANOVAs and nested logistic regression modeling. Results: Parents of youth with childhood ADHD reported support networks consisting of fewer spouses but more healthcare professionals, and lower levels of support than control parents. Caregiver strain increased with adolescent age and psychopathology. Increased parental network support, youth ADHD symptoms, and caregiver strain, but lower youth stigma perceptions were independently associated with increased service use. Conclusions: Raising children with ADHD appears to significantly impact parental social network experiences. Reduced spousal support and overall lower network support levels may contribute to high caregiver strain commonly reported among parents of ADHD youth. Parental social network experiences influence adolescent ADHD service use. With advances in social networking technology, further research is needed to elucidate ways to enhance caregiver support during ADHD care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Network Analysis and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Fine Particulate Matter Pollution and Hospital Admissions for Respiratory Diseases in Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11880-11892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911880 - 22 Sep 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2089
Abstract
Fine particulate matter has become the premier air pollutant of Beijing in recent years, enormously impacting the environmental quality of the city and the health of the residents. Fine particles with aerodynamic diameters of 0~0.3 μm, 0.3~0.5 μm, and 0.5~1.0 μm, from the [...] Read more.
Fine particulate matter has become the premier air pollutant of Beijing in recent years, enormously impacting the environmental quality of the city and the health of the residents. Fine particles with aerodynamic diameters of 0~0.3 μm, 0.3~0.5 μm, and 0.5~1.0 μm, from the yeasr 2007 to 2012, were monitored, and the hospital data about respiratory diseases during the same period was gathered and calculated. Then the correlation between respiratory health and fine particles was studied by spatial analysis and grey correlation analysis. The results showed that the aerial fine particulate matter pollution was mainly distributed in the Zizhuyuan sub-district office. There was a certain association between respiratory health and fine particles. Outpatients with respiratory system disease in this study area were mostly located in the southeastern regions (Balizhuang sub-district office, Ganjiakou sub-district office, Wanshoulu sub-district office, and Yongdinglu sub-district office) and east-central regions (Zizhuyuan sub-district office and Shuangyushu sub-district office) of the study area. Correspondingly, PM1 (particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter smaller than 1.0 um) concentrations in these regions were higher than those in any other regions. Grey correlation analysis results showed that the correlation degree of the fine particle concentration with the number of outpatients is high, and the smaller fine particles had more obvious effects on respiratory system disease than larger particles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying Vulnerability to Extreme Heat in Time Series Analyses: A Novel Approach Applied to Neighborhood Social Disparities under Climate Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11869-11879; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911869 - 22 Sep 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
Objectives: We propose a novel approach to examine vulnerability in the relationship between heat and years of life lost and apply to neighborhood social disparities in Montreal and Paris. Methods: We used historical data from the summers of 1990 through 2007 [...] Read more.
Objectives: We propose a novel approach to examine vulnerability in the relationship between heat and years of life lost and apply to neighborhood social disparities in Montreal and Paris. Methods: We used historical data from the summers of 1990 through 2007 for Montreal and from 2004 through 2009 for Paris to estimate daily years of life lost social disparities (DYLLD), summarizing social inequalities across groups. We used Generalized Linear Models to separately estimate relative risks (RR) for DYLLD in association with daily mean temperatures in both cities. We used 30 climate scenarios of daily mean temperature to estimate future temperature distributions (2021–2050). We performed random effect meta-analyses to assess the impact of climate change by climate scenario for each city and compared the impact of climate change for the two cities using a meta-regression analysis. Results: We show that an increase in ambient temperature leads to an increase in social disparities in daily years of life lost. The impact of climate change on DYLLD attributable to temperature was of 2.06 (95% CI: 1.90, 2.25) in Montreal and 1.77 (95% CI: 1.61, 1.94) in Paris. The city explained a difference of 0.31 (95% CI: 0.14, 0.49) on the impact of climate change. Conclusion: We propose a new analytical approach for estimating vulnerability in the relationship between heat and health. Our results suggest that in Paris and Montreal, health disparities related to heat impacts exist today and will increase in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Trends in Overweight and Obesity, Physical Activity and Screen Time among Czech Adolescents from 2002 to 2014: A National Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11848-11868; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911848 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 2772
Abstract
This study examines trends in overweight and obesity, physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) among Czech adolescents over a recent 12-year study period. Nationally representative samples consisted of 19,940 adolescents (9760 boys and 10,180 girls) aged 10.5–16.5 years from the Czech Health [...] Read more.
