Next Issue
Previous Issue

E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Table of Contents

Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2012), Pages 343-659

  • Issues are regarded as officially published after their release is announced to the table of contents alert mailing list.
  • You may sign up for e-mail alerts to receive table of contents of newly released issues.
  • PDF is the official format for papers published in both, html and pdf forms. To view the papers in pdf format, click on the "PDF Full-text" link, and use the free Adobe Readerexternal link to open them.
View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-20
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Checklist Model to Improve Work Practices in Small-Scale Demolition Operations with Silica Dust Exposures
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 343-361; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020343
Received: 28 September 2011 / Revised: 17 January 2012 / Accepted: 18 January 2012 / Published: 24 January 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1121 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A systematic approach was developed to review, revise and adapt existing exposure control guidance used in developed countries for use in developing countries. One-page employee and multiple-page supervisor guidance sheets were adapted from existing documents using a logic framework and workers were trained to use the information to improve work practices. Interactive, hands-on training was delivered to 26 workers at five small-scale demolition projects in Maputo City, Mozambique, and evaluated. A pre-and-post walkthrough survey used by trained observers documented work practice changes. Worker feedback indicated that the training was effective and useful. Workers acquired knowledge (84% increase, p < 0.01) and applied the work practice guidance. The difference of proportions between use of work practice components before and after the intervention was statistically significant (p < 0.05). Changes in work practices following training included preplanning, use of wet methods and natural ventilation and end-of-task review. Respirable dust measurements indicated a reduction in exposure following training. Consistency in observer ratings and observations support the reliability and validity of the instruments. This approach demonstrated the short-term benefit of training in changing work practices; follow-up is required to determine the long-term impact on changes in work practices, and to evaluate the need for refresher training. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Skin Ivory Spot. A Possible Indicator for Skinfield Photo-Carcinogenesis in Recreational Sunbed Addicts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 362-369; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020362
Received: 10 January 2012 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 25 January 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (764 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Introduction: For a decade or so, artificial sources of restricted light wavelengths, particularly sunbeds, have progressively gained popularity among adolescents and young adults. Warnings were raised focusing on the risk of accelerated photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. The ULEV (ultraviolet light-enhanced visualization) method [...] Read more.
Introduction: For a decade or so, artificial sources of restricted light wavelengths, particularly sunbeds, have progressively gained popularity among adolescents and young adults. Warnings were raised focusing on the risk of accelerated photoaging and photocarcinogenesis. The ULEV (ultraviolet light-enhanced visualization) method is a convenient noninvasive way identifying subtle pigmentary changes presenting as a mottled subclinical melanoderma (MSM). Of note, rare spotty amelanotic macules presenting as skin ivory spots (SIS) was reported on any part of the body. Subjects and method: This work is the first attempt at evaluating the changes in the MSM and SIS spots developed on the skin of 33 phototype III young women designated as avid users involved in frequent exposures to sunshine and sunbeds for lifestyle purposes for a duration of at least 120 months. Results: MSM was markedly heterogeneous and was distinctly obvious in the majority of adepts of frequent natural and artificial photoexposures. SIS was particularly developed in subjects presenting with severe MSM patterns. Discussion: MSM and SIS are more severe in subjects frequently exposed to sunbeds and sun exposures. These signs possibly represent a risk marker for field photocarcinogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sunbathing Habits and Skin Cancer)
Figures

Open AccessArticle The Role of Maternal Smoking in Effect of Fetal Growth Restriction on Poor Scholastic Achievement in Elementary School
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 408-420; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020408
Received: 12 December 2011 / Revised: 18 January 2012 / Accepted: 19 January 2012 / Published: 27 January 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (174 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fetal growth restriction and maternal smoking during pregnancy are independently implicated in lowering intellectual attainment in children. We hypothesized that only reduction of fetal growth that is attributable to extrinsic causes (e.g., maternal smoking) affects intellectual development of a child. Cross-sectional survey [...] Read more.
