Special Issue "Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Sofia Fernandes
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
CBIOS—Universidade Lusófona’s Research Center for Biosciences & Health Technologies, Campo Grande 376, 1749-024 Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: pharmacology; food toxicology; molecular nutrition; redox biology; cancer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. João Pedro Gregório
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CBIOS - Research Center for Biosciences & Health Technologies, Universidade Lusófona de Humanidades e Tecnologias, Portugal
Interests: eHealth; health service research; health and development policies
Dr. Marilia Silva Paulo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Interests: health systems; healthcare workers; environmental exposures; occupational health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

During the course of a life, a person’s exposure to different risk factors changes and evolves. From malnutrition in the womb to occupational hazards, humans have to tackle multiple challenges.

Depending on the predominant social and environmental factors where a population is inserted, the pervasiveness of social determinants of health will determine the exposure to risk factors. Risk factors differ and evolve across the lifespan, and have particular importance at certain ages, including exposure to literacy, nutrition and lifestyle habits, environmental and occupational exposure, medication and drug use, and diseases. How populations and individuals deal with risk and its perception, learning mechanisms and coping strategies, how they change and evolve through life, and how to develop health-promotion strategies and implement interventions targeted to specific age groups, are all matters of interest for researchers.

This Special Issue aims to present a broad updated view of risk factor changes and evolution through the lifespan. Contributions from all over the globe are encouraged, in order to provide an image of the best practices and policies each country has in place to deal with this ever-present concern.

Researchers are invited to submit original research articles, using any study design, including case studies, implementation/interventional studies, cohort studies, cross-sectional studies, as well as reviews and meta-analyses.

We look forward to receiving your contributions.
Yours sincerely,

Dr. Ana Sofia Fernandes
Dr. João Pedro Gregório
Dr. Marilia Silva Paulo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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

  • Occupational and environmental exposure
  • Nutrition and lifestyle
  • Medication and drugs use
  • Health literacy
  • Public health interventions

