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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 17, Issue 3 (February-1 2020) – 449 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): A new innovative magnetic resonance technique called T1ρ was used to objectify tissue alteration in subjects with elbow pain. This new imaging has confirmed the presence of densification: a quality alteration of loose connective tissue within deep fascia. For this reason, fascial manipulation was successfully applied, giving a resolution of the symptoms. View this paper
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Article
Health-Related Quality of Life and Medical Resource Use in Patients with Osteoporosis and Depression: A Cross-Sectional Analysis from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1124; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031124 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1529
Abstract
Background: Patients with either osteoporosis or depression are prone to develop other diseases and require more medical resources than do the general population. However, there are no studies on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and medical resource use by osteoporosis patients with [...] Read more.
Background: Patients with either osteoporosis or depression are prone to develop other diseases and require more medical resources than do the general population. However, there are no studies on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and medical resource use by osteoporosis patients with comorbid depression. We conducted this study for clarifying it. Methods: This cross-sectional study from 2005 to 2010 (6 years) analyzed 9776 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) patients > 40 years old. Each patient was assigned to one of four groups: osteoporosis-positive(+) and depression-positive(+) (O+/D+); O+/D; O/D+; O/D. We used multivariate linear and logistic regression model to analyze the HRQoL and medical resource use between groups. Results: The O+/D+ group reported more unhealthy days of physical health, more unhealthy days of mental health, and more inactive days during a specified 30 days. The adjusted odds ratios (AORs) of O+/D+ patients who had poor general health (7.40, 95% CI = 4.80–11.40), who needed healthcare (3.25, 95% CI = 2.12–5.00), and who had been hospitalized overnight (2.71, 95% CI = 1.89–3.90) were significantly highest. Conclusions: Low HRQoL was significantly more prevalent in D+/O+ patients. We found that depression severity more significantly affected HRQoL than did osteoporosis. However, both diseases significantly increased the risk of high medical resource use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Big Data, Decision Models, and Public Health)
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Article
Seven Weeks of Jump Training with Superimposed Whole-Body Electromyostimulation Does Not Affect the Physiological and Cellular Parameters of Endurance Performance in Amateur Soccer Players
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1123; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031123 - 10 Feb 2020
Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Intramuscular density of monocarboxylate-transporter (MCT) could affect the ability to perform high amounts of fast and explosive actions during a soccer game. MCTs have been proven to be essential for lactate shuttling and pH regulation during exercise and can undergo notable adaptational changes [...] Read more.
Intramuscular density of monocarboxylate-transporter (MCT) could affect the ability to perform high amounts of fast and explosive actions during a soccer game. MCTs have been proven to be essential for lactate shuttling and pH regulation during exercise and can undergo notable adaptational changes depending on training. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence and direction of potential effects of a 7-weeks training period of jumps with superimposed whole-body electromyostimulation on soccer relevant performance surrogates and MCT density in soccer players. For this purpose, 30 amateur soccer players were randomly assigned to three groups. One group performed dynamic whole-body strength training including 3 x 10 squat jumps with WB-EMS (EG, n = 10) twice a week in addition to their daily soccer training routine. A jump training group (TG, n = 10) performed the same training routine without EMS, whereas a control group (CG, n = 8) merely performed their daily soccer routine. 2 (Time: pre vs. post) x 3 (group: EG, TG, CG) repeated measures analyses of variance (rANOVA) revealed neither a significant time, group nor interaction effect for VO2peak, Total Time to Exhaustion and Lamax as well as MCT-1 density. Due to a lack of task-specificity of the underlying training stimuli, we conclude that seven weeks of WB-EMS superimposed to jump exercise twice a week does not relevantly influence aerobic performance or MCT density. Full article
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Review
A Systematic Literature Review on Water Insecurity from an Oregon Public Health Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1122; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031122 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2093
Abstract
This paper systematically reviews existing United States-based water insecurity literature with the goal of understanding the evidence base for developing public health water insecurity intervention strategies in Oregon. The authors conducted the systematic literature review using an adjusted PRISMA reporting checklist to document [...] Read more.
This paper systematically reviews existing United States-based water insecurity literature with the goal of understanding the evidence base for developing public health water insecurity intervention strategies in Oregon. The authors conducted the systematic literature review using an adjusted PRISMA reporting checklist to document the review process. Results find 11 public health-related water insecurity interventions including surveillance practices and indicator and policy development. Research on water insecurity health impacts and solutions is still an emerging field. Nevertheless, state agencies perceive a risk to communities from inadequate safe water and are taking steps to assess and reduce these risks. From the review, strategies include improving water affordability, carrying out community education events, documenting drought risk and water loss, and tracking improvements in safe drinking water compliance. The review finds opportunities to take varied approaches that are community-specific, partnership-based and culturally relevant. Recommendations for Oregon include characterizing communities experiencing water insecurity, assessing community needs, tracking regional water scarcity and recognizing the human right to water in Oregon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Review
Performance of Exoelectrogenic Bacteria Used in Microbial Desalination Cell Technology
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1121; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031121 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
The tri-functional purpose of Microbial Desalination Cell (MDC) has shown a great promise in our current scarcity of water, an increase in water pollution and the high cost of electricity production. As a biological system, the baseline force that drives its performance is [...] Read more.
The tri-functional purpose of Microbial Desalination Cell (MDC) has shown a great promise in our current scarcity of water, an increase in water pollution and the high cost of electricity production. As a biological system, the baseline force that drives its performance is the presence of exoelectrogens in the anode chamber. Their presence in the anodic chamber of MDC systems enables the treatment of water, desalination of seawater, and the production of electrical energy. This study reviews the characteristics of exoelectrogens, as a driving force in MDC and examines factors which influence their growth and the performance efficiency of MDC systems. It also addresses the efficiency of mixed cultures with certain predominant species as compared to pure cultures used in MDC systems. Furthermore, the study suggests the need to genetically modify certain predominant strains in mixed cultures to enhance their performance in COD removal, desalination and power output and the integration of MDC with other technologies for cost-effective processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Environmental Science and Technology)
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Article
Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Elderly Patients
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1120; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031120 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1182
Abstract
Background The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of position-dependent obstructive sleep apnea (POSA) in elderly patients (≥65 years old). Adult (range 19-65 years old) and elderly patients were also compared in order to show differences in the incidence of [...] Read more.
