Allergies, Author Interviews, CMAJ, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics / 20.02.2020

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jaclyn Parks, B.Sc. Health Sciences M.Sc. Health Sciences Candidate | Faculty of Health Sciences Simon Fraser University Burnaby, B.C MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Childhood asthma is a major public health concern, and many researchers are interested in determining environmental and modifiable exposures in early life so that we can recommend preventative measures. The findings of our study add to the understanding of which exposures in early life may be important to the development of childhood asthma and allergies and allows us to identify specific areas of intervention for parents and other stakeholders involved in protecting children’s health. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics, Schizophrenia / 04.11.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Henriette Thisted Horsdal Senior Researcher Department of Economics and Business Economics AARHUS University Henriette Thisted Horsdal PhD Senior Researcher Department of Economics and Business Economics AARHUS University  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Recent studies have suggested that exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood is associated with elevated risk of subsequently developing schizophrenia. We know that schizophrenia has a genetic component, and that individuals with higher genetic loading for schizophrenia tend to live in more densely urban areas. It is not known whether the increased risk associated with exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood is owing to a greater genetic liability among those exposed to highest nitrogen dioxide levels. Exposure to nitrogen dioxide during childhood and genetic liability (as measured by a polygenic risk score) for schizophrenia were independently associated with increased schizophrenia risk.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Occupational Health, Pulmonary Disease / 24.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Orianne Dumas, PhD INSERM Aging and Chronic Diseases, Epidemiological and Public Health Approaches,Villejuif, University de Versailles St-Quentin-en-Yvelines, Montigny le Bretonneux France  MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants is common at work and at home and remains more frequent among women. Exposure levels are particularly high in the health care industry. The respiratory health risks associated with exposure to cleaning products and disinfectants are increasingly recognized. Although investigators have primarily focused on asthma, the irritant properties of many chemicals contained in disinfectants support the study of a broader range of respiratory effects, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Methamphetamine / 11.10.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr Jackie Wright (Fellow ACTRA) Adjunct – Flinders UniversityDirector Environmental Risk Sciences (enRiskS) MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: The contamination of homes with methamphetamine can occur from illegal manufacture or smoking (ice). The methamphetamine residues that are left behind can result in methamphetamine exposures to future occupants of the home, resulting in the potential for adverse health effects. To assess the level of contamination that remains in these homes, the method used is to collect a surface wipe sample. This is a wipe of specified area of a surface (such as walls, floors, kitchen cabinets, or window frames etc) which is then analysed to determine how much methamphetamine residue remain on that surface. The guidelines for determining if a property is safe for occupation is based on surface wipe sampling. This study has further evaluated the level of methamphetamine that is present in a home that was formerly suspected to have been used for the manufacture of methamphetamine. To supplement surface wipe sampling which was undertaken over time, the level of methamphetamine that is within the building/house materials/items themselves was tested, as a bulk analysis, to determine how much methamphetamine is present in these materials, if the methamphetamine has penetrated through and into materials such as the gyprock walls, and if the methamphetamine that is present in materials present when the manufacture occurred have transferred to the homeowners possessions that were brought into the home well after manufacture occurred.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Cancer Research, Environmental Risks, University Texas, Urology / 08.05.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Stephen B. Williams, MD, FACS Chief, Division of Urology Associate Professor, Urology and Radiology Robert Earl Cone Professorship Director of Urologic Oncology Director of Urologic Research Co-Director Department of Surgery Clinical Outcomes Research Program University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Despite prior studies evaluating cancer in those living near and working in oil refineries, there remains a gap in knowledge regarding proximity to oil refineries and risk of bladder cancer. Aromatic amines have been associated with increased risk of various cancers including bladder cancer. Texas is a home to the largest numbers of oil refineries in the US. Our goal was to evaluate if there was a link between bladder cancer and living in close proximity to an oil refinery in Texas. Our data did suggest that living within 10 miles of an oil refinery was associated with a small increase in risk of bladder cancer. These data support further research to validate these findings. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Pediatrics / 28.03.2019

