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Special Issue "Environmental Diseases"

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Annamaria Colao

Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Chirurgia, Unit of Endocrinology, Federico II University Medical School of Naples, Naples, Italy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue on “Environmental Diseases” is proposed by IJERPH in cooperation with the Southern Italy Hospital Institute for the Environment (I.O.S.), Naples, Italy. It aimed at publishing original articles, mini-reviews, systematic reviews, and metanalyses addressing the topic of environmental influences on human health. Specifically, the Special Issue will focus on:

- Environmental threats to human health

- Air/soil/water pollution and human health

- Exposure to environmental pollutants and their effects on human organ pathophysiology

- Epidemiological Observational studies (case-control or cohort studies or surveys on dataset)

Prof. Dr. Annamaria Colao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • environment and health
  • environmental epidemiology
  • exposure
  • pollutants
  • contaminants
  • air/soil/water pollution

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Environment and Health: Not Only Cancer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 724; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070724
Received: 12 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 19 July 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (279 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Hippocratic tradition emphasized environmental causes of diseases and the need for harmony between the individual and the natural environment as the right philosophy to maintain a good health status. Public awareness and scientific attention concerning environmental pollution is usually focused on the [...] Read more.
The Hippocratic tradition emphasized environmental causes of diseases and the need for harmony between the individual and the natural environment as the right philosophy to maintain a good health status. Public awareness and scientific attention concerning environmental pollution is usually focused on the consequent increased risk of developing cancer. Air pollution has been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to cause cardiovascular and respiratroy diseases, as well as lung cancer, after acute/chronic exposure to fine particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) even at concentrations which are 50% lower than those accepted as legal limits in many developed countries. An increase of 10 µg/m3 of PM2.5 produces a +4%–6% of overall mortality, a +10% of cardiovascular disease prevalence (arithmyas, acute myocardial infarctions, and heart failure) and a +22% of lung cancer prevalence. In addition to these chronic effects, acute hospitalizations are also affected, especially among susceptible populations such as children and diabetic patients. Water and soil contamination also have an additional detrimental effect on people’s health. Other issues concerning environment contamination and human health include male/female fertility, metabolic and thyroid conditions, but also professional exposures resulting in occupational diseases. Moreover, in the perspective of “gender medicine”, different acute or chronic effects of environmental pollution should be specifically assessed both in men and in women. This special issue on “Environmental Diseases” is aimed at providing a global overview about different threats to human health possibily originating from environmental contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)

