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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 7, Issue 4 (April 2010) , Pages 1248-1871

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Open AccessCommunication
The Drinker’s Effect on the Social Environment: A Conceptual Framework for Studying Alcohol’s Harm to Others
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1855-1871; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041855 - 21 Apr 2010
Cited by 68 | Viewed by 11034
Abstract
The paper considers conceptual and methodological issues in studying the scope of alcohol’s harm to others. Reasons are suggested for the relative neglect of the topic. The approaches in two relevant research traditions are considered: population surveys on alcohol problems, and economic cost [...] Read more.
The paper considers conceptual and methodological issues in studying the scope of alcohol’s harm to others. Reasons are suggested for the relative neglect of the topic. The approaches in two relevant research traditions are considered: population surveys on alcohol problems, and economic cost of alcohol studies. Ways of conceptualizing and measuring aspects of the drinker’s effects on others are considered, in terms of main types of relationship with the other, and in terms of major societal response institutions. The main types of data tend to measure different levels of severity, with population survey data dominated by less severe problems, and response institution data by more severe problems; so both are needed for a three-dimensional view. Research questions for the field and its policy significance are noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Research on Alcohol: Public Health Perspectives)
Open AccessArticle
Public Health Nutrition: The Accord of Dietitian Providers in Managing Medicare Chronic Care Outpatients in Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1841-1854; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041841 - 20 Apr 2010
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5049
Abstract
Medicare Australia: Chronic Disease Management program subsidizes allied health consultations for eligible outpatients with chronic disease or complex needs. In an evaluation study, private practice dietitians (n = 9) were interviewed to explore their patient management strategies including consultation time-allocation and fees. Time [...] Read more.
Medicare Australia: Chronic Disease Management program subsidizes allied health consultations for eligible outpatients with chronic disease or complex needs. In an evaluation study, private practice dietitians (n = 9) were interviewed to explore their patient management strategies including consultation time-allocation and fees. Time allocation was fee-based. Short first consultations were seen as meeting patients’ needs for low-cost services but were regarded by dietitians as ineffective, however longer initial consultations increased cost to patients. No strategy in use was optimal. There is a need for change in Medicare policy to meet the needs of both dietitians and patients in achieving the behaviour change goals of patients. Full article
Open AccessReply
Health Economic Assessment: Cost-Effectiveness Thresholds and Other Decision Criteria
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1835-1840; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041835 - 20 Apr 2010
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5944
Abstract
An article published in this Journal argued that New Zealand does not apply a cost-effectiveness threshold because medicines are funded within a fixed budget and because cost-effectiveness is only one of nine criteria that inform decisions. This Comment has explained that, from a [...] Read more.
An article published in this Journal argued that New Zealand does not apply a cost-effectiveness threshold because medicines are funded within a fixed budget and because cost-effectiveness is only one of nine criteria that inform decisions. This Comment has explained that, from a theoretical perspective, the cost-effectiveness threshold model is not inconsistent with these two arguments. The observed annual variation in incremental cost-effectiveness ratios in New Zealand may originate from yearly differences in new medicines that request reimbursement and in the budget size, and from the fact that decision makers take into account other decision criteria in addition to cost-effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessCommentary
Comments on “Simoens, S. Health Economic Assessment: A Methodological Primer. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 2950-2966”—New Zealand in Fact Has No Cost-Effectiveness Threshold
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1831-1834; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041831 - 20 Apr 2010
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 7937
Abstract
The Journal recently incorrectly ascribed cost-effectiveness thresholds to New Zealand, alongside other countries. New Zealand has no such thresholds when deciding the funding of pharmaceuticals. As we fund pharmaceuticals within a fixed budget, and cost-effectiveness is only one of nine decision criteria used [...] Read more.
The Journal recently incorrectly ascribed cost-effectiveness thresholds to New Zealand, alongside other countries. New Zealand has no such thresholds when deciding the funding of pharmaceuticals. As we fund pharmaceuticals within a fixed budget, and cost-effectiveness is only one of nine decision criteria used to inform decisions, thresholds cannot be inferred or calculated. Thresholds inadequately account for opportunity cost and affordability, and are incompatible with budgets and maximising health gains. In New Zealand, pharmaceutical investments can only be considered ‘cost-effective’ when prioritised against other proposals at the time, and threshold levels must inevitably vary with available funds and the other criteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
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Open AccessReview
The Heart Failure Epidemic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1807-1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041807 - 19 Apr 2010
Cited by 72 | Viewed by 7559
Abstract
Heart failure has been singled out as an emerging epidemic, which could be the result of increased incidence and/or increased survival leading to increased prevalence. Knowledge of the responsibility of each factor in the genesis of the epidemic is crucial for prevention. Population-based [...] Read more.
