Common Air Pollutants Associated With Increased Risk of Pregnancy Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Cairo Air Pollution with smog - Pyramids1” by Nina Hale is licensed under CC BY 2.0Pauline Mendola, PhD

Investigator
Epidemiology Branch
Division of Intramural Population Health Research
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH
Bethesda, MD  20892

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We compared ambient air pollution levels at the residences of couples who were trying to get pregnant and estimated the risk of pregnancy loss associated with common pollutants. No prior studies have been done in the United States and most studies are retrospective, looking back in time, and asking couples to report on their reproductive outcomes. Without detailed prospective follow-up, early pregnancy losses that occur before entry into care (i.e., before women are aware that they are pregnant) are often missed. In contrast, we studied 501 couples in the Longitudinal Investigation of Fertility and the Environment (LIFE) study who were enrolled before pregnancy and followed until they became pregnant or tried for 12 months without a pregnancy. Using this prospective data, we found that both ozone and fine particles (PM2.5) were associated with a 12-13% increased risk of early pregnancy loss.

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US Heat-Related Deaths Disproportionately Affect Non-Citizens

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Wood for Heat” by Alternative Heat is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Ethel V. Taylor, DVM, MPH
Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects
National Center for Environmental Health,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, GA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: CDC sought to identify and measure whether or not differences exist for deaths associated with extreme heat among non-citizens, who had been identified by previous studies as higher risk due to occupation.

CDC compared heat-related deaths among non-US and US citizens from 2005-2014. Heat-related deaths accounted for 2.4% of all deaths among non-U.S. citizens (n=999) compared to 0.02% of U.S. citizens (n=4196).

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Nearly Half of Adolescents Had At Least One Sunburn In Past Year

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Dymchurch Beach - May 2012 - Sunburn with Matching Bikini” by Gareth Williams is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Dawn M. Holman, MPH
Behavioral Scientist
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Scientific evidence clearly shows that even one sunburn during adolescence can increase a person’s chances of developing skin cancer as an adult. Surprisingly, little research has been done to understand the factors associated with sunburn during this phase of life. The CDC wanted to examine beliefs, behaviors, and demographic characteristics that might be associated with adolescent sunburns in hopes that the findings could inform future intervention efforts. We used data from the 2015 YouthStyles survey (adolescents aged 12 to 17 years) to explore this research question

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Decorative Drinking Glasses Can Contain Harmful Levels of Metals

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Themed Merchandised products affectedDr Andrew Turner

Reader in Environmental Science (Biogeochemistry and Toxicology)
School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Plymouth, UK

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We had a project looking at toxic metals in consumer plastics and paints and as part of the study analysed decorated glassware product. With respect to the latter, and from a health perspective, it is concerning that metals that have been banned or restricted by so many industries over the past few decades are still used to decorate contemporary drinking glassware. Drinking glasses that are most hazardous are those where the décor extends into the lip area within 2 cm of the rim, and those that target children.

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Air Pollution Linked To Increased Mortality, Especially In Developing Cities

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Longjian Liu, M.D., Ph.D. MSc (LSHTM), FAHA

Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Dornsife School of Public Health, and
Adjunct Associate Professor,
College of Medicine
Drexel University
Nesbitt Hall-RM515, 3215 Market ST
Philadelphia PA, 19104 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This is an international collaborative project, supported by Drexel Office of International Programs, and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The main findings are air pollution has posted a serious public health issue in China, specifically in urban cities.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: Air pollution is an international issue, we must take action, specifically in developing counties with rapid urbanization, like China.  

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Pesticide Residues On Fruits & Vegetables Associated With Increased Risk of Pregnancy Loss

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“Pesticide spraying” by jetsandzeppelins is licensed under CC BY 2.0

“Pesticide spraying” by jetsandzeppelins

Yu-Han Chiu, M.D., M.P.H., Sc.D
Department of Nutrition
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:  Animal experiments suggest that ingestion of pesticide mixtures at environmentally relevant concentrations decreases the number of live-born pups. However, it is unclear whether intake of pesticide residues has any adverse effects in humans, especially for susceptible populations such as pregnant women and their fetuses. Therefore, in this study we examined the association of preconception intake of pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables with pregnancy outcomes among 325 women undergoing assisted reproduction.

We found that intake of high pesticide residue fruits and vegetables were associated with higher risks of pregnancy loss, while low pesticide residue fruit and vegetable intake was associated with lower risks of early pregnancy loss. These data suggest dietary pesticide exposure within the range of typical human exposure may be associated with adverse reproductive consequences

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Tanning Salon Compliance With State Laws Restricting Access to Minors Remains Unsatisfactory

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Erik Stratman, MD

Chairman, Department of Dermatology
Marshfield Clinic, WI

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The United States Food and Drug Administration has classified tanning beds as cancer-causing. Tanning bed exposure has been linked with increased risk of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer that preferentially affects young people.  While no current federal ban exists on indoor tanning of minors, there have been over 40 states (43) and the District of Columbia that passed laws limiting the use of tanning beds for minors.  Despite these laws, nearly 1.9 million high school students in the United States are tanning in tanning salons.

In this study, researchers posed as minors called 427 tanning salons in 42 states and the District of Columbia.  Following a script that included questions like ‘would my mom have to come with me? I was hoping to come after school.’ Salons were randomly selected by zip code, with 10 salons selected for each state.  Overall, 37.2% of tanning salons were out of compliance with state legislation. Illinois, New Hampshire, and Oregon were the only states scoring 100% compliant with the state law for those tanning salons contacted.  Alabama scored the lowest with 0% compliant for those tanning salons contacted.  Statistically significant decreases in compliance were found for rural, independently owned, and Southern US tanning salons.