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Presumed Exposure to Chemical Pollutants and Experienced Health Impacts among Warehouse Workers at Logistics Companies: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 7052; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18137052 - 01 Jul 2021
Viewed by 445
Abstract
During intercontinental shipping, freight containers and other closed transport devices are applied. These closed spaces can be polluted with various harmful chemicals that may accumulate in poorly ventilated environments. The major pollutants are residues of pesticides used for fumigation as well as volatile [...] Read more.
During intercontinental shipping, freight containers and other closed transport devices are applied. These closed spaces can be polluted with various harmful chemicals that may accumulate in poorly ventilated environments. The major pollutants are residues of pesticides used for fumigation as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released from the goods. While handling cargos at logistics companies, workers can be exposed to these pollutants, frequently without adequate occupational health and safety precautions. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among potentially exposed warehouse workers and office workers as controls at Hungarian logistics companies (1) to investigate the health effects of chemical pollutants occurring in closed spaces of transportation and storage and (2) to collect information about the knowledge of and attitude toward workplace chemical exposures as well as the occupational health and safety precautions applied. Pre-existing medical conditions did not show any significant difference between the working groups. Numbness or heaviness in the arms and legs (AOR = 3.99; 95% CI = 1.72–9.26) and dry cough (AOR = 2.32; 95% CI = 1.09–4.93) were significantly associated with working in closed environments of transportation and storage, while forgetfulness (AOR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.18–0.87), sleep disturbances (AOR = 0.36; 95% CI = 0.17–0.78), and tiredness after waking up (AOR = 0.40; 95% CI = 0.20–0.79) were significantly associated with employment in office. Warehouse workers who completed specific workplace health and safety training had more detailed knowledge related to this workplace chemical issue (AOR = 8.18; 95% CI = 3.47–19.27), and they were significantly more likely to use certain preventive measures. Warehouse workers involved in handling cargos at logistics companies may be exposed to different chemical pollutants, and the related health risks remain unknown if the presence of these chemicals is not recognized. Applied occupational health and safety measures at logistics companies are not adequate enough to manage this chemical safety issue, which warrants awareness raising and the introduction of effective preventive strategies to protect workers’ health at logistics companies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
Article
The Perception of Primary School Teachers Regarding the Pharmacotherapy of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6233; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18126233 - 09 Jun 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is raising concerns across health systems, affecting about 5% of the school-age population. Therapy usually involves psychostimulants, which are prone to adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Teachers have many contact hours with children and can easily detect behavioral changes [...] Read more.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is raising concerns across health systems, affecting about 5% of the school-age population. Therapy usually involves psychostimulants, which are prone to adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Teachers have many contact hours with children and can easily detect behavioral changes upon the beginning of medication. However, few studies have focused on the role of teachers in the management of ADHD children and detection of ADRs. The present work aimed to characterize the perception of primary school teachers regarding the impact of ADHD therapeutics. A questionnaire was constructed focused on teachers’ training regarding ADHD and its therapy; experience with students with ADHD; changes upon beginning of medication; and observation of ADRs. A total of 107 completed questionnaires were obtained. The results indicate that more than 40% of the inquired teachers have received training in ADHD, but in most cases, the theme of therapeutics was absent from that training. The vast majority of teachers (91.6%) have had students with ADHD and observed mood alterations associated with medications. More than 60% of the teachers answered that they are aware of the ADRs and of these, 24% have already detected them in their students. The teachers reported the observed ADRs to parents in 93% of the cases and to doctors in 28% of the cases. In conclusion, the results show the need to reinforce teachers’ training in ADHD and its therapeutics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
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Article
A Potential Health Risk to Occupational User from Exposure to Biocidal Active Chemicals
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8770; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17238770 - 25 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 709
Abstract
Biocidal active chemicals have potential health risks associated with exposure to retail biocide products such as disinfectants for COVID-19. Reliable exposure assessment was investigated to understand the exposure pattern of biocidal products used by occupational workers in their place of occupation, multi-use facilities, [...] Read more.
Biocidal active chemicals have potential health risks associated with exposure to retail biocide products such as disinfectants for COVID-19. Reliable exposure assessment was investigated to understand the exposure pattern of biocidal products used by occupational workers in their place of occupation, multi-use facilities, and general facilities. The interview–survey approach was taken to obtain the database about several subcategories of twelve occupational groups, the use pattern, and the exposure information of non-human hygiene disinfectant and insecticide products in workplaces. Furthermore, we investigated valuable exposure factors, e.g., the patterns of use, exposure routes, and quantifying potential hazardous chemical intake, on biocidal active ingredients. We focused on biocidal active-ingredient exposure from products used by twelve occupational worker groups. The 685 non-human hygiene disinfectants and 763 insecticides identified contained 152 and 97 different active-ingredient chemicals, respectively. The toxicity values and clinical health effects of total twelve ingredient chemicals were determined through a brief overview of toxicity studies aimed at estimating human health risks. To estimate actual exposure amounts divided by twelve occupational groups, the time spent to apply the products was investigated from the beginning to end of the product use. This study investigated the exposure assessment of occupational exposure to biocidal products used in workplaces, multi-use facilities, and general facilities. Furthermore, this study provides valuable information on occupational exposure that may be useful to conduct accurate exposure assessment and to manage products used for quarantine in general facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
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Article
Adenoma Characteristics and the Influence of Alcohol and Cigarette Consumption on the Development of Advanced Colorectal Adenomas
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228296 - 10 Nov 2020
Viewed by 723
Abstract
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the leading public health problems worldwide, is a disease that can be prevented when it is detected in time. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to investigate the characteristics of colorectal adenomas and whether alcohol [...] Read more.
