ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202306.0259.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: SARS-CoV-2 infection; COVID-19 disease; women´s health; menstrual-related disturbances; formerly menstruating women; secondary amenorrhea; perimenopause; heavy menstrual bleeding
Online: 5 June 2023 (07:58:02 CEST)
After three years of the onset of the pandemic, there is scarce evidence about how COVID-19 disease affect the female reproductive system, and consequently, the menstrual cycle. Since the common causes of secondary amenorrhea are considered as exclusion criteria in the studies about menstrual changes following SARS-CoV-2 infection, the prevalence of this event and the influencing factors in formerly menstruating women remains unknown. A retrospective observational cross-sectional study was conducted on Spanish adult women (N= 17,512), using an online survey; a subpopulation of SARS-CoV-2-infected-formerly menstruating women was included in the present analysis (n= 72). Collected data included general characteristics, medical history, and specific information about COVID-19 disease. 38.9% of the respondents experienced menstrual-related disturbances after suffering from the COVID-19 disease, unexpected vaginal bleeding being the most common (20.8%). Other alterations related with the length – “shorter” by 12.5% − and the flow − “heavier than usual” 30.3% − of the menstrual bleeding were reported. The binary logistic regression showed that being a perimenopausal woman (AOR 4.608, CI 95%, 1.018 – 20.856, p = 0.047) and having heavy menstrual bleeding (AOR 4.857, CI 95%, 1.239 – 19.031, p=0.023) are influential factors. This evidence could help health professionals to provide scientifically up-to-date information to their patients, empowering them to actively manage their reproductive health, especially in those societies where menstrual health is still a taboo.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2268.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Online surfing; Screen addiction; Physical inactivity; Mood; Cognition
Online: 31 May 2023 (14:40:04 CEST)
Background: The Internet has become an essential component of college students' lives, serving as a tool for academic pursuits, daily activities, and social interactions with individuals and the global community. Productive internet use is associated with student success, while pathological internet use can negatively impact psychosocial performance. This study aimed to assess the impact of internet addiction on the cognitive function, mood, and physical activity of college students. Study design: The study was based on a correlational observational study design. Settings: The study’s participants were taken using a convenience sampling method from the Manav Rachna International Institute of Research and Studies campus, Faridabad, Haryana, having a student strength of more than two thousand. Methods: With a response rate of 69.93%, one hundred male and female college students who could understand the self-administered questionnaires and obtained the internet addiction test (IAT) scores equal to or above twenty participated (aged 18-25 years) in this study. The participants were assessed for the study’s outcomes, such as the internet addiction (viz. average, moderate, and excessive) cognition, mood, and physical activity level, using an internet addiction test questionnaire (IATQ), cognitive failure questionnaire (CFQ), the profile of mood state questionnaire (POMS), and international physical activity questionnaire (IPAQ), respectively. A categorical analysis with mean scores was carried out for all the outcomes. The correlation between internet dependency and cognitive abilities, emotional state, and levels of physical activity among the participants was ascertained using Pearson's correlation coefficient. The threshold of significance was set to 95%, meaning any p-value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: The study’s outcome variable- internet addiction, revealed a moderate positive correlation with cognition (r=0.793; p=0.001) and mood (r=0.703; p=012), while a moderate negative correlation with physical activity (r=-0.681; p=003). Conclusion: The study concluded that internet addiction is positively linked to cognition and mood disruption; however, it negatively affects physical activities among college students. An awareness program should be executed on “Internet addiction and its effects on college students’ Cognition, Mood, and Physical Activity” and advocating Internet use in a limited manner for getting aroused, feeling better, and avoiding physical inactivity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2149.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Community; Health Risk; Awareness; Knowledge; Air Pollution
Online: 30 May 2023 (13:15:46 CEST)
