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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 16, Issue 1 (January-1 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Rett syndrome is a rare disorder that occurs in 1 in every 10,000–15,000 children and may restrict [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle The “Land of Fires” Toxic Waste Scandal and Its Effect on Consumer Food Choices
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010165
Received: 13 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The present study focused on an environmental scandal that occurred in Italy, the Land of Fires toxic waste scandal, which caused consumer concerns related to the safety of food produced in the affected region, as well as massive market reduction in products associated [...] Read more.
The present study focused on an environmental scandal that occurred in Italy, the Land of Fires toxic waste scandal, which caused consumer concerns related to the safety of food produced in the affected region, as well as massive market reduction in products associated with the polluted area. Based on a representative sample of Italian households (N = 1134), this study applied an extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) model to analyze consumer purchases of regional food products after this environmental hazard. In addition to attitudes, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control, the model included risk perception, trust, and actual purchases. Using a structural equation model, our results provided support to the hypothesis that consumer perceptions of risk negatively impacted their purchase behaviors and suggested that increasing Italians’ trust in government information could reduce their perceived risk and, consequently, increase their intention to purchase regional food. Full article
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Open AccessArticle PM2.5-Bound Toxic Elements in an Urban City in East China: Concentrations, Sources, and Health Risks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010164
Received: 10 December 2018 / Revised: 26 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Concentrations of PM2.5-bound trace elements have increased in China, with increasing anthropogenic emissions. In this study, long-term measurements of PM2.5-bound trace elements were conducted from January 2014 to January 2015 in the urban city of Jinan, east China. A [...] Read more.
Concentrations of PM2.5-bound trace elements have increased in China, with increasing anthropogenic emissions. In this study, long-term measurements of PM2.5-bound trace elements were conducted from January 2014 to January 2015 in the urban city of Jinan, east China. A positive matrix factorization model (PMF) and health risk assessment were used to evaluate the sources and health risks of these elements, respectively. Compared with most Chinese megacities, there were higher levels of arsenic, manganese, lead, chromium, and zinc in this city. Coal combustion, the smelting industry, vehicle emission, and soil dust were identified as the primary sources of all the measured elements. Heating activities during the heating period led to a factor of 1.3–2.8 higher concentrations for PM2.5 and all measured elements than those during the non-heating period. Cumulative non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks of the toxic elements exceeded the safety levels by 8–15 and 10–18 times, respectively. Arsenic was the critical element having the greatest health risk. Coal combustion caused the highest risk among the four sources. This work provides scientific data for making targeted policies to control air pollutants and protect human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship of Anxiety and Depression with Respiratory Symptoms: Comparison between Depressed and Non-Depressed Smokers in Singapore
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010163
Received: 19 November 2018 / Revised: 20 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
The rising prevalence of smokers in the community, specifically psychiatric patients, necessitates smoking cessation as an important strategy for reducing the harmful effects of tobacco. This study aims to compare the profiles of depressed and non-depressed smokers and evaluate how psychiatric symptoms influence [...] Read more.
The rising prevalence of smokers in the community, specifically psychiatric patients, necessitates smoking cessation as an important strategy for reducing the harmful effects of tobacco. This study aims to compare the profiles of depressed and non-depressed smokers and evaluate how psychiatric symptoms influence respiratory symptoms. A cross-sectional survey was administered to 276 non-depressed adult smokers in the community and 69 adult smokers who had been formally diagnosed with depression in the outpatient clinic of a University Hospital in Singapore. Participants were administered questionnaires on smoking attitudes and perceptions, psychiatric symptoms, and respiratory symptoms. Correlations and multiple regression analyses were conducted. The mean age of smokers in the study was 35.32 ± 13.05 years. Smokers in the community and psychiatric samples were largely similar on all of the sociodemographic factors, except that fewer depressed people were employed (χ2 = 8.35, p < 0.01). Smokers with depression also reported more attempts to quit smoking (χ2 = 7.14, p < 0.05), higher mean depressive, anxiety, and stress symptom (DASS) scores (t = −10.04, p < 0.01), and endorsed more respiratory symptoms than smokers in the community (t = −2.40, p < 0.05). The DASS scores, number of cigarettes smoked daily, years of smoking, general perception of smokers getting heart disease, and presence of lung disease were positively and significantly correlated with respiratory symptoms. On multiple regression, only anxiety symptoms (β = 0.26, p < 0.05) and the presence of lung disease (β = 0.22, p < 0.001) were significantly correlated with respiratory symptoms. Depressed smokers reported greater difficulty in quitting tobacco use, and they perceived more severe respiratory symptoms compared to non-depressed counterparts. Anxiety symptoms were positively associated with the severity of respiratory symptoms. Smoking cessation campaigns need to specifically target psychological symptoms in smokers and focus more psychoeducation on the risk of cardiovascular disease in the middle-aged population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Open AccessArticle Investigation of the Contributory Factors to the Guessability of Traffic Signs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010162
Received: 16 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Traffic signs play an important role in traffic management systems. A variety of studies have focused on drivers’ comprehension of traffic signs. However, the travel safety of prospective users, which has been rarely mentioned in previous studies, has attracted considerable attention from relevant [...] Read more.