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC), one of the leading public health problems worldwide, is a disease that can be prevented when it is detected in time. The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to investigate the characteristics of colorectal adenomas and whether alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking correlated with the development of advanced adenomas in participants in The National Programme for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer (NP) in Osijek-Baranja County (OBC), Croatia. Methods: The screening methods were the guaiac Faecal Occult Blood Test (gFOBT), colonoscopy, histological analysis, and risk factor questionnaire. Results: The results showed the presence of adenomas in 136 men (57.4%) and 101 women (42.6%), p < 0.001. There was one adenoma in 147 (62%) most commonly located in sigmorect, in 86 (59%) participants, and 44 (18.6%) participants had multiple adenomas, most commonly found in multi loc, p < 0.001. According to size, 118 (49.8%) of all adenomas were between 0.1 and 0.9 cm, while adenomas of 3 cm 19 (8%) were the fewest, p < 0.001. There were 142 (59.9%) advanced adenomas. Conclusions: Adenoma development in the OBC population was correlated with predictors: adenoma size, high-grade dysplasia, smoking and alcohol consumption of 20 g per day. Non-smoking was found to be a health protective behaviour. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
Article
Gender-Based Analysis of Risk Factors for Dementia Using Senior Cohort
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7274; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17197274 - 05 Oct 2020
Viewed by 643
Abstract
Globally, one of the biggest problems with the increase in the elderly population is dementia. However, dementia still has no fundamental cure. Therefore, it is important to predict and prevent dementia early. For early prediction of dementia, it is crucial to find dementia [...] Read more.
Globally, one of the biggest problems with the increase in the elderly population is dementia. However, dementia still has no fundamental cure. Therefore, it is important to predict and prevent dementia early. For early prediction of dementia, it is crucial to find dementia risk factors that increase a person’s risk of developing dementia. In this paper, the subject of dementia risk factor analysis and discovery studies were limited to gender, because it is assumed that the difference in the prevalence of dementia in men and women will lead to differences in the risk factors for dementia among men and women. This study analyzed the Korean National Health Information System—Senior Cohort using machine-learning techniques. By using the machine-learning technique, it was possible to reveal a very small causal relationship between data that are ignored using existing statistical techniques. By using the senior cohort, it was possible to analyze 6000 data that matched the experimental conditions out of 558,147 sample subjects over 14 years. In order to analyze the difference in dementia risk factors between men and women, three machine-learning-based dementia risk factor analysis models were constructed and compared. As a result of the experiment, it was found that the risk factors for dementia in men and women are different. In addition, not only did the results include most of the known dementia risk factors, previously unknown candidates for dementia risk factors were also identified. We hope that our research will be helpful in finding new dementia risk factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
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Article
Exploring Volatile Organic Compound Exposure and Its Association with Wheezing in Children under 36 Months: A Cross-Sectional Study in South Lisbon, Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6929; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17186929 - 22 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1011
Abstract
Air quality and other environmental factors are gaining importance in public health policies. Some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been associated with asthma and symptoms of respiratory disease such as wheezing. The aim of this study was to measure the concentration of Total [...] Read more.
Air quality and other environmental factors are gaining importance in public health policies. Some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been associated with asthma and symptoms of respiratory disease such as wheezing. The aim of this study was to measure the concentration of Total VOCs and assess their possible association with the occurrence of wheezing episodes in children under 36 months of age, in a region south of Lisbon, Portugal. A cross-sectional study was performed from October 2015 to March 2016. The sample of children under 36 months of age was selected by convenience, by inviting parents to take part in the study. A survey was applied to collect information on bedroom features, as well as to verify the occurrence of wheezing episodes. The indoor air quality parameters of bedrooms were measured using three 3M Quest® EVM-7 environmental monitors. In total, 34.4% of infants had had wheezing episodes since birth, with 86.7% of these presenting at least one episode in the previous 12 months. Total VOC levels were above the reference values in 48% of the analyzed bedrooms. No significant association of VOC exposure in a domestic setting with episodes of wheezing was found. However, children living in households with smokers were 4 times more likely to develop wheezing episodes. Thus, this study provides relevant information that warrants further studies to assess infant exposure to indoor air pollution and parental smoking in a residential context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)
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Article
Changes in Eating Habits among Displaced and Non-Displaced University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5369; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17155369 - 25 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Nowadays the younger generations are moving their food habits from the traditional diet to a Western diet, which is low in fruits and vegetables and high in fat and sugary drinks. University students are a particularly vulnerable population once, with the entrance to [...] Read more.
Nowadays the younger generations are moving their food habits from the traditional diet to a Western diet, which is low in fruits and vegetables and high in fat and sugary drinks. University students are a particularly vulnerable population once, with the entrance to university, they are subjected to new influences and responsibilities; in particular, those who live far from their parents’ houses are more predisposed to unhealthy eating habits. To assess the influence that admission to university has had on the frequency of intake of certain foods and meals as well as their adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet), self-administered questionnaires were applied. The sample included 97 Portuguese students, with an average age of 21 years, a normal weight, according to body mass index, and an average MedDiet adherence. Most of the individuals did not smoke and the majority did not drink coffee. It was also observed that displaced students consume fast food more frequently compared to the period before they start university. Fish ingestion decreased and coffee consumption increased, in the same group, after starting their university studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Risk Factors across the Lifespan)

Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Changes in Eating Habits Among Displaced and Non-Displaced University Students
Authors: Cíntia Pêgo
Affiliation: Universidade Lusófona’s Research Center for Biosciences and Health Technologies, Lisbon, Portugal
Abstract: NA

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