Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 16, Issue 4 (February-2 2019)

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
Cover Story (view full-size image) In the analysis of the most significant protective factors against bullying and cyberbullying [...] Read more.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-154
Export citation of selected articles as:
Open AccessArticle Measuring the Environmental Efficiency and Technology Gap of PM2.5 in China’s Ten City Groups: An Empirical Analysis Using the EBM Meta-Frontier Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 675; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040675
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 436 | PDF Full-text (1490 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Since air pollution is an important factor hindering China’s economic development, China has passed a series of bills to control air pollution. However, we still lack an understanding of the status of environmental efficiency in regard to air pollution, especially PM2.5 (diameter [...] Read more.
Since air pollution is an important factor hindering China’s economic development, China has passed a series of bills to control air pollution. However, we still lack an understanding of the status of environmental efficiency in regard to air pollution, especially PM2.5 (diameter of fine particulate matter less than 2.5 μm) pollution. Using panel data on ten major Chinese city groups from 2004 to 2016, we first estimate the environmental efficiency of PM2.5 by epsilon-based measure (EBM) meta-frontier model. The results show that there are large differences in PM2.5 environmental efficiency between cities and city groups. The cities with the highest environmental efficiency are the most economically developed cities and the city group with the highest environmental efficiency is mainly the eastern city group. Then, we use the meta-frontier Malmquist EBM model to measure the meta-frontier Malmquist total factor productivity index (MMPI) in each city group. The results indicate that, overall, China’s environmental total factor productivity declined by 3.68% and 3.49% when considering or not the influence of outside sources, respectively. Finally, we decompose the MMPI into four indexes, namely, the efficiency change (EC) index, the best practice gap change (BPC) index, the pure technological catch-up (PTCU) index, and the frontier catch-up (FCU) index. We find that the trend of the MMPI is consistent with those of the BPC and PTCU indexes, which indicates that the innovation effect of the BPC and PTCU indexes are the main driving forces for productivity growth. The EC and FCU effect are the main forces hindering productivity growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Moderating Role of Self-Control and Financial Strain in the Relation between Exposure to the Food Environment and Obesity: The GLOBE Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 674; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040674
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 480 | PDF Full-text (315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Low self-control and financial strain may limit individuals’ capacity to resist temptations in the local food environment. We investigated the moderating role of self-control and financial strain in the relation between the food environment and higher body weight. We used data from 2812 [...] Read more.
Low self-control and financial strain may limit individuals’ capacity to resist temptations in the local food environment. We investigated the moderating role of self-control and financial strain in the relation between the food environment and higher body weight. We used data from 2812 Dutch adults who participated in the population-based GLOBE study in 2014. Participants’ home addresses and the location of food retailers in 2013 were mapped using GIS. The density of fast food retailers and the totality of food retailers in Euclidean buffers of 250, 400 and 800 m around the home were linked to body mass index and overweight status. A higher density of fast food outlets (B (95% confidence interval (CI)) = −0.04 (−0.07; −0.01)) and the totality of food outlets (B (95% CI) = −0.01 (−0.01; −0.00)) were associated with a lower body mass index. Stratification showed that associations were strongest for those experiencing low self-control or great financial strain. For example, every additional fast food outlet was associated with a 0.17 point lower BMI in those with great financial strain, while not significantly associated with BMI in those with no financial strain. In conclusion, we did find support for a moderating role of self-control and financial strain, but associations between the food environment and weight status were not in the expected direction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Food Behaviour)
Open AccessArticle Migrant Workers from the Eastern-Mediterranean Region and Occupational Injuries: A Retrospective Database-Based Analysis from North-Eastern Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040673
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 402 | PDF Full-text (1004 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and, according to the Islamic tradition, it coincides with the month when the Noble Koran/Qur’an began to be revealed. In recent years, concerns about the potentially negative health effects of [...] Read more.
The month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and, according to the Islamic tradition, it coincides with the month when the Noble Koran/Qur’an began to be revealed. In recent years, concerns about the potentially negative health effects of Ramadan fasting and the risks of work-related injuries have increased in Western European (EURO) countries. In the present study, we performed a retrospective database-based analysis assessing the impact of Ramadan fasting on occupational injuries (OIs) in North-Eastern Italy among migrant workers from the Eastern-Mediterranean Region (EMRO). Our results suggest that EMRO workers exhibit a significantly increased risk for OIs during Ramadan in periods characterized by heat-waves, while their frequency was somehow reduced for days associated with Ramadan characterized by increased but not extreme temperatures. However, these results may be attributable to an explanatory causation in the specific differences between EMRO and EURO workers in the job tasks performed at the workplace. Not coincidentally, no significant differences were found regarding industrial settings, mechanisms of OIs and final prognosis. Despite the obvious practical implications for health decision- and policy-makers, due to the limitations of the present investigation, further studies are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migration, Work and Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Perception of Climate Change in Shrimp-Farming Communities in Bangladesh: A Critical Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 672; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040672
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 421 | PDF Full-text (587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Local contexts as well as levels of exposure play a substantial role in defining a community’s perception of climate and environmental vulnerabilities. In order to assess a community’s adaptation strategies, understanding of how different groups in that community comprehend climate change is crucial. [...] Read more.
