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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 11, Issue 8 (August 2014), Pages 7562-8611

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Open AccessArticle Artificial Intelligence in Public Health Prevention of Legionelosis in Drinking Water Systems
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8597-8611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808597
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 25 July 2014 / Accepted: 29 July 2014 / Published: 21 August 2014
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Abstract
Good quality water supplies and safe sanitation in urban areas are a big challenge for governments throughout the world. Providing adequate water quality is a basic requirement for our lives. The colony forming units of the bacterium Legionella pneumophila in potable water represent
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Good quality water supplies and safe sanitation in urban areas are a big challenge for governments throughout the world. Providing adequate water quality is a basic requirement for our lives. The colony forming units of the bacterium Legionella pneumophila in potable water represent a big problem which cannot be overlooked for health protection reasons. We analysed several methods to program a virtual hot water tank with AI (artificial intelligence) tools including neuro-fuzzy systems as a precaution against legionelosis. The main goal of this paper is to present research which simulates the temperature profile in the water tank. This research presents a tool for a water management system to simulate conditions which are able to prevent legionelosis outbreaks in a water system. The challenge is to create a virtual water tank simulator including the water environment which can simulate a situation which is common in building water distribution systems. The key feature of the presented system is its adaptation to any hot water tank. While respecting the basic parameters of hot water, a water supplier and building maintainer are required to ensure the predefined quality and water temperature at each sampling site and avoid the growth of Legionella. The presented system is one small contribution how to overcome a situation when legionelosis could find good conditions to spread and jeopardize human lives. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Influence of Surfactant and Lipid Type on the Physicochemical Properties and Biocompatibility of Solid Lipid Nanoparticles
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8581-8596; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808581
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (839 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Nine types of solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) formulations were produced using tripalmitin (TPM), glyceryl monostearate (GM) or stearic acid (SA), stabilized with lecithin S75 and polysorbate 80. Formulations were prepared presenting PI values within 0.25 to 0.30, and the physicochemical properties, stability upon
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Nine types of solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) formulations were produced using tripalmitin (TPM), glyceryl monostearate (GM) or stearic acid (SA), stabilized with lecithin S75 and polysorbate 80. Formulations were prepared presenting PI values within 0.25 to 0.30, and the physicochemical properties, stability upon storage and biocompatibility were evaluated. The average particle size ranged from 116 to 306 nm, with a negative surface charge around −11 mV. SLN presented good stability up to 60 days. The SLN manufactured using SA could not be measured by DLS due to the reflective feature of this formulation. However, TEM images revealed that SA nanoparticles presented square/rod shapes with an approximate size of 100 nm. Regarding biocompatibility aspects, SA nanoparticles showed toxicity in fibroblasts, causing cell death, and produced high hemolytic rates, indicating toxicity to red blood cells. This finding might be related to lipid type, as well as, the shape of the nanoparticles. No morphological alterations and hemolytic effects were observed in cells incubated with SLN containing TPM and GM. The SLN containing TPM and GM showed long-term stability, suggesting good shelf-life. The results indicate high toxicity of SLN prepared with SA, and strongly suggest that the components of the formulation should be analyzed in combination rather than separately to avoid misinterpretation of the results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Histological Lesions, Cell Cycle Arrest, Apoptosis and T Cell Subsets Changes of Spleen in Chicken Fed Aflatoxin-contaminated Corn
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8567-8580; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808567
Received: 11 July 2014 / Revised: 31 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (665 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of corn naturally contaminated with aflatoxin B1 and aflatoxin B2 on pathological lesions, apoptosis, cell cycle phases and T lymphocyte subsets of spleen, and to provide an experimental basis for understanding the mechanism
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of corn naturally contaminated with aflatoxin B1 and aflatoxin B2 on pathological lesions, apoptosis, cell cycle phases and T lymphocyte subsets of spleen, and to provide an experimental basis for understanding the mechanism of aflatoxin-induced immunosuppression. A total of 900 COBB500 male broilers were randomly allocated into five groups with six replicates per group and 30 birds per replicate. The experiment lasted for 6 weeks and the five dietary treatments consisted of control, 25% contaminated corn, 50% contaminated corn, 75% contaminated corn and 100% contaminated corn groups. The histopathological spleen lesions from the contaminated corn groups was characterized as congestion of red pulp, increased necrotic cells and vacuoles in the splenic corpuscle and periarterial lymphatic sheath. The contaminated corn intake significantly increased relative weight of spleen, percentages of apoptotic splenocytes, induced cell cycle arrest of splenocytes, increased the percentages of CD3+CD8+ T cells and decreased the ratios of CD3+CD4+ to CD3+CD8+. The results suggest that AFB-induced immunosuppression maybe closely related to the lesions of spleen. Full article
