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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 10, Issue 6 (June 2013), Pages 2109-2605

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Open AccessArticle Dietary Nickel Chloride Induces Oxidative Intestinal Damage in Broilers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2109-2119; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062109
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 15 May 2013 / Published: 23 May 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (415 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxidative damage induced by dietary nickel chloride (NiCl2) in the intestinal mucosa of different parts of the intestine of broilers, including duodenum, jejunum and ileum. A total of 240 one-day-old broilers [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the oxidative damage induced by dietary nickel chloride (NiCl2) in the intestinal mucosa of different parts of the intestine of broilers, including duodenum, jejunum and ileum. A total of 240 one-day-old broilers were divided into four groups and fed on a corn-soybean basal diet as control diet or the same basal diet supplemented with 300, 600 or 900 mg/kg NiCl2 during a 42-day experimental period. The results showed that the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and the ability to inhibit hydroxy radical and glutathione (GSH) content were significantly (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) decreased in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups in comparison with those of the control group. In contrast, malondialdehyde (MDA) content was significantly (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01) higher in the 300, 600 and 900 mg/kg groups than that in the control group. It was concluded that dietary NiCl2 in excess of 300 mg/kg could cause oxidative damage in the intestinal mucosa in broilers, which finally impaired the intestinal functions including absorptive function and mucosal immune function. The oxidative damage might be a main mechanism on the effects of NiCl2 on the intestinal health of broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Mixed Methods Pilot Study of Sharing Behaviors among Waterpipe Smokers of Rural Lao PDR: Implications for Infectious Disease Transmission
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2120-2132; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062120
Received: 11 March 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 12 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To date, the sharing behaviors associated with the homemade tobacco waterpipe used in rural areas of the Western Pacific Region have not been studied. Evidence from studies of manufactured waterpipes raises the possibility of infectious disease transmission due to waterpipe sharing. The [...] Read more.
To date, the sharing behaviors associated with the homemade tobacco waterpipe used in rural areas of the Western Pacific Region have not been studied. Evidence from studies of manufactured waterpipes raises the possibility of infectious disease transmission due to waterpipe sharing. The objective of our pilot study in rural Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) was to identify and measure the prevalence of waterpipe sharing behaviors. We first conducted ethnographic studies to investigate waterpipe-smoking behaviors. These findings were then used to develop an interviewer-administered household survey that was used in a sampling of waterpipe smokers from three villages of the Luang Namtha province of Lao PDR (n = 43). Sampled waterpipe smokers were predominantly male (90.7%), older (mean age 49, SD 13.79), married (95.4%), farmers (78.6%), and had completed no primary education. Pipes were primarily made from bamboo (92.9%). Almost all (97.6%) smokers were willing to share their pipe with others. At the last time they smoked, smokers shared a pipe with at least one other person (1.2 ± 0.5 persons). During the past week, they had shared a pipe with five other persons (5.2 ± 3.8 persons). The high prevalence of sharing behaviors among waterpipe smokers in rural Southeast Asia raises the possibility that this behavior provides important and unmeasured social network pathways for the transmission of infectious agents. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Study of the Perception of Health Risks among College Students in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2133-2149; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062133
Received: 17 December 2012 / Revised: 21 May 2013 / Accepted: 21 May 2013 / Published: 27 May 2013
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (247 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present survey was designed to investigate the perception of health risks among college students in China. The data are the responses of a sample of 3,069 college students at one university to surveys that include measures of several dimensions of public [...] Read more.
The present survey was designed to investigate the perception of health risks among college students in China. The data are the responses of a sample of 3,069 college students at one university to surveys that include measures of several dimensions of public judgments about fifteen specific hazards. Chinese college students conveyed their concerns as falling into three broad categories: Environmental (e.g., global warming, natural catastrophes, the ozone hole, air pollution, chemical pollution, pesticides in food), Technological (e.g., nuclear power stations, thermal power, genetically modified food, medical X-rays), and Social (cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, overtime study or work, mental stress, motor vehicle accidents). The data were collected with a self-report questionnaire. Descriptive statistics were used to illustrate the levels of perceived risk according to the percent of “high risk” responses as well as the mean response values. Generally, the hazards that were perceived as posing the greatest health risk were those belonging to the social health risks; items related to technology risks received the lowest percentage of “high health risk” rankings. Traditional environmental risks such as natural catastrophes, pollution issues (chemical pollution, air pollution), and pesticides in food were ranked as being relatively high risks. The respondents were less concerned about new emerging issues and long-term environmental risks (global warming). In this survey, motor vehicle accidents were considered to be a “high health risk” by the greatest percentage of respondents. Generally speaking, the female respondents’ degree of recognition of health risks is higher than that of male respondents. Only for the item of smoking was the male respondents’ degree higher than that of females. There is also a geographic imbalance in the health risk perceptions. The degree of recognition of health risks from respondents in municipalities is generally lower than that of respondents from other areas except for items such as natural disasters, smoking, medical X-rays, and mental stress, which are exceptions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Fish Consumption during Pregnancy, Mercury Transfer, and Birth Weight along the Madeira River Basin in Amazonia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2150-2163; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062150
Received: 1 April 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 28 May 2013
Cited by 19 | PDF Full-text (486 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Birth weight can be a predictor of maternal health issues related to nutrition and environmental contaminants. Total hair mercury (HHg) concentration was studied as an indicator of both fish consumption and methylmercury exposure in mothers (and newborns) living in selected low income [...] Read more.
