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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 15, Issue 10 (October 2018)

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Open AccessArticle The Impact on the Ecosystem Services Value of the Ecological Shelter Zone Reconstruction in the Upper Reaches Basin of the Yangtze River in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2273; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102273 (registering DOI)
Received: 10 August 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
With regional socio-economic development and increasing population, the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystem environments on the earth’s surface have changed markedly. Ecological shelter zone reconstruction (ESZR) is an ecosystem restoration and conservation project, which aims to ensure the safety of
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With regional socio-economic development and increasing population, the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystem environments on the earth’s surface have changed markedly. Ecological shelter zone reconstruction (ESZR) is an ecosystem restoration and conservation project, which aims to ensure the safety of the ecological environments of—regions and basins. We selected the upper reaches of the Yangtze River (from Yibin to Chongqing) as the study area and determined the connotation of ESZR. At the same time, the planning scope and construction content of the ecological barrier in this specific region have been preliminarily explored. Meanwhile, a set of related planning methods was proposed, the ecological effects of which were quantitatively assessed and confirmed through the calculation of ESVs. Compared with the conditions in 2005, the study showed that the value of the services of the whole ecosystem augmented significantly under the slope classification, increasing by 103.23%. At the same time, the land use pattern has been optimized, and the vegetation coverage has been enhanced. The ESZR can effectively improve the ecosystem service function of slope land (mainly slope > 25°) and the regional ecological environment, solve the rocky desertification of the study area and provide an effective decision in relation to supporting regional green sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aquatic Ecosystem Health)
Open AccessArticle Understanding the Association between Environmental Factors and Longevity in Hechi, China: A Drinking Water and Soil Quality Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2272; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102272 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
The aging population is a big challenge all over the world. However, there are few studies to date investigating the effects of trace element and mineral levels in drinking water and soil (especially in karst areas) on longevity. This study aims to examine
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The aging population is a big challenge all over the world. However, there are few studies to date investigating the effects of trace element and mineral levels in drinking water and soil (especially in karst areas) on longevity. This study aims to examine temporal and spatial variations in longevity in Hechi (which is recognized as a longevity city) and to investigate relationships between longevity and trace element and mineral levels in drinking water and soils in this city (the karst landscape). Population data were collected from relevant literature and four national population censuses in 1982, 1990, 2000 and 2010. Drinking water and soil samples from Hechi were collected and analyzed. The results demonstrated an obvious clustered distribution for the longevity population in Hechi that has existed stably for decades. The longevity index tended to be significantly positively correlated with H2SiO3, Ca and Fe in drinking water and significantly negatively correlated with Sr in soil, indicating that drinking water characteristics contributed significantly to the observed regional longevity. The karst landscape is responsible for abundant trace elements in underground rivers in Hechi, which are beneficial to human health when consumed as drinking water. Good quality and slightly alkaline drinking water rich in trace elements such as H2SiO3, Ca, Fe, Na, Mg and low in heavy metals such as Pb and Cd might be an important factor contributing to the longevity phenomenon in Hechi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Variation of Hydrothermal Conditions under Climate Change in Naqu Prefecture, Tibet Plateau, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102271 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 August 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Analysis of the suitability of hydrothermal conditions for vegetation growth would benefit the ecological barrier construction, water resources protection and climate change adaptation. The suitability of hydrothermal conditions in Naqu Prefecture was studied based on the spatial displacement of 500 mm precipitation and
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Analysis of the suitability of hydrothermal conditions for vegetation growth would benefit the ecological barrier construction, water resources protection and climate change adaptation. The suitability of hydrothermal conditions in Naqu Prefecture was studied based on the spatial displacement of 500 mm precipitation and 2000 °C accumulated temperature contours. Results showed that the 500 mm precipitation contour had a shifting trend toward the southwest, with a 3.3-year and 7.1-year period, respectively, in the longitudinal and latitudinal direction, and the longitude changed suddenly around 1996. The 2000 °C accumulated temperature contour had a shifting trend toward the northwest, with a 1.8-year period and a 7-year sub-period in the longitudinal direction; the longitude had a catastrophe point between 1966 and 1967, while the latitude had a catastrophe point between 2005 and 2006. When located in the same vegetation zone, the annual precipitation in Naqu Prefecture was higher than the national average, while the accumulated temperature was lower than the national average, indicating that areas with suitable hydrothermal conditions suitable for vegetation growth showed a northwestward shift tendency. This research would help to support some recommendations for plants’ ecological system protection in alpine areas, and also provide guidelines for climate change adaptation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Occurrence and Composition of Microplastics in the Seabed Sediments of the Coral Communities in Proximity of a Metropolitan Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2270; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102270 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
In marine environments, microplastics have become a focus in scientific research in the last decade due to the global threat this pollutant poses to the marine environment. Corals in Hong Kong are under threat due to the degradation of the marine environment caused
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In marine environments, microplastics have become a focus in scientific research in the last decade due to the global threat this pollutant poses to the marine environment. Corals in Hong Kong are under threat due to the degradation of the marine environment caused by human activities. This study investigated the occurrence, abundance and composition of microplastic debris (0.3–5 mm) in seabed sediments adjacent to coral communities in Hong Kong. Twenty-four benthic sediment samples were collected from four study sites located along the northeastern and eastern shores of Hong Kong. Microplastic concentrations ranged from 169 ± 48 to 221 ± 45 items/kg, and the mean concentration of microplastics in the seabed sediments was 189 ± 50 items/kg, which was comparable to similar studies in other regions. Microplastics accounted for 95.4% of particles extracted from benthic sediment samples using 40× light microscopy. ATR-FTIR spectroscopy analysis showed that polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) comprised the majority of polymer types, contributing 45.3% and 29.3%, respectively. The proportion of microplastics made from PE and PET in seabed sediments was significantly higher than that observed in local beach sediments. The proportion of microplastics made from PE and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) together in the seabed sediments was much higher than that of PET and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The results have provided information with reference to environmental concentrations of microplastics for fringe reef habitat close to urban areas, which can be applied in studies concerning ecotoxicity of microplastics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Association between Dry Eye Disease, Air Pollution and Weather Changes in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2269; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102269 (registering DOI)