This study examines trends in overweight and obesity, physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) among Czech adolescents over a recent 12-year study period. Nationally representative samples consisted of 19,940 adolescents (9760 boys and 10,180 girls) aged 10.5–16.5 years from the Czech Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) questionnaire-based surveys conducted in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014. Trends in the prevalence of overweight/obesity, meeting the recommendations for moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) (≥60 min per day of MVPA) and excessive ST (>2 h per day) were estimated using logistic regression. Significant increases (p < 0.001) in the prevalence of overweight/obesity between the years 2002 and 2014 were evident for both adolescent boys (18.3%2002–24.8%2014) and girls (8.3%2002–11.9%2014). Compared to 2002, in 2014 significant decreases (p < 0.001) in meeting MVPA recommendations were observed among boys (32.2%2002–25.6%2014) and girls (23.2%2002–19.2%2014). Moreover, in boys we observed significant increases (p < 0.001) in excessive ST on weekdays (75.1%2002–88.8%2014), as well as on weekends (78.3%2002–91.9%2014) between the years 2002 and 2014. Increases in overweight/obesity with concomitant decreases in PA provide evidence in support of the current and upcoming efforts of government and commercial organizations in implementing interventions aimed at reducing excessive body weight among Czech adolescents. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Biodegradation of Decabromodiphenyl Ether (BDE-209) by Crude Enzyme Extract from Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11829-11847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911829 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
The biodegradation effect and mechanism of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) by crude enzyme extract from Pseudomonas aeruginosa were investigated. The results demonstrated that crude enzyme extract exhibited obviously higher degradation efficiency and shorter biodegradation time than Pseudomonas aeruginosa itself. Under the optimum conditions of [...] Read more.
The biodegradation effect and mechanism of decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-209) by crude enzyme extract from Pseudomonas aeruginosa were investigated. The results demonstrated that crude enzyme extract exhibited obviously higher degradation efficiency and shorter biodegradation time than Pseudomonas aeruginosa itself. Under the optimum conditions of pH 9.0, 35 °C and protein content of 2000 mg/L, 92.77% of the initial BDE-209 (20 mg/L) was degraded after 5 h. A BDE-209 biodegradation pathway was proposed on the basis of the biodegradation products identified by GC-MS analysis. The biodegradation mechanism showed that crude enzyme extract degraded BDE-209 into lower brominated PBDEs and OH-PBDEs through debromination and hydroxylation of the aromatic rings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health-2015)
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Open AccessArticle
The Risk of Reported Cryptosporidiosis in Children Aged <5 Years in Australia is Highest in Very Remote Regions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11815-11828; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911815 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1756
Abstract
The incidence of cryptosporidiosis is highest in children <5 years, yet little is known about disease patterns across urban and rural areas of Australia. In this study, we examine whether the risk of reported cryptosporidiosis in children <5 years varies across an urban-rural [...] Read more.
The incidence of cryptosporidiosis is highest in children <5 years, yet little is known about disease patterns across urban and rural areas of Australia. In this study, we examine whether the risk of reported cryptosporidiosis in children <5 years varies across an urban-rural gradient, after controlling for season and gender. Using Australian data on reported cryptosporidiosis from 2001 to 2012, we spatially linked disease data to an index of geographic remoteness to examine the geographic variation in cryptosporidiosis risk using negative binomial regression. The Incidence Risk Ratio (IRR) of reported cryptosporidiosis was higher in inner regional (IRR 1.4 95% CI 1.2–1.7, p < 0.001), and outer regional areas (IRR 2.4 95% CI 2.2–2.9, p < 0.001), and in remote (IRR 5.2 95% CI 4.3–6.2, p < 0.001) and very remote (IRR 8.2 95% CI 6.9–9.8, p < 0.001) areas, compared to major cities. A linear test for trend showed a statistically significant trend with increasing remoteness. Remote communities need to be a priority for future targeted health promotion and disease prevention interventions to reduce cryptosporidiosis in children <5 years. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association of TCF7L2 Genetic Polymorphisms with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus in the Uygur Population of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11797-11814; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911797 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2082
Abstract
Background: Genetic polymorphisms of the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene have been reported to be strongly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Icelandic, Danish and American populations and further replicated in other European populations, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian [...] Read more.