Traffic signs play an important role in traffic management systems. A variety of studies have focused on drivers’ comprehension of traffic signs. However, the travel safety of prospective users, which has been rarely mentioned in previous studies, has attracted considerable attention from relevant departments in China. With the growth of international and interregional travel demand, traffic signs should be designed more universally to reduce the potential risks to drivers. To identify key factors that improve prospective users’ sign comprehension, this study investigated eight factors that may affect users’ performance regarding sign guessing. Two hundred and one Chinese students, all of whom intended to be drivers and none of whom had experience with daily driving after obtaining a license or visits to Germany, guessed the meanings and rated the sign features of 54 signs. We investigated the effects of selected user factors on their sign guessing performance. Additionally, the contributions of four cognitive design features to the guessability of traffic signs were examined. Based on an analysis of the relationships between the cognitive features and the guessability score of signs, the contributions of four sign features to the guessability of traffic signs were examined. Moreover, by exploring Chinese users’ differences in guessing performance between Chinese signs and German signs, cultural issues in sign design were identified. The results showed that vehicle ownership and attention to traffic signs exerted a significant influence on guessing performance. As expected, driver’s license training and the number of years in college were dominant factors for guessing performance. With regard to design features, semantic distance and confidence in guessing were two dominant factors for the guessability of signs. We suggest improving the design of signs by including vivid, universal symbols. Thus, we provide several suggestions for designing more user-friendly signs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Does a Good Firm Breed Good Organizational Citizens? The Moderating Role of Perspective Taking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010161
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Although some previous studies have examined the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employees in an organization, they have mainly focused on employees’ perceptions or attitudes rather than behaviors. However, in that employees’ behaviors are the direct outcome of the perceptions or [...] Read more.
Although some previous studies have examined the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employees in an organization, they have mainly focused on employees’ perceptions or attitudes rather than behaviors. However, in that employees’ behaviors are the direct outcome of the perceptions or attitudes and critically affect organizational outcomes, we need to investigate the impact of CSR on employees’ behaviors. Based on the context-attitude-behavior framework, we investigate the underlying process of the association between CSR and employees’ behavior with a moderated mediation model. Specifically, we hypothesize (1) the intermediating effect of organizational commitment (OC) in the association between CSR and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and (2) the contingent role of employees’ perspective taking ability (PT) in the CSR-OC link. Using three-wave survey data from 301 currently working employees in Korea, we found that OC mediates the association between CSR and OCB and that PT can positively moderate the CSR-OC link. Our findings suggest that OC (as an intermediating process) and PT (as a contingent factor) function as important underlying mechanisms to elaborately describe the CSR-OCB link. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial Acknowledgement to Reviewers of IJERPH in 2018
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010160
Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing[...] Full article
Open AccessArticle Metabolic Syndrome Knowledge among Adults with Cardiometabolic Risk Factors: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010159
Received: 7 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors. Many people may be unaware of their risk for MetS. A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among hospitalized patients with at least one cardiometabolic risk factor in Mainland China. This study assessed the [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of cardiometabolic risk factors. Many people may be unaware of their risk for MetS. A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among hospitalized patients with at least one cardiometabolic risk factor in Mainland China. This study assessed the MetS knowledgelevel(through MetS Knowledge Scale, MSKS) and examined the potential predictors by regression analysis. A total of 204 patients aged 58.5 ± 10.1 years (55% males) participated in this study. The majority of participants had no history of hypertension (54%), dyslipidemia (79%), or diabetes (85%). However, 56% of these participants had at least three cardiometabolic risk factors, indicating the presence of MetS. The average MSKS was very low (mean = 36.7±18.8, possible range = 0–100), indicating the urgent needs of MetS education in current practice. Predictors of better MetS knowledge included higher educational level, history of dyslipidemia, and normal high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (F (8, 195) = 9.39, adjusted R2 = 0.192, p< 0.001). In conclusion, adults with cardiometabolic risk factors are at risk of developing MetS, but with a low level of knowledge. Specific health education on MetS should be provided, particularly for those with limited formal education or inadequate lipid management. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, NCDs and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Trends in the Incidence and Mortality of Diabetes in China from 1990 to 2017: A Joinpoint and Age-Period-Cohort Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010158
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Background: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is rapidly increasing in China, but the secular trends in incidence and mortality remain unknown. This study aims to examine time trends from 1990 to 2017 and the net age, period, and cohort effects on diabetes incidence [...] Read more.
Background: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is rapidly increasing in China, but the secular trends in incidence and mortality remain unknown. This study aims to examine time trends from 1990 to 2017 and the net age, period, and cohort effects on diabetes incidence and mortality. Methods: Incidence and mortality rates of diabetes (1990–2017) were collected for each 5-year age group (from 5–9 to 80–84 age group) stratified by gender from the Global Burden of Disease 2017 Study. The average annual percentage changes in incidence and mortality were analyzed by joinpoint regression analysis; the net age, period, and cohort effects on the incidence and mortality were estimated by age-period-cohort analysis. Results: The joinpoint regression analysis showed that age-standardized incidence significantly rose by 0.92% (95% CI: 0.6%, 1.3%) in men and 0.69% in women (95% CI: 0.3%, 1.0%) from 1990 to 2017; age-standardized mortality rates rose by 0.78% (95% CI: 0.6%, 1.0%) in men and decreased by 0.12% (95% CI: −0.4%, 0.1%) in women. For age-specific rates, incidence increased in most age groups, with exception of 30–34, 60–64, 65–69 and 70–74 age groups in men and 25–29, 30–34, 35–39 and 70–74 age groups in women; mortality in men decreased in the younger age groups (from 20–24 to 45–49 age group) while increased in the older age groups (from 50–54 to 80–84 age group), and mortality in women decreased for all age groups with exception of the age group 75–79 and 80–84. The age effect on incidence showed no obvious changes with advancing age while mortality significantly increased with advancing age; period effect showed that both incidence and mortality increased with advancing time period while the period trend on incidence began to decrease since 2007; cohort effect on incidence and mortality decreased from earlier birth cohorts to more recent birth cohorts while incidence showed no material changes from 1982–1986 to 2012–2016 birth cohort. Conclusions: Mortality decreased in younger age groups but increased in older age groups. Incidence increased in most age groups. The net age or period effect showed an unfavorable trend while the net cohort effect presented a favorable trend. Aging likely drives a continued increase in the mortality of diabetes. Timely population-level interventions aiming for obesity prevention, healthy diet and regular physical activity should be conducted, especially for men and earlier birth cohorts at high risk of diabetes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A GIS-Based Artificial Neural Network Model for Spatial Distribution of Tuberculosis across the Continental United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010157
Received: 22 October 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Despite the usefulness of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in the study of various complex problems, ANNs have not been applied for modeling the geographic distribution of tuberculosis (TB) in the US. Likewise, ecological level researches on TB incidence rate at the national level [...] Read more.
