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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 1 (January 2012), Pages 1-342

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Implications of Trauma among Male and Female Offenders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 97-99; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010097
Received: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 22 December 2011 / Published: 3 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (147 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Criminal behaviour is believed to arise from a multiplicity of factors, including unemployment and poverty [1,2], low self-control [3], psychological issues [4,5], early conduct problems [6], childhood physical and sexual abuse disorder [5], and social bonding in child- and adulthood [7]. Social-structural influences
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Criminal behaviour is believed to arise from a multiplicity of factors, including unemployment and poverty [1,2], low self-control [3], psychological issues [4,5], early conduct problems [6], childhood physical and sexual abuse disorder [5], and social bonding in child- and adulthood [7]. Social-structural influences like family conflict/disruption, financial resources, child-parent and school/peer attachment and abuse and neglect in childhood have lasting impressions, leading to multiple problems including delinquency and later criminal activity, substance use/abuse, mental illness and poor self-rated health [8-12]. The consequences of such behaviour include financial losses, injury, and death that together have significant personal and societal costs. Society also bears the burden of incarcerating and rehabilitating offenders; a burden that is not trivial. Direct costs of imprisonment in Canada approach $3.5 billion annually; in the US the cost is substantially higher, approaching $74 billion [13]. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Trauma, Addiction and Criminality)

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle Long-Term Effects of Self-Control on Alcohol Use and Sexual Behavior among Urban Minority Young Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 1-23; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010001
Received: 28 September 2011 / Revised: 11 December 2011 / Accepted: 19 December 2011 / Published: 23 December 2011
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
High risk alcohol use and sexual behaviors peak in young adulthood and often occur in the same individuals. Alcohol use has been found to impair decision-making and contribute to high risk sexual activity. However, the association between alcohol use and risky sexual behavior
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High risk alcohol use and sexual behaviors peak in young adulthood and often occur in the same individuals. Alcohol use has been found to impair decision-making and contribute to high risk sexual activity. However, the association between alcohol use and risky sexual behavior may also reflect enduring individual differences in risk taking, sociability, self-control, and related variables. Both behaviors can serve similar functions related to recreation, interpersonal connection, and the pursuit of excitement or pleasure. The present study examined the extent to which high risk drinking and sexual behavior clustered together in a sample of urban minority young adult women, a demographic group at elevated risk for negative outcomes related to sexual health. We tested whether psychosocial functioning measured at the beginning of high school predicted classes of risk behaviors when girls were tracked longitudinally into young adulthood. Latent class analysis indicated three distinct profiles based on high risk drinking and sexual behavior (i.e., multiple sex partners) in young adulthood. The largest class (73% of the sample) reported low levels of risky drinking and sexual behavior. The next largest class (19%) reported high risk drinking and low risk sexual behavior, and the smallest class (8%) reported high levels of both behaviors. Compared to women from other racial/ethnic groups, black women were more likely to be categorized in the high risk drinking/low risk sex class. Multinomial logistic regression indicated that self-control in adolescence had a broad and enduring protective effect on risk behaviors eight years later and was associated with a greater probability of being in the low risk drinking/low risk sex class. Findings are discussed in terms of understanding the phenotypic expressions of risk behavior as they relate to early psychosocial development and the long-term protective function of self-control in reducing high risk drinking and sexual behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Substance and Behavioral Addictions: Co-Occurrence and Specificity)
Open AccessArticle Essential Questions on Suicide Bereavement and Postvention
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 24-32; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010024
Received: 8 November 2011 / Revised: 12 December 2011 / Accepted: 21 December 2011 / Published: 27 December 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (214 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
During the past decades public and research interest in postvention, i.e., support for families and communities after a suicide, has increased. However, the postvention field is still facing a number of important challenges and questions. This article aims to discuss a series
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During the past decades public and research interest in postvention, i.e., support for families and communities after a suicide, has increased. However, the postvention field is still facing a number of important challenges and questions. This article aims to discuss a series of essential issues on suicide bereavement and postvention, regarding the current state of the art and future developments. Who is a suicide survivor and how many suicide survivors are there? Is suicide bereavement different from other types of bereavement? What are the needs of suicide survivors and what is postvention from a clinical perspective and from a public health perspective? Can postvention be prevention? With this last question, the article concludes with a series of recommendations in order to strengthen the potential of postvention as prevention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Migration, Agribusiness and Nutritional Status of Children under Five in Northwest Mexico