Research

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Open AccessArticle Hospitalizations in Pediatric and Adult Patients for All Cancer Type in Italy: The EPIKIT Study under the E.U. COHEIRS Project on Environment and Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 495; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14050495
Received: 15 December 2016 / Revised: 6 April 2017 / Accepted: 15 April 2017 / Published: 9 May 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1629 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Cancer Registries (CRs) remain the gold standard for providing official epidemiological estimations. However, due to CRs’ partial population coverage, hospitalization records might represent a valuable tool to provide additional information on cancer occurrence and expenditures at national/regional level for research purposes. [...] Read more.
Background: Cancer Registries (CRs) remain the gold standard for providing official epidemiological estimations. However, due to CRs’ partial population coverage, hospitalization records might represent a valuable tool to provide additional information on cancer occurrence and expenditures at national/regional level for research purposes. The Epidemiology of Cancer in Italy (EPIKIT) study group has been built up, within the framework of the Civic Observers for Health and Environment: Initiative of Responsibility and Sustainability (COHEIRS) project under the auspices of the Europe for Citizens Program, to assess population health indicators. Objective: To assess the burden of all cancers in Italian children and adults. Methods: We analyzed National Hospitalization Records from 2001 to 2011. Based on social security numbers (anonymously treated), we have excluded from our analyses all re-hospitalizations of the same patients (n = 1,878,109) over the entire 11-year period in order to minimize the overlap between prevalent and incident cancer cases. To be more conservative, only data concerning the last five years (2007–2011) have been taken into account for final analyses. The absolute number of hospitalizations and standardized hospitalization rates (SHR) were computed for each Italian province by sex and age-groups (0–19 and 20–49). Results: The EPIKIT database included a total of 4,113,169 first hospital admissions due to main diagnoses of all tumors. The annual average number of hospital admissions due to cancer in Italy has been computed in 2362 and 43,141 hospitalizations in pediatric patients (0–19 years old) and adults (20–49 years old), respectively. Women accounted for the majority of cancer cases in adults aged 20–49. As expected, the big city of Rome presented the highest average annual number of pediatric cancers (n = 392, SHR = 9.9), followed by Naples (n = 378; SHR = 9.9) and Milan (n = 212; SHR = 7.3). However, when we look at SHR, minor cities (i.e., Imperia, Isernia and others) presented values >10 per 100,000, with only 10 or 20 cases per year. Similar figures are shown also for young adults aged 20–49. Conclusions: In addition to SHR, the absolute number of incident cancer cases represents a crucial piece of information for planning adequate healthcare services and assessing social alarm phenomena. Our findings call for specific risk assessment programs at local level (involving CRs) to search for causal relations with environmental exposures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Radionuclides (210Po and 210Pb) and Some Heavy Metals in Fish and Sediments in Lake Bafa, Turkey, and the Contribution of 210Po to the Radiation Dose
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1113; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111113
Received: 27 June 2016 / Revised: 26 September 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 9 November 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (1384 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The pollution level of Lake Bafa was investigated by collecting fish samples {Dicentrarchus labrax (sea bass), Liza ramada (mullet) and Anguilla anguilla (eel)}, surface sediment, and core samples. In all these samples, 210Po and 210Pb concentrations were estimated, and total [...] Read more.
The pollution level of Lake Bafa was investigated by collecting fish samples {Dicentrarchus labrax (sea bass), Liza ramada (mullet) and Anguilla anguilla (eel)}, surface sediment, and core samples. In all these samples, 210Po and 210Pb concentrations were estimated, and total annual dose rates were obtained for each species. Some heavy metal (Cr, Ni, Pb, Cd, Mn, Fe, and Zn) concentration levels were obtained for the fish and a core sample. The sediment mass accumulation rate was found to be 3.27 g·m−2·day−1 (0.119 g·cm−2·y−1) from a core sample. The heavy metal concentrations in the vertical profile of samples from the core were also observed. The measured concentration of Zn, Pb, Cd, and Cr were between the ERL (effects range low) and ERM (effects range median) limits, while Ni concentrations were higher than the ERM limit. The observed concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Zn in fish samples did not exceed the limits in accordance with Turkish Food Regulations. Further, the maximum effective dose equivalent of 210Po in the area was found to be 1.169 µSv·y−1. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Diabetes and Obesity as Independent Risk Factors for Osteoporosis: Updated Results from the ROIS/EMEROS Registry in a Population of Five Thousand Post-Menopausal Women Living in a Region Characterized by Heavy Environmental Pressure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13111067
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (299 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objectives: We aimed to analyze bone mineralization and the effect of different risk factors for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Methods: We found 4909 postmenopausal subjects within ≥10,000 records from the ROIS/EMEROS (Ionian and Salento Osteoporosis Registry/Euro Mediterranean Registry of Osteoporosis) registry, [...] Read more.