Background: Genetic polymorphisms of the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene have been reported to be strongly associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in Icelandic, Danish and American populations and further replicated in other European populations, African Americans, Mexican Americans, and Asian populations. The aim of the present study was to investigate the association of TCF7L2 gene polymorphisms with T2DM in a Uygur population of China. Methods: 877 T2DM patients and 871 controls were selected for the present study. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs12255372 and rs7901695) were genotyped by using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The associations of SNPs and haplotypes with T2DM and linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure of the TCF7L2 gene were analyzed. Results: For total participants and male, the distribution of rs12255372 alleles and the dominant model (Guanine Guanine (GG) genotype vs. Guanine Thymine (GT) genotype + Thymine Thymine (TT) genotype) showed significant difference between T2DM and control subjects (for allele: p = 0.013 and p = 0.002, respectively; for dominant model: p = 0.028 and p = 0.008, respectively). The distribution of rs7901695 alleles and the dominant model (TT genotype vs. Thymine Cytosine (TC) genotype + Cytosine Cytosine (CC) genotype) for total participants and male showed significant difference between T2DM and control subjects (for allele: both p = 0.001; for dominant model: p = 0.006 and p = 0.008, respectively). Conclusions: Our data suggested that the genetic polymorphisms of the TCF7L2 gene were associated with T2DM in the Uygur population of China. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle
Cardiovascular System Response to Carbon Dioxide and Exercise in Oxygen-Enriched Environment at 3800 m
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11781-11796; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911781 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2013
Abstract
Background: This study explores the responses of the cardiovascular system as humans exercise in an oxygen-enriched room at high altitude under various concentrations of CO2. Methods: The study utilized a hypobaric chamber set to the following specifications: 3800 m altitude with [...] Read more.
Background: This study explores the responses of the cardiovascular system as humans exercise in an oxygen-enriched room at high altitude under various concentrations of CO2. Methods: The study utilized a hypobaric chamber set to the following specifications: 3800 m altitude with 25% O2 and different CO2 concentrations of 0.5% (C1), 3.0% (C2) and 5.0% (C3). Subjects exercised for 3 min three times, separated by 30 min resting periods in the above-mentioned conditions, at sea level (SL) and at 3800 m altitude (HA). The changes of heart rate variability, heart rate and blood pressure were analyzed. Results: Total power (TP) and high frequency power (HF) decreased notably during post-exercise at HA. HF increased prominently earlier the post-exercise period at 3800 m altitude with 25% O2 and 5.0% CO2 (C3), while low frequency power (LF) changed barely in all tests. The ratios of LF/HF were significantly higher during post-exercise in HA, and lower after high intensity exercise in C3. Heart rate and systolic blood pressure increased significantly in HA and C3. Conclusions: Parasympathetic activity dominated in cardiac autonomic modulation, and heart rate and blood pressure increased significantly after high intensity exercise in C3. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Predictive Factors for Hospitalization of Patients with Heat Illness in Yamaguchi, Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11770-11780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911770 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1791
Abstract
The objective of the study was to investigate the predictive factors for the hospitalization of patients who presented with mild to moderate heat illness at an emergency department. We conducted a retrospective survey of hospitals with an emergency department in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. [...] Read more.