Despite the usefulness of artificial neural networks (ANNs) in the study of various complex problems, ANNs have not been applied for modeling the geographic distribution of tuberculosis (TB) in the US. Likewise, ecological level researches on TB incidence rate at the national level are inadequate for epidemiologic inferences. We collected 278 exploratory variables including environmental and a broad range of socio-economic features for modeling the disease across the continental US. The spatial pattern of the disease distribution was statistically evaluated using the global Moran’s I, Getis–Ord General G, and local Gi* statistics. Next, we investigated the applicability of multilayer perceptron (MLP) ANN for predicting the disease incidence. To avoid overfitting, L1 regularization was used before developing the models. Predictive performance of the MLP was compared with linear regression for test dataset using root mean square error, mean absolute error, and correlations between model output and ground truth. Results of clustering analysis showed that there is a significant spatial clustering of smoothed TB incidence rate (p < 0.05) and the hotspots were mainly located in the southern and southeastern parts of the country. Among the developed models, single hidden layer MLP had the best test accuracy. Sensitivity analysis of the MLP model showed that immigrant population (proportion), underserved segments of the population, and minimum temperature were among the factors with the strongest contributions. The findings of this study can provide useful insight to health authorities on prioritizing resource allocation to risk-prone areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Cotreatment of MSWI Fly Ash and Granulated Lead Smelting Slag Using a Geopolymer System
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010156
Received: 8 December 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI FA) and granulated lead smelting slag (GLSS) are toxic industrial wastes. In the present study, granulated lead smelting slag (GLSS) was pretreated as a geopolymer precursor through the high-energy ball milling activation process, which could be [...] Read more.
Municipal solid waste incineration fly ash (MSWI FA) and granulated lead smelting slag (GLSS) are toxic industrial wastes. In the present study, granulated lead smelting slag (GLSS) was pretreated as a geopolymer precursor through the high-energy ball milling activation process, which could be used as a geopolymeric solidification/stabilization (S/S) reagent for MSWI FA. The S/S process has been estimated through the physical properties and heavy metals leachability of the S/S matrices. The results show that the compressive strength of the geopolymer matrix reaches 15.32 MPa after curing for 28 days under the best parameters, and the physical properties meet the requirement of MU10 grade fly ash brick. In addition, the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test results show that arsenic and heavy metals are immobilized effectively in the geopolymer matrix, and their concentrations in the leachate are far below the US EPA TCLP limits. The hydration products of the geopolymer binder are characterized by X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared methods. The results show that the geopolymer gel and Friedel’s salt are the main hydration products. The S/S mechanism of the arsenic and heavy metals in the geopolymer matrix mainly involves physical encapsulation of the geopolymer gel, geopolymer adsorption and ion exchange of Friedel’s salt. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landfill Leachate Treatment and Management)
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Open AccessCase Report Corticosteroids in Moderate-To-Severe Graves’ Ophthalmopathy: Oral or Intravenous Therapy?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010155
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Ophthalmopathy is a rare extra-thyroid manifestation of Graves’ disease, in paediatrics. Intravenous corticosteroids are the main treatment of moderate-to-severe Graves’ orbitopathy. In this paper, we describe a moderate-to-severe active Graves’ ophthalmopathy in a child and the response to oral therapy with prednisone. [...] Read more.
Background: Ophthalmopathy is a rare extra-thyroid manifestation of Graves’ disease, in paediatrics. Intravenous corticosteroids are the main treatment of moderate-to-severe Graves’ orbitopathy. In this paper, we describe a moderate-to-severe active Graves’ ophthalmopathy in a child and the response to oral therapy with prednisone. Case presentation: A nine-year-old male child suffering for a few months, from palpitations, tremors, and paresthesia was hospitalized in our Pediatric Clinic. At admission, the thyroid function laboratory tests showed hyperthyroidism with elevated free thyroxine (FT4) and free triiodothyronine (FT3) levels and suppressed thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. These findings, combined with the clinical conditions—an ophthalmologic evaluation (that showed the presence of exophthalmos without lagophthalmos and visual acuity deficiency), thyroid ultrasound, and TSH receptor antibody positivity—led to a diagnosis of Graves’ disease. Therefore, methimazole was administered at a dose of 0.4 mg/kg/day. After 4 months, thyroid function was clearly improved, with normal FT3 and FT4 values and increasing TSH values, without adverse effects. Nevertheless, an eye examination showed ophthalmopathy with signs of activity, an increase in the exophthalmos of the right eye with palpebral retraction, soft tissue involvement (succulent and oedematous eyelids, caruncle and conjunctival hyperaemia and oedema) and keratopathy, resulting from exposure. We began steroid therapy with oral administration of prednisone (1 mg/kg/day) for four weeks, followed by gradual tapering. After one week of therapy with prednisone, an eye assessment showed reduced retraction of the upper eyelid of the right eye, improvement of right eye exophthalmometry and reduction of conjunctival hyperaemia. After four weeks of therapy with prednisone, an eye assessment showed reduction of the right palpebral retraction without conjunctival hyperaemia and no other signs of inflammation of the anterior segment; after twelve weeks, an eye assessment showed a notable decrease in the right palpebral retraction and the absence of keratitis, despite persisting moderate conjunctival hyperaemia. No adverse event associated with steroid use was observed during the treatment period and no problem in compliance was reported. Conclusion: Prednisone seems a better choice than intravenous corticosteroids, for treating moderate-to-severe and active Graves’ ophthalmopathy, keeping in mind the importance of quality of life in pediatric patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances of Adolescents and Children Health Research)
Open AccessArticle Mortality from Homicides in Slums in the City of Belo Horizonte, Brazil: An Evaluation of the Impact of a Re-Urbanization Project
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010154
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Homicide rates in Brazil are among the highest worldwide. Although not exclusive to large Brazilian cities, homicides find their most important determinants in cities’ slums. In the last decade, an urban renewal process has been initiated in the city of Belo [...] Read more.