Background The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of position-dependent obstructive sleep apnea (POSA) in elderly patients (≥65 years old). Adult (range 19-65 years old) and elderly patients were also compared in order to show differences in the incidence of POSA between these two groups of patients. Methods A prospective bi-center study was performed between January 2018 and May 2019. A total of 434 participants underwent polysomnography (PSG) study at home (Embletta MPR). Body position during the PSG recordings was determined. Patients were subdivided in two groups: those aged between 19 and 65 years old (adult patients) and ≥65 years old (elderly patients). POSA patients were defined using Cartwright’s system, Bignold classification, and the new Amsterdam Positional OSA Classification (APOC). Results The prevalence of POSA in elderly patients differed according to the classification system used: 49.3% using Cartwright’s classification system, 20.5% with the Bignold classification, and 22.6%, 38.9%, and 5.4% of APOC 1, APOC 2, and APOC3 sub-classes were respectively identified for the APOC classification system. No difference between adult and elderly patients regarding the prevalence of POSA was observed. No statistical differences emerged between the two groups of patients in terms of supine (p = 0.9) and non-supine AHI (p = 0.4). Conclusions A significant number of elderly patients could be considered treatable with positional therapy according to the APOC classification. However, the efficacy and applicability of positional therapy in elderly patients must be confirmed by further research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Disorders Across the Lifespan: A Different Perspective)
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Article
Airflow and Particle Transport Prediction through Stenosis Airways
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1119; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031119 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Airflow and particle transport in the human lung system is influenced by biological and other factors such as breathing pattern, particle properties, and deposition mechanisms. Most of the studies to date have analyzed airflow characterization and aerosol transport in idealized and realistic models. [...] Read more.
Airflow and particle transport in the human lung system is influenced by biological and other factors such as breathing pattern, particle properties, and deposition mechanisms. Most of the studies to date have analyzed airflow characterization and aerosol transport in idealized and realistic models. Precise airflow characterization for airway stenosis in a digital reference model is lacking in the literature. This study presents a numerical simulation of airflow and particle transport through a stenosis section of the airway. A realistic CT-scan-based mouth–throat and upper airway model was used for the numerical calculations. Three different models of a healthy lung and of airway stenosis of the left and right lung were used for the calculations. The ANSYS FLUENT solver, based on the finite volume discretization technique, was used as a numerical tool. Proper grid refinement and validation were performed. The numerical results show a complex-velocity flow field for airway stenosis, where airflow velocity magnitude at the stenosis section was found to be higher than that in healthy airways. Pressure drops at the mouth–throat and in the upper airways show a nonlinear trend. Comprehensive pressure analysis of stenosis airways would increase our knowledge of the safe mechanical ventilation of the lung. The turbulence intensities at the stenosis sections of the right and left lung were found to be different. Deposition efficiency (DE) increased with flow rate and particle size. The findings of the present study increase our understanding of airflow patterns in airway stenosis under various disease conditions. More comprehensive stenosis analysis is required to further improve knowledge of the field. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Respiratory Health)
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Article
Cardiac Autonomic Modulation during on-Call Duty under Working Hours Restriction
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031118 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2571
Abstract
Background: Medical residency is a time of high stress and long working hours, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the autonomic modulation of resident physicians throughout the on-call duty cycle. Methods: Spectral analysis of heart rate variability [...] Read more.
Background: Medical residency is a time of high stress and long working hours, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. This study aimed to investigate the autonomic modulation of resident physicians throughout the on-call duty cycle. Methods: Spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) was used to compute cardiac parasympathetic modulation (high-frequency power, HF) and cardiac sympathetic modulation (normalized low-frequency power, LF%, and the ratio of LF and HF, LF/HF) of 18 residents for a consecutive 4-day cycle. Results: Male residents show reduced cardiac sympathetic modulation (i.e., higher LF/HF and LF%) than the female interns. Medical residents’ cardiac parasympathetic modulation (i.e., HF) significantly increased on the first and the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. In contrast, LF% was significantly decreased on the first and the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. Similarly, LF/HF was significantly decreased on the second post-call day compared with the pre-call day. LF/HF significantly decreased on the first post-call day and on the second post-call day from on-call duty. Conclusion: The guideline that limits workweeks to 80 h and shifts to 28 h resulted in reduced sympathetic modulation and increased parasympathetic modulation during the two days following on-call duty. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Health Psychology)
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Article
The Prediction of Human Abdominal Adiposity Based on the Combination of a Particle Swarm Algorithm and Support Vector Machine
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1117; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031117 - 10 Feb 2020
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Background: Abdominal adiposity is an important risk factor of chronic cardiovascular diseases, thus the prediction of abdominal adiposity and obesity can reduce the risks of contracting such diseases. However, the current prediction models display low accuracy and high sample size dependence. The [...] Read more.