Birth weight can be a predictor of maternal health issues related to nutrition and environmental contaminants. Total hair mercury (HHg) concentration was studied as an indicator of both fish consumption and methylmercury exposure in mothers (and newborns) living in selected low income areas of the Madeira River basin, Amazonia, Brazil. This cohort study (n = 1,433) consisted of traditional riverines (n = 396), riverines who had moved to urban (n = 676) and rural (n = 67) settings, and tin miner settlers (n = 294). Median maternal HHg was significantly different (p = 0.00001) between riverine (12.1 µg·g−1), rural (7.82 µg·g−1), urban (5.4 µg·g−1), and tin miner (4.5 µg·g−1) groups studied. The same trend (of medians) was observed for newborns’ HHg which also showed significant differences between riverine (3.0 µg·g−1), rural (2.0 µg·g−1), urban (1.5 µg·g−1), and tin miner (0.8 µg·g−1) groups. The correlation between maternal and newborn HHg was statistically significant in the riverine (r = 0.8952; p = 0.0001), urban (r = 0.6744; p = 0.0001), and rural (r = 0.8416; p = 0.0001) groups but not in the mother-infant pairs in the tin miner group (r = 0.0638; p = 0.2752). Birth weight was significantly different among groups but did not show a pattern consistent with that of fish consumption (and HHg). A multiple regression analysis showed that only family income and gestational age had a significant impact on birth weight. Conclusions: Maternal HHg is an important biomarker of maternal fish consumption and of methylmercury exposure during pregnancy. However, in these Amazonian groups, only maternal education and gestational age seemed to affect birth weight positively. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heat Waves and Climate Change: Applying the Health Belief Model to Identify Predictors of Risk Perception and Adaptive Behaviours in Adelaide, Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2164-2184; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062164
Received: 24 March 2013 / Revised: 5 May 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (297 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat waves are considered a health risk and they are likely to increase in frequency, intensity and duration as a consequence of climate change. The effects of heat waves on human health could be reduced if individuals recognise the risks and adopt [...] Read more.
Heat waves are considered a health risk and they are likely to increase in frequency, intensity and duration as a consequence of climate change. The effects of heat waves on human health could be reduced if individuals recognise the risks and adopt healthy behaviours during a heat wave. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of risk perception using a heat wave scenario and identify the constructs of the health belief model that could predict adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. A cross-sectional study was conducted during the summer of 2012 among a sample of persons aged between 30 to 69 years in Adelaide. Participants’ perceptions were assessed using the health belief model as a conceptual frame. Their knowledge about heat waves and adaptive behaviours during heat waves was also assessed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the predictors of risk perception to a heat wave scenario and adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. Of the 267 participants, about half (50.9%) had a high risk perception to heat waves while 82.8% had good adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. Multivariate models found that age was a significant predictor of risk perception. In addition, participants who were married (OR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.07–0.62), who earned a gross annual household income of ≥$60,000 (OR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.17–0.94) and without a fan (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.11–0.79) were less likely to have a high risk perception to heat waves. Those who were living with others (OR = 2.87; 95% CI, 1.19–6.90) were more likely to have a high risk perception to heat waves. On the other hand, participants with a high perceived benefit (OR = 2.14; 95% CI, 1.00–4.58), a high “cues to action” (OR = 3.71; 95% CI, 1.63–8.43), who had additional training or education after high school (OR = 2.65; 95% CI, 1.25–5.58) and who earned a gross annual household income of ≥$60,000 (OR = 2.66; 95% CI, 1.07–6.56) were more likely to have good adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. The health belief model could be useful to guide the design and implementation of interventions to promote adaptive behaviours during heat waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Tobacco Use and Nicotine Dependence among Conflict-Affected Men in the Republic of Georgia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2185-2197; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062185
Received: 2 April 2013 / Revised: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 16 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
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Abstract
Background: There is very little evidence globally on tobacco use and nicotine dependence among civilian populations affected by armed conflict, despite key vulnerability factors related to elevated mental disorders and socio-economic stressors. The study aim was to describe patterns of smoking [...] Read more.
Background: There is very little evidence globally on tobacco use and nicotine dependence among civilian populations affected by armed conflict, despite key vulnerability factors related to elevated mental disorders and socio-economic stressors. The study aim was to describe patterns of smoking and nicotine dependence among conflict-affected civilian men in the Republic of Georgia and associations with mental disorders. Methods: A cross-sectional household survey using multistage random sampling was conducted in late 2011 among conflict-affected populations in Georgia. Respondents included in this paper were 1,248 men aged ≥18 years who were internally displaced persons (IDPs) and former IDPs who had returned in their home areas. Outcomes of current tobacco use, heavy use (≥20 cigarettes per day), and nicotine dependence (using the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence) were used. PTSD, depression, anxiety and hazardous alcohol use were also measured, along with exposure to traumatic events and a range of demographic and socio-economic characteristics. Results: Of 1,248 men, 592 (47.4%) smoked and 70.9% of current smokers were heavy smokers. The mean nicotine dependence score was 5.0 and the proportion with high nicotine dependence (≥6) was 41.4%. In multivariate regression analyses, nicotine dependence was significantly associated with PTSD (β 0.74) and depression (β 0.85), along with older age (except 65+ years), and being a returnee (compared to IDPs). Conclusions: The study reveals very high levels of heavy smoking and nicotine dependence among conflict-affected persons in Georgia. The associations between nicotine dependence, PTSD and depression suggest interventions could yield synergistic benefits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control in Vulnerable Population Groups)
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Open AccessArticle Perinatal Outcomes of Uninsured Immigrant, Refugee and Migrant Mothers and Newborns Living in Toronto, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2198-2213; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062198
Received: 23 April 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Canadian healthcare insurance is not universal for all newcomer populations. New immigrant, refugee claimant, and migrant women face various barriers to healthcare due to the lack of public health insurance coverage. This retrospective study explored the relationships between insurance status and various [...] Read more.