Background: Homicide rates in Brazil are among the highest worldwide. Although not exclusive to large Brazilian cities, homicides find their most important determinants in cities’ slums. In the last decade, an urban renewal process has been initiated in the city of Belo Horizonte, in Brazil. Named Vila Viva project, it includes structuring urban interventions such as urban renewal, social development actions and land regularization in the slums of the city. This study evaluates the project’s effect on homicide rates according to time and interventions. Methods: Homicide rates were analyzed comparing five slums with interventions (S1–S5) to five grouped non-intervened slums (S0), with similar socioeconomic characteristics from 2002 to 2012. Poisson regression model estimates the effect of time of observation and the effect of time of exposure (in years) to a completed intervention, besides the overall risk ratio (RR). Results: Using the time of observation in years, homicide rates decreased in the studied period and even more if considered cumulative time of exposure to a completed intervention for S1, S2, S3 and S4, but not for S5. Conclusions: Although the results of the effect of the interventions are not repeated in all slums, a downward trend in homicide rates has been found, which is connected to the interventions. New approaches could be necessary in order to verify the nexus between slum renewal projects and the reduction of homicide rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving Environmental Health Equity: Great Expectations)
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Open AccessArticle Use of a Modified DANP-mV Model to Improve Quality of Life in Rural Residents: The Empirical Case of Xingshisi Village, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 153; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010153
Received: 23 September 2018 / Revised: 24 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Climate change-related anomalies have increased public concern regarding environmental protection. This has opened newer rural development avenues. In this regard, livability of villages is crucial; it can be evaluated based on the villagers’ quality of life (QoL). The WHOQOL-BREF, a comprehensive cross-cultural and [...] Read more.
Climate change-related anomalies have increased public concern regarding environmental protection. This has opened newer rural development avenues. In this regard, livability of villages is crucial; it can be evaluated based on the villagers’ quality of life (QoL). The WHOQOL-BREF, a comprehensive cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary scale proposed by the World Health Organization to assess QoL, has aided in assessing and improving QoL in different regions. However, the factors of this instrument are mutually influential, necessitating an improvement strategy considering the entire system. This problem may be resolved using the DANP-mV model. However, the traditional DANP-mV model includes many items and responding to all of them is difficult for experts. Therefore, by using the case of Xingshisi Village in China, this study proposed a modified DANP-mV model to provide additional suggestions for systematic improvement of the QoL and livability in the village. Xingshisi is a model village built according to an aspirational benchmark; however, different from the traditional definition of a benchmark, this village exhibits room for improvement. Although the modified model reduces the number of questions from 650 to 168, its effect remains similar to that of the traditional model. Moreover, in the modified model, physical capacity (D1) presented the largest dimensional gap. The interaction among the factors indicated that considering the effect of the environment (D4) and developing a systematic improvement strategy are necessary to improve the livability of villages facing limited resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural Health Care)
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Open AccessArticle Bisphenol A Exposure and Sperm ACHE Hydroxymethylation in Men
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010152
Received: 29 November 2018 / Revised: 29 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to impact human sperm quality. The epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effect remain unknown. The acetylcholinesterase (ACHE) gene is a sperm-expressed gene encoding the acetylcholine hydrolyzing enzyme acetylcholinesterase and participates in the apoptosis of cells, including [...] Read more.
Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) has been shown to impact human sperm quality. The epigenetic mechanisms underlying the effect remain unknown. The acetylcholinesterase (ACHE) gene is a sperm-expressed gene encoding the acetylcholine hydrolyzing enzyme acetylcholinesterase and participates in the apoptosis of cells, including sperm. This study aimed to examine whether BPA exposure is associated with the hydroxymethylation level of the sperm ACHE gene. A total of 157 male factory workers were studied, among whom 74 had BPA exposure in the workplace (BPA exposure group) and 83 had no BPA exposure in the workplace (control group). Urine samples were collected for BPA measurement and semen samples were collected to assay for ACHE hydroxymethylation. Sperm ACHE hydroxymethylation level was higher in the BPA exposure group (p = 0.041) compared to the control group. When subjects were categorized according to tertiles of detected BPA level, higher ACHE hydroxymethylation levels were observed for the lowest, middle, and top tertiles compared to those with BPA below the limit of detection (LOD). In a linear regression analysis adjusted for confounders, a positive linear association between urine BPA concentration and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) rate of the sperm ACHE gene was observed, although the association did not reach statistical significance in all categories after being stratified by the BPA tertile. In conclusion, 5hmC of the sperm ACHE gene was positively associated with BPA exposure, which may provide supportive evidence for BPA’s effects on male fertility or other health endpoints. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors Exposure on Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Improving Physical Activity among Residents of Affordable Housing: Is Active Design Enough?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010151
Received: 23 October 2018 / Revised: 22 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Physical inactivity increases risk of chronic disease. Few studies examine how built environment interventions increase physical activity (PA). Active design (AD) utilizes strategies in affordable housing to improve resident health. We assessed how AD housing affects PA among low-income families in Brooklyn, New [...] Read more.