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 33-43; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010033
Received: 1 November 2011 / Revised: 10 December 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published: 28 December 2011
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (309 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the nutritional status of children of Mexican migrant worker families under five years of age within the context of global food markets. The sample included 404 children less than five years old from farms and
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The aim of this study was to examine the nutritional status of children of Mexican migrant worker families under five years of age within the context of global food markets. The sample included 404 children less than five years old from farms and agricultural communities in northwest Mexico. Prevalence of stunting and underweight of children appeared very similar to that of indigenous children from the national sample survey (difference 0.9 and 1.6 percentage points, respectively). Compared to the national sample of Mexican children, stunting and underweight seemed higher in migrant children (difference 17.7 and 4.5 percentage points, respectively), but wasting, an indicator of both chronic and acute undernutrition, appeared to indicate a process of nutritional recuperation. Migrant children living in poverty and suffering from chronic undernutrition, poor performance and scarce education opportunities, can be expected to eventually become agricultural workers with low productivity and poor general health. Consumer’s demands on social and environmental standards of fresh food production in developed countries could be an opportunity to impact the lives of migrant agricultural workers, their families and communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Self-Reported Dental Fear among Dental Students and Their Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 44-54; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010044
Received: 16 November 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 22 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to compare self-reported dental fear among dental students and patients at a School of Dentistry in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Eighty students ranging in age from 20 to 29 years and 80 patients ranging in age from
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The aim of the present study was to compare self-reported dental fear among dental students and patients at a School of Dentistry in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Eighty students ranging in age from 20 to 29 years and 80 patients ranging in age from 18 to 65 years participated in the study. A self-administered pre-tested questionnaire consisting of 13 items was used for data acquisition. The city of Belo Horizonte Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) was employed for socioeconomic classification. The chi-square test and binary and multinomial logistic regression were employed in the statistical analysis, with the significance level set at 0.05. The majority of dental students (76.5%) sought the dentist for the first time for a routine exam, while patients (77.3%) mostly sought a dentist for the treatment of dental pain. Dental fear was more prevalent among the patients (72.5%) than the students (27.5%). A total of 47.1% of the students and 52.9% of the patients reported having had negative dental experiences in childhood. The logistic model revealed an association between dental fear and a pain-related experience (OR: 1.8; 95%CI: 1.3–2.6). Patients were more prone to dental fear (OR: 2.2; 95%CI: 1.0–5.0). Although at different percentages, both students and patients experienced dental fear. Current patient with previous experience of dental pain had more dental fear. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Governing for a Healthy Population: Towards an Understanding of How Decision-Making Will Determine Our Global Health in a Changing Climate
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 55-72; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010055
Received: 8 December 2011 / Revised: 22 December 2011 / Accepted: 23 December 2011 / Published: 29 December 2011
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (593 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Enhancing the adaptive capacity of individuals, communities, institutions and nations is pivotal to protecting and improving human health and well-being in the face of systemic social inequity plus dangerous climate change. However, research on the determinants of adaptive capacity in relation to health,
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Enhancing the adaptive capacity of individuals, communities, institutions and nations is pivotal to protecting and improving human health and well-being in the face of systemic social inequity plus dangerous climate change. However, research on the determinants of adaptive capacity in relation to health, particularly concerning the role of governance, is in its infancy. This paper highlights the intersections between global health, climate change and governance. It presents an overview of these key concerns, their relation to each other, and the potential that a greater understanding of governance may present opportunities to strengthen policy and action responses to the health effects of climate change. Important parallels between addressing health inequities and sustainable development practices in the face of global environmental change are also highlighted. We propose that governance can be investigated through two key lenses within the earth system governance theoretical framework; agency and architecture. These two governance concepts can be evaluated using methods of social network research and policy analysis using case studies and is the subject of further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health Impacts and Adaptation)