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Dry eye disease (DED) has become a common eye disease in recent years and appears to be influenced by environmental factors. This study aimed to examine the association between the first occurrence of DED, air pollution and weather changes in Taiwan. We used
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Dry eye disease (DED) has become a common eye disease in recent years and appears to be influenced by environmental factors. This study aimed to examine the association between the first occurrence of DED, air pollution and weather changes in Taiwan. We used the systematic sampling cohort database containing 1,000,000 insureds of the National Health Insurance of Taiwan from 2004 to 2013, and identified a total of 25,818 eligible DED subjects. Environmental data, including those of air pollutants, temperature and relative humidity, were retrieved from the environmental monitoring stations adjacent to subjects’ locations of clinics as exposure information. We applied the case-crossover design, which used the same subjects experiencing exposures on diagnosis days as cases and those on other days as controls. The descriptive statistics showed that the first occurrences of DED were the most for the elderly by age (53.6%), women by gender (68.9%), and spring by season (25.9%). Multivariate conditional logistic regression analyses indicated that carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and temperature were positively associated with DED (p < 0.05), while relative humidity was negatively related (p < 0.001). Because CO and NO2 together are considered a surrogate of traffic emission, which is easier to control than the uprising temperature, it is suggested that efficient management and control of traffic emission may lower the probability of DED occurrence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Comparison of Polar Active Watch and Waist- and Wrist-Worn ActiGraph Accelerometers for Measuring Children’s Physical Activity Levels during Unstructured Afterschool Programs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2268; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102268 (registering DOI)
Received: 4 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of the Polar Active Watch (PAW), a consumer-grade wrist-worn activity monitor, against waist- and wrist-worn research-grade monitors, the ActiGraph GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers, in children. Methods: Fifty-one children (18 boys; mean
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Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity of the Polar Active Watch (PAW), a consumer-grade wrist-worn activity monitor, against waist- and wrist-worn research-grade monitors, the ActiGraph GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers, in children. Methods: Fifty-one children (18 boys; mean age = 10.30 ± 0.91 years) wore the three monitors (PAW, GT3X+, and GT9X) during an 80-min afterschool program across five school days. Time spent in sedentary, light-intensity (LPA), and moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity (MVPA) were estimated from each monitor. The correlation, mixed model, mean absolute percentage error, equivalence testing, and Bland-Altman analyses were used to examine the comparability of PA estimates of the PAW with GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. Results: Moderate to strong correlations for sedentary and MVPA minutes, and weak correlation for LPA were observed between the PAW and GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. Significant mean differences were found, where the PAW tended to overestimate time in sedentary and MVPA and underestimate LPA minutes, compared to the GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. However, a non-significant mean difference in MVPA minutes was observed when using an adjusted MET threshold (≥4 METs) for the PAW, compared to the GT3X+ accelerometer. Conclusions: The PAW showed moderate convergent validity for sedentary and MVPA minutes against the GT3X+/GT9X accelerometers. However, caution is needed in the direct comparison between the monitors due to relatively large mean differences and within-group variability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle Caregiving, Employment and Social Isolation: Challenges for Rural Carers in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2267; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102267 (registering DOI)
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 9 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Australia has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates, and there is a rapidly growing need for informal caregivers to support individuals who are ageing, have chronic illness or a lifelong disability. These informal carers themselves face numerous physical and psychological stressors
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Australia has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates, and there is a rapidly growing need for informal caregivers to support individuals who are ageing, have chronic illness or a lifelong disability. These informal carers themselves face numerous physical and psychological stressors in attempting to balance the provision of care with their personal life, their work commitments and family responsibilities. However, little is known about the specific challenges facing rural carers and the barriers that limit their capacity to provide ongoing support. A cross-sectional survey composed of open-ended responses and demographic/socioeconomic measures used routinely by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) was used with a cohort of 225 rurally-based carers within New South Wales, Australia. Demographic questions specified the respondents’ age, gender, employment, caregiving status, condition of and relationship to the care recipient, postcode, residency status, and distance and frequency travelled to provide care. Open-ended comments sections were provided to allow participants to describe any issues and problems associated with caregiving including employment, travel, residency, carer support groups and any other general information. The results show that most rural carers were middle-aged women supporting a spouse or a child. Unpredictability associated with providing care exacerbated demands on carers’ time, with many reporting significant employment consequences associated with inflexibility and limited job options in rural locations. Specific issues associated with travel requirements to assist with care were reported, as were the impacts of care provision on the respondents’ own personal health. The majority of carers were aware of the social supports available in their local rural community, but did not access them, leaving the carers vulnerable to marginalisation. Problems associated with employment were noted as resulting in financial pressures and associated personal stress and anxiety for the caregivers. While this issue is not necessarily limited to rural areas, it would appear that the lack of opportunity and flexibility evident in rural areas would exacerbate this problem for non-metropolitan residents. The participants also identified specific barriers to the provision of care in rural areas, including the significant impact of travel. Access to support services, such as carer groups, were rarely accessed due to a mix of factors including inaccessibility, poor timing and a lack of anonymity. Financially, there was considerable evidence of hardship, and there is an urgent need for a comprehensive review of government and community-based support to better meet the needs of rural carers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Health Care)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview Climate Change, Health and Existential Risks to Civilization: A Comprehensive Review (1989–2013)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102266 (registering DOI)
