International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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EISSN: 16604601
Published by: MDPI
Total articles ≅ 49,628

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International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912150

Abstract:
Lakes are considered sentinels of terrestrial environmental change. Nevertheless, our understanding of the impact of catchment anthropogenic activities on nutrients and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2, an important parameter in evaluating CO2 levels in water) is still restrained by the scarcity of long-term observations. In this study, spatiotemporal variations in nutrient concentrations (total nitrogen: TN, total phosphorus: TP, nitrate: NO3–N, and ammonium: NH4+–N) pCO2 in Taihu Lake were analyzed from 1992 to 2006, along with the gross domestic product (GDP) and wastewater discharge (WD) of its catchment. The study area was divided into three zones to characterize spatial heterogeneity in water quality: the inflow river mouth zone (Liangxi River and Zhihugang River), transition zone (Meiliang Bay), and central Taihu Lake, respectively. It is abundantly obvious that external nutrient inputs from the catchment have a notable impact on the water parameters in Taihu Lake, because nutrient concentrations and pCO2 were substantially higher in the inflow river mouth zone than in the open water of Meiliang Bay and central Taihu Lake. The GDP and WD of Taihu Lake’s catchment were significantly and positively correlated with the temporal variation in nutrient concentrations and pCO2, indicating that catchment development activities had an impact on Taihu Lake’s water quality. In addition, pCO2 was negatively correlated with chlorophyll a and the saturation of dissolved oxygen, but positively correlated with nutrient concentrations (e.g., TN, TP, and NH4+–N) in inflow river mouth zone of Taihu Lake. The findings of this study reveal that the anthropogenic activities of the catchment not only affect the water quality of Taihu Lake but also the CO2 concentrations. Consequently, catchment effects require consideration when modeling and estimating CO2 emissions from the extensively human-impacted eutrophic lakes.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912145

Abstract:
Sarcopenia is one of the most important health problems in advanced age. In 2019, the European Working Group of Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) updated the operational diagnostic criteria for identification of people with sarcopenia (EWGSOP2). Among the two proposed low performance measures of sarcopenia are gait speed and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) test. Usage of any of those tools requires recalculation for the second one for eventual comparisons. The simple linear regression has been used for such comparisons in several previous studies, but the appropriateness of such an approach has not been verified. The aim of this study is to find the most appropriate model describing the relationship between these two popular measures of physical function. The study was performed in 450 consecutive outpatients of the Geriatric Clinic of the Medical University of Lodz, Poland, aged 70 to 92 years who volunteered to participate in the study. The TUG test and gait speed at 4 m to assess physical function were used. Different alternative models were compared to obtain the highest R-squared values. A Reciprocal-Y model (R-squared = 71.9%) showed the highest performance, followed by a Logarithmic-Y square root-X model (R-squared = 69.3%) and a Reciprocal-Y square root-X model (R-squared = 69.1%). The R-squared for the linear model was 49.5%. For the selected reciprocal model, the correlation coefficient was 0.85 and the equation of the fitted model was: Gait speed (m/s) = 1/(−0.0160767 + 0.101386 × TUG). In conclusion, in independent community-dwelling older adults, the relationship between gait speed and the TUG test in older subjects is nonlinear. The proposed reciprocal model may be useful for recalculations of gait speed or TUG in future studies.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912148

Abstract:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global and evolving pandemic associated with heavy health and financial burdens. Considering the oral cavity as the major reservoir for SARS-CoV-2, a systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to assess the efficacy of mouth rinses and nasal sprays in reducing the salivary viral load of SARS-CoV-2. All in vivo and in vitro studies that assessed the virucidal efficacy of mouth rinses and nasal sprays against SARS-CoV-2 and were published in the English language from December 2019 to April 2022 were considered for analyses. Special Medical Subject Headings terms were used to search Pubmed, Scopus, Embase Ovid, and Web of Science databases. The toxicological data reliability assessment tool (ToxRToool) was used to assess the quality of the included studies. Thirty-three studies (11 in vivo and 22 in vitro) were deemed eligible for inclusion in this analysis. Results of the pooled data showed that povidone-iodine is the most efficacious intervention in vivo in terms of reducing the SARS-CoV-2 salivary viral load, followed by chlorhexidine. The mean difference in the viral load was 86% and 72%, respectively. Similarly, povidone-iodine was associated with the highest log10 reduction value (LRV) in vitro, followed by cetylpyridinium chloride, (LRV = 2.938 (p < 0.0005) and LRV = 2.907 (p = 0.009), respectively). Povidone-iodine-based oral and nasal preparations showed favourable results in terms of reducing SARS-CoV-2 viral loads both in vivo and in vitro. Considering the limited number of patients in vivo, further studies among larger cohorts are recommended.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912149