Heart failure has been singled out as an emerging epidemic, which could be the result of increased incidence and/or increased survival leading to increased prevalence. Knowledge of the responsibility of each factor in the genesis of the epidemic is crucial for prevention. Population-based studies have shown that, over time, the incidence of heart failure remained overall stable, while survival improved. Therefore, the heart failure epidemic is chiefly one of hospitalizations. Data on temporal trends in the incidence and prevalence of heart failure according to ejection fraction and how it may have changed over time are needed while interventions should focus on reducing the burden of hospitalizations in hear failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessReview
A Systematic Review of Occupational Exposure to Particulate Matter and Cardiovascular Disease
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1773-1806; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041773 - 19 Apr 2010
Cited by 70 | Viewed by 7967
Abstract
Exposure to ambient particulate air pollution is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however the link between occupational particulate exposures and adverse cardiovascular events is less clear. We conducted a systematic review, including meta-analysis where appropriate, of the epidemiologic association between occupational [...] Read more.
Exposure to ambient particulate air pollution is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease; however the link between occupational particulate exposures and adverse cardiovascular events is less clear. We conducted a systematic review, including meta-analysis where appropriate, of the epidemiologic association between occupational exposure to particulate matter and cardiovascular disease. Out of 697 articles meeting our initial criteria, 37 articles published from January 1990 to April 2009 (12 mortality; 5 morbidity; and 20 intermediate cardiovascular endpoints) were included. Results suggest a possible association between occupational particulate exposures and ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality as well as non-fatal myocardial infarction (MI), and stronger evidence of associations with heart rate variability and systemic inflammation, potential intermediates between occupational PM exposure and IHD. In meta-analysis of mortality studies, a significant increase in IHD was observed (meta-IRR = 1.16; 95% CI: 1.06–1.26), however these data were limited by lack of adequate control for smoking and other potential confounders. Further research is needed to better clarify the magnitude of the potential risk of the development and aggravation of IHD associated with short and long-term occupational particulate exposures and to clarify the clinical significance of acute and chronic changes in intermediate cardiovascular outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cardiovascular Diseases and Public Health)
Open AccessReview
Maternal Diet, Behaviour and Offspring Skeletal Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1760-1772; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041760 - 16 Apr 2010
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5579
Abstract
Osteoporotic fracture has a major impact upon health, both in terms of acute and long term disability and economic cost. Peak bone mass, achieved in early adulthood, is a major determinant of osteoporosis risk in later life. Poor early growth predicts reduced bone [...] Read more.
Osteoporotic fracture has a major impact upon health, both in terms of acute and long term disability and economic cost. Peak bone mass, achieved in early adulthood, is a major determinant of osteoporosis risk in later life. Poor early growth predicts reduced bone mass, and so risk of fracture in later life. Maternal lifestyle, body build and 25(OH) vitamin D status predict offspring bone mass. Recent work has suggested epigenetic mechanisms as key to these observations. This review will explore the role of the early environment in determining later osteoporotic fracture risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Measurement of Ultrafine Particles and Other Air Pollutants Emitted by Cooking Activities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1744-1759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041744 - 16 Apr 2010
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 6377
Abstract
Cooking emissions show a strong dependence on cooking styles and parameters. Measurements of the average ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration, PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations emitted by cooking activities ranged from 1.34 × 104 to 6.04 × 105 particles/cm3, [...] Read more.