Received: 2 September 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989–2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to
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Background: Anthropogenic global warming, interacting with social and other environmental determinants, constitutes a profound health risk. This paper reports a comprehensive literature review for 1989–2013 (inclusive), the first 25 years in which this topic appeared in scientific journals. It explores the extent to which articles have identified potentially catastrophic, civilization-endangering health risks associated with climate change. Methods: PubMed and Google Scholar were primarily used to identify articles which were then ranked on a three-point scale. Each score reflected the extent to which papers discussed global systemic risk. Citations were also analyzed. Results: Of 2143 analyzed papers 1546 (72%) were scored as one. Their citations (165,133) were 82% of the total. The proportion of annual papers scored as three was initially high, as were their citations but declined to almost zero by 1996, before rising slightly from 2006. Conclusions: The enormous expansion of the literature appropriately reflects increased understanding of the importance of climate change to global health. However, recognition of the most severe, existential, health risks from climate change was generally low. Most papers instead focused on infectious diseases, direct heat effects and other disciplinary-bounded phenomena and consequences, even though scientific advances have long called for more inter-disciplinary collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective)
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Open AccessArticle Prediction and Decomposition of Efficiency Differences in Chinese Provincial Community Health Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2265; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102265 (registering DOI)
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
The objective of this paper is to analyze the provincial efficiency of the Chinese community health care service and its differences. This study allows us to predict the provincial differences in the efficiency of the Chinese community health care service from 2017 to
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The objective of this paper is to analyze the provincial efficiency of the Chinese community health care service and its differences. This study allows us to predict the provincial differences in the efficiency of the Chinese community health care service from 2017 to 2026. This study analyzes the contributions of inter-regional and intra-regional differences in the total efficiency difference. We use the Super-SBM (Slacks-based Model) data envelopment analysis (DEA) model, Grey Model GM (1,1) for grey prediction, and the group-based Theil index decomposition method to study Chinese provincial panel data from 2008 to 2016. Results show that a fluctuating trend existed in the average provincial efficiency of community health services from 2008 to 2016. The community health services in a considerable number of provincial areas were inefficient. This study also reveals that there existed apparent inter-provincial differences in efficiency in Chinese community health services. The inter-provincial differences of the efficiency of Chinese community health services revealed by the Theil index declined at a relatively slow pace. With regard to the provincial efficiency difference of the Chinese community health service, the intra-regional efficiency difference is the most important structural reason for the overall efficiency difference, which explains the overall difference to a large extent. The inter-regional efficiency difference among the eastern, central, and western regions becomes the secondary structural reason, which should not be ignored. In conclusion, focus should be put on restructuring the investments into medical resources for community health service in each Chinese province. More attentions should be put into narrowing the inter-regional efficiency differences of the Chinese provincial community health service. The strategies targeted at reducing the inter-regional efficiency differences should not be ignored, so as to facilitate the improvement of overall efficiency of the Chinese community health service. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social, Cultural and Economic Context of Health and Social Care)
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Open AccessArticle Seroreactivity and Risk Factors Associated with Coxiella burnetii Infection among Cattle Slaughterhouse Workers in South Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102264 (registering DOI)
Received: 6 October 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Q fever, caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a zoonotic disease that is an occupational hazard to people who work in close contact with animals or their carcasses. A nationwide serologic study among cattle slaughterhouse workers who were presumed to be at risk
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Q fever, caused by Coxiella burnetii, is a zoonotic disease that is an occupational hazard to people who work in close contact with animals or their carcasses. A nationwide serologic study among cattle slaughterhouse workers who were presumed to be at risk of having C. burnetii infection in South Korea was performed to investigate the seroreactivity of C. burnetii infection and identify related risk factors. Out of 1017 cattle slaughterhouse workers in South Korea, 923 (90.8%) participated in this cross-sectional study. Samples were tested for immunoglobulin G (IgG) and M (IgM) antibodies against phase II C. burnetii via indirect immunofluorescence assay. The overall seroreactivity, defined as IgG or IgM antibody titer cutoffs ≥1:16, was 9.1% (84/923). Additionally, a significant association was found between the seroreactivity of C. burnetii infection and performing carcass evisceration work (odds ratio, 2.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.39–4.03) in multivariate analysis. To diminish C. burnetii infection, cattle slaughterhouse workers need to take precautions during the evisceration process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Infectious Disease Epidemiology)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Sex-Dependent Impact of Low-Level Lead Exposure during Prenatal Period on Child Psychomotor Functions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2263; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102263 (registering DOI)
Received: 17 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
The impact of exposure to lead on child neurodevelopment has been well established. However, sex differences in vulnerability are still not fully explained. We aimed at evaluating the effect of a low-level lead exposure, as measured between 20 to 24 weeks of pregnancy
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The impact of exposure to lead on child neurodevelopment has been well established. However, sex differences in vulnerability are still not fully explained. We aimed at evaluating the effect of a low-level lead exposure, as measured between 20 to 24 weeks of pregnancy and in cord blood, on developmental scores up to 24 months of age in 402 children from the Polish Mother and Child Cohort (REPRO_PL). Additionally, sex-dependent susceptibility to lead at this very early stage of psychomotor development was assessed. The blood lead levels were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). In order to estimate the children’s neurodevelopment, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development was applied. The geometric mean (GM) for blood lead level during 20–24 weeks of pregnancy was 0.99 ± 0.15 µg/dL and, in the cord blood, it was 0.96 ± 0.16 µg/dL. There was no statistically significant impact of lead exposure during prenatal period on the girls’ psychomotor abilities. Among the boys, we observed lower scores for cognitive functions, along with increasing cord blood lead levels (β = −2.07; p = 0.04), whereas the results for the language and motor abilities were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Our findings show that fetal exposure to very low lead levels might affect early cognitive domain, with boys being more susceptible than girls. Education on health, higher public awareness, as well as intervention programs, along with relevant regulations, are still needed to reduce risks for the vulnerable population subgroups. Full article