Abstract:
Stressful events and chronic tension are considered a burden and a threat to physical, mental, and social health. The aim of the study was to demonstrate the associations of variation in stress exposure with social factors, physical activity, basic components of physical fitness, body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat (BFP). An additional objective was to identify the main BFP modifiers among those analyzed. The material consisted of data of ethnically homogeneous group 355 men (32–87 yrs), invited to the study as part of the Wroclaw Male Study research project. The analyzed features included socioeconomic status (age, educational level), elements of lifestyle (physical activity), major and most important stressful life events—Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) and basic parameters of the somatic structure of the body (BMI, BFP). Statistical analyses included: chi-square test, Mann–Whitney U test and backward stepwise regression (significance level α = 0.05). Stress exposure showed significant socioeconomic variation among the adult Poles studied. Higher levels of education were associated with higher levels of stress. Significant correlations between SRRS and physical activity were found, especially in men older than 60 years and with higher levels of education. A positive relationship was shown between SRRS and BFP, especially in men under 60 years of age. BFP appeared to depend mainly on age and stress. The main determinants of SRRS were age and education level, while BFP turned out to be more sensitive to stress than BMI. The modifying force of physical activity for SRRS appears to be age dependent.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912147

Abstract:
During the last decade in Korea, urinary cotinine concentrations in non-current smokers have decreased, making it difficult to distinguish secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure from nonsmokers because of overlapping values between non-current smokers with and without SHS exposure. Additionally, the importance of smoking status verification to avoid misclassification is increasing with the increased use of e-cigarettes. We developed a novel index combining urinary cotinine and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL) and evaluated its diagnostic performance for the classification of smoking status using the KNHANES VII dataset. A total of 10,116 and 5575 Korean participants aged >19 years with measured urinary cotinine concentrations were enrolled in a training set and validation set, respectively. When using 4.0 as the cutoff value for distinguishing current smokers from non-current smokers, urinary cotinine∙NNAL showed a better diagnostic performance than urinary cotinine or urinary NNAL. Among e-cigarette users, urinary cotinine∙NNAL showed more accurate classification rates than urinary NNAL. Furthermore, urinary cotinine∙NNAL had measurable values in non-current smokers, whereas urinary cotinine had unmeasurable values in one-fourth of all participants. This study shows that urinary cotinine∙NNAL might be a useful biomarker for smoking status verification and trend monitoring of tobacco smoking exposure with increased use of e-cigarettes.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912136

Abstract:
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) booster doses decrease infection transmission and disease severity. This study aimed to assess the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in low, middle, and high-income countries of the East Mediterranean Region (EMR) and its determinants using the health belief model (HBM). In addition, we aimed to identify the causes of booster dose rejection and the main source of information about vaccination. Using the snowball and convince sampling technique, a bilingual, self-administered, anonymous questionnaire was used to collect the data from 14 EMR countries through different social media platforms. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the key determinants that predict vaccination acceptance among respondents. Overall, 2327 participants responded to the questionnaire. In total, 1468 received compulsory doses of vaccination. Of them, 739 (50.3%) received booster doses and 387 (26.4%) were willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. Vaccine booster dose acceptance rates in low, middle, and high-income countries were 73.4%, 67.9%, and 83.0%, respectively (p < 0.001). Participants who reported reliance on information about the COVID-19 vaccination from the Ministry of Health websites were more willing to accept booster doses (79.3% vs. 66.6%, p < 0.001). The leading causes behind booster dose rejection were the beliefs that booster doses have no benefit (48.35%) and have severe side effects (25.6%). Determinants of booster dose acceptance were age (odds ratio (OR) = 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–1.03, p = 0.002), information provided by the Ministry of Health (OR = 3.40, 95% CI: 1.79–6.49, p = 0.015), perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 infection (OR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.21–2.93, p = 0.005), perceived severity of COVID-19 (OR = 2.08, 95% CI: 137–3.16, p = 0.001), and perceived risk of side effects (OR = 0.25, 95% CI: 0.19–0.34, p < 0.001). Booster dose acceptance in EMR is relatively high. Interventions based on HBM may provide useful directions for policymakers to enhance the population’s acceptance of booster vaccination.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912146

