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Special Issue "Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention"

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Margherita Ferrante

Department of Medical, Surgical Sciences and Advanced Technologies, Universita degli Studi di Catania, Catania, Italy
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Interests: public health, environment, food security, risk analysis, environmental epidemiology, hospital hygiene, laboratory quality
Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Stefano Capolongo

Department of Architecture, Construction Engineering and Built Environment, POLITECNICO DI MILANO, Italy
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Co-Guest Editor
Prof. Oliveri Conti Gea

Department of Medical, Surgical Science and Advanced Technologies, "G. F. INGRASSIA" University of Catania, Italy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Several already-identified points connecting urban features and public health have been reported, enforcing the importance of building hygiene and claims a pivotal role in urban planning strategies for the management of diseases prevention and health promotion activities. Healthy cities are for designing effective strategic actions and best practices to develop urban regeneration interventions and improve the urban quality of contemporary cities. Several key strategic objectives can be useful for promoting urban planning interventions that guide citizens towards healthy behaviors, improving living conditions in the urban context, making buildings and accessible and inclusive cities, with a special focus on the frail population and its direct influence with regards to chronic disease incidences, such as diabetes, dementia, heart and vascular diseases, asthma, COPD, etc. Encouraging the foundation of resilient urban areas, together the support of the development of new economies and employment through urban renewal interventions, can permit to tackle social inequalities, a determinant of health, particularly important with regards to chronic diseases. The introduction of qualitative and quantitative performance tools, capable of measuring a city's attitude to promote healthy lifestyles and to monitor the population's health status are of pivotal importance for knowledge and accessibility to information regarding non-communicable diseases and their prevention. Physician experts, in hygiene, preventive medicine, public health and technicians as architects, urban planners and engineers, are needed to deepen the research topic of urban health to add an innovative and more integrated tool for the prevention of chronic diseases. As said in all scenarios of environmental hygiene, the strict relationship between health and environment is not discussed through a building hygiene approach, so we need to enrich the prevention methodology through direct action on urban buildings and building quality intended for domestic use

Prof. Dr. Margherita Ferrante
Prof. Stefano Capolongo
Prof. Oliveri Conti Gea
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Urban health
  • Healthy city
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Prevention
  • Risk management

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Physical Activity and Thyroid Cancer Risk: A Case-Control Study in Catania (South Italy)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1428; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081428
Received: 24 February 2019 / Revised: 10 April 2019 / Accepted: 14 April 2019 / Published: 22 April 2019
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Abstract
Background: The health benefits of physical activity are well established, but the association between physical activity and thyroid cancer remains poorly understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between physical activity and thyroid cancer in order to determine type, [...] Read more.
Background: The health benefits of physical activity are well established, but the association between physical activity and thyroid cancer remains poorly understood. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between physical activity and thyroid cancer in order to determine type, frequency, and duration of exercise needed to maximize prevention. Method: Cases, diagnosed from January 2009 to July 2018, and controls were enrolled at the University Hospital “Policlinico-Vittorio Emanuele” of Catania (South Italy). Logistic regression models were used to estimate the crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and their 95% confidence intervals. Results: A total of 106 cases (91.2% papillary type) and 217 controls were enrolled. Physical activity was rare in Catania (32.8%) and was not correlated to risk of total thyroid cancer (OR: 0.997; 95% CI: 0.515–1.929). Conversely, walking every day for at least 60 minutes reduced the risk of thyroid cancer (OR: 0.357; 95% CI: 0.157–0.673). Conclusions: Our study showed that daily walking duration was associated with lower risk of thyroid cancer using a case-control study. Unfortunately, the frequency of physical activity often declines with age, particularly among the elderly, thus more research on physical activity adherence is needed to determine which approaches are most effective in promoting sustained physical activity participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
Open AccessArticle
Spatial Distribution Variation and Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Exposure to Fluoride in Ground Water Supplies: A Case Study in an Endemic Fluorosis Region of Northwest Iran
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(4), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16040564
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 26 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
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Abstract
Prevalence of fluorosis is a worldwide public health issue, especially in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. The aim of this study was to investigate fluoride concentration in drinking water resources within Maku city, in both the warm and cold seasons, to perform [...] Read more.
Prevalence of fluorosis is a worldwide public health issue, especially in the West Azerbaijan province of Iran. The aim of this study was to investigate fluoride concentration in drinking water resources within Maku city, in both the warm and cold seasons, to perform a health risk assessment. Fluoride were measured using UV-visible spectrophotometry. The spatial distribution was calculated by the software ArcGIS and Hazard Quotients (HQs) were calculated according to the US EPA method. The fluoride concentrations ranged between 0.29 to 6.68 and 0.1 to 11.4 mg/L in the cold and warm seasons, respectively. Based on this report, 30.64 and 48.15% of the samples revealed a fluoride level higher than the permissible level in the cold and warm seasons, respectively. Moreover, results showed that the HQ value in the warm season for different age groups was higher than the HQ value in the cold season. In both seasons, the non-carcinogenic risks of fluoride for the four exposed populations varied according to the order: children > teenagers > adults > infants. The HQ values for three age groups (children, teenager and adults) for both seasons were higher than 1 with a high risk of fluorosis. The results of this study, support the requests that government authorities better manage water supplies to improve health quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
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Open AccessArticle
Developing a Measurement Scale of Gender-Friendly Hospital Environments: An Exploratory Study of Customer Perceptions in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(10), 2227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15102227
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 6 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
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Abstract
According to the United Nations, males and females should be given equal treatment in physical and psychological services, and healthcare institutions should exert greater efforts to reduce the gap in gender equality. However, this issue has been largely ignored in previous literature on [...] Read more.
According to the United Nations, males and females should be given equal treatment in physical and psychological services, and healthcare institutions should exert greater efforts to reduce the gap in gender equality. However, this issue has been largely ignored in previous literature on healthcare environments. Designing a hospital environment that focuses on gender differences is critical to academic researchers and practical managers in all healthcare institutions. Thus, as an exploratory effort, this study aims to develop a measurement to assess customer perceptions of gender-friendly hospital environments. To identify and refine the structure of the instrument, two studies are conducted at different hospitals in Taiwan. The exploratory evidence shows there are five factors (i.e., physical design, functional design, marking design, gender perception, and gender-friendly services) and 28 items in the measurement scale of gender-friendly hospital environments. Results also show that gender-friendly hospital environments affect customers’ loyalty and willingness to pay. Based on our findings, hospital practitioners and researchers can adopt the measurement instrument used in this study to deal with the gap of gender equality in healthcare environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)