Open AccessArticle Running as a Form of Therapy Socio-Psychological Functions of Mass Running Events for Men and Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2262; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102262 (registering DOI)
Received: 7 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
The main goal of this study was to recognize the motives of participation in mass running events (Poznan Half Marathon case study). The second aim was to examine the motivations to participate in a half-marathon among two groups of respondents: men and women,
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The main goal of this study was to recognize the motives of participation in mass running events (Poznan Half Marathon case study). The second aim was to examine the motivations to participate in a half-marathon among two groups of respondents: men and women, and to evaluate the differences between them. The empirical research among runners (n = 560) conducted during the one of the most important running events in Poland recognized the motives for participation in the sports event in accordance with the four basic types of orientation: social orientation, experience orientation, factual orientation, and result orientation (Freyer & Gross, 2002). The significant difference between surveyed men and women appeared in the motives of desire to get away from everyday life and its prevailing fashion, which turned out to be more important for women than for men. The desire to win was not important for the respondents. All respondents reported that what was very important for them was the need to experience strong emotions related to participation, the desire to feel unity and integration with other people, and the desire to test themselves. In general, the results show that people participate in running events not only for physical activity, but also for mental well-being and socio-psychological effects. They experience strong emotions, adrenaline, pleasure, relaxation, and an escape from the duties and hardships of everyday life and have an opportunity to build social relationships thanks to mass sports events organized in urban agglomerations. The article constitutes a conceptualization of the running event in the dimension of social and psychological interactions, which reveal and demonstrate its creative layers and contemporary meaning which has already gone deeply beyond functions of running for health and improving the physical condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effect of Sport Activity on Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Preventive Dental Care Utilization in Asian Americans in Austin, Texas: Does Neighborhood Matter?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102261
Received: 6 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 13 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
Although dental care is an essential component of comprehensive health care, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population lacks access to it. Disparities in dental care are most pronounced in racial/ethnic minority communities. Given the rapid population growth of Asian Americans, as well
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Although dental care is an essential component of comprehensive health care, a substantial proportion of the U.S. population lacks access to it. Disparities in dental care are most pronounced in racial/ethnic minority communities. Given the rapid population growth of Asian Americans, as well as the growing attention of neighborhood-level effects on health care use, the present study examines how individual-level variables (i.e., age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, education, place of birth, length of stay in the U.S., dental insurance, and self-rated oral health) and neighborhood-level variables (i.e., poverty level, density of Asian population, dentist availability, and Asian-related resources and services) contribute to predicting the use of preventive dental care in a sample of Asian Americans in Austin, TX. This study adds to the growing literature on the effect of neighborhood-level factors on health care as sources of disparities. Those living in the Census area with higher level of available dentists were more likely to use preventive dental care services. Findings suggest the importance of the location (proximity or accessibility) to dental clinics. In a planning perspective for health care policy, identifying the neighborhood with limited healthcare services could be a priority to diminish the disparity of the access. Full article
Open AccessArticle Association between Smoking Behavior Patterns and Glycated Hemoglobin Levels in a General Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2260; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102260
Received: 8 August 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract
This study investigated the association of smoking behaviors, including dual smoking (smoking both cigarettes and e-cigarettes), cigarettes smoking, and previous smoking, with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data from 2014–2016 was used. Associations between smoking behavior patterns
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This study investigated the association of smoking behaviors, including dual smoking (smoking both cigarettes and e-cigarettes), cigarettes smoking, and previous smoking, with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) data from 2014–2016 was used. Associations between smoking behavior patterns and HbA1c levels were analyzed via multiple regression. Among 8809 participants, individuals who were dual smokers and cigarettes smokers had significantly higher HbA1c levels than non-smokers (dual: β = 0.1116, p = 0.0012, single: β = 0.0752, p = 0.0022). This relationship strengthened in subgroups of men (dual: β = 0.1290, p = 0.0013, single: β = 0.1020, p = 0.0014, ex: β = 0.0654, p = 0.0308), physically inactive subjects (dual: β = 0.1527, p = 0.0053, single: β = 0.0876, p = 0.0197), and overweight (dual: β = 0.1425, p = 0.0133) and obese individuals (dual: β = 0.1694, p = 0.0061, single: β = 0.1035, p = 0.0217). This study suggests that smoking behaviors are likely to increase the risk of HbA1c level in a general population. The health effects of dual smoking remain uncertain and should be addressed in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle Environmental Health in Perinatal and Early Childhood: Awareness, Representation, Knowledge and Practice of Southern France Perinatal Health Professionals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2259; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102259
Received: 5 September 2018 / Revised: 4 October 2018 / Accepted: 4 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
The exposure of adults of reproductive age as well as pregnant women and children to environmental contaminants is of particular concern, as it can impact fertility, in utero development, pregnancy outcomes and child health. Consequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international societies