Physical inactivity increases risk of chronic disease. Few studies examine how built environment interventions increase physical activity (PA). Active design (AD) utilizes strategies in affordable housing to improve resident health. We assessed how AD housing affects PA among low-income families in Brooklyn, New York. Participants were recruited at lease signings in 2016 from a new AD apartment complex and two recently renovated comparison buildings without AD features. Eligibility included age ≥18 years with no contraindications to exercise. Anthropometric data were collected. PA was self-reported using the Recent and Global Physical Activity Questionnaires. Smartphone users shared their tracked step. Data collection was repeated one year after move-in. All data were analyzed using SPSS. Eighty-eight eligible participants completed the initial questionnaire (36 AD and 52 from 2 comparison buildings) at baseline (T0). There were no differences between AD and comparison cohorts in: stair use, PA, sitting time or, mean waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) at T0. However, the AD cohort had a lower baseline BMI (27.6 vs. 31.0, p = 0.019). At one-year follow-up (T1), 75 participants completed our survey including a 64% retention rate among those who previously completed the T0 questionnaire. Among T0 questionnaire respondents, mean daily steps increased at T1 among AD participants who moved from an elevator building (∆6782, p = 0.051) and in the comparison group (∆2960, p = 0.023). Aggregate moderate work-related activity was higher at T1 in the AD building (746 vs. 401, p = 0.031). AD building women reported more work-related PA overall but AD men engaged in more moderate recreational PA. Living in an AD building can enhance low-income residents’ PA. More research with objective measures is needed to identify strategies to sustain higher PA levels and overall health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Built Environments, Food Environments, and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Carbon Information Disclosure, Marketization, and Cost of Equity Financing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010150
Received: 2 November 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Using listed enterprises in China’s heavy pollution industry from 2009 to 2013, this study tests the relationship between marketization degree, carbon information disclosure, and the cost of equity financing. The results show that, regardless of marketization degree, the overall level of carbon information [...] Read more.
Using listed enterprises in China’s heavy pollution industry from 2009 to 2013, this study tests the relationship between marketization degree, carbon information disclosure, and the cost of equity financing. The results show that, regardless of marketization degree, the overall level of carbon information disclosure of listed enterprises in China’s heavy pollution industry is low. The content of carbon information disclosure is mainly non-financial carbon information, and the financial carbon information disclosure is very low. The cost of equity financing is different in areas with different marketization degrees, specifically speaking, the cost of equity financing is lower in regions with a high marketization degree than that of a low marketization degree. Carbon information disclosure, non-financial carbon information disclosure, and financial carbon information disclosure are negatively correlated with the cost of equity financing. The marketization degree has strengthened the negative correlation between carbon information disclosure, non-financial carbon information disclosure, financial carbon information disclosure, and the cost of equity financing, respectively. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Impact of Vehicle Speed Limits and Fleet Composition on Air Quality Near a School
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010149
Received: 7 August 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Traffic is a major source of urban air pollution that affects health, especially among children. As lower speed limits are commonly applied near schools in many cities, and different governments have different policies on vehicle fleet composition, this research estimated how different speed [...] Read more.
Traffic is a major source of urban air pollution that affects health, especially among children. As lower speed limits are commonly applied near schools in many cities, and different governments have different policies on vehicle fleet composition, this research estimated how different speed limits and fleet emissions affect air quality near a primary school. Based on data of traffic, weather, and background air quality records in Dublin from 2013, traffic, emission, and dispersion models were developed to assess the impact of different speed limits and fleet composition changes against current conditions. Outside the school, hypothetical speed limit changes from 30 km/h to 50 km/h could reduce the concentration of NO2 and PM10 by 3% and 2%; shifts in the fleet from diesel to petrol vehicles could reduce these pollutants by 4% and 3% but would increase the traffic-induced concentrations of CO and Benzene by 63% and 35%. These changes had significantly larger impacts on air quality on streets with higher pollutant concentrations. Findings suggest that both road safety and air quality should be considered when determining speed limits. Furthermore, fleet composition has different impacts on different pollutants and there are no clear benefits associated with incentivising either diesel or petrol engine vehicles. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Learning, Memory and Social Interaction in BALB/C Mice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010148
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 8 January 2019
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Abstract
Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs), an epitome of nanotechnology, appear in everyday products such as water filters, printer ink, toothpaste, food packaging and cosmetics mostly due to their bactericidal properties. Given this high level of public exposure, the safety of AgNPs has never been fully [...] Read more.
Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs), an epitome of nanotechnology, appear in everyday products such as water filters, printer ink, toothpaste, food packaging and cosmetics mostly due to their bactericidal properties. Given this high level of public exposure, the safety of AgNPs has never been fully established. The unsafe use of AgNPs could pose a real threat, not only to public health but also to economic growth in many industries. In this paper, we tested the effect of AgNPs on memory, learning, social behaviour and motor function of BALB/C mice. Outcomes of the present study suggested an impairment of these functions in AgNPs treated groups. Overall, obtained data support the evidence that the systemic exposure to AgNPs may result in alteration of the cerebral cognition and warrants further consideration on the impact of the AgNPs on human health with respect to their potential neurotoxicity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Adolescent Support for Tobacco Control Policies and Associations with Tobacco Denormalization Beliefs and Harm Perceptions
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010147
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Public support is crucial for advancing tobacco control policies. We investigated adolescent support for such policies, and its association with potential factors of social denormalization (SD) beliefs of smoking, tobacco industry denormalization (TID) beliefs (negative perceptions of the industry), and harm perceptions of [...] Read more.
Public support is crucial for advancing tobacco control policies. We investigated adolescent support for such policies, and its association with potential factors of social denormalization (SD) beliefs of smoking, tobacco industry denormalization (TID) beliefs (negative perceptions of the industry), and harm perceptions of smoking. In a cross-sectional survey in Hong Kong, 13,964 secondary school students (mean age 15.0 years, 51.3% boys) reported their support (yes/no) for each of 14 tobacco control policies (e.g., further increase tobacco tax). Tobacco-related beliefs and perceptions, and smoking status were also measured. Support for the 14 tobacco control policies ranged from 17.6% to 54.1%. In current non-smokers, SD beliefs, TID beliefs, and harm perceptions were all associated with support for all tobacco control policies. In current smokers, the study factors were each associated with support for two to three policies. To conclude, support for tobacco control policies was weak to moderate in Hong Kong adolescents. SD beliefs, TID beliefs, and harm perceptions of smoking were associated with policy support in current non-smokers. In current smokers, the corresponding associations were less consistent or weaker. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Determination of Occurrences, Distribution, Health Impacts of Organochlorine Pesticides in Soils of Central China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010146
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Organochlorine pesticides are groups of chemicals applied to prevent pest and insect infestation. This study was aimed at investigating the concentration, potential sources, cancer risk and ecological toxicity of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in Huangpi district, Wuhan, China. Eight OCPs in soil samples collected [...] Read more.