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Air Pollution Related Deaths Concentrated Among Minorities and the Poor

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

“air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Air Pollution, Beijing

Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
Dean for Global Health
Professor of Preventive Medicine and Pediatrics
Arnhold Institute for Global Health
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

  1.  Pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and premature death in the world today.  It is responsible for 9 million deaths per year – 16% of all deaths worldwide – three times more deaths than AIDS, malaria and TB combined.  These numbers are growing from year to year as pollution in many parts of the world increase.
  2. Pollution is highly unjust. 92% of all pollution-related deaths occur in low-and middle- income countries, and in the United States and other high-income countries pollution-related disease and death are concentrated among minorities and the poor.  Think Flint.
  3. Pollution is very costly.  Pollution-related diseases cause productivity losses that reduce GDP in low- and middle-income countries by up to 2% per year. Pollution-related disease also results in health-care costs that are responsible for 1.7% of annual health spending in high-income countries like the US and for up to 7% of health spending in heavily polluted and rapidly developing low- and middle-income countries.
  4. Pollution is neglected and its control is seriously underfunded.
  5. The good news is that despite its great magnitude and long-standing neglect, pollution can be controlled, and pollution prevention is highly cost-effective. Pollution is not the inevitable consequence of economic development. High-income and some middle-income countries have enacted legislation and issued regulations mandating clean air and clean water, established chemical safety policies, and curbed their most flagrant forms of pollution. As a result, our air and water are now cleaner, the blood lead concentrations of our children have decreased by more than 90%, our rivers no longer catch fire, our worst hazardous waste sites have been remediated, and many of our cities are less polluted and more livable. Health has improved and people are living longer. High-income countries have achieved this progress while increasing GDP by nearly 250%. The claim that pollution control stifles economic growth, kills jobs and drags down the economy is false and has repeatedly been proven to be untrue. Pollution control is a winnable battle, and the control of pollution will return billions of dollars to the economies of countries around the world as it has already in the United States.

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Can Cigarette Butts Be Recycled Into Bricks and Concrete?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Abbas Mohajerani BsEng, MsEng, PhD, FIEAust, MAGS. MACI Senior Lecturer School of Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering RMIT University Melbourne Victoria  Australia

Dr. Mohajerani

Abbas Mohajerani BsEng, MsEng, PhD, FIEAust, MAGS. MACI
Senior Lecturer
School of Engineering, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering
RMIT University
Melbourne Victoria  Australia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: I knew about the harmful chemicals in cigarette butts and was not happy to see them everywhere in the environment, in our footpath, parks, and rivers. Cigarette butts (CBs) contain a large number of toxic to highly toxic chemicals and stay in the environment for a long time. Decomposition of CBs can take from a couple of months to many years depending on the environmental factors.

Cigarette butts are one of the most common types of waste found around the world. Currently about 6 trillion cigarette butts per year are deposited somewhere in the environment. This is equivalent to an estimated mass of over 1.2 million tonnes of Cigarette butts each year. And this is expected to increase significantly by 2025, mainly due to an increase in the world population.

In 2005, I started to think about different ways to recycle CBs in construction materials, and the first idea which struck me was to recycle them in fired clay bricks.

After several years of research, we came up with a proposal, that if every brick manufacturer were to produce 2.5% of their bricks with 1% Cigarette butts incorporated, all CBs produced worldwide could be recycled. A 1% CB content would have very little effect on the physical and mechanical properties of the brick. And the estimated firing energy saved by incorporating 1% CBs into clay bricks is about 10%. That is a very significant reduction in the firing energy.

This proposal was published in the journal of Waste Management in May 2016.

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Folic Acid May Reduce Risk of Autism Associated With Pesticide Exposure During Pregnancy

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Rebecca J. Schmidt, M.S., Ph.D.  Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences UC Davis California

Dr. Schmidt

Rebecca J. Schmidt, M.S., Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Public Health Sciences
UC Davis California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Maternal folic acid taken near conception has been linked to reduced risk for autism in the child in previous studies.

Separate studies show that exposure to pesticides during pregnancy is associated with increased risk for autism.

Animal studies demonstrate that folic acid and other B-vitamins can attenuate effects of certain environmental contaminants, including pesticides.

This case-control study examined combined maternal folic acid and pesticide exposures in relation to autism in the child.

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Your Dusty House May Be Making You Fat

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Heather M. Stapleton PhD Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management EEH Program Chair Nicholas School of the Environment Duke University Durham, North Carolina 27708

Dr. Stapleton

Heather M. Stapleton PhD
Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management
EEH Program Chair
Nicholas School of the Environment
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina 27708

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Building materials and products common to most homes (e.g. furniture, TVs, carpets, etc) are often treated with synthetic chemicals, which migrate out of the products over time and accumulate in house dust, where residents can be exposed to these chemicals on a daily basis.

This study assessed approximately forty chemicals commonly detected and measured in house dust samples for their ability to stimulate the development of fat cells, using a mouse precursor fat cell model. Approximately two thirds of these chemicals were able to promote lipid accumulation by these cells and/or stimulate the proliferation of the precursor fat cells. We then assessed eleven extracts of indoor house dust samples (containing mixtures of these chemicals) and exposed our cells to these extracts, finding that even low levels of these extracts were sufficient to promote the accumulation of lipids and/or the proliferation of the fat precursor cells.

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Ozone Air Pollution Linked To US Deaths, Even At Levels Below Current Safety Standards

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Qian Di, M.S, Doctoral Student
Department of Environmental Health and
Francesca Dominici, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator of this study
Professor of Biostatistics
co-Director of the Harvard Data Science Initiative
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Boston, MA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The Clean Air Act requires Environmental Protection Agency to set National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). Currently the annual NAAQS for PM2.5 is 12 microgram per cubic meter; and there is no annual or seasonal ozone standard. However, is current air quality standard stringent enough to protect human health? This is our main motivation.

We conducted the largest attainable cohort study, including over 60 million Medicare participants, to investigate the association between long-term exposure to ozone/PM2.5 and all-cause mortality.

We found significant harmful effect of PM2.5 even below current NAAQS. Each 10 microgram per cubic meter increase in PM2.5 is associated with 13.6% (95% CI: 13.1%~14.1%) increase in all-cause mortality. For ozone, 10 ppb increase in ozone exposure is associated with 1.1% (95% CI: 1.0%~1.2%) increase in mortality. Also, there is no appreciable level below which mortality risk tapered off. In other words, there is no “safe” level for PM2.5 and ozone.

In other words, if we would reduce the annual average of PM2.5 by just 1 microgram per cubic meter nationwide, we should save 12,000 lives among elder Americans every year; 5 microgram — 63,817 lives every year. Similarly, if we would reduce the annual summer average of ozone by just 1 ppb nationwide, we would save 1,900 lives every year; 5 ppb — 9537 lives.

Besides, we found black people, males and people of low SES are more vulnerable to air pollution.

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Does Cell Phone Use During Pregnancy Increase Childhood Behavioral Problems?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Laura Birks, MPH, Predoctoral Fellow
ISGlobal
Instituto de Salud Global de Barcelona – Campus MAR
Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) (office 183.01B)
Barcelona, Spain

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies in Denmark and the Netherlands have reported associations between prenatal cell phone use and child behavioral problems, but findings have been inconsistent and based on retrospective assessment of cell phone use. This study aimed to assess this association in a multi-national analysis, using data from three cohorts with prospective data on prenatal cell phone use, together with previously published data from two cohorts with retrospectively collected cell phone use data.