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Open AccessArticle HIV Risky Sexual Behaviors and HIV Infection Among Immigrants: A Cross-Sectional Study in Lisbon, Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8552-8566; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808552
Received: 1 July 2014 / Revised: 23 July 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed to examine risky sexual behavior, its associated factors and HIV infection among immigrants. A participatory cross-sectional survey was conducted with 1187 immigrants at the National Immigrant Support Centre, in Lisbon (52.2% female; 34.0% Africans, 33.8% Brazilians, 32.2% Eastern Europeans). About
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This study aimed to examine risky sexual behavior, its associated factors and HIV infection among immigrants. A participatory cross-sectional survey was conducted with 1187 immigrants at the National Immigrant Support Centre, in Lisbon (52.2% female; 34.0% Africans, 33.8% Brazilians, 32.2% Eastern Europeans). About 38% of participants reported ≥2 sexual partners in the previous year, 16.2% both regular and occasional sexual partners (last 12 months), 33.1% inconsistent condom use with occasional partners, and 64% no condom use in the last sexual intercourse. Unprotected sex in the last sexual intercourse was more likely among women, Africans, those older, with elementary education, those married and those who didn’t receive free condoms in the previous year. No condom use was less likely among those having only occasional sexual partners and both regular and occasional sexual partners. One third of participants had never been tested for HIV. Those never tested reported more frequently inconsistent condom use than those ever tested. Overall, 2.0% reported being HIV positive (2.5% of men; 4.4% of Africans); 4.3% admitted having a STI in previous year. HIV-positive immigrants reported high-risk sexual behaviors. Tailored interventions to promote awareness of HIV serostatus among immigrants as well as culturally adapted risk reduction strategies should be strengthened. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
Open AccessArticle Human Leptospirosis Trends: Northeast Thailand, 2001–2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8542-8551; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808542
Received: 29 May 2014 / Revised: 30 July 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (422 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The objective of this study was to determine the changing trend of leptospirosis over time in Thailand using two prospective hospital-based studies conducted amongst adult patients with acute undifferentiated fever (AUFI) admitted to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand between July
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The objective of this study was to determine the changing trend of leptospirosis over time in Thailand using two prospective hospital-based studies conducted amongst adult patients with acute undifferentiated fever (AUFI) admitted to Maharat Nakhon Ratchasima Hospital, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand between July 2001 to December 2002 and between July 2011 to December 2012. During the first period, leptospirosis (98 patients, 40%) and scrub typhus (59 patients, 24.1%) were the two major causes of AUFI. In the second period, scrub typhus (137 patients, 28.3%) was found to be more common than leptospirosis (61 patients, 12.7%). Amongst patients with leptospirosis, the proportion of male patients and the median age were similar. Leptospira interrogans serogroup Autumnalis was the major infecting serogroup in both study periods. The case fatality rate of leptospirosis was significantly higher in 2011–2012 as compared with the case fatality rate in 2001–2002 (19.7% vs. 6.3%, p < 0.001). In summary, we found that number of leptospirosis cases had decreased over time. This trend is similar to reportable data for leptospirosis complied from passive surveillance by the Ministry of Public Health, Thailand. However, the case fatality rate of severe leptospirosis has increased. Severe lung hemorrhage associated with leptospirosis remained the major cause of death. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leptospirosis in the Animal—Human-Ecosystem Interface)
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Open AccessArticle An Early Warning System Based on Syndromic Surveillance to Detect Potential Health Emergencies among Migrants: Results of a Two-Year Experience in Italy
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8529-8541; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808529
Received: 26 June 2014 / Revised: 29 July 2014 / Accepted: 8 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Profound geopolitical changes have impacted the southern and eastern Mediterranean since 2010 and defined a context of instability that is still affecting several countries today. Insecurity combined with the reduction of border controls has led to major population movements in the region and
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Profound geopolitical changes have impacted the southern and eastern Mediterranean since 2010 and defined a context of instability that is still affecting several countries today. Insecurity combined with the reduction of border controls has led to major population movements in the region and to migration surges from affected countries to southern Europe, especially to Italy. To respond to the humanitarian emergency triggered by this migration surge, Italy implemented a syndromic surveillance system in order to rapidly detect potential public health emergencies in immigrant reception centres. This system was discontinued after two years. This paper presents the results of this experience detailing its strengths and weaknesses in order to document the applicability and usefulness of syndromic surveillance in this specific context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health)
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Open AccessArticle Research on Chinese Life Cycle-Based Wind Power Plant Environmental Influence Prevention Measures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8508-8528; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808508