Organochlorine pesticides are groups of chemicals applied to prevent pest and insect infestation. This study was aimed at investigating the concentration, potential sources, cancer risk and ecological toxicity of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in Huangpi district, Wuhan, China. Eight OCPs in soil samples collected from four land-use types at depths of 0–10 and 10–20 cm were examined. Sample extraction was carried out by solid phase matrix extraction method and analyzed using Agilent gas chromatograph 7890B equipped with electron capture detectors (ECD). The total concentration of OCPs ranged from 0.00–32.7 ng g−1 in the surface and 0.01–100.45 ng g−1 in the subsurface soil layer. Beta hexachlorocyclohexanes (β-HCH) with 2.20 and 7.71 ng g−1 in the surface and subsurface soil layers, respectively, was the dominant compound. The mean concentrations of OCPs in all samples were less than the threshold values for hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs) and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDTs) in China soil. Concentration of OCPs in the four land-use types were in the order of: paddy field > barren land > farmland > plastic greenhouse. Results of composition analysis revealed recent application of lindane as a major and historical use of new technical HCHs as a minor source of HCHs. On the other hand, application of new technical p,p’-DDT is the main source of DDTs in the study area. The estimated lifetime average daily dose, incremental lifetime cancer risks and hazard quotient values revealed that there is less likelihood of carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic health risks on the local residents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing the Ecological Effects of Water Transport to a Lake in Arid Regions: A Case Study of Qingtu Lake in Shiyang River Basin, Northwest China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010145
Received: 6 December 2018 / Revised: 28 December 2018 / Accepted: 1 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
With the continuous growth of economic water consumption in arid regions, many endorheic rivers and terminal lakes have desiccated. As an important ecological engineering measure, water transport in arid regions has vital ecological significance for protecting the regional ecological environment and delaying desertification. [...] Read more.
With the continuous growth of economic water consumption in arid regions, many endorheic rivers and terminal lakes have desiccated. As an important ecological engineering measure, water transport in arid regions has vital ecological significance for protecting the regional ecological environment and delaying desertification. In this study, Qingtu Lake, the terminal lake of Shiyang River, was selected to analyze the ecological effects of water transport by means of remote sensing interpretations and current year field investigations. The results demonstrated that, in July 2018, the water surface had formed and recovered to 5.68 km2. Additionally, Qingtu Lake formed a spatial gradient distribution in groundwater depth. The depth increased in gradient from the waterside to the desert edge. There was a significant increase in the overall regional vegetation coverage, which mainly occurred in the water areas because of the extensive growth in Phragmites australis, which reached 10.54 km2 in area in 2018. Furthermore, the regional vegetation formed a gradient distribution, which transitioned from hygrophytes to xerophytes. This study can provide guidelines for the protection and restoration of lakes in arid regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Variations of Indoor PM2.5 Concentrations in Nanjing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010144
Received: 10 November 2018 / Revised: 19 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is important since people spend most of their time indoors. However, knowledge of the spatiotemporal variations of indoor PM2.5 concentrations within a city is limited. In this study, the spatiotemporal distributions of indoor PM2.5 [...] Read more.
Indoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is important since people spend most of their time indoors. However, knowledge of the spatiotemporal variations of indoor PM2.5 concentrations within a city is limited. In this study, the spatiotemporal distributions of indoor PM2.5 levels in Nanjing, China were modeled by the multizone airflow and contaminant transport program (CONTAM), based on the geographically distributed residences, human activities, and outdoor PM2.5 concentrations. The accuracy of the CONTAM model was verified, with a good agreement between the model simulations and measurements (r = 0.940, N = 110). Two different scenarios were considered to examine the building performance and influence of occupant behaviors. Higher PM2.5 concentrations were observed under the scenario when indoor activities were considered. Seasonal variability was observed in indoor PM2.5 levels, with the highest concentrations occurring in the winter and the lowest occurring in the summer. Building characteristics have a significant effect on the spatial distribution of indoor PM2.5 concentrations, with multistory residences being more vulnerable to outdoor PM2.5 infiltration than high-rise residences. The overall population exposure to PM2.5 in Nanjing was estimated. It would be overestimated by 16.67% if indoor exposure was not taken into account, which would lead to a bias in the health impacts assessment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Patients’ Anticipation for the Pharmacies of Rural Communities: A Qualitative Study from Pakistan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010143
Received: 24 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 27 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Background: Community pharmacies are an integrated part of healthcare systems worldwide. In low and middle income countries like Pakistan, the paradigm of pharmacy practice is shifting from dispensing medicines to clinical activities. There are disparities in these practices according to location. Pharmacies [...] Read more.