Fetal growth restriction and maternal smoking during pregnancy are independently implicated in lowering intellectual attainment in children. We hypothesized that only reduction of fetal growth that is attributable to extrinsic causes (e.g., maternal smoking) affects intellectual development of a child. Cross-sectional survey of 3,739 students in Nova Scotia (Canada) in 2003 was linked with the perinatal database, parental interviews on socio-demographic factors and the performance on standardized tests when primarily 11–12 years of age, thereby forming a retrospective cohort. Data was analyzed using hierarchical logistic regression with correction for clustering of children within schools. The risk of poor test result among children born small-for-gestational-age (SGA) to mothers who smoked was 29.4%, higher than in any other strata of maternal smoking and fetal growth. The adjusted odds ratio among SGA children born to mothers who smoked was the only one elevated compared to children who were not growth restricted and born to mothers who did not smoke (17.0%, OR = 1.46, 95% CI 1.02, 2.09). Other perinatal, maternal and socio-demographic factors did not alter this pattern of effect modification. Heterogeneity of etiology of fetal growth restriction should be consider in studies that address examine its impact on health over life course. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle Nutritional Rehabilitation of HIV-Exposed Infants in Malawi: Results from the Drug Resources Enhancement Against AIDS and Malnutrition Program
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 421-434; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020421
Received: 19 October 2011 / Revised: 7 January 2012 / Accepted: 11 January 2012 / Published: 30 January 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (340 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Infant malnutrition in sub-Saharan Africa is a public health priority and a challenge in high HIV prevalence areas. The Drug Resources Enhancement Against AIDS and Malnutrition program, with multiple medical centers in Sub-Saharan Africa, developed an innovative intervention for the surveillance and control of malnutrition. In a pilot initiative, 36 HIV-exposed children were evaluated at baseline upon presentation for malnutrition and at six months post- treatment. Parameters included HIV-free survival, nutritional status and change in diet. Food diary data was entered and processed using the Nutrisurvey (WHO) software. At 6 months post-intervention, a significant improvement in anthropometric parameters was noted. Slowing of linear growth was observed in patients with malaria with a mean gain in centimetres of 4.4 ± 1.7 as compared to 5.6 ± 1.7 in children with no malaria, p < 0.048 (CL 95%: −2.32, −0.01). Dietary diversity scores increased from 5.3 ± 1.9 to 6.5 ± 1.3, p < 0.01 at 6 months. A significant increase (+25%, p < 0.02) in the number of children eating fish meals was noted. Our pilot data describes positive outcomes from a rehabilitative nutritional approach based on use of local foods, peer education, anthropometric and clinical monitoring in areas of high food insecurity. The relationship between malaria and linear growth retardation requires further investigation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Malnutrition and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Building Climate Resilience in the Blue Nile/Abay Highlands: A Role for Earth System Sciences
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 435-461; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020435
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 7 January 2012 / Accepted: 21 January 2012 / Published: 30 January 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (5181 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Blue Nile (Abay) Highlands of Ethiopia are characterized by significant interannual climate variability, complex topography and associated local climate contrasts, erosive rains and erodible soils, and intense land pressure due to an increasing population and an economy that is almost entirely [...] Read more.
