Special Issue "Substance, Alcohol and Tobacco Misuse and Associated Syndemic Issues in Maternal Populations"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Women's Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Yukiko Washio
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Substance Use, Gender and Applied Research, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA
Interests: maternal infant health; women’s health; substance, alcohol and tobacco misuse; gender-based violence; syndemic issues; breastfeeding

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the last year, behavioral, psychosocial, and mental health have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in increases in overall health disparities, particularly substance and alcohol misuse, gender-based violence, and other associated syndemic issues among women living in underserved communities. The evidence so far suggests that women who misuse substance, alcohol, and tobacco are more likely to be exposed to gender-based violence and other associated syndemic issues, including HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI), and mental health issues. Maternal populations, including women who are pregnant or those who are postpartum for less than one year, are not an exception, facing additional health consequences such as adverse gestational, birth, and infant outcomes as a result of exposure to misuse during pregnancy and lactation. More research is needed especially in the state of art on substance, alcohol, and tobacco co-use, as well as associated syndemic issues, including HIV/AIDS, STI, mental health, and maternal infant health issues; changes in these matters since COVID-19; interventions that address these matters; use of telehealth or telemedicine to address these matters relevant to COVID-19; and implementation and cost-effectiveness of effective interventions. Papers addressing these topics in the form of cross-sectional studies, clinical trials, intervention development studies, implementation studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses are invited for this Special Issue, especially those with a high academic standard, developing concrete and practical suggestions and solutions for improvements.

Dr. Yukiko Washio
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Substance misuse
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Tobacco misuse
  • Gender-based violence
  • HIV/AIDS
  • STI
  • Mental health
  • Pregnancy
  • Postpartum
  • Breastfeeding
  • Lactation
  • Gestational outcomes
  • Birth outcomes
  • Infant outcomes

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Review

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Review
Are the Effects of DES Over? A Tragic Lesson from the Past
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10309; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910309 - 30 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a transplacental endocrine-disrupting chemical, was prescribed to pregnant women for several decades. The number of women who took DES is hard to know precisely, but it has been estimated that over 10 million people have been exposed around the world. DES [...] Read more.
Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a transplacental endocrine-disrupting chemical, was prescribed to pregnant women for several decades. The number of women who took DES is hard to know precisely, but it has been estimated that over 10 million people have been exposed around the world. DES was classified in the year 2000 as carcinogenic to humans. The deleterious effects induced by DES are very extensive, such as abnormalities or cancers of the genital tract and breast, neurodevelopmental alterations, problems associated with socio-sexual behavior, and immune, pancreatic and cardiovascular disorders. Not only pregnant women but also their children and grandchildren have been affected. Epigenetic alterations have been detected, and intergenerational effects have been observed. More cohort follow-up studies are needed to establish if DES effects are transgenerational. Even though DES is not currently in use, its effects are still present, and families previously exposed and their later generations deserve the continuity of the research studies. Full article
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Review
Neonatal Outcomes after Combined Opioid and Nicotine Exposure in Utero: A Scoping Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10215; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910215 - 28 Sep 2021
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Abstract
Background: The majority of women who are pregnant with opioid use disorder (OUD) also smoke tobacco but are rarely offered tobacco cessation counseling. While the effects of exposure to opioids and nicotine in utero are well-understood separately, understanding the impact of the combined [...] Read more.
Background: The majority of women who are pregnant with opioid use disorder (OUD) also smoke tobacco but are rarely offered tobacco cessation counseling. While the effects of exposure to opioids and nicotine in utero are well-understood separately, understanding the impact of the combined exposure to these substances on neonatal outcomes is lacking. Methods: A scoping review was conducted using PubMed and Scopus databases for studies addressing the combined exposure to opioids and nicotine during pregnancy published between 1 January 1980 and 9 July 2019. A total of 29 papers met the eligibility criteria for inclusion, with nine being identified as clinical trials (three from the MOTHER study) and two as secondary data analysis of clinical trial data. Results: Neonatal outcomes for infants who had a combined exposure to opioids and nicotine in utero indicated a reduction in birth weight and birth length. Findings in infants exposed to both nicotine and opioids were mixed with regard to the duration of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the likelihood of treatment for NAS, doses of medicine used to treat NAS, and NAS scores when compared with infants who had opioid exposure without nicotine. Conclusions: The combined exposure to nicotine and opioids during pregnancy may lead to a reduction in neonatal birth weight and birth length and more severe NAS signs, compared with opioid use alone, but more research is necessary to identify the minimum dosage and length of nicotine exposure to accurately predict these outcomes. Full article
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Brief Report
Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Adherence and Prenatal Alcohol Use among Women Who Are Pregnant with HIV in South Africa
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7446; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18147446 - 13 Jul 2021
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Abstract
This brief report emphasizes the need to focus on women with HIV who are pregnant who use alcohol or other drugs. A recently completed implementation science study tested a gender-focused behavioral intervention, the Women’s Health CoOp (WHC), to improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence [...] Read more.
This brief report emphasizes the need to focus on women with HIV who are pregnant who use alcohol or other drugs. A recently completed implementation science study tested a gender-focused behavioral intervention, the Women’s Health CoOp (WHC), to improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and reduce alcohol use among women with HIV. The study identified 33 participants who had a positive pregnancy test result at the baseline assessment, of whom five participants remained pregnant during the 6-month duration of the study. Of the 33 pregnant participants at the baseline assessment, 55% reported past-month alcohol use, with 27% reporting a history of physical abuse and 12% reporting a history of sexual abuse. The five women who remained pregnant at 6 months showed improved ART adherence and reduced prenatal alcohol use. The gender-focused WHC intervention shows promise as a cost-effective, sustainable, behavioral intervention to address these intersecting syndemic issues. Future research should focus on identifying the needs of women with HIV who are pregnant who use alcohol or other drugs and developing tailored evidence-based behavioral interventions such as the WHC for preventing FASD in addition to improving ART adherence in this key population of women and reducing the economic burden on society. Full article
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