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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 9 (September 2017)

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Cover Story Mosquitoes spread devastating human diseases including malaria, dengue and Zika. Mosquito control [...] Read more.
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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1088; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091088
Received: 13 September 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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Abstract
This Special Issue of IJERPH focuses on maternal and child health (MCH), with research that highlights the role of environmental influences on MCH across a range of settings.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review, Other

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Exposure Modelling of Extremely Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields from Overhead Power Lines and Its Validation by Measurements
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 949; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090949
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 10 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
PDF Full-text (10165 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A three-dimensional model for calculating long term exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields from high-voltage overhead power lines is presented, as well as its validation by measurements. For the validation, the model was applied to two different high-voltage overhead power lines in Iffwil
[...] Read more.
A three-dimensional model for calculating long term exposure to extremely low-frequency magnetic fields from high-voltage overhead power lines is presented, as well as its validation by measurements. For the validation, the model was applied to two different high-voltage overhead power lines in Iffwil and Wiler (Switzerland). In order to capture the daily and seasonal variations, each measurement was taken for 48 h and the measurements were carried out six times at each site, at intervals of approximately two months, between January and December 2015. During each measurement, a lateral transect of the magnetic flux density was determined in the middle of a span from nine measurement points in the range of ±80 m. The technical data of both the lines as well as the load flow data during the measurement periods were provided by the grid operators. These data were used to calculate 48 h averages of the absolute value of the magnetic flux density and compared with modelled values. The highest 48 h average was 1.66 µT (centre of the line in Iffwil); the lowest 48 h average was 22 nT (80 m distance from the centre line in Iffwil). On average, the magnetic flux density was overestimated by 2% (standard deviation: 9%) in Iffwil and underestimated by 1% (8%) in Wiler. Sensitivity analyses showed that the uncertainty is mainly driven by errors in the coordinates and height data. In particular, for predictions near the centre of the line, an accurate digital terrain model is critical. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Association between Air Pollution and Population Health Risk for Respiratory Infection: A Case Study of Shenzhen, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 950; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090950
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Nowadays, most of the research on air pollution and its adverse effects on public health in China has focused on megacities and heavily-polluted regions. Fewer studies have focused on cities that are slightly polluted. Shenzhen used to have a favorable air environment, but
[...] Read more.
Nowadays, most of the research on air pollution and its adverse effects on public health in China has focused on megacities and heavily-polluted regions. Fewer studies have focused on cities that are slightly polluted. Shenzhen used to have a favorable air environment, but its air quality has deteriorated gradually as a result of development in recent years. So far, no systematic investigations have been conducted on the adverse effects of air pollution on public health in Shenzhen. This research has applied a time series analysis model to study the possible association between different types of air pollution and respiratory hospital admission in Shenzhen in 2013. Respiratory hospital admission was divided into two categories for comparison analysis among various population groups: acute upper respiratory infection and acute lower respiratory infection. The results showed that short-term exposure to ambient air pollution was significantly associated with acute respiratory infection hospital admission in Shenzhen in 2013. Children under 14 years old were the main susceptible population of acute respiratory infection due to air pollution. PM10, PM2.5 and NO2 were the primary air pollutants threatening respiratory health in Shenzhen. Though air pollution level is generally relatively low in Shenzhen, it will benefit public health to control the pollution of particulate matter as well as other gaseous pollutants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ambient Air Pollution and Health Vulnerability)
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Open AccessArticle Aflatoxin B1 Contamination in Chicken Livers and Gizzards from Industrial and Small Abattoirs, Measured by ELISA Technique in Maputo, Mozambique
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 951; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090951
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 12 July 2017 / Accepted: 18 July 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Aflatoxins are the most toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus species. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in industrial and local chicken livers and gizzards in Maputo was investigated. One hundred boiler livers and 80 boiler gizzards were collected from industrial and local cutting
[...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are the most toxic and carcinogenic mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus species. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination in industrial and local chicken livers and gizzards in Maputo was investigated. One hundred boiler livers and 80 boiler gizzards were collected from industrial and local cutting poultry production sectors. The samples were analyzed by the ELISA method (MaxSignal®, Bioo Scientific Corporation). AFB1 was found in 39% of liver samples and 13.8% of gizzards, with mean levels of 1.73 µg/kg and 1.07 µg/kg, respectively. The frequency of contamination and AFB1 levels in samples from local sector producers was not significantly higher than those from industrial sector producers (p > 0.05). No correlation was found (p = 0.493; r2 = 0.013) between AFB1 levels in livers and hepatic weights. The AFB1 levels were lower than the allowed limits, suggesting that these products do not pose high risk to consumers. Notwithstanding, there is a need to implement aflatoxin residue monitoring and controls in all chicken meat products; this economic and efficient technique appears to be valuable for improved food safety in Mozambique. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mycotoxins in the Agri-Food Chain)
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Open AccessArticle Self-Rated Health Status and Cardiorespiratory Fitness in a Sample of Schoolchildren from Bogotá, Colombia. The FUPRECOL Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 952; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090952
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
To evaluate the relationship between Self-Rated Health (SRH) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in a sample of children and adolescents enrolled in official schools in Bogotá, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was performed with 7402 children and adolescents between 9 and 17 years of age.
[...] Read more.
To evaluate the relationship between Self-Rated Health (SRH) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in a sample of children and adolescents enrolled in official schools in Bogotá, Colombia. A cross-sectional study was performed with 7402 children and adolescents between 9 and 17 years of age. Participants were asked to rate their health based on eight validated questions, addressing the participants propensity for headache, stomach-ache, backache, feeling-low, irritability/bad mood, nervousness, sleeping-difficulties, and dizziness. The choices were “rarely or never”, “almost every month”, “almost every week”, and “more than once a week/about every day”. Participants performed the international course-navette shuttle run test to estimate CRF, and cut-off points for age and gender were used to categorize the healthy/unhealthy fitness zone according to the FITNESSGRAM® criteria. Overall, 16.4% of those surveyed reported a perception of irritability/bad mood “more than once a week/about every day”, followed by feeling-low and nervousness (both with 9.9%). Dizziness had the lowest prevalence with a percentage of 6.9%. Unhealthy CRF in boys increased the likelihood of headaches by 1.20 times, stomach aches by 1.31 times, feeling-low by 1.29 times, nervousness by 1.24 times, and dizziness by 1.29 times. In girls, unhealthy CRF increased the likelihood of headaches by 1.19 times, backache by 1.26 times, feeling-low by 1.28 times, irritability/bad mood by 1.17 times, sleeping-difficulties by 1.20 times, and dizziness by 1.27 times. SRH was associated with CRF in both genders. Early identification of children and adolescents with low CRF levels will permit interventions to promote healthy behaviors and prevent future diseases during adulthood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Exercise Science and Health)
Open AccessArticle Does Physical Activity Mediate the Associations Between Local-Area Descriptive Norms, Built Environment Walkability, and Glycosylated Hemoglobin?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 953; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090953
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 23 August 2017
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Abstract
Associations between local-area residential features and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) may be mediated by individual-level health behaviors. Such indirect effects have rarely been tested. This study assessed whether individual-level self-reported physical activity mediated the influence of local-area descriptive norms and objectively expressed
[...] Read more.
Associations between local-area residential features and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) may be mediated by individual-level health behaviors. Such indirect effects have rarely been tested. This study assessed whether individual-level self-reported physical activity mediated the influence of local-area descriptive norms and objectively expressed walkability on 10-year change in HbA1c. HbA1c was assessed three times for adults in a 10-year population-based biomedical cohort (n = 4056). Local-area norms specific to each participant were calculated, aggregating responses from a separate statewide surveillance survey for 1600 m road-network buffers centered on participant addresses (local prevalence of overweight/obesity (body mass index ≥25 kg/m2) and physical inactivity (<150 min/week)). Separate latent growth models estimated direct and indirect (through physical activity) effects of local-area exposures on change in HbA1c, accounting for spatial clustering and covariates (individual-level age, sex, smoking status, marital status, employment and education, and area-level median household income). HbA1c worsened over time. Local-area norms directly and indirectly predicted worsening HbA1c trajectories. Walkability was directly and indirectly protective of worsening HbA1c. Local-area descriptive norms and walkability influence cardiometabolic risk trajectory through individual-level physical activity. Efforts to reduce population cardiometabolic risk should consider the extent of local-area unhealthful behavioral norms and walkability in tailoring strategies to improve physical activity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Consumption of Energy Drinks among Undergraduate Students in Taiwan: Related Factors and Associations with Substance Use
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 954; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090954
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 15 August 2017 / Accepted: 17 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Background: This study aimed to investigate the consumption of energy drinks and associated factors among undergraduate students in Taiwan. Methods: Data came from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2015. Eligible participants completed a self-administered questionnaire assessing use and perceptions of energy
[...] Read more.
Background: This study aimed to investigate the consumption of energy drinks and associated factors among undergraduate students in Taiwan. Methods: Data came from a cross-sectional survey conducted in 2015. Eligible participants completed a self-administered questionnaire assessing use and perceptions of energy drinks, tobacco, alcohol, and betel nut. Results: Among 606 surveyed undergraduate students, 24.8% reported consuming energy drinks in the past 30 days. The major reasons for use included keeping alert at work (48.7%), being curious about the products (32.0%), enjoying the flavor (31.3%), or preparing for school exams (26.7%). Among energy drink users, half have never read the nutrition label, and 15.3% reported that they had ever mixed energy drinks with alcohol. Most participants showed negative attitudes toward using tobacco, alcohol, or betel nut, while 54.1% reported positive attitudes toward consuming energy drinks. Being male, living away from parents’ home, tobacco use, alcohol use, and positive perceptions of energy drink’s effects significantly predicted energy drink consumption. Conclusions: In addition to exploring motivations of energy drink consumption in undergraduate students in Taiwan, the study findings indicated that energy drink consumption might relate to the use of tobacco and alcohol, which should be taken into account in substance use prevention programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Modulatory Effect of Methanol Extract of Piper guineense in CCl4-Induced Hepatotoxicity in Male Rats
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 955; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090955
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
This study seeks to investigate the possible protective role of the methanol extract of Piper guineense seeds against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in an animal model. Hepatotoxicity was induced by administering oral doses of CCl4 (1.2 g/kg bw) three times a week
[...] Read more.
This study seeks to investigate the possible protective role of the methanol extract of Piper guineense seeds against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in an animal model. Hepatotoxicity was induced by administering oral doses of CCl4 (1.2 g/kg bw) three times a week for three weeks. Group 1 (Control) and Group 2 (CCl4) were left untreated; Piper guineense (PG; 400 mg/kg bw) was administered to Group 3 (T1) by oral gavage for 14 days prior to the administration of CCl4 and simultaneously with CCl4; PG (400 mg/kg bw) was administered simultaneously with CCl4 in Group 4 (T2); and Livolin forte (20 mg/kg bw) was administered simultaneously with CCl4 in Group 5 (T3), the standard drug group. The administration of CCl4 induces histopathological alteration in the liver, with concomitant increased activities of serum hepatic marker enzymes associated with increased levels of lipid peroxidation. Similarly, there was decrease in non-enzymatic (reduced glutathione) and enzymatic antioxidants (glutathione S-transferase), superoxide dismutase, and catalase. An elevation in serum triglyceride and total cholesterol levels was noticed along with decreased levels of serum total protein. Treatment with PG 400 mg/kg bw exhibited excellent modulatory activity with respect to the different parameters studied by reversing all the above-mentioned biochemical changes significantly in the experimental animals. These results suggest that PG offered protection comparable to that of Livolin forte with better efficacy when pre-treated with 400 mg/kg bw 14 days prior to CCl4-exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Positive Rates and Factors Associated with Abnormal Lung Function of Greenhouse Workers in China: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 956; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090956
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
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Abstract
Since the number of greenhouse workers are increasing in China, this observational cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate lung function and discuss the potential risk factors, to provide evidence in the surveillance of greenhouse workers’ health. 678 greenhouse workers in Gansu Province, China
[...] Read more.
Since the number of greenhouse workers are increasing in China, this observational cross-sectional study was designed to evaluate lung function and discuss the potential risk factors, to provide evidence in the surveillance of greenhouse workers’ health. 678 greenhouse workers in Gansu Province, China were enrolled. A questionnaire which included demographic and occupational information was used. Vital capacity (VC), forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1), and FEV1:FVC ratios (FEV1/FVC), maximal expiratory flow after 50% of the FVC has not been exhaled (MEF50), maximal expiratory flow after 25% of the FVC has not been exhaled (MEF25) and maximal mid-expiratory flow curve (MMEF) were measured as lung function indicators. The mean values and standard deviations (SDs) of VC% predicted, FVC% predicted, FEV1% predicted and FEV1/FVC ratio were 106.07 ± 13.36, 107.60 ± 13.95, 97.19 ± 14.80 and 89.76 ± 10.78 respectively. The positive rates of above four and abnormal lung ventilation function were 2.9%, 2.8%, 11.2%, 4.6% and 6.5% respectively. Gender, age, BMI and number of greenhouses owned were influence factors of lung ventilation function (p < 0.05). The mean values and SDs of MEF50% predicted, MEF25% predicted and MMEF% predicted were 69.63 ± 24.95, 54.04 ± 24.94 and 66.81 ± 24.53. The positive rates of above three and abnormal small airway function were 45.0%, 72.1%, 47.2% and 49.4% respectively. Age, education and number of greenhouses owned were influence factors for small airway function (p < 0.05). Working in a greenhouse might influence lung function of the workers. Small airway function indicators could be used as priority indicators for the surveillance of greenhouse workers’ health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
Open AccessArticle Longitudinal Impact of Hurricane Sandy Exposure on Mental Health Symptoms
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 957; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090957
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 24 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (504 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern coast of the United States in October 2012, causing billions of dollars in damage and acute physical and mental health problems. The long-term mental health consequences of the storm and their predictors have not been studied. New York
[...] Read more.
Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern coast of the United States in October 2012, causing billions of dollars in damage and acute physical and mental health problems. The long-term mental health consequences of the storm and their predictors have not been studied. New York City and Long Island residents completed questionnaires regarding their initial Hurricane Sandy exposure and mental health symptoms at baseline and 1 year later (N = 130). There were statistically significant decreases in anxiety scores (mean difference = −0.33, p < 0.01) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) scores (mean difference = −1.98, p = 0.001) between baseline and follow-up. Experiencing a combination of personal and property damage was positively associated with long-term PTSD symptoms (ORadj 1.2, 95% CI [1.1–1.4]) but not with anxiety or depression. Having anxiety, depression, or PTSD at baseline was a significant predictor of persistent anxiety (ORadj 2.8 95% CI [1.1–6.8], depression (ORadj 7.4 95% CI [2.3–24.1) and PTSD (ORadj 4.1 95% CI [1.1–14.6]) at follow-up. Exposure to Hurricane Sandy has an impact on PTSD symptoms that persists over time. Given the likelihood of more frequent and intense hurricanes due to climate change, future hurricane recovery efforts must consider the long-term effects of hurricane exposure on mental health, especially on PTSD, when providing appropriate assistance and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health and Environmental Exposures)
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Open AccessArticle Phytostabilization—Management Strategy for Stabilizing Trace Elements in Contaminated Soils
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 958; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090958
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Contamination of soil by copper (Cu) has become a serious problem throughout the world, causing the reduction of agricultural yield and harmful effects on human health by entering the food chain. A glasshouse pot experiment was designed to evaluate the potential use of
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Contamination of soil by copper (Cu) has become a serious problem throughout the world, causing the reduction of agricultural yield and harmful effects on human health by entering the food chain. A glasshouse pot experiment was designed to evaluate the potential use of halloysite as an immobilizing agent in the aided phytostabilization of Cu-contaminated soil, using Festuca rubra L. The content of Cu in plants, i.e., total and extracted by 0.01 M CaCl2, was determined using the method of spectrophotometry. Cu content in the tested parts of F. rubra differed significantly when halloysite was applied to the soil, as well as with increasing concentrations of Cu. The addition of halloysite significantly increased plant biomass. Cu accumulated in the roots, thereby reducing its toxicity to the aerial parts of the plant. The obtained values of bioconcentration and translocation factors observed for halloysite treatment indicate the effectiveness of using F. rubra in phytostabilization techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Social Environment of Older People during the First Year in Senior Housing and Its Association with Physical Performance
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 960; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090960
Received: 27 June 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Increasing numbers of older people relocate into senior housing when their physical performance declines. The change in social environment is known to affect their wellbeing, providing both challenges and opportunities, but more information on the relations between social and physical parameters is required.
[...] Read more.
Increasing numbers of older people relocate into senior housing when their physical performance declines. The change in social environment is known to affect their wellbeing, providing both challenges and opportunities, but more information on the relations between social and physical parameters is required. Thus, we elicited perceptions of the social environment of 81 older people (aged 59–93 years, living in northern Finland) and changes in it 3 and 12 months after relocation to senior housing. We also measured their physical performance, then analysed associations between the social and physical variables. Participants reported that they had freedom to do whatever they liked and generally had enough contact with close people (which have recognized importance for older people’s wellbeing), but changes in their physical condition limited their social activity. Moreover, their usual walking speed, dominant hand’s grip strength and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) significantly decreased. The pleasantness of the residential community, peer support, constraints on social activity imposed by changes in physical condition, meaningful activity at home and meeting close people all affected these physical performance parameters. Clearly, in addition to assessing physical performance and encouraging regular exercise, the complex interactions among social factors, physical performance and wellbeing should be considered when addressing individuals’ needs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Contaminations, Sources, and Health Risks of Trace Metal(loid)s in Street Dust of a Small City Impacted by Artisanal Zn Smelting Activities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 961; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090961
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 19 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
To investigate the impact of artisanal zinc smelting activities (AZSA) on the distribution and enrichment of trace metal(loid)s in street dust of a small city in Guizhou province, SW China, street dust samples were collected and analyzed for 10 trace metal(loid)s (Cr, Co,
[...] Read more.
To investigate the impact of artisanal zinc smelting activities (AZSA) on the distribution and enrichment of trace metal(loid)s in street dust of a small city in Guizhou province, SW China, street dust samples were collected and analyzed for 10 trace metal(loid)s (Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Cd, Sb, Pb, and Hg). Meanwhile, the health risks of local resident exposed to street dust were assessed. The result showed that the average concentrations of 10 elements were Zn (1039 mg kg−1), Pb (423 mg kg−1), Cr (119 mg kg−1), Cu (99 mg kg−1), As (55 mg kg−1), Ni (39 mg kg−1), Co (18 mg kg−1), Sb (7.6 mg kg−1), Cd (2.6 mg kg−1), and Hg (0.22 mg kg−1). Except Ni, Co, and Cr, other elements in street dust were obviously elevated compared to the provincial soil background. Pb, Zn, Cd, Sb, and Cu were at heavy to moderate contamination status, especially Pb and Zn, with maximums of 1723 and 708 mg kg−1, respectively; As and Hg were slightly contaminated; while Cr, Ni, and Co were at un-contaminated levels. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed AZSA contributed to the increase of Pb, Zn, Cd, Sb, As, and Hg, while, natural sources introduced Ni, Co, Cr, and Cu. The health risk assessment disclosed that children had higher non-carcinogenic risk than those found in adults, and As has hazardous index (HI) higher than 1 both for children and adults, while Pb and Cr only had HIs higher than 1 for children, other elements were relatively safe. For carcinogenic risks, the major concern was As, then a lesser concern for Cr. The study showed that although the scale of AZSA was small, the contamination of heavy metal(loid)s in street dust and associated health risks were severe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Geochemistry and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Relationships between Safe Pesticide Practice and Perceived Benefits and Subjective Norm, and the Moderation Role of Information Acquisition: Evidence from 971 Farmers in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 962; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090962
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 25 August 2017
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Abstract
Improper use of pesticides among farmers has caused food safety issues which are serious threats to public health in China. A central question concerns how to motivate farmers to self-regulate their pesticide usage. The paper aims to identify the influence of an internal
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Improper use of pesticides among farmers has caused food safety issues which are serious threats to public health in China. A central question concerns how to motivate farmers to self-regulate their pesticide usage. The paper aims to identify the influence of an internal driving factor, i.e., perceived benefits, and an external driving factor, i.e., subjective norm, on farmers’ safe pesticide behaviors, and whether the two factors are moderated by the exposure to information on government policies and the market, based on a sample of 971 farmers selected from 5 Chinese provinces. The results revealed that farmers’ safe pesticide usage was predominately driven by perceived benefits whereas external pressure or subjective norm did not play much of a role. Interaction effects were found between the exposure to market information and perceived benefits, and also between subjective norm and exposure to government policy. Extensions agencies are recommended to effectively convey to farmers the benefits to follow safe pesticide practices. Meanwhile, surveillance and monitoring systems should be established so that the prices of their agricultural products are reflected by the quality of the products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Open AccessArticle Increase of Elderly Population in the Rainstorm Hazard Areas of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 963; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090963
Received: 10 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
In light of global warming, increased extreme precipitation events have enlarged the population exposed to floods to some extent. Extreme precipitation risk assessments are of great significance in China and allow for the response to climate change and mitigation of risks to the
[...] Read more.