Open AccessArticle Relative Pesticide and Exposure Route Contribution to Aggregate and Cumulative Dose in Young Farmworker Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 73-96; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010073
Received: 19 October 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 22 December 2011 / Published: 3 January 2012
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (621 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Child-Specific Aggregate Cumulative Human Exposure and Dose (CACHED) framework integrates micro-level activity time series with mechanistic exposure equations, environmental concentration distributions, and physiologically-based pharmacokinetic components to estimate exposure for multiple routes and chemicals. CACHED was utilized to quantify cumulative and aggregate exposure
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The Child-Specific Aggregate Cumulative Human Exposure and Dose (CACHED) framework integrates micro-level activity time series with mechanistic exposure equations, environmental concentration distributions, and physiologically-based pharmacokinetic components to estimate exposure for multiple routes and chemicals. CACHED was utilized to quantify cumulative and aggregate exposure and dose estimates for a population of young farmworker children and to evaluate the model for chlorpyrifos and diazinon. Micro-activities of farmworker children collected concurrently with residential measurements of pesticides were used in the CACHED framework to simulate 115,000 exposure scenarios and quantify cumulative and aggregate exposure and dose estimates. Modeled metabolite urine concentrations were not statistically different than concentrations measured in the urine of children, indicating that CACHED can provide realistic biomarker estimates. Analysis of the relative contribution of exposure route and pesticide indicates that in general, chlorpyrifos non-dietary ingestion exposure accounts for the largest dose, confirming the importance of the micro-activity approach. The risk metrics computed from the 115,000 simulations, indicate that greater than 95% of these scenarios might pose a risk to children’s health from aggregate chlorpyrifos exposure. The variability observed in the route and pesticide contributions to urine biomarker levels demonstrate the importance of accounting for aggregate and cumulative exposure in establishing pesticide residue tolerances in food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessArticle Implications of Edentulism on Quality of Life among Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 100-109; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010100
Received: 19 October 2011 / Revised: 3 December 2011 / Accepted: 15 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (260 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aimed was to test the association between quality of life and edentulism among elderly individuals in a city in southeastern Brazil. This cross-sectional study was carried out with 163 individuals aged 60 years or older, functionally independent and non-institutionalized. Data were
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This study aimed was to test the association between quality of life and edentulism among elderly individuals in a city in southeastern Brazil. This cross-sectional study was carried out with 163 individuals aged 60 years or older, functionally independent and non-institutionalized. Data were collected with a questionnaire and oral examination. The edentulism was the dependent variable. The independent variables were sex, age, household income and quality of life (WHOQOL-Old) and their scores. To assess the association between the dependent variable and independent variables was used bivariate analysis (p < 0.10). Poisson regression model was performed, adjusting for age and sex. The average age of participants was 69 years (± 6.1), 68.7% were female and 52.8% were diagnosed as completely edentulous (90% CI: 0.33–1.24). When the independent variables were associated to the prevalence of edentulism, statistically significant associations were found for age (p = 0.03) and social participation dimension of the WHOQOL-Old (p = 0.08). In the Poisson regression, social participation remained statistically associated to edentulism {RP = 2.12 [90% CI (1.10–4.00)]}. The social participation proved to have a significant association to edentulism, thereby attesting to the negative effect of this condition on social aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Do Parents Still Matter Regarding Adolescents’ Alcohol Drinking? Experience from South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 110-122; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010110
Received: 17 October 2011 / Revised: 7 December 2011 / Accepted: 8 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to improve our understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of parental practices relating to their (adolescents’) alcohol use. A total of 704 students were conveniently selected and completed self-administered questionnaires. More than half (54%) of the adolescents reported