Background: Community pharmacies are an integrated part of healthcare systems worldwide. In low and middle income countries like Pakistan, the paradigm of pharmacy practice is shifting from dispensing medicines to clinical activities. There are disparities in these practices according to location. Pharmacies in urban localities are better than those in rural areas. This qualitative study was conducted to explore patients’ expectations and current practices in rural pharmacies. Methods: A cohort of adult pharmacy visitors (aged > 18 years) that reside in rural community was selected. Consenting participants were recruited by purposive sampling technique until thematic saturation level was achieved. A total of 34 patients were interviewed. Face-to-face interviews were conducted using a semi structured interview guide. All the data were transcribed and used to originate the themes. Results: On analysis, a total of 20 themes were obtained. Sixteen themes pronounced the current provided services. Four themes provided some suggestions for the development of better pharmacies. On call services to provide medicines, limited free extended pharmacy services, interest in patients’ wellbeing, appropriate referral, vaccination, free medical camp, medical services at home, first aid, and counseling were appreciated by patients. Patients stated that medicines are inappropriately stored in unhygienic conditions, prices of medicines are comparatively high, and medicines are substandard. Unavailability of medicines, inept dispensing, limited staffing with poor knowledge, limited working hours, and quackery promotion are challenges in rural pharmacy practice. Patients say that non marginal pricing, informative services, new legislation, and proper vigilance by officials can improve the pharmacy services in rural communities. Conclusions: Patients alleged that rural pharmacies perform deprived practices. To improve service, new legislation and the proper implementation of existing law is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
Open AccessArticle Traditional Bullying and Discriminatory Bullying Around Special Educational Needs: Psychometric Properties of Two Instruments to Measure It
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010142
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 28 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Two important challenges in research on bullying are to have reliable tools to measure traditional bullying and discriminatory bullying related to special educational needs (SEN), and to learn more about their prevalence. We present the validations of two instruments to measure bullying (European [...] Read more.
Two important challenges in research on bullying are to have reliable tools to measure traditional bullying and discriminatory bullying related to special educational needs (SEN), and to learn more about their prevalence. We present the validations of two instruments to measure bullying (European Bullying Intervention Project Questionnaire, EBIPQ) and discriminatory bullying with respect to SEN (EBIPQ–Special Education Needs Discrimination version, henceforth EBIPQ-SEND). A total of 17,309 teenagers from Ecuador took part in the study (M = 14.76, SD = 1.65; 49.9% male). The item response theory analyses evidenced accuracy and quality of the measures. The confirmatory factor analyses of the EBIPQ and the EBIPQ-SEND revealed the same two-factor structure—aggression and victimization—regardless of gender, showing optimal fit indexes. We present the results of the prevalence according to the roles of participation in traditional bullying and discriminatory bullying around SEN. Significant gender and age differences were observed for involvement in both phenomena. We also discuss the advantages of applying the EBIPQ and the EBIPQ-SEND to evaluate and diagnose harassment and discriminatory harassment around SEN. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Victimisation)
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Open AccessArticle Trends in Workplace Injuries in Slovak Forest Enterprises
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010141
Received: 26 November 2018 / Revised: 17 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
The aim of the paper is to analyse the effect of key factors affecting the risk of workplace injuries and to identify the most common workplace accidents regarding injured body parts with respect to anthropometric data measurements of the population. Data associated with [...] Read more.
The aim of the paper is to analyse the effect of key factors affecting the risk of workplace injuries and to identify the most common workplace accidents regarding injured body parts with respect to anthropometric data measurements of the population. Data associated with workplace accidents over the years 2000–2016 were drawn from the records of the state enterprise Forests of the Slovak Republic, situated in Banská Bystrica. Gathered data were processed and entered into the database complemented by the data on accidents of the self-employed working in the forestry industry. A total of 1874 workplace accidents in the state enterprise were recorded and statistically evaluated during the analysis period. A method for contingency table was used to analyse correlation between qualitative (categorical) variables in the dataset. A Poisson regression model was used to determine the injury rate. Forest harvesting is considered the most risky phase of the process of harvesting, processing, and transport. The highest number of workplace accidents (31.8% of all recorded workplace accidents) occurred during the forest harvesting phase during the analysis period. Timber skidding, with 16% of recorded accidents, was the second highest-risk phase. The workplace injury rate in the forest industry in Slovakia decreased over the course of the years 2000–2016. Head and facial injuries were those with the highest rate (67.1% injuries of these body parts) during the phase of harvesting and skidding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worker and Public Health and Safety: Current Views)
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Open AccessReview Resistance Exercise Intensity is Correlated with Attenuation of HbA1c and Insulin in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010140
Received: 23 November 2018 / Revised: 2 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
We investigated the influence of resistance exercise (RE) with different intensities on HbA1c, insulin and blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Diabetes trials that compared RE group with a control were included in meta-analysis. Exercise intensities were categorized into [...] Read more.
We investigated the influence of resistance exercise (RE) with different intensities on HbA1c, insulin and blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Diabetes trials that compared RE group with a control were included in meta-analysis. Exercise intensities were categorized into low-to-moderate-intensity and high-intensity subgroups. Intensity effect on glycemic control was determined by meta-regression analysis, and risk-of-bias was assessed using Cochrane Collaboration tool. 24 trials met the inclusion criteria, comprised of 962 patients of exercise (n = 491) and control (n = 471). Meta-regression analysis showed decreased HbA1c (p = 0.006) and insulin (p = 0.015) after RE was correlated with intensity. Subgroup analysis revealed decreased HbA1c was greater with high intensity (−0.61; 95% CI −0.90, −0.33) than low-to-moderate intensity (−0.23; 95% CI −0.41, −0.05). Insulin levels were significantly decreased only with high intensity (−4.60; 95% CI −7.53, −1.67), not with low-to-moderate intensity (0.07; 95% CI −3.28, 3.42). Notably, values between the subgroups were statistically significant for both HbA1c (p = 0.03) and insulin (p = 0.04), indicative of profound benefits of high-intensity RE. Pooled outcomes of 15 trials showed only a decreased trend in blood glucose with RE (p = 0.09), and this tendency was not associated with intensity. Our meta-analysis provides additional evidence that high-intensity RE has greater beneficial effects than low-to-moderate-intensity in attenuation of HbA1c and insulin in T2D patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Obesity on Employment and Wages among Young Adults: Observational Study with Panel Data
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010139
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 31 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
This paper assesses the relationship between obesity and the job market by focusing on young adults early on in their careers, while considering the factor of gender and the individuals’ job qualifications. This study extracted data on high school students for four years [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the relationship between obesity and the job market by focusing on young adults early on in their careers, while considering the factor of gender and the individuals’ job qualifications. This study extracted data on high school students for four years from the Korean Education and Employment Panel (from 2010 to 2013), a nationally representative dataset comprising of 2000 middle school students and 4000 high school seniors. The individual-level fixed effects were controlled using conditional logistic regression models and an ordinary least squares model. Obese and overweight men were 1.46 times more likely to be placed in professional jobs and had 13.9% higher monthly wages than their normal-weight counterparts. However, obese and overweight women were 0.33 times less likely to have service jobs, earned 9.0% lower monthly wages, and half as likely to have jobs with bonuses than that of their normal-weight counterparts. However, such penalty among women was found only when they had none of the assessed job market qualifications. Given that initial jobs and job conditions have lingering impacts in long-term job performance, the cumulative penalty for overweight or obesity could be more substantial for young adults in particular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worker and Public Health and Safety: Current Views)
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Open AccessArticle Elimination of Schistosoma japonicum Transmission in China: A Case of Schistosomiasis Control in the Severe Epidemic Area of Anhui Province
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010138
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 30 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Over the several decades, China has been incessantly optimizing control strategies in response to the varying epidemic situations of schistosomiasis. We evaluated continuously the changing prevalence under different control strategies of two villages, Sanlian and Guifan, in China through five phases lasting 37 [...] Read more.