The Blue Nile (Abay) Highlands of Ethiopia are characterized by significant interannual climate variability, complex topography and associated local climate contrasts, erosive rains and erodible soils, and intense land pressure due to an increasing population and an economy that is almost entirely dependent on smallholder, low-input agriculture. As a result, these highland zones are highly vulnerable to negative impacts of climate variability. As patterns of variability and precipitation intensity alter under anthropogenic climate change, there is concern that this vulnerability will increase, threatening economic development and food security in the region. In order to overcome these challenges and to enhance sustainable development in the context of climate change, it is necessary to establish climate resilient development strategies that are informed by best-available Earth System Science (ESS) information. This requirement is complicated by the fact that climate projections for the Abay Highlands contain significant and perhaps irreducible uncertainties. A critical challenge for ESS, then, is to generate and to communicate meaningful information for climate resilient development in the context of a highly uncertain climate forecast. Here we report on a framework for applying ESS to climate resilient development in the Abay Highlands, with a focus on the challenge of reducing land degradation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Earth System Science)
Open AccessArticle Suicidal Ideation and Associated Factors among School-Going Adolescents in Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 462-473; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020462
Received: 21 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 21 January 2012 / Published: 31 January 2012
Cited by 13 | PDF Full-text (338 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and identify associations between suicidal ideation and indicators of psychosocial distress and social-environmental factors in Thai adolescents. Using data from the Thailand Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) 2008, we assessed the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and identify associations between suicidal ideation and indicators of psychosocial distress and social-environmental factors in Thai adolescents. Using data from the Thailand Global School-Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) 2008, we assessed the prevalence of suicidal ideation and its associated factors among adolescents (N = 2,758). Overall the prevalence of suicidal ideation in the past 12 months was 8.8% (9.9% males and 7.7% females). Variables influenced the suicidal ideation in multivariable analysis were sadness (Odds Ratio = OR: 6.03; 95% Confidence Interval = CI (3.00–12.14), lack of parental attachment (OR = 2.26, CI = 1.09–4.67), current alcohol use (OR = 2.32, 1.21–4.44), and ever having had sexual intercourse (OR = 4.16, CI = 3.40–7.68). Psychosocial, health-risk behaviours and lack of protective factors appear to effect suicidal ideation in this youth population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Microtubules as a Critical Target for Arsenic Toxicity in Lung Cells in Vitro and in Vivo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 474-495; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020474
Received: 29 December 2011 / Revised: 29 January 2012 / Accepted: 30 January 2012 / Published: 1 February 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (26982 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To understand mechanisms for arsenic toxicity in the lung, we examined effects of sodium m-arsenite (As3+) on microtubule (MT) assembly in vitro (0–40 µM), in cultured rat lung fibroblasts (RFL6, 0–20 µM for 24 h) and in the rat [...] Read more.
To understand mechanisms for arsenic toxicity in the lung, we examined effects of sodium m-arsenite (As3+) on microtubule (MT) assembly in vitro (0–40 µM), in cultured rat lung fibroblasts (RFL6, 0–20 µM for 24 h) and in the rat animal model (intratracheal instillation of 2.02 mg As/kg body weight, once a week for 5 weeks). As3+ induced a dose-dependent disassembly of cellular MTs and enhancement of the free tubulin pool, initiating an autoregulation of tubulin synthesis manifest as inhibition of steady-state mRNA levels of βI-tubulin in dosed lung cells and tissues. Spindle MT injuries by As3+ were concomitant with chromosomal disorientations. As3+ reduced the binding to tubulin of [3H]N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), an -SH group reagent, resulting in inhibition of MT polymerization in vitro with bovine brain tubulins which was abolished by addition of dithiothreitol (DTT) suggesting As3+ action upon tubulin through -SH groups. In response to As3+, cells elevated cellular thiols such as metallothionein. Taxol, a tubulin polymerization agent, antagonized both As3+ and NEM induced MT depolymerization. MT–associated proteins (MAPs) essential for the MT stability were markedly suppressed in As3+-treated cells. Thus, tubulin sulfhydryls and MAPs are major molecular targets for As3+ damage to the lung triggering MT disassembly cascades. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Computer Usage in Internet Café on Cigarette Smoking and Alcohol Use among Chinese Adolescents and Youth: A Longitudinal Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 496-510; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020496
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 1 February 2012 / Accepted: 2 February 2012 / Published: 6 February 2012
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (236 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
We used longitudinal data to investigate the relationship between computer use in internet cafés and smoking/drinking behavior among Chinese adolescents and young adults. Data are from two waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (2004 and 2006). Fixed effects models were [...] Read more.