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The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to improve our understanding of adolescents’ perceptions of parental practices relating to their (adolescents’) alcohol use. A total of 704 students were conveniently selected and completed self-administered questionnaires. More than half (54%) of the adolescents reported that they had consumed alcohol at some time in their life. Parental marital status was significantly associated with whether adolescents ever consumed alcohol or not (p < 0.05). A large number of mothers/female guardians (66.3%) and fathers/male guardians (69.3%) did not allow alcohol use at home. More mothers (54.6%) and fathers (65.3%) were not aware of their adolescents’ alcohol consumption (p < 0.05). Adolescents were more likely to use alcohol when they reported that they had often seen either their father or mother drunk or both (p < 0.05). There were also significant associations between parents’ views against alcohol use and their adolescents’ alcohol use (p < 0.05). Prevalence of alcohol uptake was quite high among these adolescents. Compulsory parenting programmes and skills development should be practiced by education, health, cultural and religious groups. Parents should be motivated to delay the age at which their children are initiated into alcohol use and be provided with guidance on how to counteract social pressures. Full article
Open AccessArticle Removal of Escherichia coli and Faecal Coliforms from Surface Water and Groundwater by Household Water Treatment Devices/Systems: A Sustainable Solution for Improving Water Quality in Rural Communities of the Southern African Development Community Region
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 139-170; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010139
Received: 1 November 2011 / Revised: 21 December 2011 / Accepted: 27 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (1406 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is significant evidence that household water treatment devices/systems (HWTS) are capable of dramatically improving microbially contaminated water quality. The purpose of this study was to examine five filters [(biosand filter-standard (BSF-S); biosand filter-zeolite (BSF-Z); bucket filter (BF); ceramic candle filter (CCF); and
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There is significant evidence that household water treatment devices/systems (HWTS) are capable of dramatically improving microbially contaminated water quality. The purpose of this study was to examine five filters [(biosand filter-standard (BSF-S); biosand filter-zeolite (BSF-Z); bucket filter (BF); ceramic candle filter (CCF); and silver-impregnated porous pot (SIPP)] and evaluate their ability to improve the quality of drinking water at the household level. These HWTS were manufactured in the workshop of the Tshwane University of Technology and evaluated for efficiency to remove turbidity, faecal coliforms and Escherichia coli from multiple water source samples, using standard methods. The flow rates ranged from 0.05 L/h to 2.49 L/h for SIPP, 1 L/h to 4 L/h for CCF, 0.81 L/h to 6.84 L/h for BSF-S, 1.74 L/h to 19.2 L/h and 106.5 L/h to 160.5 L/h for BF The turbidity of the raw water samples ranged between 2.17 and 40.4 NTU. The average turbidity obtained after filtration ranged from 0.6 to 8 NTU (BSF-S), 1 to 4 NTU (BSF-Z), 2 to 11 NTU (BF), and from 0.6 to 7 NTU (CCF) and 0.7 to 1 NTU for SIPP. The BSF-S, BSF-Z and CCF removed 2 to 4 log10 (99% to 100%) of coliform bacteria, while the BF removed 1 to 3 log (90% to 99.9%) of these bacteria. The performance of the SIPP in removing turbidity and indicator bacteria (>5 log10, 100%) was significantly higher compared to that of the other HWTS (p < 0.05). The findings of this study indicate that the SIPP can be an effective and sustainable HWTS for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) rural communities, as it removed the total concentration of bacteria from test water, can be manufactured using locally available materials, and is easy to operate and to maintain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drinking Water and Health)
Open AccessArticle Zinc in Well Water and Infant Mortality in Bangladesh: A Report from Gonoshasthaya Kendra
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 171-177; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010171
Received: 5 December 2011 / Revised: 5 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 10 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (235 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Zinc supplementation reduces the duration, severity and recurrence of diarrhoea in young children. This study examines whether zinc, found naturally in drinking water, reduced infant deaths from diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh. Information was compiled for births over two calendar years with follow-up for
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Zinc supplementation reduces the duration, severity and recurrence of diarrhoea in young children. This study examines whether zinc, found naturally in drinking water, reduced infant deaths from diarrhoea in rural Bangladesh. Information was compiled for births over two calendar years with follow-up for deaths within one year of birth. The study included 29,744 live births and 934 deaths in some 600 villages under the care of Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK), grouped into 15 health centre regions within 12 upazillas. Individual matching of death to birth data was not possible, but information on exposures through well water and on potential confounders was available for each upazilla. Average concentration of zinc in well water, reported by the British Geological Survey, was grouped into high (>0.07 mg/L), moderate (0.020–0.070 mg/L) and low (< 0.020 mg/L) concentrations. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated for zinc by age and cause of death. Zinc concentration was unrelated to all-cause mortality but a decrease in deaths from diarrhoea (N = 50) was seen in areas with high zinc (OR = 0.30; 95% CI 0.13–0.69). No relation to diarrhoeal deaths was found with other well contaminants (arsenic, manganese) having accounted for zinc. Upazillas with a high proportion of women without education had higher rates of death from diarrhea, but the decrease in risk with high zinc remained (OR adjusted = 0.41; 95% CI 0.20–0.84). It is concluded that exposure to zinc through drinking water may reduce risk of diarrhoeal deaths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle Self-Harm and Suicide Attempts among High-Risk, Urban Youth in the U.S.: Shared and Unique Risk and Protective Factors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 178-191; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010178