Cooking emissions show a strong dependence on cooking styles and parameters. Measurements of the average ultrafine particle (UFP) concentration, PM2.5 and black carbon concentrations emitted by cooking activities ranged from 1.34 × 104 to 6.04 × 105 particles/cm3, 10.0 to 230.9 μg/m3 and 0.1 to 0.8 μg/m3, respectively. Lower UFP concentrations were observed during boiling, while higher levels were emitted during frying. The highest UFP concentrations were observed when using a gas stove at high temperature with the kitchen exhaust fan turned off. The observed UFP profiles were similar in the kitchen and in another room, with a lag of approximately 10 min. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indoor Air Pollution and Human Health)
Open AccessReview
Improving Physical Activity and Dietary Behaviours with Single or Multiple Health Behaviour Interventions? A Synthesis of Meta-Analyses and Reviews
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1720-1743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041720 - 16 Apr 2010
Cited by 49 | Viewed by 6037
Abstract
Since multiple health behaviour interventions have gained popularity, it is important to investigate their effectiveness compared to single health behaviour interventions. This synthesis aims to determine whether single intervention (physical activity or dietary) or multiple interventions (physical activity and dietary) are more effective [...] Read more.
Since multiple health behaviour interventions have gained popularity, it is important to investigate their effectiveness compared to single health behaviour interventions. This synthesis aims to determine whether single intervention (physical activity or dietary) or multiple interventions (physical activity and dietary) are more effective at increasing these behaviours by synthesizing reviews and meta-analyses. A sub-purpose also explored their impact on weight. Overall, reviews/meta-analyses showed that single health behaviour interventions were more effective at increasing the targeted behaviours, while multiple health behaviour interventions resulted in greater weight loss. This review may assist policies aiming at improving physical activity and nutrition and reversing the obesity epidemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Updating the Northern Tsetse Limit in Burkina Faso (1949–2009): Impact of Global Change
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1708-1719; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041708 - 15 Apr 2010
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 5999
Abstract
The northern distribution limit of tsetse flies was updated in Burkina Faso and compared to previous limits to revise the existing map of these vectors of African trypanosomiases dating from several decades ago. From 1949 to 2009, a 25- to 150-km shift has [...] Read more.
The northern distribution limit of tsetse flies was updated in Burkina Faso and compared to previous limits to revise the existing map of these vectors of African trypanosomiases dating from several decades ago. From 1949 to 2009, a 25- to 150-km shift has appeared toward the south. Tsetse are now discontinuously distributed in Burkina Faso with a western and an eastern tsetse belt. This range shift can be explained by a combination of decreased rainfall and increased human density. Within a context of international control, this study provides a better understanding of the factors influencing the distribution of tsetse flies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Open AccessArticle
Are Adolescents with ADHD Interested in Genetic Testing for Nicotine Addiction Susceptibility?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1694-1707; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041694 - 14 Apr 2010
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 7213
Abstract
It has been well-established that some adolescents diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for cigarette smoking. Current research on the genetic basis of this association could ultimately translate into genetic tests capable of identifying smoking-prone adolescents with ADHD. In this [...] Read more.
It has been well-established that some adolescents diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at increased risk for cigarette smoking. Current research on the genetic basis of this association could ultimately translate into genetic tests capable of identifying smoking-prone adolescents with ADHD. In this study we examined 81 ADHD affected adolescents’ (age 13–21) interest in genetic testing for nicotine addiction susceptibility. Fifty-seven percent of adolescents indicated a fair amount of interest or more in testing. Most adolescents indicated that the personal information revealed from testing would be either useful (29%) or interesting (37%). Implications for genetically-informed smoking prevention and cessation interventions in high risk adolescents with ADHD are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of para-Phenylenediamine (PPD) in Henna in the United Arab Emirates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1681-1693; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041681 - 13 Apr 2010
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 6952
Abstract
Henna is very popular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); it is part of the culture and traditions. Allergy to natural henna is not usual; however the addition of para-phenylenediamine (PPD) to the natural henna increases the risk of allergic contact dermatitis. [...] Read more.
Henna is very popular in the United Arab Emirates (UAE); it is part of the culture and traditions. Allergy to natural henna is not usual; however the addition of para-phenylenediamine (PPD) to the natural henna increases the risk of allergic contact dermatitis. The objectives of the study were to identify the presence and concentration of PPD in henna available in UAE. Fifteen henna salons were selected randomly from three cities in UAE. Twenty five henna samples were acquired from these selected salons. The presence of PPD in henna samples was determined qualitatively and quantitatively using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). The study showed that PPD was present in all of the black henna samples at concentrations ranging between 0.4% and 29.5% and higher than that recommended for hair dyes in most of the black henna samples. The presence of PPD in the black henna increases the risk of allergic contact dermatitis among users of black henna and a number of cases have already been reported in UAE. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Obesity in Tibetans Aged 30–70 Living at Different Altitudes under the North and South Faces of Mt. Everest
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1670-1680; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041670 - 13 Apr 2010
Cited by 39 | Viewed by 7189
Abstract
Risk factors for chronic diseases in Tibetans may be modified due to hypobaric hypoxia. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of obesity at varying altitudes of 1,200, 2,900 and 3,700 meters above sea-level in Tibet and Nepal; to estimate [...] Read more.