We found that cell phone use during pregnancy was associated with increased risk for behavioral problems in offspring, specifically hyperactivity/inattention problems. This association was fairly consistent across cohorts and between cohorts with retrospectively and prospectively collected cell phone use data. While our models were adjusted for many confounders, it is possible that other factors could explain this association, such as hyperactivity in the mother or parenting styles (variables that were not collected in these cohorts). Furthermore, to date there is no known biological mechanism that could explain the association.

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Excessive Rainfall May Be Linked To Autism Through Nitrous Oxide Exposure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Keith Fluegge BS
Institute of Health and Environmental Research (IHER) Cleveland
Graduate School, The Ohio State University, Columbus
Ohio

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The research letter discusses the possible link between rainfall precipitation and risk of autism. Earlier research suggested a link, although there remained quite a bit of skepticism surrounding the findings at the time.

The purpose of the study was to briefly highlight the role of environmental exposure to the agricultural and combustion pollutant, nitrous oxide (N2O), as a possible etiological factor in neurodevelopmental disorders. We have published a series of epidemiological investigations, reviews, and correspondences discussing this possibility. In my continued research on this topic, I learned that rainfall and extreme weather-related events, like hurricanes, drive N2O emissions, especially from nitrogen amended soils. Exposure to this particular air pollutant may, therefore, plausibly undergird the relationship between rainfall precipitation and risk of autism.

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Exposure to BPA Substitute, BPS, Multiplies Breast Cancer Cells

Sumi Dinda

Dr. Sumi Dinda

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sumi Dinda, PhD, NRP, IC.

Associate Professor
Biomedical Diagnostic and Therapeutic Sciences,
School of Health Sciences and
Adjunct Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
School of Health Sciences
Oakland University
Rochester, MI 48309.


MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Bisphenol-S (BPS), a substitute for bisphenol-A (BPA), has been suggested to be an endocrine disrupting compound interfering with normal hormonal activity. This bisphenol analogue is found in plastic substitutes, paper currency, and most products marked “BPA free.” Endocrine disrupting compounds interfere with the normal hormonal activity in the body.

Bisphenols, specifically, disrupt the proper functioning of estrogen receptors, such as ERα causing interference with the normal activity of the hormone estrogen. Studies suggest BPS induces ERα pathways via its estrogen-mimicking properties in the body causing increased cell proliferation resulting in increased breast cancer risk. Despite the hope of a safer substitute, studies have shown that BPS exhibits similar estrogenic activity compared to its analogue BPA, due to their structural commonalities.

BRCA1 is a commonly mutated gene in breast cancer; therefore, it is also important to study the effects of BPS on the expression of this protein. The potency of the endocrine disrupting abilities of BPS compared to BPA could show whether BPS is a suitable alternative to BPA in many everyday products.

The results of this study may contribute to the understanding of the relationship between ERα, BRCA1 expression and Bisphenol-S in breast cancer treatment and prevention.

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Pyrethroid Pesticides Linked To Earlier Puberty in Boys

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jing Liu, Ph.D. Associate Professor College of Environmental & Resource Sciences Zhejiang University Hangzhou, China

Dr. Jing Liu

Jing Liu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Environmental & Resource Sciences
Zhejiang University
Hangzhou, China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In addition to consistent observations of earlier pubertal onset in female since late 19th century, acceleration in male pubertal development also has been reported in more recent studies. Improved nutrition, health and living conditions may contribute to the secular trend towards an earlier pubertal onset. However, the potential role of environmental agents, specifically endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), also has been emphasized.

Pyrethroids are among the currently used pesticide classes placed on the list of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as potential EDCs. Pyrethroids are one of the top 10 classes of pesticides and account for greater than 30% of global insecticide usage. Increased human exposure to pyrethroids is thought to occur mainly via residues in diets and indoor residential use. The metabolites of pyrethroids have been widely identified in urine samples of adults, children and adolescents worldwide and the detection rate is usually more than 60% in human populations.

Here, we recognize pyrethroids as a new environmental contributor to the observed secular trend toward earlier male sexual maturity. For the first time to our knowledge, this work reveal a significant and positive association between pyrethroids exposure and gonadotropins levels in 463 Chinese boys, in which a 10% increase in 3-PBA (a common urinary metabolite of pyrethroids) is associated with more than 2% increase in both LH and FSH. Boys with increased urinary levels of 3-PBA have a significantly increased risk of earlier pubertal development, in which the odds of being in an advanced testicular volume and genitalia stage are increase by 113% and 268%, respectively.

Because it is difficult to test the direct causality of environmental risk factors in humans, we further sought to identify in animals how pyrethroids alter the timing of puberty. Postnatal exposure to a widely used pyrethroid pesticide, cypermethrin, can accelerate pubertal timing and induce circulating levels of gonadotropins and testosterone in male mice. Our findings reveal the activation of voltage-gated calcium channels pathway in pituitary gonadotropes and testicular Leydig cells as a newly discovered mechanism of pyrethroid-induced early pubertal development in the male.

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Flame Retardant Chemicals In Homes May Be Raising Risk of Thyroid Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Julie Sosa, MD MA FACS Professor of Surgery and Medicine Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery Director, Surgical Center for Outcomes Research (SCORES) Leader, Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute Durham, NC 2771

Dr. Sosa

Julie Sosa, MD MA FACS
Professor of Surgery and Medicine
Chief, Section of Endocrine Surgery
Director, Surgical Center for Outcomes Research
Leader, Endocrine Neoplasia Diseases Group
Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute
Durham, NC 2771

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The incidence of thyroid cancer has dramatically increased world-wide over the last several decades. In the United States, thyroid cancer is the fastest increasing cancer among women and men. This observation has been almost exclusively the result of an epidemic of papillary thyroid cancer, or PTC, which now comprises approximately 90% of new cases.

The use of flame retardant chemicals, or Flame Retardant Chemicals, also increased over the last several decades due to the implementation of mandatory and voluntary flammability standards for furniture, electronics, and construction materials. Over time, FRs come out of these products and accumulate in indoor environments where humans are exposed. Animal studies suggest that FRs can disrupt thyroid function, and many contribute to cancer risk. But many human health endpoints have not been investigated.