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The exposure of adults of reproductive age as well as pregnant women and children to environmental contaminants is of particular concern, as it can impact fertility, in utero development, pregnancy outcomes and child health. Consequently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and international societies advocate including Environmental Health (EH) in perinatal care, yet perinatal health professionals (HPs) hardly put these recommendations into practice. In 2017, a cross-sectional study was performed in a large panel of perinatal HPs in south-eastern France with the aim of painting a picture of their current attitudes, representation, knowledge, and training expectations. Quantitative and qualitative information was collected via auto-questionnaire. Questionnaires were completed by 962 participants, mainly midwives (41.1%), physicians (25.6%) and nursery nurses (11%). Indoor/outdoor air quality and endocrine disruptors were the best-mastered topics, whereas electromagnetic fields and diet gave rise to unsure responses. Overall, perinatal HPs were ill-trained and -informed about the reproductive risks linked to daily environmental exposure. HPs reported scarce knowledge, fear of patient reaction and lack of solutions as the main barriers to providing information regarding EH to the public. Our findings highlight the need to set up EH training programmes focused on scientific knowledge and to provide simple messages and tips to help perinatal HPs deliver advice to populations to mitigate exposure to environmental toxicants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Water Quality Profile Using Numerical Modeling Approach in Major Climate Classes of Asia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2258; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102258
Received: 28 August 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
A river water quality spatial profile has a diverse pattern of variation over different climatic regions. To comprehend this phenomenon, our study evaluated the spatial scale variation of the Water Quality Index (WQI). The study was carried out over four main climatic classes
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A river water quality spatial profile has a diverse pattern of variation over different climatic regions. To comprehend this phenomenon, our study evaluated the spatial scale variation of the Water Quality Index (WQI). The study was carried out over four main climatic classes in Asia based on the Koppen-Geiger climate classification system: tropical, temperate, cold, and arid. The one-dimensional surface water quality model, QUAL2Kw was selected and compared for water quality simulations. Calibration and validation were separately performed for the model predictions over different climate classes. The accuracy of the water quality model was assessed using different statistical analyses. The spatial profile of WQI was calculated using model predictions based on dissolved oxygen (DO), biological oxygen demand (BOD), nitrate (NO3), and pH. The results showed that there is a smaller longitudinal variation of WQI in the cold climatic regions than other regions, which does not change the status of WQI. Streams from arid, temperate, and tropical climatic regions show a decreasing trend of DO with respect to the longitudinal profiles of main river flows. Since this study found that each climate zone has the different impact on DO dynamics such as reaeration rate, reoxygenation, and oxygen solubility. The outcomes obtained in this study are expected to provide the impetus for developing a strategy for the viable improvement of the water environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Chinese National Air Protection Policy Development: A Policy Network Theory Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2257; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102257
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 26 September 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Given its wide involvement in and recognition by international organizations, China has signed many international agreements and negotiations. This study verified how and the extent to which changes in exogenous factors (e.g., international agreements and negotiations) affect Chinese governmental air protection policy development.
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Given its wide involvement in and recognition by international organizations, China has signed many international agreements and negotiations. This study verified how and the extent to which changes in exogenous factors (e.g., international agreements and negotiations) affect Chinese governmental air protection policy development. Previous studies on policy network theory have demonstrated that exogenous factors affected the development of domestic policies significantly, while in this study little evidence was found to demonstrate the influence of exogenous factors on changes in Chinese policy. Rather, internal factors have played an important role in both its development and transformation. These findings differ from study results on wealthy countries and other developing districts. This study then explores the causes of substandard policy outcomes. To probe this further, policy network theory is applied to explain the gap between the guiding principle of central government’s policies and local implementation in actual practice. By analyzing the strategies of policy actors and specific rules in current Chinese context, the associated limitations and obstacles in the process of policy-making and implementation can be explained from the aspect of bureaucratic system, energy market running mechanism and others. This paper recommends alterations in the current policy and structure based on these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle The Digestive Health among Participants of the Woodstock Rock Festival in Poland—A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102256
Received: 18 September 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Alterations of gut microbiota, intestinal barrier and the gut-brain axis may be involved in pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of digestive tract symptoms and identify common variables potentially disrupting the gut-brain axis among participants of the
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Alterations of gut microbiota, intestinal barrier and the gut-brain axis may be involved in pathophysiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders. Our aim was to assess the prevalence of digestive tract symptoms and identify common variables potentially disrupting the gut-brain axis among participants of the Woodstock Festival Poland, 2017. In total 428 people filled in a questionnaire assessing health of their digestive tract. The investigator collected answers on an electronic device, while the study participant responded using a paper version of the same questionnaire. Liver and gallbladder related symptoms were the most prevalent among our study group (n = 266, 62%), however symptoms related to altered intestinal permeability were found to be the most intensive complaints. In females the intensity of gastrointestinal complaints was higher compared to men (p < 0.05), as well as the incidence of factors with the potential to alter gut-brain axis (p < 0.0001). Chronic psychological distress, intake of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and antibiotics, were the most common associations with gastrointestinal symptoms, which were the most prevalent in females. Further attention should be focused on stress as one of the main factors negatively influencing public health. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sediment Facilitates Microbial Degradation of the Herbicides Endothall Monoamine Salt and Endothall Dipotassium Salt in an Aquatic Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102255
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 3 October 2018 / Accepted: 10 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Endothall dipotassium salt and monoamine salt are herbicide formulations used for controlling submerged aquatic macrophytes and algae in aquatic ecosystems. Microbial activity is the primary degradation pathway for endothall. To better understand what influences endothall degradation, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to (1)
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Endothall dipotassium salt and monoamine salt are herbicide formulations used for controlling submerged aquatic macrophytes and algae in aquatic ecosystems. Microbial activity is the primary degradation pathway for endothall. To better understand what influences endothall degradation, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to (1) evaluate the effects of different water and sediment sources on degradation, and (2) determine if degradation was faster in the presence of a microbial community previously exposed to endothall. Endothall residues were determined with LC-MS at intervals to 21 days after endothall application. Two endothall isomers were detected. Isomer-1 was abundant in both endothall formulations, while isomer-2 was only abundant in the monoamine endothall formulation and was more persistent. Degradation did not occur in the absence of sediment. In the presence of sediment, degradation of isomer-1 began after a lag phase of 5–11 days and was almost complete by 14 days. Onset of degradation occurred 2–4 days sooner when the microbial population was previously exposed to endothall. We provide direct evidence that the presence and characteristics of sediment are of key importance in the degradation of endothall in an aquatic environment, and that monoamine endothall has two separate isomers that have different degradation characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Herbicide Applications)