In light of global warming, increased extreme precipitation events have enlarged the population exposed to floods to some extent. Extreme precipitation risk assessments are of great significance in China and allow for the response to climate change and mitigation of risks to the population. China is one of the countries most influenced by climate change and has unique national population conditions. The influence of extreme precipitation depends on the degree of exposure and vulnerability of the population. Accurate assessments of the population exposed to rising rainstorm trends are crucial to mapping extreme precipitation risks. Studying the population exposed to rainstorm hazard areas (RSHA) at the microscale is extremely urgent, due to the local characteristics of extreme precipitation events and regional diversity of the population. The spatial distribution of population density was mapped based on the national population census data from China in 1990, 2000 and 2010. RSHA were also identified using precipitation data from 1975–2015 in China, and the rainstorm tendency values were mapped using GIS in this paper. The spatial characteristics of the rainstorm tendencies were then analyzed. Finally, changes in the population in the RSHA are discussed. The results show that the extreme precipitation trends are increasing in southeastern China. From 1990 to 2010, the population in RSHA increased by 110 million, at a rate of 14.6%. The elderly in the region increased by 38 million at a rate of 86.4%. Studying the size of the population exposed to rainstorm hazards at the county scale can provide scientific evidence for developing disaster prevention and mitigation strategies from the bottom up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Health, Risk Analysis and Environmental Hazards)
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Open AccessArticle Improved Housing Accessibility for Older People in Sweden and Germany: Short Term Costs and Long-Term Gains
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 964; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090964
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
The physical housing environment is important to facilitate activities of daily living (ADL) for older people. A hindering environment may lead to ADL dependence and thus increase the need for home services, which is individually restricting and a growing societal burden. This study
[...] Read more.
The physical housing environment is important to facilitate activities of daily living (ADL) for older people. A hindering environment may lead to ADL dependence and thus increase the need for home services, which is individually restricting and a growing societal burden. This study presents simulations of policy changes with regard to housing accessibility that estimates the potential impact specifically on instrumental activities of daily living (I-ADL), usage of home services, and related costs. The models integrate empirical data to test the hypothesis that a policy providing funding to remove the five most severe environmental barriers in the homes of older people who are at risk of developing dependence in I-ADL, can maintain independence and reduce the need for home services. In addition to official statistics from state agencies in Sweden and Germany, we utilized published results from the ENABLE-AGE and other scientific studies to generate the simulations. The simulations predicted that new policies that remove potentially hindering housing features would improve I-ADL performance among older people and reduce the need for home services. Our findings suggest that a policy change can contribute to positive effects with regard to I-ADL independence among older people and to a reduction of societal burden. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Neighbourhood Environmental Attributes Associated with Walking in South Australian Adults: Differences between Urban and Rural Areas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 965; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090965
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 26 August 2017
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Abstract
Although the health benefits of walking are well established, participation is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. Most studies on walkability and walking have been conducted in urban areas, thus little is known about the relevance of walkability to rural areas.
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Although the health benefits of walking are well established, participation is lower in rural areas compared to urban areas. Most studies on walkability and walking have been conducted in urban areas, thus little is known about the relevance of walkability to rural areas. A computer-assisted telephone survey of 2402 adults (aged ≥18 years) was conducted to determine walking behaviour and perceptions of neighbourhood walkability. Data were stratified by urban (n = 1738) and rural (n = 664). A greater proportion of respondents reported no walking in rural (25.8%) compared to urban areas (18.5%). Compared to urban areas, rural areas had lower walkability scores and urban residents reported higher frequency of walking. The association of perceived walkability with walking was significant only in urban areas. These results suggest that environmental factors associated with walking in urban areas may not be relevant in rural areas. Appropriate walkability measures specific to rural areas should be further researched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Environmental Influences on Physical Activity Behaviours)
Open AccessArticle Assessing Knowledge and Attitudes towards Cervical Cancer Screening among Rural Women in Eastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 967; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090967
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
There is a heavy burden of cervical cancer in China. Although the Chinese government provides free cervical cancer screening for rural women aged 35 to 59 years, the screening rate remains low even in the more developed regions of eastern China. This study
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There is a heavy burden of cervical cancer in China. Although the Chinese government provides free cervical cancer screening for rural women aged 35 to 59 years, the screening rate remains low even in the more developed regions of eastern China. This study aimed to assess knowledge and attitudes about cervical cancer and its screening among rural women aged 30 to 65 years in eastern China. A cross-sectional study was conducted in four counties of Jining Prefecture in Shandong Province during August 2015. In total, 420 rural women were randomly recruited. Each woman participated in a face-to-face interview in which a questionnaire was administered by a trained interviewer. A total of 405 rural women (mean age 49 years old) were included in the final study. Among them, 210 (51.9%) participants had high knowledge levels. An overwhelming majority, 389 (96.0%) expressed positive attitudes, whilst only 258 (63.7%) had undergone screening for cervical cancer. Related knowledge was higher amongst the screened group relative to the unscreened group. Age, education and income were significantly associated with a higher knowledge level. Education was the only significant factor associated with a positive attitude. In addition, women who were older, or who had received a formal education were more likely to participate in cervical cancer screening. The knowledge of cervical cancer among rural women in eastern China was found to be poor, and the screening uptake was not high albeit a free cervical cancer screening program was provided. Government led initiatives to improve public awareness, knowledge, and participation in cervical cancer screening programs would likely be highly beneficial in reducing cervical cancer incidence and mortality for rural women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
Open AccessArticle Responses of Biogeochemical Characteristics and Enzyme Activities in Sediment to Climate Warming under a Simulation Experiment in Geographically Isolated Wetlands of the Hulunbuir Grassland, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 968; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090968
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 27 August 2017
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Abstract
Climate warming generates a tremendous threat to the stability of geographically-isolated wetland (GIW) ecosystems and changes the type of evaporation and atmospheric precipitation in a region. The intrinsic balance of biogeochemical processes and enzyme activity in GIWs may be altered as well. In
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Climate warming generates a tremendous threat to the stability of geographically-isolated wetland (GIW) ecosystems and changes the type of evaporation and atmospheric precipitation in a region. The intrinsic balance of biogeochemical processes and enzyme activity in GIWs may be altered as well. In this paper, we sampled three types of GIWs exhibiting different kinds of flooding periods. With the participation of real-time temperature regulation measures, we assembled a computer-mediated wetland warming micro-system in June 2016 to simulate climate situation of ambient temperature (control group) and two experimental temperature differences (+2.5 °C and +5.0 °C) following a scientific climate change circumstance based on daily and monthly temperature monitoring at a two-minutes scale. Our results demonstrate that the contents of the total organic carbon (TOC), total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) in the warmed showed, roughly, a balance or a slight decrease than the control treatment. Warming obstructed the natural subsidence of sediment, but reinforced the character of the ecological source, and reduced the activity of urease (URE), but promoted the activity of alkaline phosphatase (AKP) and sucrase (SUC). Redundancy analysis showed that sucrase, urease, available phosphorus (AP), and pH were the major correlating factors under warming conditions in our research scope. Total organic carbon, total nitrogen, sucrase, catalase (CAT), and alkaline phosphatase were the principal reference factors to reflect the ambient temperature variations. Nutrient compositions and enzyme activities in GIW ecosystems could be reconstructed under the warming influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Determination of Selected Chemical Levels in Room Air and on Surfaces after the Use of Cartridge- and Tank-Based E-Vapor Products or Conventional Cigarettes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 969; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090969
Received: 24 April 2017 / Revised: 7 August 2017 / Accepted: 16 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
There is an ongoing debate regarding the potential of secondhand exposure of non-users to various chemicals from use of e-vapor products (EVPs). Room air levels of 34 chemicals (nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), glycerol, 15 carbonyl chemicals, 12 volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and four
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There is an ongoing debate regarding the potential of secondhand exposure of non-users to various chemicals from use of e-vapor products (EVPs). Room air levels of 34 chemicals (nicotine, propylene glycol (PG), glycerol, 15 carbonyl chemicals, 12 volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), and four selected trace elements) were measured where EVPs and cigarettes were used by n = 37 healthy adult tobacco users in an exposure chamber. The products used were MarkTen® 2.5% Classic (Group I), a Prototype GreenSmoke® 2.4% (Group II), Ego-T® Tank with subjects’ own e-liquids (Group III) and subjects’ own conventional cigarettes (Group IV). Products were used under controlled conditions and 4-h ad libitum use. Background (without subjects) and baseline levels (with subjects) were measured. Cumulative 4-h. levels of nicotine, PG and glycerol measured were several-fold below the time-weighted average limits used in workplace exposure evaluation. Most the other chemicals (>75%) were at or below the limit of quantification during EVP use. Significant levels of chemicals (17 out of 34) were observed in Group IV. Overall, our results indicate that under the study conditions with the products tested, cumulative room air levels of the selected chemicals measured over 4-h were relatively small and were several-fold below the current occupational regulatory and consensus limits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Occurrence, Distribution, and Risk Assessment of Perfluoroalkyl Acids (PFAAs) in Muscle and Liver of Cattle in Xinjiang, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 970; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090970
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Despite risks associated with perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in many regions, little is known about their prevalence in Xinjiang. We determined the presence of 13 PFAAs in 293 beef muscle and liver samples collected in 22 cities covering northern, southern, and eastern Xinjiang using
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Despite risks associated with perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in many regions, little is known about their prevalence in Xinjiang. We determined the presence of 13 PFAAs in 293 beef muscle and liver samples collected in 22 cities covering northern, southern, and eastern Xinjiang using liquid chromatography, coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Overall, the average values for PFAAs were relatively low compared with previous studies. Liver presented higher mean levels of total PFAAs at 1.632 ng/g, which was over 60-fold higher than in muscle (0.026 ng/g). Among the PFAAs analyzed, medium-chain compounds were dominant, accounting for more than 70% of the total. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was highly prevalent in the liver with the highest mean concentration (0.617 ng/g) and detection frequency (80%). When comparing the three regions of Xinjiang, we found differences in PFAA profiles, with the northern region showing the highest levels. Furthermore, the average daily intake and hazard ratios of PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid varied by region, urban/rural environment, gender, ethnicity, and age. The highest risk value of 13 PFAAs was estimated to be 0.837 × 10−3, which is far below 1, indicating that there is no health risk posed by eating beef muscle and liver in Xinjiang. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Surveillance Bias in Child Maltreatment: A Tempest in a Teapot
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 971; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090971
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 18 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Background: Children are believed to be more likely to be reported for maltreatment while they are working with mental health or social service professionals. This “surveillance bias” has been claimed to inflate reporting by fifty percent or more, and has been used to
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Background: Children are believed to be more likely to be reported for maltreatment while they are working with mental health or social service professionals. This “surveillance bias” has been claimed to inflate reporting by fifty percent or more, and has been used to explain why interventions such as home visiting fail to reduce official maltreatment reporting rates. Methods: We use national child abuse reporting data (n = 825,763), supplemented by more detailed regional data from a multi-agency administrative data study (n = 7185). We determine the percentage of all re-reports made uniquely by mental health and social service providers within and across generations, the report sources which could be subject to surveillance bias. Results: At three years after the initial Child protective services (CPS) report, the total percentage of national reports uniquely made by mental health or social service providers is less than 10%, making it impossible that surveillance bias could massively inflate CPS reporting in this sample. Analysis of national data find evidence of a very small (+4.54%) initial surveillance bias “bump” among served cases which decays to +1.84% within three years. Our analysis of regional data showed similar or weaker effects. Conclusions: Surveillance bias effects appear to exist, but are very small. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Big Data to Advance Knowledge in Child Maltreatment)
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Open AccessArticle The Mediating Role of Psychological Capital on the Association between Occupational Stress and Job Satisfaction among Township Cadres in a Specific Province of China: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 972; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090972
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 28 August 2017
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Abstract
Background: Township cadres, considered as basic executors of state policy, play an important role in Chinese society. Their job satisfaction is a vital issue for township management, but there are few studies on this topic in China. The goal of this study
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Background: Township cadres, considered as basic executors of state policy, play an important role in Chinese society. Their job satisfaction is a vital issue for township management, but there are few studies on this topic in China. The goal of this study is to analyze the relationship between occupational stress and job satisfaction, and to further examine whether psychological capital (PsyCap) can serve as a mediator between stress and job satisfaction in Chinese township cadres. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out during the period of from October 2015 to January 2016 in Liaoning Province of China. The questionnaires, which consisted of an effort-reward imbalance scale, Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ) for job satisfaction, and the psychological capital questionnaire (PCQ-24), as well as questions about demographic characteristics, were distributed to 1800 township cadres and complete responses were received from 1525 participants. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the role that psychological capital played in mediating between occupational stress and job satisfaction. Results: In the present study, effort-reward ratio (ERR= 11 × effort/6 × reward) was negatively associated with job satisfaction (r = −0.372, p < 0.001), whereas psychological capital was positively associated with job satisfaction in township cadres (r = 0.587, p < 0.001) from a specific province in China. Psychological capital is a mediator between the association of job stress and job satisfaction. Conclusions: Psychological capital partially mediated the relationship between job stress and job satisfaction among Chinese township cadres. Interventions to improve Chinese township cadres’ job satisfaction should be developed in the future, especially the enhancement of PsyCap. Interventions need to be verified in further cohort studies. At present, we are only proposing a theoretical model. Intervention effects need to be validated in further cohort studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Young People’s Use of E-Cigarettes across the United Kingdom: Findings from Five Surveys 2015–2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 973; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090973
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 23 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Concern has been expressed about the use of e-cigarettes among young people. Our study reported e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette ever and regular use among 11–16 year olds across the UK. Data came from five large scale surveys with different designs and sampling strategies
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Concern has been expressed about the use of e-cigarettes among young people. Our study reported e-cigarette and tobacco cigarette ever and regular use among 11–16 year olds across the UK. Data came from five large scale surveys with different designs and sampling strategies conducted between 2015 and 2017: The Youth Tobacco Policy Survey; the Schools Health Research Network Wales survey; two Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Smokefree Great Britain-Youth Surveys; and the Scottish Schools Adolescent Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey. Cumulatively these surveys collected data from over 60,000 young people. For 2015/16 data for 11–16 year olds: ever smoking ranged from 11% to 20%; regular (at least weekly) smoking between 1% and 4%; ever use of e-cigarettes 7% to 18%; regular (at least weekly) use 1% to 3%; among never smokers, ever e-cigarette use ranged from 4% to 10% with regular use between 0.1% and 0.5%; among regular smokers, ever e-cigarette use ranged from 67% to 92% and regular use 7% to 38%. ASH surveys showed a rise in the prevalence of ever use of e-cigarettes from 7% (2016) to 11% (2017) but prevalence of regular use did not change remaining at 1%. In summary, surveys across the UK show a consistent pattern: most e-cigarette experimentation does not turn into regular use, and levels of regular use in young people who have never smoked remain very low. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Electronic Cigarette Use and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Association between Blood Pressure and Birth Weight among Rural South African Children: Ellisras Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 974; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090974
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between birth weight, underweight, and blood pressure (BP) among Ellisras rural children aged between 5 and 15 years. Data were collected from 528 respondents who participated in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS)
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The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between birth weight, underweight, and blood pressure (BP) among Ellisras rural children aged between 5 and 15 years. Data were collected from 528 respondents who participated in the Ellisras Longitudinal Study (ELS) and had their birth weight recorded on their health clinic card. Standard procedure was used to measure the anthropometric measurements and BP. Linear regression was used to assess BP, underweight variables, and birth weight. Logistic regression was used to assess the association of hypertension risks, low birth weight, and underweight. The association between birth weight and BP was not statistically significant. There was a significant (p < 0.05) association between mean BP and the sum of four skinfolds (β = 0.26, 95% CI 0.15–0.23) even after adjusting for age (β = 0.18, 95% CI 0.01–0.22). Hypertension was significantly associated with weight for age z-scores (OR = 5.13, 95% CI 1.89–13.92) even after adjusting for age and sex (OR = 5.26, 95% CI 1.93–14.34). BP was significantly associated with the sum of four skinfolds, but not birth weight. Hypertension was significantly associated with underweight. Longitudinal studies should confirm whether the changes in body weight we found can influence the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Transnational Research Networks in Chinese Scientific Production. An Investigation on Health-Industry Related Sectors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 975; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090975
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 19 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Transnational research networks (TRN) are becoming increasingly complex. Such complexity may have both positive and negative effects on the quality of research. Our work studies the evolution over time of Chinese TRN and the role of complexity on the quality of Chinese research,
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Transnational research networks (TRN) are becoming increasingly complex. Such complexity may have both positive and negative effects on the quality of research. Our work studies the evolution over time of Chinese TRN and the role of complexity on the quality of Chinese research, given the leading role this country has recently acquired in international science. We focus on the fields of geriatrics and gerontology. We build an original dataset of all scientific publications of China in these areas in 2009, 2012 and 2015, starting from the ISI Web of Knowledge (ISI WoK) database. Using Social Network Analysis (SNA), we analyze the change in scientific network structure across time. Second, we design indices to control for the different aspects of networks complexity (number of authors, country heterogeneity and institutional heterogeneity) and we perform negative binomial regressions to identify the main determinants of research quality. Our analysis shows that research networks in the field of geriatrics and gerontology have gradually become wider in terms of countries and have become more balanced. Furthermore, our results identify that different forms of complexity have different impacts on quality, including a reciprocal moderating effect. In particular, according to our analysis, research quality benefits from complex research networks both in terms of countries and of types of institutions involved, but that such networks should be “compact” in terms of number of authors. Eventually, we suggest that complexity should be carefully taken into account when designing policies aimed at enhancing the quality of research. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Pharmaceutical Industry in Vietnam: Sluggish Sector in a Growing Market
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 976; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090976
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Vietnam is a fast growing economy in the Asian region with a significantly high population (over 92 million in 2015). Although still expanding (about 1.1% on average during 2000–2015), the Vietnamese population is considered to be entering the ageing stage at a very
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Vietnam is a fast growing economy in the Asian region with a significantly high population (over 92 million in 2015). Although still expanding (about 1.1% on average during 2000–2015), the Vietnamese population is considered to be entering the ageing stage at a very high rate. The rapid expansion of the middle-income urban class and the ageing people ratio have dramatically pushed up the demand for healthcare goods, particularly in terms of pharmaceutical products. Since the early 1990s the government has addressed the necessities of rising demand for healthcare products by formulating a series of policies aimed at promoting the development of the pharmaceutical industry. However, the implementation of such policies does not seem to have been completely efficient given that the country still needs to import up to 90% of its pharmaceutical consumption. This paper aims to explore the development of the pharmaceutical industry during the years 1990–2015 and to identify a series of weaknesses in the government promotion of the industry. Future developments will also be discussed on how the Vietnamese pharmaceutical industry could increase its participation in the regional supply chain, which is currently being dominated by big players like India and China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Bioaccessibility and Human Exposure Assessment of Cadmium and Arsenic in Pakchoi Genotypes Grown in Co-Contaminated Soils
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 977; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090977
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 22 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
In many countries cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) commonly coexist in soils contaminated by mining activities, and can easily enter the human body via consumption of leafy vegetables, like the popularly consumed pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.), causing major health concerns. In the
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In many countries cadmium (Cd) and arsenic (As) commonly coexist in soils contaminated by mining activities, and can easily enter the human body via consumption of leafy vegetables, like the popularly consumed pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.), causing major health concerns. In the present study, bioaccessibility and human exposure of Cd and As were assessed in twenty genotypes of pakchoi cultured at two different levels of co-contamination to identify low health risk genotypes. The bioaccessibilities of Cd and As represent a fraction of the total metals content could be bioaccessible for human, in the present study, significant differences in pakchoi Cd and As bioaccessibility were observed among all tested genotypes and co-contaminated levels. Cd and As bioaccessibility of pakchoi were in the ranges of 24.0–87.6% and 20.1–82.5%, respectively, for in the high level co-contaminated soils, which was significantly higher than for low level co-contaminated soils with 7.9–71.8% for Cd bioaccessibility and 16.1–59.0% for As bioaccessibility. The values of bioaccessible established daily intakes (BEDI) and the total bioaccessible target hazard quotients (TBTHQ) of Cd and As were also considerably higher in high level co-contaminated soils than in low level co-contaminated soils. Two genotypes (Meiguanqinggengcai and Zhenqing60F1) contained relatively low concentrations and bioaccessible Cd and As and, their BEDI and TBTHQ for Cd and As ranged below the tolerable limits set by the FAO/WHO (BEDI of Cd < 0.83 μg kg−1 bw day−1, BEDI of As < 3 μg kg−1 bw day−1) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (TBTHQ for Cd and As < 1), this applied for both levels of co-contaminated soils for adults and children. Consequently, these findings suggest identification of safe genotypes in leafy vegetable with low health risk via genotypic screening and breeding methods could be a useful strategy to ensure the safety of food crops grown in those Cd and As co-contaminated fields due to mining activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Job Stress and Presenteeism among Chinese Healthcare Workers: The Mediating Effects of Affective Commitment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 978; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090978
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Background: Presenteeism affects the performance of healthcare workers. This study examined associations between job stress, affective commitment, and presenteeism among healthcare workers. Methods: To investigate the relationship between job stress, affective commitment, and presenteeism, structural equation modeling was used to analyze a sample
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Background: Presenteeism affects the performance of healthcare workers. This study examined associations between job stress, affective commitment, and presenteeism among healthcare workers. Methods: To investigate the relationship between job stress, affective commitment, and presenteeism, structural equation modeling was used to analyze a sample of 1392 healthcare workers from 11 Class A tertiary hospitals in eastern, central, and western China. The mediating effect of affective commitment on the association between job stress and presenteeism was examined with the Sobel test. Results: Job stress was high and the level of presenteeism was moderate among healthcare workers. Challenge stress and hindrance stress were strongly correlated (β = 0.62; p < 0.05). Affective commitment was significantly and directly inversely correlated with presenteeism (β = −0.27; p < 0.001). Challenge stress was significantly positively correlated with affective commitment (β = 0.15; p < 0.001) but not with presenteeism. Hindrance stress was significantly inversely correlated with affective commitment (β = −0.40; p < 0.001) but was significantly positively correlated with presenteeism (β = 0.26; p < 0.001). Conclusions: This study provides important empirical data on presenteeism among healthcare workers. Presenteeism can be addressed by increasing affective commitment and challenge stress and by limiting hindrance stress among healthcare workers in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Stress and the Development of Chronic Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Investigation on Indoor Air Pollution and Childhood Allergies in Households in Six Chinese Cities by Subjective Survey and Field Measurements
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 979; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090979