Canadian healthcare insurance is not universal for all newcomer populations. New immigrant, refugee claimant, and migrant women face various barriers to healthcare due to the lack of public health insurance coverage. This retrospective study explored the relationships between insurance status and various perinatal outcomes. Researchers examined and compared perinatal outcomes for 453 uninsured and provincially insured women who delivered at two general hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area between 2007 and 2010. Data on key perinatal health indicators were collected via chart review of hospital medical records. Comparisons were made with regional statistics and professional guidelines where available. Four-in-five uninsured pregnant women received less-than-adequate prenatal care. More than half of them received clearly inadequate prenatal care, and 6.5% received no prenatal care at all. Insurance status was also related to the type of health care provider, reason for caesarean section, neonatal resuscitation rates, and maternal length of hospital stay. Uninsured mothers experienced a higher percentage of caesarian sections due to abnormal fetal heart rates and required more neonatal resuscitations. No significant difference was found for low birth weight, preterm birth, NCIU admissions, postpartum hemorrhage, breast feeding, or intrapartum care provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health 2012)
Open AccessArticle Incinerator Pollution and Child Development in the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2241-2257; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062241
Received: 25 September 2012 / Revised: 22 April 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
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Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the direct and indirect effects of environmental pollutants on child development and parental concerns. It focused on the pathway relationships among the following factors: living within three kilometers of an incinerator, breastfeeding, place of residence, parental concerns [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the direct and indirect effects of environmental pollutants on child development and parental concerns. It focused on the pathway relationships among the following factors: living within three kilometers of an incinerator, breastfeeding, place of residence, parental concerns about development, and parent-perceived child development. The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study (TBCS) dataset includes randomized community data on 21,248 children at six, 18, and 36 months of age. The Parental Concern Checklist and the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study-Developmental Instrument were used to measure parental concern and parent-perceived child development. Living within three kilometers of an incinerator increased the risk of children showing delayed development in the gross motor domain at six and 36 months. Although breastfeeding is a protective factor against uneven/delayed developmental disability (U/DDD), children living near an incinerator who were breastfed had an increased risk of U/DDD compared with those who did not live near incinerators. The presence of a local incinerator affected parent-perceived child development directly and indirectly through the mediating factor of breastfeeding. Further follow-up of these children to investigate the long-term effects of specific toxins on their development and later diagnostic categorization is necessary. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Environment Risk of Autism)
Open AccessArticle Road Traffic Noise and Annoyance: A Quantification of the Effect of Quiet Side Exposure at Dwellings
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2258-2270; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062258
Received: 24 February 2013 / Revised: 7 May 2013 / Accepted: 20 May 2013 / Published: 3 June 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (345 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Previous studies indicate that residents may benefit from a “quiet side” to their dwellings. The influence of the level of road traffic noise exposure at the least exposed side on road traffic noise annoyance was studied in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Road traffic [...] Read more.
Previous studies indicate that residents may benefit from a “quiet side” to their dwellings. The influence of the level of road traffic noise exposure at the least exposed side on road traffic noise annoyance was studied in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Road traffic noise exposure was assessed at the most and least exposed façade (Lden,most and Lden,least respectively) of dwellings for subjects in a population based survey (N = 1,967). It was investigated if and to what extent relative quietness at the least exposed façade affected the level of road traffic noise annoyance by comparing two groups: (1) The subgroup with a relatively quiet façade; (2) the subgroup without a relatively quiet façade (large versus small difference in exposure between most and least exposed façade; DIF ≥ 10 dB and DIF < 10 dB respectively). In addition, it was investigated if and to what extent Lden,least affected the level of road traffic noise annoyance. Results indicate a significantly lower road traffic noise annoyance score at a given Lden,most, in the subgroup with DIF ≥ 10 dB versus DIF < 10 dB. Furthermore, results suggest an effect of Lden,least independent of Lden,most. The estimated size of the effect expressed in an equivalent change in Lden,most approximated 5 dB for both the difference between the two subgroups (DIF ≥ 10 dB and DIF < 10 dB), and for a 10 dB change in Lden,least. Full article
Open AccessArticle Levels of Pesticides and Their Metabolites in Wistar Rat Amniotic Fluids and Maternal Urine upon Gestational Exposure
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2271-2281; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062271
Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (311 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concentrations of pesticides and selected metabolites in rat urine and amniotic fluid were determined as biomarker upon oral administration of Wistar rats to two pesticide mixtures consisting of three to five pesticides (bitertanol, propiconazole, cypermethrin, malathion, and terbuthylazine). The pesticides and their [...] Read more.
Concentrations of pesticides and selected metabolites in rat urine and amniotic fluid were determined as biomarker upon oral administration of Wistar rats to two pesticide mixtures consisting of three to five pesticides (bitertanol, propiconazole, cypermethrin, malathion, and terbuthylazine). The pesticides and their metabolites were found in rat amniotic fluid and urine, generally in dose-response concentrations in relation to dosage. The measurement of the substances in the amniotic fluid indicated that the fetus was exposed to the pesticides as well as their metabolites. Moreover, the pesticides detected in urine demonstrated the exposure as well as the ability of the rat to excrete these compounds. Full article
Open AccessArticle Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) Survey on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Selected Schools in Vhembe District, Limpopo, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2282-2295; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062282
Received: 7 April 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (313 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of learners on issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene in selected schools in Vhembe District, South Africa. The methodology relied on a questionnaire, an inspection of sanitary facilities and discussion with the [...] Read more.