Open AccessArticle Combining AHP-Entropy Approach with GIS for Construction Waste Landfill Selection—A Case Study of Shenzhen
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2254; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102254
Received: 9 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
With the recent fast economy development and rapid urbanization, the huge generation of construction waste has become a threat to sustainable development in China. Though efforts have been made to promote reuse and recycling of construction waste, landfilling of waste remains the most
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With the recent fast economy development and rapid urbanization, the huge generation of construction waste has become a threat to sustainable development in China. Though efforts have been made to promote reuse and recycling of construction waste, landfilling of waste remains the most commonly adapted approach for construction waste disposal. As the space for landfills is limited and because of the negative issues in terms of environmental and social aspects that may be caused, the appropriate site selection of landfills is crucial. With this background, this paper aims to establish a framework for facilitating landfill selection for construction waste. To begin with, a total of sixteen factors that may influence landfill site selection were identified from a literature review. Then, based on the combined analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy method, the weights and the final comprehensive scores of the identified factors were calculated. According to the derived results, potential sites for landfills were divided into three levels, namely the most appropriate (0.38%), appropriate (17.58%), and inappropriate (82.04%). The proposed decision-making methods in this paper can provide a valuable reference for the selection of construction waste landfill sites. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Contemplative Practices: A Strategy to Improve Health and Reduce Disparities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2253; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102253
Received: 1 September 2018 / Revised: 25 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Health has many dimensions, and intolerance and lack of compassion may contribute to the poor health and disparities in our nation. Tolerance can convey an inherent paradox or dissonance that can be associated with stress. However, tolerance has a dimension of acceptance, an
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Health has many dimensions, and intolerance and lack of compassion may contribute to the poor health and disparities in our nation. Tolerance can convey an inherent paradox or dissonance that can be associated with stress. However, tolerance has a dimension of acceptance, an acknowledgement and acceptance of what “is” at the present moment, that can relieve tension associated with differing beliefs and practices. Compassionate consideration of others can be combined with acceptance to create harmony within and across individuals. In this article, we explore how contemplative practices can cultivate tolerance and compassion and contribute to improvements in individual and population health. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Guatemalan Construction Industry: Approach of Knowledge Regarding Work Risks Prevention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2252; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102252
Received: 11 September 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
In the present work, the results are presented for the characterization of work risk prevention in the Guatemalan construction industry. This characterization has been carried out using a simple random sampling technique, employing a questionnaire that was structured into 3 groups of variables:
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In the present work, the results are presented for the characterization of work risk prevention in the Guatemalan construction industry. This characterization has been carried out using a simple random sampling technique, employing a questionnaire that was structured into 3 groups of variables: 1. General company data; 2. Prevention and management activities regarding health and safety in the company and on the worksite; and 3. Health and safety in the contractor companies. Following the sampling phase, the data were introduced in a database format, and a preliminary analysis was performed on the studied variables, followed by a descriptive analysis and a multiple correspondence analysis. The main findings of the study emphasize that companies in the Guatemalan construction sector are characterized as dedicating most of their activity (52.0%) indistinctly between civil engineering work, building construction and other specialized construction, mainly working as contractors (47.5%). These are “medium-sized” companies, employing an average of 81.1 on-site workers, having an average of 6.8 on-site work crews, and grossing an average turnover of 1.29 million euros annually. Likewise, it found that the larger construction companies adopt better prevention and management measures for worksite health and safety the larger companies are correlated with a high awareness of experiencing worksite accidents, while medium-sized companies have medium-level awareness. Companies with fewer workers manage workplace risk prevention worse, with low accident risk awareness. This correlation between these indicative variables of company size and workplace risk management and prevention is clearly reflected in the four company “clusters” that have been identified as having homogenous characteristics using the multiple correspondence analysis technique. Companies in the Guatemalan construction sector should make a greater effort to improve manager and worker training regarding workplace risk prevention to increase the effectiveness of company prevention management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Improving Safety, Health, and Wellbeing in Construction)
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Open AccessArticle Estimation of Seasonal Correction Factors for Indoor Radon Concentrations in Korea
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2251; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102251
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Long-term exposure to high radon concentration exerts pathological effects and elicits changes in respiratory function, increasing an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer. In health risk assessment of indoor radon, consideration of long-term exposure thereto is necessary to identify a relationship between indoor