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 16 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 29 August 2017
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Abstract
Greater attention is currently being paid to the relationship between indoor environment and childhood allergies, however, the lack of reliable data and the disparity among different areas hinders reliable assessment of the relationship. This study focuses on the effect of indoor pollution on
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Greater attention is currently being paid to the relationship between indoor environment and childhood allergies, however, the lack of reliable data and the disparity among different areas hinders reliable assessment of the relationship. This study focuses on the effect of indoor pollution on Chinese schoolchildren and the relationship between specific household and health problems suffered. The epidemiological questionnaire survey and the field measurement of the indoor thermal environment and primary air pollutants including CO2, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), chemical pollutants and fungi were performed in six Chinese cities. A total of 912 questionnaires were eligible for statistical analyses and sixty houses with schoolchildren aged 9–12 were selected for field investigation. Compared with Chinese national standards, inappropriate indoor relative humidity (<30% or >70%), CO2 concentration exceeding 1000 ppm and high PM2.5 levels were found in some monitored houses. Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) were the most frequently detected semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) in house dust. Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium were detected in both indoor air and house dust. This study indicates that a thermal environment with CO2 exceeding 1000 ppm, DEHP and DBP exceeding 1000 μg/g, and high level of PM2.5, Cladosporium, Aspergillus and Penicillium increases the risk of children’s allergies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Peri-Urbanism in Globalizing India: A Study of Pollution, Health and Community Awareness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 980; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090980
Received: 26 June 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines the intersection between environmental pollution and people’s acknowledgements of, and responses to, health issues in Karhera, a former agricultural village situated between the rapidly expanding cities of New Delhi (India’s capital) and Ghaziabad (an industrial district in Uttar Pradesh). A
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This paper examines the intersection between environmental pollution and people’s acknowledgements of, and responses to, health issues in Karhera, a former agricultural village situated between the rapidly expanding cities of New Delhi (India’s capital) and Ghaziabad (an industrial district in Uttar Pradesh). A relational place-based view is integrated with an interpretive approach, highlighting the significance of place, people’s emic experiences, and the creation of meaning through social interactions. Research included surveying 1788 households, in-depth interviews, participatory mapping exercises, and a review of media articles on environment, pollution, and health. Karhera experiences both domestic pollution, through the use of domestic waste water, or gandapani, for vegetable irrigation, and industrial pollution through factories’ emissions into both the air and water. The paper shows that there is no uniform articulation of any environment/health threats associated with gandapani. Some people take preventative actions to avoid exposure while others do not acknowledge health implications. By contrast, industrial pollution is widely noted and frequently commented upon, but little collective action addresses this. The paper explores how the characteristics of Karhera, its heterogeneous population, diverse forms of environmental pollution, and broader governance processes, limit the potential for citizen action against pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Poverty and Child Behavioral Problems: The Mediating Role of Parenting and Parental Well-Being
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 981; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090981
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
The detrimental impact of poverty on child behavioral problems is well-established, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship are less well-known. Using data from the Families in Germany Study on parents and their children at ages 9–10 (middle childhood), this study extends previous
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The detrimental impact of poverty on child behavioral problems is well-established, but the mechanisms that explain this relationship are less well-known. Using data from the Families in Germany Study on parents and their children at ages 9–10 (middle childhood), this study extends previous research by examining whether or not and to what extent different parenting styles and parents’ subjective well-being explain the relationship between poverty and child behavior problems. The results show that certain parenting styles, such as psychological control, as well as mothers’ life satisfaction partially mediate the correlation between poverty and child behavioral problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle The Canadian Atlas of Child and Youth Injury: Mobilizing Injury Surveillance Data to Launch a National Knowledge Translation Tool
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 982; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090982
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Child and youth injury prevention research in Canada has lagged behind other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations, despite existing surveillance systems and longitudinal data. A critical need to improve access to the available data, as well as need to tailor its
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Child and youth injury prevention research in Canada has lagged behind other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development nations, despite existing surveillance systems and longitudinal data. A critical need to improve access to the available data, as well as need to tailor its display and interpretation, was identified by injury prevention stakeholders involved in research, policy, and practice. The Canadian Atlas of Child and Youth Injury Prevention (“the Atlas”) was developed to address this need. Following a series of iterative consultation meetings and a pilot testing session, the Atlas was scaled up with national data. Two testing sessions were held to evaluate the tools. The Atlas is comprised of three main components: data, indicators, and visualizations. The accessibility of the dashboard is enhanced by customization of data visualizations and data outputs to suit the user’s needs. Overall feedback indicated that the tools were easy to use, and that the interface was intuitive and visually appealing. The Canadian Atlas of Child and Youth Injury Prevention provides readily accessible information to injury prevention practitioners, policy makers and researchers, helping to chart pathways to success in improving the child and youth injury prevention system in Canada. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Child Injury Prevention 2017)
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Open AccessArticle Longitudinal Study-Based Dementia Prediction for Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 983; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090983
Received: 6 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
The issue of public health in Korea has attracted significant attention given the aging of the country’s population, which has created many types of social problems. The approach proposed in this article aims to address dementia, one of the most significant symptoms of
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The issue of public health in Korea has attracted significant attention given the aging of the country’s population, which has created many types of social problems. The approach proposed in this article aims to address dementia, one of the most significant symptoms of aging and a public health care issue in Korea. The Korean National Health Insurance Service Senior Cohort Database contains personal medical data of every citizen in Korea. There are many different medical history patterns between individuals with dementia and normal controls. The approach used in this study involved examination of personal medical history features from personal disease history, sociodemographic data, and personal health examinations to develop a prediction model. The prediction model used a support-vector machine learning technique to perform a 10-fold cross-validation analysis. The experimental results demonstrated promising performance (80.9% F-measure). The proposed approach supported the significant influence of personal medical history features during an optimal observation period. It is anticipated that a biomedical “big data”-based disease prediction model may assist the diagnosis of any disease more correctly. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Determinants of FDI Localization in China: A County-Level Analysis for the Pharmaceutical Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 985; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090985
Received: 28 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Foreign direct investments (FDIs) have been widely recognized as a crucial feature of the Chinese industrial development process. Over the past decades, China has been attracting huge amounts of inward FDIs as a consequence of both spontaneous market dynamics and place-based preferential policies
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Foreign direct investments (FDIs) have been widely recognized as a crucial feature of the Chinese industrial development process. Over the past decades, China has been attracting huge amounts of inward FDIs as a consequence of both spontaneous market dynamics and place-based preferential policies at the sub-national level. However, the Chinese market exhibits large dissimilarities in terms of FDI localization across territories that are worth investigating at a more disaggregated level. In this regards, our study explores the determinants of attraction of inward FDIs in China, at the county level. It focuses on the pharmaceutical industry and attempts to assess whether factors related to location advantages, agglomeration dynamics, information cost effects and environmental regulation costs affect foreign firms’ localization choices as well as invested amounts in that location. By means of discrete choice models, our paper confirms the findings of the prevalent literature about the positive effects of location advantages on pharmaceutical FDI attraction. Different from our expectations, a higher proportion of foreign enterprises do not stimulate significant effects on FDI localization, while preferential policies and sectoral agglomeration are positively correlated with the localization of pharmaceutical foreign firms. Finally, our results suggest that investing firms tend to avoid areas with strict environment regulation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of Potential High-Risk Habitats within the Transmission Reach of Oncomelania hupensis after Floods Based on SAR Techniques in a Plane Region in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 986; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090986
Received: 22 June 2017 / Revised: 4 August 2017 / Accepted: 24 August 2017 / Published: 30 August 2017
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Abstract
Schistosomiasis japonica is an infectious disease caused by Schistosoma japonicum, and it remains endemic in China. Flooding is the main hazard factor, as it causes the spread of Oncomelania hupensis, the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, thereby triggering schistosomiasis
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Schistosomiasis japonica is an infectious disease caused by Schistosoma japonicum, and it remains endemic in China. Flooding is the main hazard factor, as it causes the spread of Oncomelania hupensis, the only intermediate host of Schistosoma japonicum, thereby triggering schistosomiasis outbreaks. Based on multi-source real-time remote sensing data, we used remote sensing (RS) technology, especially synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and geographic information system (GIS) techniques to carry out warning research on potential snail habitats within the snail dispersal range following flooding. Our research result demonstrated: (1) SAR data from Sentinel-1A before and during a flood were used to identify submerged areas rapidly and effectively; (2) the likelihood of snail survival was positively correlated with the clay proportion, core area standard deviation, and ditch length but negatively correlated with the wetness index, NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index), elevation, woodland area, and construction land area; (3) the snail habitats were most abundant near rivers and ditches in paddy fields; (4) the rivers and paddy irrigation ditches in the submerged areas must be the focused of mitigation efforts following future floods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Public Health: A Systems Approach)
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Open AccessArticle Diurnal Changes in Distribution Characteristics of Salivary Cortisol and Immunoglobulin A Concentrations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 987; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090987
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 18 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Salivary cortisol and secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) are important biomarkers for environmental and public health research. The present study investigated the diurnal variations of these salivary biomarkers, with a focus on the change of distribution characteristics (i.e., skewness and kurtosis) of the concentrations.
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Salivary cortisol and secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) are important biomarkers for environmental and public health research. The present study investigated the diurnal variations of these salivary biomarkers, with a focus on the change of distribution characteristics (i.e., skewness and kurtosis) of the concentrations. The participants in this study were 113 healthy young males. Salivary samples were collected in the morning (6:30–7:30 a.m.) and afternoon (1:00–4:00 p.m.). The skewness and kurtosis of salivary cortisol concentrations in afternoon samples (skewness = 1.06, kurtosis = 4.78) were significantly higher than those in morning samples (skewness = 0.49, kurtosis = 2.80). The differences in skewness and kurtosis of S-IgA concentrations were non-significant; however, the standard deviation and interquartile ranges for afternoon S-IgA concentrations were significantly smaller than those for morning S-IgA concentrations. Logarithmic transformation improved the distribution of afternoon cortisol values, making it an almost normal distribution, but the transformation showed no improvement in the distribution of morning cortisol or S-IgA values. The present study explored diurnal changes in the distribution characteristics of salivary cortisol and S-IgA. Consideration of a possible diurnal change in the distribution characteristics is needed when we compare the difference in these salivary biomarkers between different times of day. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Thyroid Cancer Incidence around the Belgian Nuclear Sites, 2000–2014
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 988; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090988
Received: 21 June 2017 / Revised: 3 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
The present study investigates whether there is an excess incidence of thyroid cancer among people living in the vicinity of the nuclear sites in Belgium. Adjusted Rate Ratios were obtained from Poisson regressions for proximity areas of varying sizes. In addition, focused hypothesis
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The present study investigates whether there is an excess incidence of thyroid cancer among people living in the vicinity of the nuclear sites in Belgium. Adjusted Rate Ratios were obtained from Poisson regressions for proximity areas of varying sizes. In addition, focused hypothesis tests and generalized additive models were performed to test the hypothesis of a gradient in thyroid cancer incidence with increasing levels of surrogate exposures. Residential proximity to the nuclear site, prevailing dominant winds frequency from the site, and simulated radioactive discharges were used as surrogate exposures. No excess incidence of thyroid cancer was observed around the nuclear power plants of Doel or Tihange. In contrast, increases in thyroid cancer incidence were found around the nuclear sites of Mol-Dessel and Fleurus; risk ratios were borderline not significant. For Mol-Dessel, there was evidence for a gradient in thyroid cancer incidence with increased proximity, prevailing winds, and simulated radioactive discharges. For Fleurus, a gradient was observed with increasing prevailing winds and, to a lesser extent, with increasing simulated radioactive discharges. This study strengthens earlier findings and suggests increased incidences in thyroid cancer around two of the four Belgian nuclear sites. Further analyses will be performed at a more detailed geographical level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Arsenic Speciation and Extraction and the Significance of Biodegradable Acid on Arsenic Removal—An Approach for Remediation of Arsenic-Contaminated Soil
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 990; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090990
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
A series of arsenic remediation tests were conducted using a washing method with biodegradable organic acids, including oxalic, citric and ascorbic acids. Approximately 80% of the arsenic in one sample was removed under the effect of the ascorbic and oxalic acid combination, which
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A series of arsenic remediation tests were conducted using a washing method with biodegradable organic acids, including oxalic, citric and ascorbic acids. Approximately 80% of the arsenic in one sample was removed under the effect of the ascorbic and oxalic acid combination, which was roughly twice higher than the effectiveness of the ascorbic and citric acid combination under the same conditions. The soils treated using biodegradable acids had low remaining concentrations of arsenic that are primarily contained in the crystalline iron oxides and organic matter fractions. The close correlation between extracted arsenic and extracted iron/aluminum suggested that arsenic was removed via the dissolution of Fe/Al oxides in soils. The fractionation of arsenic in four contaminated soils was investigated using a modified sequential extraction method. Regarding fractionation, we found that most of the soil contained high proportions of arsenic (As) in exchangeable fractions with phosphorus, amorphous oxides, and crystalline iron oxides, while a small amount of the arsenic fraction was organic matter-bound. This study indicated that biodegradable organic acids can be considered as a means for arsenic-contaminated soil remediation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Selective Removal of the Genotoxic Compound 2-Aminopyridine in Water using Molecularly Imprinted Polymers Based on Magnetic Chitosan and β-Cyclodextrin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 991; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090991
Received: 17 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 28 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
To develop efficient materials with enhanced adsorption and selectivity for genotoxic 2-aminopyridine in water, based on magnetic chitosan (CTs) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), the magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIPs) of Fe3O4-CTs@MIP and Fe3O4-MAH-β-CD@MIP were synthesized by
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To develop efficient materials with enhanced adsorption and selectivity for genotoxic 2-aminopyridine in water, based on magnetic chitosan (CTs) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD), the magnetic molecularly imprinted polymers (MMIPs) of Fe3O4-CTs@MIP and Fe3O4-MAH-β-CD@MIP were synthesized by a molecular imprinting technique using 2-aminopyridine as a template. The selective adsorption experiments for 2-aminopyridine were performed by four analogues including pyridine, aniline, 2-amino-5-chloropyridine and phenylenediamine. Results showed the target 2-aminopyridine could be selectively adsorbed and quickly separated by the synthesized MMIPs in the presence of the above structural analogues. The coexisting ions including Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl and SO42− showed little effect on the adsorption of 2-aminopyridine. The maximum adsorption capacity of 2-aminopyridine on Fe3O4-CTs@MIP and Fe3O4-MAH-β-CD@MIP was 39.2 mg·g−1 and 46.5 mg·g−1, respectively, which is much higher than values in previous reports. The comparison result with commercial activated carbon showed the obtained MMIPs had higher adsorption ability and selectivity for 2-aminopyridine. In addition, the synthesized MMIPs exhibited excellent performance of regeneration, which was used at least five times with little adsorption capacity loss. Therefore, the synthesized MMIPs are potential effective materials in applications for selective removal and analysis of the genotoxic compound aminopyridine from environmental water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Heat Health Messages: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Preventative Messages Tool in the Older Population of South Australia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 992; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090992
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
This study explores the efficacy of providing targeted information to older individuals to prevent adverse health outcomes during extreme heat. Participants ≥65 years of age (n = 637) were recruited from previous population-based studies and randomized into intervention and control groups. The
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This study explores the efficacy of providing targeted information to older individuals to prevent adverse health outcomes during extreme heat. Participants ≥65 years of age (n = 637) were recruited from previous population-based studies and randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received evidence-based information leaflets and summarised “Beat the Heat” tips. Post summer 2013–2014, participants responded to questions about their behaviours and their health experiences. Chi square analysis and risk ratios (RR) were used to determine the difference in effects. Responses were received from 216 intervention subjects and 218 controls. Behaviour modification during extreme heat was similar in both groups except for significant increases in the use of cooling systems and the use of a wet cloth to cool the skin in the intervention group. Both actions were recommended in the information package. More people in the intervention group also claimed to have had adequate heat health information. After adjusting for confounders, the RR for self-reported heat stress experienced during summer 2014 indicated a 63% (RR 0.37; 95% CI: 0.22–0.63) reduction in the intervention group compared to the control group. Access to intensive prevention information may have contributed to this positive outcome, indicating the potential usefulness of targeted heat-health information for seniors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Relationship between Social Support Networks and Physical Functioning in Older Community-Dwelling Mexicans
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 993; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090993
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Some studies have demonstrated the relationship between social support networks (SSNs) and health status. In this sense, it has been considered that physical and mental functioning is a key indicator of the health in the age people. The aim of this study was
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Some studies have demonstrated the relationship between social support networks (SSNs) and health status. In this sense, it has been considered that physical and mental functioning is a key indicator of the health in the age people. The aim of this study was to determine the association between social support networks and physical functioning. A cross-sectional study was carried out including a convenience sample of 150 older community-dwelling Mexicans. We assessed the familial, extra-familial and institutional SSNs; social contacts; the activities of daily living (ADL); the instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs); and physical functioning task (PFT) performance among study participants. Of the 150 older subjects, 53 reported living alone (35%), 113 (75%) reported having few SSNs, and 37 (25%) reported having enough SSNs. Persons with few familial SSNs were at increased odds of demonstrating dependence in at least one of the ADL (OR = 3.25, 95% CI 1.06–9.92, p < 0.05). Likewise, persons with few institutional SSNs and few social contacts were at increased odds of demonstrating dependence in at least one of the IADL (OR = 6.96, 95% CI 1.57–30.7, p < 0.01; OR = 5.02, 95% CI 1.44–17.5, p < 0.01, respectively). We also observed that having few extra-familial SSNs and few social contacts were the main risk factors for PFT dependence, with ORs of 3.70 (95% CI 1.21–11.2, p < 0.05) and 3.85 (95% CI 1.10–13.5, p < 0.05), respectively. Our findings suggest that having few SSNs could be a significant risk factor for reduced physical functioning in older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Spatial Variability of Geriatric Depression Risk in a High-Density City: A Data-Driven Socio-Environmental Vulnerability Mapping Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 994; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090994
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
Previous studies found a relationship between geriatric depression and social deprivation. However, most studies did not include environmental factors in the statistical models, introducing a bias to estimate geriatric depression risk because the urban environment was found to have significant associations with mental
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Previous studies found a relationship between geriatric depression and social deprivation. However, most studies did not include environmental factors in the statistical models, introducing a bias to estimate geriatric depression risk because the urban environment was found to have significant associations with mental health. We developed a cross-sectional study with a binomial logistic regression to examine the geriatric depression risk of a high-density city based on five social vulnerability factors and four environmental measures. We constructed a socio-environmental vulnerability index by including the significant variables to map the geriatric depression risk in Hong Kong, a high-density city characterized by compact urban environment and high-rise buildings. Crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of the variables were significantly different, indicating that both social and environmental variables should be included as confounding factors. For the comprehensive model controlled by all confounding factors, older adults who were of lower education had the highest geriatric depression risks (OR: 1.60 (1.21, 2.12)). Higher percentage of residential area and greater variation in building height within the neighborhood also contributed to geriatric depression risk in Hong Kong, while average building height had negative association with geriatric depression risk. In addition, the socio-environmental vulnerability index showed that higher scores were associated with higher geriatric depression risk at neighborhood scale. The results of mapping and cross-section model suggested that geriatric depression risk was associated with a compact living environment with low socio-economic conditions in historical urban areas in Hong Kong. In conclusion, our study found a significant difference in geriatric depression risk between unadjusted and adjusted models, suggesting the importance of including environmental factors in estimating geriatric depression risk. We also developed a framework to map geriatric depression risk across a city, which can be used for identifying neighborhoods with higher risk for public health surveillance and sustainable urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ageing Well: The Role of Age-Friendly Environments)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Fitness, Fatness and Active School Commuting among Liverpool Schoolchildren
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 995; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090995
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
This study investigated differences in health outcomes between active and passive school commuters, and examined associations between parent perceptions of the neighborhood environment and active school commuting (ASC). One hundred-ninety-four children (107 girls), aged 9–10 years from ten primary schools in Liverpool, England,
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This study investigated differences in health outcomes between active and passive school commuters, and examined associations between parent perceptions of the neighborhood environment and active school commuting (ASC). One hundred-ninety-four children (107 girls), aged 9–10 years from ten primary schools in Liverpool, England, participated in this cross-sectional study. Measures of stature, body mass, waist circumference and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) were taken. School commute mode (active/passive) was self-reported and parents completed the neighborhood environment walkability scale for youth. Fifty-three percent of children commuted to school actively. Schoolchildren who lived in more deprived neighborhoods perceived by parents as being highly connected, unaesthetic and having mixed land-use were more likely to commute to school actively (p < 0.05). These children were at greatest risk of being obese and aerobically unfit(p < 0.01). Our results suggest that deprivation may explain the counterintuitive relationship between obesity, CRF and ASC in Liverpool schoolchildren. These findings encourage researchers and policy makers to be equally mindful of the social determinants of health when advocating behavioral and environmental health interventions. Further research exploring contextual factors to ASC, and examining the concurrent effect of ASC and diet on weight status by deprivation is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle How Economic Analysis Can Contribute to Understanding the Links between Housing and Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 996; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090996
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 12 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
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Abstract
An economic analysis of housing’s linkages to health can assist policy makers and researchers to make better decisions about which housing interventions and policies are the most cost-beneficial. The challenge is to include cobenefits. The adoption in 2015 of the UN Sustainable Development
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An economic analysis of housing’s linkages to health can assist policy makers and researchers to make better decisions about which housing interventions and policies are the most cost-beneficial. The challenge is to include cobenefits. The adoption in 2015 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals underscores the importance of understanding how policies interact, and the merit of comprehensively evaluating cobenefits. We explain our approach to the empirical assessment of such cobenefits in the housing and health context, and consider lessons from empirical economic appraisals of the impact of housing on health outcomes. Critical assumptions relating to cobenefits are explicitly examined. A key finding is that when wider policy outcome measures are included, such as mental health impacts and carbon emission reductions, it is important that effects of assumptions on outcomes are considered. Another is that differing values underlie appraisal, for example, the weight given to future generations through the discount rate. Cost-benefit analyses (CBAs) can better facilitate meaningful debate when they are based on explicit assumptions about values. In short, the insights drawn from an economic framework for housing-and-health studies are valuable, but nonetheless contingent. Given that housing interventions typically have both health and other cobenefits, and incorporate social value judgements, it is important to take a broad view but be explicit about how such interventions are assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