Local contexts as well as levels of exposure play a substantial role in defining a community’s perception of climate and environmental vulnerabilities. In order to assess a community’s adaptation strategies, understanding of how different groups in that community comprehend climate change is crucial. Public risk perception is important as it can induce or confine political, economic, and social actions dealing with particular hazards. Climate change adaptation is a well-established policy discourse in Bangladesh that has made its people more or less aware of it. Similarly, shrimp-farming communities in southwestern Bangladesh understand environmental and climate change in their own ways. In order to understand how the shrimp-farming communities in coastal Bangladesh perceive current climate instabilities, we conducted a qualitative study in shrimp-farming villages in coastal Bangladesh where about 80% of commercial shrimp of the country is cultivated. We compared farmers’ perceptions of local climate change with existing scientific knowledge and found remarkable similarities. Our assessment shows that at least two factors are critical for this outcome: coastal people’s exposure to and experience of frequent climate extremes; and a radical approach to defining climate regimes in Bangladesh by various stakeholders and the media, depicting anthropogenic global warming as a certainty for the country. Thus, a convergence of scientific construct and sociocultural construct construes the level of awareness of the general public about climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Adaptation to Climate Change)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Association between Heavy Metals, Bisphenol A, Volatile Organic Compounds and Phthalates and Metabolic Syndrome
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 671; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040671
Received: 3 February 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 419 | PDF Full-text (305 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), which causes heart disease and stroke, has increased significantly worldwide. Although many studies have revealed the relationship between heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, and lead), the sum of metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and MetS, the results remain [...] Read more.
The incidence of metabolic syndrome (MetS), which causes heart disease and stroke, has increased significantly worldwide. Although many studies have revealed the relationship between heavy metals (cadmium, mercury, and lead), the sum of metabolites of di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), and MetS, the results remain inconsistent. No study has reported the association between various volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and phthalate metabolites with MetS. This cross-sectional study of a representative sample of adult South Koreans aimed to evaluate the relationship between heavy metals, VOC metabolites, phthalate metabolites, bisphenol A and MetS after adjusting for demographic variables. Data from the Korean National Environmental Health Survey II (2012–2014) (n = 5251) were used in the analysis. Multiple logistic regression analysis was performed for MetS with log-transformed hazardous material quartiles after covariate adjustment. Urine muconic acid (MuA) and mono- (2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl) phthalate (MEHHP) levels were significantly associated with MetS after adjusting for confounders (odds ratio: 1.34 and 1.39, respectively). Urine MuA and MEHHP levels were significantly associated with MetS. Because of the rarity of this study, which investigated the relationship between each VOC and phthalate metabolite with MetS and the strict definition of all indirect measures of MetS components, further research is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle Contamination, Sources, and Health Risks Associated with Soil PAHs in Rebuilt Land from a Coking Plant, Beijing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040670
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 13 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 386 | PDF Full-text (3506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study investigated the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution in the reconstructed land of an abandoned industrial site: a coking plant in Beijing. To meet the needs of urban development, many factories have had to be relocated from city centers, and abandoned industrial [...] Read more.
This study investigated the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollution in the reconstructed land of an abandoned industrial site: a coking plant in Beijing. To meet the needs of urban development, many factories have had to be relocated from city centers, and abandoned industrial sites often need to be transformed into residential land or urban green space through a series of restoration measures. It is necessary to study the level of residual pollutants and potential risks associated with industrial reconstructed land. The concentration of 16 PAHs in the study area ranged from 314.7 to 1618.3 µg/kg, and the average concentration was still at a medium pollution level; the concentration of PAHs in the original coking workshop had the highest levels (1350.5 µg/kg). The PAHs in the soil were mainly low-ring aromatics, especially naphthalene and phenanthrene. The isomer method and principal component analysis indicated that PAHs in the topsoil were the result of coal and biomass combustion. The seven carcinogenic PAHs were the main contributors to the total toxicity equivalence. The genetic toxicity of benzo[a]pyrene was relatively low, and the results were related to the concentration level. There were potential carcinogenic risks for people of varying ages in this residential area. In total, gender differences were small, and the comprehensive lifetime cancer risk level was still acceptable. For the remaining plots at the study site, the daily intake of PAHs by construction workers was between 0.74–2.31 ng/kg bw/day, which requires further evaluation about ignored area occupational exposure to environmental pollutants. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessEditorial Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040669
Received: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 228 | PDF Full-text (226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Epidemiological research on the pathogenesis, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases is a broad field of study with renewed validity in the face of social changes and new threats [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Infectious Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Parenting and Future Anxiety: The Impact of Having a Child with Developmental Disabilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 668; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040668
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 426 | PDF Full-text (357 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study examined differences in future anxiety (FA) among mothers and fathers of children with and without developmental disabilities (DD), and it also analyzed differences in FA within the group of parents of children with DD taking into consideration parent-related factors and child-related [...] Read more.
This study examined differences in future anxiety (FA) among mothers and fathers of children with and without developmental disabilities (DD), and it also analyzed differences in FA within the group of parents of children with DD taking into consideration parent-related factors and child-related factors. A group of 167 parents of children with DD were compared to a group of 103 parents of children with typical development. The group with DD included children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory disorders, and intellectual disability. Parents completed the Future Anxiety Scale-FAS1. Mothers of children with DD had a higher general level of FA than fathers of children with and without DD. Mothers of children with DD reported higher anxiety about their future health and the meaning of their future life than fathers of children with DD. For parents of children with DD, those with lower education, male children, and older children reported higher FA. The group at risk of highest general FA are mothers of children with DD, especially those without a professional career. Similarly, parents of teenagers and/or sons with DD are at increased risk of FA. Full article
Open AccessArticle Pre-Pregnancy Weight and Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Executive Functioning Behaviors in Preschool Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040667
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 461 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study examines pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) in relation to early childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms and related executive self-regulation behaviors. The analyses sample (n = 331) included a subsample of participants from a [...] Read more.