Objectives: We aimed to analyze bone mineralization and the effect of different risk factors for osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Methods: We found 4909 postmenopausal subjects within ≥10,000 records from the ROIS/EMEROS (Ionian and Salento Osteoporosis Registry/Euro Mediterranean Registry of Osteoporosis) registry, a population study carried out in an area characterized by heavy environmental pressure between Brindisi and Taranto from 2009 to 2016. All subjects were assessed via phalangeal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) to evaluate their bone mineralization (assessed via amplitude dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS)) and the association between demineralization and the presence of other conditions or risk factors. Results: Mean age was 64 ± 9.5 years and mean body mass index (BMI) was 28.7 ± 3.5 kg/m2. Pearson correlation analyses revealed a negative association between bone mineralization (AD-SoS) and BMI (p < 0.001). By using multivariate logistic regression analysis, we observed significant values of odds ratios (ORs) of osteoporosis (adjusted for age, physical activity, and the use of drugs known to increase the risk of fractures) in subjects with diabetes and obesity: 1.39 (confidence interval (CI): 1.05–1.83) and 1.46 (CI: 1.20–1.78), respectively. A statistically significant linear trend of higher ORs of osteoporosis was found for increasing values of BMI. Conclusions: Our study confirmed the high impact of obesity and type 1 and type 2 diabetes on osteoporosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
Open AccessArticle Socio-Economic and Environmental Factors Associated with Overweight and Obesity in Children Aged 6–8 Years Living in Five Italian Cities (the MAPEC_LIFE Cohort)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 1002; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13101002
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 11 October 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (440 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The prevalence of obesity among Italian children has reached such alarming levels as to require detailed studies of the causes of the phenomenon. A cross-sectional study was carried out in order to assess the weight status of 1164 Italian children aged 6–8 years [...] Read more.
The prevalence of obesity among Italian children has reached such alarming levels as to require detailed studies of the causes of the phenomenon. A cross-sectional study was carried out in order to assess the weight status of 1164 Italian children aged 6–8 years (the Monitoring Air Pollution Effects on Children for Supporting Public Health Policy (MAPEC_LIFE) cohort) and to identify any associations between selected socio-economic and environmental factors and overweight/obesity. The data were obtained by means of a questionnaire given to parents, and any associations were examined by binomial logistic regression analyses. Overweight was found to be positively associated with male gender, parents of non-Italian origin, and parents who smoke, and negatively associated with the parents’ level of education and employment. In addition, the frequency of overweight varied in relation to the geographical area of residence, with a greater prevalence of overweight children in the cities of central-southern Italy. This study highlights the need to implement appropriate obesity prevention programs in Italy, which should include educational measures concerning lifestyle for parents from the earliest stages of their child’s life. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle 25 Hydroxyvitamin D Deficiency and Its Relationship to Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(9), 850; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13090850
Received: 22 June 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 26 August 2016
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Background: Low 25(OH) vitamin D levels have been associated with several autoimmune diseases and recently with autoimmune thyroiditis (AT). The aim of the study was to investigate the association of AT with low 25(OH) vitamin D levels in the elderly. Methods: [...] Read more.
Background: Low 25(OH) vitamin D levels have been associated with several autoimmune diseases and recently with autoimmune thyroiditis (AT). The aim of the study was to investigate the association of AT with low 25(OH) vitamin D levels in the elderly. Methods: One hundred sixty-eight elderly subjects (mean age: 81.6 ± 9.4 years) were enrolled. Serum levels of 25(OH) vitamin D, anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO-Ab), anti-thyroglobulin (TG-Ab) antibodies, free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4) and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were measured. Results: The prevalence of AT was significantly higher in subjects with vitamin D deficiency (25(OH) vitamin D < 20 ng/mL) when compared with subjects with normal 25(OH) vitamin D (25(OH) vitamin D ≥ 20 ng/mL) levels (28% vs. 8%, respectively, p = 0.002). Patients with AT and vitamin D deficiency had a comparable hormonal profile compared to patients with AT and vitamin D sufficiency in terms of TSH (p = 0.39), FT3 (p = 0.30), FT4 (p = 0.31), TG-Ab (0.44) and TPO-Ab (0.35). Interestingly, a significant correlation between 25(OH) vitamin D and TPO-Ab (r = −0.27, p = 0.03) and FT3 (r = 0.35, p = 0.006) has been found in subjects with AT while no correlation was found between 25(OH) vitamin D levels and TG-Ab (r = −0.15, p = 0.25), TSH (r = −0.014, p = 0.09) and FT4 (r = 0.13, p = 0.32). Conclusions: These findings suggest that vitamin D deficiency was significantly associated with AT in the elderly. Therefore, the screening for AT should be suggested in subjects with vitamin D deficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Influence of Bisphenol A on Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(10), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13100989
Received: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 28 September 2016 / Published: 6 October 2016