Risk factors for chronic diseases in Tibetans may be modified due to hypobaric hypoxia. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of obesity at varying altitudes of 1,200, 2,900 and 3,700 meters above sea-level in Tibet and Nepal; to estimate the effect of altitude on body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-height ratio (WHtR). Three cross-sectional studies with simple random sampling were performed on 617 men and women. BMI, WC and WHtR decreased with increasing altitude. It is likely that the physical conditions such as low temperatures and low oxygen levels have a direct catabolic effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Associations between Physical Activity and Health Parameters in Adolescent Pupils in Egypt
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1649-1669; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041649 - 12 Apr 2010
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 6434
Abstract
Physical activity (PA) could be protective against hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. This quantitative study assessed the association between a PA intervention and three anthropometric parameters (weight, body mass index, body fat) and four physiological parameters (cholesterol level, systolic blood [...] Read more.
Physical activity (PA) could be protective against hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. This quantitative study assessed the association between a PA intervention and three anthropometric parameters (weight, body mass index, body fat) and four physiological parameters (cholesterol level, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, heart rate) among secondary school pupils (N = 160) in Egypt through the school term. The pupils were randomised to an intervention group (80 pupils) and controls (80 pupils). Measurements were obtained for all pupils twice: at baseline; and then again after three months. The PA intervention programme comprised an ‘afterschool’ one hour of moderate exercise three times a week for three months. Both the controls and the intervention pupils attended the ‘normal’ exercise schedule provided by the school; in addition, the intervention group attended afterschool PA programme from about 2–3 o’clock in the afternoon. At baseline, employing pupil’s BMI, 27.5% and 28.8% of the intervention and control pupils respectively were classified as overweight. After three months, the percentage of overweight decreased to 12.5% in the intervention pupils, while it increased to 37.3% in the controls. At the end of the three months period, there were significant improvements across most anthropometric and physiological parameters of the intervention pupils when compared with the control children. The correlation coefficient of the improvements for the boys and the girls was 0.97, indicating clearly that the intervention was having nearly the same beneficial effect for boys and girls. A moderate PA programme for a modest period of 3 months could be effective in maintaining or enhancing pupil’s anthropometric and physiological parameters in comparison to the controls where there was deterioration in both parameters. Policy makers and secondary schools in Egypt might need to pay more attention to PA programmes conducted on school days, in order to motivate pupils to attend such programmes. There is also an urgent need to look at current PA systems within schools in Egypt in order to assess PA outside school times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults)
Open AccessReview
Economic Evaluation and Transferability of Physical Activity Programmes in Primary Prevention: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1622-1648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041622 - 09 Apr 2010
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5395
Abstract
This systematic review aims to assess the characteristics of, and the clinical and economic evidence provided by, economic evaluations of primary preventive physical exercise interventions, and to analyse their transferability to Germany using recommended checklists. Fifteen economic evaluations from seven different countries met [...] Read more.
This systematic review aims to assess the characteristics of, and the clinical and economic evidence provided by, economic evaluations of primary preventive physical exercise interventions, and to analyse their transferability to Germany using recommended checklists. Fifteen economic evaluations from seven different countries met eligibility criteria, with seven of the fifteen providing high economic evidence in the special country context. Most of the identified studies conclude that the investigated intervention provide good value for money compared with alternatives. However, this review shows a high variability of the costing methods between the studies, which limits comparability, generalisability and transferability of the results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Soil Oxygen Conditions and Soil pH on Remediation of DDT-contaminated Soil by Laccase from White Rot Fungi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1612-1621; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041612 - 07 Apr 2010
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 5699
Abstract
High residues of DDT in agricultural soils are of concern because they present serious threats to food security and human health. This article focuses on remediation of DDT-contaminated soil using laccase under different soil oxygen and soil pH conditions. The laboratory experiment results [...] Read more.