This study assessed the knowledge, attitude and practices (KAP) of learners on issues related to water, sanitation and hygiene in selected schools in Vhembe District, South Africa. The methodology relied on a questionnaire, an inspection of sanitary facilities and discussion with the school authorities. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Science. The study revealed that the level of knowledge about waterborne diseases was relatively high (76.7 ± 1.75%), but knowledge on transmission routes was inadequate. The majority of the respondents had no knowledge when it comes to water-based diseases and their prevention (78.4 ± 1.71%).The attitude and practice on hygiene was also found to be high (91.40 ± 1.16%). Some schools from the urban area had proper handwashing facilities, but there was no soap available. The borehole water quality for rural schools appeared clear, but the microbial quality was unknown. The water supply and sanitation facilities were inadequate in rural schools, with no handwashing areas and no sanitary bins for girls. Some schools had toilets with broken doors which did not offer privacy. The only water tap, located at the centre of the school premises, was not enough for the whole school community. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Maternal and Child Lifestyle-Related Characteristics on the Socioeconomic Inequality in Overweight and Obesity among 5-year-old Children; The “Be Active, Eat Right” Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2336-2347; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062336
Received: 2 April 2013 / Revised: 21 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (223 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is unclear whether the socioeconomic inequality in prevalence of overweight and obesity is already present among very young children. This study investigates the association between overweight and socioeconomic status (SES, with maternal educational level as an indicator of SES) among 5-year-old [...] Read more.
It is unclear whether the socioeconomic inequality in prevalence of overweight and obesity is already present among very young children. This study investigates the association between overweight and socioeconomic status (SES, with maternal educational level as an indicator of SES) among 5-year-old children. This cross-sectional study uses baseline data from 5-year-olds of Dutch ethnicity (n = 5,582) and their mothers collected for the “Be active, eat right” study. Compared to children of mothers with the highest educational level, for children of mothers with the lowest educational level the odds ratio (adjusted for demographic characteristics) for having overweight was 2.10 (95% confidence interval: 1.57–2.82), and for having obesity was 4.18 (95% confidence interval: 2.32–7.55). Addition of maternal and child lifestyle-related characteristics decreased the odds ratios for overweight and obesity by 26.4% and 42.1%, respectively. The results show that an inverse SES-overweight/obesity association is already present at elementary school entry, and that watching TV by mother and child, the child consuming breakfast and, especially maternal weight status, are contributing factors in this association. These results should be taken into account when developing policies to reduce inequalities in (childhood) health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inequalities in Health)
Open AccessArticle The Soundscape Quality in Some Urban Parks in Milan, Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2348-2369; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062348
Received: 3 March 2013 / Revised: 17 April 2013 / Accepted: 28 May 2013 / Published: 6 June 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (673 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban parks play an important role in preserving and promoting the health of citizens who are often exposed to noise pollution and the stress of daily life. The present study describes the main results obtained from a survey performed in five urban [...] Read more.
Urban parks play an important role in preserving and promoting the health of citizens who are often exposed to noise pollution and the stress of daily life. The present study describes the main results obtained from a survey performed in five urban parks in Milan. Measurements of the acoustic environment were carried out in 29 sites together with interviews with 231 users on certain aspects of the parks not limited to merely sound. Acoustic data show that the surveyed parks mostly do not comply with the noise limit issued by the Italian legislation on protected areas. The unweighted 1/3-octave spectrum centre of gravity G and LA50 perform satisfactorily in discriminating among the acoustic environments. Such clear distinction was not observed in the subjective ratings on the perceived quality of the soundscape, likely due to the influence by non-acoustic factors that act as mediators in the assessment. This hypothesis is supported by the collected data on the perceived quality of quietness, which was rated worse than that of the soundscape. Comparing acoustic data with ratings, the perceived quality of the total environment was found to be less dependent on LAeq than soundscape and quietness. Full article
Open AccessArticle Public Place Smoke-Free Regulations, Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Related Beliefs, Awareness, Attitudes, and Practices among Chinese Urban Residents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2370-2383; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062370
Received: 21 November 2012 / Revised: 28 May 2013 / Accepted: 29 May 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (210 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Objective: To evaluate the association between smoke-free regulations in public places and secondhand smoke exposure and related beliefs, awareness, attitudes, and behavior among urban residents in China. Methods: We selected one city (Hangzhou) as the intervention city and another (Jiaxing) as the [...] Read more.
Objective: To evaluate the association between smoke-free regulations in public places and secondhand smoke exposure and related beliefs, awareness, attitudes, and behavior among urban residents in China. Methods: We selected one city (Hangzhou) as the intervention city and another (Jiaxing) as the comparison. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection, and implemented at two time points across a 20-month interval. Both unadjusted and adjusted logistic methods were considered in analyses. Multiple regression procedures were performed in examining variation between final and baseline measures. Results: Smoke-free regulations in the intervention city were associated with a significant decline in personal secondhand smoke exposure in government buildings, buses or taxis, and restaurants, but there was no change in such exposure in healthcare facilities and schools. In terms of personal smoking beliefs, awareness, attitudes, and practices, the only significant change was in giving quitting advice to proximal family members. Conclusions: There was a statistically significant association between implementation of smoke-free regulations in a city and inhibition of secondhand tobacco smoking exposure in public places. However, any such impact was limited. Effective tobacco control in China will require a combination of strong public health education and enforcement of regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control in Vulnerable Population Groups)
Open AccessArticle Accumulations of Heavy Metals in Roadside Soils Close to Zhaling, Eling and Nam Co Lakes in the Tibetan Plateau
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2384-2400; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062384
Received: 25 April 2013 / Revised: 23 May 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (630 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Concentrations of four typical heavy metals (Cu; Zn; Cd and Pb) in roadside soils close to three lakes in the Tibetan Plateau were investigated in this study. The hierarchical tree-based regression method was applied to classify concentrations of the heavy metals and [...] Read more.