Received: 9 November 2011 / Revised: 13 December 2011 / Accepted: 5 January 2012 / Published: 11 January 2012
Cited by 21 | PDF Full-text (291 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The extent to which self-harm and suicidal behavior overlap in community samples of vulnerable youth is not well known. Secondary analyses were conducted of the “linkages study” (N = 4,131), a cross-sectional survey of students enrolled in grades 7, 9, 11/12 in a
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The extent to which self-harm and suicidal behavior overlap in community samples of vulnerable youth is not well known. Secondary analyses were conducted of the “linkages study” (N = 4,131), a cross-sectional survey of students enrolled in grades 7, 9, 11/12 in a high-risk community in the U.S. in 2004. Analyses were conducted to determine the risk and protective factors (i.e., academic grades, binge drinking, illicit drug use, weapon carrying, child maltreatment, social support, depression, impulsivity, self-efficacy, parental support, and parental monitoring) associated with both self-harm and suicide attempt. Findings show that 7.5% of participants reported both self-harm and suicide attempt, 2.2% of participants reported suicide attempt only, and 12.4% of participants reported self-harm only. Shared risk factors for co-occurring self-harm and suicide attempt include depression, binge drinking, weapon carrying, child maltreatment, and impulsivity. There were also important differences by sex, grade level, and race/ethnicity that should be considered for future research. The findings show that there is significant overlap in the modifiable risk factors associated with self-harm and suicide attempt that can be targeted for future research and prevention strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Do Placebo Response Rates from Cessation Trials Inform on Strength of Addictions?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 192-211; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010192
Received: 2 December 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 January 2012 / Published: 11 January 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (524 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is an implied assumption that addictions to different substances vary in strength from weak (easier to stop) to strong (harder to stop), though explicit definitions are lacking. Our hypothesis is that the strength of addictions can be measured by cessation rates found
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There is an implied assumption that addictions to different substances vary in strength from weak (easier to stop) to strong (harder to stop), though explicit definitions are lacking. Our hypothesis is that the strength of addictions can be measured by cessation rates found with placebo or no treatment controls, and that a weaker addiction would have a higher cessation rate than a stronger addiction. We report an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of cessation trials, using randomised or quasi-randomised trials and reporting objectively-measured abstinence. The outcome for comparison was quit rates–typically the percentage of participants abstinent according to an objective test of abstinence at six months or longer. Twenty-eight cessation reviews (139,000 participants) were found. Most data came from reviews of smoking cessation in over 127,000 participants, and other reviews each covered a few thousand participants. Few reviews used data from studies shorter than three months, and almost all determined abstinence using objective measures. Cessation rates with placebo in randomised trials using objective measures of abstinence and typically over six months duration were 8% for nicotine, 18% for alcohol, 47% for cocaine, and 44% for opioids. Evidence from placebo cessation rates indicates that nicotine is more difficult to give up than alcohol, cocaine, and opioids. Tobacco is also a severe addiction, with a number of major deleterious health effects in a large number of people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Secondhand Tobacco Smoke Exposure and Associated Factors among College Students on Campus and in the Home: A Preliminary Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 212-222; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010212
Received: 1 December 2011 / Revised: 4 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (350 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To explore the prevalence of secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure of college students at two locations, i.e., on campus and in the home, and to identify factors associated with SHS exposure at each location, a preliminary cross-sectional study was conducted on 1754
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To explore the prevalence of secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) exposure of college students at two locations, i.e., on campus and in the home, and to identify factors associated with SHS exposure at each location, a preliminary cross-sectional study was conducted on 1754 nonsmoking students from two universities in Korea. In total, 83.1% were exposed to SHS at least once a week on campus or at home; the average SHS exposure was 3.4 times per week. Specifically, 79.7% and 23.5% were exposed to SHS on campus and in the home, respectively. On campus, SHS exposure was significantly more prevalent in freshmen and sophomore students. In the home, SHS exposure was significantly more prevalent among females, those with smokers in their families, and those who rated their health as poor. SHS exposure was common among nonsmoking college students, with more than two-thirds exposed on campus. The prevalence of SHS exposure was greater on campus than in the home; the factors associated with SHS exposure were location-specific. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Relevance of Personal Characteristics in Allocating Health Care Resources—Controversial Preferences of Laypersons with Different Educational Backgrounds
