International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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ISSN / EISSN : 16617827 / 16604601
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 20,006
Google Scholar h5-index: 68
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Hongying Zhang, Zongjun Gao, Mengjie Shi, Shaoyan Fang
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165699

Abstract:
To better understand the characteristics of soil bacterial diversity in different environments, the Laiwu Qilongwan experimental site was selected as it is of great significance for the study of geochemical cycles. The soil CO2, mineral composition and bacterial community were analyzed by an EGM-4 portable environmental gas detector, an X-ray diffractometer and 16S rDNA high-throughput sequencing, and soil bacterial diversity and the relationship between soil bacterial diversity and environmental factors were studied. The results showed that with increasing soil depth, the CO2 content increased, the feldspar and amphibole contents increased, the quartz content decreased, the richness of the soil bacterial community increased, the relative richness of Nitrospirae increased, and Chloroflexi decreased. The dominant bacteria were Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria. There were slight differences in soil CO2, mineral composition and dominant bacterial flora at the same depth. Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the dominant phyla of L02. The CO2 was lowest in bare land, and the quartz and K-feldspar contents were the highest. Soil CO2 mainly affected the deep bacterial diversity, while shallow soil bacteria were mainly affected by mineral components (quartz and K-feldspar). At the same depth, amphibole and clay minerals had obvious effects on the bacterial community, while CO2 had obvious effects on subdominant bacteria.
Zhijun Zou, Wei Liu, Chen Huang, Chanjuan Sun, Jialing Zhang
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165700

Abstract:
Background: Associations of early antibiotics exposures with childhood asthma, allergies, and airway illnesses are debated. Objectives: We aimed to investigate associations of first-year antibiotics exposure with childhood asthma, allergies, and airway illnesses. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among preschoolers in Shanghai, China during 2011–2012. A questionnaire regarding household environment and lifestyles and childhood health outcomes was reported by the child’s parents. Results: In total, 13,335 questionnaires (response rate: 85.3%) were analyzed and 3049 (24.1%) children had first-year antibiotics exposure. In the multivariate logistic regression analyses, first-year antibiotics exposure had significant associations with the higher odds of lifetime-ever pneumonia (adjusted OR, 95% CI: 2.15, 1.95–2.37), croup (1.46, 1.24–1.73), wheeze (1.44, 1.30–1.60), asthma (1.38, 1.19–1.61), food allergy (1.29, 1.13–1.46), and allergic rhinitis (1.23, 1.07–1.41), and as well as current (one year before the survey) common cold (≥3 times) (1.38, 1.25–1.52), dry cough (1.27, 1.13–1.42), atopic dermatitis (1.25, 1.09–1.43), wheeze (1.23, 1.10–1.38), and rhinitis symptoms (1.15, 1.04–1.26). These associations were different in children with different individual characteristics (age, sex, family history of atopy, and district) and other early exposures (breastfeeding, home decoration, pet-keeping, and environmental tobacco smoke). Conclusions: Our results indicate that first-year antibiotics exposure could be a strong risk factor for childhood pneumonia, asthma, allergies, and their related symptoms. The individual characteristics and other early exposures may modify effects of early antibiotic exposure on childhood allergies and airway illnesses.
Shannon Cheung, Xiaoxia Xie, Chien-Chung Huang
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165701

Abstract:
Many social welfare programs focus on the provision of cash assistance and cash transfers to improve the quality of life (QoL) of those living in low-income households. While there is literature to support a positive relationship between income and QoL, studies have shown that QoL is impacted by non-income-related factors. This study examined the effects of income and mindfulness on QoL through a mediator, resilience, and attempts to answer the question of how important income is to QoL, relative to a non-income-based determinant, mindfulness. Using a sample of 905 emerging adults from the senior class of a secondary vocational high school based in an impoverished county of China, we studied two key determinants of QoL, income and mindfulness, as well as respective pathways, during a particularly critical stage of life. The results indicated that mindfulness had strong direct and indirect effects on QoL via resilience, while income had only limited indirect effects on QoL via resilience. Policy implications were discussed.
Chieh-Liang Wu, Chia-Hua Liou, Shih-An Liu, Wayne H.-H. Sheu, Shang-Feng Tsai
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165702