Open AccessArticle Delay Discounting as an Index of Sustainable Behavior: Devaluation of Future Air Quality and Implications for Public Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 997; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090997
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Poor air quality and resulting annual deaths represent significant public health concerns. Recently, rapid delay discounting (the devaluation of future outcomes) of air quality has been considered a potential barrier for engaging in long term, sustainable behaviors that might help to reduce emissions
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Poor air quality and resulting annual deaths represent significant public health concerns. Recently, rapid delay discounting (the devaluation of future outcomes) of air quality has been considered a potential barrier for engaging in long term, sustainable behaviors that might help to reduce emissions (e.g., reducing private car use, societal support for clean air initiatives). Delay discounting has been shown to be predictive of real world behavior outside of laboratory settings, and therefore may offer an important framework beyond traditional variables thought to measure sustainable behavior such as importance of an environmental issue, or environmental attitudes/values, although more research is needed in this area. We examined relations between discounting of air quality, respiratory health, and monetary gains and losses. We also examined, relations between discounting and self-reported importance of air quality and respiratory health, and nature relatedness. Results showed rapid delay discounting of all outcomes across the time frames assessed, and significant positive correlations between delay discounting of air quality, respiratory health, and monetary outcomes. Steeper discounting of monetary outcomes relative to air quality and respiratory health outcomes was observed in the context of gains; however, no differences in discounting were observed across losses of monetary, air quality, and respiratory health. Replicating the sign effect, monetary outcomes were discounted more steeply than monetary losses. Importance of air quality, respiratory health and nature relatedness were significantly and positively correlated with one another, but not with degree of delay discounting of any outcome, demonstrating the need for more comprehensive measures that predict pro-environmental behaviors that might benefit individuals and public health over time. These results add to our understanding of decision-making, and demonstrate alarming rates of delay discounting of air quality and health. These results implicate a major public health concern and potential barriers to individual and societal behavior that reduce pollution and emissions for conservation of clean air. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Identification of a Group’s Physiological Synchronization with Earth’s Magnetic Field
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 998; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090998
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
A new analysis technique for the evaluation of the degree of synchronization between the physiological state of a group of people and changes in the Earth’s magnetic field based on their cardiac inter-beat intervals was developed and validated. The new analysis method was
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A new analysis technique for the evaluation of the degree of synchronization between the physiological state of a group of people and changes in the Earth’s magnetic field based on their cardiac inter-beat intervals was developed and validated. The new analysis method was then used to identify clusters of similar synchronization patterns in a group of 20 individuals over a two-week period. The algorithm for the identification of slow wave dynamics for every person was constructed in order to determine meaningful interrelationships between the participants and the local magnetic field data. The results support the hypothesis that the slow wave rhythms in heart rate variability can synchronize with changes in local magnetic field data, and that the degree of synchronization is affected by the quality of interpersonal relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Stress and Depressive Symptoms in Cancer Survivors and Their Family Members: Korea Community Health Survey, 2012
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 999; doi:10.3390/ijerph14090999
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
This study examined the prevalence of perceived stress and depressive symptoms in cancer survivors and their family members compared with subjects without cancer and without family members with cancer. The subjects of this cross-sectional study were adults ≥19 years old who participated in
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This study examined the prevalence of perceived stress and depressive symptoms in cancer survivors and their family members compared with subjects without cancer and without family members with cancer. The subjects of this cross-sectional study were adults ≥19 years old who participated in the 2012 Korea Community Health Survey. Stress and depressive symptoms in cancer survivors and their family members were assessed and compared to symptoms in control groups by chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses. Of the 6783 cancer survivors, 26.9% and 8.7% reported having stress and depressive symptoms, respectively, and 27.7% and 5.9% of family members of cancer survivors reported having stress and depressive symptoms, respectively. Cancer survivors showed higher adjusted odds ratio (aOR) for stress (aOR = 1.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.16–1.37) and depressive symptoms (aOR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.57–2.11) than subjects without cancer history. Family members of cancer survivors showed a higher OR for stress and depressive symptoms than subjects without a family member who survived cancer. Cancer survivors and family members of cancer survivors had more stress and depressive symptoms than controls. Careful management for cancer patients and their family members should include screening for stress and depression to improve mental health associated with cancer survivorship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Antimicrobial Susceptibility of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Recreational Waters and Beach Sand in Eastern Cape Province of South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1001; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091001
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to commonly used antibiotics is linked to their ability to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial-resistant determinants in nature, and the marine environment may serve as a reservoir for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study determined the antibiotic sensitivity profile of
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Background: Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to commonly used antibiotics is linked to their ability to acquire and disseminate antimicrobial-resistant determinants in nature, and the marine environment may serve as a reservoir for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This study determined the antibiotic sensitivity profile of S. aureus isolated from selected beach water and intertidal beach sand in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Methods: Two hundred and forty-nine beach sand and water samples were obtained from 10 beaches from April 2015 to April 2016. Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from the samples using standard microbiological methods and subjected to susceptibility testing to 15 antibiotics. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was detected by susceptibility to oxacillin and growth on Brilliance MRSA II agar. Antibiotic resistance genes including mecA, femA rpoB, blaZ, ermB, ermA, ermC, vanA, vanB, tetK and tetM were screened. Results: Thirty isolates (12.3%) were positive for S. aureus by PCR with over 50% showing phenotypic resistance to methicillin. Resistance of S. aureus to antibiotics varied considerably with the highest resistance recorded to ampicillin and penicillin (96.7%), rifampicin and clindamycin (80%), oxacillin (73.3%) and erythromycin (70%). S. aureus revealed varying susceptibility to imipenem (96.7%), levofloxacin (86.7%), chloramphenicol (83.3%), cefoxitin (76.7%), ciprofloxacin (66.7%), gentamycin (63.3%), tetracycline and sulfamethoxazole-trimethoprim (56.7%), and vancomycin and doxycycline (50%). All 30 (100%) S. aureus isolates showed multiple antibiotic-resistant patterns (resistant to three or more antibiotics). The mecA, femA, rpoB, blaZ, ermB and tetM genes were detected in 5 (22.7%), 16 (53.3%), 11 (45.8%), 16 (55.2%), 15 (71.4%), and 8 (72.7%) isolates respectively; Conclusions: Results from this study indicate that beach water and sand from the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa may be potential reservoirs of antibiotic-resistant S. aureus which could be transmitted to exposed humans and animals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antimicrobials and Antimicrobial Resistance in the Environment)
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Open AccessArticle Public Health Services Utilization and Its Determinants among Internal Migrants in China: Evidence from a Nationally Representative Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1002; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091002
Received: 14 July 2017 / Revised: 20 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
There have been obstacles for internal migrants in China in accessing local public health services for some time. This study aimed to estimate the utilization of local public health services and its determinants among internal migrants. Data were from the 2014 and 2015
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There have been obstacles for internal migrants in China in accessing local public health services for some time. This study aimed to estimate the utilization of local public health services and its determinants among internal migrants. Data were from the 2014 and 2015 nationally representative cross-sectional survey of internal migrants in China. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to estimate the relationship between socioeconomic, migration, and demographic characteristics and public health services utilization. Our results showed that internal migrants in more developed eastern regions used less public health services. Those with higher socioeconomic status were more likely to use public health services. The years of living in the city of residence were positively associated with the utilization of public health services. Compared to migration within the city, migration across provinces significantly reduced the probability of using health records (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.86–0.90), health education (OR = 0.97, 95% CI: 0.94–1.00), and health education on non–communicable diseases (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.89–0.95) or through the Internet (OR = 0.96, 95% CI: 0.94–0.99). This study concludes that public health services coverage for internal migrants has seen great improvement due to government subsidies. Internal migrants with lower socioeconomic status and across provinces need to be targeted. More attention should be given to the local government in the developed eastern regions in order to narrow the regional gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
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Open AccessArticle Variations in the Rate of Infestations of Dogs with Zoonotic Nematodes and the Contamination of Soil in Different Environments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1003; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091003
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
Companion animals are an important aspect in human life. However, they may also be considered a source of pathogens. An example of zoonotic parasitoses is toxocarosis or cutaneous larva migrans (CLM). The aim of the study was to detect zoonotic nematodes of dogs
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Companion animals are an important aspect in human life. However, they may also be considered a source of pathogens. An example of zoonotic parasitoses is toxocarosis or cutaneous larva migrans (CLM). The aim of the study was to detect zoonotic nematodes of dogs living in different areas and the intensity of contamination in parasite polluted environments that are hazardous to human health. The fecal samples were examined using standard flotation and decantation methods as well as McMaster’s quantitative technique. The soil samples in urban and rural areas were examined using a modified flotation method as described by Quinn et al. Statistical analyses were performed by IBM SPSS Statistics Version 23. The overall prevalence of parasites in dogs was 38%, 17.02% and 56.60% from urban and rural areas, respectively. The percentage values of nematodes important for human health (Toxocara canis, Ancylostomatidae, Trichuris vulpis) remained at the same level (16%). The infected dogs were dominated by a single parasite species, the main was T. canis (28.95%). In total, 54.30% of the soil samples were contaminated with parasite eggs. The contamination of urban and rural sandpits was 40% and 60%, respectively. The molecular examinations of soil samples using LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) confirmed the presence of nematode eggs of the species T. canis in all samples previously classified as positive Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle An Assessment of the Food and Nutrition Security Status of Weaned 7–12 Months Old Children in Rural and Peri-Urban Communities of Gauteng and Limpopo Provinces, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1004; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091004
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 1 September 2017
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Abstract
This study assessed the food and nutrition security status of children receiving complementary food in rural and peri-urban communities. A group of 106 mothers from Lebowakgomo village and Hammanskraal Township, respectively, participated in the survey. Additionally, six focus group discussions were conducted per
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This study assessed the food and nutrition security status of children receiving complementary food in rural and peri-urban communities. A group of 106 mothers from Lebowakgomo village and Hammanskraal Township, respectively, participated in the survey. Additionally, six focus group discussions were conducted per study area to assess the mothers’ perceptions about children’s food access. The Children’s Food Insecurity Access Scale (CFIAS) was used to assess the food security status (access) of the children. The Individual Dietary Diversity Score (IDDS) together with the unquantified food consumption frequency survey were used as a proxy measure of the nutritional quality of the children’s diets. The age and weight of the children obtained from the children’s clinic health cards were used to calculate Weight-for-Age Z scores (WAZ) in order to determine the prevalence of underweight children. The findings showed that a large percentage of children were severely food-insecure, 87% and 78%, in rural and peri-urban areas, respectively. Additionally, Lebowakgomo children (23.6%) and Hammanskraal children (17.9%) were severely underweight. Overall, children’s diets in both study areas was characterized by nutrient-deficient complementary foods. Cheaper foods with a longer stomach-filling effect such as white maize meal and sugar were the most commonly purchased and used. Hence, the children consumed very limited amounts of foods rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins, which significantly increased the risk of their being malnourished. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle Enhancing Youth Participation Using the PREP Intervention: Parents’ Perspectives
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1005; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091005
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 2 September 2017
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Abstract
Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation (PREP), an innovative intervention aimed at modifying the environment and coaching youth/parents, was found to be effective in improving youth participation in chosen community activities. In order to complement existing quantitative evidence, this study examined parents’
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Pathways and Resources for Engagement and Participation (PREP), an innovative intervention aimed at modifying the environment and coaching youth/parents, was found to be effective in improving youth participation in chosen community activities. In order to complement existing quantitative evidence, this study examined parents’ perspectives on the PREP approach. Twelve parents of youth with physical disabilities (12 to 18 years old) who received the PREP approach participated in individual semi-structured interviews following the 12-week intervention delivered by an occupational therapist. Thematic analysis revealed three inter-linked themes, the first of which was informative, describing the “nature of intervention”, and led to two reflective themes: “multi-faceted effects of care” and “process of care”. Parents highlighted the effect of the PREP intervention in a broad sense, extending beyond the accomplishment of the selected activities. This involved improvements on the physical, emotional, and social levels as well as in autonomy. Parents also discussed how their own needs were acknowledged through the intervention and recognized the unique role of the occupational therapist in supporting this process. The findings provide additional information about the usefulness of the PREP approach and describe the various benefits generated by a single intervention. Such knowledge can expand the therapeutic options for positive, health-promoting participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion Interventions for People with Disabilities)
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Open AccessArticle Combining Theory-Driven Evaluation and Causal Loop Diagramming for Opening the ‘Black Box’ of an Intervention in the Health Sector: A Case of Performance-Based Financing in Western Uganda
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1007; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091007
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
Increased attention on “complexity” in health systems evaluation has resulted in many different methodological responses. Theory-driven evaluations and systems thinking are two such responses that aim for better understanding of the mechanisms underlying given outcomes. Here, we studied the implementation of a performance-based
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Increased attention on “complexity” in health systems evaluation has resulted in many different methodological responses. Theory-driven evaluations and systems thinking are two such responses that aim for better understanding of the mechanisms underlying given outcomes. Here, we studied the implementation of a performance-based financing intervention by the Belgian Technical Cooperation in Western Uganda to illustrate a methodological strategy of combining these two approaches. We utilized a systems dynamics tool called causal loop diagramming (CLD) to generate hypotheses feeding into a theory-driven evaluation. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 health workers from two districts (Kasese and Kyenjojo) and with 16 key informants. After CLD, we identified three relevant hypotheses: “success to the successful”, “growth and underinvestment”, and “supervision conundrum”. The first hypothesis leads to increasing improvements in performance, as better performance leads to more incentives, which in turn leads to better performance. The latter two hypotheses point to potential bottlenecks. Thus, the proposed methodological strategy was a useful tool for identifying hypotheses that can inform a theory-driven evaluation. The hypotheses are represented in a comprehensible way while highlighting the underlying assumptions, and are more easily falsifiable than hypotheses identified without using CLD. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Systems and Services)
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Open AccessArticle Fine-Scale Spatial Variability of Pedestrian-Level Particulate Matters in Compact Urban Commercial Districts in Hong Kong
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1008; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091008
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 3 September 2017
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Abstract
Particulate matters (PM) at the pedestrian level significantly raises the health impacts in the compact urban environment of Hong Kong. A detailed investigation of the fine-scale spatial variation of pedestrian-level PM is necessary to assess the health risk to pedestrians in the outdoor
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Particulate matters (PM) at the pedestrian level significantly raises the health impacts in the compact urban environment of Hong Kong. A detailed investigation of the fine-scale spatial variation of pedestrian-level PM is necessary to assess the health risk to pedestrians in the outdoor environment. However, the collection of PM data is difficult in the compact urban environment of Hong Kong due to the limited amount of roadside monitoring stations and the complicated urban context. In this study, we measured the fine-scale spatial variability of the PM in three of the most representative commercial districts of Hong Kong using a backpack outdoor environmental measuring unit. Based on the measurement data, 13 types of geospatial interpolation methods were examined for the spatial mapping of PM2.5 and PM10 with a group of building geometrical covariates. Geostatistical modelling was adopted as the basis of spatial interpolation of the PM. The results show that the original cokriging with the exponential kernel function provides the best performance in the PM mapping. Using the fine-scale building geometrical features as covariates slightly improves the interpolation performance. The study results also imply that the fine-scale, localized pollution emission sources heavily influence pedestrian exposure to PM. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Geochemistry and Human Health)
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Open AccessArticle Microbiological Impact of the Use of Reclaimed Wastewater in Recreational Parks
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1009; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091009
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Reclaimed wastewater for irrigation is an opportunity for recovery of this natural resource. In this study, microbial risk from the use of treated wastewater for irrigation of recreational parks in the city of Chihuahua, evaluating the effect of distribution distance, season, and presence
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Reclaimed wastewater for irrigation is an opportunity for recovery of this natural resource. In this study, microbial risk from the use of treated wastewater for irrigation of recreational parks in the city of Chihuahua, evaluating the effect of distribution distance, season, and presence of storage tanks, was analyzed. Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and multidrug-resistant bacteria were recovered from samples of reclaimed water and soils at recreational parks in Chihuahua by the membrane filtration method, using selected agars for microbial growth. Samples were taken at three different seasons. No correlation in the presence of microbial indicators and multidrug-resistant bacteria (p > 0.05) was found between the distance from the wastewater treatment plant to the point of use. Presence of storage tanks in parks showed a significant effect (p < 0.05) with a higher level of E. coli. The highest count in wastewater occurred in summer. We isolated 392 multidrug-resistant bacteria from water and soil; cluster analysis showed that the microorganisms at each location were of different origins. Irrigation with reclaimed wastewater did not have a negative effect on the presence of microbial indicators of the quality of soils in the parks. However, the prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria still represents a potential risk factor for human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Association between Functional Movements Skills and Health Indicators in Children Aged between 9 and 12 Years Old
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1010; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091010
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 21 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Children’s health is a current concern and data suggests that poor fundamental movement skills (FMS) could be associated with poor health, which may or may not be mediated by low physical activity level. However, tools to assess FMS have not been
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Background: Children’s health is a current concern and data suggests that poor fundamental movement skills (FMS) could be associated with poor health, which may or may not be mediated by low physical activity level. However, tools to assess FMS have not been standardized, and could consequently lead to different associations between FMS and health indicators. Objective: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the associations between FMS and health indicators using two different FMS measurement tools often used in Canada. Methods: A total of 145 children between the ages of 9 to 12 were recruited from schools, after school programs, and summer camps in 2016. FMS were evaluated using the Passport for Life (bound, plank, run, kick, throw) and the PLAYbasic (run, hop, throw, kick, and balance). The association between each test and an average score for each tool were tests with health indicators including anthropometric measures, grip strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and percent body fat. Results: Participants were composed of 54.2% boys aged 10.4 ± 1.2 years with an average body mass index of 18.8 ± 3.8 kg/m2. The association between the average score of both tools was 0.77 (p < 0.01), body mass index was significantly associated with 67% of FMS elements using the Passport for Life (r ranging from −0.18 to −0.32; p < 0.05), and 60% of FMS using the PLAYbasic (r ranging from −0.15 to −0.30; p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between the associations of the health indicators with FMS and either FMS assessment tool (Passport for Life and PLAYbasic) (p = 0.05). Average score of FMS was significantly associated with all health indicators using both PLAYbasic and Passport for Life (all p < 0.05). Conclusions: Health indicators in children are associated with FMS regardless of whether the Passport for Life or the PLAYbasic was used as the assessment tool. It is worth investigating if interventions that improve FMS lead to improvements in these health indicators. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Distribution and Fuzzy Health Risk Assessment of Trace Elements in Surface Water from Honghu Lake
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1011; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091011
Received: 12 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
Previous studies revealed that Honghu Lake was polluted by trace elements due to anthropogenic activities. This study investigated the spatial distribution of trace elements in Honghu Lake, and identified the major pollutants and control areas based on the fuzzy health risk assessment at
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Previous studies revealed that Honghu Lake was polluted by trace elements due to anthropogenic activities. This study investigated the spatial distribution of trace elements in Honghu Lake, and identified the major pollutants and control areas based on the fuzzy health risk assessment at screening level. The mean total content of trace elements in surface water decreased in the order of Zn (18.04 μg/L) > Pb (3.42 μg/L) > Cu (3.09 μg/L) > Cr (1.63 μg/L) > As (0.99 μg/L) > Cd (0.14 μg/L), within limits of Drinking Water Guidelines. The results of fuzzy health risk assessment indicated that there was no obvious non-carcinogenic risk to human health, while carcinogenic risk was observed in descending order of As > Cr > Cd > Pb. As was regarded to have the highest carcinogenic risk among selected trace elements because it generally accounted for 64% of integrated carcinogenic risk. Potential carcinogenic risk of trace elements in each sampling site was approximately at medium risk level (10−5 to 10−4). The areas in the south (S4, S13, and S16) and northeast (S8, S18, and S19) of Honghu Lake were regarded as the risk priority control areas. However, the corresponding maximum memberships of integrated carcinogenic risk in S1, S3, S10–S13, S15, and S18 were of relatively low credibility (50–60%), and may mislead the decision-makers in identifying the risk priority areas. Results of fuzzy assessment presented the subordinate grade and corresponding reliability of risk, and provided more full-scale results for decision-makers, which made up for the deficiency of certainty assessment to a certain extent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Hazards and Public Health: A Systems Approach)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle On Consistency Test Method of Expert Opinion in Ecological Security Assessment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1012; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091012
Received: 16 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
To reflect the initiative design and initiative of human security management and safety warning, ecological safety assessment is of great value. In the comprehensive evaluation of regional ecological security with the participation of experts, the expert’s individual judgment level, ability and the consistency
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To reflect the initiative design and initiative of human security management and safety warning, ecological safety assessment is of great value. In the comprehensive evaluation of regional ecological security with the participation of experts, the expert’s individual judgment level, ability and the consistency of the expert’s overall opinion will have a very important influence on the evaluation result. This paper studies the consistency measure and consensus measure based on the multiplicative and additive consistency property of fuzzy preference relation (FPR). We firstly propose the optimization methods to obtain the optimal multiplicative consistent and additively consistent FPRs of individual and group judgments, respectively. Then, we put forward a consistency measure by computing the distance between the original individual judgment and the optimal individual estimation, along with a consensus measure by computing the distance between the original collective judgment and the optimal collective estimation. In the end, we make a case study on ecological security for five cities. Result shows that the optimal FPRs are helpful in measuring the consistency degree of individual judgment and the consensus degree of collective judgment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Models in Green Growth and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle Barriers to Effective Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Rapidly Urbanizing Area in Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1013; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091013
Received: 4 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 4 September 2017
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Abstract
This study focused on determining the barriers to effective municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in a rapidly urbanizing area in Thailand. The Tha Khon Yang Subdistrict Municipality is a representative example of many local governments in Thailand that have been facing MSWM issues.