This study examines pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI) and gestational weight gain (GWG) in relation to early childhood Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms and related executive self-regulation behaviors. The analyses sample (n = 331) included a subsample of participants from a birth cohort recruited from prenatal clinics and hospital facilities from April 2005 to June 2011 in Durham, North Carolina. Pre-pregnancy BMI was calculated from weight at the last menstrual period and height was extracted from medical records. Gestational weight gain was calculated from pre-pregnancy weight and weight measured at the time of delivery. ADHD symptoms and executive self-regulation behaviors were assessed by maternal report (mean age = 3 years). Multivariable regression methods with inverse probability weighting (IPW) were used to evaluate associations accounting for sample selection bias and confounding. Pre-pregnancy BMI at levels ≥35 was positively associated with higher ADHD symptoms and worse executive self-regulation behaviors (inhibitory control and attention). Compared to adequate GWG, less than adequate GWG was related to more ADHD hyperactive-impulsive symptoms, whereas greater than adequate GWG was related to more problematic behaviors related to working memory and planning. The findings support a link between maternal weight and child neurodevelopment. Continued research that help identify biological mechanisms are needed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Comparison of Quality of Life and Work Ability of Taxi and Motorcycle Taxi Drivers: Evidence from Brazil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040666
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 11 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 359 | PDF Full-text (348 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban transport drivers, specifically taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, are exposed to particular environmental, societal, and health situations related to their occupation. To compare work capacity and quality of life of taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, and correlate quality of life and work [...] Read more.
Urban transport drivers, specifically taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, are exposed to particular environmental, societal, and health situations related to their occupation. To compare work capacity and quality of life of taxi and motorcycle taxi drivers, and correlate quality of life and work ability, a cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 232 motorcycle taxi drivers and 60 male taxi drivers in urban cities of Brazil. Three instruments were used for evaluation: a questionnaire on sociodemographic and occupational issues, the Work Capacity Index (WCI), and the WHOQOL-bref (World Health Organization Quality of Life–Bref). Taxi drivers presented better evaluation scores in the physical and psychological domains and general quality of life (QOL) (p < 0.01), and better self-perceived work ability (lower physical and mental demands, fewer diagnosed diseases, less incapacity for professional practice, p < 0.001). In addition, there was a positive relationship between QOL and WCI (p = 0.001). Motorcycle taxi drivers had worse self-perceived QOL and of work ability, and there was a positive correlation between QOL and work ability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Social Capital and Mental Health in Rural and Urban China: A Composite Hypothesis Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040665
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 25 February 2019
Viewed by 382 | PDF Full-text (553 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study is to follow the composite theory approach to analyze the effect of social capital on self-rated mental health in rural and urban China. Our nationally representative sample includes 10,968 respondents from 130 county-level communities. Two-level random-coefficient linear regressions, [...] Read more.
The objective of this study is to follow the composite theory approach to analyze the effect of social capital on self-rated mental health in rural and urban China. Our nationally representative sample includes 10,968 respondents from 130 county-level communities. Two-level random-coefficient linear regressions, which model individual and community variations in subjective mental health, were estimated by taking the hierarchical structure of the dataset into account. We found that a significant proportion of the total variations in self-rated mental health were explained at the community level. We also found an association between low contextual civic trust and poor self-rated mental health after adjusting for individual social capital and individual socioeconomic-demographic variables. The study also revealed that: (1) in rural areas a positive relationship between civic and political trust and mental health existed both at the individual and the community level, respectively; and (2) in urban areas, only political trust at the individual level contributed to better mental health. In addition, the individual and community level political participation exhibited a positive impact on mental health measures in both rural and urban China. The individual level civic participation was positively associated to the outcome variable. However, the community-level civic participation seemed to negatively impact mental health in urban area. Our findings emphasize the importance of both individual and community-level healthcare interventions in China. Finally, this study also found that human capital covariates remained important predictors of self-rated mental health status even after controlling social capital both at individual and community levels. This study suggested that the composite thesis could provide a more convincing narrative than other theories in explaining the effects of both human and social capital on health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue IJERPH: 15th Anniversary)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Area-Level Walkability and the Geographic Distribution of High Body Mass in Sydney, Australia: A Spatial Analysis Using the 45 and Up Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040664
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 7 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
Viewed by 540 | PDF Full-text (2497 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Improving the walkability of built environments to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce high body mass is increasingly considered in regional development plans. Walkability indexes have the potential to inform, benchmark and monitor these plans if they are associated with variation in body mass [...] Read more.
Improving the walkability of built environments to promote healthy lifestyles and reduce high body mass is increasingly considered in regional development plans. Walkability indexes have the potential to inform, benchmark and monitor these plans if they are associated with variation in body mass outcomes at spatial scales used for health and urban planning. We assessed relationships between area-level walkability and prevalence and geographic variation in overweight and obesity using an Australian population-based cohort comprising 92,157 Sydney respondents to the 45 and Up Study baseline survey between January 2006 and April 2009. Individual-level data on overweight and obesity were aggregated to 2006 Australian postal areas and analysed as a function of area-level Sydney Walkability Index quartiles using conditional auto regression spatial models adjusted for demographic, social, economic, health and socioeconomic factors. Both overweight and obesity were highly clustered with higher-than-expected prevalence concentrated in the urban sprawl region of western Sydney, and lower-than-expected prevalence in central and eastern Sydney. In fully adjusted spatial models, prevalence of overweight and obesity was 6% and 11% lower in medium-high versus low, and 10% and 15% lower in high versus low walkability postcodes, respectively. Postal area walkability explained approximately 20% and 9% of the excess spatial variation in overweight and obesity that remained after accounting for other individual- and area-level factors. These findings provide support for the potential of area-level walkability indexes to inform, benchmark and monitor regional plans aimed at targeted approaches to reducing population-levels of high body mass through environmental interventions. Future research should consider potential confounding due to neighbourhood self-selection on area-level walkability relations. Full article
Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessReview Associations between Green Building Design Strategies and Community Health Resilience to Extreme Heat Events: A Systematic Review of the Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 663; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040663
Received: 2 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
Viewed by 518 | PDF Full-text (3080 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This project examined evidence linking green building design strategies with the potential to enhance community resilience to extreme heat events. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method for a systematic review, it assessed the strength of the evidence [...] Read more.