High residues of DDT in agricultural soils are of concern because they present serious threats to food security and human health. This article focuses on remediation of DDT-contaminated soil using laccase under different soil oxygen and soil pH conditions. The laboratory experiment results showed significant effects of soil oxygen conditions and soil pH on remediation of DDT-contaminated soil by laccase at the end of a 25-d incubation period. This study found the positive correlation between the concentration of oxygen in soil and the degradation of DDT by laccase. The residue of DDTs in soil under the atmosphere of oxygen decreased by 28.1% compared with the atmosphere of nitrogen at the end of the incubation with laccase. A similar pattern was observed in the remediation of DDT-contaminated soil by laccase under different flooding conditions, the higher the concentrations of oxygen in soil, the lower the residues of four DDT components and DDTs in soils. The residue of DDTs in the nonflooding soil declined by 16.7% compared to the flooded soil at the end of the incubation. The residues of DDTs in soils treated with laccase were lower in the pH range 2.5–4.5. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Incidence and Distribution of Microfungi in a Treated Municipal Water Supply System in Sub-Tropical Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1597-1611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041597 - 06 Apr 2010
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 6195
Abstract
Drinking water quality is usually determined by its pathogenic bacterial content. However, the potential of water-borne spores as a source of nosocomial fungal infection is increasingly being recognised. This study into the incidence of microfungal contaminants in a typical Australian municipal water supply [...] Read more.
Drinking water quality is usually determined by its pathogenic bacterial content. However, the potential of water-borne spores as a source of nosocomial fungal infection is increasingly being recognised. This study into the incidence of microfungal contaminants in a typical Australian municipal water supply was carried out over an 18 month period. Microfungal abundance was estimated by the membrane filtration method with filters incubated on malt extract agar at 25 °C for seven days. Colony forming units were recovered from all parts of the system and these were enumerated and identified to genus level. The most commonly recovered genera were Cladosporium, Penicillium, Aspergillus and Fusarium.Nonparametric multivariate statistical analyses of the data using MDS, PCA, BEST and bubble plots were carried out with PRIMER v6 software. Positive and significant correlations were found between filamentous fungi, yeasts and bacteria. This study has demonstrated that numerous microfungal genera, including those that contain species which are opportunistic human pathogens, populate a typical treated municipal water supply in sub-tropical Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
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Open AccessArticle
Bayesian Variable Selection in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1577-1596; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041577 - 06 Apr 2010
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5936
Abstract
Linear regression models are often used to represent the cost and effectiveness of medical treatment. The covariates used may include sociodemographic variables, such as age, gender or race; clinical variables, such as initial health status, years of treatment or the existence of concomitant [...] Read more.
Linear regression models are often used to represent the cost and effectiveness of medical treatment. The covariates used may include sociodemographic variables, such as age, gender or race; clinical variables, such as initial health status, years of treatment or the existence of concomitant illnesses; and a binary variable indicating the treatment received. However, most studies estimate only one model, which usually includes all the covariates. This procedure ignores the question of uncertainty in model selection. In this paper, we examine four alternative Bayesian variable selection methods that have been proposed. In this analysis, we estimate the inclusion probability of each covariate in the real model conditional on the data. Variable selection can be useful for estimating incremental effectiveness and incremental cost, through Bayesian model averaging, as well as for subgroup analysis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Economics)
Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Two Motion Sensors for the Assessment of Free-Living Physical Activity of Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1558-1576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041558 - 06 Apr 2010
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6068
Abstract
This study assessed and compared the daily step counts recorded by two different motion sensors in order to estimate the free-living physical activity of 135 adolescent girls. Each girl concurrently wore a Yamax pedometer and an ActiGraph accelerometer (criterion measure) every day for [...] Read more.