Over the several decades, China has been incessantly optimizing control strategies in response to the varying epidemic situations of schistosomiasis. We evaluated continuously the changing prevalence under different control strategies of two villages, Sanlian and Guifan, in China through five phases lasting 37 years. We tested residents, calculated prevalence and discussed change causes. We found the prevalence in Sanlian did not differ significant from that of Guifan (p = 0.18) in 1981, but decreased to 2.66%, much lower than Guifan’s 11.25%, in 1984 (p = 0). Besides, prevalence in Guifan increased to 21.25% in 1987, while in Sanlian it rose to 20.78% until 1989. Those data confirmed that praziquantel combined with snail control could better reduce the prevalence. From 1992 to 1994, the prevalence in the two villages displayed downtrends, which showed the World Bank Loan Project worked. From 1995 to 2004, repeated oscillations with no obvious change trend was seen. Since 2005, the prevalence in both villages has shown a significant downtrend (p < 0.05), which suggests the integrated strategy is effective. We considered the control strategies were implemented suitably in the study area under changing social circumstances. Adjusting the strategy in consideration of social transformations is necessary and vital. The experience may be useful for policy making of other epidemic areas with an analogous situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
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Open AccessArticle Determinants of Spatial Heterogeneity of Functional Illiteracy among School-Aged Children in the Philippines: An Ecological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010137
Received: 28 October 2018 / Revised: 23 December 2018 / Accepted: 2 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Functional literacy is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Functional literacy indicators are likely to vary between locations given the geographical variability of its major determinants. This property poses a challenge to decisions around efficient [...] Read more.
Functional literacy is one of the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. Functional literacy indicators are likely to vary between locations given the geographical variability of its major determinants. This property poses a challenge to decisions around efficient allocation of population services and resources to mitigate the impact of functional literacy in populations most in need. Using functional literacy indicators of 11,313 school-aged children collected in 2008 during the nationwide survey, the current study examined the association between functional literacy and geographical disparities in socioeconomic status (SES), water supply, sanitation and hygiene, household education stimuli, and environmental variables in all three regions of the Philippines (Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao). Three nested fixed-effects multinomial regression models were built to determine associations between functional literacy and a wide array of variables. Our results showed the general prevalence rate of functional illiteracy as being 4.7%, with the highest prevalence rate in the Visayas, followed by Mindanao and Luzon (7.5%, 6.9%, and 3.0%, respectively. Our results indicated that in Luzon prevalence of functional illiteracy was explained by variation in household education stimuli scores, sources of drinking water, and type of toilet facility. In Mindanao and the Visayas prevalence of functional illiteracy was primarily explained by geographical variation in SES, and natural environmental conditions. Our study highlights region-specific determinants of functional literacy and the need for geographically targeted, integrated interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Breastfeeding and the Risk of Illness among Young Children in Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010136
Received: 1 November 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 26 December 2018 / Published: 7 January 2019
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Abstract
Poor rural areas in China exhibit the country’s highest rates of child mortality, often stemming from preventable health conditions such as diarrhea and respiratory infection. In this study, we investigate the association between breastfeeding and disease among children aged 6–24 months in poor [...] Read more.
Poor rural areas in China exhibit the country’s highest rates of child mortality, often stemming from preventable health conditions such as diarrhea and respiratory infection. In this study, we investigate the association between breastfeeding and disease among children aged 6–24 months in poor rural counties in China. To do this, we conducted a longitudinal, quantitative analysis of socioeconomic demographics, health outcomes, and breastfeeding practices for 1802 child–caregiver dyads across 11 nationally designated poverty counties in southern Shaanxi Province in 2013–2014. We found low rates of continued breastfeeding that decreased as children developed: from 58.2% at 6–12 months, to 21.6% at 12–18 months, and finally to 5.2% at 18–24 months. These suboptimal rates are lower than all but one other country in the Asia-Pacific region. We further found that only 18.3% of children 6–12 months old met the World Health Organization (WHO)-recommended threshold for minimum dietary diversity, defined as consuming four or more of seven specific food groups. Breastfeeding was strongly associated with lower rates of both diarrhea and cough in bivariate and multivariate analyses. As the first analysis to use longitudinal data to examine the relationship between continued breastfeeding and child illness in China, our study confirms the need for programmatic interventions that promote continued breastfeeding in order to improve toddler health in the region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty, Inequality and Public Health in China)
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