This project examined evidence linking green building design strategies with the potential to enhance community resilience to extreme heat events. Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method for a systematic review, it assessed the strength of the evidence supporting the potential for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) credit requirements to reduce the adverse effects of extreme heat events and/or enhance a building’s passive survivability (i.e., the ability to continue to function during utility outages) during those events. The PRISMA Flow Diagram resulted in the selection of 12 LEED for New Construction (LEED NC) credits for inclusion in the review. Following a preliminary scan of evidence supporting public health co-benefits of the LEED for Neighborhood Development rating system, queries were submitted in PubMed using National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings Terms. Queries identified links between LEED credit requirements and risk of exposure to extreme heat, environmental determinants of health, co-benefits to public health outcomes, and co-benefits to built environment outcomes. Public health co-benefits included reducing the risk of vulnerability to heat stress and reducing heat-related morbidity and mortality. The results lay the groundwork for collaboration across the public health, civil society, climate change, and green building sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Adaptation to Climate Change)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Cognitive Assessment of Older People: Do Sensory Function and Frailty Matter?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040662
Received: 1 February 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
Viewed by 425 | PDF Full-text (447 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: To examine the associations of visual and hearing functions, and frailty with subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in a community primary care pilot project of older people aged 60 years and over. Methods: The study was conducted in 24 community centers. [...] Read more.
Background: To examine the associations of visual and hearing functions, and frailty with subjective memory complaints (SMCs) in a community primary care pilot project of older people aged 60 years and over. Methods: The study was conducted in 24 community centers. A total of 1949 community-dwelling older people aged between 60–97 years were evaluated for which detailed information regarding socio-demographics, lifestyle, and clinical factors were documented at baseline and an average of 12 months later. SMCs were assessed using the 5-item Abbreviated Memory Inventory for the Chinese (AMIC). Visual and hearing functions were measured with two separate single questions. Frailty was assessed using a simple frailty question (FRAIL). Results: At baseline, 1685 (74.6%) participants had reported at least 3 SMCs (AMIC score ≥ 3). Of the 573 participants without / with 1–2 SMCs (AMIC score = 0–2) at baseline, 75 had incomplete data regarding SMCs and 190 developed at least 3 SMCs after 12 months. After adjustments for age, sex, marital status, educational level, hypertension, and diabetes at baseline, poor vision (OR 2.2 95% CI 1.8–2.7), poor hearing (OR 2.2 95% CI 1.8–2.8), and frailty (OR 4.6 95% CI 3.1–6.7) at baseline were each significantly associated with an increased risk of at least 3 SMCs at follow-up. After a further adjustment for baseline SMCs, the associations remained significant. Similar results were obtained when incident SMCs and improvement in subjective memory were used as the outcome variables; and Conclusions: In the care of older people, detection of sensory impairment and frailty through screening may allow formulation of strategies to prevent or delay the onset of cognitive decline. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geriatrics Syndromes Prevention)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview The Organization, Implementation, and Functioning of Dengue Surveillance in India—A Systematic Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 661; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040661
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
Viewed by 515 | PDF Full-text (1167 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dengue´s re-emerging epidemiology poses a major global health threat. In India, dengue contributes significantly to the global communicable disease burden, and has been declared highly endemic. This study aims to identify and critically appraise India’s dengue surveillance system. We conducted a systematic literature [...] Read more.
Dengue´s re-emerging epidemiology poses a major global health threat. In India, dengue contributes significantly to the global communicable disease burden, and has been declared highly endemic. This study aims to identify and critically appraise India’s dengue surveillance system. We conducted a systematic literature review, searching Medline, Web of Sciences, Global Health, and Indian Journals. We conducted a narrative synthesis and thematic analysis. Eighteen studies fulfilled eligibility. Organizationally, most studies referred to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, primarily responsible for overall vector and disease control, as well as the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, responsible for reporting, outbreak identification, and integration. Surveillance implementation was mostly framed as passive, sentinel, and hospital-based. Reporting varies from weekly to monthly, flowing from primary healthcare centres to district and national authorities. Dengue confirmation is only recognized if conducted with government-distributed MAC-ELISA tests. The surveillance system predominantly relies on public reporting units. In terms of functioning, current surveillance seems to have improved dengue reporting as well the system’s detection capacities. Emergency and outbreak responses are often described as timely; however, they are challenged by underreporting, weak data reliability, lack of private reporting, and system fragmentation. Concluding, India’s dengue surveillance structure remains weak. Efforts to create an infrastructure of communication, cooperation, and integration are evident, however, not achieved yet. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Association of Circulating Irisin Concentrations with Weight Loss after Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass Surgery
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 660; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040660
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 24 February 2019
Viewed by 425 | PDF Full-text (1323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Irisin is a myokine with potential anti-obesity properties that has been suggested to increase energy expenditure in obese patients. However, there is limited clinical information on the biology of irisin in humans, especially in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. We aimed to [...] Read more.
Irisin is a myokine with potential anti-obesity properties that has been suggested to increase energy expenditure in obese patients. However, there is limited clinical information on the biology of irisin in humans, especially in morbidly obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. We aimed to assess the association of circulating irisin concentrations with weight loss in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. This was a pilot, single-centre, longitudinal observational study. We recruited 25 morbidly obese subjects who underwent Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGBP), and blood samples from 12 patients were taken to measure serum irisin concentrations before, and one and nine months after surgery. Their clinical characteristics were measured for one year. The preoperative serum irisin concentration (mean 1.01 ± 0.23 μg/mL, range 0.73–1.49) changed bidirectionally one month after RYGBP. The mean concentration at nine months was 1.11 ± 0.15 μg/mL (range 0.92–1.35). Eight patients had elevated irisin levels compared with their preoperative values, but four did not. Elevations of irisin levels nine months, but not one month, after surgery, were associated with lower preoperative levels (p = 0.016) and worse weight reduction rates (p = 0.006 for the percentage excess weight loss and p = 0.032 for changes in body mass index). The preoperative serum irisin concentrations were significantly correlated with the percentage of excess weight loss for one year (R2 = 0.612; p = 0.04) in our study. Our results suggest that preoperative circulating irisin concentrations may be at least in part associated with a weight loss effect of bariatric surgery in morbidly obese patients. Further large-scale clinical studies are needed to ratify these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Care Sciences & Services)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impacts of Anthropogenic Changes on the Mun River Water: Insight from Spatio-Distributions and Relationship of C and N Species in Northeast Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040659
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
Viewed by 400 | PDF Full-text (2683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
C and N species, including dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), NO3 and NH4+ contents in 57 river water samples collected from the Mun River of Thailand were measured to determine the relationships [...] Read more.