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This study focused on determining the barriers to effective municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in a rapidly urbanizing area in Thailand. The Tha Khon Yang Subdistrict Municipality is a representative example of many local governments in Thailand that have been facing MSWM issues. In-depth interviews with individuals and focus groups were conducted with key informants including the municipality staff, residents, and external organizations. The major influences affecting waste management were categorized into six areas: social-cultural, technical, financial, organizational, and legal-political barriers and population growth. SWOT analysis shows both internal and external factors are playing a role in MSWM: There is good policy and a reasonably sufficient budget. However, there is insufficient infrastructure, weak strategic planning, registration, staff capacity, information systems, engagement with programs; and unorganized waste management and fee collection systems. The location of flood prone areas has impacted on location and operation of landfill sites. There is also poor communication between the municipality and residents and a lack of participation in waste separation programs. However, external support from government and the nearby university could provide opportunities to improve the situation. These findings will help inform municipal decision makers, leading to better municipal solid waste management in newly urbanized areas. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Active Transportation on a Complete Street: Perceived and Audited Walkability Correlates
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1014; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091014
Received: 8 July 2017 / Revised: 23 August 2017 / Accepted: 29 August 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Few studies of walkability include both perceived and audited walkability measures. We examined perceived walkability (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale—Abbreviated, NEWS-A) and audited walkability (Irvine–Minnesota Inventory, IMI) measures for residents living within 2 km of a “complete street”—one renovated with light rail, bike lanes,
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Few studies of walkability include both perceived and audited walkability measures. We examined perceived walkability (Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale—Abbreviated, NEWS-A) and audited walkability (Irvine–Minnesota Inventory, IMI) measures for residents living within 2 km of a “complete street”—one renovated with light rail, bike lanes, and sidewalks. For perceived walkability, we found some differences but substantial similarity between our final scales and those in a prior published confirmatory factor analysis. Perceived walkability, in interaction with distance, was related to complete street active transportation. Residents were likely to have active transportation on the street when they lived nearby and perceived good aesthetics, crime safety, and traffic safety. Audited walkability, analyzed with decision trees, showed three general clusters of walkability areas, with 12 specific subtypes. A subset of walkability items (n = 11), including sidewalks, zebra-striped crosswalks, decorative sidewalks, pedestrian signals, and blank walls combined to cluster street segments. The 12 subtypes yielded 81% correct classification of residents’ active transportation. Both perceived and audited walkability were important predictors of active transportation. For audited walkability, we recommend more exploration of decision tree approaches, given their predictive utility and ease of translation into walkability interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Transportation and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in Daily Steps and Body Mass Index and Waist to Height Ratio during Four Year Follow-Up in Adults: Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1015; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091015
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Aims: Over the study years, there was a significant increase in body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) in middle aged Finnish adults. Methods: Data were obtained from 1033 Finnish adults from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study in 2007 and
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Aims: Over the study years, there was a significant increase in body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) in middle aged Finnish adults. Methods: Data were obtained from 1033 Finnish adults from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study in 2007 and 2011. Cohort study participants wore an Omron Walking Style One (HJ-152R-E) pedometer for five days and were grouped into those who increased, maintained and decreased their steps between 2007 and 2011. Paired samples t-test was used to compare body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-height ratio (WtHR) change values between the change groups in study years. Results: Among study population BMI and WtHR increase between study years was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Only those, who increased their total steps for at least 2000 steps, maintained their BMI in the same level, while people who decreased or maintained their total steps in the same level, BMI and WtHR increased during four years follow-up. Conclusions: This data suggests that increasing steps in middle age is associated with maintaining BMI at the same level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle Evaluation of VIIRS Land Aerosol Model Selection with AERONET Measurements
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1016; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091016
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is a next-generation polar-orbiting operational environmental sensor with a capability for global aerosol observations. Identifying land aerosol types is important because aerosol types are a basic input in retrieving aerosol optical properties for VIIRS. The VIIRS
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The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is a next-generation polar-orbiting operational environmental sensor with a capability for global aerosol observations. Identifying land aerosol types is important because aerosol types are a basic input in retrieving aerosol optical properties for VIIRS. The VIIRS algorithm can automatically select the optimal land aerosol model by minimizing the residual between the derived and expected spectral surface reflectance. In this study, these selected VIIRS aerosol types are evaluated using collocated aerosol types obtained from the Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET) level 1.5 from 23 January 2013 to 28 February 2017. The spatial distribution of VIIRS aerosol types and the aerosol optical depth bias (VIIRS minus AERONET) demonstrate that misidentifying VIIRS aerosol types may lead to VIIRS retrieval being overestimated over the Eastern United States and the developed regions of East Asia, as well as underestimated over Southern Africa, India, and Northeastern China. Approximately 22.33% of VIIRS aerosol types are coincident with that of AERONET. The agreements between VIIRS and AERONET for fine non-absorbing and absorbing aerosol types are approximately 36% and 57%, respectively. However, the agreement between VIIRS and AERONET is extremely low (only 3.51%). The low agreement for coarse absorbing dust may contribute to the poor performance of VIIRS retrieval under the aerosol model (R = 0.61). Results also show that an appropriate aerosol model can improve the retrieval performance of VIIRS over land, particularly for dust type (R increases from 0.61 to 0.72). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Visual Stimulation with Bonsai Trees on Adult Male Patients with Spinal Cord Injury
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1017; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091017
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 5 September 2017
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Abstract
Nature therapy has been demonstrated to induce physiological relaxation. The psychophysiological effects of nature therapy (stimulation with bonsai trees) on adult male patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) were examined. Oxyhemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex were measured using near-infrared spectroscopy, and
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Nature therapy has been demonstrated to induce physiological relaxation. The psychophysiological effects of nature therapy (stimulation with bonsai trees) on adult male patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) were examined. Oxyhemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex were measured using near-infrared spectroscopy, and heart rate variability was analyzed. Psychological responses were evaluated using the modified semantic differential method and Profile of Mood States (POMS) subscale scores. Visual stimulation of adult male patients with SCI elicited significantly decreased left prefrontal cortex activity, increased parasympathetic nervous activity, decreased sympathetic nervous activity, increased positive feelings, and resulted in lower negative POMS subscale scores. Nature therapy can lead to a state of physiological and psychological relaxation in patients with SCI. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Extraction of Rice Heavy Metal Stress Signal Features Based on Long Time Series Leaf Area Index Data Using Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1018; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091018
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 3 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The use of remote sensing technology to diagnose heavy metal stress in crops is of great significance for environmental protection and food security. However, in the natural farmland ecosystem, various stressors could have a similar influence on crop growth, therefore making heavy metal
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The use of remote sensing technology to diagnose heavy metal stress in crops is of great significance for environmental protection and food security. However, in the natural farmland ecosystem, various stressors could have a similar influence on crop growth, therefore making heavy metal stress difficult to identify accurately, so this is still not a well resolved scientific problem and a hot topic in the field of agricultural remote sensing. This study proposes a method that uses Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition (EEMD) to obtain the heavy metal stress signal features on a long time scale. The method operates based on the Leaf Area Index (LAI) simulated by the Enhanced World Food Studies (WOFOST) model, assimilated with remotely sensed data. The following results were obtained: (i) the use of EEMD was effective in the extraction of heavy metal stress signals by eliminating the intra-annual and annual components; (ii) LAIdf (The first derivative of the sum of the interannual component and residual) can preferably reflect the stable feature responses to rice heavy metal stress. LAIdf showed stability with an R2 of greater than 0.9 in three growing stages, and the stability is optimal in June. This study combines the spectral characteristics of the stress effect with the time characteristics, and confirms the potential of long-term remotely sensed data for improving the accuracy of crop heavy metal stress identification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Multimorbidity in Chronic Conditions: Public Primary Care Patients in Four Greater Mekong Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1019; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091019
Received: 19 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence, pattern, and social determinants of chronic conditions multimorbidity among chronic disease primary care patients in four Greater Mekong countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). In a cross-sectional survey, chronic disease patients accessing primary
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The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence, pattern, and social determinants of chronic conditions multimorbidity among chronic disease primary care patients in four Greater Mekong countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam). In a cross-sectional survey, chronic disease patients accessing primary care were recruited if they had been diagnosed with any of 21 chronic conditions in the past 12 months, and were interviewed with a structured questionnaire on anxiety, depression, alcohol use, tobacco use, dietary behaviour, physical activity, and quality of life. The sample included 6236 public primary care patients (32.8% men and 67.2% women), with a mean age of 53.0 years (SD = 16.8). From 21 chronic conditions, the three most common were hypertension (37.4%), depression (34.4%), and digestive diseases (32.0%). In all, 27.4% had one chronic condition, 28.6% had two, 22.4% had three, and 21.6% had four or more chronic conditions. The percentage with the highest comorbidity was depression (47.3%), hypertension (43.4%), and digestive diseases (34.1%). The highest mean multimorbidity reported was for mental illness (4.44), kidney disease (4.11), and Parkinson’s disease (4.10), and the lowest multimorbidity for epilepsy (2.43) and cancer (2.80). Compared to those who had only one chronic condition, being male, older age, lower education, and lower quality of life were associated with having two and three or more chronic conditions. Multimorbidity is a prevalent problem among chronic condition primary care patients—a finding with implications for health care delivery, management, and research. Full article
Open AccessArticle Effects of Hyporheic Water Fluxes and Sediment Grain Size on the Concentration and Diffusive Flux of Heavy Metals in the Streambed
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1020; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091020
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 2 September 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
The hyporheic zone regulates physicochemical processes in surface-groundwater systems and can be an important source of heavy metals in fluvial systems. This study assesses the pore water concentrations and diffusive fluxes of heavy metals with respect to the vertical water exchange flux (VWEF)
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The hyporheic zone regulates physicochemical processes in surface-groundwater systems and can be an important source of heavy metals in fluvial systems. This study assesses the pore water concentrations and diffusive fluxes of heavy metals with respect to the vertical water exchange flux (VWEF) and sediment grain size. Water and sediment samples were collected on August 2016 from upstream Site 1 and downstream Site 2 along the Juehe River in Shaanxi Province, China. Streambed vertical hydraulic conductivity (Kv) and the VWEF were estimated via the standpipe permeameter test method and Darcy’s law. The heavy metal concentrations in the pore water were measured and the diffusive fluxes were calculated using Fick’s first law. The VWEF patterns were dominated by upward flow, and Site 1 featured higher values of Kv and VWEF. Higher Cu and Zn concentrations occurred near the channel centre with coarse sand and gravel and greater upward VWEFs because coarser sediment and greater upward VWEFs cause stronger metal desorption capacity. Additionally, Cu and Zn at the two sites generally diffused from pore water to surface water, potentially due to the upward VWEF. The VWEF and sediment grain size are likely crucial factors influencing the heavy metal concentrations and diffusive fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Endocrine Disruptors and Pregnancy: Knowledge, Attitudes and Prevention Behaviors of French Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1021; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091021
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 26 August 2017 / Accepted: 31 August 2017 / Published: 6 September 2017
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Abstract
Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are environmental exposure factors that are rarely reported in clinical practice, particularly during pregnancy. This study aimed to describe women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards EDC exposure. A study was conducted in the French Department of Vienne between 2014
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Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC) are environmental exposure factors that are rarely reported in clinical practice, particularly during pregnancy. This study aimed to describe women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards EDC exposure. A study was conducted in the French Department of Vienne between 2014 and 2016 and comprised semi-structured interviews with pregnant women, a focus group of professionals in perinatology and environmental health, and the administration of a psychosocial questionnaire comprising scores in 300 pregnant or in postpartum period women. The mean score of knowledge was 42.9 ± 9.8 out of 100 (from 13.5 to 75.7). Exposure attitude was determined by risk perception. Mean level of cues to action to reduce their EDC exposure was estimated at 56.9 ± 22.5 out of 100 (from 0 to 100). Anxiety was significantly increased after the questionnaire. Anxiety about EDC was associated with a high score of knowledge (OR = 2.30, 95% CI (1.12–4.71)) and with no pregnancy anxiety (OR = 0.57, 95% CI (0.34–0.95)). Our findings suggest that healthcare providers should consider pregnant women’s knowledge and perceptions, possibilities of action, and be careful not to increase their anxiety when advising them about EDC and environmental exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Endocrine Disruptors Leading to Obesity and Related Diseases)
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Open AccessArticle Is the Effect of Body Mass Index on Hypertension Modified by the Elevation? A Cross-Sectional Study of Rural Areas in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1022; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091022
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Obesity is an established independent risk factor for developing hypertension. A recent study showed that the effect of obesity on hypertension varies by the elevation of the residence area. Thus, we hypothesized that the interaction effect of body mass index (BMI) and elevation
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Obesity is an established independent risk factor for developing hypertension. A recent study showed that the effect of obesity on hypertension varies by the elevation of the residence area. Thus, we hypothesized that the interaction effect of body mass index (BMI) and elevation has a significant association with hypertension. The first aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine whether BMI was associated with hypertension, after adjustment for covariates. The second aim was to examine whether the interaction term between BMI and elevation was associated with hypertension, after adjustment for covariates. Data were collected from a cross-sectional study conducted in a rural area of Japan in 2016. After excluding participants with missing data (n = 2), data from 729 participants were analyzed. We found that BMI was significantly associated with hypertension. In addition, the interaction term between BMI and elevation had a significant association with hypertension. The findings of the present study support the recent evidence that high BMI is an independent risk factor for hypertension, but its effect varies by elevation. Thus, context-specific interventions could be an effective approach to prevent hypertension in this area. Full article
Open AccessArticle Variations in Obesity Rates between US Counties: Impacts of Activity Access, Food Environments, and Settlement Patterns
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1023; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091023
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
There is much ongoing research about the effect of the urban environment as compared with individual behaviour on growing obesity levels, including food environment, settlement patterns (e.g., sprawl, walkability, commuting patterns), and activity access. This paper considers obesity variations between US counties, and
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There is much ongoing research about the effect of the urban environment as compared with individual behaviour on growing obesity levels, including food environment, settlement patterns (e.g., sprawl, walkability, commuting patterns), and activity access. This paper considers obesity variations between US counties, and delineates the main dimensions of geographic variation in obesity between counties: by urban-rural status, by region, by area poverty status, and by majority ethnic group. Available measures of activity access, food environment, and settlement patterns are then assessed in terms of how far they can account for geographic variation. A county level regression analysis uses a Bayesian methodology that controls for spatial correlation in unmeasured area risk factors. It is found that environmental measures do play a significant role in explaining geographic contrasts in obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Obesity and Urban Environments)
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Open AccessArticle Risk Assessment of Metals in Urban Soils from a Typical Industrial City, Suzhou, Eastern China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1025; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091025
Received: 14 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Risk of metals in urban soils is less studied, compared to that in other types of soils, hindering accurate assessment of human exposure to metals. In this study, the concentrations of five metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Hg) were analyzed in 167
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Risk of metals in urban soils is less studied, compared to that in other types of soils, hindering accurate assessment of human exposure to metals. In this study, the concentrations of five metals (As, Cd, Cr, Pb, and Hg) were analyzed in 167 surface soil samples collected from Suzhou city and their potential ecological and human health risks were assessed. The mean concentrations of As, Cd, Pb, and Hg except Cr, were higher than the background values in Jiangsu Province. Metal concentrations varied among districts, where sites of high contamination showed a punctate distribution. Principal components and correlation analyses revealed that As, Pb, and Cd could originate from the same sources. The geo-accumulation (Igeo) and potential ecological risk indices (RI) were calculated and the relatively low values of Igeo (<0) and RI (<150) suggested generally low ecological risk. The noncarcinogenic risks of the metals were relatively low for Suzhou residents (i.e., average hazard index or HI: 0.1199 for adults and 0.5935 for children, <1), while the total carcinogenic risks (TCR) of Cr and As were acceptable (TCR in the range of 1.0 × 10−6 to 1.0 × 10−4). Children faced a higher threat than adults. Results of Monte-Carlo simulations were lower than those obtained from models using deterministic parameters. Of all the uncertain parameters, the ingestion rate and body weight were the most sensitive for adults and children, respectively, while As was an important factor for both. The results as well as the factors controlling risks of metals could help better understand the risks of metals in urban soils of industrial cities in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Risk Assessment)
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Open AccessArticle Poor Hand Hygiene Procedure Compliance among Polish Medical Students and Physicians—The Result of an Ineffective Education Basis or the Impact of Organizational Culture?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1026; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091026
Received: 13 July 2017 / Revised: 25 August 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the knowledge of Polish physicians and medical students about the role of hand hygiene (HH) in healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention. Study design: A survey was conducted using an author-prepared questionnaire, which was
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Objective: The objective of the study was to examine the knowledge of Polish physicians and medical students about the role of hand hygiene (HH) in healthcare-associated infection (HAI) prevention. Study design: A survey was conducted using an author-prepared questionnaire, which was filled out on the first day of hospital work (or internship) by newly admitted physicians who had worked in other hospitals and students of different medical schools in Poland. Methods: 100 respondents participated in the study: 28 students, 18 medical interns and 54 physicians. Results: As many as 3/4 of physicians and students did not use the HH techniques correctly. The respondents declared that they perform HH in the following situations: 74.4% of respondents before an aseptic task; 60.8% before patient contact; 57.0% after patient contact; 11.5% after body fluid exposure risk, and only two respondents (1.1%) after contact with patient surroundings. 64% of respondents declared that their supervisor checked their knowledge of the HH technique when they were touching patients, but their supervisors checked the five instances for HH only in the case of 27 respondents (27%). Students experienced any control of HH in the workplace less often. Interns and physicians mentioned that the most important preventive action in HAI is HH, but for students it is the use of gloves. Conclusions: The level of knowledge and skills of physicians and students in the field of HH is insufficient. Deficiencies in skills and knowledge of HH were identified as early as at the level of the first internship. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle Sedentary and Physical Activity Patterns in Adults with Intellectual Disability
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1027; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091027
Received: 7 July 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
Little is known about the patterns of sedentary time (ST) and physical activity (PA) levels throughout the week among adults and older adults with Intellectual Disability (ID). We analyzed ST and PA patterns of adults and older adults with ID. Forty-two adults and
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Little is known about the patterns of sedentary time (ST) and physical activity (PA) levels throughout the week among adults and older adults with Intellectual Disability (ID). We analyzed ST and PA patterns of adults and older adults with ID. Forty-two adults and 42 older adults with mild to severe ID participated in this study. Height and weight were obtained to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). Body fat and fat-free mass percentages were also obtained. Patterns of PA levels and ST were assessed with GT3X Actigraph accelerometers. Adults performed higher amounts of total PA and moderate to vigorous PA than older adults during the week, on weekdays and in center time (all p > 0.05). No differences between males and females were found for either PA levels or ST. Only 10.7% of the participants met the global recommendations on PA for health. The participants of the current study showed low PA levels and a high prevalence of ST. Interestingly, when comparing age and/or sex groups, no differences were observed for ST. Our findings provide novel and valuable information to be considered in future interventions aiming to increase PA levels and reduce ST. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Promotion Interventions for People with Disabilities)
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Open AccessArticle How Social Care Beneficiaries in Poland Rate Relative Harmfulness of Various Tobacco and Nicotine-Containing Products
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1029; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091029
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 3 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 7 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the study was to examine how social care beneficiaries rate the relative harmfulness of tobacco/nicotine-containing products compared to traditional cigarettes. This information is crucial for the development of effective tobacco control strategies targeting disadvantaged populations. The cross-sectional study covered 1817
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The aim of the study was to examine how social care beneficiaries rate the relative harmfulness of tobacco/nicotine-containing products compared to traditional cigarettes. This information is crucial for the development of effective tobacco control strategies targeting disadvantaged populations. The cross-sectional study covered 1817 respondents who were taking advantage of social aid services offered by the local social care institutions in the Piotrkowski district, via face-to-face interviews. The linear regression analysis indicated that relative to women, men consider slim cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes to be more harmful than traditional cigarettes (p < 0.05). The smokers of traditional cigarettes reported menthol cigarettes to be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, relative to the non-smokers (p = 0.05). The current results demonstrate that social care beneficiaries are not aware of the fact that some products are less harmful than others. Education concerning tobacco/nicotine products should include advice on how to reduce the adverse health effects of smoking (e.g., avoiding inhalation of combusted products), while driving the awareness that no nicotine-containing products are safe. Full article
Open AccessArticle Evaluation of a Pilot Implementation to Integrate Alcohol-Related Care within Primary Care
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1030; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091030
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 22 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Alcohol use is a major cause of disability and death worldwide. To improve prevention and treatment addressing unhealthy alcohol use, experts recommend that alcohol-related care be integrated into primary care (PC). However, few healthcare systems do so. To address this gap, implementation researchers
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Alcohol use is a major cause of disability and death worldwide. To improve prevention and treatment addressing unhealthy alcohol use, experts recommend that alcohol-related care be integrated into primary care (PC). However, few healthcare systems do so. To address this gap, implementation researchers and clinical leaders at Kaiser Permanente Washington partnered to design a high-quality Program of Sustained Patient-centered Alcohol-related Care (SPARC). Here, we describe the SPARC pilot implementation, evaluate its effectiveness within three large pilot sites, and describe the qualitative findings on barriers and facilitators. Across the three sites (N = 74,225 PC patients), alcohol screening increased from 8.9% of patients pre-implementation to 62% post-implementation (p < 0.0001), with a corresponding increase in assessment for alcohol use disorders (AUD) from 1.2 to 75 patients per 10,000 seen (p < 0.0001). Increases were sustained over a year later, with screening at 84.5% and an assessment rate of 81 patients per 10,000 seen across all sites. In addition, there was a 50% increase in the number of new AUD diagnoses (p = 0.0002), and a non-statistically significant 54% increase in treatment within 14 days of new diagnoses (p = 0.083). The pilot informed an ongoing stepped-wedge trial in the remaining 22 PC sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alcohol and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between Survival Sex and Borderline Personality Disorder Symptoms in a High Risk Female Population
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1031; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091031
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Engaging in survival sex and mental illness are overrepresented within homeless populations. This article assesses the relationship between symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and engaging in survival sex among homeless women. One hundred and fifty-eight homeless women completed surveys on self-reported BPD
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Engaging in survival sex and mental illness are overrepresented within homeless populations. This article assesses the relationship between symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and engaging in survival sex among homeless women. One hundred and fifty-eight homeless women completed surveys on self-reported BPD symptomology and sexual history. Bivariate and multivariate analyses conducted in this study provided insights into the association of experiencing BPD symptoms and engaging in survival sex. Results indicate that some symptoms of BPD are robustly correlated with engaging in survival sex among homeless adult women. Implications for service agencies and others working with at-risk female populations are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Health Care for Homeless People in Various Contexts)
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Open AccessArticle The Burden of Suicide in Rural Bangladesh: Magnitude and Risk Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1032; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091032
Received: 5 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
The aim of the paper is to quantify the burden and risk factors of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviors in rural Bangladesh. A census was carried out in seven sub-districts encompassing 1.16 million people. Face-to-face interviews were conducted at the household level. Descriptive