Exposure to air pollution have detrimental effects on the elderly, women, people with pre-existing medical conditions, people living in poverty and children. The aim of the study was to investigate the extent of community awareness and knowledge on the health risks associated with exposure to air pollution. A cross-sectional study design was used for the study, using self-administered questionnaires. A simple random sampling technique was used to select 376 respondents. Systematic sampling method was applied to select the households. SPSS version 26 was used to analyze data. Of 376 respondents, 221 were males and 154 females. 113 were aged between 23-47years and 353 were aware that if they don’t protect themselves against polluted air, they may get sick, with age and educational status associated with their awareness (p < 0.05). About 361 knew what air pollution is and 188 think the air they breathe in Annadale is moderate. A total number of 278 said they feel sick/uncomfortable when the quality of air is bad. About 293 knew that people are exposed to air pollution by breathing contaminated air and 237 identified sewage smell as the main cause of air pollution. Respondents who identified internet and television as the main source of information were 199 and 177 respectively. Those who were not aware of actions implemented to reduce air pollution were 180. Based on the results of the study, respondents are aware of the dangers of exposure to polluted air, and it is necessary that air pollution risk communication strategies be implemented to empower residents.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.2079.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Legionella; residential buildings; virulence factors; virulence genes; sequence type
Online: 30 May 2023 (08:10:06 CEST)
Legionella is an opportunistic pathogen with a biphasic life cycle and humans are occasional hosts of Legionella. The aim of the study was to assess the distribution of virulence genes and genetic diversity among L. pneumophila isolated from water-supply systems of residential buildings in Latvia. In total, 492 water samples from 200 residential buildings were collected. Identification of Legionella spp. was performed according to ISO 11731 and 58 isolates were subjected to whole genome sequencing. At least one Legionella positive sample was found in 112 out of 200 apartment buildings (56.0%). The study revealed extensive sequence type diversity where 58 L. pneumophila isolates fell into 36 different sequence types. A total of 420 virulence genes were identified of which 260 genes were found in all sequenced L. pneumophila isolates. Virulence genes enhC, htpB, omp28, and mip were detected in all isolates, suggesting that adhesion, at-tachment, and entry into host cells are enabled for all isolates. The relative frequency of viru-lence genes among L. pneumophila isolates was high. High prevalence, extensive genetic diver-sity, and the wide range of virulence genes indicated that the virulence potential of environ-mental Legionella is high and proper risk management is of key importance to public health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1969.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Cancer; Benzoic acid; Anti-cancer activity; Scaffold
Online: 29 May 2023 (05:00:08 CEST)
Cancer is a catchall term that refers to a collection of more than one chronic disease that can adversely affect the body, including the organs of the body. These diseases can be grouped together under the umbrella term "cancer." Cancer is a catch-all term that is used to refer to a number of different diseases. During the process of looking for new chemical entities, it was found that certain compounds with a basic nucleus of benzoic acid (BA) exhibit a remarkable anticancer potential. This was discovered while the researchers were looking for new chemical entities. In the sixteenth century, the aromatic chemical known as BA, which is also known as an aromatic carboxylic acid, was discovered. BA is also referred to as an aromatic carboxylic acid. When it comes to the chemical synthesis of a wide range of different active molecules, the utilization of a sizeable quantity of BA as a raw material is absolutely necessary. In addition to being present in a variety of other naturally occurring compounds, the BA moiety is the component that is responsible for the activity of the naturally occurring compounds vanillin, gallic acid, and syringic acid. In the synthesis of a wide variety of synthetic bioactive molecules, the BA scaffold is utilized as a building block. The drugs furosemide, bumetanide, benzocaine, tetracaine, and bexarotene are all examples of molecules that fall into this category. The scope of this review article allows for the discussion of a number of noteworthy and recent achievements of BA derivatives in terms of their effectiveness against cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1915.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Arsenic, PGC-1α, Mitochondria, Hippocampus, Apoptosis
Online: 26 May 2023 (10:21:09 CEST)
Chronic exposure to arsenic in drinking-water damage to cognitive function, and nerve cells apoptosis is one of primary characteristic. The damage of mitochondrial structure and/or function is one of the main characteristics of apoptosis. Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ Coactivator α (PGC-1α) is involved in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis, energy metabolism and apoptosis. In this study, we aimed to study role of PGC-1α in sodium arsenite (NaAsO2)-induced mitochondrial apoptosis in rat hippocampal cells. We discovered that arsenic-induced apoptosis increased in rat hippocampus increased with NaAsO2 (0, 2, 10, and 50 mg/L, orally via drinking water for 12 weeks) exposure by TUNEL assay, and the structure of mitochondria was incomplete, swollen, lysosomes and lipofuscin increasing, and nuclear membrane shrunk observed by transmission electron microscope. Furthermore, NaAsO2 reduced levels of Bcl-2 and PGC-1α, increased the levels of Bax and Cytochrome C expression. Moreover, correlation analysis showed that brain arsenic content was negatively correlated with PGC-1α level and brain ATP content, respectively; PGC-1α level was negatively correlated with apoptosis rate; Brain ATP content was positively correlated with PGC-1α level; but no significant correlation between ATP content and apoptosis has been observed in this study. Taken together, the results of present study indicate that NaAsO2-induced mitochondrial pathway apoptosis is related to the reduction of PGC-1α, accompanied by ATP depletion.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1770.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: ethylene oxide (EtO); summa cannister; AERMOD air dispersion modeling; Human Exposure Model (HEM); Clean Air Act; EPA TO-15 method
Online: 25 May 2023 (08:32:59 CEST)
Ethylene Oxide (EtO) is a colorless, flammable gas at room temperature, produced by the catalytic oxidation of ethylene. EtO is widely used by medical sterilization facilities to clean medical supplies and equipment. Recent epidemiological studies showed that EtO is a more potent carcinogen than previously documented, leading the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to update, in December 2016, the inhalation unit risk estimate for EtO. This resulted in the identification of EtO as a potential health concern in several areas across the US, including the state of Utah. The geography surrounding Salt Lake Valley creates a bowl; ideal for collecting air pollution emissions. The region often experiences inversion episodes which inhibit vertical mixing and cause an accumulation of air pollutants, leading to unhealthy pollution levels. Using the EPA's dispersion modeling software, AERMOD, this study estimated EtO concentrations through facility stack and fugitive emissions modeling results. These values were compared with those of canister-based concentrations from ambient air samples taken near a medical device sterilization facility in the Salt Lake Valley. Stainless steel, whole-air passivated canisters were used to collect 24-hour ambient concentration samples of EtO. Eight locations surrounding a Salt Lake Valley medical device sterilization facility and four background sites were chosen to measure the ambient concentrations. Accounting for potential atmospheric impacts on EtO, measurements were sampled in winter 2022 (January-March) and summer 2022 (July-September). The modeled EtO concentrations were adjusted to account for background values associated with the winter or summer data. Then the two methodologies were compared using a Wilcoxon Sign-ranked, paired test. The statistical analysis resulted in six of the eight sample locations surrounding the sterilization facility being significantly different when comparing canister-based measurements of ambient EtO to modeled estimates. Canister-based measurements taken at sites one, three, and four were statistically greater than the modeled estimates, while sites two, five, and seven were statistically less than the modeled estimates. Also, the summer background value calculated was almost 2.5 times greater than the winter. The results do not suggest whether one method is more or less conservative than the other. In conclusion, the five of the closest sites and site seven were statistically different when comparing measured and modeled ambient concentrations of EtO. The comparison results do not clearly indicate if a correction factor could be derived for future human exposure to cancer risk assessment modeling. However, it is reasonable that the closer to the sterilization facility, the more total EtO exposure will be realized.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1736.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Urban Garden; Perceived Restorativeness; Resillience; Sense of Community; Stress; Salivary cortisol
Online: 25 May 2023 (05:10:25 CEST)
This study aimed to investigate the influence of urban garden activities on participants' Perceived restorativeness, resilience, sense of community, and stress reduction. Ninety individuals who agreed to participate to the experiment were divided into experimental and control groups. To collect data 16 sessions of urban garden activities were conducted every two weeks from May to November of 2022. Perceived Restorativeness Scale, Conner-Davidson Resilience Scale, Sense of Community Index, and Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument were employed to measure participants’ psychological effects. To evaluate physiological effect salivary cortisol tests were performed. The results of the study revealed that urban gardening activities influenced on participants' physiological and psychological reactions in positive ways.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1594.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Mozambique; Quality of life; Schooling; Meaning in life; Social support
Online: 23 May 2023 (07:28:51 CEST)