The objective of the study was to investigate the predictive factors for the hospitalization of patients who presented with mild to moderate heat illness at an emergency department. We conducted a retrospective survey of hospitals with an emergency department in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan. The survey questionnaire entries included patient age, sex, use of an ambulance, vital signs, blood examination conducted at the emergency department, the length of hospitalization, and outcome. We analyzed the predictive factors for hospitalization in patients with heat illness. A total of 127 patients were analyzed. Of these, 49 (37%) were admitted, with 59% discharged on the day following admission. In univariate analysis, the following inpatient characteristics were predictive for hospitalization: old age, low Glasgow Coma Scale score, elevated body temperature, increased serum C-reactive protein, and increased blood urea nitrogen. In logistic regression multivariate analysis, the following were predictive factors for hospitalization: age of ≥ 65 years (odds ratio (OR) 4.91; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.42–17.00), body temperature (OR 1.97; 95% CI 1.14–3.41), Glasgow Coma Scale (OR 0.40; 95% CI 0.16–0.98), and creatinine (OR 2.92; 95% CI 1.23–6.94). The results suggest that the elderly with hyperthermia, disturbance of consciousness, and elevated serum creatinine have an increased risk for hospitalization with heat illness. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Identifying Spatial Clusters of Schistosomiasis in Anhui Province of China: A Study from the Perspective of Application
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11756-11769; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911756 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2028
Abstract
With the strategy shifting from morbidity control to transmission interruption, the burden of schistosomiasis in China has been declining over the past decade. However, further controls of the epidemic in the lake and marshland regions remain a challenge. Prevalence data at county level [...] Read more.
With the strategy shifting from morbidity control to transmission interruption, the burden of schistosomiasis in China has been declining over the past decade. However, further controls of the epidemic in the lake and marshland regions remain a challenge. Prevalence data at county level were obtained from the provincial surveillance system in Anhui during 1997–2010. Spatial autocorrelation analysis and spatial scan statistics were combined to assess the spatial pattern of schistosomiasis. The spatial-temporal cluster analysis based on retrospective space-time scan statistics was further used to detect risk clusters. The Global Moran’s I coefficients were mostly statistically significant during 1997–2004 but not significant during 2005–2010. The clusters detected by two spatial cluster methods occurred in Nanling, Tongling, Qingyang and Wuhu during 1997–2004, and Guichi and Wuhu from 2005 to 2010, respectively. Spatial-temporal cluster analysis revealed 2 main clusters, namely Nanling (1999–2002) and Guichi (2005–2008). The clustering regions were significantly narrowed while the spatial extent became scattered during the study period. The high-risk areas shifted from the low reaches of the Yangtze River to the upper stream, suggesting the focus of schistosomiasis control should be shifted accordingly and priority should be given to the snail habitats within the high-risk areas of schistosomiasis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Potential of Sequential Extraction in the Characterisation and Management of Wastes from Steel Processing: A Prospective Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11724-11755; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911724 - 18 Sep 2015
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1924
Abstract
As waste management regulations become more stringent, yet demand for resources continues to increase, there is a pressing need for innovative management techniques and more sophisticated supporting analysis techniques. Sequential extraction (SE) analysis, a technique previously applied to soils and sediments, offers the [...] Read more.
As waste management regulations become more stringent, yet demand for resources continues to increase, there is a pressing need for innovative management techniques and more sophisticated supporting analysis techniques. Sequential extraction (SE) analysis, a technique previously applied to soils and sediments, offers the potential to gain a better understanding of the composition of solid wastes. SE attempts to classify potentially toxic elements (PTEs) by their associations with phases or fractions in waste, with the aim of improving resource use and reducing negative environmental impacts. In this review we explain how SE can be applied to steel wastes. These present challenges due to differences in sample characteristics compared with materials to which SE has been traditionally applied, specifically chemical composition, particle size and pH buffering capacity, which are critical when identifying a suitable SE method. We highlight the importance of delineating iron-rich phases, and find that the commonly applied BCR (The community Bureau of reference) extraction method is problematic due to difficulties with zinc speciation (a critical steel waste constituent), hence a substantially modified SEP is necessary to deal with particular characteristics of steel wastes. Successful development of SE for steel wastes could have wider implications, e.g., for the sustainable management of fly ash and mining wastes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hazardous Waste and Human Health-2015)
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Open AccessReply
Response to Martinez-Novack et al. Comments on Hynes et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use among University Students in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2015, 12, 5233-5240
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11721-11723; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911721 - 17 Sep 2015
Viewed by 1369
Abstract
We have read with great interest the Comments related to the article entitled “Prevalence of marijuana use among university 20 students in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru” and appreciate the readers’ feedback [1]. [...] Full article
Open AccessComment
Comments on Hynes et al. Prevalence of Marijuana Use among University Students in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 5233–5240
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11718-11720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911718 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1389
Abstract
We have read and analyzed the article entitled “Prevalence of marijuana use among university students in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru”. We propose some objective points which could enhance the internal validity of the study (i.e., we suggest to report participation proportions). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Assessment of River Habitat Quality in the Hai River Basin, Northern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11699-11717; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911699 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2199
Abstract
We applied a river habitat quality (RHQ) assessment method to the Hai River Basin (HRB); an important economic centre in China; to obtain baseline information for water quality improvement; river rehabilitation; and watershed management. The results of the assessment showed that the river [...] Read more.