Our work was aimed at investigating whether exposure to Flame Retardant Chemicals could be associated with PTC. To address our research question, we recruited 140 adults, 70 with PTC and 70 who were healthy volunteers without evidence for thyroid cancer or thyroid disease. Then we visited participants’ homes and collected dust samples, a metric that we have previously shown is an indicator of long-term exposure to Flame Retardant Chemicals in the home.

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Number Of High School Students Who Indoor Tan Dropped In Half

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Matthew Reynolds
Acting Team Lead, Office of Communication
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Chamblee GA

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Indoor tanning and sunburns, particularly during adolescence and young adulthood, increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Researchers examined trends in the prevalence of indoor tanning and the relationship between indoor tanning and sunburn among US high school students. Pooled cross-sectional data from the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys. The study included nationally representative samples of U.S. high school students.

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Land-Based Salmon Farms Degrade Natural Waters With Dissolved Organic Materials

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Norbert Kamjunke Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research UFZ Department of River Ecology Magdeburg, Germany

Dr. Kamjunke

Dr. Norbert Kamjunke
Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research UFZ
Department of River Ecology
Magdeburg, Germany 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Aquacultures are of great importance worldwide but pollute pristine headwater streams, lakes, and estuaries.

Chilean salmon production is economically important, contributing ~25% of the worldwide salmon yield
(Chile ranks second of the world’s salmon-producing countries). Salmon
farming has continuously increased in recent decades; the annual
salmonid production in Chile was 820,000 tons in 2012, representing a
value of 4.9 billion USD (32% of the total worldwide value of salmonid
production). Small salmon are reared in land-based aquacultures supplied
with stream water, whereas mid-sized fish are grown in cages in lakes
and adult fish in cages along the coast. The effluents from land-based
aquaculture pollute pristine streams with nutrients, antibiotics and
organic carbon, resulting in oxygen depletion and negative consequences
for the abundance and biodiversity of stream organisms. While
aquacultures have recently started to remove suspended matter from waste
water using sedimentation basins and rotating drum filters, dissolved
components are still discharged untreated. Nutrients and dissolved
organic matter (DOM) originating from the leaching of remaining food
pellets, fish faeces and fish excretions are major components released
by aquacultures. One aquaculture in northern Patagonia was estimated to
release DOM amounting to 21% of the carbon applied as feed and 76% of
the annual fish production.
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Radiation Exposure and Vascular Access in Acute Coronary Syndromes: The RADMatrix Trial

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Marco Valgimigli,

Dr. Marco Valgimigli

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Marco Valgimigli, MD, PhD

Interventional Cardiology
Sandro Pertini Hospital, ASL RM2, Rome, Italy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Every year millions of people with coronary artery disease are treated worldwide with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Radial access as compared to femoral access reduces bleeding and mortality in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) undergoing invasive management. However, prior studies have raised concerns over the increased risk of radiation exposure for both patients and operators with radial instead of femoral access and it remains still unclear whether radial access increases the risk of operator or patient radiation exposure in contemporary practice when performed by expert operators.

The MATRIX (Minimizing Adverse Haemorrhagic Events by TRansradial Access Site and Systemic Implementation of angioX) trial is the largest randomized trial comparing radial versus femoral access in ACS patients undergoing invasive management. In this radiation sub-study (RAD-MATRIX), we collected fluoroscopy time and dose area product (DAP) and equipped radial operators consenting to participate with dedicated dosimeters, each wearing a thorax (primary endpoint), wrist and head (secondary endpoints) lithium fluoride thermo luminescent dosimeter, during study conduct to establish non-inferiority of radial versus femoral access.

Among eighteen operators, performing 777 procedures in 767 patients, the non-inferiority primary endpoint was not achieved. Operator equivalent dose at the thorax was significantly higher with radial than femoral access. After normalization of operator radiation dose by fluoroscopy time or DAP, the difference remained significant. Radiation dose at wrist or head did not differ between radial and femoral access. Thorax operator dose did not differ in the right radial compared to the left radial access. In the overall MATRIX population, fluoroscopy time and DAP were higher with radial as compared to femoral access.

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High Schools Less Likely To Adopt Sun Safety Practices

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sherry Everett Jones PhD, MPH, JD, FASHA Health Scientist, Division of Adolescent School Health Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Dr. Sherry Everett Jones

Sherry Everett Jones PhD, MPH, JD, FASHA
Health Scientist, Division of Adolescent School Health
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Results from the School Health Policies and Practices Study found that in 2014, most schools lacked practices that could protect children and adolescents from sun exposure while at school. Positive attitudes and beliefs about sun safety behavior, which would make such behavior more likely, can be promoted and supported by school system policies and practices.

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Indoor Tanning By High School Students Drops By Half

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH Senior Health Economist Division of Unintentional Injury CDC

Dr. Gery Guy

Gery P. Guy Jr., PhD, MPH
Senior Health Economist
Division of Unintentional Injury
CDC

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The incidence of skin cancer is increasing in the United States, and individuals who indoor tan are at an increased risk of skin cancer. Treating skin cancer costs $8.1 billion annually.

The number of high school students who indoor tan dropped by half from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, 1.2 million high school students indoor tanned, down from 2.5 million in 2009. This is a much bigger decrease than we have seen in the past and is an encouraging finding. We also found that 82% of indoor tanners reported sunburn in the past year compared with 54% of those who did not engage in indoor tanning.

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Environmental Pyrethroids May Be Associated With Behavioral Problems in Children

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Professor Jean-Francois Viel
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
University Hospital
Rennes, France

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The use of pyrethroid insecticides has increased substantially throughout the world over the past several decades, replacing organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, because of their chemical potency against many pests, their relatively low mammalian toxicity and their favorable environmental profiles. However, despite the neurotoxicity of these insecticides at high doses, the potential impact of environmental exposure to pyrethroid insecticides on child neurodevelopment has only just started to receive attention.

Using a longitudinal design (PELAGIE mother-child cohort), we were able to assess pyrethroid exposure (trough urine concentrations) both prenatally and during childhood (at 6 years of age). We showed that increased prenatal concentrations of one pyrethroid metabolite (cis-DCCA, a metabolite of permethrin, cypermethrin and cyfluthrin) were associated with internalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are inhibited and over-controlled).

Moreover, for childhood 3-PBA (a common metabolite of up to 20 synthetic pyrethroid insecticides) concentrations, a positive association was observed with externalising difficulties (children showing behaviours that are under-controlled and having generally a more challenging temperament).