Background: Abdominal adiposity is an important risk factor of chronic cardiovascular diseases, thus the prediction of abdominal adiposity and obesity can reduce the risks of contracting such diseases. However, the current prediction models display low accuracy and high sample size dependence. The purpose of this study is to put forward a new prediction method based on an improved support vector machine (SVM) to solve these problems. Methods: A total of 200 individuals participated in this study and were further divided into a modeling group and a test group. Their physiological parameters (height, weight, age, the four parameters of abdominal impedance and body fat mass) were measured using the body composition tester (the universal INBODY measurement device) based on BIA. Intelligent algorithms were used in the modeling group to build predictive models and the test group was used in model performance evaluation. Firstly, the optimal boundary C and parameter gamma were optimized by the particle swarm algorithm. We then developed an algorithm to classify human abdominal adiposity according to the parameter setup of the SVM algorithm and constructed the prediction model using this algorithm. Finally, we designed experiments to compare the performances of the proposed method and the other methods. Results: There are different abdominal obesity prediction models in the 1 KHz and 250 KHz frequency bands. The experimental data demonstrates that for the frequency band of 250 KHz, the proposed method can reduce the false classification rate by 10.7%, 15%, and 33% in relation to the sole SVM algorithm, the regression model, and the waistline measurement model, respectively. For the frequency band of 1 KHz, the proposed model is still more accurate. (4) Conclusions: The proposed method effectively improves the prediction accuracy and reduces the sample size dependence of the algorithm, which can provide a reference for abdominal obesity. Full article
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Article
Psychological Correlates of Ghosting and Breadcrumbing Experiences: A Preliminary Study among Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1116; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031116 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4138
Abstract
The present study aimed to examine differences in three psychological constructs (satisfaction with life, loneliness, and helplessness) among adults experiencing ghosting and breadcrumbing. A sample of 626 adults (303 males and 323 females), aged from 18 to 40 years, completed an online survey [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to examine differences in three psychological constructs (satisfaction with life, loneliness, and helplessness) among adults experiencing ghosting and breadcrumbing. A sample of 626 adults (303 males and 323 females), aged from 18 to 40 years, completed an online survey asking to indicate whether someone they considered a dating partner had ghosted or breadcrumbed them in the last year and to complete three different scales regarding satisfaction with life, loneliness, and helplessness. The results showed than those participants who had indicated experiencing breadcrumbing or the combined forms (both breadcrumbing and ghosting) reported less satisfaction with life, and more helplessness and self-perceived loneliness. The results from the regression models showed that suffering breadcrumbing would significantly increase the likelihood of experiencing less satisfaction with life, and of having more feelings of loneliness and helplessness. However, no significant relation was found between ghosting and any of the examined psychological correlates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyber-Aggression among Adolescents and Psychological Wellbeing)
Article
Characteristics of Victims of Fall-Related Accidents during Mountain Hiking
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1115; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031115 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1539
Abstract
The study evaluated characteristics of non-fatal mountain hiking accidents caused by falls. Questionnaires were sent to mountain hikers who suffered a fall-related accident in Tyrol (Austria) during a 3-year period. The questionnaire included details of socio-demographic data, physical activity, medication intake, defective vision, [...] Read more.
The study evaluated characteristics of non-fatal mountain hiking accidents caused by falls. Questionnaires were sent to mountain hikers who suffered a fall-related accident in Tyrol (Austria) during a 3-year period. The questionnaire included details of socio-demographic data, physical activity, medication intake, defective vision, breaks, fluid intake, level of fatigue, muscle soreness, use of backpacks, use of hiking sticks, and type of shoes. Data of 405 individuals (57% females and 43% males) were included in the analyses. Victims were 56 ± 15 years of age, had a body mass index of 24.8 ± 3.5, and indicated 4.2 ± 3.9 h/week regular physical activity. A defective vision was reported by 70% of the victims, breaks were frequent (in 80%), and alcohol intake was rare (4%) among the interviewed hikers. Subjective level of fatigue was low and only 5% reported muscle soreness. A backpack was carried by 83% of the victims and the average weight was higher in males compared to females. The majority (61%) of the victims wore ankle-height hiking shoes with a profiled sole. Victims of non-fatal falls in mountain hiking are older than the general population of mountain hikers and are often afflicted with defective vision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Sports Activities: Injuries and Prevention)
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Review
Educational Interventions to Improve Safety and Health Literacy Among Agricultural Workers: A Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1114; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031114 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1869
Abstract
Health and safety education for farmers has the potential to increase the level of health, safety literacy, and thereby improve farmers’ health and quality of life. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the published literature documenting different [...] Read more.
Health and safety education for farmers has the potential to increase the level of health, safety literacy, and thereby improve farmers’ health and quality of life. The aim of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the published literature documenting different educational interventions for agricultural workers that have the improvement of health and/or safety literacy as an outcome. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, Embase, Scopus and PsycINFO databases for articles focusing on educational interventions for farmers’ health and safety. From the 3357 initial hits, 36 unduplicated records met the inclusion criteria. The articles included in the review used educational interventions for farmers with the purpose of preventing farm-induced diseases and injuries, increasing the health and well-being of farmers, and promoting good manufacturing practices. The educational approaches considered varied from lectures, videos, newsletters, games, and community fairs, to involving the community in designing the intervention and training farmers to deliver the intervention to the community. Interventions that used evidence-based theories, which took into account cultural aspects and individual factors, used biomarkers as a behavior change measurement, and involved the community in the development of the intervention had the best results in terms of behavior change. The strategies of educational interventions identified in this review that produced good results have the potential to inform future researchers and policy makers in the design and implementation of public health interventions, programs and policies to improve the health of farmers and their families. Full article
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Article
Examining Users’ Adoption of Precision Medicine: The Moderating Role of Medical Technical Knowledge
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031113 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1106
Abstract
Precision medical technologies have received a great deal of attention, but promoting such technologies remains a problem for enterprises and medical institutions. Adopting the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model and the health belief model (HBM), this study investigated [...] Read more.