Increasing quality of life (QoL) is both an end in itself and a means to optimize the impact of treatment in HIV-infected persons. Possibly due to cultural and social influences, the predictors of QoL vary across studies, which highlights the importance of studying specific populations. In the present study, we wanted to determine the sociodemographic (age, sex, schooling) and psychosocial correlates (meaning in life, social support, positive and negative affect) of QoL in HIV-infected patients living in Mozambique, a country with high prevalence of HIV, but also with well-structured strategies to fight the disease. To that end, we made correlational analyses followed by regression models, and we examined potential mediation processes among predictors. All correlates were relevant except sex. Meaning in life was the strongest predictor, while social support was the weakest. Schooling was both directly and indirectly related with QoL - in the latter case, it was mediated by meaning in life, social support and positive affect. Our findings suggest that investments in education may be highly rewarding to Mozambicans, and that satisfying needs of self-actualization and purpose may be more urgent than improving social connections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1579.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Work engagement; burnout; health professionals; private sector; healthcare unit
Online: 23 May 2023 (05:17:04 CEST)
The aim of this study was to investigate the work engagement and burnout in healthcare professionals in a private health unit in Greece. A cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 151 professionals (doctors, nurses, administrative staff and professionals of other specialties). The questionnaire included demographic and work-related information and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and Maslach Burnout Inventory. Analysis was performed by SPSS v.26. With regard to the work engagement, the participants presented a medium score in absorption and a medium to high score in vigor and dedication. In addition, they presented low score in depersonalization, a medium score in emotional exhaustion and a high score in personal accomplishment. Those who had a working contract for an indefinite period had higher score in all the dimensions of burnout. Vigor, dedication and absorption were negatively correlated with emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and positively with personal accomplishment. Healthcare professionals in private health sector in Greece present moderate work engagement and experience moderate levels of burnout. Work engagement is associated with burnout and plays an important role in its prevention. There are some significant differences in work engagement and burnout based on several demographic and work-related characteristics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.1098.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; STEMI; air pollution; particulate matter; nitrogen dioxide
Online: 16 May 2023 (05:19:45 CEST)
ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), a major cause of mortality worldwide, has been shown through epidemiological studies to have a relationship with short-term exposure to air pollutants; however, the association between air pollutants and the outcome of STEMI has not been well studied. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of air pollutants on the outcomes of STEMI. Data on particulate matter <2.5 μm (PM2.5), <10 μm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and ozone (O3) at each of the 11 air monitoring stations in Kaohsiung City were collected between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2017. Medical records of non-trauma patients aged > 20 years who had visited the ED with a principal diagnosis of STEMI were extracted. The primary outcome measure was in-hospital mortality. After adjusting for potential confounders and meteorological variables, we found that an increase in the interquartile range (IQR) in NO2 was associated with an elevated risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with STEMI. Moreover, during the warm season, an IQR increase in NO2 corresponded to a higher risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with STEMI on lag 3 (OR=3.266; 95% CI:1.203–8.864, p=0.02). Conversely, an IQR increase in PM10 was associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality in patients with STEMI on lag 3 (OR=2.792; 95%CI:1.115–6.993, p=0.028) during the cold season. Our study suggests that exposure to NO2 (during warm season) and PM10 (during cold season) may contribute to a higher risk of poor prognosis in patients with STEMI.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0997.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; temporary disability; cumulative incidence; healthcare workers; National Network of Epidemiological Surveillance; Spain
Online: 15 May 2023 (07:49:18 CEST)