C and N species, including dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), NO3 and NH4+ contents in 57 river water samples collected from the Mun River of Thailand were measured to determine the relationships between these dissolved load species and their impacts on the environment. DOC values varied between 1.71 and 40.08 mg/L, averaging 11.14 mg/L; DON values ranged from 0.20 to 1.37 mg/L, with an average value of 0.48 mg/L; NO3-N values averaged 0.18 mg/L; and NH4+-N values averaged 0.15 mg/L. DOC contents increased while DON and NO3 values decreased along the flow direction. The concentrations of NH4+ maintained the same level in the whole watershed. DOC and DON values exhibited clearly higher concentrations in comparison with other rivers worldwide and were inextricably linked with anthropogenic inputs. The relationships of DOC, DON, and anthropogenic ions imply that there are two different anthropogenic sources (industrial activities and agricultural activities) of the dissolved load in the Mun River watershed. The limited correlations between the DON, NO3, and NH4+ indicate that the N species are not dominated by a single factor, and reciprocal transformations of riverine N pool are complex. Based on the environmental water quality standard reported by the EC (European Communities) and the World Health Organization, assessments of the water quality using the parameters of pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), NO3, NH4+, and TN (total nitrogen) in the Mun River were conducted. The results demonstrate that the river water faces potential environmental pollution, and anthropogenic inputs endanger local water quality and the aquatic community. Therefore, the local government should restrict and reduce the anthropogenic inputs discharged in to rivers, and launch long-term monitoring of water quality. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Environmental and Genetic Factors in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Special Emphasis on Data from Arabian Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040658
Received: 26 January 2019 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
Viewed by 673 | PDF Full-text (1703 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
One of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders worldwide is autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is characterized by language delay, impaired communication interactions, and repetitive patterns of behavior caused by environmental and genetic factors. This review aims to provide a comprehensive survey of recently [...] Read more.
One of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders worldwide is autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is characterized by language delay, impaired communication interactions, and repetitive patterns of behavior caused by environmental and genetic factors. This review aims to provide a comprehensive survey of recently published literature on ASD and especially novel insights into excitatory synaptic transmission. Even though numerous genes have been discovered that play roles in ASD, a good understanding of the pathophysiologic process of ASD is still lacking. The protein–protein interactions between the products of NLGN, SHANK, and NRXN synaptic genes indicate that the dysfunction in synaptic plasticity could be one reason for the development of ASD. Designing more accurate diagnostic tests for the early diagnosis of ASD would improve treatment strategies and could enhance the appropriate monitoring of prognosis. This comprehensive review describes the psychotropic and antiepileptic drugs that are currently available as effective pharmacological treatments and provides in-depth knowledge on the concepts related to clinical, diagnostic, therapeutic, and genetic perspectives of ASD. An increase in the prevalence of ASD in Gulf Cooperation Council countries is also addressed in the review. Further, the review emphasizes the need for international networking and multidimensional studies to design novel and effective treatment strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Children Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Sulforaphane Cannot Protect Human Fibroblasts From Repeated, Short and Sublethal Treatments with Hydrogen Peroxide
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040657
Received: 13 January 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
Viewed by 454 | PDF Full-text (719 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A delicate balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) exists inside the cell: when the mechanisms that control the level of ROS fail, the cell is in an oxidative stress state, a condition that can accelerate aging processes. To contrast the pro-aging effect of [...] Read more.
A delicate balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) exists inside the cell: when the mechanisms that control the level of ROS fail, the cell is in an oxidative stress state, a condition that can accelerate aging processes. To contrast the pro-aging effect of ROS, the supplementation of antioxidants has been recently proposed. Sulforaphane (SFN) is an isothiocyanate isolated from Brassica plants that has been shown to modulate many critical factors inside the cells helping to counteract aging processes. In the present work, we exposed human dermal fibroblast to short, sublethal and repeated treatments with hydrogen peroxide for eight days, without or in combination with low concentration of SFN. Hydrogen peroxide treatments did not affect the oxidative status of the cells, without any significant change of the intracellular ROS levels or the number of mitochondria or thiols in total proteins. However, our regime promoted cell cycle progression and cell viability, increased the anti-apoptotic factor survivin and increased DNA damage, measured as number of foci positive for γ -H2AX. On the other hand, the treatment with SFN alone seemed to exert a protective effect, increasing the level of p53, which can block the expansion of possible DNA damaged cells. However, continued exposure to SFN at this concentration could not protect the cells from stress induced by hydrogen peroxide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessProject Report An Examination of Twitter Data to Identify Risky Sexual Practices Among Youth and Young Adults in Botswana
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 656; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040656
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 23 February 2019
Viewed by 435 | PDF Full-text (265 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Botswana has the third highest rate of HIV infection, as well as one of the highest mobile phone density rates in the world. The rate of mobile cell phone adoption has increased three-fold over the past 10 years. Due to HIV infection rates, [...] Read more.