We used longitudinal data to investigate the relationship between computer use in internet cafés and smoking/drinking behavior among Chinese adolescents and young adults. Data are from two waves of the China Health and Nutrition Survey (2004 and 2006). Fixed effects models were used to examine if changes in internet café use were associated with changes in cigarette smoking and drinking of alcohol. Male café users spent on average 17.3 hours in front of the computer/week. This was associated with an increase in the probability of being a current smoker by 13.3% and with smoking 1.7 more cigarettes. Female café users spent on average 11 hours on the computer/week. This was associated with an increase in the probability of drinking wine and/or liquor by 14.74% and was not associated with smoking. Internet cafés are an important venue by which adolescent and young adults in China are exposed to smoking and drinking. Multi-component interventions are needed ranging from policies regulating cigarette and alcohol availability in these venues to anti-tobacco campaigns aimed at the general population but also at individuals who frequent these establishments. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mineral Contamination from Cemetery Soils: Case Study of Zandfontein Cemetery, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 511-520; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020511
Received: 3 January 2012 / Revised: 16 January 2012 / Accepted: 17 January 2012 / Published: 7 February 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (641 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The burial of coffins may pose an environmental and health hazard since the metals that are used in coffin-making may corrode or degrade into harmful toxins. These may leach into the surrounding soils and groundwater. Very little research has been conducted world-wide [...] Read more.
The burial of coffins may pose an environmental and health hazard since the metals that are used in coffin-making may corrode or degrade into harmful toxins. These may leach into the surrounding soils and groundwater. Very little research has been conducted world-wide on the mineral contamination potential of cemeteries, and virtually none in South Africa. The aim of the study is to determine whether burial practices affect the mineral content of soils in cemeteries. This was done by comparing the mineral concentrations of soils within the Zandfontein Cemetery in Tshwane (Gauteng, South Africa) to those off-site as well as those in zones with high burial loads with those zones with fewer burials. Twenty three soil samples were collected from various sites on- and off-site and analyzed for 31 minerals using ICP-AES. It was found that mineral concentrations of soils within the Zandfontein Cemetery were considerably higher than those off-site. Soil samples in multiple burials blocks also have elevated metal concentrations. These excess metals are probably of anthropogenic origin associated with burial practices and could pose an environmental and human health hazard. Strict monitoring of water quality in boreholes in the vicinity of the cemetery is recommended. Full article
Open AccessArticle Age, Gender and Suicidal Ideation Following Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 521-530; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020521
Received: 21 December 2011 / Revised: 26 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 10 February 2012
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (261 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation in patients who were tested for HIV-infection and whether along with their HIV status, age and gender influenced their risk for suicidal ideation. The sample consisted of 189 patients [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of suicidal ideation in patients who were tested for HIV-infection and whether along with their HIV status, age and gender influenced their risk for suicidal ideation. The sample consisted of 189 patients who attended a voluntary HIV counseling and testing clinic (VCT) at a general state hospital in Durban, South Africa. Their mean age at baseline was 34.2 years, with an age range of between 16–79 years. Seropositivity, age and gender were significantly associated with suicidal ideation. The majority of these patients were in the younger age group, and young males had a 1.8 times higher risk for suicidal ideation than females. Although risk factors for seropositive-related suicidal ideation can be complex and multi-factorial, this study identified a young age and male gender as important high risk factors in the sample studied. It is recommended that all, but especially young male HIV-infected patients seen at a VCT clinic be screened for suicidal ideation and that early intervention to prevent subsequent suicides or suicidal attempts be included in pre- and post-test HIV counseling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Application of Porous Nickel-Coated TiO2 for the Photocatalytic Degradation of Aqueous Quinoline in an Internal Airlift Loop Reactor
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 548-563; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020548
Received: 31 December 2011 / Revised: 2 February 2012 / Accepted: 9 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (1507 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
P25 film, prepared by a facile dip-coating method without any binder, was further developed in a recirculating reactor for quinoline removal from synthetic wastewater. Macroporous foam Ni, which has an open three-dimensional network structure, was utilized as a substrate to make good [...] Read more.