Healthcare workers (HCW) have been the professional category most exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The pandemic’s impact on HCW was analyzed in terms of COVID-19-related temporary disability (TD) between February 15 2020 and May 1 2021. TDs in HCW for COVID-19 infection or quarantine were described. TD quarantine/infection ratios and TDs per 100,000 affiliated HCW were compared with the cumulative incidence (CI) of COVID-19 cases notified to the National Network of Epidemiological Surveillance. TDs rates by economic activity and occupation were computed. A total of 429,127 TDs were recorded, 36,6% for infection. Three-quarters (76%) were women. The median TD quarantine/infection ratio was 2.5 (Interquartile range [IQR] 1.5-3.9). TDs rates in HCW were always above the CI except for the last two months of the fourth wave. Hospital activities accounted for 84% of TDs and showed the highest TD rate for infection (8,279/100,000). The highest TDs rates were registered among Nursing assistants, Nursing professionals and Physicians: 7,426, 6,925 and 5,508/100,000, respectively. The results demonstrate the high impact of COVID-19 on HCW in Spain and it’s inequalities. They also confirm that TDs represent a complementary source of information for epidemiological and public health surveillance and could provide an early warning of new emerging infections.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0968.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: surgical mask; N95 mask; toxicity; health risk assessment; microplastic; volatile organic compound (VOC); heavy metal; phthalate; organic compound
Online: 15 May 2023 (03:23:48 CEST)
From 2020 to 2023 many people around the world were forced to wear masks for large proportions of the day based on mandates and laws. We aimed to study the potential of face masks for the content and release of inanimate toxins. A scoping review of 1003 studies was performed (database search in PubMed/MEDLINE, qualitative and quantitative evaluation). Twenty-four studies were included (experimental time 17 min to 15 days) evaluating content and/or release in 631 masks (273 surgical, 228 textile and 130 N95 masks). Most studies (63%) showed alarming results with high micro- and nanoplastics (MPs and NPs) release and exceedances could also be evidenced for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), xylene, acrolein, per-/polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), phthalates (including di(2-ethylhexyl)-phthalate, DEHP) and for Pb, Cd, Co, Cu, Sb and TiO2. Of course, masks filter bacteria, dirt and plastic particles and fibers from the air we breathe and have specific indications, but according to our data they also carry risks. Depending on the application, a risk-benefit analysis is necessary. However, mask mandates during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic have been generating an additional source of potentially harmful exposition to toxins at population level with almost zero distance to the airways.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0954.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: water quality; infection control; occupational practices; dental unit; dental office; waterlines; antiseptic protocols; water sustainability, environmentalism
Online: 12 May 2023 (13:40:37 CEST)
Dental healthcare providers, staff and patients are constantly exposed to the risk of infection or cross-infection in the dental office, particularly due to the formation of biofilms within Dental Unit Waterlines (DUWLs). Good water quality, achieved with environmentally friendly means, is essential in ensuring the safe operation of the clinic. The aim of this study was to evaluate the practices and protocols used in dental offices of Metropolitan Athens in Greece with regards to water quality in DUWLs. The questionnaire about water quality was distributed to dental practitioners in 2022 and was completed by 206 dentists. Water supplied to dental units was mainly from the public network (65.0%), with 55.8% using in-office filtration. Most dentists (71.8%) do not know the active substance of the antiseptic used for the DUWLs, while 96.1% reported having an antiseptic reservoir embedded in the dental unit. Daily flushing with a small and a large amount of fluid was practiced in approximately 83% and 61% of dental offices, respectively. Dental associations should raise awareness regarding water quality and maintenance of DUWLs in dental offices, investing in lifelong learning, while implementing protocols and green strategies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0888.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: airborne viruses; epidemic triggering; SARS-CoV2; infectious aerosol transport; long-distance atmospheric transport; epidemic risk assessment
Online: 12 May 2023 (05:11:38 CEST)
In the present work, we investigate the possibility that long-range airborne transport of infectious aerosols could initiate an epidemic outbreak at distances downwind beyond one hundred kilometers. For this, we have developed a simple atmospheric transport box-model which, for a hypothetical case of a COVID-19 outbreak, was compared to a more sophisticated 3-dimensional transport-dispersion model (HYSPLIT) calculation. Coupled with an extended Wells-Riley description of infection airborne spread, it shows that, the very low probability of outdoor transmission can be compensated by high numbers and densities, such as occurs in large cities, of infected and susceptible people in the source upwind and in the target downwind respectively. This may result in the creation of a few primary cases. It is worth pointing out that the probability of being infected remains very small at the individual level. Therefore, this process alone, which depends on population sizes, geography, seasonality and meteorology, can only “trigger” an epidemic which could then spread by the standard infection routes