We applied a river habitat quality (RHQ) assessment method to the Hai River Basin (HRB); an important economic centre in China; to obtain baseline information for water quality improvement; river rehabilitation; and watershed management. The results of the assessment showed that the river habitat in the HRB is seriously degraded. Specifically; 42.41% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 3.31 × 104 km; were designated poor and bad. Habitat in the plain areas is seriously deteriorated; and nearly 50% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 1.65 × 104 km; had either poor or bad habitats. River habitat degradation was attributable to the limited width of the riparian zone (≤5 m); lower coverage of riparian vegetation (≤40%); artificial land use patterns (public and industrial land); frequent occurrence of farming on the river banks and high volumes of solid waste (nearly 10 m3); single flow channels; and rare aquatic plants (≤1 category). At the regional scale; intensive artificial land use types caused by urbanization had a significant impact on the RHQ in the HRB. RHQ was significantly and negatively correlated with farmland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01) and urban land (r = 0.998; p < 0.05); and was significantly and positively correlated with grassland and woodland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01). Intensive artificial land use; created through urbanization processes; has led to a loss of the riparian zone and its native vegetation; and has disrupted the lateral connectivity of the rivers. The degradation of the already essentially black rivers is exacerbated by poor longitudinal connectivity (index of connectivity is 2.08–16.56); caused by reservoirs and sluices. For river habitat rehabilitation to be successful; land use patterns need to be changed and reservoirs and sluices will have to be regulated. Full article
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Open AccessProject Report
An Integrated Assessment Approach to Address Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11683-11698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911683 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2156
Abstract
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is growing in many regions of the world including Ghana. The problems in these communities are complex and multi-faceted. To help increase understanding of such problems, and to enable consensus-building and effective translation of scientific findings to [...] Read more.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is growing in many regions of the world including Ghana. The problems in these communities are complex and multi-faceted. To help increase understanding of such problems, and to enable consensus-building and effective translation of scientific findings to stakeholders, help inform policies, and ultimately improve decision making, we utilized an Integrated Assessment approach to study artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities in Ghana. Though Integrated Assessments have been used in the fields of environmental science and sustainable development, their use in addressing specific matter in public health, and in particular, environmental and occupational health is quite limited despite their many benefits. The aim of the current paper was to describe specific activities undertaken and how they were organized, and the outputs and outcomes of our activity. In brief, three disciplinary workgroups (Natural Sciences, Human Health, Social Sciences and Economics) were formed, with 26 researchers from a range of Ghanaian institutions plus international experts. The workgroups conducted activities in order to address the following question: What are the causes, consequences and correctives of small-scale gold mining in Ghana? More specifically: What alternatives are available in resource-limited settings in Ghana that allow for gold-mining to occur in a manner that maintains ecological health and human health without hindering near- and long-term economic prosperity? Several response options were identified and evaluated, and are currently being disseminated to various stakeholders within Ghana and internationally. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Residential History Generation Using a Public-Record Database
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11670-11682; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911670 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1684
Abstract
In studies of disease with potential environmental risk factors, residential location is often used as a surrogate for unknown environmental exposures or as a basis for assigning environmental exposures. These studies most typically use the residential location at the time of diagnosis due [...] Read more.