Precision medical technologies have received a great deal of attention, but promoting such technologies remains a problem for enterprises and medical institutions. Adopting the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model and the health belief model (HBM), this study investigated the key factors affecting users’ willingness to adopt precision medicine (PM) in terms of technical factors and external stimuli. Based on 415 questionnaires, performance expectancy, price value, social influence, and perceived threat of disease were found to significantly increase users willingness to adopt PM; meanwhile, privacy risks had the opposite effect. Knowledge about PM was found to strengthen the positive effect of performance expectancy, price value, social influence, and perceived threat of disease on willingness to adopt PM and weaken the negative effect of privacy risk. This study demonstrates the successful application of UTAUT to the medical field while also providing guidance for the promotion of PM. Full article
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Article
Lead Isotopes Combined with Geochemical Baseline in Sediments: A Novel Tool to Trace Anthropogenic Pb Sources
by and
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1112; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031112 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 814
Abstract
Traditional Pb isotopic identification only based on total Pb concentration and Pb isotopic ratios, resulted in difficulty for tracing Pb sources in the complex environmental medium, especially for sediment. Herein, a novel approach combining with regional geochemical baseline (RGB) and Pb isotopic ratios [...] Read more.
Traditional Pb isotopic identification only based on total Pb concentration and Pb isotopic ratios, resulted in difficulty for tracing Pb sources in the complex environmental medium, especially for sediment. Herein, a novel approach combining with regional geochemical baseline (RGB) and Pb isotopic ratios are used to directly trace anthropogenic Pb sources and calculate Pb source appointments in sediment. In this study, total Pb concentrations and isotopic ratios were analyzed for a 7-m long sediment core (92 sediment samples) collected from a reservoir. RGB of Pb was used to calculate anthropogenic Pb concentrations (Rd), their contributions (CRd) and screen the sediments influenced by anthropogenic activities. Among those sediments influenced by anthropogenic activities, a positive correlation was found between 206Pb/207Pb ratios and Rd, indicating there were two anthropogenic Pb sources in sediment. Further source identification using 206Pb/207Pb and 208Pb/207Pb indicated that these two anthropogenic Pb sources originated from coal consumption and aerosol input. Finally, CRd and Pb isotopic ratios were used to calculate these two Pb source appointments (1.13% for coal consumption and 7.53% for aerosol input). This study demonstrated that source identification using RGB and Pb isotopes could be a novel attempt for identifying anthropogenic Pb sources in sediment. Full article
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Article
Short-Term Associations of Fine Particulate Matter and Synoptic Weather Types with Cardiovascular Mortality: An Ecological Time-Series Study in Shanghai, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1111; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031111 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1459
Abstract
Background: Exposures to both ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and extreme weather conditions have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in numerous epidemiologic studies. However, evidence on the associations with CVD deaths for interaction effects between PM2.5 and [...] Read more.
Background: Exposures to both ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and extreme weather conditions have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths in numerous epidemiologic studies. However, evidence on the associations with CVD deaths for interaction effects between PM2.5 and weather conditions is still limited. This study aimed to investigate associations of exposures to PM2.5 and weather conditions with cardiovascular mortality, and further to investigate the synergistic or antagonistic effects of ambient air pollutants and synoptic weather types (SWTs). Methods: Information on daily CVD deaths, air pollution, and meteorological conditions between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2014 was obtained in Shanghai, China. Generalized additive models were used to assess the associations of daily PM2.5 concentrations and meteorological factors with CVD deaths. A 15-day lag analysis was conducted using a polynomial distributed lag model to access the lag patterns for associations with PM2.5. Results: During the study period, the total number of CVD deaths in Shanghai was 59,486, with a daily mean of 54.3 deaths. The average daily PM2.5 concentration was 55.0 µg/m3. Each 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 1.26% (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.40%, 2.12%) increase in CVD mortality. No SWT was statistically significantly associated with CVD deaths. For the interaction between PM2.5 and SWT, statistically significant interactions were found between PM2.5 and cold weather, with risk for PM2.5 in cold dry SWT decreasing by 1.47% (95% CI: 0.54%, 2.39%), and in cold humid SWT the risk decreased by 1.45% (95% CI: 0.52%, 2.36%). In the lag effect analysis, statistically significant positive associations were found for PM2.5 in the 1–3 lag days, while no statistically significant effects were found for other lag day periods. Conclusions: Exposure to PM2.5 was associated with short-term increased risk of cardiovascular deaths with some lag effects, while the cold weather may have an antagonistic effect with PM2.5. However, the ecological study design limited the possibility to identify a causal relationship, so prospective studies with individual level data are warranted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Air Pollution and Climate Change-Mediated Health Impacts)
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Review
Exhaled Breath Analysis in Diagnosis of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Systematic Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1110; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031110 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1882
Abstract
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is mainly related to previous asbestos exposure. There is still dearth of information on non-invasive biomarkers to detect MPM at early stages. Human studies on exhaled breath biomarkers of cancer and asbestos-related diseases show encouraging results. The aim of [...] Read more.
Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is mainly related to previous asbestos exposure. There is still dearth of information on non-invasive biomarkers to detect MPM at early stages. Human studies on exhaled breath biomarkers of cancer and asbestos-related diseases show encouraging results. The aim of this systematic review was to provide an overview on the current knowledge about exhaled breath analysis in MPM diagnosis. A systematic review was conducted on MEDLINE (PubMed), EMBASE and Web of Science databases to identify relevant studies. Quality assessment was done by the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale. Six studies were identified, all of which showed fair quality and explored volatile organic compounds (VOC) based breath profile using Gas Chromatography Coupled to Mass Spectrometry (GC–MS), Ion Mobility Spectrometry Coupled to Multi-capillary Columns (IMS–MCC) or pattern-recognition technologies. Sample sizes varied between 39 and 330. Some compounds (i.e, cyclohexane, P3, P5, P50, P71, diethyl ether, limonene, nonanal, VOC IK 1287) that can be indicative of MPM development in asbestos exposed population were identified with high diagnostic accuracy rates. E-nose studies reported breathprints being able to distinguish MPM from asbestos exposed individuals with high sensitivity and a negative predictive value. Small sample sizes and methodological diversities among studies limit the translation of results into clinical practice. More prospective studies with standardized methodologies should be conducted on larger populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Cancer: From Early Detection to Prevention)
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Article
Are There Any Differences between First Grade Boys and Girls in Physical Fitness, Physical Activity, BMI, and Sedentary Behavior? Results of HCSC Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1109; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031109 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1317
Abstract
The transition from kindergarten to school is associated with a variety of negative changes. After entry to elementary school physical activity level decreases. Moreover, physical fitness level of children over the past decades have rapidly declined. Children are spending an increasing amount of [...] Read more.