Received: 7 July 2014 / Revised: 8 August 2014 / Accepted: 11 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
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Abstract
The environmental impact of wind power plants over their life cycle is divided into three stages: construction period, operation period and retired period. The impact is mainly reflected in ecological destruction, noise pollution, water pollution and the effect on bird migration. In response
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The environmental impact of wind power plants over their life cycle is divided into three stages: construction period, operation period and retired period. The impact is mainly reflected in ecological destruction, noise pollution, water pollution and the effect on bird migration. In response to these environmental effects, suggesting reasonable locations, reducing plant footprint, optimizing construction programs, shielding noise, preventing pollution of terrestrial ecosystems, implementing combined optical and acoustical early warning signals, making synthesized use of power generation equipment in the post-retired period and using other specific measures, including methods involving governance and protection efforts to reduce environmental pollution, can be performed to achieve sustainable development. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects and Risk Evaluation of Oil Spillage in the Sea Areas of Changxing Island
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8491-8507; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808491
Received: 12 May 2014 / Revised: 30 June 2014 / Accepted: 1 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (879 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper evaluated the oil spillage risk in the waters near the island of Changxing in Dalian (China) based on the established risk assessment index. Four wind regimes (windless, northerly wind, westerly wind and southerly wind) were selected as weather conditions for the
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This paper evaluated the oil spillage risk in the waters near the island of Changxing in Dalian (China) based on the established risk assessment index. Four wind regimes (windless, northerly wind, westerly wind and southerly wind) were selected as weather conditions for the dynamic prediction of oil drift. If an oil spill occurs near the Koumen (a place near the island of Changxing), the forecast and evaluation are conducted based on a three-dimensional mathematical model of oil spillage, and the results obtained show the scope of the affected area when winds from various directions are applied. The oil spillage would, under various conditions, flow into the northern and western sea area of Changxing Island Bay, namely the Dalian harbor seal National Nature Reserve, and create adverse effects on the marine ecological environment. The rationality of combining the established oil spillage risk comprehensive index system with model prediction is further confirmed. Finally, preventive measures and quick fixes are presented in the case of accidental oil spillages. The most effective method to reduce environment risk is to adopt reasonable preventive measures and quick fixes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
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Open AccessArticle The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project — A Community-Level, Public Health Initiative to Build Community Disaster Resilience
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8475-8490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808475
Received: 20 June 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 14 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (1141 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public health officials need evidence-based methods for improving community disaster resilience and strategies for measuring results. This methods paper describes how one public health department is addressing this problem. This paper provides a detailed description of the theoretical rationale, intervention design and novel
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Public health officials need evidence-based methods for improving community disaster resilience and strategies for measuring results. This methods paper describes how one public health department is addressing this problem. This paper provides a detailed description of the theoretical rationale, intervention design and novel evaluation of the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project (LACCDR), a public health program for increasing community disaster resilience. The LACCDR Project utilizes a pretest–posttest method with control group design. Sixteen communities in Los Angeles County were selected and randomly assigned to the experimental community resilience group or the comparison group. Community coalitions in the experimental group receive training from a public health nurse trained in community resilience in a toolkit developed for the project. The toolkit is grounded in theory and uses multiple components to address education, community engagement, community and individual self-sufficiency, and partnerships among community organizations and governmental agencies. The comparison communities receive training in traditional disaster preparedness topics of disaster supplies and emergency communication plans. Outcome indicators include longitudinal changes in inter-organizational linkages among community organizations, community member responses in table-top exercises, and changes in household level community resilience behaviors and attitudes. The LACCDR Project is a significant opportunity and effort to operationalize and meaningfully measure factors and strategies to increase community resilience. This paper is intended to provide public health and academic researchers with new tools to conduct their community resilience programs and evaluation research. Results are not yet available and will be presented in future reports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preparedness and Emergency Response)
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Open AccessArticle Size Matters — Determinants of Modern, Community-Oriented Mental Health Services
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8456-8474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808456