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Western US Smog Increasingly Due To Asian Emissions

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Meiyun Lin PhD Research Scholar NOAA and Princeton University’s Cooperative Institute for Climate Science

Dr. Meiyun Lin

Dr. Meiyun Lin PhD
Research  Scholar
NOAA and Princeton University’s Cooperative Institute for Climate Science

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Ground-level ozone, also known as smog, has climbed in the rural West over the past 25 years, even in such seemingly pristine places as Yellowstone National Park. We have found out why – and why cutting our own output of smog-forming chemicals such as nitrogen oxides by 50% hasn’t helped. This study found that increased pollution from Asia, which has tripled its nitrogen oxide emissions since 1990, contribute to the persistence of smog in the West.

While ozone in the eastern U.S. has decreased overall, the levels can spike during heat waves, characterized by large-scale air stagnation, warm temperatures, and plentiful radiation needed for ozone formation locally. As heat waves appears to be on the rise due to global climate change, progress in reducing smog in the eastern US is likely to be slower in the coming decades.

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Thyroid Hormone Disruptors Found In Household Cats and Dust

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jana Weiss PhD Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry Stockholm University

Dr. Jana Weiss

Jana Weiss PhD
Department of Environmental Science and Analytical Chemistry
Stockholm University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In an earlier publication, we could see an association between elevated concentrations of brominated flame retardants (BFR) in the blood of cats with developed Feline hyperthyroidism, compared to healthy cats (Norrgran et al 2015, ES&T 49:5107-5014). To establish the exposure pathway we now took paired samples from healthy cats and dust from their households. We also analysed the cats food to include another major exposure pathway. In total 17 families participated. They lived in houses in the countryside or in apartments in the city. All families had kids under 12 years of age living at home, thus representing a household with typical child products. The dust was sampled from the living room, the child’s room and from the adult’s bedrooms. We could not see any difference in the composition of compounds between the rooms, but we saw that levels were in general higher in the living room compared to the other two rooms. This was expected as many products being treated with BFRs can be found in the living room.

We could see that higher levels of some  brominated flame retardants in the dust were correlated to elevated levels in the cat’s blood. Therefore, this hypothesized exposure pathways is now statistically established. We could also confirm cat food to be the major exposure pathway for naturally brominated compounds coming from the marine food web, such as6-OH-BDE47, a known thyroid hormone disruptor. Continue reading

Factors That Expose Cardiologists To More Radiation During Procedures Outlined

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Alessandro Sciahbasi, MD, PhD  Sandro Pertini Hospital Rome, Italy

Dr. Sciahbasi

Alessandro Sciahbasi, MD, PhD
Sandro Pertini Hospital
Rome, Italy

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Radiation exposure is an important issue for interventional cardiologists due to the deterministic and stochastic risks for operators, staff and patients. Consequently, it is important to know which are the determinants of operator radiation exposure during percutaneous coronary procedures in order to reduce radiation exposure. Despite different studies have already evaluated the radiation dose during percutaneous coronary procedures, most data were obtained using an indirect measure of the operator dose expressed in term of fluoroscopy time or dose area product (DAP) and only in a minority of studies dedicated operator dosimeters were used. The aim of our study was to evaluate operator radiation exposure during percutaneous coronary procedures with dedicated electronic dosimeters in a high volume center for transradial procedures.

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Air Pollution Linked To Millions of Preterm Births

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Chris Malley PhD The Stockholm Environment Institute University of York

Dr. Chris Malley

Chris Malley PhD
The Stockholm Environment Institute
University of York

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: When a baby is born preterm (at less than 37 weeks of gestation, an indicator of premature birth), there is an increased risk of infant death, or long-term physical and neurological disabilities. For example, 965,000 infant deaths in 2013 (35% of all neonatal deaths) have been estimated to be due to preterm birth complications. In 2010, an estimated 14.9 million births were preterm – about 4–5% of the total in some European countries, but up to 15–18% in some African and South Asian countries. The human and economic costs are enormous.

There are many risk factors for preterm birth – from the mother’s age, to illness, to poverty and other social factors. Recent research has suggested that exposure to air pollution could also be a risk factor. Our study quantifies for the first time the global impact of pregnant women’s exposure to outdoor fine particulate matter (PM2.5) by combining data about air pollution in different countries with knowledge about how exposure to different levels of air pollution is associated with preterm birth rates.

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Hospital Admissions and Heart Attacks Rise After Snowfall

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC Montréal, Québec

Dr. Nathalie Auger

Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC
Montréal, Québec

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Snow shoveling is a challenging cardiovascular activity. Some studies suggest a link between snowfall and myocardial infarction, but use aggregate data which are limited. We used health data for individuals in the province of Quebec, Canada to analyze the association between snowfall and likelihood of hospital admission or death due to myocardial infarction.

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Nanoparticles From Pollution Can Awaken Dormant Herpes Viruses in Lungs

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Tobias Stöger Group Leader, Dynamics of Pulmonary Inflammation Comprehensive Pneumology Center Institute of Lung Biology and Disease (iLBD) Helmholtz Zentrum München

Dr. Tobias Stöger

Dr. Tobias Stöger
Group Leader, Dynamics of Pulmonary Inflammation
Comprehensive Pneumology Center
Institute of Lung Biology and Disease (iLBD)
Helmholtz Zentrum München 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Particulate air pollution is common in urban areas and the inhalation of nanoparticles is known to trigger inflammatory effects in humans potentially altering the immune system.

Herpes viruses are ubiquitous and well adapted pathogens hiding in host cells and persist thus continuing in a greater part of our population.

Under certain stress conditions and if the immune system becomes weakened, the viruses can become active again, begin to proliferate and destroy the host cell.

Thus we raised the question whether NP-exposure of persistently herpesvirus-infected cells as a second hit might provoke reactivation of latent virus and eventually lead to an inflammatory response and tissue damage.

Our main finding is that NP-exposure of persistently herpesvirus-infected cells – murine or human – restores molecular signatures found in acute virus infection and boosts production of lytic viral proteins.

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In Global Survey, Risks of Sun Exposure and Tanning Not Well Known

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dr. Sophie Seite

Dr. Sophie Seite

Sophie Seite, Ph. D
La Roche-Posay Dermatological Laboratories
Asnières, France.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The survey included nearly 20,000 men and women in 23 countries, ages 16-65, and was primarily conducted online. The questionnaire collected data regarding demographics, sun exposure, behaviors regarding prevention and tanning, risk knowledge, self-examination, medical advice seeking, and social attitude. This unprecedented international survey on sun exposure behaviors and skin cancer detection found that there are many imperfections and geographical inequalities in primary and secondary prevention of skin cancer.