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The aim of the paper is to quantify the burden and risk factors of fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviors in rural Bangladesh. A census was carried out in seven sub-districts encompassing 1.16 million people. Face-to-face interviews were conducted at the household level. Descriptive analyses were done to quantify the burden and Poisson regression was run to determine on risk factors. The estimated rates of fatal and non-fatal suicide were 3.29 and 9.86 per 100,000 person years (PY) observed, respectively. The risk of suicide was significantly higher by 6.31 times among 15–17 and 4.04 times among 18–24 olds compared to 25–64 years old. Married adolescents were 22 times more likely to commit suicide compared to never-married people. Compared to Chandpur/Comilla district, the risk of suicide was significantly higher in Narshingdi. Students had significantly lower risk of non-fatal suicidal behavior compared to skilled laborers. The risk of non-fatal suicidal behavior was lower in Sherpur compared to Chandpur/Comilla. Among adolescents, unskilled laborers were 16 times more likely to attempt suicide than students. The common methods for fatal and non-fatal suicidal behaviors were hanging and poisoning. Suicide is a major public health problem in Bangladesh that needs to be addressed with targeted interventions. Full article
Open AccessArticle Migration and Accumulation of Octachlorodipropyl Ether in Soil-Tea Systems in Young and Old Tea Gardens
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1033; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091033
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 4 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
The migration and accumulation of octachlorodipropyl ether (OCDPE) in soil-tea systems were investigated using a gas chromatography-electron capture detector (GC-ECD) method in young and old tea gardens. When the residual concentration of OCDPE was 100 g a.i. hm−2 in soils, the peak
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The migration and accumulation of octachlorodipropyl ether (OCDPE) in soil-tea systems were investigated using a gas chromatography-electron capture detector (GC-ECD) method in young and old tea gardens. When the residual concentration of OCDPE was 100 g a.i. hm−2 in soils, the peak concentrations of OCDPE in fresh leaves of young and old tea plants were 0.365 mg/kg and 0.144 mg/kg, taking 45 days and 55 days, respectively. Equations for the accumulation curves of OCDPE in fresh leaves of young and old tea plants were Ct = 0.0227e0.0566t (R2 = 0.9154) and Ct = 0.0298e−0.0306t (R2 = 0.7156), and were Ct = 3.8435e0.055t (R2 = 0.9698) and Ct = 1.5627e−0.048t (R2 = 0.9634) for dissipation curves, with a half-life of 14.4 days and 12.6 days, respectively. These results have practical guiding significance for controlling tea food safety. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Prevalence, Causes and Social Factors of Visual Impairment among Chinese Adults: Based on a National Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1034; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091034
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 27 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Visual impairment has become a global challenge, especially for developing countries. This study aims to estimate the prevalence, causes and social factors of visual impairment among Chinese adults. Data were from a nationally representative population-based cross-sectional study. The study population were 1,909,199 non-institutionalized
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Visual impairment has become a global challenge, especially for developing countries. This study aims to estimate the prevalence, causes and social factors of visual impairment among Chinese adults. Data were from a nationally representative population-based cross-sectional study. The study population were 1,909,199 non-institutionalized adults aged 18 years and older in mainland China. In the survey, low vision and blindness were checked by ophthalmologists according to the WHO best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) criteria. Population weighted numbers and prevalence of low vision and blindness with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated where appropriate. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify the social factors of visual impairment. The weighted prevalence of visual impairment was 17.17 (95% CI, 16.84–17.50) per 1000 Chinese adults aged 18 years and older. Cataract (57.35%), disorders of choroid and retina (9.80%), and disorders of cornea (6.49%) contributed more than 70 percent to the visual impairment in Chinese adults. Older age groups, young or middle-aged male adults, female elders, illiterate, rural dwellers, non-eastern residents, singles, unemployment, and from family with lower income were associated with visual impairment. More efforts are warranted to enhance treatment and rehabilitation among people with eye disorders to prevent visual impairment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Work-Related Noise Exposure in a Cohort of Patients with Chronic Tinnitus: Analysis of Demographic and Audiological Characteristics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1035; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091035
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Work-related noise exposure is one of the major factors contributing to the development of adult-onset hearing loss and tinnitus. The aim of this study was to analyze, in patients with chronic tinnitus and long-term occupational noise exposure, (A) characteristics of hearing loss, tinnitus,
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Work-related noise exposure is one of the major factors contributing to the development of adult-onset hearing loss and tinnitus. The aim of this study was to analyze, in patients with chronic tinnitus and long-term occupational noise exposure, (A) characteristics of hearing loss, tinnitus, comorbidities, demographic characteristics and a history of work-related noise exposure and (B) differences among individuals employed in occupations with high and low risk of developing work-related noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). One hundred thirty six patients with chronic tinnitus and at least a 10 year-long working history were divided into two groups based on the risk of their profession to induce NIHL. Individuals employed in jobs at high risk for NIHL were mostly males and exhibited a poorer hearing threshold, more evident in the left ear. Tinnitus was mostly bilateral; the next largest presentation was left-sided; patients described their tinnitus as buzzing or high-pitched. Correlation between age, length of tinnitus and worse hearing was found. Patients with a higher degree of hearing impairment were mostly males and were more likely to have a family history of hearing loss and at least one cardiovascular comorbidity. Our study shows some differences in individuals with tinnitus and a history of a profession associated with increased exposure to NIHL compared to those without such a history. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Exploring the Relationship between Housing and Health for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in South Australia: A Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1036; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091036
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
Housing is an important social determinant of health; however, little is known about the impact of housing experiences on health and wellbeing for people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. In this paper, we outline a qualitative component of a study in South Australia
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Housing is an important social determinant of health; however, little is known about the impact of housing experiences on health and wellbeing for people from refugee and asylum-seeking backgrounds. In this paper, we outline a qualitative component of a study in South Australia examining these links. Specifically, interviews were conducted with 50 refugees and asylum seekers who were purposively sampled according to gender, continent and visa status, from a broader survey. Interviews were analysed thematically. The results indicated that housing was of central importance to health and wellbeing and impacted on health through a range of pathways including affordability, the suitability of housing in relation to physical aspects such as condition and layout, and social aspects such as safety and belonging and issues around security of tenure. Asylum seekers in particular reported that living in housing in poor condition negatively affected their health. Our research reinforces the importance of housing for both the physical and mental health for asylum seekers and refugees living in resettlement countries. Improving housing quality, affordability and tenure security all have the potential to lead to more positive health outcomes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Housing and Health)
Open AccessArticle Family Social Environment and Parenting Predictors of Alcohol Use among Adolescents in Lithuania
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1037; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091037
Received: 3 July 2017 / Revised: 17 August 2017 / Accepted: 25 August 2017 / Published: 8 September 2017
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Abstract
The role of the family as the social environment in shaping adolescent lifestyle has recently received substantial attention. This study was focused on investigating the association between familial and parenting predictors and alcohol use in school-aged children. Adolescents aged 13- and 15-year from
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The role of the family as the social environment in shaping adolescent lifestyle has recently received substantial attention. This study was focused on investigating the association between familial and parenting predictors and alcohol use in school-aged children. Adolescents aged 13- and 15-year from a representative sample (N = 3715) of schools in Lithuania were surveyed during the spring of 2014. The methodology of the cross-national Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study was applied. HBSC international questionnaires were completed in the classroom anonymously for obtaining information about drinking of alcoholic beverages and family characteristics—family’s affluence and structure, style of communication in the family, parenting style, parental monitoring, family time together, etc. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was applied for assessment of the association between familial variables and weekly alcohol use. Analysis has demonstrated that adolescents from non-intact families tended to show significantly higher risk of being weekly drinkers (OR = 1.69; 95% CI: 1.30–2.19). The following parenting factors were associated with weekly use of alcohol: father’s and mother’s low monitoring, father’s authoritarian-repressive and mother’s permissive-neglectful parenting style. Frequent family time together and frequent electronic media communication with parents showed an inverse negative effect than was predicted. The study suggests that alcohol misuse among adolescents could be associated with a non-intact family structure as well as with complex family and parenting determinants which should be investigated more thoroughly by further studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle The Impact of a City-Level Minimum-Wage Policy on Supermarket Food Prices in Seattle-King County
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1039; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091039
Received: 28 June 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Many states and localities throughout the U.S. have adopted higher minimum wages. Higher labor costs among low-wage food system workers could result in higher food prices. Methods: Using a market basket of 106 foods, food prices were collected at affected
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Background: Many states and localities throughout the U.S. have adopted higher minimum wages. Higher labor costs among low-wage food system workers could result in higher food prices. Methods: Using a market basket of 106 foods, food prices were collected at affected chain supermarket stores in Seattle and same-chain unaffected stores in King County (n = 12 total, six per location). Prices were collected at 1 month pre- (March 2015) and 1-month post-policy enactment (May 2015), then again 1-year post-policy enactment (May 2016). Unpaired t-tests were used to detect price differences by location at fixed time while paired t-tests were used to detect price difference across time with fixed store chain. A multi-level, linear differences-in-differences model, was used to detect the changes in the average market basket item food prices over time across regions, overall and by food group. Results: There were no significant differences in overall market basket or item-level costs at one-month (−$0.01, SE = 0.05, p = 0.884) or one-year post-policy enactment (−$0.02, SE = 0.08, p = 0.772). No significant increases were observed by food group. Conclusions: There is no evidence of change in supermarket food prices by market basket or increase in prices by food group in response to the implementation of Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Environment, Diet, and Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Socioeconomic Vulnerability, Psychosocial Services, and Social Service Spending on Family Reunification: A Multilevel Longitudinal Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1040; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091040
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 9 September 2017
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Abstract
Socio-environmental factors such as poverty, psychosocial services, and social services spending all could influence the challenges faced by vulnerable families. This paper examines the extent to which socioeconomic vulnerability, psychosocial service consultations, and preventative social services spending impacts the reunification for children placed
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Socio-environmental factors such as poverty, psychosocial services, and social services spending all could influence the challenges faced by vulnerable families. This paper examines the extent to which socioeconomic vulnerability, psychosocial service consultations, and preventative social services spending impacts the reunification for children placed in out-of-home care. This study uses a multilevel longitudinal research design that draws data from three sources: (1) longitudinal administrative data from Quebec’s child protection agencies; (2) 2006 and 2011 Canadian Census data; and, (3) intra-province health and social services data. The final data set included all children (N = 39,882) placed in out-of-home care for the first time between 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2013, and followed from their initial out-of-home placement. Multilevel hazard results indicate that socioeconomic vulnerability, controlling for psychosocial services and social services spending, contributes to the decreased likelihood of reunification. Specifically, socioeconomic vulnerability, psychosocial services, and social services spending account for 24.0% of the variation in jurisdictional reunification for younger children less than 5 years of age, 12.5% for children age 5 to 11 years and 21.4% for older children age 12 to 17 years. These findings have implications for decision makers, funding agencies, and child protection agencies to improve jurisdictional resources to reduce the socioeconomic vulnerabilities of reunifying families. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Big Data to Advance Knowledge in Child Maltreatment)
Open AccessArticle Lipid Profiles, Glycated Hemoglobin, and Diabetes in People Living at High Altitude in Nepal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1041; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091041
Received: 24 July 2017 / Revised: 30 August 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to describe lipid profiles and the distribution of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in a sample of a high altitude population of Nepal and to explore associations between these metabolic risk variables and altitude. A cross-sectional survey of cardiovascular disease and associated
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This study aimed to describe lipid profiles and the distribution of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in a sample of a high altitude population of Nepal and to explore associations between these metabolic risk variables and altitude. A cross-sectional survey of cardiovascular disease and associated risk factors was conducted among 521 people living at four different altitude levels, all above 2800 m, in the Mustang and Humla districts of Nepal. Urban participants (residents at 2800 m and 3620 m) had higher total cholesterol (TC) and triglyceride (TG) than rural participants. A high ratio of TC to high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL) (TC/HDL ≥ 5.0) was found in 23.7% (95% CI 19.6, 28.2) and high TG (≥1.7 mmol/L) in 43.3% (95% CI 38.4, 48.3) of participants overall. Mean HbA1c levels were similar at all altitude levels although urban participants had a higher prevalence of diabetes. Overall, 6.9% (95% CI 4.7, 9.8) of participants had diabetes or were on hypoglycaemic treatment. There was no clear association between lipid profiles or HbA1c and altitude in a multivariate analysis adjusted for possible confounding variables. Residential settings and associated lifestyle practices are more strongly associated with lipid profiles and HbA1c than altitude amongst high altitude residents in Nepal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Assessment of Heavy Metal Pollution and Health Risks in the Soil-Plant-Human System in the Yangtze River Delta, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1042; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091042
Received: 26 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract
Heavy metal (HM) contamination and accumulation is a serious problem around the world due to the toxicity, abundant sources, non-biodegradable properties, and accumulative behaviour of HMs. The degree of soil HM contamination in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta, is prominent. In
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Heavy metal (HM) contamination and accumulation is a serious problem around the world due to the toxicity, abundant sources, non-biodegradable properties, and accumulative behaviour of HMs. The degree of soil HM contamination in China, especially in the Yangtze River Delta, is prominent. In this study, 1822 pairs of soil and crop samples at corresponding locations were collected from the southern Yangtze River Delta of China, and the contents of Ni, Cr, Zn, Cd, As, Cu, Hg, and Pb were measured. The single pollution index in soil (SPI) and Nemerow composite pollution index (NCPI) were used to assess the degree of HM pollution in soil, and the crop pollution index (CPI) was used to explore the degree of HM accumulation in crops. The bioaccumulation factor (BAF) was used to investigate the translocation of heavy metals in the soil-crop system. The health risks caused by HMs were calculated based on the model released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The SPIs of all elements were at the unpolluted level. The mean NCPI was at the alert level. The mean CPIs were in the following decreasing order: Ni (1.007) > Cr (0.483) > Zn (0.335) > Cd (0.314) > As (0.232) > Cu (0.187) > Hg (0.118) > Pb (0.105). Only the mean content of Ni in the crops exceeded the national standard value. The standard exceeding rates were used to represent the percentage of samples whose heavy metal content is higher than the corresponding national standard values. The standard exceeding rates of Cu, Hg, and Cd in soil were significantly higher than corresponding values in crops. Meanwhile, the standard exceeding rates of Ni, As, and Cr in crops were significantly higher than corresponding values in soil. The chronic daily intake (CDI) of children (13.8 × 10−3) was the largest among three age groups, followed by adults (6.998 × 10−4) and seniors (5.488 × 10−4). The bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) of all crops followed the order Cd (0.249) > Zn (0.133) > As (0.076) > Cu (0.064) > Ni (0.018) > Hg (0.011) > Cr (0.010) > Pb (0.001). Therefore, Cd was most easily absorbed by crops, and different crops had different capacities to absorb HMs. The hazard quotient (HQ) represents the potential non-carcinogenic risk for an individual HM and it is an estimation of daily exposure to the human population that is not likely to represent an appreciable risk of deleterious effects during a lifetime. All the HQs of the HMs for the different age groups were significantly less than the alert value of 1.0 and were at a safe level. This indicated that citizens in the study area face low potential non-carcinogenic risk caused by HMs. The total carcinogens risks (TCRs) for children, adults, and seniors were 5.24 × 10−5, 2.65 × 10−5, and 2.08 × 10−5, respectively, all of which were less than the guideline value but at the alert level. Ingestion was the main pathway of carcinogen risk to human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Pollution and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of Vitamin A on Fracture Risk: A Meta-Analysis of Cohort Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1043; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091043
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 10 September 2017
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Abstract
This meta-analysis evaluated the influence of dietary intake and blood level of vitamin A (total vitamin A, retinol or β-carotene) on total and hip fracture risk. Cohort studies published before July 2017 were selected through English-language literature searches in several databases. Relative risk
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This meta-analysis evaluated the influence of dietary intake and blood level of vitamin A (total vitamin A, retinol or β-carotene) on total and hip fracture risk. Cohort studies published before July 2017 were selected through English-language literature searches in several databases. Relative risk (RR) with corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to evaluate the risk. Heterogeneity was checked by Chi-square and I2 test. Sensitivity analysis and publication bias were also performed. For the association between retinol intake and total fracture risk, we performed subgroup analysis by sex, region, case ascertainment, education level, age at menopause and vitamin D intake. R software was used to complete all statistical analyses. A total of 319,077 participants over the age of 20 years were included. Higher dietary intake of retinol and total vitamin A may slightly decrease total fracture risk (RR with 95% CI: 0.95 (0.91, 1.00) and 0.94 (0.88, 0.99), respectively), and increase hip fracture risk (RR with 95% CI: 1.40 (1.02, 1.91) and 1.29 (1.06, 1.57), respectively). Lower blood level of retinol may slightly increase total fracture risk (RR with 95% CI: 1.11 (0.94, 1.30)) and hip fracture risk (RR with 95% CI: 1.27 (1.05, 1.53)). In addition, higher β-carotene intake was weakly associated with the increased risk of total fracture (RR with 95% CI: 1.07 (0.97, 1.17)). Our data suggest that vitamin A intake and level may differentially influence the risks of total and hip fractures. Clinical trials are warranted to confirm these results and assess the clinical applicability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Open AccessArticle Polytrauma Defined by the New Berlin Definition: A Validation Test Based on Propensity-Score Matching Approach
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1045; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091045
Received: 9 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Polytrauma patients are expected to have a higher risk of mortality than that obtained by the summation of expected mortality owing to their individual injuries. This study was designed to investigate the outcome of patients with polytrauma, which was defined using the
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Background: Polytrauma patients are expected to have a higher risk of mortality than that obtained by the summation of expected mortality owing to their individual injuries. This study was designed to investigate the outcome of patients with polytrauma, which was defined using the new Berlin definition, as cases with an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) ≥ 3 for two or more different body regions and one or more additional variables from five physiologic parameters (hypotension [systolic blood pressure ≤ 90 mmHg], unconsciousness [Glasgow Coma Scale score ≤ 8], acidosis [base excess ≤ −6.0], coagulopathy [partial thromboplastin time ≥ 40 s or international normalized ratio ≥ 1.4], and age [≥70 years]). Methods: We retrieved detailed data on 369 polytrauma patients and 1260 non-polytrauma patients with an overall Injury Severity Score (ISS) ≥ 18 who were hospitalized between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2015 for the treatment of all traumatic injuries, from the Trauma Registry System at a level I trauma center. Patients with burn injury or incomplete registered data were excluded. Categorical data were compared with two-sided Fisher exact or Pearson chi-square tests. The unpaired Student t-test and the Mann–Whitney U-test was used to analyze normally distributed continuous data and non-normally distributed data, respectively. Propensity-score matched cohort in a 1:1 ratio was allocated using the NCSS software with logistic regression to evaluate the effect of polytrauma on patient outcomes. Results: The polytrauma patients had a significantly higher ISS than non-polytrauma patients (median (interquartile range Q1–Q3), 29 (22–36) vs. 24 (20–25), respectively; p < 0.001). Polytrauma patients had a 1.9-fold higher odds of mortality than non-polytrauma patients (95% CI 1.38–2.49; p < 0.001). Compared to non-polytrauma patients, polytrauma patients had a substantially longer hospital length of stay (LOS). In addition, a higher proportion of polytrauma patients were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), spent longer LOS in the ICU, and had significantly higher total medical expenses. Among 201 selected propensity score-matched pairs of polytrauma and non-polytrauma patients who showed no significant difference in sex, age, co-morbidity, AIS ≥ 3, and Injury Severity Score (ISS), the polytrauma patients had a significantly higher mortality rate (OR 17.5, 95% CI 4.21–72.76; p < 0.001), and a higher proportion of patients admitted to the ICU (84.1% vs. 74.1%, respectively; p = 0.013) with longer stays in the ICU (10.3 days vs. 7.5 days, respectively; p = 0.003). The total medical expenses for polytrauma patients were 35.1% higher than those of non-polytrauma patients. However, there was no significant difference in the LOS between polytrauma and non-polytrauma patients (21.1 days vs. 19.8 days, respectively; p = 0.399). Conclusions: The findings of this propensity-score matching study suggest that the new Berlin definition of polytrauma is feasible and applicable for trauma patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle A Multivariate Dynamic Spatial Factor Model for Speciated Pollutants and Adverse Birth Outcomes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1046; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091046
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 21 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
Evidence suggests that exposure to elevated concentrations of air pollution during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of birth defects and other adverse birth outcomes. While current regulations put limits on total PM2.5 concentrations, there are many speciated pollutants within this size class
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Evidence suggests that exposure to elevated concentrations of air pollution during pregnancy is associated with increased risks of birth defects and other adverse birth outcomes. While current regulations put limits on total PM2.5 concentrations, there are many speciated pollutants within this size class that likely have distinct effects on perinatal health. However, due to correlations between these speciated pollutants, it can be difficult to decipher their effects in a model for birth outcomes. To combat this difficulty, we develop a multivariate spatio-temporal Bayesian model for speciated particulate matter using dynamic spatial factors. These spatial factors can then be interpolated to the pregnant women’s homes to be used to model birth defects. The birth defect model allows the impact of pollutants to vary across different weeks of the pregnancy in order to identify susceptible periods. The proposed methodology is illustrated using pollutant monitoring data from the Environmental Protection Agency and birth records from the National Birth Defect Prevention Study Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Modelling for Public Health Research)
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Open AccessArticle Study of the Relevance of the Quality of Care, Operating Efficiency and Inefficient Quality Competition of Senior Care Facilities
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1047; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091047
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 13 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 11 September 2017
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Abstract
The purpose of this research is to examine the relation between operating efficiency and the quality of care of senior care facilities. We designed a data envelopment analysis, combining epsilon-based measure and metafrontier efficiency analyses to estimate the operating efficiency for senior care
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The purpose of this research is to examine the relation between operating efficiency and the quality of care of senior care facilities. We designed a data envelopment analysis, combining epsilon-based measure and metafrontier efficiency analyses to estimate the operating efficiency for senior care facilities, followed by an iterative seemingly unrelated regression to evaluate the relation between the quality of care and operating efficiency. In the empirical studies, Taiwan census data was utilized and findings include the following: Despite the greater operating scale of the general type of senior care facilities, their average metafrontier technical efficiency is inferior to that of nursing homes. We adopted senior care facility accreditation results from Taiwan as a variable to represent the quality of care and examined the relation of accreditation results and operating efficiency. We found that the quality of care of general senior care facilities is negatively related to operating efficiency; however, for nursing homes, the relationship is not significant. Our findings show that facilities invest more in input resources to obtain better ratings in the accreditation report. Operating efficiency, however, does not improve. Quality competition in the industry in Taiwan is inefficient, especially for general senior care facilities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Association between Childhood Diarrhoeal Incidence and Climatic Factors in Urban and Rural Settings in the Health District of Mbour, Senegal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1049; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091049
Received: 30 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
We assessed the association between childhood diarrhoeal incidence and climatic factors in rural and urban settings in the health district of Mbour in western Senegal. We used monthly diarrhoeal case records among children under five years registered in 24 health facilities over a
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We assessed the association between childhood diarrhoeal incidence and climatic factors in rural and urban settings in the health district of Mbour in western Senegal. We used monthly diarrhoeal case records among children under five years registered in 24 health facilities over a four-year period (2011–2014). Climatic data (i.e., daily temperature, night temperature and rainfall) for the same four-year period were obtained. We performed a negative binomial regression model to establish the relationship between monthly diarrhoeal incidence and climatic factors of the same and the previous month. There were two annual peaks in diarrhoeal incidence: one during the cold dry season and one during the rainy season. We observed a positive association between diarrhoeal incidence and high average temperature of 36 °C and above and high cumulative monthly rainfall at 57 mm and above. The association between diarrhoeal incidence and temperature was stronger in rural compared to urban settings, while higher rainfall was associated with higher diarrhoeal incidence in the urban settings. Concluding, this study identified significant health–climate interactions and calls for effective preventive measures in the health district of Mbour. Particular attention should be paid to urban settings where diarrhoea was most common in order to reduce the high incidence in the context of climatic variability, which is expected to increase in urban areas in the face of global warming. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
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Open AccessArticle Applying Nonparametric Methods to Analyses of Short-Term Fine Particulate Matter Exposure and Hospital Admissions for Cardiovascular Diseases among Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1051; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091051
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but whether such associations are supportive of a causal relationship is unclear, and few studies have employed formal causal analysis methods to address this.