Received: 17 June 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 8 August 2014 / Published: 19 August 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (779 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Governances, structures and contents of mental health services are being reformed across countries. There is a need for data to support those changes. The aim of this study was to explore the quality, i.e., diversity and community orientation, and quantity, i.e.,
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Governances, structures and contents of mental health services are being reformed across countries. There is a need for data to support those changes. The aim of this study was to explore the quality, i.e., diversity and community orientation, and quantity, i.e., personnel resources, of mental health and substance abuse services (MHS) and evaluate correlation between population needs and quality and quantity of MHS. The European Service Mapping Schedule—Revised (ESMS-R) was used to classify mental health and substance abuse services in southern Finland. Municipal-level aggregate data, local data on unemployment rate, length of education, age of retirement, proportion of single households, alcohol sales and a composite mental health index were used as indicators of population mental health needs. Population size correlated strongly with service diversity, explaining 84% of the variance. Personnel resources did not associate with diversity or community orientation. The indicators of mental health services need did not have the expected association with quality and quantity of services. In terms of service organization, the results may support larger population bases, at least 150,000 adult inhabitants, when aiming for higher diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Care)
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Open AccessArticle The Joint Influence of Gender and Amount of Smoking on Weight Gain One Year after Smoking Cessation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8443-8455; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808443
Received: 27 May 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 August 2014 / Published: 18 August 2014
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (599 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Weight gain is often associated with smoking cessation and may discourage smokers from quitting. This study estimated the weight gained one year after smoking cessation and examined the risk factors associated with weight gain in order to identify socio-demographic groups at higher risk
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Weight gain is often associated with smoking cessation and may discourage smokers from quitting. This study estimated the weight gained one year after smoking cessation and examined the risk factors associated with weight gain in order to identify socio-demographic groups at higher risk of increased weight after quitting. We analyzed data from 750 adults in two randomized controlled studies that included smokers motivated to quit and found a gradient in weight gain according to the actual duration of abstinence during follow-up. Subjects who were abstinent for at least 40 weeks gained 4.6 kg (SD = 3.8) on average, compared to 1.2 kg (SD = 2.6) for those who were abstinent less than 20 weeks during the 1-year follow-up. Considering the duration of abstinence as an exposure variable, we found an age effect and a significant interaction between sex and the amount of smoking before quitting: younger subjects gained more weight than older subjects; among light smokers, men gained more weight on average than women one year after quitting, while the opposite was observed among heavy smokers. Young women smoking heavily at baseline had the highest risk of weight gain after quitting. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Maternal Mercury Exposure, Season of Conception and Adverse Birth Outcomes in an Urban Immigrant Community in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8414-8442; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808414
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 23 July 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 18 August 2014
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (674 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth (PTB: <37 weeks gestation) and low birth weight (LBW: <2500 g) can result in severe infant morbidity and mortality. In the United States, there are racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of PTB and LBW. We
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Adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth (PTB: <37 weeks gestation) and low birth weight (LBW: <2500 g) can result in severe infant morbidity and mortality. In the United States, there are racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of PTB and LBW. We investigated the association between PTB and LBW with prenatal mercury (Hg) exposure and season of conception in an urban immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York. We recruited 191 pregnant women aged 18–45 in a Brooklyn Prenatal Clinic and followed them until delivery. Urine specimens were collected from the participants during the 6th to 9th month of pregnancy. Cord blood specimens and neonate anthropometric data were collected at birth. We used multivariate logistic regression models to investigate the odds of LBW or PTB with either maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We used linear regression models to investigate the association between continuous anthropometric outcomes and maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We also examined the association between LBW and PTB and the season that pregnancy began. Results showed higher rates of PTB and LBW in this cohort of women compared to other studies. Pregnancies beginning in winter (December, January, February) were at increased odds of LBW births compared with births from pregnancies that began in all other months (OR7.52 [95% CI 1.65, 34.29]). We observed no association between maternal exposure to Hg, and either LBW or PTB. The apparent lack of association is consistent with other studies. Further examination of seasonal association with LBW is warranted. Full article