The study was published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology by researchers from La Roche-Posay and the George Washington University (GW) Department of Dermatology. Survey results indicate that 88 percent of those questioned were aware of the risks of developing skin cancer when exposed without protection to the sun. However, just 1 in 2 respondents has ever consulted a dermatologist for a mole screening and 4 in 10 people don’t think to protect themselves from the sun outside of vacation.

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High Outdoor Heat Early in Pregnancy May Raise Risk of Congenital Heart Defects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC Montréal, Québec

Dr. Nathalie Auger

Nathalie Auger MD MSc FRCPC
Montréal, Québec

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We carried out this study because congenital heart defects take a large share of birth defects, but not much is known on its risk factors.

In previous research, we found that very high temperatures in the summer were associated with a greater risk of stillbirth. We sought to determine whether elevated outdoor heat could also be linked with congenital heart defects in a sample of about 700,000 pregnancies.

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Living Near Major Roads Associated With Increased Dementia Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Hong Chen, PhD Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) Toronto, ON

Dr. Hong Chen

Hong Chen, PhD
Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment
Public Health Ontario | Santé publique Ontario
Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Toronto, ON

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Over the past several decades, there is unequivocal evidence that living close to major roadways may lead to various adverse health outcomes, such as cardio-respiratory related mortality and mortality. In the past decade, concern is growing that exposures associated with traffic such as air pollution and noise may also have an adverse impact on brain health. Several experimental studies show that air pollutants and diesel exhaust induce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, activate microglia (which act as the first and main form of immune defense in the central nervous system), and stimulate neural antibodies. There are also a small number of epidemiological studies linking traffic-related noise and air pollution to cognitive decline and increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies also showed that living near roads was associated with reduced white matter hyperintensity volume and cognition, but its effect on the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis is unknown. Given hundreds of millions of people worldwide live close to major roads, we conducted this population-based cohort study to investigate the association between residential proximity to major roadways and the incidence of these three neurological diseases in Ontario, Canada.

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Adding Predator Cues To Biopesticides Increases Mosquito Mortality

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Lin Op De Beeck, PhD Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation University of Leuven Leuven, Belgium

Lin Op De Beeck

Lin Op De Beeck, PhD student
Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
University of Leuven
Leuven, Belgium

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Mosquitoes transmit quite a few deadly diseases, including West Nile Virus. Around the world, therefore, the fight against these insects is high on the agenda. Existing strategies for mosquito control often involve the use of chemical pesticides that harm the environment. These pesticides are increasingly less effective as well, as insects can become resistant to existing products relatively quickly. Biopesticides are a possible alternative. The most commonly used biological pesticide is the Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) bacteria. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are already developing resistance to this pesticide as well. This means we have to keep increasing the dose of Bti to kill mosquitoes, so that this biological substance, too, is beginning to harm the environment.

Therefore we set out to find a new strategy in the fight against mosquitoes. We already knew that chemical substances emitted by the backswimmer – a natural enemy of mosquito larvae in the water – trigger a stress response in mosquitoes. This stress response, in turn, suppresses the mosquito’s immune system. What makes the use of these predator cues even more interesting for mosquito control is that scientists recently found a way to produce a synthetic version of these chemical substances. We discovered that this synthetic version triggers a stress response in the mosquitoes and impairs their immune system, just like the natural predator cues. This gave us the idea to combine these synthetic predator cues with the biological pesticide Bti.

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Douching May Be Associated With Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D. Deputy Branch Chief Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences National Institutes of Health Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

Dr. Clarice Weinberg

Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D.
Deputy Branch Chief
Biostatistics and Computational Biology Branch
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
National Institutes of Health
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: A number of studies have reported a link between genital use of talc powders and ovarian cancer. We wondered whether the practice of douching could contribute to that risk by moving fibers and chemicals into and up the reproductive tract. We are carrying out the Sister Study, a large cohort study that enrolled more than 50,000 women who each had a sister diagnosed with breast cancer and who are consequently at increased risk of ovarian cancer. During the Sister Study enrollment interview, we asked each of them about their douching and use of talc in the previous 12 months. During approximately 6 years of follow up, 154 participants developed ovarian cancer. Our statistical analyses did not show any relationship between talc use and risk of ovarian cancer, but we estimated that women who had said they douched had almost double the risk for ovarian cancer compared to women who did not douche.

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Unsafe levels of toxic chemicals found in drinking water for six million Americans

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Courtney C. Carignan PhD Research Fellow Department of Environmental Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Courtney Carignan

Courtney C. Carignan PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Environmental Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We used mapping technology coupled with drinking water data from EPA to identify military bases, airports, industrial sites, and wastewater treatment plants as major sources of PFOS and PFOA contamination in drinking water. These measurements suggest that at least six million people have drinking water that exceeds the recent EPA health advisorylevels for PFOA and PFOS.

These are chemicals that have been historically manufactured in the US and used widely in consumer products such as stain-proof carpeting, non-stick pans and aqueous firefighting foam. They have been replaced with new generation of shorter-chain fluorinated chemicals, which also do not break down in the environment and may be similarly toxic.

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Air Pollution May Shorten Lung Cancer Survival

Sandrah P. Eckel PhD Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine USC Division of Biostatistics

Dr. Sandrah Eckel

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Sandrah P. Eckel PhD
Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine
USC Division of Biostatistics

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Lung cancer is the most common cancer and it is responsible for 1 in 5 cancer deaths. There is a growing body of evidence that ambient air pollution exposures are linked to lung cancer incidence and mortality, but the effect on survival of exposures after diagnosis are unclear. The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified ambient air pollution as carcinogenic. We reasoned that if air pollution drives lung cancer development, it could impact lung cancer progression—and shorten survival—through the same biological pathways.

We used 20 years of data on more than 300,000 newly diagnosed lung cancer cases from the California Cancer Registry and calculated average air pollution exposures at each patient’s residence from the date of diagnosis through the end of follow-up. We found that patients living in areas with higher pollution levels had shorter survival, particularly for patients who were diagnosed at an early stage and for those diagnosed at an early stage with adenocarcinoma histology. Interestingly, adenocarcinoma is the most common histological subtype of lung cancer in non-smokers.