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 223-243; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010223
Received: 3 August 2011 / Revised: 12 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 16 January 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (657 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In all industrial countries publicly funded health care systems are confronted with budget constraints. Therefore, priority setting in resource allocation seems inevitable. This paper examines whether personal characteristics could be taken into consideration when allocating health services in Germany, and whether attitudes towards
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In all industrial countries publicly funded health care systems are confronted with budget constraints. Therefore, priority setting in resource allocation seems inevitable. This paper examines whether personal characteristics could be taken into consideration when allocating health services in Germany, and whether attitudes towards prioritizing health care vary among individuals with different levels of education. Using a conjoint analysis approach, hypothetical patients described in terms of ‘lifestyle’, ‘age’, ‘severity of illness’, ‘type of illness’, ‘improvement in health’, and ‘treatment costs’ were constructed, and the importance weights for these personal characteristics were elicited from 120 members of the general public. Participants were selected according to a sampling guide including educational background, age, chronic illness and gender. Results are reported for groups with different levels of education (low, middle, high) only. The findings show that the patients’ age is the most important criterion for the allocation of health care resources, followed by ‘severity of illness’ and ‘improvement in health’. Preferences vary among participants with different educational backgrounds, which refer to different attitudes towards distributive justice and might represent different socialization experiences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Cost-Effective Filter Materials Coated with Silver Nanoparticles for the Removal of Pathogenic Bacteria in Groundwater
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 244-271; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010244
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 12 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 24 | PDF Full-text (2151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The contamination of groundwater sources by pathogenic bacteria poses a public health concern to communities who depend totally on this water supply. In the present study, potentially low-cost filter materials coated with silver nanoparticles were developed for the disinfection of groundwater. Silver nanoparticles
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The contamination of groundwater sources by pathogenic bacteria poses a public health concern to communities who depend totally on this water supply. In the present study, potentially low-cost filter materials coated with silver nanoparticles were developed for the disinfection of groundwater. Silver nanoparticles were deposited on zeolite, sand, fibreglass, anion and cation resin substrates in various concentrations (0.01 mM, 0.03 mM, 0.05 mM and 0.1 mM) of AgNO3. These substrates were characterised by SEM, EDS, TEM, particle size distribution and XRD analyses. In the first phase, the five substrates coated with various concentrations of AgNO3 were tested against E. coli spiked in synthetic water to determine the best loading concentration that could remove pathogenic bacteria completely from test water. The results revealed that all filters were able to decrease the concentration of E. coli from synthetic water, with a higher removal efficiency achieved at 0.1 mM (21–100%) and a lower efficiency at 0.01 mM (7–50%) concentrations. The cation resin-silver nanoparticle filter was found to remove this pathogenic bacterium at the highest rate, namely 100%. In the second phase, only the best performing concentration of 0.1 mM was considered and tested against presumptive E. coli, S. typhimurium, S. dysenteriae and V. cholerae from groundwater. The results revealed the highest bacteria removal efficiency by the Ag/cation resin filter with complete (100%) removal of all targeted bacteria and the lowest by the Ag/zeolite filter with an 8% to 67% removal rate. This study therefore suggests that the filter system with Ag/cation resin substrate can be used as a potential alternative cost-effective filter for the disinfection of groundwater and production of safe drinking water. Full article
Open AccessArticle Temporal Variation in Air Pollution Concentrations and Preterm Birth—A Population Based Epidemiological Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 272-285; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010272
Received: 16 December 2011 / Revised: 9 January 2012 / Accepted: 13 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (323 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
There is growing evidence of adverse birth outcomes due to exposure to air pollution during gestation. However, recent negative studies are also reported. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of ozone and vehicle exhaust exposure (NO2) on