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Open AccessReview Impact of Bisphenol A on the Cardiovascular System — Epidemiological and Experimental Evidence and Molecular Mechanisms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8399-8413; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808399
Received: 6 June 2014 / Revised: 28 July 2014 / Accepted: 7 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
Cited by 28 | PDF Full-text (385 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous plasticizing agent used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. There is well-documented and broad human exposure to BPA. The potential risk that BPA poses to the human health has attracted much attention from regulatory
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Bisphenol A (BPA) is a ubiquitous plasticizing agent used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. There is well-documented and broad human exposure to BPA. The potential risk that BPA poses to the human health has attracted much attention from regulatory agencies and the general public, and has been extensively studied. An emerging and rapidly growing area in the study of BPA’s toxicity is its impact on the cardiovascular (CV) system. Recent epidemiological studies have shown that higher urinary BPA concentration in humans is associated with various types of CV diseases, including angina, hypertension, heart attack and coronary and peripheral arterial disease. Experimental studies have demonstrated that acute BPA exposure promotes the development of arrhythmias in female rodent hearts. Chronic exposure to BPA has been shown to result in cardiac remodeling, atherosclerosis, and altered blood pressure in rodents. The underlying mechanisms may involve alteration of cardiac Ca2+ handling, ion channel inhibition/activation, oxidative stress, and genome/transcriptome modifications. In this review, we discuss these recent findings that point to the potential CV toxicity of BPA, and highlight the knowledge gaps in this growing research area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Practical Barriers and Ethical Challenges in Genetic Data Sharing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8383-8398; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808383
Received: 1 August 2014 / Accepted: 12 August 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (560 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The underlying ethos of dbGaP is that access to these data by secondary data analysts facilitates advancement of science. NIH has required that genome-wide association study data be deposited in the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) since 2003. In 2013, a proposed
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The underlying ethos of dbGaP is that access to these data by secondary data analysts facilitates advancement of science. NIH has required that genome-wide association study data be deposited in the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) since 2003. In 2013, a proposed updated policy extended this requirement to next-generation sequencing data. However, recent literature and anecdotal reports suggest lingering logistical and ethical concerns about subject identifiability, informed consent, publication embargo enforcement, and difficulty in accessing dbGaP data. We surveyed the International Genetic Epidemiology Society (IGES) membership about their experiences. One hundred and seventy five (175) individuals completed the survey, a response rate of 27%. Of respondents who received data from dbGaP (43%), only 32% perceived the application process as easy but most (75%) received data within five months. Remaining challenges include difficulty in identifying an institutional signing official and an overlong application process. Only 24% of respondents had contributed data to dbGaP. Of these, 31% reported local IRB restrictions on data release; an additional 15% had to reconsent study participants before depositing data. The majority of respondents (56%) disagreed that the publication embargo period was sufficient. In response, we recommend longer embargo periods and use of varied data-sharing models rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Epidemiology)
Open AccessArticle Utility and Cutoff Value of Hair Nicotine as a Biomarker of Long-Term Tobacco Smoke Exposure, Compared to Salivary Cotinine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(8), 8368-8382; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph110808368
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 22 July 2014 / Accepted: 29 July 2014 / Published: 15 August 2014
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (735 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
While hair samples are easier to collect and less expensive to store and transport than biological fluids, and hair nicotine characterizes tobacco exposure over a longer time period than blood or urine cotinine, information on its utility, compared with salivary cotinine, is still
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While hair samples are easier to collect and less expensive to store and transport than biological fluids, and hair nicotine characterizes tobacco exposure over a longer time period than blood or urine cotinine, information on its utility, compared with salivary cotinine, is still limited. We conducted a cross-sectional study with 289 participants (107 active smokers, 105 passive smokers with self-reported secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure, and 77 non-smokers with no SHS exposure) in Baltimore (Maryland, USA). A subset of the study participants (n = 52) were followed longitudinally over a two-month interval. Median baseline hair nicotine concentrations for active, passive and non-smokers were 16.2, 0.36, and 0.23 ng/mg, respectively, while those for salivary cotinine were 181.0, 0.27, and 0.27 ng/mL, respectively. Hair nicotine concentrations for 10% of passive or non-smokers were higher than the 25th percentile value for active smokers while all corresponding salivary cotinine concentrations for them were lower than the value for active smokers. This study showed that hair nicotine concentration values could be used to distinguish active or heavy passive adult smokers from non-SHS exposed non-smokers. Our results indicate that hair nicotine is a useful biomarker for the assessment of long-term exposure to tobacco smoke. Full article
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