Concentrations of four typical heavy metals (Cu; Zn; Cd and Pb) in roadside soils close to three lakes in the Tibetan Plateau were investigated in this study. The hierarchical tree-based regression method was applied to classify concentrations of the heavy metals and analyze their potential influencing factors. It was found that the Tibetan Plateau meadow soils with higher content of sand lead to higher concentrations of Cu; Zn and Pb. The concentrations of Cd and Pb increase with road traffic volume; and for the road segments with higher traffic volume; the Cd and Pb concentrations significantly decrease with the roadside distance. Additionally; the concentrations of Zn and Pb increase as the altitude of sampling site increases. Furthermore; the Hakanson potential ecological risk index method was used to assess the contamination degree of the heavy metals for the study regions. The results show that accumulations of Cu; Zn and Pb in roadside soils remain an unpolluted level at all sites. However; the Cd indices in the regions with higher traffic volume have reached a strong potential ecological risk level; and some spots with peak concentrations have even been severely polluted due to traffic activities. Full article
Open AccessArticle High Dental Caries among Adults Aged 35 to 44 Years: Case-Control Study of Distal and Proximal Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2401-2411; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062401
Received: 9 April 2013 / Revised: 24 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 7 June 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (193 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine whether a high degree of dental caries severity is associated with the distal and proximal determinants of caries in a group of Brazilian adults aged 35 to 44 years. A population-based case-control study was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine whether a high degree of dental caries severity is associated with the distal and proximal determinants of caries in a group of Brazilian adults aged 35 to 44 years. A population-based case-control study was conducted using two groups—a case group with high caries severity (DMFT ≥ 14) and a control group without high caries severity (DMFT < 14). The sample comprised adults from metropolitan Belo Horizonte, Brazil (180 cases and 180 controls matched for gender and age). The exam was performed by calibrated dentists using the DMFT index. The statistical analysis used the Mann-Whitney test and bivariate and multivariate logistic regression (the conditional backward stepwise method). The mean DMFT was 8.4 ± 3.9 in the control group and 20.1 ± 4.5 in the case group. High caries severity was associated with regular visits to the dentist, low income, use of private/supplementary dental service and not petitioning the authorities for community benefits. The results of the study underscore the importance of considering distal and proximal factors in the assessment of the severity of dental caries. Greater caries severity persists among low-income families and among groups with a low degree of social cohesion. Full article
Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Antibiotic Resistance of Airborne Staphylococcus Isolated from Metro Stations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2412-2426; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062412
Received: 25 March 2013 / Revised: 31 May 2013 / Accepted: 1 June 2013 / Published: 13 June 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (726 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
This study focused on the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a metro system as an example of a public transportation system. The molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus were investigated to discern which strains were isolated from metro stations in Shanghai. These were compared [...] Read more.
This study focused on the presence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a metro system as an example of a public transportation system. The molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus were investigated to discern which strains were isolated from metro stations in Shanghai. These were compared with strains isolated from hospital treatment rooms and parks. Airborne Staphylococcus samples in the metro were resistant to an average of 2.64 antibiotic types, and 58.0% of the strain samples were resistant to at least three antibiotics; this was a significantly higher rate than strains from the park, but was lower than those from hospitals. The presence of two antibiotic resistance genes of Staphylococcus strains, mecA (28.0%) and qac (40.0%), were also found at significantly higher levels in metro samples than park samples, but did not differ significantly from hospital samples. Furthermore, 22.0% of the metro Staphylococcus samples were found to be biofilm-positive. The high rate of antibiotic resistance found in Staphylococcus samples collected from metro stations, and the discovery of antibiotic-resistant genes, indicate that the closed indoor environment and crowded passengers may accelerate the spread of antibiotic resistant strains. More attention should be paid to the inspection and control of antibiotic resistant strains in public transportation systems. Full article
Open AccessArticle Influence of Rural Non-Smoking Adolescents’ Sense of Coherence and Exposure to Household Smoking on Their Commitment to a Smoke-Free Lifestyle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2427-2440; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062427
Received: 11 April 2013 / Revised: 29 May 2013 / Accepted: 3 June 2013 / Published: 13 June 2013
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Abstract
This 18-month longitudinal study examined the influence of adolescents’ sense of coherence (SOC) and exposure to household smoking on their commitment to a smoke-free lifestyle. This study investigated a representative sample of 8th graders from 21 randomly selected high schools in the [...] Read more.
This 18-month longitudinal study examined the influence of adolescents’ sense of coherence (SOC) and exposure to household smoking on their commitment to a smoke-free lifestyle. This study investigated a representative sample of 8th graders from 21 randomly selected high schools in the rural Limpopo Province of South Africa (n = 2,119). Of the total sample of 2,119 participants, 294 (14%) reported smoking at baseline and were therefore excluded from further analysis. Of those who did not smoke at baseline, 98.1% (n = 1,767) reported no intention of smoking in the upcoming 12 months. Of those who completed follow-up and had no intention of smoking at baseline (n = 1,316), 89.1% still did not smoke and remained committed to being smoke-free. Having a lower SOC, reporting alcohol binge-drinking at baseline, and having a household member who regularly smokes indoors (OR = 0.46: 0.26–0.82), as compared to not having any smoker in the household, were associated with lower odds of honoring a commitment to a smoke-free lifestyle. Furthermore, those who identified themselves as black Africans, as opposed to belonging to other race groups, were more likely to maintain a smoke-free lifestyle. Our findings suggest that interventions to prevent adolescent smoking should prioritize stress-coping skills and promote smoke-free homes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control in Vulnerable Population Groups)
Open AccessArticle Risk-Based Evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Vapor Intrusion Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2441-2467; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062441
Received: 9 April 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 13 June 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (315 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper presents a quantitative method for the risk-based evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in vapor intrusion investigations. Vapors from petroleum fuels are characterized by a complex mixture of aliphatic and, to a lesser extent, aromatic compounds. These compounds can be [...] Read more.