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There is growing evidence of adverse birth outcomes due to exposure to air pollution during gestation. However, recent negative studies are also reported. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of ozone and vehicle exhaust exposure (NO2) on the length of the gestational period and risk of preterm delivery. We used data from the Swedish Medical Birth Registry on all vaginally delivered singleton births in the Greater Stockholm area who were conceived during 1987–1995 (n = 115,588). Daily average levels of NO2 (from three measuring stations) and ozone (two stations) were used to estimate trimester and last week of gestation average exposures. Linear regression models were used to assess the association between the two air pollutants and three exposure windows, while logistic regression models were used when analyzing associations with preterm delivery ( < 37 weeks gestation). Five percent were born preterm. The median gestational period was 40 weeks. Higher levels of ozone during the first trimester were associated with shorter gestation as well as with an elevated risk of preterm delivery, the odds ratio from the most complex model was 1.06 (95% CI: 1.00–1.13) per 10 μg/m3 increase in the mean daily 8-h maximum concentration. Higher levels of ozone during the second trimester were associated with shorter gestation but the elevated risk of preterm delivery was not statistically significant. Higher levels of ozone and NO2 during the last week of gestation were associated with a shorter duration of gestation and NO2 also with preterm delivery. There were no significant associations between first and second trimester NO2 exposure estimates and studied outcomes. The effect of first trimester ozone exposure, known to cause oxidative stress, was smallest among women who conceived during autumn when vitamin D status, important for fetal health, in Scandinavian women is the highest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle The Concept of Equivalent Radon Concentration for Practical Consideration of Indoor Exposure to Thoron
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 286-293; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010286
Received: 14 December 2011 / Revised: 6 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 18 January 2012
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Abstract
To consider the total exposure to indoor radon and thoron, a concept of equivalent radon concentration for thoron is introduced, defined as the radon concentration that delivers the same annual effective dose as that resulting from the thoron concentration. The total indoor exposure
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To consider the total exposure to indoor radon and thoron, a concept of equivalent radon concentration for thoron is introduced, defined as the radon concentration that delivers the same annual effective dose as that resulting from the thoron concentration. The total indoor exposure to radon and thoron is then the sum of the radon concentration and the equivalent radon concentration for thoron. The total exposure should be compared to the radon guideline value, and if it exceeds the guideline value, appropriate remedial action is required. With this concept, a separate guideline for indoor thoron exposure is not necessary. For homes already tested for radon with radon detectors, Health Canada’s recommendation of a 3-month radon test performed during the fall/winter heating season not only ensures a conservative estimate of the annual average radon concentration but also covers well any potentially missing contribution from thoron exposure. In addition, because the thoron concentration is much lower than the radon concentration in most homes in Canada, there is no real need to re-test homes for thoron. Full article
Open AccessArticle Sport Fields as Potential Catalysts for Physical Activity in the Neighbourhood
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 294-314; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010294
Received: 9 November 2011 / Revised: 19 December 2011 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
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Abstract
Physical activity is associated with access to recreational facilities such as sports fields. Because it is not clear whether objectively- or subjectively-assessed access to facilities exerts a stronger influence on physical activity, we investigated the association between the objective and perceived accessibility of
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Physical activity is associated with access to recreational facilities such as sports fields. Because it is not clear whether objectively- or subjectively-assessed access to facilities exerts a stronger influence on physical activity, we investigated the association between the objective and perceived accessibility of sport fields and the levels of self-reported physical activity among adults in Edmonton, Canada. A sample of 2879 respondents was surveyed regarding their socio-demographics, health status, self-efficacy, levels of physical activity, as well as their perceptions of built environment in relation to physical activity. Neighbourhood-level data were obtained for each respondent based on their residence. Accessibility to facilities was assessed using the enhanced Two-Step Floating Catchment Area method. Geographic Information Systems were employed. A logistic regression was performed to predict physical activity using individual- and neighbourhood-level variables. Women, older individuals, and individuals with higher educational attainment were less likely to be physically active. Also, individuals with higher self-efficacy and higher objectively-assessed access to facilities were more likely to be physically active. Interventions that integrate provision of relevant programs for various population groups and of improved recreational facilities may contribute to sport fields becoming catalysts for physical activity by generating movement both on the site and in the neighbourhood. Full article
Open AccessArticle Changes in Physical Fitness, Bone Mineral Density and Body Composition During Inpatient Treatment of Underweight and Normal Weight Females with Longstanding Eating Disorders
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 315-330; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010315
Received: 25 October 2011 / Revised: 20 December 2011 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (274 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine changes in aerobic fitness, muscular strength, bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition during inpatient treatment of underweight and normal weight patients with longstanding eating disorders (ED). Twenty-nine underweight (BMI i.e., >33%) managed to reduce