The transition from kindergarten to school is associated with a variety of negative changes. After entry to elementary school physical activity level decreases. Moreover, physical fitness level of children over the past decades have rapidly declined. Children are spending an increasing amount of time in the environments that require constant sitting. We evaluated the differences between boys and girls in physical fitness, frequency of undertaking of different forms of physical activity, prevalence of underweight and overweight, and time spent on sedentary behavior. A total of 212 first grade pupils (mean age 6.95 ± 0.43) from two standard urban schools in Poznań participated in the study. Compared to girls, boys obtained better results in 20-meter run (4.9 s and 5.0 s, p < 0.01), sit-ups (16.8 and 15.3, p < 0.05), six-minute run (829.7 m and 766.4 m, p < 0.001), and standing broad jump (106.8 cm and 99.7 cm, p < 0.01). In the sit-and-reach test girls achieved higher results than boys (17.0 cm and 14.4 cm, p < 0.001). There were no gender differences in prevalence of underweight and overweight. In conclusions, difference between genders should be taken into consideration during designing physical activity programs in the aspects of intensity and forms of physical activities. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Two Bayesian-MCMC Inversion Methods for Laboratory Infiltration and Field Irrigation Experiments
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031108 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 928
Abstract
Bayesian parameter inversion approaches are dependent on the original forward models linking subsurface physical properties to measured data, which usually require a large number of iterations. Fast alternative systems to forward models are commonly employed to make the stochastic inversion problem computationally tractable. [...] Read more.
Bayesian parameter inversion approaches are dependent on the original forward models linking subsurface physical properties to measured data, which usually require a large number of iterations. Fast alternative systems to forward models are commonly employed to make the stochastic inversion problem computationally tractable. This paper compared the effect of the original forward model constructed by the HYDRUS-1D software and two different approximations: the Artificial Neural Network (ANN) alternative system and the Gaussian Process (GP) surrogate system. The model error of the ANN was quantified using a principal component analysis, while the model error of the GP was measured using its own variance. There were two groups of measured pressure head data of undisturbed loess for parameter inversion: one group was obtained from a laboratory soil column infiltration experiment and the other was derived from a field irrigation experiment. Strong correlations between the pressure head values simulated by random posterior samples indicated that the approximate forward models are reliable enough to be included in the Bayesian inversion framework. The approximate forward models significantly improved the inversion efficiency by comparing the observed and the optimized results with a similar accuracy. In conclusion, surrogates can be considered when the forward models are strongly nonlinear and the computational costs are prohibitive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
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Article
Optimization on Personal Fall Arrest Systems. Experimental Dynamic Studies on Lanyard Prototypes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1107; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031107 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1218
Abstract
Tens of thousands of fall-from-height accidents take place at construction sites every year. These types of accidents range from minor to fatal, causing a significant financial burden to enterprises, personal and family traumatic experiences, high medical costs, as well as hard compensation claim [...] Read more.
Tens of thousands of fall-from-height accidents take place at construction sites every year. These types of accidents range from minor to fatal, causing a significant financial burden to enterprises, personal and family traumatic experiences, high medical costs, as well as hard compensation claim settlements. It makes sense then, that some sort of effective personal protective equipment (PPE) be devised to stop these types of accidents from happening. This article aims to explain how PPE can be used to minimize personal injury and the costs implied. The main contribution of this study is that the prototypes made with dynamic ropes and terminals knotted—without an energy absorber—could safely retain falls. Results show that standards EN 354 and EN 364 need to incorporate dynamic test requirements, for the reason that a high loading rate significantly reduces the resistance in static tests that manufacturing companies claim they have. Surprisingly, more than 90 percent of work at heights use PPE without any absorber. Finally, this study calls for the need to accurately determine the dynamic response of PPE in order to further advance in improvements of these fall arrest systems with no energy absorber. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Safety and Risks in Construction)
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Article
The Association Between the Changes in General, Family, and Financial Aspects of Quality of Life and Their Effects on Cognitive Function in an Elderly Population: The Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, 2008–2016
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031106 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1257
Abstract
Background The growing aging population is a global phenomenon and a major public health challenge. Among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, Korea is the fastest aging country. We aimed to investigate the relationship between changes in quality of life (QOL) and [...] Read more.
Background The growing aging population is a global phenomenon and a major public health challenge. Among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, Korea is the fastest aging country. We aimed to investigate the relationship between changes in quality of life (QOL) and cognitive function in older adults. Method: Data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging collected from 2008 to 2016 were used. In 3453 participants (men: 1943; women: 1541), QOL was measured by three aspects: general, financial, and familial. Changes in QOL status were assessed by four categories: remained poor, worsened, improved, and remained good. The level of cognitive function was measured by the Mini-Mental State Examination score (MMSE, normal range cut-off value: 24 or above). For the statistical analysis, the generalized equation model (GEE) was performed. Results: For all three aspects of QOL measured, participants whose QOL score remained poor were associated with cognitive decline that their odds ratios (OR) were statistically significant (general: OR = 1.33; familial: OR = 1.39; financial: OR = 1.40). For subgroup analysis by gender, the highest OR in men was the financial aspect of QOL (OR = 1.45); in women, the highest OR was the familial aspect of QOL (OR = 1.75). Conclusion: This study showed an association between QOL and cognitive function in a Korean elderly population. Our findings suggest that QOL measurements with a gender-specific approach can be used as a tool to detect cognitive changes in older adults and help prevent or delay cognitive decline. Full article
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Article
Postpartum Physical Activity and Weight Retention within One Year: A Prospective Cohort Study in Vietnam
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1105; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031105 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1255
Abstract
After delivery, mothers are encouraged to increase physical activity (PA) gradually to regulate body weight; however, data on PA in relation to postpartum weight retention remains scarce, particularly among Asian women. In a cohort of 1617 Vietnamese mothers, we investigated the prospective association [...] Read more.