Botswana has the third highest rate of HIV infection, as well as one of the highest mobile phone density rates in the world. The rate of mobile cell phone adoption has increased three-fold over the past 10 years. Due to HIV infection rates, youth and young adults are the primary target for prevention efforts. One way to improve prevention efforts is to examine how risk reduction messages are disseminated on social media platforms such as Twitter. Thus, to identify key words related to safer sex practices and HIV prevention, we examined three months of Twitter data in Botswana. 1 December 2015, was our kick off date, and we ended data collection on 29 February 2016. To gather the tweets, we searched for HIV-related terms in English and in Setswana. From the 140,240 tweets collected from 251 unique users, 576 contained HIV-related terms. A representative sample of 25 active Twitter users comprised individuals, one government site and 2 organizations. Data revealed that tweets related to HIV prevention and AIDS did not occur more frequently during the month of December when compared to January and February (t = 3.62, p > 0.05). There was no significant difference between the numbers of HIV related tweets that occurred from 1 December 2015 to 29 February 2016 (F = 32.1, p > 0.05). The tweets occurred primarily during the morning and evening hours and on Tuesdays followed by Thursdays and Fridays. The least number of tweets occurred on Sunday. The highest number of followers was associated with the Botswana government Twitter site. Twitter analytics was found to be useful in providing insight into information being tweeted regarding risky sexual behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teenage Reproductive Health)
Open AccessArticle The Prevalence of Reproductive Tract Infections in a Chinese Internal Migrant Population, and Its Correlation with Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 655; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040655
Received: 4 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 396 | PDF Full-text (336 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Objective: This study was designed to assess the prevalence of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) among an internal-migrant population of reproductive age in China. We also analyzed the knowledge, attitude, and practices related to these infections. Methods: A cross-sectional study using the [...] Read more.
Objective: This study was designed to assess the prevalence of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) among an internal-migrant population of reproductive age in China. We also analyzed the knowledge, attitude, and practices related to these infections. Methods: A cross-sectional study using the quota-sampling method was conducted in three cities from March 2016 to February 2017. A total of 3320 participants (40.7% men and 59.3% women) were enrolled in the study, of whom, 1124, 1015, and 1181 were from Yinchuan, Urumchi, and Shanghai, respectively. Data on the included subjects were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: We found that 3.2% and 22.6% of all subjects lacked knowledge regarding the identification and prevention of RTIs, respectively. More than 80% of the participants approved of developing RTI surveillance and taking RTI-related courses. While 45.1% of the respondents changed their underwear every 2–3 days, 49.0% cleaned their genitals daily, and 34.9% reported taking a bath daily. Among contraceptive users, 47.4% and 29.7% used condoms and IUDs (intrauterine devices), respectively. Overall, 48.2% of the participants had laboratory-confirmed sexually transmitted infections, and 19.7% of the female participants had endogenous infections. After controlling the socio-demographic variables, participants who cleaned their genitals and took a bath less frequently, as well as used condoms or pills had a lower prevalence of sexually transmitted infections, while those who were unwilling to take RTI-related courses and changed their underwear less frequently were more likely to contract sexually transmitted infections. While women who were unwilling to take RTI-related courses had a lower prevalence of endogenous infections, those with more children had a higher prevalence. Conclusion: The status of RTIs among the internal-migrant population of reproductive-age is not optimistic and is related to multiple factors. We believe this study will contribute to improving the knowledge, attitude, and practices related to RTIs. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mechanochemically Activated Aluminosilicate Clay Soils and their Application for Defluoridation and Pathogen Removal from Groundwater
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040654
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 391 | PDF Full-text (3398 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this study, aluminosilicate rich clay soils were prepared through mechanochemical activation. The chemical and mineralogical properties were investigated using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The functional groups, morphology and surface area were evaluated using Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR), Scanning electron [...] Read more.
In this study, aluminosilicate rich clay soils were prepared through mechanochemical activation. The chemical and mineralogical properties were investigated using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The functional groups, morphology and surface area were evaluated using Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) analysis. Batch experiments were used to evaluate its defluoridation efficiency while antibacterial activities were assessed using well diffusion method. Maximum adsorption capacity was found to be 1.87 mg/g with 32% fluoride removal. Fluoride adsorption was found to reduce in the presence of Cl, PO42− and CO32− while it increased in the presence of SO42− and NO3. Adsorption data fitted well to Freundlich isotherms, hence, confirming heterogeneous multilayer adsorption. Kinetic studies revealed that fluoride adsorption fitted well to pseudo-second order model. The sorption of F onto the clays’ surface followed intra-particle diffusion mode. High correlation coefficient indicates that the sorption process was greatly controlled by particle diffusion while it is minimal in pore diffusion model. Antibacterial studies revealed no zone of inhibition for all the activated clays, hence indicating that they are not active against the bacterial strains of Escherichia coli used in this study. The results showed activated clays’ potential for defluoridation. Its effectiveness in pathogen removal is limited. Hence further modifications of the clays’ surfaces are hereby recommended. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview Are There Changes in Inequalities in Injuries? A Review of Evidence in the WHO European Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 653; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040653
Received: 24 January 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 439 | PDF Full-text (525 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decreases in injury rates globally and in Europe in the past decades, although encouraging, may mask previously reported social inequalities between and within countries that persist or even increase. European research on this issue has not been systematically reviewed, which is the aim [...] Read more.
Decreases in injury rates globally and in Europe in the past decades, although encouraging, may mask previously reported social inequalities between and within countries that persist or even increase. European research on this issue has not been systematically reviewed, which is the aim of this article. Between and within-country studies from the WHO European Region that investigate changes in social inequalities in injuries over time or in recent decades were sought in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Of the 27 studies retained, seven were cross-country and 20 were country-specific. Twelve reported changes in inequalities over time and the remaining 15 shed light on other aspects of inequalities. A substantial downward trend in injuries is reported for all causes and cause-specific ones—alongside persisting inequalities between countries and, in a majority of studies, within countries. Studies investigate diverse questions in different population groups. Depending on the social measure and injury outcome considered, many report inequalities in injuries albeit to a varying degree. Despite the downward trends in risk levels, relative social inequalities in injuries remain a persisting public health issue in the European Region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Achieving Environmental Health Equity: Great Expectations)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessBrief Report Higher Appendicular Skeletal Muscle Mass Protects Metabolically Healthy Obese Boys but Not Girls from Cardiometabolic Abnormality
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 652; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040652
Received: 3 January 2019 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 376 | PDF Full-text (293 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Factors related to metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) are not well characterized in adolescents. The study’s aim was to investigate the impact of skeletal muscle mass (SMM) on MHO in adolescents. A secondary analysis was performed using the data of 221 Korean overweight and [...] Read more.