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The purpose of this study was to examine changes in aerobic fitness, muscular strength, bone mineral density (BMD) and body composition during inpatient treatment of underweight and normal weight patients with longstanding eating disorders (ED). Twenty-nine underweight (BMI < 18.5, n = 7) and normal weight (BMI ≥ 18.5, n = 22) inpatients (mean (SD) age: 31.0 (9.0) years, ED duration: 14.9 (8.8) years, duration of treatment: 16.6 (5.5) weeks) completed this prospective naturalistic study. The treatment consisted of nutritional counseling, and 2 × 60 min weekly moderate intensive physical activity in addition to psychotherapy and milieu therapy. Underweight patients aimed to increase body weight with 0.5 kg/week until the weight gain goal was reached. Aerobic fitness, muscular strength, BMD and body composition were measured at admission and discharge. Results showed an increase in mean muscular strength, total body mass, fat mass, and body fat percentage, but not aerobic capacity, among both underweight and normal weight patients. Lumbar spine BMD increased among the underweight patients, no changes were observed in BMD among the normal weight patients. Three out of seven underweight patients were still underweight at discharge, and only three out of nine patients with excessive body fat (i.e., >33%) managed to reduce body fat to normal values during treatment. These results calls for a more individualized treatment approach to achieve a more optimal body composition among both underweight and normal to overweight patients with longstanding ED. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Tobacco Use, Exposure to Secondhand Smoke, and Cessation Counseling Among Health Professions Students: Greek Data from the Global Health Professions Student Survey (GHPSS)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 331-342; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010331
Received: 13 December 2011 / Revised: 13 January 2012 / Accepted: 16 January 2012 / Published: 19 January 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (179 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We conducted the GHPSS (Global Health Professions Student Survey) to obtain information regarding health profession students’ smoking habits and perceptions, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) as well as level of knowledge and training on tobacco use and smoking cessation counseling. GHPSS is a
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We conducted the GHPSS (Global Health Professions Student Survey) to obtain information regarding health profession students’ smoking habits and perceptions, exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS) as well as level of knowledge and training on tobacco use and smoking cessation counseling. GHPSS is a survey for third-year students in the following fields: health visitors, dentistry, medicine, nursing and/or pharmacy. The highest tobacco use prevalence rate and exposure to SHS were recorded among health visitor students with 46.4% and 33.3% respectively. The majority of the respondents believed that their profession serves as a role model for their patients. Formal training on cessation counseling ranged between 10.7% for health visitor students to 22.4% for nursing students. The relatively high percentage of health profession students who currently smoke and the alarmingly high percentage of those exposed to SHS indicate lack of concerted efforts for implementation and effective enforcement of the anti-tobacco policy measures. Despite its significance, formal training on cessation counseling for students is strikingly low. These results indicate the urgent need to train health professional students on tobacco cessation counseling and educate them on the dangers of tobacco use, SHS and the positively influential role they can play to affect their patients’ smoking habits. Full article

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Open AccessReview Media Roles in Suicide Prevention: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(1), 123-138; doi:10.3390/ijerph9010123
Received: 10 November 2011 / Revised: 15 December 2011 / Accepted: 30 December 2011 / Published: 4 January 2012
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Abstract
The aim of the current systematic review was to monitor and provide an overview of the research performed about the roles of media in suicide prevention in order to find out possible effects media reporting on suicidal behaviours might have on actual suicidality
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The aim of the current systematic review was to monitor and provide an overview of the research performed about the roles of media in suicide prevention in order to find out possible effects media reporting on suicidal behaviours might have on actual suicidality (completed suicides, attempted suicides, suicidal ideation). The systematic review was performed following the principles of the PRISMA statement and includes 56 articles. Most of the studies support the idea that media reporting and suicidality are associated. However, there is a risk of reporting bias. More research is available about how irresponsible media reports can provoke suicidal behaviours (the ‘Werther effect’) and less about protective effect media can have (the ‘Papageno effect’). Strong modelling effect of media coverage on suicide is based on age and gender. Media reports are not representative of official suicide data and tend to exaggerate sensational suicides, for example dramatic and highly lethal suicide methods, which are rare in real life. Future studies have to encounter the challenges the global medium Internet will offer in terms of research methods, as it is difficult to define the circulation of news in the Internet either spatially or in time. However, online media can provide valuable innovative qualitative research material. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)

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