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Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) has been associated with increased risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), but whether such associations are supportive of a causal relationship is unclear, and few studies have employed formal causal analysis methods to address this. We employed nonparametric methods to examine the associations between daily concentrations of PM2.5 and hospital admissions (HAs) for CVD among adults aged 75 years and older in Texas, USA. We first quantified the associations in partial dependence plots generated using the random forest approach. We next used a Bayesian network learning algorithm to identify conditional dependencies between CVD HAs of older men and women and several predictor variables. We found that geographic location (county), time (e.g., month and year), and temperature satisfied necessary information conditions for being causes of CVD HAs among older men and women, but daily PM2.5 concentrations did not. We also found that CVD HAs of disjoint subpopulations were strongly predictive of CVD HAs among older men and women, indicating the presence of unmeasured confounders. Our findings from nonparametric analyses do not support PM2.5 as a direct cause of CVD HAs among older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Sex and Body Mass Index on Children’s Physical Activity Intensity during Free Play at an Indoor Soft Play Center: An Exploratory Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1052; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091052
Received: 29 June 2017 / Revised: 21 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Indoor soft play can provide a safe but exciting physical activity opportunity regardless of environmental conditions. Relatively little is known about the quality or quantity of physical activity engaged in by children during indoor free soft play. The aim of this
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Background: Indoor soft play can provide a safe but exciting physical activity opportunity regardless of environmental conditions. Relatively little is known about the quality or quantity of physical activity engaged in by children during indoor free soft play. The aim of this study was to evaluate the contribution indoor free soft play can make in enabling children to meet physical activity guidelines and to evaluate the effects of sex and body mass index category. Methods: Seventy-two boys and girls aged five to 10 years engaged in un-controlled indoor free soft play with a mean duration of 120.7 (27.1) min, during which physical activity was monitored using Actigraph accelerometers. Results: Children spent an average of 61.7 (24.2) min engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and 51.4% (n = 37) achieved the recommended 60 min of MVPA through the single visit to the indoor soft play center. Boys (68.3 (25.7) min) engaged in significantly (p < 0.05) more MVPA than girls (55.8 (21.4) min). Normal weight (65.7 (23.3) min) children engaged in significantly more MVPA than overweight children (48.0 (18.9) min). Conclusions: Attendance at a soft play indoor center has the potential to support children to engage in sufficient MVPA and overcome environmental factors that can restrict physical activity opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Paediatric Exercise Science and Health)
Open AccessArticle Trauma Affecting Asian-Pacific Islanders in the San Francisco Bay Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1053; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091053
Received: 23 June 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Trauma is a transgenerational process that overwhelms the community and the ability of family members to cope with life stressors. An anthropologist trained in ethnographic methods observed three focus groups from a non-profit agency providing trauma and mental health services to Asian Americans
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Trauma is a transgenerational process that overwhelms the community and the ability of family members to cope with life stressors. An anthropologist trained in ethnographic methods observed three focus groups from a non-profit agency providing trauma and mental health services to Asian Americans living in the San Francisco Bay Area of United States. Supplemental information also was collected from staff interviews and notes. Many of the clients were immigrants, refugees, or adult children of these groups. This report consisted of authentic observations and rich qualitative information to characterize the impact of trauma on refugees and immigrants. Observations suggest that collective trauma, direct or indirect, can impede the success and survivability of a population, even after many generations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Refugee Health)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Heat Stress on Construction Labor Productivity in Hong Kong: A Case Study of Rebar Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1055; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091055
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves, and the result will be serious for vulnerable populations such as construction workers. Excessive heat stress has profound effects on physiological responses, which cause occupational injuries, fatalities and low productivity. Construction workers are
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Global warming is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves, and the result will be serious for vulnerable populations such as construction workers. Excessive heat stress has profound effects on physiological responses, which cause occupational injuries, fatalities and low productivity. Construction workers are particularly affected by heat stress, because of the body heat production caused by physically demanding tasks, and hot and humid working conditions. Field studies were conducted between August and September 2016 at two construction training grounds in Hong Kong. Onsite wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT), workers’ heart rate (HR), and labor productivity were measured and monitored. Based on the 378 data sets of synchronized environmental, physiological, construction labor productivity (CLP), and personal variables, a CLP-heat stress model was established. It was found that WBGT, percentage of maximum HR, age, work duration, and alcohol drinking habits were determining factors for predicting the CLP (adjusted R2 = 0.68, p < 0.05). The model revealed that heat stress reduces CLP, with the percentage of direct work time decreasing by 0.33% when the WBGT increased by 1 °C. The findings in this study extend the existing practice notes by providing scientific data that may be of benefit to the industry in producing solid guidelines for working in hot weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Collaborative Visual Analytics: A Health Analytics Approach to Injury Prevention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1056; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091056
Received: 29 July 2017 / Revised: 24 August 2017 / Accepted: 5 September 2017 / Published: 12 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Accurate understanding of complex health data is critical in order to deal with wicked health problems and make timely decisions. Wicked problems refer to ill-structured and dynamic problems that combine multidimensional elements, which often preclude the conventional problem solving approach. This
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Background: Accurate understanding of complex health data is critical in order to deal with wicked health problems and make timely decisions. Wicked problems refer to ill-structured and dynamic problems that combine multidimensional elements, which often preclude the conventional problem solving approach. This pilot study introduces visual analytics (VA) methods to multi-stakeholder decision-making sessions about child injury prevention; Methods: Inspired by the Delphi method, we introduced a novel methodology—group analytics (GA). GA was pilot-tested to evaluate the impact of collaborative visual analytics on facilitating problem solving and supporting decision-making. We conducted two GA sessions. Collected data included stakeholders’ observations, audio and video recordings, questionnaires, and follow up interviews. The GA sessions were analyzed using the Joint Activity Theory protocol analysis methods; Results: The GA methodology triggered the emergence of ‘common ground’ among stakeholders. This common ground evolved throughout the sessions to enhance stakeholders’ verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as coordination of joint activities and ultimately collaboration on problem solving and decision-making; Conclusions: Understanding complex health data is necessary for informed decisions. Equally important, in this case, is the use of the group analytics methodology to achieve ‘common ground’ among diverse stakeholders about health data and their implications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Implementing Low-Cost, Community-Based Exercise Programs for Middle-Aged and Older Patients with Type 2 Diabetes: What Are the Benefits for Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1057; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091057
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Participants (n
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Background: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of a long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Participants (n = 124; 63.25 ± 7.20 years old) engaged in either a 9-month supervised exercise program (n = 39; consisting of combined aerobic, resistance, agility/balance, and flexibility exercise; three sessions per week; 70 min per session) or a control group (n = 85) who maintained their usual care. Glycemic control, lipid profile, blood pressure, anthropometric profile, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease were assessed before and after the 9-month intervention. Results: A significant time * group interaction effect (p < 0.001) was identified in the values of the glycated hemoglobin, fasting plasma glucose, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease. Conclusions: A long-term, community-based, combined exercise program developed with low-cost exercise strategies was effective in inducing significant benefits on glycemic control, lipid profile, blood pressure, anthropometric profile, and the 10-year risk of coronary artery disease in middle-aged and older patients with type 2 diabetes. Clinical Trial Identification Number: ISRCTN09240628. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Development and Evaluation of a Manganese and Iron Food Frequency Questionnaire for Pediatrics
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1060; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091060
Received: 11 July 2017 / Revised: 31 August 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient, but overexposure can lead to neurotoxicity. Given the essentiality of Mn in the diet, particularly during children’s growth and development, it is imperative to quantify dietary Mn intake in populations that may be exposed to industrial sources
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Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient, but overexposure can lead to neurotoxicity. Given the essentiality of Mn in the diet, particularly during children’s growth and development, it is imperative to quantify dietary Mn intake in populations that may be exposed to industrial sources of Mn. Dietary absorption of Mn is inversely associated with iron (Fe) stores, yet there is currently no food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess dietary Mn and Fe intake. The study objective was to develop and evaluate the validity of a FFQ to measure dietary Mn and Fe intake in pediatrics by comparing the estimated intakes of Mn and Fe with biomarkers: Mn in blood and hair and Fe in serum. This study utilized a subset of the Communities Actively Researching Exposure Study (CARES) population residing in Guernsey County, Ohio. Dietary Mn was not correlated with either blood or hair Mn; however, dietary Mn and serum ferritin were significantly correlated, with a correlation coefficient of 0.51, p < 0.01. Moreover, dietary Fe and serum ferritin were also significantly correlated, with a correlation coefficient of 0.51, p < 0.01. This FFQ is a valid measurement tool for Fe intake as measured by serum ferritin; however, Mn intake did not correlate with either blood or hair Mn. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle Hospital Costs of Foreign Non-Resident Patients: A Comparative Analysis in Catalonia, Spain
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1062; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091062
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
Although patient mobility has increased over the world, in Europe there is a lack of empirical studies. The aim of the study was to compare foreign non-resident patients versus domestic patients for the particular Catalan case, focusing on patient characteristics, hospitalisation costs and
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Although patient mobility has increased over the world, in Europe there is a lack of empirical studies. The aim of the study was to compare foreign non-resident patients versus domestic patients for the particular Catalan case, focusing on patient characteristics, hospitalisation costs and differences in costs depending on the typology of the hospital they are treated. We used data from the 2012 Minimum Basic Data Set-Acute Care hospitals (CMBD-HA) in Catalonia. We matched two case-control groups: first, foreign non-resident patients versus domestic patients and, second, foreign non-resident patients treated by Regional Public Hospitals versus other type of hospitals. Hospitalisation costs were modelled using a GLM Gamma with a log-link. Our results show that foreign non-resident patients were significantly less costly than domestic patients (12% cheaper). Our findings also suggested differences in the characteristics of foreign non-resident patients using Regional Public Hospitals or other kinds of hospitals although we did not observe significant differences in the healthcare costs. Nevertheless, women, 15–24 and 35–44 years old patients and the days of stay were less costly in Regional Public Hospitals. In general, acute hospitalizations of foreign non-resident patients while they are on holiday cost substantially less than domestic patients. The typology of hospital is not found to be a relevant factor influencing costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
Open AccessArticle Disaster Governance for Community Resilience in Coastal Towns: Chilean Case Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1063; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091063
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 6 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 14 September 2017
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Abstract
This study aimed to further our understanding of a characteristic of Community Resilience known as Disaster Governance. Three attributes of Disaster Governance—redundancy, diversity, and overlap—were studied in four coastal towns in southern Chile that are at risk of tsunamis. Overall, we explored how
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This study aimed to further our understanding of a characteristic of Community Resilience known as Disaster Governance. Three attributes of Disaster Governance—redundancy, diversity, and overlap—were studied in four coastal towns in southern Chile that are at risk of tsunamis. Overall, we explored how different spatial structures of human settlements influence Disaster Governance. Using the Projective Mapping Technique, the distribution of emergency institutions (N = 32) and uses given to specific sites (e.g., for refuge, sanitary purposes and medical attention) were mapped. Content and GIS analyses (Directional Distribution and Kernel Density Index) were used to explore the dispersion and concentration of institutions and uses in each town. Disaster Governance was found to be highly influenced by decisions taken during regional, urban, and emergency planning. Governance is better in towns of higher order in the communal hierarchical structure. Most of the emergency institutions were found to be located in central and urban areas, which, in turn, assures more redundancy, overlap, and diversity in governance in the event of a tsunami. Lack of flexibility of emergency plans also limits governance in rural and indigenous areas. While the spatial relationships found in this study indicate that urban sectors have better Disaster Governance than rural and indigenous sectors, the influence of resource availability after tsunamis, the role and responsibility of different levels of governments, and the politics of disaster also play an important role in Disaster Governance for determining Community Resilience. These findings shed light on emergency planning and aspects of the Disaster Management cycle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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Open AccessArticle Public Health Network Structure and Collaboration Effectiveness during the 2015 MERS Outbreak in South Korea: An Institutional Collective Action Framework
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1064; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091064
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Following the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, this research aims to examine the structural effect of public health network explaining collaboration effectiveness, which is defined as joint efforts to improve quality of service provision, cost savings, and coordination.