In studies of disease with potential environmental risk factors, residential location is often used as a surrogate for unknown environmental exposures or as a basis for assigning environmental exposures. These studies most typically use the residential location at the time of diagnosis due to ease of collection. However, previous residential locations may be more useful for risk analysis because of population mobility and disease latency. When residential histories have not been collected in a study, it may be possible to generate them through public-record databases. In this study, we evaluated the ability of a public-records database from LexisNexis to provide residential histories for subjects in a geographically diverse cohort study. We calculated 11 performance metrics comparing study-collected addresses and two address retrieval services from LexisNexis. We found 77% and 90% match rates for city and state and 72% and 87% detailed address match rates with the basic and enhanced services, respectively. The enhanced LexisNexis service covered 86% of the time at residential addresses recorded in the study. The mean match rate for detailed address matches varied spatially over states. The results suggest that public record databases can be useful for reconstructing residential histories for subjects in epidemiologic studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Methodological Innovations and Reflections-1)
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Open AccessReply
Response to Ahlbom et al. Comments on Hardell and Carlberg Increasing Rates of Brian Tumors in the Swedish National Inpatient Register and the Causes of Death Register. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3793–3813
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11665-11669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911665 - 17 Sep 2015
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
We thank Ahlbom et al., the authors of [1] for their interest in our paper [2]. Since this is an important issue, the letter deserves a comprehensive and thorough response. [...] Full article
Open AccessComment
Comments on Hardell and Carlberg Increasing Rates of Brain Tumors in the Swedish National Inpatient Register and the Causes of Death Register. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3793–3813
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11662-11664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911662 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1899
Abstract
Hardell and Carlberg claim in a recent article that both the Cause of Death Register and the National Inpatient Care Register indicate that there was a severe and increasing underreporting of malignant brain tumors to the Swedish Cancer Register during recent years [1]. [...] Read more.
Hardell and Carlberg claim in a recent article that both the Cause of Death Register and the National Inpatient Care Register indicate that there was a severe and increasing underreporting of malignant brain tumors to the Swedish Cancer Register during recent years [1]. [...] Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Towards a European Framework to Monitor Infectious Diseases among Migrant Populations: Design and Applicability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11640-11661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911640 - 17 Sep 2015
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2417
Abstract
There are limitations in our capacity to interpret point estimates and trends of infectious diseases occurring among diverse migrant populations living in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). The aim of this study was to design a data collection framework that could capture [...] Read more.
There are limitations in our capacity to interpret point estimates and trends of infectious diseases occurring among diverse migrant populations living in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA). The aim of this study was to design a data collection framework that could capture information on factors associated with increased risk to infectious diseases in migrant populations in the EU/EEA. The authors defined factors associated with increased risk according to a multi-dimensional framework and performed a systematic literature review in order to identify whether those factors well reflected the reported risk factors for infectious disease in these populations. Following this, the feasibility of applying this framework to relevant available EU/EEA data sources was assessed. The proposed multidimensional framework is well suited to capture the complexity and concurrence of these risk factors and in principle applicable in the EU/EEA. The authors conclude that adopting a multi-dimensional framework to monitor infectious diseases could favor the disaggregated collection and analysis of migrant health data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Norms about a Health Issue in Work Group Networks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11621-11639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911621 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1933
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to advance theorizing about how small groups understand health issues through the use of social network analysis. To achieve this goal, an adapted cognitive social structure examines group social norms around a specific health issue, H1N1 flu [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to advance theorizing about how small groups understand health issues through the use of social network analysis. To achieve this goal, an adapted cognitive social structure examines group social norms around a specific health issue, H1N1 flu prevention. As predicted, individual’s attitudes, self-efficacy, and perceived social norms were each positively associated with behavioral intentions for at least one of the H1N1 health behaviors studied. Moreover, collective norms of the whole group were also associated with behavioral intentions, even after controlling for how individual group members perceive those norms. For members of work groups in which pairs were perceived to agree in their support for H1N1 vaccination, the effect of individually perceived group norms on behavioral intentions was stronger than for groups with less agreement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Network Analysis and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
An Epidemiological Study of Risk Factors of Thyroid Nodule and Goiter in Chinese Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11608-11620; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911608 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2607 | Retraction
Abstract
Thyroid nodule (TN) and goiter are two common disorders of the thyroid. Despite their benign nature, both conditions can be associated with multiple pathologic conditions including thyroid cancer. In this study, we conducted a large-scale epidemiological study in Chinese women to identify the [...] Read more.