This study assessed and compared the daily step counts recorded by two different motion sensors in order to estimate the free-living physical activity of 135 adolescent girls. Each girl concurrently wore a Yamax pedometer and an ActiGraph accelerometer (criterion measure) every day for seven consecutive days. The convergent validity of the pedometer can be considered intermediate when used to measure the step counts in free-living physical activity; but should be considered with caution when used to classify participants’ step counts into corresponding physical activity categories because of a likelihood of ‘erroneous’ classification in comparison with the accelerometer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Wellbeing of Children, Adolescents and Young Adults)
Open AccessReview
Ethanol and Cognition: Indirect Effects, Neurotoxicity and Neuroprotection: A Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1540-1557; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041540 - 04 Apr 2010
Cited by 96 | Viewed by 9761
Abstract
Ethanol affects cognition in a number of ways. Indirect effects include intoxication, withdrawal, brain trauma, central nervous system infection, hypoglycemia, hepatic failure, and Marchiafava-Bignami disease. Nutritional deficiency can cause pellagra and Wernicke-Korsakoff disorder. Additionally, ethanol is a direct neurotoxin and in sufficient dosage [...] Read more.
Ethanol affects cognition in a number of ways. Indirect effects include intoxication, withdrawal, brain trauma, central nervous system infection, hypoglycemia, hepatic failure, and Marchiafava-Bignami disease. Nutritional deficiency can cause pellagra and Wernicke-Korsakoff disorder. Additionally, ethanol is a direct neurotoxin and in sufficient dosage can cause lasting dementia. However, ethanol also has neuroprotectant properties and in low-to-moderate dosage reduces the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer type. In fetuses ethanol is teratogenic, and whether there exists a safe dose during pregnancy is uncertain and controversial. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessReview
Probabilistic Approaches to Better Quantifying the Results of Epidemiologic Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1520-1539; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041520 - 01 Apr 2010
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 6569
Abstract
Typical statistical analysis of epidemiologic data captures uncertainty due to random sampling variation, but ignores more systematic sources of variation such as selection bias, measurement error, and unobserved confounding. Such sources are often only mentioned via qualitative caveats, perhaps under the heading of [...] Read more.
Typical statistical analysis of epidemiologic data captures uncertainty due to random sampling variation, but ignores more systematic sources of variation such as selection bias, measurement error, and unobserved confounding. Such sources are often only mentioned via qualitative caveats, perhaps under the heading of ‘study limitations.’ Recently, however, there has been considerable interest and advancement in probabilistic methodologies for more integrated statistical analysis. Such techniques hold the promise of replacing a confidence interval reflecting only random sampling variation with an interval reflecting all, or at least more, sources of uncertainty. We survey and appraise the recent literature in this area, giving some prominence to the use of Bayesian statistical methodology. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle
Blood Lead Levels Among Pregnant Women: Historical Versus Contemporaneous Exposures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1508-1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041508 - 01 Apr 2010
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 7209
Abstract
Blood lead among pregnant women, even at modest levels, may impair offspring cognitive development. We examine whether blood lead levels (BLLs) result from current versus historic exposures, among a cohort of pregnant women. Cumulative logit models were used to characterize the relationship between [...] Read more.
Blood lead among pregnant women, even at modest levels, may impair offspring cognitive development. We examine whether blood lead levels (BLLs) result from current versus historic exposures, among a cohort of pregnant women. Cumulative logit models were used to characterize the relationship between maternal risk factors and higher BLLs. Maternal blood lead levels more likely result from lead remobilization from historic versus contemporaneous exposures. Even if all lead sources were abated immediately, women and their fetuses would experience lead exposure for decades. This work emphasizes the importance of addressing sources of environmental lead exposure in the United States and internationally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Heavy Metals and Health)
Open AccessArticle
Sitting Time and Body Mass Index, in a Portuguese Sample of Men: Results from the Azorean Physical Activity and Health Study (APAHS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1500-1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041500 - 31 Mar 2010
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 6162
Abstract
The aim of this study was to verify the relation between body mass index (BMI) and sitting time in a sample of 4,091 Azorean men. BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height. Total physical activity (PA) time and total sitting time were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to verify the relation between body mass index (BMI) and sitting time in a sample of 4,091 Azorean men. BMI was calculated from self-reported weight and height. Total physical activity (PA) time and total sitting time were assessed with the IPAQ (short version). Linear Regression analysis showed that total sitting time (hours/day) was positively associated with BMI (B = 0.078; p < 0.001) after adjustments for age, meal frequency, alcohol and tobacco consumptions, island of residence, education level and total PA time. Although the cross sectional design precludes us from establishing causality, our findings emphasize the importance of reducing sedentary behavior to decrease the risk of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Air Pollution Exposure—A Trigger for Myocardial Infarction?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1486-1499; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041486 - 31 Mar 2010
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5388
Abstract
The association between ambient air pollution exposure and hospitalization for cardiovascular events has been reported in several studies with conflicting results. A case-crossover design was used to investigate the effects of air pollution in 660 first-time myocardial infarction cases in Stockholm in 1993–1994, [...] Read more.