After delivery, mothers are encouraged to increase physical activity (PA) gradually to regulate body weight; however, data on PA in relation to postpartum weight retention remains scarce, particularly among Asian women. In a cohort of 1617 Vietnamese mothers, we investigated the prospective association between habitual PA exposures at 3-month postpartum and weight retention at 6-month and 12-month postpartum. Detailed information on PA intensity and domains was collected from participants using a validated instrument specifically for Vietnamese women. Linear regression analyses and a general linear model for the repeated weight retention measures were used to ascertain the apparent relationships. On average, the participants reported 3.6 (SD 3.9) and 2.6 (SD 3.8) kg weight loss at 6- and 12-month postpartum, respectively. Total and light-intensity PA were inversely associated with the postpartum weight retention (p for trend <0.05). Our findings highlight the importance of resuming PA in the early postpartum period as an appropriate weight management strategy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Potential Risks and Factors of Women's Health Promotion)
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Article
Design of a Network Optimization Platform for the Multivehicle Transportation of Hazardous Materials
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1104; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031104 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 992
Abstract
With economic development, the volume of hazardous materials is increasing, and the potential risks to human beings and the natural environment are expanding. Road transportation has become the main mode of transportation for hazardous materials. Because of the specific characteristics of hazardous materials, [...] Read more.
With economic development, the volume of hazardous materials is increasing, and the potential risks to human beings and the natural environment are expanding. Road transportation has become the main mode of transportation for hazardous materials. Because of the specific characteristics of hazardous materials, if an accident occurs in the transportation process, it often causes mass casualties, serious property and socioeconomic damage, and damage to the ecological environment. Hence, transportation is an important part of the life cycle of hazardous materials. This paper designs an optimization platform for multidestination, multiterminal, and multivehicle networks that transport hazardous materials. The logistics module in TransCAD software is used to construct this platform. By identifying the effective transportation routes considering the transportation risk, sensitive target population, and transportation time of each road section, the entropy method can be used to fuse and obtain the comprehensive impedance value of each road section. Finally, the optimal transportation network of hazardous materials was obtained by the transportation network optimization algorithm in TransCAD. The platform can display the optimal transport program with data windows, text, and maps. The research results provide a reference for relevant departments to scientifically manage the transport of hazardous materials. Full article
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Article
Assessment of the Nutrient Removal Potential of Floating Native and Exotic Aquatic Macrophytes Cultured in Swine Manure Wastewater
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1103; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031103 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1547
Abstract
Although eutrophication and biological invasion have caused serious harm to aquatic ecosystems, exotic and even invasive plants have been used extensively in phytoremediation water systems in China. To identify native aquatic plants with excellent water restoration potential, two representative native floating aquatic plants [...] Read more.
Although eutrophication and biological invasion have caused serious harm to aquatic ecosystems, exotic and even invasive plants have been used extensively in phytoremediation water systems in China. To identify native aquatic plants with excellent water restoration potential, two representative native floating aquatic plants from Guangdong Province, namely Ludwigia adscendens (PL) and Trapa natans (PT), were selected, with Eichhornia crassipes as a control, to study their growth status, adaptability, and nutrient removal potentials in swine manure wastewater. The results demonstrated that the two native plants offered greater advantages than E. crassipes in water restoration. Within 60 days, PL and PT exhibited excellent growth statuses, and their net biomass growth rates were 539.8% and 385.9%, respectively, but the E. crassipes decayed and died with an increasing HRT (hydraulic retention time). The PL and PT could adjust the pH of the wastewater, improve the dissolved oxygen and oxidation-reduction potential, and reduce the electrical conductivity value. The removal rates of NH4+–N, NO3–N, NO2–N, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and Chl-a in the PL group reached 98.67%, 64.83%, 26.35%, 79.30%, 95.90%, 69.62%, and 92.23%, respectively; those in the PT group reached 99.47%, 95.83%, 85.17%, 83.73%, 88.72%, 75.06%, and 91.55%, respectively. The absorption contribution rates of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in the PL group were 40.6% and 43.5%, respectively, while those in the PT group were 36.9% and 34.5%, respectively. The results indicated that L. adscendens and T. natans are both promising aquatic plants for application to the restoration of swine manure wastewater in subtropical areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
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Article
Parent and Clinician Perspectives on the Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Community-Based Football: A Qualitative Exploration in a Regional Setting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1102; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031102 - 10 Feb 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1393
Abstract
The current study aimed to qualitatively explore parent and clinician perspectives on the factors influencing participation in a community-based Australian-Rules Football program for five to 12-year-old children with cerebral palsy (CP) in a regional setting. Six allied-health clinicians and two parents of children [...] Read more.
The current study aimed to qualitatively explore parent and clinician perspectives on the factors influencing participation in a community-based Australian-Rules Football program for five to 12-year-old children with cerebral palsy (CP) in a regional setting. Six allied-health clinicians and two parents of children with CP participated in focus groups exploring factors influencing participation. Thematic analysis indicated seven key factors influencing participation—of which, six were environmental factors and one was related to child characteristics. Environmental factors included resources, communication, knowledge and previous experience, attitudes and expectations, game factors and community relevance. Child characteristics included age, preferences, confidence, as well and cognitive and physical functioning. Notwithstanding limitations, the current study highlights the central role of ‘people factors’ in the child’s environment, in facilitating participation in community-based physical activity. Full article
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Article
Decrease in Serum HDL-C Level Is Associated with Elevation of Blood Pressure: Correlation Analysis from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1101; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031101 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1059
Abstract
A low-serum, high-density lipoproteins–cholesterol (HDL-C) level and high blood pressure (BP) are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease and dementia. In the present study, in order to find putative correlation between low HDL-C and hypertension, 4552 subjects (20–80 years old) were selected from [...] Read more.