Thyroid nodule (TN) and goiter are two common disorders of the thyroid. Despite their benign nature, both conditions can be associated with multiple pathologic conditions including thyroid cancer. In this study, we conducted a large-scale epidemiological study in Chinese women to identify the risk factors implicated in the occurrence of TN and goiter. We analyzed demographic data, lifestyle, medical history, body height, weight, waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, serum glucose and lipids. In addition, thyroid ultrasonography was performed for all subjects. Our results showed that age, menopause, waist circumference, BMI, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and hyperglycemia were associated with both TN and goiter. Furthermore, we found that the prevalence of TN was significantly affected by the medical management of hypertension. Our study suggests that postmenopausal Chinese women with advanced age, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension have an increased awareness of thyroid examination in the annual physical check. Conversely, patients with TN and goiter of the same population may have a higher incidence of age- and obesity-related metabolic disorders. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Impact of a Mindfulness Based Program on Perceived Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Sleep of Incarcerated Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11594-11607; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911594 - 16 Sep 2015
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3210
Abstract
Incarcerated women enter the prison setting with remarkable histories of trauma, mental health and substance abuse issues. Given the stress of incarceration and separation from their children, families, and significant others, it is not surprising that many women experience increased anxiety, depression, and [...] Read more.
Incarcerated women enter the prison setting with remarkable histories of trauma, mental health and substance abuse issues. Given the stress of incarceration and separation from their children, families, and significant others, it is not surprising that many women experience increased anxiety, depression, and problems with sleep. Due to these negative outcomes, it is imperative to find efficient non-pharmacological interventions. This pilot study examined the impact of a 12-week mindfulness based program on the stress, anxiety, depression and sleep of women with a total of 33 completing the study. In one group, women’s perceived stress, anxiety and depression were all significantly lower following the intervention compared to prior to the intervention. Challenges with implementing the pilot study are addressed. Despite challenges and limitations, the low-cost non-pharmacological intervention has potential for a reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Correctional Health)
Open AccessArticle
What Contributes to the Activeness of Ethnic Minority Patients with Chronic Illnesses Seeking Allied Health Services? A Cross-Sectional Study in Rural Western China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11579-11593; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911579 - 15 Sep 2015
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2891
Abstract
Actively seeking health services lies at the core of effective models of chronic disease self-management and contributes to promoting the utilization of allied health services (AHS). However, the use of AHS by ethnic minority Chinese, especially the elderly living in rural areas, has [...] Read more.
Actively seeking health services lies at the core of effective models of chronic disease self-management and contributes to promoting the utilization of allied health services (AHS). However, the use of AHS by ethnic minority Chinese, especially the elderly living in rural areas, has not received much attention. This study, therefore, aims to explore the association between personal characteristics and the activeness of ethnic minority patients with chronic diseases in rural areas of western China seeking AHS. A cross-sectional study was conducted to collect data on the socio-demographic and economic characteristics, health knowledge level and health communication channels of the sampled patients. A logistic regression model was used to examine the association of these predictors with the activeness of the surveyed patients in seeking AHS. A total of 1078 ethnic minorities over 45 years old who had chronic conditions were randomly selected from three western provinces in China and were interviewed in 2014. It is found that the New Cooperative Medical Scheme (NCMS) is the most salient predictor affecting the activeness of Chinese ethnic minorities in seeking AHS. The probability is 8.51 times greater for those insured with NCMS to actively seek AHS than those without (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 4.76–15.21; p < 0.001). Moreover, participants between 60 and 70 years old and those who have five to six household members are more likely to seek AHS compared with other social groups (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.64, 95% CI 1.28–2.97, p = 0.007; OR = 1.95, 95% CI 1.15–2.36, p = 0.002). However, the activeness of patients seeking AHS is lower for those who have better household economic conditions. Besides socio-demographic predictors, the Chinese ethnic minorities’ activeness in seeking AHS is clearly associated with the communication channels used for receiving health information, which include direct communication with doctors (OR = 5.18, 95% CI 3.58–7.50, p < 0.001) and dissemination of elementary public health knowledge posted on bulletin boards (OR = 2.30, 95% CI 1.61–3.27, p < 0.001) and traditional mass media (OR = 1.74, 95% CI 1.22–2.48, p = 0.002). First, the government should further improve the coverage of NCMS to households suffering from chronic diseases and satisfy the requirements of social groups at different income levels and various ages in their health care to improve their activeness in AHS utilization. Second, doctors’ advice, bulletin boards and traditional media are common health communication channels for those seeking AHS and thus should be continuously employed in rural western China. Third, specified healthcare services should be designed to meet the needs of different patient segmentations. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Multiscale Mapping Assessment of Lake Champlain Cyanobacterial Harmful Algal Blooms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11560-11578; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911560 - 15 Sep 2015
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2393
Abstract
Lake Champlain has bays undergoing chronic cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms that pose a public health threat. Monitoring and assessment tools need to be developed to support risk decision making and to gain a thorough understanding of bloom scales and intensities. In this research [...] Read more.