Abstract:
This study aims to examine people’s perception of well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan and quantitatively clarify key factors towards realizing evidence-based policymaking. In March 2022, 400 participants responded to a survey conducted through Rakuten Insight. The authors applied an ordinal logistic regression (OLR), followed by principal component analysis (PCA), to create a new compound indicator (CI) to represent people’s perception of well-being during the pandemic in addition to ordinary least squares (OLS) regression with a forward-backward stepwise selection method, where the dependent variable is the principal component score of the first principal component (PC1), while the independent variables are the same as the abovementioned OLR. Consequently, while analyzing OLR, some independent variables showed statistical significance, while the CI provided an option to grasp people’s perception of well-being. Furthermore, family structure was statistically significant in all cases of OLR and OLS. Moreover, in terms of the standardized coefficients (beta) of OLS, the family structure had the greatest impact on the CI. Based on the study results, the authors advocate that the Japanese government should pay more attention to single-person households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912144

Abstract:
Cultural diversity among patients and healthcare workers in the Portuguese healthcare organizations will increasingly challenge nurse managers to develop favorable nursing work environments and to improve culturally congruent care. Aim: This study aimed to identify nurse managers’ interventions that improve favorable nursing work environments in multicultural nursing teams and culturally congruent care for patients, based on Portuguese nurse leaders’ experience in international settings. Methods: A qualitative and exploratory study was conducted as the first stage of a sequential exploratory mixed study design. A convenience sample of Portuguese nurses with leadership experience of multicultural teams was recruited to participate in one focus group. Qualitative data were recorded and transcribed for content analysis. Text segments were organized into themes and categories with the support of the qualitative software IRaMuTeQ. Results: Nurse managers’ interventions, such as adapting the leadership style, thanking nurses for their work, adjusting the unit to attend to patients’ worship practices, and supporting foreign nurses in learning the local language, were categorized into three main themes and five categories—transcultural nursing leadership assumptions, capitalizing nurses, improving culturally congruent care, team problems and strategies, and improving effective communication. Conclusions: These findings corroborate international studies, advocate for capable nurse managers to lead in a globalized world, and are suitable to develop a transcultural nursing leadership questionnaire.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912143

Abstract:
The dry climate characteristics of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau will seriously affect microbial metabolism during composting. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of regular water supplementation on the fungal and enzymatic activities of sheep manure composting in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau. The experiment set up the treatments of water replenishment once every 7 days(T2) and 3.5 days (T3) days, and no water supplementation was used as the control (T1). The results showed that regular water supplementation increased the activities of various enzymes during composting, and the activities of protease, cellulase, peroxidase and polyphenol oxidase in T3 were higher than those in T2. Regular water supplementation increased the relative abundance of Remersonia and Mycothermus, which were significantly positively correlated with the germination index, and degradation of organic components. Regular water supplementation could enrich fungi carbohydrate, protein, and nucleotide metabolisms, and T3 had a better effect. A redundancy analysis showed that environmental factors could significantly affect the fungal community; among them, moisture content (76.9%, p = 0.002) was the greatest contributor. In conclusion, regular water supplementation can improve the key enzyme activities and fungal metabolic function of sheep manure composting, and water replenishment once every 3.5 days had the best effect.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912142

Abstract:
Lake surface water temperature is a fundamental metabolic indicator of lake ecosystems that affects the exchange of material and energy in lake ecosystems. Estimating and predicting changes in lake surface water temperature is crucial to lake ecosystem research. This study selected Dianchi Lake, a typical urban lake in China, as the research area and used the Air2water model combined with the Mann-Kendall mutation statistical method to analyze the temporal and spatial variation in the surface water temperature of Dianchi Lake under three climate models. The research results show that, under the RCP 5-8.5 scenario model, the surface water temperature change rate for Dianchi Lake from 2015 to 2100 would be 0.28 ℃/10a, which was the largest change rate among the three selected scenarios. The rate of change during 2015–2100 would be 9.33 times higher than that during the historical period (1900–2014) (0.03 °C/10a). Against the background of Niulan River water diversion and rapid urbanization, the surface water temperature of Dianchi Lake experienced abrupt changes in 1992, 2016, 2017, and 2022. Against the background of urbanization, the impact of human activities on the surface water temperature of urban lakes will become greater.
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