Abstract:
Introduction: Patient support groups (PSGs) should be designed according to the backgrounds of participants and the nature of their diseases. Using health literacy as an outcome indicator for PSGs is rare. Methods: All questionnaires (Mandarin Multidimensional Health Literacy Questionnaire, MMHLQ) were collected from eight PSGs to evaluate the health literacy of participants. Background data of participants were also collected, including patient or family, age, and first-time participation or not. Results: A total of 458 questionnaires were collected from eight PSGs. The diseases were: autoimmune disease (systemic lupus nephritis (SLE), malignancy (head and neck cancer (HNC), chronic disease (diabetes mellitus or DM), chronic kidney disease (CKD), hemodialysis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), genetic disease (autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), and degenerative disease (osteoporosis). For vasculitis (42.21 ± 16.49 years old for SLE) and genetic disease (48.95 ± 17.58 years old for ADPKD), participants were younger. More significant differences between first-time participation and MMHLQ scores were found in disease of osteoporosis, CKD, COPD, and hemodialysis. More significant differences between role of participation (patients themselves or family) and MMHLQ scores were found in SLE, ADPKD, hemodialysis, and CKD. More significant differences between age (elderly or not) and MMHLQ score were found in HNC, DM, CKD, COPD, and osteoporosis. Conclusion: Background data of participants varied across different diseases. Different disease natures and patient background statuses should therefore demand different designs in PSG. MMHLQ before PSGs can be used to help to improve the PSG curriculum on the health literacy of patients.
Xinge Zhang, Yanan Chen, Rui Zhang, Justin B. Moore, Haotian Ruan, Jialin Fu, Guiyu Qin, Xinru Yu, Zeyu Hou, Qin Cheng, et al.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165703

Abstract:
This study examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal association of sleep timing with weight status in 14- to 19-year-old adolescents in Wuhan, China. A prospective school-based study was conducted in Wuhan, China between 28 May and 29 September 2019. Data on sociodemographic information, academic performance, diet, mental health status, physical activity, sleep characteristics, body weight, and height were collected. A linear regression model and binary logistic regression model were performed. A total of 1194 adolescents were included in the analysis. Adolescents who woke up before 05:45 had higher body mass index (BMI) Z-score (odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.28 (1.05, 1.57), p = 0.02) and higher odds of overweight/obesity (odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.74 (1.10, 2.76), p = 0.02) at baseline after fully adjustment for covariates, compared with those who woke up after 05:45. Longitudinal data showed a nonsignificant association between waking up time and change in BMI Z-score (p = 0.18). No association of bedtime with weight status was observed in this sample after full adjustment (p > 0.1). Earlier waking up time might contribute to overweight and obesity in adolescents; however, more data are needed to test and elucidate this relationship.
Jacqueline E. Cardoza, Carina J. Gronlund, Justin Schott, Todd Ziegler, Brian Stone, Marie S. O’Neill
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165704

Abstract:
The objective of the study was to investigate, using academic-community epidemiologic co-analysis, the odds of reported heat-related illness for people with (1) central air conditioning (AC) or window unit AC versus no AC, and (2) fair/poor vs. good/excellent reported health. From 2016 to 2017, 101 Detroit residents were surveyed once regarding extreme heat, housing and neighborhood features, and heat-related illness in the prior 5 years. Academic partners selected initial confounders and, after instruction on directed acyclic graphs, community partners proposed alternate directed acyclic graphs with additional confounders. Heat-related illness was regressed on AC type or health and co-selected confounders. The study found that heat-related illness was associated with no-AC (n = 96, odds ratio (OR) = 4.66, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.22, 17.72); living ≤5 years in present home (n = 57, OR = 10.39, 95% CI = 1.13, 95.88); and fair/poor vs. good/excellent health (n = 97, OR = 3.15, 95% CI = 1.33, 7.48). Co-analysis suggested multiple built-environment confounders. We conclude that Detroit residents with poorer health and no AC are at greater risk during extreme heat. Academic-community co-analysis using directed acyclic graphs enhances research on community-specific social and health vulnerabilities by identifying key confounders and future research directions for rigorous and impactful research.
Raquel Escortell, David Aparisi, María Carmen Martínez-Monteagudo, Beatriz Delgado
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165705