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Following the 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in South Korea, this research aims to examine the structural effect of public health network explaining collaboration effectiveness, which is defined as joint efforts to improve quality of service provision, cost savings, and coordination. We tested the bonding and bridging effects on collaboration effectiveness during the MERS outbreak response by utilizing an institutional collective action framework. The analysis results of 114 organizations responding during the crisis show a significant association between the bonding effect and the effectiveness of collaboration, as well as a positive association between risk communication in disseminating public health information and the effectiveness of collaboration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
Open AccessArticle Use of Principal Components Analysis and Kriging to Predict Groundwater-Sourced Rural Drinking Water Quality in Saskatchewan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1065; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091065
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Groundwater drinking water supply surveillance data were accessed to summarize water quality delivered as public and private water supplies in southern Saskatchewan as part of an exposure assessment for epidemiologic analyses of associations between water quality and type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
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Groundwater drinking water supply surveillance data were accessed to summarize water quality delivered as public and private water supplies in southern Saskatchewan as part of an exposure assessment for epidemiologic analyses of associations between water quality and type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Arsenic in drinking water has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases and previous studies have identified multiple wells with arsenic above the drinking water standard of 0.01 mg/L; therefore, arsenic concentrations were of specific interest. Principal components analysis was applied to obtain principal component (PC) scores to summarize mixtures of correlated parameters identified as health standards and those identified as aesthetic objectives in the Saskatchewan Drinking Water Quality Standards and Objective. Ordinary, universal, and empirical Bayesian kriging were used to interpolate arsenic concentrations and PC scores in southern Saskatchewan, and the results were compared. Empirical Bayesian kriging performed best across all analyses, based on having the greatest number of variables for which the root mean square error was lowest. While all of the kriging methods appeared to underestimate high values of arsenic and PC scores, empirical Bayesian kriging was chosen to summarize large scale geographic trends in groundwater-sourced drinking water quality and assess exposure to mixtures of trace metals and ions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessArticle New Methods to Address Old Challenges: The Use of Administrative Data for Longitudinal Replication Studies of Child Maltreatment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1066; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091066
Received: 10 August 2017 / Revised: 2 September 2017 / Accepted: 6 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Administrative data are crucial to the “big data” revolution of social science and have played an important role in the development of child maltreatment research. These data are also of value to administrators, policy makers, and clinicians. The focus of this paper is
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Administrative data are crucial to the “big data” revolution of social science and have played an important role in the development of child maltreatment research. These data are also of value to administrators, policy makers, and clinicians. The focus of this paper is the use of administrative data to produce and replicate longitudinal studies of child maltreatment. Child protection administrative data have several advantages. They are often population-based, and allow longitudinal examination of child maltreatment and complex multi-level analyses. They also allow comparison across subgroups and minority groups, remove burden from individuals to disclose traumatic experiences, and can be less biased than retrospective recall. Finally, they can be linked to data from other agencies to explore comorbidity and outcomes, and are comparatively cost and time effective. The benefits and challenges associated with the use of administrative data for longitudinal child maltreatment research become magnified when these data are used to produce replications. Techniques to address challenges and support future replication efforts include developing a biographical understanding of the systems from which the data are drawn, using multiple data sources to contextualize the data and research results, recognizing and adopting various approaches to replication, and documenting all data coding and manipulation processes. These techniques are illustrated in this paper via a case study of previous replication work. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Using Big Data to Advance Knowledge in Child Maltreatment)
Open AccessArticle Perception of Radiation Risk as a Predictor of Mid-Term Mental Health after a Nuclear Disaster: The Fukushima Health Management Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1067; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091067
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 8 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Predictive factors including risk perception for mid-term mental health after a nuclear disaster remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between perceived radiation risk and other factors at baseline and mid-term mental health after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
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Predictive factors including risk perception for mid-term mental health after a nuclear disaster remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between perceived radiation risk and other factors at baseline and mid-term mental health after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011 in Japan. A mail-based questionnaire survey was conducted in January 2012 and January 2013. Mental health status was assessed using the K6 scale. Psychological distress over the 2-year period was categorized into the following four groups: chronic, recovered, resistant, or worsened. Most participants (80.3%) were resistant to the disaster. A positive association was found between the radiation risk perception regarding immediate effects and the worsened group in women. Baseline post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a history of psychiatric disease predicted being in the chronic or worsened group in mid-term course. These results suggest that evacuees who believed that their health was substantially affected by the nuclear disaster were at an increased risk of having poor mid-term mental health in women. Careful assessment of risk perception after a nuclear disaster, including the presence of PTSD or a history of psychiatric disease, is needed for appropriate interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health Preparedness for and Response to Nuclear Disasters)
Open AccessArticle Screening for Autochthonous Phytoextractors in a Heavy Metal Contaminated Coal Mining Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1068; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091068
Received: 21 July 2017 / Revised: 28 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
In order to protect public health and crops from soil heavy metal (HM) contamination at a coal mining area in Henan, central China, HM pollution investigation and screening of autochthonous HM phytoextractors were conducted. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), copper (Cu)
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In order to protect public health and crops from soil heavy metal (HM) contamination at a coal mining area in Henan, central China, HM pollution investigation and screening of autochthonous HM phytoextractors were conducted. The concentrations of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in surface soils exceeded the corresponding local background values and the China National Standard (CNS). The maximum potential ecological risk (RI) was 627.30, indicating very high ecological risk. The monomial risk of Cd contributed the most to the RI, varying from 85.48% to 96.48%. The plant community structure in the study area was simple, and was composed of 24 families, 37 genera and 40 species. B. pilosa, A. roxburghiana, A. argyi, A. hispidus were found to be the most dominant species at considerable risk sites. Based on the comprehensive analysis of Cd concentration, bioconcentration factor, translocation factor and adaptability factor, B. pilosa and A. argyi had potential for phytoextraction at considerable risk sites. A. roxburghiana had potential for Cd phytoextraction at moderately risk sites and A. hispidus seemed suitable for phytostabilization. The results could contribute to the phytoremediation of the similar sites. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Engineering and Public Health)
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Open AccessArticle Gender Differences in Problematic Alcohol Consumption in University Professors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1069; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091069
Received: 19 July 2017 / Revised: 4 September 2017 / Accepted: 12 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
The role of job satisfaction and other psychosocial variables in problematic alcohol consumption within professional settings remains understudied. The aim of this study is to assess the level of problematic alcohol consumption among male and female university professors and associated psychosocial variables. A
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The role of job satisfaction and other psychosocial variables in problematic alcohol consumption within professional settings remains understudied. The aim of this study is to assess the level of problematic alcohol consumption among male and female university professors and associated psychosocial variables. A total of 360 professors (183 men and 177 women) of a large private university in Ecuador were surveyed using standardized instruments for the following psychosocial measures: alcohol consumption, job satisfaction, psychological stress, psychological flexibility, social support and resilience. Problematic alcohol consumption was found in 13.1% of participants, although this was significantly higher (χ2 = 15.6; d.f. = 2, p < 0.001) in men (19.1%) than women (6.8%). Problematic alcohol consumption was reported in men with higher perceived stress and job satisfaction. However, 83.3% of women with problematic alcohol use reported lower job satisfaction and higher psychological inflexibility. Results suggest that job satisfaction itself did not prevent problematic alcohol consumption in men; stress was associated with problematic consumption in men and psychological inflexibility in women. Findings from this study support the need to assess aspects of alcohol consumption and problematic behavior differently among men and women. Intervention strategies aimed at preventing or reducing problematic alcohol consumption in university professors must be different for men and women. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Occupational Safety and Health)
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Open AccessArticle Phylogenetic Analysis and Antimicrobial Profiles of Cultured Emerging Opportunistic Pathogens (Phyla Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria) Identified in Hot Springs
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1070; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091070
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Hot spring water may harbour emerging waterborne opportunistic pathogens that can cause infections in humans. We have investigated the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of culturable emerging and opportunistic bacterial pathogens, in water and sediment of hot springs located in Limpopo, South Africa. Aerobic
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Hot spring water may harbour emerging waterborne opportunistic pathogens that can cause infections in humans. We have investigated the diversity and antimicrobial resistance of culturable emerging and opportunistic bacterial pathogens, in water and sediment of hot springs located in Limpopo, South Africa. Aerobic bacteria were cultured and identified using 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) gene sequencing. The presence of Legionella spp. was investigated using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Isolates were tested for resistance to ten antibiotics representing six different classes: β-lactam (carbenicillin), aminoglycosides (gentamycin, kanamycin, streptomycin), tetracycline, amphenicols (chloramphenicol, ceftriaxone), sulphonamides (co-trimoxazole) and quinolones (nalidixic acid, norfloxacin). Gram-positive Kocuria sp. and Arthrobacter sp. and gram-negative Cupriavidus sp., Ralstonia sp., Cronobacter sp., Tepidimonas sp., Hafnia sp. and Sphingomonas sp. were isolated, all recognised as emerging food-borne pathogens. Legionella spp. was not detected throughout the study. Isolates of Kocuria, Arthrobacter and Hafnia and an unknown species of the class Gammaproteobacteria were resistant to two antibiotics in different combinations of carbenicillin, ceftriaxone, nalidixic acid and chloramphenicol. Cronobacter sp. was sensitive to all ten antibiotics. This study suggests that hot springs are potential reservoirs for emerging opportunistic pathogens, including multiple antibiotic resistant strains, and highlights the presence of unknown populations of emerging and potential waterborne opportunistic pathogens in the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Infectious Diseases and Environmental Threats)
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Open AccessArticle Smoothed Temporal Atlases of Age-Gender All-Cause Mortality in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1072; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091072
Received: 4 July 2017 / Revised: 1 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 15 September 2017
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Abstract
Most mortality maps in South Africa and most contried of the sub-Saharan region are static, showing aggregated count data over years or at specific years. Lack of space and temporral dynamanics in these maps may adversely impact on their use and application for
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Most mortality maps in South Africa and most contried of the sub-Saharan region are static, showing aggregated count data over years or at specific years. Lack of space and temporral dynamanics in these maps may adversely impact on their use and application for vigorous public health policy decisions and interventions. This study aims at describing and modeling sub-national distributions of age–gender specific all-cause mortality and their temporal evolutions from 1997 to 2013 in South Africa. Mortality information that included year, age, gender, and municipality administrative division were obtained from Statistics South Africa for the period. Individual mortality level data were grouped by three ages groups (0–14, 15–64, and 65 and over) and gender (male, female) and aggregated at each of the 234 municipalities in the country. The six age-gender all-cause mortality rates may be related due to shared common social deprivation, health and demographic risk factors. We undertake a joint analysis of the spatial-temporal variation of the six age-gender mortality risks. This is done within a shared component spatial model construction where age-gender common and specific spatial and temporal trends are estiamted using a hierarchical Bayesian spatial model. The results show municipal and temporal differentials in mortality risk profiles between age and gender groupings. High rates were seen in 2005, especially for the 15–64 years age group for both males and females. The dynamic geographical and time distributions of subnational age-gender all-cause mortality contribute to a better understanding of the temporal evolvement and geographical variations in the relationship between demographic composition and burden of diseases in South Africa. This provides useful information for effective monitoring and evaluation of public health policies and programmes targeting mortality reduction across time and sub-populations in the country. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Modelling for Public Health Research)
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Open AccessArticle Relationships of Sexual Dysfunction with Depression and Acceptance of Illness in Women and Men with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1073; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091073
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 11 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
An increased prevalence of sexual disorders has been reported in patients with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study is the assessment of the influence of the psychical condition, the concentration of glycated hemoglobin, the duration of diabetes, the body mass index,
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An increased prevalence of sexual disorders has been reported in patients with type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study is the assessment of the influence of the psychical condition, the concentration of glycated hemoglobin, the duration of diabetes, the body mass index, the age, and the subjective acceptance of the illness on sexual disorders occurring in women and men with type 2 diabetes. The study enrolled 215 patients (114 women and 101 men) with type 2 diabetes and 183 controls. Sexuality was determined in all of the studied subjects using: the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) in women and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) in men. The occurrence of depression symptoms was determined using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), whereas the acceptance of the illness in diabetic patients using the Acceptance of Illness Scale (AIS). A sexual dysfunction was found in 68% of the studied diabetic women and 17% of controls. The point values of all the examined FSFI domains were significantly lower in women with diabetes than in controls (p < 0.001). Erectile disorders occurred in 82% of the studied men with diabetes and in 41% of the controls (p < 0.001). The point values of all the domains of FSFI and IIEF demonstrated a significantly negative correlation with the total BDI score, which was higher in patients with diabetes than in patients without diabetes, and a positive correlation with the total AIS score (p < 0.001). The occurrence of sexual dysfunction in patients with diabetes correlated with the age and the duration of diabetes. We conclude that sexual disorders in patients with type 2 diabetes demonstrate the correlation with the occurrence of depression and the acceptance of their illness. Sexual disorders in diabetic patients occur more frequently in older patients and in those with a longer duration of diabetes. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
Open AccessArticle Stress Exposure and Physical, Mental, and Behavioral Health among American Indian Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1074; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091074
Received: 15 August 2017 / Revised: 9 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
American Indian (AI) communities experience disproportionate exposure to stressors and health inequities including type 2 diabetes. Yet, we know little about the role of psychosocial stressors for AI diabetes-related health outcomes. We investigated associations between a range of stressors and psychological, behavioral, and
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American Indian (AI) communities experience disproportionate exposure to stressors and health inequities including type 2 diabetes. Yet, we know little about the role of psychosocial stressors for AI diabetes-related health outcomes. We investigated associations between a range of stressors and psychological, behavioral, and physical health for AIs with diabetes. This community-based participatory research with 5 AI tribes includes 192 AI adult type 2 diabetes patients recruited from clinical records at tribal clinics. Data are from computer-assisted interviews and medical charts. We found consistent bivariate relationships between chronic to discrete stressors and mental and behavioral health outcomes; several remained even after accounting for participant age, gender, and income. Fewer stressors were linked to physical health. We also document a dose–response relationship between stress accumulation and worse health. Findings underscore the importance of considering a broad range of stressors for comprehensive assessment of stress burden and diabetes. Policies and practices aimed at reducing stress exposure and promoting tools for stress management may be mechanisms for optimal health for AI diabetes patients. Full article
(This article belongs to the collection Health Care and Diabetes)
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Open AccessArticle Food Shopping and Acquisition Behaviors in Relation to BMI among Residents of Low-Income Communities in South Carolina
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1075; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091075
Received: 20 June 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
Low-income areas in which residents have poor access to healthy foods have been referred to as “food deserts.” It is thought that improving food access may help curb the obesity epidemic. Little is known about where residents of food deserts shop and if
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Low-income areas in which residents have poor access to healthy foods have been referred to as “food deserts.” It is thought that improving food access may help curb the obesity epidemic. Little is known about where residents of food deserts shop and if shopping habits are associated with body mass index (BMI). We evaluated the association of food shopping and acquisition (e.g., obtaining food from church, food pantries, etc.) with BMI among 459 residents of low-income communities from two South Carolina counties, 81% of whom lived in United States Department of Agriculture-designated food deserts. Participants were interviewed about food shopping and acquisition and perceptions of their food environment, and weight and height were measured. Distances to food retail outlets were determined. Multivariable linear regression analysis was employed. Our study sample comprising largely African-American women had an average BMI of 32.5 kg/m2. The vast majority of study participants shopped at supermarkets (61%) or supercenters/warehouse clubs (27%). Shopping at a supercenter or warehouse club as one’s primary store was significantly associated with a 2.6 kg/m2 higher BMI compared to shopping at a supermarket, independent of demographics, socioeconomics, physical activity, and all other food shopping/acquisition behaviors. Persons who reported shopping at a small grocery store or a convenience or dollar store as their tertiary store had a 2.6 kg/m2 lower BMI. Respondents who perceived lack of access to adequate food shopping in their neighborhoods as a problem had higher BMI. Living in a food desert census tract was not significantly associated with BMI. Other shopping attributes, including distance to utilized and nearest grocery stores, were not independently associated with BMI. These findings call into question the idea that poor spatial access to grocery stores is a key underlying factor affecting the obesity epidemic. Future research should consider assessing foods purchased and dietary intake within a comprehensive study of food shopping behaviors and health outcomes among persons living in food deserts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Environment, Diet, and Health)
Open AccessArticle Poverty Dynamics and Academic Trajectories of Children of Immigrants
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1076; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091076
Received: 17 August 2017 / Revised: 14 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 16 September 2017
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Abstract
Using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), we investigated the relationship between poverty and academic trajectories for children in immigrant families in the United States. We used family socioeconomic status (SES) which considers parental education, parental occupation, and family income
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Using Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998–1999 (ECLS-K), we investigated the relationship between poverty and academic trajectories for children in immigrant families in the United States. We used family socioeconomic status (SES) which considers parental education, parental occupation, and family income to define poverty in correspondence with the U.S. federal poverty threshold. Three dimensions of poverty were examined including depth (i.e., not-poor, near-poor, poor or extreme poor), stability (i.e., continuously or intermittently), and duration (i.e., for how many times in poverty). Our results indicated that living in poverty, particularly when it was extreme, volatile, and for long spell could compromise children’s reading and math achievements during the first nine schooling years. Children of immigrants were doing as well as, if not better than, children of native-borns in certain areas (i.e., math) or in facing of certain pattern of poverty (i.e., long-spell). However, deep poverty and volatile changes in family SES could compromise academic achievements for children of immigrants throughout their first nine years of schooling, a period holds important key to their future success. Implications to practice and policy as well as future directions were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poverty and Child Well-Being)
Open AccessArticle Mother’s IPV, Child Maltreatment Type and the Presence of PTSD in Children and Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1077; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091077
Received: 27 July 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 13 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
This correlational cross-sectional study was designed to investigate whether the intimate partner violence (IPV) suffered by mothers (physical and psychological maltreatment), child eyewitness of psychological and physical maltreatment suffered by the mother, the neglect suffered by children, and the maltreatment (physical and psychological)
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This correlational cross-sectional study was designed to investigate whether the intimate partner violence (IPV) suffered by mothers (physical and psychological maltreatment), child eyewitness of psychological and physical maltreatment suffered by the mother, the neglect suffered by children, and the maltreatment (physical and psychological) directly suffered by children are statistically associated to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms exhibited by the child. In addition, the prevalence of child PTSD was estimated, as well as the concordance between the PTSD symptoms assessed by the Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) criteria for child PTSD. The sample consisted of 152 Spanish children aged 8 to 17 and their mothers, who were recruited from Centers of Specialized Assistance for Women Victims of IPV. PTSD prevalence was 20.4%. The results of a canonical correlation analysis showed that the two types of maltreatment with the largest contribution to the canonical variable were physical maltreatment directly suffered by the child, and child eyewitness of physical maltreatment suffered by the mother. The potential developmental pathway of PTSD when both children and mothers suffer severe maltreatment needs to be examined, and this will contribute to the choice of the most effective type of specialized intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Youth Violence as a Public Health Issue)
Open AccessArticle Linguistic Multi-Attribute Group Decision Making with Risk Preferences and Its Use in Low-Carbon Tourism Destination Selection
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1078; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091078
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 14 September 2017 / Published: 17 September 2017
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Abstract
Low-carbon tourism plays an important role in carbon emission reduction and environmental protection. Low-carbon tourism destination selection often involves multiple conflicting and incommensurate attributes or criteria and can be modelled as a multi-attribute decision-making problem. This paper develops a framework to solve multi-attribute
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Low-carbon tourism plays an important role in carbon emission reduction and environmental protection. Low-carbon tourism destination selection often involves multiple conflicting and incommensurate attributes or criteria and can be modelled as a multi-attribute decision-making problem. This paper develops a framework to solve multi-attribute group decision-making problems, where attribute evaluation values are provided as linguistic terms and the attribute weight information is incomplete. In order to obtain a group risk preference captured by a linguistic term set with triangular fuzzy semantic information, a nonlinear programming model is established on the basis of individual risk preferences. We first convert individual linguistic-term-based decision matrices to their respective triangular fuzzy decision matrices, which are then aggregated into a group triangular fuzzy decision matrix. Based on this group decision matrix and the incomplete attribute weight information, a linear program is developed to find an optimal attribute weight vector. A detailed procedure is devised for tackling linguistic multi-attribute group decision making problems. A low-carbon tourism destination selection case study is offered to illustrate how to use the developed group decision-making model in practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Models in Green Growth and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Depression and Risk of Unintentional Injury in Rural Communities—A Longitudinal Analysis of the Australian Rural Mental Health Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1080; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091080
Received: 11 August 2017 / Revised: 13 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Limited longitudinal research has examined relationships between depression and injury, particularly in rural contexts. This paper reports cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses from the Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS) exploring relationships between “probable depression” episodes and unintentional injury. Participants completed four surveys over
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Limited longitudinal research has examined relationships between depression and injury, particularly in rural contexts. This paper reports cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses from the Australian Rural Mental Health Study (ARMHS) exploring relationships between “probable depression” episodes and unintentional injury. Participants completed four surveys over five years. Multivariate logistic regressions were employed to assess the causal effect of prior depression episodes on subsequent injury risk. Of 2621 baseline participants, 23.3% experienced a probable depression episode recently and 15.9% reported a serious injury during the previous 12 months. Factors associated with a 12-month injury at baseline included male gender, being unemployed or unable to work, being involved in a serious incident, hazardous alcohol use, and having experienced a recent depression episode. Longitudinal analyses revealed that probable depression was significantly associated with subsequent unintentional injury (OR 1.68, 99%CI 1.20–2.35), as was male gender (OR 1.39, 99%CI 1.06–1.82), while alcohol consumption did not mediate these relationships. Campaigns to reduce the impact of mental illness should consider unintentional injuries as a contributor, while injury prevention initiatives may benefit from addressing mental health issues. Such strategies are particularly important in rural and remote areas where injuries are more common and mental health services are less readily available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
Open AccessArticle China’s Air Quality and Respiratory Disease Mortality Based on the Spatial Panel Model
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1081; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091081
Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: Air pollution has become an important factor restricting China’s economic development and has subsequently brought a series of social problems, including the impact of air pollution on the health of residents, which is a topical issue in China. Methods: Taking
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Background: Air pollution has become an important factor restricting China’s economic development and has subsequently brought a series of social problems, including the impact of air pollution on the health of residents, which is a topical issue in China. Methods: Taking into account this spatial imbalance, the paper is based on the spatial panel data model PM2.5. Respiratory disease mortality in 31 Chinese provinces from 2004 to 2008 is taken as the main variable to study the spatial effect and impact of air quality and respiratory disease mortality on a large scale. Results: It was found that there is a spatial correlation between the mortality of respiratory diseases in Chinese provinces. The spatial correlation can be explained by the spatial effect of PM2.5 pollutions in the control of other variables. Conclusions: Compared with the traditional non-spatial model, the spatial model is better for describing the spatial relationship between variables, ensuring the conclusions are scientific and can measure the spatial effect between variables. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Mothers’ Perceived Neighbourhood Environment and Outdoor Play of 2- to 3.5-Year-Old Children: Findings from the Healthy Beginnings Trial
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 1082; doi:10.3390/ijerph14091082
Received: 2 August 2017 / Revised: 12 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
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Abstract
Background: This study aims to investigate whether mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment is associated with outdoor playtime of 2- to 3.5-year-old children. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using data from the Healthy Beginnings Trial (HBT). Data on children’s outdoor playtime and mothers’ perceived neighbourhood
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Background: This study aims to investigate whether mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment is associated with outdoor playtime of 2- to 3.5-year-old children. Methods: Cross-sectional analyses were conducted using data from the Healthy Beginnings Trial (HBT). Data on children’s outdoor playtime and mothers’ perceived neighbourhood environment were collected through face-to-face interviews with mothers when their children were 2 and 3.5 years old. Walk score was obtained from a publicly available website and population density data were obtained from Australian Census data. Multiple logistic regression models were built to investigate these associations. Results: A total of 497 and 415 mother-child dyads were retained at 2 years and 3.5 years. After adjusting for intervention group allocation and other confounding factors, at 2 years, mothers’ perceptions that ‘the neighbourhood is a good place to bring up children’, ‘it is safe to play outside during the day’, and ‘there are good parks or playgrounds in neighbourhood’ were positively associated with children’s outdoor playtime. At 3.5 years, living in a free-standing house was associated with more children’s outdoor playtime. Conclusions: Children may benefit from living in a neighbourhood that supports active lifestyle. Improving social and physical environments in neighbourhoods could be an important strategy for improving young children’s physical activity. Full article