Lake Champlain has bays undergoing chronic cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms that pose a public health threat. Monitoring and assessment tools need to be developed to support risk decision making and to gain a thorough understanding of bloom scales and intensities. In this research application, Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI), Rapid Eye, and Proba Compact High Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (CHRIS) images were obtained while a corresponding field campaign collected in situ measurements of water quality. Models including empirical band ratio regressions were applied to map chlorophylla and phycocyanin concentrations; all sensors performed well with R2 and root-mean-square error (RMSE) ranging from 0.76 to 0.88 and 0.42 to 1.51, respectively. The outcomes showed spatial patterns across the lake with problematic bays having phycocyanin concentrations >25 μg/L. An alert status metric tuned to the current monitoring protocol was generated using modeled water quality to illustrate how the remote sensing tools can inform a public health monitoring system. Among the sensors utilized in this study, Landsat 8 OLI holds the most promise for providing exposure information across a wide area given the resolutions, systematic observation strategy and free cost. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating of Physiological Chemical Levels in Blood to Assess the Risk of Morbidity and Mortality of Ischemic Cardiovascular Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11549-11559; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911549 - 14 Sep 2015
Viewed by 1525
Abstract
In this study, a multiple linear regression model to evaluate the risk of morbidity and mortality of ischemic cardiovascular disease is demonstrated. In this model, predictor variables are selected from physiological chemicals in a blood test of the subjects. Meanwhile, the calculated risk [...] Read more.
In this study, a multiple linear regression model to evaluate the risk of morbidity and mortality of ischemic cardiovascular disease is demonstrated. In this model, predictor variables are selected from physiological chemicals in a blood test of the subjects. Meanwhile, the calculated risk score is selected as a response variable. Four major latent variables including hepatic, nephric, metabolic, and BMI (Body Mass Index) are revealed by performing statistical and principal component analysis for the collected survey data. The analyzed result also shows that the cardiac disorder is correlated with symptoms of abnormal BMI, hepatic disorder, nephric disorder, and metabolic disorder. Thus, the risk of morbidity and mortality of ischemic cardiovascular disease can be assessed from the proposed multiple regression model. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Serum Adiponectin and Leptin Concentrations in Relation to Body Fat Distribution, Hematological Indices and Lipid Profile in Humans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11528-11548; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120911528 - 14 Sep 2015
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2049
Abstract
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship between serum adiponectin and leptin concentrations and body composition, hematological indices and lipid profile parameters in adults. The study involved 95 volunteers (BMI from 23.3 to 53 kg/m2). Anthropometric parameters were [...] Read more.
The purpose of the study was to evaluate the relationship between serum adiponectin and leptin concentrations and body composition, hematological indices and lipid profile parameters in adults. The study involved 95 volunteers (BMI from 23.3 to 53 kg/m2). Anthropometric parameters were measured: body weight and height, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, body fat mass (BMF), subcutaneous and visceral fat mass (SFM, VFM), lean body mass (LBM), skeletal muscle mass (SMM). In serum we determined adiponectin and leptin concentrations, extracellular hemoglobin, total bilirubin, as well as lipid metabolism (TCh, HDL-Ch, LDL-Ch, TG). Mean adipokine levels were significantly higher in women (p ≤ 0.01), adiponectin significantly negatively correlated with body height and weight, systolic blood pressure and absolute LBM and SMM values. The same relation was observed for erythroid system indicators and lipid indicators. A positive correlation was exceptionally found between adiponectin and HDL-Ch. LEP negatively correlated with some percentage rates (%LBM, %SMM). Only in women, we observed a positive correlation between LEP and body weight, BMI and WHR. Studies on ADPN and the ADPN/LEP ratio as a valuable complementary diagnostic element in the prediction and prevention of cardiovascular diseases need to be continued. Full article
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