Factors related to metabolically healthy obesity (MHO) are not well characterized in adolescents. The study’s aim was to investigate the impact of skeletal muscle mass (SMM) on MHO in adolescents. A secondary analysis was performed using the data of 221 Korean overweight and obese adolescents aged 12–18 years from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM) mass and total body fat mass were measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Being metabolically unhealthy was defined using three definitions: Having ≥1, ≥2, or ≥3 cardiometabolic risk factors (CRFs; waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides, and HDL-cholesterol). Multiple logistic regression analyses adjusted for age and lifestyle factors were performed to assess the association between ASM and MHO. In boys, the risk for having either ≥2 CRFs or ≥3 CRFs was significantly lower with higher weight-adjusted ASM and ratio of ASM to fat mass after controlling for covariates, but this association was not significant with CRFs ≥ 1. In girls, all adjusted odds ratios were not significant. Findings indicate that SMM is a potentially protective factor against cardiometabolic abnormality in adolescents with MHO, showing gender difference. This heightens the importance of SMM in the management of obesity, especially in boys. Full article
Open AccessArticle Provision of Convenient Play Space in a Densely Populated City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040651
Received: 19 January 2019 / Revised: 16 February 2019 / Accepted: 17 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 259 | PDF Full-text (2707 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The focus of this study is on examining sufficiency and quality of play space in a densely populated city from the spatial perspective. The study employed a three-stage multilevel mixed-method design using spatial analysis, user questionnaire, and site surveys. Provision of play space [...] Read more.
The focus of this study is on examining sufficiency and quality of play space in a densely populated city from the spatial perspective. The study employed a three-stage multilevel mixed-method design using spatial analysis, user questionnaire, and site surveys. Provision of play space was assessed based on location, user perception, and proximity to residential areas and roads. The spatial distribution of play space was mapped and examined by applying GIS-based multicriteria analysis. Without considering play space provided by private housing estates, the study found a mismatch between children population and location of play space. The study also identified stair, slope, and sidewalk conditions as key issues of accessibility to selected playgrounds, even in districts with sufficient play space. Kowloon has limited play space of which a high percentage is inferior in terms of safety and pollution standards. Spatial analysis can help inform optimal locations for play space. Future studies should be based on more well-rounded and complete data to advise urban planning. Additionally, policy makers should focus more on quality standards of play space (i.e., openness, absence of pollution, attraction, safety, etc.) when planning as opposed to simply meeting the minimum area per person quota for open space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Air Pollution and the Outdoor Urban Environment)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Objectively Measured Sitting and Standing in Workers: Cross-Sectional Relationship with Autonomic Cardiac Modulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 650; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040650
Received: 21 December 2018 / Revised: 14 February 2019 / Accepted: 18 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 408 | PDF Full-text (775 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Excessive sitting and standing are proposed risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), possibly due to autonomic imbalance. This study examines the association of objectively measured sitting and standing with nocturnal autonomic cardiac modulation. The cross-sectional study examined 490 blue-collar workers in three Danish [...] Read more.
Excessive sitting and standing are proposed risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), possibly due to autonomic imbalance. This study examines the association of objectively measured sitting and standing with nocturnal autonomic cardiac modulation. The cross-sectional study examined 490 blue-collar workers in three Danish occupational sectors. Sitting and standing during work and leisure were assessed during 1–5 days using accelerometers. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) were obtained during nocturnal sleep as markers of resting autonomic modulation. The associations of sitting and standing still (h/day) with HR and HRV were assessed with linear regression models, adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, smoking, and physical activity. More sitting time during leisure was associated with elevated HR (p = 0.02), and showed a trend towards reduced HRV. More standing time at work was associated with lower HR (p = 0.02), and with increased parasympathetic indices of HRV (root mean squared successive differences of R-R intervals p = 0.05; high-frequency power p = 0.07). These findings, while cross-sectional and restricted to blue-collar workers, suggest that sitting at leisure is detrimental to autonomic cardiac modulation, but standing at work is beneficial. However, the small effect size is likely insufficient to mitigate the previously shown detrimental effects of prolonged standing on CVD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Sedentary Behaviour)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Impact of Long-Term Reclaimed Water Irrigation on the Distribution of Potentially Toxic Elements in Soil: An In-Situ Experiment Study in the North China Plain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 649; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040649
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 388 | PDF Full-text (6578 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The widespread use of reclaimed water has alleviated the water resource crisis worldwide, but long-term use of reclaimed water for irrigation, especially in agricultural countries, might threaten the soil environment and further affect groundwater quality. An in-situ experiment had been carried out in [...] Read more.