Abstract:
There is a growing interest in preventing cyberbullying in youth. However, multiple questions remain as to the relationship between cyberbullying and psychosocial variables. This study examines the relationship between personality traits, aggression and cyberbullying (victims, bullies, victimized bullies and not involved) in 548 Spanish students aged 10 to 13 (50.2% boys). To do so, the Screening of Peer Harassment, the Big Five Questionnaire for Children and the Aggression Questionnaire were used. Logistic regression analyses indicated that the extraversion trait is an explanatory factor for being a victim and openness is a protective factor against being a cyberbully. Agreeableness was found to be a positive predictor of being a cyberbullying victim. Only verbal aggression and anger were included as explanatory factors of being a victim and a victimized bully, respectively. The results are discussed, suggesting their potential implications in the development of preventive programs.
Bronwyn Myers, Charles D. H. Parry, Neo K. Morojele, Sebenzile Nkosi, Paul A. Shuper, Connie T. Kekwaletswe, Katherine R. Sorsdahl
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165706

Abstract:
Background: In South Africa, interventions are needed to address the impact of hazardous drinking on antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV (PLWH). Participant feedback about these interventions can identify ways to enhance their acceptability. We interviewed participants in a randomized controlled trial of a brief motivational interviewing and problem-solving therapy (MI-PST) intervention about their perceptions of this alcohol-reduction intervention. Methods: The trial was conducted in HIV treatment clinics operating from six hospitals in the Tshwane region of South Africa. We conducted qualitative in-depth interviews with a random selection of participants. Twenty-four participants were interviewed after the final intervention session and 25 at the six-month follow up. Results: Participants believed that it was acceptable to offer PLWH, an alcohol reduction intervention during HIV treatment. They described how the MI-PST intervention had helped them reduce their alcohol consumption. Intervention components providing information on the health benefits of reduced consumption and building problem-solving and coping skills were perceived as most beneficial. Despite these perceived benefits, participants suggested minor modifications to the dosage, content, and delivery of the intervention for greater acceptability and impact. Conclusions: Findings highlight the acceptability and usefulness of this MI-PST intervention for facilitating reductions in alcohol consumption among PLWH.
Francesca Marazza, Faiza Allah Bukhsh, Jeroen Geerdink, Onno Vijlbrief, Shreyasi Pathak, Maurice Van Keulen, And Christin Seifert
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165707

Abstract:
Processes in organisations, such as hospitals, may deviate from the intended standard processes, due to unforeseeable events and the complexity of the organisation. For hospitals, the knowledge of actual patient streams for patient populations (e.g., severe or non-severe cases) is important for quality control and improvement. Process discovery from event data in electronic health records can shed light on the patient flows, but their comparison for different populations is cumbersome and time-consuming. In this paper, we present an approach for the automatic comparison of process models that were extracted from events in electronic health records. Concretely, we propose comparing processes for different patient populations by cross-log conformance checking, and standard graph similarity measures obtained from the directed graph underlying the process model. We perform a user study with 20 participants in order to obtain a ground truth for similarity of process models. We evaluate our approach on two data sets, the publicly available MIMIC database with the focus on different cancer patients in intensive care, and a database on breast cancer patients from a Dutch hospital. In our experiments, we found average fitness to be a good indicator for visual similarity in the ZGT use case, while the average precision and graph edit distance are strongly correlated with visual impression for cancer process models on MIMIC. These results are a call for further research and evaluation for determining which similarity or combination of similarities is needed in which type of process model comparison.
Joshua W. Schaeffer, John L. Adgate, Stephen J. Reynolds, Jaime Butler-Dawson, Lyndsay Krisher, Miranda Dally, Richard J. Johnson, Katherine A. James, Diana Jaramillo, Lee S. Newman
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 17; doi:10.3390/ijerph17165708

Abstract:
Background: Sugarcane workers in Central America experience a heavy burden of chronic kidney disease of unknown origin. We conducted a pilot study among worker proxies in Guatemala to characterize exposures to particulate matter, silica, heavy metals, and glyphosate, as well as to examine potential nephrotoxic exposures. Methods: Air, soil, and ash samples were collected and analyzed using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The average mass concentration for particulate matter (PM)2.5 and PM100 exposures were 360 µg/m3 (range: 32 to 1500 µg/m3) and 555 µg/m3 (range: 229 to 1170 µg/m3), respectively. The elemental composition of particles was largely silicon. The amount of crystalline silica was below 5 μg, yet the percentage of total silica was ~17% by weight. Putatively, the silica was in the amorphous form. Concentrations of aluminum and calcium ranged from 2–7 μg/m3. Glyphosate was not detectable in analyzed air samples but was detectable at concentrations ranging from 81–165 ppb in soil samples. Conclusion: Sugarcane workers are exposed to high concentrations of particulate matter. Future studies should investigate the potential role of silica, heavy metals, and agrochemicals in the etiology of chronic kidney disease in this population.
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