This paper presents a quantitative method for the risk-based evaluation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in vapor intrusion investigations. Vapors from petroleum fuels are characterized by a complex mixture of aliphatic and, to a lesser extent, aromatic compounds. These compounds can be measured and described in terms of TPH carbon ranges. Toxicity factors published by USEPA and other parties allow development of risk-based, air and soil vapor screening levels for each carbon range in the same manner as done for individual compounds such as benzene. The relative, carbon range makeup of petroleum vapors can be used to develop weighted, site-specific or generic screening levels for TPH. At some critical ratio of TPH to a targeted, individual compound, the overwhelming proportion of TPH will drive vapor intrusion risk over the individual compound. This is particularly true for vapors associated with diesel and other middle distillate fuels, but can also be the case for low-benzene gasolines or even for high-benzene gasolines if an adequately conservative, target risk is not applied to individually targeted chemicals. This necessitates a re-evaluation of the reliance on benzene and other individual compounds as a stand-alone tool to evaluate vapor intrusion risk associated with petroleum. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of Electronic Cigarette Use (Vaping) Topography and Estimation of Liquid Consumption: Implications for Research Protocol Standards Definition and for Public Health Authorities’ Regulation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2500-2514; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062500
Received: 18 May 2013 / Revised: 6 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013
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Abstract
Background: Although millions of people are using electronic cigarettes (ECs) and research on this topic has intensified in recent years, the pattern of EC use has not been systematically studied. Additionally, no comparative measure of exposure and nicotine delivery between EC [...] Read more.
Background: Although millions of people are using electronic cigarettes (ECs) and research on this topic has intensified in recent years, the pattern of EC use has not been systematically studied. Additionally, no comparative measure of exposure and nicotine delivery between EC and tobacco cigarette or nicotine replacement therapy (NRTs) has been established. This is important, especially in the context of the proposal for a new Tobacco Product Directive issued by the European Commission. Methods: A second generation EC device, consisting of a higher capacity battery and tank atomiser design compared to smaller cigarette-like batteries and cartomizers, and a 9 mg/mL nicotine-concentration liquid were used in this study. Eighty subjects were recruited; 45 experienced EC users and 35 smokers. EC users were video-recorded when using the device (ECIG group), while smokers were recorded when smoking (SM-S group) and when using the EC (SM-E group) in a randomized cross-over design. Puff, inhalation and exhalation duration were measured. Additionally, the amount of EC liquid consumed by experienced EC users was measured at 5 min (similar to the time needed to smoke one tobacco cigarette) and at 20 min (similar to the time needed for a nicotine inhaler to deliver 4 mg nicotine). Results: Puff duration was significantly higher in ECIG (4.2 ± 0.7 s) compared to SM-S (2.1 ± 0.4 s) and SM-E (2.3 ± 0.5 s), while inhalation time was lower (1.3 ± 0.4, 2.1 ± 0.4 and 2.1 ± 0.4 respectively). No difference was observed in exhalation duration. EC users took 13 puffs and consumed 62 ± 16 mg liquid in 5 min; they took 43 puffs and consumed 219 ± 56 mg liquid in 20 min. Nicotine delivery was estimated at 0.46 ± 0.12 mg after 5 min and 1.63 ± 0.41 mg after 20 min of use. Therefore, 20.8 mg/mL and 23.8 mg/mL nicotine-containing liquids would deliver 1 mg of nicotine in 5 min and 4 mg nicotine in 20 min, respectively. Since the ISO method significantly underestimates nicotine delivery by tobacco cigarettes, it seems that liquids with even higher than 24 mg/mL nicotine concentration would be comparable to one tobacco cigarette. Conclusions: EC use topography is significantly different compared to smoking. Four-second puffs with 20–30 s interpuff interval should be used when assessing EC effects in laboratory experiments, provided that the equipment used does not get overheated. Based on the characteristics of the device used in this study, a 20 mg/mL nicotine concentration liquid would be needed in order to deliver nicotine at amounts similar to the maximum allowable content of one tobacco cigarette (as measured by the ISO 3308 method). The results of this study do not support the statement of the European Commission Tobacco Product Directive that liquids with nicotine concentration of 4 mg/mL are comparable to NRTs in the amount of nicotine delivered to the user. Full article
Open AccessArticle A Cross-Sectional, Randomized Cluster Sample Survey of Household Vulnerability to Extreme Heat among Slum Dwellers in Ahmedabad, India
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2515-2543; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062515
Received: 12 May 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 7 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013
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Abstract
Extreme heat is a significant public health concern in India; extreme heat hazards are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Few of the factors driving population heat vulnerability are documented, though poverty is a presumed risk factor. To [...] Read more.