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Long-term exposure to high radon concentration exerts pathological effects and elicits changes in respiratory function, increasing an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer. In health risk assessment of indoor radon, consideration of long-term exposure thereto is necessary to identify a relationship between indoor radon exposure and lung cancer. However, measuring long-term indoor radon concentration can be difficult, and a statistical model for predicting mean annual indoor radon concentrations may be readily applicable. We investigated the predictability of mean annual radon concentrations using national data on indoor radon concentrations throughout the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons in Korea. Indoor radon concentrations in Korea were highest in the winter and lowest in the summer. We derived seasonal correction and seasonal adjustment factors for each season based on the method proposed by previous study. However, these factors may not be readily applicable unless measured in a specific season. In this paper, we separate seasonal correction factors for each month of the year (new correction factors) based on correlations between indoor radon and meteorological factors according to housing type. To evaluate the correction factors, we assessed differences between estimated and measured mean annual radon concentrations. Roughly 97% of the estimated values were within ±40 Bq/m3 of actual measured values in detached houses, and roughly 85–87% of the estimated values were within ±40 Bq/m3 of the measured values in other residences. In most cases, the seasonal correction factors and the new correction factors had slightly better agreement than the seasonal adjustment factor. For predicting mean annual radon concentrations, the seasonal correction factors or seasonal adjustment factors can be of use when actual measurements of indoor radon concentrations for a specific season are available. Otherwise, the new correction factors may be more readily applicable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Risk-Taking Propensity of Construction Workers—An Application of Quasi-Expert Interview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2250; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102250
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 7 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
High accident rates have been a complicated and persistent problem in the Hong Kong construction industry. This situation has stimulated this investigation into factors that influence the risk-taking propensity of construction workers. However, interviewing workers who had a bad experience is problematic because
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High accident rates have been a complicated and persistent problem in the Hong Kong construction industry. This situation has stimulated this investigation into factors that influence the risk-taking propensity of construction workers. However, interviewing workers who had a bad experience is problematic because changes in attitude and perception may occur as a result of such an experience. Using quasi-expert interviews can reduce this problem. The objective of this study was to identify factors that influence the risk-taking propensity of construction workers. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 safety professionals all with accident inspection experience and six super-safe workers with no incident record for the past five years. Seven factors that affect the risk-taking propensity of construction workers were successfully identified. Each factor is thoughtfully discussed, and this study shows that quasi-expert interview is a pragmatic approach for deepening the understanding of risk-taking propensity among construction workers. Findings of this study will hopefully help and encourage further quantitative research on the risk-taking propensity of construction workers with different perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Issues in Occupational Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle The “Dark Side” Effects of Social Capital on Harmful Drinking among Chinese Community Residents: A Multilevel Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102249
Received: 19 September 2018 / Revised: 11 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Abstract
Background: To determine the effects of social capital on harmful drinking (HD) among Chinese community residents using a multilevel study. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted from 2017–2018. In total, 13,610 participants were randomly interviewed from 29 districts of 3 cities in
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Background: To determine the effects of social capital on harmful drinking (HD) among Chinese community residents using a multilevel study. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted from 2017–2018. In total, 13,610 participants were randomly interviewed from 29 districts of 3 cities in China with a multi-stage sampling procedure. Social capital, including social cohesion, membership in social organizations, and frequency of social participation, were assessed using validated scales. HD was assessed using the CAGE four-item questionnaire. Multilevel models were developed to determine whether social capital was related to HD when socioeconomic and demographic covariates were controlled. Results: In general, the prevalence of HD was 8.18%, and more specifically, 13.77% for men and 2.74% for women. After controlling for covariates and stratifying by gender, compared to residents in the low individual-level membership of social organizations, we found that the odds ratio (OR) for HD was 1.30 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.07–1.56 among men and 1.95 (95% CI: 1.29–2.97) among women. Compared to residents in the low individual-level frequency of social participation groups, the odds ratio of HD among women was 1.58 (95% CI: 1.10–2.26). There was no association between district-level social capital and HD. Conclusions: A high level of social capital may promote HD among the residents of Chinese neighborhoods. Intervention to modify social capital under the Chinese drinking culture may help reduce HD. Full article
Open AccessArticle Robust Compositional Analysis of Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2248; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102248
Received: 20 August 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
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Abstract
Although there is an increasing awareness of the suitability of using compositional data methodology in public health research, classical methods of statistical analysis have been primarily used so far. The present study aims to illustrate the potential of robust statistics to model movement
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Although there is an increasing awareness of the suitability of using compositional data methodology in public health research, classical methods of statistical analysis have been primarily used so far. The present study aims to illustrate the potential of robust statistics to model movement behaviour using Czech adolescent data. We investigated: (1) the inter-relationship between various physical activity (PA) intensities, extended to model relationships by age; and (2) the associations between adolescents’ PA and sedentary behavior (SB) structure and obesity. These research questions were addressed using three different types of compositional regression analysis—compositional covariates, compositional response, and regression between compositional parts. Robust counterparts of classical regression methods were used to lessen the influence of possible outliers. We outlined the differences in both classical and robust methods of compositional data analysis. There was a pattern in Czech adolescents’ movement/non-movement behavior—extensive SB was related to higher amounts of light-intensity PA, and vigorous PA ratios formed the main source of potential aberrant observations; aging is associated with more SB and vigorous PA at the expense of light-intensity PA and moderate-intensity PA. The robust counterparts indicated that they might provide more stable estimates in the presence of outlying observations. The findings suggested that replacing time spent in SB with vigorous PA may be a powerful tool against adolescents’ obesity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Local Retail Food Environment and Consumption of Fruit and Vegetable among Adults in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102247
Received: 29 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
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Abstract
Outside of western countries, the study of the local food environment and evidence for its association with dietary behavior is limited. The aim of this paper was to examine the association between the local retail food environment and consumption of fruit and vegetables