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “air pollution, beijing” by 大杨 is licensed under CC BY 2.0Joanne B. Newbury, PhD ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow King’s College London Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience London, United Kingdom MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? Response: Urban living is one of the most well-established risk factors for adult psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia. However, less is known about the role of the urban environment in subclinical psychotic experiences in childhood and adolescence, such as hearing voices and extreme paranoia. These early psychotic experiences are a developmental risk factor for adult psychotic disorders and a range of other serious mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. It is therefore important that we understand what factors might contribute to the development of early psychotic experiences so that we might be able to intervene and prevent their onset and progression. In a cohort of over 2000 UK-born children (The Environmental Risk Longitudinal Twin Study), we have previously shown that subclinical psychotic experiences are also around twice as common among children and teenagers raised in urban versus rural settings. We have also shown that this appears to be partly explained by social features in urban neighbourhoods such as higher crime levels and lower levels of social cohesion. However, no studies have examined the potential link between air pollution and psychotic experiences. This is despite air pollution being a major health problem worldwide (particularly in cities), and despite emerging evidence linking air pollution to the brain.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, JAMA, Pediatrics, Thyroid Disease / 17.09.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Carrie Breton ScD Associate Professor and Director of the MADRES Center Division of Environmental Health Los Angeles, CA 90032 MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: I am interested in how the environment can influence our very early development, starting in the womb. I have studied the health effects of air pollutants on children for several years and wanted to focus now on the earliest windows of susceptibility.  Thyroid hormones play a critical role in fetal growth and development. We knew we could get information on newborn thyroid levels from the California Department of Public Health’s newborn screening program therefore look at this question in our study population. We found that exposure to high levels of PM2.5 and PM10 throughout most of pregnancy affected TT4 levels in newborns. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Pediatrics, Toxin Research / 26.03.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Dr. Hernan F. Gomez MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Hurley Medical Center Flint, MI Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI  MedicalResearch.com: Why did you decide to do this study? Response: Although the Flint water crisis drew recent, national attention to childhood lead exposure, environmental lead exposure has been a longtime, widespread problem in the United States. I have recollections of far higher blood lead levels in children during my training as a young pediatrician in an economically challenged city with roughly the same population as Flint. As a medical toxicologist I have not seen any children with lead levels requiring medical treatment in years. The last time a child required inpatient chelation treatment for elevated lead levels in Flint was during the 1980s. (more…)
Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Endocrinology, Environmental Risks, PLoS, Weight Research / 15.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Gang Liu, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow 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: Although many approaches can be used to achieve a short-term weight loss, maintenance of weight loss has become a key challenge for sustaining long-term benefits of weight loss. Accumulating evidence has suggested that certain environmental compounds may play an important role in weight gain and obesity development. The potential endocrine-disrupting effects of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), which are extensively used in many industrial and consumer products including food packaging, paper and textile coatings, and non-stick cookware, have been demonstrated in animal studies, but whether PFASs may interfere with body weight regulation in humans is largely unknown. In a 2-year POUNDS Lost randomized clinical trial that examined energy-restricted diets on weight changes, baseline plasma concentrations of major PFASs were measured among 621 overweight and obese participants aged 30-70 years. Body weight was measured at baseline, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and other metabolic parameters, including glucose, lipids, thyroid hormones, and leptin, were measured at baseline, 6, and 24 months. We found that higher baseline levels of PFASs were significantly associated with a greater weight regain, primarily in women. On average, women in the highest tertile of PFASs regained 1.7-2.2 kg more body weight than women in the lowest tertile. In addition, higher baseline plasma PFAS concentrations, especially perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), were significantly associated with greater decline in RMR during the first 6 months and less increase in RMR during weight regain period.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Heart Disease, JACC / 06.02.2018

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Siren” by Michael Pereckas is licensed under CC BY 2.0Professor Dr. med. Thomas Muenzel Universitätsmedizin Mainz Zentrum für Kardiologie, Kardiologie I MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background for this review is that people more and more acknowledge that noise is not just annoying the people as reported for many years, evidence is growing that chronic noise can cause cardiovascular disease including metabolic disease such as diabetes type II and mental disease such as depression and anxiety disorders and noise impairs as well the cognitive development of children. More recent studies also provided some insight into the mechanisms underlying noise-induced vascular damage. Noise interrupts communication or sleep and thus is causing annoyance. If this occurs chronically the people develop stress characterized by increased stress hormone levels. If this persists for a long time people develop cardiovascular risk factors on tis own such as diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, one measures an increase of the blood to coagulate and the blood pressure will increase. To this end people will develop cardiovascular disease including coronary artery disease, arterial hypertension, stroke, heart failure an arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation. So, there is no doubt that noise makes us sick ! (more…)
Author Interviews, CDC, Environmental Risks / 09.11.2017

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: “Wood for Heat” by Alternative Heat is licensed under CC BY 2.0Ethel 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). (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Toxin Research / 07.11.2017

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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Global Health / 06.11.2017

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.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, Toxin Research / 29.07.2016

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: 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. (more…)
Asthma, Author Interviews, Environmental Risks, JAMA / 18.07.2016

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 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. (more…)