The association between ambient air pollution exposure and hospitalization for cardiovascular events has been reported in several studies with conflicting results. A case-crossover design was used to investigate the effects of air pollution in 660 first-time myocardial infarction cases in Stockholm in 1993–1994, interviewed shortly after diagnosis using a standard protocol. Air pollution data came from central urban background monitors. No associations were observed between the risk for onset of myocardial infarction and two-hour or 24-hour air pollution exposure. No evidence of susceptible subgroups was found. This study provides no support that moderately elevated air pollution levels trigger first-time myocardial infarction. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Implementation of a 3D Coupled Hydrodynamic and Contaminant Fate Model for PCDD/Fs in Thau Lagoon (France): The Importance of Atmospheric Sources of Contamination
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1467-1485; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041467 - 30 Mar 2010
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 6725
Abstract
A 3D hydrodynamic and contaminant fate model was implemented for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in Thau lagoon. The hydrodynamic model was tested against temperature and salinity measurements, while the contaminant fate model was assessed against available data collected at different [...] Read more.
A 3D hydrodynamic and contaminant fate model was implemented for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in Thau lagoon. The hydrodynamic model was tested against temperature and salinity measurements, while the contaminant fate model was assessed against available data collected at different stations inside the lagoon. The model results allow an assessment of the spatial and temporal variability of the distribution of contaminants in the lagoon, the seasonality of loads and the role of atmospheric deposition for the input of PCDD/Fs. The outcome suggests that air is an important source of PCDD/Fs for this ecosystem, therefore the monitoring of air pollution is very appropriate for assessing the inputs of these contaminants. These results call for the development of integrated environmental protection policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Environmental Research)
Open AccessReview
Alcoholism and Alternative Splicing of Candidate Genes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1448-1466; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041448 - 30 Mar 2010
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4550
Abstract
Gene expression studies have shown that expression patterns of several genes have changed during the development of alcoholism. Gene expression is regulated not only at the level of transcription but also through alternative splicing of pre-mRNA. In this review, we discuss some of [...] Read more.
Gene expression studies have shown that expression patterns of several genes have changed during the development of alcoholism. Gene expression is regulated not only at the level of transcription but also through alternative splicing of pre-mRNA. In this review, we discuss some of the evidence suggesting that alternative splicing of candidate genes such as DRD2 (encoding dopamine D2 receptor) may form the basis of the mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology of alcoholism. These reports suggest that aberrant expression of splice variants affects alcohol sensitivities, and alcohol consumption also regulates alternative splicing. Thus, investigations of alternative splicing are essential for understanding the molecular events underlying the development of alcoholism. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alcohol Trajectories over Three Years in a Swedish Residence Hall Student Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1432-1447; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041432 - 29 Mar 2010
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 7901
Abstract
Although it is known that college students have a high alcohol consumption, less is known about the long-term drinking trajectories amongst college students and, in particular, students living in residence halls, known to be high-risk drinkers. Over four consecutive years, the drinking habits [...] Read more.
Although it is known that college students have a high alcohol consumption, less is known about the long-term drinking trajectories amongst college students and, in particular, students living in residence halls, known to be high-risk drinkers. Over four consecutive years, the drinking habits of 556 Swedish residence hall students were analyzed. The main instruments for measuring outcome were AUDIT (Alcohol Use Identification Disorders Test), SIP (Short Index of Problems) and eBAC (estimated Blood Alcohol Concentration). The drinking trajectories among Swedish residence hall students showed stable and decreasing drinking patterns, with age and gender being predictors of group membership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle
Suicidal Behavior and Alcohol Abuse
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1392-1431; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041392 - 29 Mar 2010
Cited by 127 | Viewed by 12086
Abstract
Suicide is an escalating public health problem, and alcohol use has consistently been implicated in the precipitation of suicidal behavior. Alcohol abuse may lead to suicidality through disinhibition, impulsiveness and impaired judgment, but it may also be used as a means to ease [...] Read more.