P25 film, prepared by a facile dip-coating method without any binder, was further developed in a recirculating reactor for quinoline removal from synthetic wastewater. Macroporous foam Ni, which has an open three-dimensional network structure, was utilized as a substrate to make good use of UV rays. Field emission scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the coated/calcinated P25 films consisted of two crystal phases, and had a number of uniform microcracks on the surface. The effects of initial quinoline concentration, light intensity, reaction temperature, aeration, and initial pH were studied. Increased reaction time, light intensity, environmental temperature, and gas aeration were found to significantly improve the quinoline removal efficiency. The aeration effect of oxygen dependency on the quinoline degradation had the trend pure oxygen > air > no gas > pure nitrogen with free O2. The solution pH crucially affected quinoline photodegradation; the high electrostatic adsorption of quinoline molecules on the TiO2 surface was strongly pH dependent. 2-Pyridine-carboxaldehyde, 3-pyridinecarboxaldehyde, and 2(1H)-quinolinone were identified as the major intermediates of quinoline degradation. Based on these intermediates, a primary degradation mechanism was proposed. This reusable P25 film benefits the photodegradation of water contaminants and has potential in other various applications. Full article
Open AccessArticle Knowledge of Health Effects and Intentions to Quit Among Smokers in India: Findings From the Tobacco Control Policy (TCP) India Pilot Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 564-578; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020564
Received: 23 January 2012 / Revised: 3 February 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 15 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (395 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Awareness of the health risks of smoking is an important factor in predicting smoking-related behaviour; however, little is known about the knowledge of health risks in low-income countries such as India. The present study examined beliefs about the harms of smoking and the impact of health knowledge on intentions to quit among a sample of 249 current smokers in both urban and rural areas in two states (Maharashtra and Bihar) from the 2006 TCP India Pilot Survey, conducted by the ITC Project. The overall awareness among smokers in India of the specific health risks of smoking was very low compared to other ITC countries, and only 10% of respondents reported that they had plans to quit in the next six months. In addition, smokers with higher knowledge were significantly more likely to have plans to quit smoking. For example, 26.2% of respondents who believed that smoking cause CHD and only 5.5% who did not believe that smoking causes CHD had intentions to quit (χ2 = 16.348, p < 0.001). Important differences were also found according to socioeconomic factors and state: higher levels of knowledge were found in Maharashtra than in Bihar, in urban compared to rural areas, among males, and among smokers with higher education. These findings highlight the need to increase awareness about the health risks of smoking in India, particularly in rural areas, where levels of education and health knowledge are lower. Full article
Open AccessArticle The Association Between Community Stressors and Asthma Prevalence of School Children in Winnipeg, Canada
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 579-595; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020579
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 10 February 2012 / Accepted: 10 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (250 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is generally surmised that community stressors have an incubating effect for a variety of diagnoses on maternal and child health. This is of public health significance, as children of mothers facing long-term distress were found to have a 60% higher risk [...] Read more.
It is generally surmised that community stressors have an incubating effect for a variety of diagnoses on maternal and child health. This is of public health significance, as children of mothers facing long-term distress were found to have a 60% higher risk for asthma diagnosis at age 7 in Manitoba, Canada. Our objective was to determine the association of community stressors with childhood asthma prevalence in Winnipeg, Canada from participants who completed the Study of Asthma, Genes and the Environment (SAGE) survey administered in 2002–2003 to a birth cohort from 1995. Measures of community socioeconomic makeup and community disorder with rank ordinalized by quintile at the census tract level were obtained from the 1996 Canada Census. Crime data (annual incidence per 10,000 persons) by neighbourhood profile for 2001 was provided by the Winnipeg Police Service. Dichotomous caregiver report of child asthma along with other indicators from the geocoded SAGE survey allowed linkage to 23 neighbourhood profiles. Multilevel logistic regression analyses were performed to estimate the effect of community stressors on childhood asthma prevalence for birth and non-birth home children (N = 1472) and children resident of birth homes at age 7 or 8 (N = 698). After adjusting for individual risk factors, children resident of birth homes in a high thefts over $5,000 neighbourhood profile were twice as likely (Adjusted OR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.11–3.81) to have report of asthma compared to children in a lower thefts over $5,000 profile, with community thefts over $5,000 explaining over half of the observed neighbourhood variation in asthma. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maternal and Child Health)
Open AccessArticle Correlates of Suicide Ideation and Attempt among Youth Living in the Slums of Kampala
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 596-609; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020596
Received: 28 December 2011 / Revised: 21 January 2012 / Accepted: 6 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 17 | PDF Full-text (308 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While suicidal behavior is recognized as a growing public health problem world-wide, little is known about the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal behaviors among street and slum youth in Africa, and in Uganda, specifically. The number of youth who live on [...] Read more.