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Most Gymnasts Regularly Exposed to Flame Retardants

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Courtney Carignan PhD Research Fellow Department of Environmental Health Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Courtney Carignan

Courtney Carignan PhD
Research Fellow
Department of Environmental Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: We collected urine samples from a team of 11 collegiate gymnasts before and after a gymnastics practice. There were higher levels of flame retardants in samples collected after practice compared to before, indicating that the gymnastics training environment is a source of exposure to these chemicals. We previously measured elevated levels of flame retardants in the air and dust of the gym. Foam equipment appears to be the primary source of flame retardants to the gym, especially foam in the loose foam pit, which is used by gymnasts to learn new skills safely.

Over the past several decades, flame retardant chemical have been used in foam, such as in upholstered furniture, and electronics. They easily escape these products and enter the air, dust and our bodies. Most Americans have flame retardant chemicals in their bodies. There is growing concern about the harmful effects of many of these chemicals such that some have been phased out of use.

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No Simple Relationship Between Changing Environment and Gene Penetrance

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Dalton Conley PhD Department of Sociology Princeton University Princeton, NJ 08644

Dr. Dalton Conley

Dalton Conley PhD
Department of Sociology
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08644

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: An increasing number of nationally representative social science surveys are now genotyping respondents. The Health and Retirement Study, which follows a representative group of Americans 50 and older since 1992, genotyped its subjects in 2006 and 2010. The range of birth cohorts allowed us to see if genetic effects increased or decreased across the middle half of the twentieth century for a number of outcomes. We found that for height and weight, genetics increased in importance, but for heart disease and education, genes became less important.

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Loud Noises at Work and Home Lead To High Prevalence of Tinnitus

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Harrison W. Lin, M.D. Assistant Professor Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery UC Irvine Medical Center Orange, CA 92868

Dr. Harrison LIn

Harrison W. Lin, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
UC Irvine Medical Center
Orange, CA 92868

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We reviewed the data from the Integrated Health Interview Series, which is a project funded by the National Institutes of Health to supplement the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a household-based, personal interview survey administered by the US Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since 1957. The NHIS serves as the largest source of health information in the civilian population of the United States.

Analyzing the available data on tinnitus symptoms from this survey, we found that approximately 1 in 10 Americans have chronic tinnitus. Moreover, durations of occupational and leisure time noise exposures correlated with rates of tinnitus – people who reported higher rates of loud noise exposures at work and recreationally more frequently reported chronic tinnitus.

Finally, health care providers provided advice and treatment plans to patients with chronic tinnitus that were infrequently in line with the clinical practice guidelines published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery Foundation.

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Increased Asthma Hospitalizations Associated With Living Near Fracking Sites

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sara Rasmussen PhD Student Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Department of Environmental Health Sciences Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Baltimore, Maryland

Sara Rasmussen

Sara Rasmussen PhD Student
Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Baltimore, Maryland

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Residents of communities undergoing unconventional natural gas development (the “fracking” industry) and those nearby can be exposed to noise, light, vibration, heavy truck traffic, air pollution, social disruption, and anxiety related to rapid industrial development of one’s community. In Pennsylvania, development began in the mid-2000s and by 2012, 6,253 wells were drilled.

In our study, we found increased odds of asthma hospitalizations, asthma emergency department visits, and asthma oral corticosteroid medication orders (a medication used for asthma exacerbations) among asthma patients residing near bigger or larger numbers of active unconventional natural gas wells compared to those residing farther away.

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The 1952 London Smog Event Still Impacts Health Of Those Exposed Today

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jamie T Mullins PhD Environmental Economics and Applied Microeconomic Department of Resource Economics University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA 01003

Dr. Jamie Mullins

Jamie T Mullins PhD
Environmental Economics and Applied Microeconomic
Department of Resource Economics
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Episodic triggers of asthma are widely known, but the root causes of the condition still aren’t well understood. There is also very limited evidence on the long-term impacts of exposure to air pollution. Speaking to both issues, we find evidence linking the development of asthma to exposure to a significant air pollution event early in life.

The 1952 London Smog provides a natural experiment for studying the underlying cause of asthma and the long-term effects of air pollution exposure, while limiting threats from statistical confounding. The London Smog (also called the “Great Smog”) dramatically increased concentrations of air pollution across the city in December of 1952. We compare the incidence of asthma among those exposed to the Great Smog in utero or the first year of life to those in relevant comparison groups, including those conceived after the incident and those residing outside the affected area at the time of the Smog.

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Air Pollutants Linked To Risk of Myocardial Infarction

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Marko Mornar Jelavic, MD, PhD Department for Internal Medicine and Dialysis Health Center Zagreb Zagreb, Croatia

Dr. Marko Mornar Jelavic

Marko Mornar Jelavic, MD, PhD
Department for Internal Medicine and Dialysis
Health Center Zagreb
Zagreb, Croatia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia which is placed in South-Eastern Europe. The wider Zagreb metropolitan area has the total population of up to 1.2 million (20% of the total Croatia’s population). The climate of Zagreb is classified as a humid continental. The average daily mean temperature in winter is around +1 °C (from December to February) and the average temperature in summer is 22.0 °C.

For the first time, we wanted to investigate whether particles of dimensions ≤10 micrometers (PM10) nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone (O3), as well as certain meteorological conditions (air temperature, humidity and pressure) have any impact on appearance of myocardial infarction (MI) in the region with a humid continental climate.
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Noise Pollution Endemic in Intensive Care Units

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Eveline Claes
Jessa Ziekenhuis Hospital
Hasselt, Belgium

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: The background of this study was the presence of noise in our ICU, and patients complaining about it. We wanted to look into the problem. The main findings were that there is indeed too much noise in our ICU compared to the WHO recommendations, but the measured sound levels were comparable with other ICU’s.

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Air Pollution Linked to Increase in Hypertension Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tao Liu Ph.D
Guangdong Provincial Institute of Public Health
Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Hypertension is the most important cause of disability and the leading risk factor for death globally and causes approximately 16.5% of all deaths. Since the 1990s, many epidemiological studies have investigated the associations between air pollution exposure and hypertension, the two most common public health concerns. However, their results remain controversial. Some studies found an association between them, while other studies sowed either no association or an association only for selected pollutants. In order to quantitatively synthesize and interpret these inconsistent and controversial results, here we used a new analysis method (Meta-analysis) to combine results from different previous studies to estimate the overall effect of every air pollutant on hypertension. This is the first study to simultaneously estimate the effects of short-term and long-term exposure to air pollutants on hypertension by meta-analysis. These results could provide more explicit information for policy decisions and clinical use.