Extreme heat is a significant public health concern in India; extreme heat hazards are projected to increase in frequency and severity with climate change. Few of the factors driving population heat vulnerability are documented, though poverty is a presumed risk factor. To facilitate public health preparedness, an assessment of factors affecting vulnerability among slum dwellers was conducted in summer 2011 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. Indicators of heat exposure, susceptibility to heat illness, and adaptive capacity, all of which feed into heat vulnerability, was assessed through a cross-sectional household survey using randomized multistage cluster sampling. Associations between heat-related morbidity and vulnerability factors were identified using multivariate logistic regression with generalized estimating equations to account for clustering effects. Age, preexisting medical conditions, work location, and access to health information and resources were associated with self-reported heat illness. Several of these variables were unique to this study. As sociodemographics, occupational heat exposure, and access to resources were shown to increase vulnerability, future interventions (e.g., health education) might target specific populations among Ahmedabad urban slum dwellers to reduce vulnerability to extreme heat. Surveillance and evaluations of future interventions may also be worthwhile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
Open AccessArticle Generational Differences in Work-Family Conflict and Synergy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2544-2559; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062544
Received: 26 April 2013 / Revised: 31 May 2013 / Accepted: 4 June 2013 / Published: 19 June 2013
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Abstract
This paper examines differences in work-family conflict and synergy among the four generational groups represented in the contemporary workforce: Generation Y Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Matures using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (n = 3,502). [...] Read more.
This paper examines differences in work-family conflict and synergy among the four generational groups represented in the contemporary workforce: Generation Y Generation X, Baby Boomers, and Matures using data from the 2008 National Study of the Changing Workforce (n = 3,502). Significant generational differences were found for work-family conflict (work interfering with family and family interfering with work) but not for work-family synergy. Mental health and job pressure were the best predictors of work interfering with family conflict for each generational group. Work-family synergy presented a more complex picture. Work-family conflict and synergy were significantly related to job, marital, and life satisfaction. Implications and directions for future research are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Job Stress and Health)
Open AccessArticle Can Decision Biases Improve Insurance Outcomes? An Experiment on Status Quo Bias in Health Insurance Choice
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2560-2577; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062560
Received: 13 May 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 9 June 2013 / Published: 19 June 2013
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Abstract
Rather than conforming to the assumption of perfect rationality in neoclassical economic theory, decision behavior has been shown to display a host of systematic biases. Properly understood, these patterns can be instrumentalized to improve outcomes in the public realm. We conducted a [...] Read more.
Rather than conforming to the assumption of perfect rationality in neoclassical economic theory, decision behavior has been shown to display a host of systematic biases. Properly understood, these patterns can be instrumentalized to improve outcomes in the public realm. We conducted a laboratory experiment to study whether decisions over health insurance policies are subject to status quo bias and, if so, whether experience mitigates this framing effect. Choices in two treatment groups with status quo defaults are compared to choices in a neutrally framed control group. A two-step design features sorting of subjects into the groups, allowing us to control for selection effects due to risk preferences. The results confirm the presence of a status quo bias in consumer choices over health insurance policies. However, this effect of the default framing does not persist as subjects repeat this decision in later periods of the experiment. Our results have implications for health care policy, for example suggesting that the use of non-binding defaults in health insurance can facilitate the spread of co-insurance policies and thereby help contain health care expenditure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Market: Incentives and Competition)
Open AccessArticle Genetic k-Means Clustering Approach for Mapping Human Vulnerability to Chemical Hazards in the Industrialized City: A Case Study of Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2578-2595; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062578
Received: 1 May 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 13 June 2013 / Published: 20 June 2013
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Abstract
Reducing human vulnerability to chemical hazards in the industrialized city is a matter of great urgency. Vulnerability mapping is an alternative approach for providing vulnerability-reducing interventions in a region. This study presents a method for mapping human vulnerability to chemical hazards by [...] Read more.
Reducing human vulnerability to chemical hazards in the industrialized city is a matter of great urgency. Vulnerability mapping is an alternative approach for providing vulnerability-reducing interventions in a region. This study presents a method for mapping human vulnerability to chemical hazards by using clustering analysis for effective vulnerability reduction. Taking the city of Shanghai as the study area, we measure human exposure to chemical hazards by using the proximity model with additionally considering the toxicity of hazardous substances, and capture the sensitivity and coping capacity with corresponding indicators. We perform an improved k-means clustering approach on the basis of genetic algorithm by using a 500 m × 500 m geographical grid as basic spatial unit. The sum of squared errors and silhouette coefficient are combined to measure the quality of clustering and to determine the optimal clustering number. Clustering result reveals a set of six typical human vulnerability patterns that show distinct vulnerability dimension combinations. The vulnerability mapping of the study area reflects cluster-specific vulnerability characteristics and their spatial distribution. Finally, we suggest specific points that can provide new insights in rationally allocating the limited funds for the vulnerability reduction of each cluster. Full article
Open AccessArticle Impact of Chlorine Dioxide Gas Sterilization on Nosocomial Organism Viability in a Hospital Room
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2596-2605; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062596
Received: 7 April 2013 / Revised: 3 June 2013 / Accepted: 10 June 2013 / Published: 21 June 2013
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (316 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To evaluate the ability of ClO2 to decontaminate pathogens known to cause healthcare-associated infections in a hospital room strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Staphylococcus aureus were spot placed in duplicate pairs [...] Read more.