Suicide is an escalating public health problem, and alcohol use has consistently been implicated in the precipitation of suicidal behavior. Alcohol abuse may lead to suicidality through disinhibition, impulsiveness and impaired judgment, but it may also be used as a means to ease the distress associated with committing an act of suicide. We reviewed evidence of the relationship between alcohol use and suicide through a search of MedLine and PsychInfo electronic databases. Multiple genetically-related intermediate phenotypes might influence the relationship between alcohol and suicide. Psychiatric disorders, including psychosis, mood disorders and anxiety disorders, as well as susceptibility to stress, might increase the risk of suicidal behavior, but may also have reciprocal influences with alcohol drinking patterns. Increased suicide risk may be heralded by social withdrawal, breakdown of social bonds, and social marginalization, which are common outcomes of untreated alcohol abuse and dependence. People with alcohol dependence or depression should be screened for other psychiatric symptoms and for suicidality. Programs for suicide prevention must take into account drinking habits and should reinforce healthy behavioral patterns. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of Ocular, Respiratory and Cutaneous Symptoms in Indoor Swimming Pool Workers and Exposure to Disinfection By-Products (DBPs)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1379-1391; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041379 - 29 Mar 2010
Cited by 44 | Viewed by 6262
Abstract
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported respiratory, ocular and cutaneous symptoms in subjects working at indoor swimming pools and to assess the relationship between frequency of declared symptoms and occupational exposure to disinfection by-products (DBPs). Twenty [...] Read more.
The objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence of self-reported respiratory, ocular and cutaneous symptoms in subjects working at indoor swimming pools and to assess the relationship between frequency of declared symptoms and occupational exposure to disinfection by-products (DBPs). Twenty indoor swimming pools in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy were included in the study. Information about the health status of 133 employees was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Subjects working at swimming pools claimed to frequently experience the following symptoms: cold (65.4%), sneezing (52.6%), red eyes (48.9%) and itchy eyes (44.4%). Only 7.5% claimed to suffer from asthma. Red eyes, runny nose, voice loss and cold symptoms were declared more frequently by pool attendants (lifeguards and trainers) when compared with employees working in other areas of the facility (office, cafe, etc.). Pool attendants experienced generally more verrucas, mycosis, eczema and rash than others workers; however, only the difference in the frequency of self-declared mycosis was statistically significant (p = 0.010). Exposure to DBPs was evaluated using both environmental and biological monitoring. Trihalomethanes (THMs), the main DBPs, were evaluated in alveolar air samples collected from subjects. Swimming pool workers experienced different THM exposure levels: lifeguards and trainers showed the highest mean values of THMs in alveolar air samples (28.5 ± 20.2 µg/m3), while subjects working in cafe areas (17.6 ± 12.1 µg/m3), offices (14.4 ± 12.0 µg/m3) and engine rooms (13.6 ± 4.4 µg/m3) showed lower exposure levels. Employees with THM alveolar air values higher than 21 µg/m3 (median value) experienced higher risks for red eyes (OR 6.2; 95% CI 2.6–14.9), itchy eyes (OR 3.5; 95% CI 1.5–8.0), dyspnea/asthma (OR 5.1; 95% CI 1.0–27.2) and blocked nose (OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.0–4.7) than subjects with less exposure. This study confirms that lifeguards and trainers are more at risk for respiratory and ocular irritative symptoms and cutaneous diseases than subjects with other occupations at swimming pool facilities. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Alcohol and HCV Chronic Infection Are Risk Cofactors of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(4), 1366-1378; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph7041366 - 29 Mar 2010
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 7373
Abstract
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) has been associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. To study this relationship, we enrolled 465 HCC patients compared with 618 Cirrhotic cases and 490 Controls. The prevalence of DM2 is significantly higher in HCC patients with an Odds [...] Read more.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2) has been associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. To study this relationship, we enrolled 465 HCC patients compared with 618 Cirrhotic cases and 490 Controls. The prevalence of DM2 is significantly higher in HCC patients with an Odds Ratio of 3.12 versus Controls. In HCC cases with alcohol abuse, the frequency of DM2 is the highest. In our HCC patients, when HCV infection is associated with alcohol abuse, the liver cancer develops earlier. In addition, multivariate analysis shows that alcohol consumption is an independent risk factor for HCC more relevant than HCV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Public Health)
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