While suicidal behavior is recognized as a growing public health problem world-wide, little is known about the prevalence and risk factors for suicidal behaviors among street and slum youth in Africa, and in Uganda, specifically. The number of youth who live on the streets and in the slums of Kampala appears to be growing rapidly, but their mental health needs have not been documented, which has hampered resource allocation and service implementation. This study of youth, ages 14–24, was conducted in May and June of 2011, to assess the prevalence and correlates of suicidal behavior. Participants (N = 457) were recruited for a 30-minute interviewer-administered survey through eight drop-in centers operated by the Uganda Youth Development Link for youth in need of services. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were computed to determine associations between psychosocial correlates and suicide ideation and suicide attempt. Reporting both parents deceased Adj.OR = 2.36; 95% CI: 1.23–4.52), parental neglect due to alcohol use (Adj.OR = 2.09; 95% CI: 1.16–3.77), trading sex for food, shelter or money (Adj.OR = 1.95; 95% CI: 1.09–3.51), sadnesss (Adj.OR = 2.42; 95% CI: 1.20–4.89), loneliness (Adj.OR = 2.67; 95% CI: 1.12–6.40) and expectations of dying prior to age 30 (Adj.OR = 2.54; 95% CI: 1.53–4.23) were significantly associated with suicide ideation in multivariate analyses. Parental neglect due to alcohol use (Adj.OR = 2.04; 95% CI: 1.11–3.76), sadness (Adj.OR = 2.42; 95% CI: 1.30–7.87), and expectations of dying prior to age 30 (Adj.OR = 2.18; 95% CI: 1.25–3.79) were significantly associated with suicide attempt in multivariate analyses. Given the dire circumstances of this vulnerable population, increased services and primary prevention efforts to address the risk factors for suicidal behavior are urgently needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle Comparison of BMI Derived from Parent-Reported Height and Weight with Measured Values: Results from the German KiGGS Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 632-647; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020632
Received: 24 December 2011 / Revised: 6 February 2012 / Accepted: 9 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 15 | PDF Full-text (373 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of parent-reported height and weight is a cost-efficient instrument to assess the prevalence of children’s weight status in large-scale surveys. This study aimed to examine the accuracy of BMI derived from parent-reported height and weight and to identify potential predictors [...] Read more.
The use of parent-reported height and weight is a cost-efficient instrument to assess the prevalence of children’s weight status in large-scale surveys. This study aimed to examine the accuracy of BMI derived from parent-reported height and weight and to identify potential predictors of the validity of BMI derived from parent-reported data. A subsample of children aged 2–17 years (n = 9,187) was taken from the 2003–2006 cross-sectional German KiGGS study. Parent-reported and measured height and weight were collected and BMI was calculated. Besides descriptive analysis, linear regression models with BMI difference and logistic regression models with weight status misclassification as dependent variables were calculated. Height differences varied by gender and were generally small. Weight and BMI were under-reported in all age groups, the under-reporting getting stronger with increasing age. Overall, the proportion for overweight and obesity based on parental and measured reports differed slightly. In the youngest age group, the proportion of overweight children was overestimated, while it was underestimated for older children and adolescents. Main predictors of the difference between parent reported and measured values were age, gender, weight status and parents’ perception of the child’s weight. In summary, the exclusive use of uncorrected parental reports for assessment of prevalence rates of weight status is not recommended. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Open AccessArticle A Screening Method for Assessing Cumulative Impacts
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 648-659; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020648
Received: 31 October 2011 / Revised: 7 February 2012 / Accepted: 8 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (286 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Environmental Justice Action Plan calls for guidelines for evaluating “cumulative impacts.” As a first step toward such guidelines, a screening methodology for assessing cumulative impacts in communities was developed. The method, presented here, is based on [...] Read more.