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Outside of western countries, the study of the local food environment and evidence for its association with dietary behavior is limited. The aim of this paper was to examine the association between the local retail food environment and consumption of fruit and vegetables (FV) among adults in Hong Kong. Local retail food environment was measured by density of different types of retail food outlets (grocery stores, convenience stores, and fast food restaurants) within a 1000 m Euclidean buffer around individual’s homes using a geographic information system (GIS). The Retail Food Environment Index (RFEI) was calculated based on the relative density of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores. Logistic regressions were performed to examine associations using cross-sectional data of 1977 adults (18 years or older). Overall, people living in an area with the highest RFEI (Q4, >5.76) had significantly greater odds of infrequent FV consumption (<7 days/week) after covariates adjustment (infrequent fruit consumption: OR = 1.36, 95% CI 1.04–1.78; infrequent vegetable consumption: OR = 1.72, 95% CI 1.11–2.68) in comparison to the lowest RFEI (Q1, <2.25). Highest density of fast food restaurants (Q4, >53) was also significantly associated with greater odds of infrequent fruit consumption (<7 days/week) (unadjusted model: OR = 1.34, 95% CI 1.04–1.73), relative to lowest density of fast food restaurants (Q1, <13). No significant association of density of grocery stores or convenience stores was observed with infrequent FV consumption regardless of the covariates included in the model. Our results suggest that the ratio of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores to grocery stores near people’s home is an important environmental factor in meeting fruit and vegetable consumption guidelines. “Food swamps” (areas with an abundance of unhealthy foods) rather than “food deserts” (areas where there is limited access to healthy foods) seems to be more of a problem in Hong Kong’s urban areas. We advanced international literature by providing evidence in a non-western setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Food Behaviour)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Food Safety Level in Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers’ Supply Chain: Evidence from Spain and France
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102246
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 10 October 2018 / Accepted: 12 October 2018 / Published: 14 October 2018
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Abstract
Food safety management in short supply chains of fruit and vegetables, controlled by large retailers, has been widely studied in the literature. However, when it comes to traditional long supply chains, which include a greater number of intermediaries and wholesalers who, in some
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Food safety management in short supply chains of fruit and vegetables, controlled by large retailers, has been widely studied in the literature. However, when it comes to traditional long supply chains, which include a greater number of intermediaries and wholesalers who, in some cases, play a dual role as resellers and producers, the mechanisms which promote the use of safety certifications have yet to be clearly defined. The present study intended to fill this gap in the literature and shed light on the food safety level that exists in this channel. In addition, this work attempted to identify the existence of differences between both sales systems. For this purpose, the empirical research studied the most important variables that influence the food safety level of some of the main European fruit and vegetable wholesalers. A survey was thus designed and later applied to Spanish and French intermediaries working in key wholesale markets and in the southeast of Spain, which is the leading commercialization area of these products in Europe. The results revealed the positive influence of specific customers (big retailers) on establishing stricter safety controls within wholesale companies. It was also observed that specific wholesalers also play an important role in the system, namely those dedicated to importing, but which are also responsible for quality and safety inspection of agri-food products exported from third countries into the European Union. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle Applying the WHO International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health in Nursing Assessment of Population Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2245; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102245
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
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Abstract
Classification systems constitute an important contribution to nursing practice, as they provide standardized frameworks for communication between nurses and other healthcare professionals. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides a unified and standardized language, as well as a working structure, for
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Classification systems constitute an important contribution to nursing practice, as they provide standardized frameworks for communication between nurses and other healthcare professionals. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) provides a unified and standardized language, as well as a working structure, for the description of health and health-related states. This paper aims to describe some of the available classifications used in nursing practice and to identify the potential value provided by the application of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health by all healthcare professionals. With this purpose, a concept analysis was conducted. The relevant nursing classifications were analyzed and related evidence on the use of ICF classification was reviewed to provide a discussion on the application of ICF in nursing practice. The use of ICF could be beneficial in different areas of nursing practice, as it provides a more comprehensive framework to classify nursing outcomes and interventions, improving areas such as interprofessional communication and optimization of care. Although there is published evidence on the use of ICF core sets, further research is needed on this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Tobacco Health Risk Awareness among Socially Disadvantaged People—A Crucial Tool for Smoking Cessation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2244; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102244
Received: 10 September 2018 / Revised: 5 October 2018 / Accepted: 6 October 2018 / Published: 13 October 2018
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Abstract
The goal of this cross-sectional survey was to assess the level of knowledge on harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and active smoking among socially-disadvantaged people in Poland. The study was conducted among 1817 respondents aged 18–59 years, who used aid
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The goal of this cross-sectional survey was to assess the level of knowledge on harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) exposure and active smoking among socially-disadvantaged people in Poland. The study was conducted among 1817 respondents aged 18–59 years, who used aid services from local social care institutions in Piotrkowski district. Majority of the participants were aware of the fact that smoking may cause serious diseases and lung cancer (92%). However, those percentages were lower for awareness of ETS and health risk (69.4%) and for awareness of smoking/ETS-associated risk of stroke and heart attack (57%, 68%). The male respondents and smokers had much higher odds of lacking knowledge that smoking causes serious diseases and lung cancer compared to the females (OR = 1.47 and OR = 1.86; p < 0.05) and non-smokers (OR = 2.35 and OR = 2.31; p < 0.001). In addition, those with temporary jobs and the unemployed had a higher risk of lack of knowledge on smoking and lung cancer risk (OR = 2.14 and OR = 1.66; p < 0.05) as well as ETS and the risk of stroke (OR = 1.52 and OR = 1.51; p < 0.05) as compared to those with permanent jobs. The smokers who were aware of four health consequences of smoking indicated an intention to quit smoking within the next month more frequently when compared to those who did not have the knowledge on all of the analyzed harmful effects of tobacco use (19.7% vs. 13.1%; p < 0.05). There is a need to improve knowledge on the dangers associated with active and passive smoking among socially disadvantaged populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smoking Cessation)
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