Review

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Open AccessReview
Role of Emerging Environmental Risk Factors in Thyroid Cancer: A Brief Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(7), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16071185
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 30 March 2019 / Published: 2 April 2019
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Abstract
Environmental factors are recognized as risk factors of thyroid cancer in humans. Exposure to radiation, both from nuclear weapon or fallout or medical radiation, and to some organic and inorganic chemical toxicants represent a worldwide public health issue for their proven carcinogenicity. Halogenated [...] Read more.
Environmental factors are recognized as risk factors of thyroid cancer in humans. Exposure to radiation, both from nuclear weapon or fallout or medical radiation, and to some organic and inorganic chemical toxicants represent a worldwide public health issue for their proven carcinogenicity. Halogenated compounds, such as organochlorines and pesticides, are able to disrupt thyroid function. Polychlorinated biphenyls and their metabolites and polybrominated diethyl ethers bind to thyroid, transport proteins, replace thyroxin, and disrupt thyroid function as phthalates and bisphenolates do, highly mimicking thyroid hormones. A better knowledge of environmental risks represents a very important tool for cancer prevention through true risks prevention and management. This approach is very important because of the epigenetic origin’s theory of cancer. Therefore, the aim of this review was study the association between environmental agents and thyroid cancer promotion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
Open AccessReview
The Concentration of BTEX in the Air of Tehran: A Systematic Review-Meta Analysis and Risk Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(9), 1837; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091837
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 22 August 2018 / Published: 24 August 2018
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Abstract
In the current study, the concentration of some pollutants which are categorized as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene (B), toluene (T), ethylbenzene (E), and o-xylenes (o-X), in the air of Tehran was evaluated by the aid of a systematic review and meta-analysis [...] Read more.
In the current study, the concentration of some pollutants which are categorized as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including benzene (B), toluene (T), ethylbenzene (E), and o-xylenes (o-X), in the air of Tehran was evaluated by the aid of a systematic review and meta-analysis approach. Also, the health risk for the exposed population was estimated using the recommended methods by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The rank order based on their concentration in BTEX was benzene (149.18 µg/m3: 31%) > o-xylene (127.16 µg/m3: 27%) > ethylbenzene (110.15 µg/m3: 23%) > toluene (87.97 µg/m3: 19%). The ratio B/T in this study was calculated as 1.69, repressing that both stationary and mobile sources of emission can be considered as the main sources for benzene and toluene. Moreover, strong photochemical activity in Tehran was demonstrated by the high ratio of E/o-X. Meta-regression indicates that the concentration of BTEX has insignificantly (p-value > 0.05) increased over time. The BTEX compounds based on the target hazard quotient (THQ) were ordered as benzene > o-xylene > ethylbenzene > toluene. Percentile 95% of THQ due to benzene (4.973) and o-xylene (1.272) was higher than a value of 1. Percentile 95% excessive cancer risk (ECR) for benzene (1.25 × 106) and ethylbenzene (1.11 × 106) was higher than a value of 1.00 × 106. The health risk assessment indicated that the population of Tehran are at considerable non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
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Other

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Open AccessConcept Paper
Healthy Design and Urban Planning Strategies, Actions, and Policy to Achieve Salutogenic Cities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(12), 2698; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15122698
Received: 5 November 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 28 November 2018 / Published: 29 November 2018
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Starting from a previous experience carried out by the working group “Building and Environmental Hygiene” of the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (SItI), the aim of the present work is to define new strategic goals for achieving a “Healthy and Salutogenic [...] Read more.
Starting from a previous experience carried out by the working group “Building and Environmental Hygiene” of the Italian Society of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine (SItI), the aim of the present work is to define new strategic goals for achieving a “Healthy and Salutogenic City”, which will be useful to designers, local governments and public bodies, policy makers, and all professionals working at local health agencies. Ten key points have been formulated: 1. climate change and management of adverse weather events; 2. land consumption, sprawl, and shrinking cities; 3. tactical urbanism and urban resilience; 4. urban comfort, safety, and security perception; 5. strengths and weaknesses of urban green areas and infrastructures; 6. urban solid waste management; 7. housing emergencies in relation to socio-economic and environmental changes; 8. energy aspects and environmental planning at an urban scale; 9. socio-assistance and welfare network at an urban scale: importance of a rational and widespread system; and 10. new forms of living, conscious of coparticipation models and aware of sharing quality objectives. Design strategies, actions, and policies, identified to improve public health and wellbeing, underline that the connection between morphological and functional features of urban context and public health is crucial for contemporary cities and modern societies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Salutogenic Cities for Chronic Diseases Prevention)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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