To evaluate the ability of ClO2 to decontaminate pathogens known to cause healthcare-associated infections in a hospital room strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis, Mycobacterium smegmatis, and Staphylococcus aureus were spot placed in duplicate pairs at 10 sites throughout a hospital room and then exposed to ClO2 gas. Organisms were collected and evaluated for reduction in colony forming units following gas exposure. Six sterilization cycles with varied gas concentrations, exposure limits, and relative humidity levels were conducted. Reductions in viable organisms achieved ranged from 7 to 10-log reductions. Two sterilization cycles failed to produce complete inactivation of organisms placed in a bathroom with the door closed. Reductions of organisms in the bathroom ranged from 6-log to 10-log reductions. Gas leakage between hospital floors did not occur; however, some minor gas leakage from the door of hospital room was measured which was subsequently sealed to prevent further leakage. Novel technologies for disinfection of hospital rooms require validation and safety testing in clinical environments. Gaseous ClO2 is effective for sterilizing environmental contamination in a hospital room. Concentrations of ClO2 up to 385 ppm were safely maintained in a hospital room with enhanced environmental controls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Determinants of Infectious Disease Transmission)

Review

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Open AccessReview Burnout in Relation to Specific Contributing Factors and Health Outcomes among Nurses: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2214-2240; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062214
Received: 1 March 2013 / Revised: 16 May 2013 / Accepted: 24 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (367 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nurses have been found to experience higher levels of stress-related burnout compared to other health care professionals. Despite studies showing that both job satisfaction and burnout are effects of exposure to stressful working environments, leading to poor health among nurses, little is [...] Read more.
Nurses have been found to experience higher levels of stress-related burnout compared to other health care professionals. Despite studies showing that both job satisfaction and burnout are effects of exposure to stressful working environments, leading to poor health among nurses, little is known about the causal nature and direction of these relationships. The aim of this systematic review is to identify published research that has formally investigated relationships between these variables. Six databases (including CINAHL, COCHRANE, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PROQUEST and PsyINFO) were searched for combinations of keywords, a manual search was conducted and an independent reviewer was asked to cross validate all the electronically identified articles. Of the eighty five articles that were identified from these databases, twenty one articles were excluded based on exclusion criteria; hence, a total of seventy articles were included in the study sample. The majority of identified studies exploring two and three way relationships (n = 63) were conducted in developed countries. Existing research includes predominantly cross-sectional studies (n = 68) with only a few longitudinal studies (n = 2); hence, the evidence base for causality is still very limited. Despite minimal availability of research concerning the small number of studies to investigate the relationships between work-related stress, burnout, job satisfaction and the general health of nurses, this review has identified some contradictory evidence for the role of job satisfaction. This emphasizes the need for further research towards understanding causality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Job Stress and Health)
Figures

Open AccessReview The Social Determinants of Infant Mortality and Birth Outcomes in Western Developed Nations: A Cross-Country Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2296-2335; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062296
Received: 3 February 2013 / Revised: 26 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 May 2013 / Published: 5 June 2013
Cited by 22 | PDF Full-text (387 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Infant mortality (IM) and birth outcomes, key population health indicators, have lifelong implications for individuals, and are unequally distributed globally. Even among western industrialized nations, striking cross-country and within-country patterns are evident. We sought to better understand these variations across and within [...] Read more.
Infant mortality (IM) and birth outcomes, key population health indicators, have lifelong implications for individuals, and are unequally distributed globally. Even among western industrialized nations, striking cross-country and within-country patterns are evident. We sought to better understand these variations across and within the United States of America (USA) and Western Europe (WE), by conceptualizing a social determinants of IM/birth outcomes framework, and systematically reviewing the empirical literature on hypothesized social determinants (e.g., social policies, neighbourhood deprivation, individual socioeconomic status (SES)) and intermediary determinants (e.g., health behaviours). To date, the evidence suggests that income inequality and social policies (e.g., maternal leave policies) may help to explain cross-country variations in IM/birth outcomes. Within countries, the evidence also supports neighbourhood SES (USA, WE) and income inequality (USA) as social determinants. By contrast, within-country social cohesion/social capital has been underexplored. At the individual level, mixed associations have been found between individual SES, race/ethnicity, and selected intermediary factors (e.g., psychosocial factors) with IM/birth outcomes. Meanwhile, this review identifies several methodological gaps, including the underuse of prospective designs and the presence of residual confounding in a number of studies. Ultimately, addressing such gaps including through novel approaches to strengthen causal inference and implementing both health and non-health policies may reduce inequities in IM/birth outcomes across the western developed world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
Figures

Open AccessReview HIV-Infected Adolescent, Young Adult and Pregnant Smokers: Important Targets for Effective Tobacco Control Programs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2471-2499; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062471
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 5 June 2013 / Accepted: 5 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013
PDF Full-text (785 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Tobacco use is inextricably linked to a number of health risks both in the general and HIV-infected populations. There is, however, a dearth of research on effective tobacco control programs among people living with HIV, and especially among adolescents, young adults and [...] Read more.
Tobacco use is inextricably linked to a number of health risks both in the general and HIV-infected populations. There is, however, a dearth of research on effective tobacco control programs among people living with HIV, and especially among adolescents, young adults and pregnant women, groups with heightened or increased vulnerability secondary to tobacco use. Adolescents and young adults constitute a growing population of persons living with HIV infection. Early and continued tobacco use in this population living with a disease characterized by premature onset multimorbidity and chronic inflammation is of concern. Additionally, there is an increased acuity for tobacco control among HIV-infected pregnant women to reduce pregnancy morbidity and improve fetal outcome. This review will provide an important summary of current knowledge of tobacco use among HIV-infected adolescents, young adults and pregnant women. The effects of tobacco use in these specific populations will be presented and the current state of tobacco control within these populations, assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tobacco Control in Vulnerable Population Groups)

Other

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Open AccessCorrection Correction: Chen, Y.-C.; Yeh, H.-C.; Wei, C. Estimation of River Pollution Index in a Tidal Stream Using Kriging Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9, 3085-3100.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2468-2470; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062468
Received: 24 April 2013 / Accepted: 13 June 2013 / Published: 14 June 2013
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Abstract The authors wish to add the following amendments and corrections on their paper published in IJERPH [1]. Full article

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