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Long Term Exposure to Air Pollutants Linked To Metabolic Alterations Especially in Diabetics

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Maayan Yitshak Sade MPH Chief Scientific Officer, Clinical Research Center, Soroka University Medical Center, Israel

Maayan Yitshak Sade

Maayan Yitshak Sade MPH
Chief Scientific Officer
Clinical Research Center,
Soroka University Medical Center, Israel and

 

Dr-Victor-Novack

Dr. Victor Novack

Victor Novack, MD, PhD
Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel

 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Numerous studies found association between exposure the air pollution and increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In recent years links were found between air pollution and diabetes as well. The scientific evidence supports a causal association between air pollution and oxidative stress, possibly involving impaired metabolism of glucose and lipids. In a recent study performed by our group, we observed a significantly increased risk for ischemic stroke among young adults, associated with air pollution exposure. Following these findings, and as a part of the possible theory linking the association air pollution exposure and cardiovascular diseases, we sought to investigate if this association might be mediated through the well-established cardiovascular risk factors such as abnormal lipid and glucose metabolism.
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Bright Light at Night Linked To Higher Blood Sugar Levels

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Kathryn Reid PhD Research associate Professor of Neurology Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Dr. Kathryn Reid

Kathryn Reid PhD
Research associate
Professor of Neurology
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Reid: There is increasing evidence that light and dark exposure patterns over time impact health outcomes such as body weight and food intake.

This study found that bright light exposure increased insulin resistance compared to dim light exposure in both the morning and the evening.

In the evening, bright light also caused higher peak glucose (blood sugar) levels.

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Higher Ozone, Lower Humidity Linked to Dry Eye Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dong Hyun Kim, M.D.
Clinical assistant professor,
Department of Ophthalmology,
Gil Medical Center, Gachon University
Incheon, Korea

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Kim: Air pollution is an important public health concern nowadays and ocular surface is continuously exposed to the outdoor air pollutants.

Dry eye disease is a representative ocular surface abnormality and a probable disease to be associated with air pollution.

However, there is no large scale study including multiple air pollutants in assessing a relationship between air pollution and dry eye disease. 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?

Dr. Kim: The main findings in this study are that higher ozone concentration and lower humidity were associated with dry eye disease, while there were no relationships between PM10(particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 10um) concentration and  dry eye disease in the Korean population.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Kim: Particulate matter in several air pollutants have been considered as a main factor on the public health and dry eye disease in Asia especially.

From this report, we additionally need to be aware of the importance of ozone in dry eye disease.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Kim: `I have a plan to perform a clinical study about dry eye disease and air pollution.

I will investigate several objective symptoms and signs in dry eye disease patients (for example, OSDI score, tear break up time, ocular staining score, schirmer test) and analyze the changes of dry eye according to the changes of multiple air pollutants. A lot of clinical studies about ozone and dry eye disease are required.

In addition, I will investigate a relationship between air pollution and other ocular disaeses (for example, cataract or pterygium) through a epidemiologic study.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Dr. Kim: The results from our study mean just associations, do not definitively mean a cause and effect relationship between  dry eye disease and outdoor air pollution factors.

Therefore, clinicians should be cautious in over-interpretation about our study.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

Hwang S, Choi Y, Paik H, Wee W, Kim M, Kim D. Potential Importance of Ozone in the Association Between Outdoor Air Pollution and Dry Eye Disease in South Korea. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online March 10, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2016.0139.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

More Medical Research Interviews on MedicalResearch.com

 

 

 

Air Pollution Exposure During Pregnancy Linked To Childhood Lung Function Risk

Medical Research Interview with:
Eva Morales, MD, PhD, MPH
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)
Barcelona Biomedical Research Park
Barcelona, Spain

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Morales: We aimed to assess the consequences of exposure to outdoor air pollution during specific trimesters of pregnancy and postnatal lifetime periods on lung function in preschool children. We conducted a longitudinal study by using data from 620 mother-child pairs participating in the INfancia y Medio Ambiente (INMA) Project – a population-based cohort study set up in several geographic areas in Spain. We found that exposure to outdoor air pollution during the second trimester of pregnancy in particular raises the risk of harm to a child’s lung function at preschool age. Continue reading

Link Between Environmental Greenness and Allergies Explored

Elaine Fuertes Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health Neuherberg, Germany and School of Population and Public Health University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Elaine Fuertes
Institute of Epidemiology I, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Centre for Environmental Health Neuherberg, Germany and
School of Population and Public Health
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: The main finding of our study was that despite the use of identical study designs and statistical methods, the level of greenness (measured using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) around a child’s home address was differentially associated with the development of allergic health outcomes among children living in two areas in Germany.

In our urban study centre, which includes the city of Munich, we found that higher greenness levels around a child’s home increased their risk of developing allergic rhinitis and experiencing eyes and nose symptoms. In contrast, greenness around the home appeared to be protective for allergic rhinitis, nose and eye symptoms and sensitization to inhalant allergens in the second more rural study centre investigated.

These observations emphasize that the effects of greenness around the home on respiratory health is complex and multifaceted, and are based on 5,803 German children followed from birth to 10 years as part of the GINIplus and LISAplus birth cohorts.

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Gulf Oil Spill and Adverse Effects in Clean-Up Workers

 Kesava Reddy, PhD, MHA University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers, Houston, TexMedicalResearch.com  interview with:
Kesava Reddy, PhD, MHA
University Cancer and Diagnostic Centers, Houston, Tex

 

 

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Reddy: Crude oil spills affect the human health through their exposure to the inherent hazardous chemicals such as para-phenols and volatile benzene. Evidence show that oil spill exposure is associated with multiple adverse health effects and increased cancer risk. In this study, we assessed the adverse health effects of the Gulf oil spill exposure in subjects participating in the clean-up operation along the coast of Louisiana. The findings were compared with those not exposed to the oil spill. We found that platelet counts were notably decreased in the oil spill exposed group. In addition, creatinine and blood urea nitrogen levels were substantially lower in the exposed group, while hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were increased compared to the unexposed subjects. Furthermore, considered indicators of hepatic damage, the serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), levels in the exposed subjects were also elevated. Participants  in the oil spill cleanup activity also reported somatic symptoms, with headache reported most frequently, followed by shortness of breath, skin rash, cough, dizzy spells, fatigue, painful joints, night sweats, and chest pain.

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