The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Environmental Justice Action Plan calls for guidelines for evaluating “cumulative impacts.” As a first step toward such guidelines, a screening methodology for assessing cumulative impacts in communities was developed. The method, presented here, is based on the working definition of cumulative impacts adopted by Cal/EPA [1]: “Cumulative impacts means exposures, public health or environmental effects from the combined emissions and discharges in a geographic area, including environmental pollution from all sources, whether single or multi-media, routinely, accidentally, or otherwise released. Impacts will take into account sensitive populations and socio-economic factors, where applicable and to the extent data are available. The screening methodology is built on this definition as well as current scientific understanding of environmental pollution and its adverse impacts on health, including the influence of both intrinsic, biological factors and non-intrinsic socioeconomic factors in mediating the effects of pollutant exposures. It addresses disparities in the distribution of pollution and health outcomes. The methodology provides a science-based tool to screen places for relative cumulative impacts, incorporating both the pollution burden on a community- including exposures to pollutants, their public health and environmental effects- and community characteristics, specifically sensitivity and socioeconomic factors. The screening methodology provides relative rankings to distinguish more highly impacted communities from less impacted ones. It may also help identify which factors are the greatest contributors to a community’s cumulative impact. It is not designed to provide quantitative estimates of community-level health impacts. A pilot screening analysis is presented here to illustrate the application of this methodology. Once guidelines are adopted, the methodology can serve as a screening tool to help Cal/EPA programs prioritize their activities and target those communities with the greatest cumulative impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Cumulative Risk Assessment: An Overview of Methodological Approaches for Evaluating Combined Health Effects from Exposure to Multiple Environmental Stressors
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 370-390; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020370
Received: 5 January 2012 / Revised: 23 January 2012 / Accepted: 23 January 2012 / Published: 26 January 2012
Cited by 31 | PDF Full-text (189 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Systematic evaluation of cumulative health risks from the combined effects of multiple environmental stressors is becoming a vital component of risk-based decisions aimed at protecting human populations and communities. This article briefly examines the historical development of cumulative risk assessment as an [...] Read more.
Systematic evaluation of cumulative health risks from the combined effects of multiple environmental stressors is becoming a vital component of risk-based decisions aimed at protecting human populations and communities. This article briefly examines the historical development of cumulative risk assessment as an analytical tool, and discusses current approaches for evaluating cumulative health effects from exposure to both chemical mixtures and combinations of chemical and nonchemical stressors. A comparison of stressor-based and effects-based assessment methods is presented, and the potential value of focusing on viable risk management options to limit the scope of cumulative evaluations is discussed. The ultimate goal of cumulative risk assessment is to provide answers to decision-relevant questions based on organized scientific analysis; even if the answers, at least for the time being, are inexact and uncertain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cumulative Health Risk Assessment)
Open AccessReview Physical Activity and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease—A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 391-407; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020391
Received: 14 December 2011 / Revised: 17 January 2012 / Accepted: 18 January 2012 / Published: 26 January 2012
Cited by 110 | PDF Full-text (808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In order to update and improve available evidence on associations of physical activity (PA) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) by applying meta-analytic random effects modeling to data from prospective cohort studies, using high quality criteria of study selection, we searched the PubMed database from January 1980 to December 2010 for prospective cohort studies of PA and incident CVD, distinguishing occupational PA and leisure time PA, coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke, respectively. Inclusion criteria were peer-reviewed English papers with original data, studies with large sample size (n ≥ 1,000) and substantial follow-up (≥5 years), available data on major confounders and on estimates of relative risk (RR) or hazard ratio (HR), with 95% confidence intervals (CI). We included 21 prospective studies in the overall analysis, with a sample size of more than 650,000 adults who were initially free from CVD, and with some 20,000 incident cases documented during follow-up. Among men, RR of overall CVD in the group with the high level of leisure time PA was 0.76 (95% CI 0.70–0.82, p < 0.001), compared to the reference group with low leisure time PA, with obvious dose-response relationship. A similar effect was observed among women (RR = 0.73, 95% CI 0.68–0.78, p < 0.001). A strong protective effect of occupational PA was observed for moderate level in both men (RR = 0.89, 95% CI 0.82–0.97, p = 0.008) and women (RR = 0.83, 95% CI 0.67–1.03, p = 0.089). No publication bias was observed. Our findings suggest that high level of leisure time PA and moderate level of occupational PA have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health by reducing the overall risk of incident coronary heart disease and stroke among men and women by 20 to 30 percent and 10 to 20 percent, respectively. This evidence from high quality studies supports efforts of primary and secondary prevention of CVD in economically advanced as well as in rapidly developing countries. Full article
Open AccessReview Seasonality of Suicidal Behavior
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 531-547; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020531
Received: 16 December 2011 / Revised: 11 January 2012 / Accepted: 26 January 2012 / Published: 14 February 2012
Cited by 25 | PDF Full-text (530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A seasonal suicide peak in spring is highly replicated, but its specific cause is unknown. We reviewed the literature on suicide risk factors which can be associated with seasonal variation of suicide rates, assessing published articles from 1979 to 2011. Such risk [...] Read more.