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound employed to produce plastics and epoxy resins. It is used as a structural component in polycarbonate beverage bottles and as coating for metal surface in food containers and packaging. The adverse effects of BPA on [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic synthetic compound employed to produce plastics and epoxy resins. It is used as a structural component in polycarbonate beverage bottles and as coating for metal surface in food containers and packaging. The adverse effects of BPA on human health are widely disputed. BPA has been recently associated with a wide variety of medical disorders and, in particular, it was identified as potential endocrine-disrupting compound with diabetogenic action. Most of the clinical observational studies in humans reveal a positive link between BPA exposure, evaluated by the measurement of urinary BPA levels, and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. Clinical studies on humans and preclinical studies on in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro models indicate that BPA, mostly at low doses, may have a role in increasing type 2 diabetes mellitus developmental risk, directly acting on pancreatic cells, in which BPA induces the impairment of insulin and glucagon secretion, triggers inhibition of cell growth and apoptosis, and acts on muscle, hepatic, and adipose cell function, triggering an insulin-resistant state. The current review summarizes the available evidences regarding the association between BPA and type 2 diabetes mellitus, focusing on both clinical and preclinical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
Open AccessReview Endocrine Aspects of Environmental “Obesogen” Pollutants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 765; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13080765
Received: 28 May 2016 / Revised: 11 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (837 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Growing evidence suggests the causal link between the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the global obesity epidemics, in the context in the so-called “obesogenic environment”. Dietary intake of contaminated foods and water, especially in association with unhealthy eating pattern, and inhalation of airborne pollutants [...] Read more.
Growing evidence suggests the causal link between the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and the global obesity epidemics, in the context in the so-called “obesogenic environment”. Dietary intake of contaminated foods and water, especially in association with unhealthy eating pattern, and inhalation of airborne pollutants represent the major sources of human exposure to EDCs. This is of particular concern in view of the potential impact of obesity on chronic non-transmissible diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and hormone-sensitive cancers. The key concept is the identification of adipose tissue not only as a preferential site of storage of EDCs, but also as an endocrine organ and, as such, susceptible to endocrine disruption. The timing of exposure to EDCs is critical to the outcome of that exposure, with early lifetime exposures (e.g., fetal or early postnatal) particularly detrimental because of their permanent effects on obesity later in life. Despite that the mechanisms operating in EDCs effects might vary enormously, this minireview is aimed to provide a general overview on the possible association between the pandemics of obesity and EDCs, briefly describing the endocrine mechanisms linking EDCs exposure and latent onset of obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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Open AccessReview Environmental Risk Factors in Psoriasis: The Point of View of the Nutritionist
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 743; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph13070743
Received: 28 May 2016 / Revised: 1 July 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 22 July 2016
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (300 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, immune-mediated skin disease with systemic pro-inflammatory activation, where both environmental and genetic factors contribute to its pathogenesis. Among the risk factors for psoriasis, evidence is accumulating that nutrition plays a major role, per se, in psoriasis pathogenesis. In [...] Read more.
Psoriasis is a common, chronic, immune-mediated skin disease with systemic pro-inflammatory activation, where both environmental and genetic factors contribute to its pathogenesis. Among the risk factors for psoriasis, evidence is accumulating that nutrition plays a major role, per se, in psoriasis pathogenesis. In particular, body weight, nutrition, and diet may exacerbate the clinical manifestations, or even trigger the disease. Understanding the epidemiological relationship between obesity and psoriasis is also important for delineating the risk profile for the obesity-related comorbidities commonly found among psoriatic patients. Moreover, obesity can affect both drug’s pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Additionally, the overall beneficial effects on the obesity-associated comorbidities, clinical recommendations to reduce weight and to adopt a healthy lifestyle could improve the psoriasis severity, particularly in those patients with moderate to severe disease, thus exerting additional therapeutic effects in the conventional treatment in obese patients with psoriasis. Education regarding modifiable environmental factors is essential in the treatment of this disease and represents one of the primary interventions that can affect the prognosis of patients with psoriasis. The goal is to make psoriatic patients and health care providers aware of beneficial dietary interventions. The aim of this review is to assess the relevance of the environmental factors as modifiable risk factors in psoriasis pathogenesis, with particular regard to the involvement of obesity and nutrition in the management of psoriasis, providing also specific nutrition recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Diseases)
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