The widespread use of reclaimed water has alleviated the water resource crisis worldwide, but long-term use of reclaimed water for irrigation, especially in agricultural countries, might threaten the soil environment and further affect groundwater quality. An in-situ experiment had been carried out in the North China Plain, which aimed to reveal the impact of long-term reclaimed water irrigation on soil properties and distribution of potentially toxic elements (As, Cd, Cr, Hg, Zn and Pb) in the soil profile as well as shallow groundwater. Four land plots were irrigated with different quantity of reclaimed water to represent 0, 13, 22 and 35 years’ irrigation duration. Pollution Load Index (PLI) values of each soil layer were calculated to further assess the pollution status of irrigated soils by potentially toxic elements (PTEs). Results showed that long-term reclaimed water irrigation caused appreciable increase of organic matter content, and might improve the soil quality. High soil organic matter concentrations conduced to high adsorption and retention capacity of the soils toward PTEs, which could reduce the risk of PTEs leaching into deep layers or shallow groundwater. Highest levels of Cr, Pb and Zn were observed at 200–240 cm and 460–500 cm horizons in plots. Longer irrigation time (35 years and 22 years) resulted in a decreasing trend of As, Cd, Hg, Pb and Zn in lower part of soil profiles (>540 cm) compared with that with 13-years’ irrigation years. Long-term reclaimed water irrigation still brought about increases in concentrations of some elements in deep soil layer although their content in soils and shallow groundwater was below the national standard. Totally speaking, proper management for reclaimed water irrigation, such as reduction of irrigation volume and rate of reclaimed water, was still needed when a very long irrigation period was performed. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Variation and Hotspot Detection of the Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in China, 2013–2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040648
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 470 | PDF Full-text (3341 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This study aims to describe the spatial and temporal characteristics of human infections with H7N9 virus in China using data from 19 February 2013 to 30 September 2017 extracted from Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (CHP) and electronic databases [...] Read more.
This study aims to describe the spatial and temporal characteristics of human infections with H7N9 virus in China using data from 19 February 2013 to 30 September 2017 extracted from Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (CHP) and electronic databases managed by China’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) and provincial CDCs synthetically using the Geographic Information System (GIS) software ArcMap™ 10.2 and SaTScan. Based on the multiple analyses of the A(H7N9) epidemics, there was a strong seasonal pattern in A(H7N9) virus infection, with high activity in the first quarter of the year, especially in January, February, and April, and a gradual dying out in the third quarter. Spatial distribution analysis indicated that Eastern China contained the most severely affected areas, such as Zhejiang Province, and the distribution shifted from coastline areas to more inland areas over time. In addition, the cases exhibited local spatial aggregation, with high-risk areas most found in the southeast coastal regions of China. Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong were the high-risk epidemic areas, which should arouse the attention of local governments. A strong cluster from 9 April 2017 to 24 June 2017 was also identified in Northern China, and there were many secondary clusters in Eastern and Southern China, especially in Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangsu, and Guangdong Provinces. Our results suggested that the spatial-temporal clustering of H7N9 in China is fundamentally different, and is expected to contribute to accumulating knowledge on the changing temporal patterns and spatial dissemination during the fifth epidemic and provide data to enable adequate preparation against the next epidemic. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle The Effects of Swimming Training in Cold Water on Antioxidant Enzyme Activity and Lipid Peroxidation in Erythrocytes of Male and Female Aged Rats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 647; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040647
Received: 23 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
Viewed by 445 | PDF Full-text (1475 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to verify whether eight-week-long swimming exercise training would evaluate the level of selected indicators of the pro-oxidant/antioxidant status in response to cold water in comparison with swimming under thermoneutral conditions in sedentary male and female elderly rats. [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to verify whether eight-week-long swimming exercise training would evaluate the level of selected indicators of the pro-oxidant/antioxidant status in response to cold water in comparison with swimming under thermoneutral conditions in sedentary male and female elderly rats. The exercise-trained groups swam four min/day and five days a week during eight weeks of housing. Exercise was performed by swimming in glass tanks containing tap water maintained according to group at 5 °C and 36 °C. At the end of treatment (48 h after the last session), all rats were anaesthetized. The level of chosen biomarkers of oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activity was determined in the red blood cells and plasma. The results of study show that female rats seem to be better adapted to changing thermal conditions of the environment, developing not only morphological, but also antioxidant, defense mechanisms, mainly in the form of increased erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and glutathione (GSH) concentration to restore the pro-oxidant/oxidant balance of the organism. Significantly higher concentrations of GSH were observed in the female rats of the group swimming in cold water (by 15.4% compared to the control group and by 20.5% in relation to the group of female rats swimming at 36 °C). In the group exposed to swimming training exercise in cold water, a significantly higher activity of SOD1 (by 13.4%) was found compared to the control group. On the other hand, the organs of ageing male rats show a reduced capacity to increase the metabolic response to low temperatures compared to female ones. In addition, it was demonstrated that cold exposure leads to an increase in lipid peroxidation in tissues. On the other hand, the repeated exposure to low levels of oxidative stress may result in some adaptive changes in organisms that help them to resist stress-induced damage. Full article
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Isolation and Characterization of a Bacterial Strain Capable of Efficient Berberine Degradation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040646
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 17 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 21 February 2019
Viewed by 436 | PDF Full-text (2335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Berberine (BBR) is a pharmaceutical chemical with a broad antibacterial spectrum, and its biological treatment has been of research and practical interest. In this study, a pure bacterial strain B16 was isolated from the activated sludge in a pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plant. [...] Read more.
Background: Berberine (BBR) is a pharmaceutical chemical with a broad antibacterial spectrum, and its biological treatment has been of research and practical interest. In this study, a pure bacterial strain B16 was isolated from the activated sludge in a pharmaceutical wastewater treatment plant. The aim of the study is to characterize the properties of the strain B16, especially its BBR degradation capability. Methods: The identification of strain B16 was conducted by visual observation, as well as biochemical and phylogenetic analysis. The degradation kinetics of strain B16 was tentatively described by Haldane model. Results: The strain B16 was 100% determined as a Sphingopyxis sp. The kinetic parameters of BBR degradation by strain B16 were as follows: Vmax 54.73 ± 5.54 mg (g MLSS · h)−1, Km 66.68 ± 8.95 mg L−1, and Ki 43.16 ± 5.92 mg L−1, with an R2 of 0.996. Stain B16 exhibited considerable capability of BBR degradation. BBR of initial concentration 40 mg L−1 could be completely degraded in 48 h under optimal conditions. Conclusions: strain B16 was the first pure culture found with the ability to totally mineralize BBR, indicating the potential of B16 application in real industrial processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microorganisms in the Environment)
Figures

Figure 1

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top