A low-serum, high-density lipoproteins–cholesterol (HDL-C) level and high blood pressure (BP) are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease and dementia. In the present study, in order to find putative correlation between low HDL-C and hypertension, 4552 subjects (20–80 years old) were selected from the Korean National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey 2017 (KNHANES VII-2, n = 2017 men, n = 2535 women). They were classified into four levels of blood pressure, ranging from BP1 (normal, below 120/80 mmHg for systolic BP (SBP)/diastolic BP (DBP), BP2 (prehypertension, 120/80 to 139/89 mmHg), BP3 (hypertension stage 1, 140/90–159/99 mmHg), and BP4 (hypertension stage 2, higher than 160/100 mmHg). Generally, in the total population, a higher SBP level and age were associated with a lower HDL-C in both genders. However, DBP was not associated with age in men. In the total population, Pearson’s correlation analysis revealed that SBP (r = −0.188, p < 0.001) and DBP (r = −0.198, p < 0.001) showed negative correlations with percentage of HDL-C in total cholesterol (TC), HDL-C/TC (%). In both genders, HDL-C gradually decreased with age and HDL-C/TC (%) was more accurate in expressing a correlation with BP. Women showed a more distinct decrease in HDL-C with an elevation of BP and age than men. Both elevation of DBP and SBP were associated with a decrease in HDL-C, around 2.3–2.4 mg/dL, between normal range and hypertension 2 stage. Additionally, DBP was significantly associated with HDL-C/TC (%) (men: r = −0.136, p < 0.001; women: r = −0.152, p < 0.001), while HDL-C did not show a significant association with a change in DBP. In conclusion, SBP was positively correlated with age, but DBP did not change significantly with age. The correlation of BP and HDL-C depending on age showed that SBP gradually increased and HDL-C decreased with an increase in age. The percentage of HDL-C in TC was more significantly associated with a change in SBP and DBP in both genders. Full article
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Article
Physical Exercise, Fitness, Cognitive Functioning, and Psychosocial Variables in an Adolescent Sample
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1100; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031100 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
The objective of this paper was to evaluate the relationship between physical exercise and physical fitness with cognitive and psychosocial functioning in a group of adolescents. 167 teenagers between 14 and 15 years old (M = 14.53; SD = 0.50) from the [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper was to evaluate the relationship between physical exercise and physical fitness with cognitive and psychosocial functioning in a group of adolescents. 167 teenagers between 14 and 15 years old (M = 14.53; SD = 0.50) from the city of Malaga (Spain) participated in the study. This research used a comparative and predictive type of design. The Tanita® Body Composition Monitor BC-601, some Eurofit battery tests, the D2 Attention Test, the WISC-IV Scale Symbols and Keys tests, the Form 5 Self-Concept Questionnaire (AF5), the General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) and the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) were used to evaluate the study variables. The results found in this research pointed to a positive relationship between physical exercise and physical fitness with cognitive and psychosocial functioning in the adolescents analyzed. For example, adolescents who practiced more physical exercise had better scores on variables such as selective attention (p < 0.001; η2 = 0.10), processing speed (p < 0.001; η2 = 0.09) or general self-efficacy (p < 0.001; η2 = 0.15). In addition, cardiorespiratory fitness was the best predictor of test scores to assess cognitive ability and psychosocial variables. These findings suggest the need to promote physical exercise among young people because of its implications for various facets of their health and development Full article
Article
Quantifying the Health Burden Misclassification from the Use of Different PM2.5 Exposure Tier Models: A Case Study of London
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1099; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031099 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1280
Abstract
Exposure to PM2.5 has been associated with increased mortality in urban areas. Hence, reducing the uncertainty in human exposure assessments is essential for more accurate health burden estimates. Here, we quantified the misclassification that occurred when using different exposure approaches to predict [...] Read more.
Exposure to PM2.5 has been associated with increased mortality in urban areas. Hence, reducing the uncertainty in human exposure assessments is essential for more accurate health burden estimates. Here, we quantified the misclassification that occurred when using different exposure approaches to predict the mortality burden of a population using London as a case study. We developed a framework for quantifying the misclassification of the total mortality burden attributable to exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in four major microenvironments (MEs) (dwellings, aboveground transportation, London Underground (LU) and outdoors) in the Greater London Area (GLA), in 2017. We demonstrated that differences exist between five different exposure Tier-models with incrementally increasing complexity, moving from static to more dynamic approaches. BenMap-CE, the open source software developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was used as a tool to achieve spatial distribution of the ambient concentration by interpolating the monitoring data to the unmonitored areas and ultimately estimating the change in mortality on a fine resolution. Indoor exposure to PM2.5 is the largest contributor to total population exposure concentration, accounting for 83% of total predicted population exposure, followed by the London Underground, which contributes approximately 15%, despite the average time spent there by Londoners being only 0.4%. After incorporating housing stock and time-activity data, moving from static to most dynamic metric, Inner London showed the highest reduction in exposure concentration (i.e., approximately 37%) and as a result the largest change in mortality (i.e., health burden/mortality misclassification) was observed in central GLA. Overall, our findings showed that using outdoor concentration as a surrogate for total population exposure but ignoring different exposure concentration that occur indoors and time spent in transit, led to a misclassification of 1174–1541 mean predicted mortalities in GLA. We generally confirm that increasing the complexity and incorporating important microenvironments, such as the highly polluted LU, could significantly reduce the misclassification of health burden assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated human exposure to air pollution)
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Article
Physical and Psychological Factors Affecting Falls in Older Patients with Arthritis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1098; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031098 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
As the population ages, falls are becoming one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Joint disease (either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) is a well-known predictor of falls, and these medical conditions increase in accordance with the aging population. This study aimed [...] Read more.