A seasonal suicide peak in spring is highly replicated, but its specific cause is unknown. We reviewed the literature on suicide risk factors which can be associated with seasonal variation of suicide rates, assessing published articles from 1979 to 2011. Such risk factors include environmental determinants, including physical, chemical, and biological factors. We also summarized the influence of potential demographic and clinical characteristics such as age, gender, month of birth, socioeconomic status, methods of prior suicide attempt, and comorbid psychiatric and medical diseases. Comprehensive evaluation of risk factors which could be linked to the seasonal variation in suicide is important, not only to identify the major driving force for the seasonality of suicide, but also could lead to better suicide prevention in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Suicide Prevention and Public Health)
Open AccessReview Building Climate Resilience in the Blue Nile/Abay Highlands: A Framework for Action
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2012, 9(2), 610-631; doi:10.3390/ijerph9020610
Received: 2 September 2011 / Revised: 18 January 2012 / Accepted: 3 February 2012 / Published: 16 February 2012
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1874 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ethiopia has become warmer over the past century and human induced climate change will bring further warming over the next century at unprecedented rates. On the average, climate models show a tendency for higher mean annual rainfall and for wetter conditions, in [...] Read more.
Ethiopia has become warmer over the past century and human induced climate change will bring further warming over the next century at unprecedented rates. On the average, climate models show a tendency for higher mean annual rainfall and for wetter conditions, in particular during October, November and December, but there is much uncertainty about the future amount, distribution, timing and intensity of rainfall. Ethiopia’s low level of economic development, combined with its heavy dependence on agriculture and high population growth rate make the country particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of climate change. Nearly 90% of Ethiopia’s population lives in the Highlands, which include the critical Blue Nile (Abay) Highlands—a region that holds special importance due to its role in domestic agricultural production and international water resources. A five year study of climate vulnerability and adaptation strategies in communities of Choke Mountain, located in the center of the Abay Highlands, has informed a proposed framework for enhancing climate resilience in communities across the region. The framework is motivated by the critical need to enhance capacity to cope with climate change and, subsequently, to advance a carbon neutral and climate resilient economy in Ethiopia. The implicit hypothesis in applying a research framework for this effort is that science-based information, generated through improved understanding of impacts and vulnerabilities of local communities, can contribute to enhanced resilience strategies. We view adaptation to climate change in a wider context of changes, including, among others, market conditions, the political-institutional framework, and population dynamics. From a livelihood perspective, culture, historical settings, the diversity of income generation strategies, knowledge, and education are important factors that contribute to adaptive capacities. This paper reviews key findings of the Choke Mountain study, describes the principles of the climate resilience framework, and proposes an implementation strategy for climate resilient development to be applied in the Abay Highlands, with potential expansion to agricultural communities across the region and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Earth System Science)

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
IJERPH Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
ijerph@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to IJERPH
Back to Top