As the population ages, falls are becoming one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. Joint disease (either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis) is a well-known predictor of falls, and these medical conditions increase in accordance with the aging population. This study aimed to describe individual, physical, and psychological characteristics between older adults with and without a fall history. Further, we aimed to identify statistically significant physical or psychological factors associated with falls by controlling individual variables. We analyzed data from the 2014 Survey of Living Conditions and Welfare Needs of Korean Older Adults. Adults aged 65 years or over with doctor-diagnosed joint disease were eligible. A total of 2707 women and 784 men (n = 3491) were enrolled. Of these, 1174 patients suffered a fall within a year (average number of falls = 2.4). We adopted individual variable-adjusted models and found that limited activities of daily living (odds ratio (OR) 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.04–1.87), fear of falling (OR 7.18, 95% CI 4.26–12.09), and depression (OR 1.28, 95% CI 1.09–1.50) significantly increased fall risks on logistic regression analysis. Our findings suggest that physical and psychological factors, especially the fear of falling, need to be addressed to prevent falls in elderly patients with arthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Public Health Statistics and Risk Assessment)
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Article
Co-Creating a Virtual Alcohol Prevention Simulation with Young People
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1097; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031097 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2080
Abstract
Collaborative knowledge generation and involvement of users is known to improve health promotion intervention development, but research about the roles and perspectives of users in the co-creation process is sparse. This research aimed to study how young people perceived their involvement in a [...] Read more.
Collaborative knowledge generation and involvement of users is known to improve health promotion intervention development, but research about the roles and perspectives of users in the co-creation process is sparse. This research aimed to study how young people perceived their involvement in a co-creation process focussed on the development of a gamified virtual reality (VR) simulation—VR FestLab. The Living Lab methodology was applied to structure and guide the co-creation process. Living Lab participants were comprised of students, health promotion practitioners, researchers, and film and gaming experts who collaboratively designed and created the content and structure of the VR FestLab. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine students who participated in the Living Lab and represented young end users. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. Students described that they had influence on their tasks. They felt included and expressed that the collaboration with and feedback from peers and other stakeholders increased their self-efficacy and empowered them to take ownership and generate new ideas. Participants voiced that they lacked information about the final production of VR FestLab. Co-creation guided by the Living Lab methodology produced added value in terms of empowerment and increased self-efficacy for the students involved. Future Living Labs should plan for communication with participants about further development and implementation processes following ideation and prototyping phase. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Article
Investigating Industrial Effluent Impact on Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant in Vaal, South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1096; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031096 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 2606
Abstract
Industrial effluents with high concentrations of toxic heavy metals are of great concern because of their persistence and non-degradability. However, poor operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment infrastructure is a great concern in South Africa. In this study, physico-chemical parameters and heavy metals [...] Read more.
Industrial effluents with high concentrations of toxic heavy metals are of great concern because of their persistence and non-degradability. However, poor operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment infrastructure is a great concern in South Africa. In this study, physico-chemical parameters and heavy metals (HMs) concentration of wastewater from five different industries, Leeuwkuil wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) inflow and effluent, and Vaal River water samples were monitored between January and September 2017, to investigate the correlation between heavy metal pollution and the location of industries and ascertain the effectiveness of the municipal WWTP. Physico-chemical variables such as pH, biological oxygen demand (BOD), dissolved oxygen (DO), chemical oxygen demand (COD), total dissolved solids (TDS) and electrical conductivity (EC) exhibited both temporal and spatial variations with the values significantly higher in the industrial samples. Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) results also showed that aluminium (Al), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) were significantly higher in industrial effluents (p < 0.05), with only Zn and Al exhibiting significant seasonal variability. Statistical correlation analysis revealed a poor correlation between physicochemical parameters and the HMs compositional quality of wastewater. However, toxic HMs (Zn, Cu and Pb) concentrations in treated wastewater from WWTP were above the permissible limits. Although the WWTP was effective in maintaining most of the wastewater parameters within South African Green drop Standards, the higher Cu, Zn, Pb and COD in its final effluent is a concern in terms of Vaal river health and biological diversity. Therefore, we recommend continuous monitoring and maintenance of the WWTPs infrastructure in the study area. Full article
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Review
Meta-Analysis on the Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation on Naming of Elderly with Primary Progressive Aphasia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(3), 1095; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17031095 - 09 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
Purpose: This study aimed to conduct a qualitative evaluation by synthesizing previous studies on the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on primary progressive aphasia (PPA)’s naming ability and prove the effects of tDCS mediation on PPA naming using meta-analysis. Methods [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study aimed to conduct a qualitative evaluation by synthesizing previous studies on the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on primary progressive aphasia (PPA)’s naming ability and prove the effects of tDCS mediation on PPA naming using meta-analysis. Methods: This study searched literature published from January 2000 to July 2019 using four academic databases (i.e., PubMed, Web of Science, MEDLINE, and Cochrane Library). The final seven publications were systematically evaluated and meta-analysis was conducted for two papers. The effect size was estimated by a standard mean difference (SMD) using Hedge’s g, and the significance of effect size was confirmed using the 95% confidence interval. Results: The results of seven previous studies’ quality assessments ranged from 15 to 26, which were rated above adequate. The results of the meta-analysis showed that the effect size was 0.82 (95% CI: 0.16–1.47), which was a significant ‘large effect’. Conclusions: This meta-analysis proved that tDCS intervention significantly improved the naming performance of PPA. Future studies must confirm the effects of tDCS on naming intervention by using meta-analysis including many RCT studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prevention and Management of Frailty)
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