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0587.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: air travel; infectious disease; sentinel surveillance; wastewater surveillance; aircraft
Online: 9 May 2023 (07:49:15 CEST)
Modern commercial air travel connects disparate human populations with the global airline industry transporting up to 4.5 billion passengers annually in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. While such connections are convenient for commerce and tourism, air travel networks can also be efficient distributors of infectious diseases such as influenza, SARS-CoV-1, hemorrhagic fevers, and more recently SARS-CoV-2 and monkeypox. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health agencies used multi-layered control strategies including pre-departure testing and vaccination requirements, masking, post-arrival testing, and quarantine to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission associated with air travel. Simultaneously, the surveillance of aircraft wastewater emerged as a promising new data source to screen for SARS-CoV-2 infections, including newly emergent lineages, among international air travelers. Herein, we review the potential of aircraft wastewater for public health surveillance. The known contributing population and flight itinerary combined with the highly concentrated waste stream and convenient sampling during routine lavatory servicing make aircraft wastewater a strategic opportunity for unintrusive surveillance of the global fluxes of human pathogens. We estimate for the cases of fecal- or urine-shed pathogens, sampling from 3,500 and 1,250 flights per week, respectively, would be required to survey 10% of all global long-haul flight passengers. In the case of the United States, achieving 10% coverage of all international arrivals would require sampling from 925 and 322 flights per week, respectively. Aircraft wastewater surveillance could also be integrated with network and infectious disease models to better inform traditional public health control measures during emerging epidemics. Given the tremendous potential for public good and the massive economic costs of epidemics, governments should consider international collaboration to create a global aircraft wastewater surveillance system.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0524.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: tobacco control; tobacco control legislation; tobacco control measures; tobacco control implementation scale; interrupted time series design; pneumonia hospitalisation rates; smoking-related hospitalisation rates
Online: 8 May 2023 (10:48:08 CEST)
Number of studies claim that tobacco control (TC) regulations are associated with reductions in smoking-related hospitalisation rates, however very few have estimated the impact of TC laws (TCL) at both countrywide and regional levels, and none of them - in relation to compliance with TC regulations. This study evaluates the effects of Russian TCL on hospital admission (HA) rates for pneumonia countrywide and in 10 Russian regions and the extent of these effects in connection with the compliance to TCL. Methods: HA rates for pneumonia during 2005–2019 were analysed to compare the periods before and after the adoption of TCL in 2013. An interrupted time series design and a Poisson regression model were used to estimate the immediate and long-term effects of TCL on pneumonia annual hospitalisation rates after the TCL adoption, compared with the pre-law period. The 10 Russian regions were compared using the TCL Implementation Scale (TCIS) developed on the basis of the results of Russian TC policy evaluation survey; Spearman’s rank correlation and linear regression models were employed. Results showed a 14.3% reduction in HA rates for pneumonia (RR 0.88; p=0.01) after the adoption of TCL in Russia with significant long-term effect after 2013 (RR 0.86; p=0.006). Regions with better enforcement of TCL exhibited greater reductions in pneumonia HA rates (rsp=−0.55; p=0.04); (=−4.21; p=0.02). Conclusions: TCL resulted in a sustained reduction in pneumonia hospitalisation rates, but these effects, varying by region, may depend on the scale of the TCL enforcement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0483.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Chronic pain; confounding; interaction analysis; mediation analysis; physical well-being
Online: 8 May 2023 (08:50:51 CEST)
Introduction: The relation between physical well-being and chronic pain is complex and involves several subjective and objective covariates. We aimed to assess the role of media-tor, confounder, or interactor played by covariates, including sleep quality, physical activity, perceived stress, smoking, and alcohol drinking in the relation between physical well-being and chronic pain. Method: We used Poisson regression to obtain incidence rate ratios (IRR) of the associa-tion between physical well-being and chronic pain in a cohort study carried out among uni-versity students. We applied General Structural Equation Modeling (GSEM) to assess me-diation, and stratum-specific analysis to distinguish confounding from interaction. We computed Relative Excess Risks due to Interaction (RERI), Attributable Proportion (AP), and Synergy index (S) to measure additive interaction. Results: High physical well-being is related to a large decrease in the risk of chronic pain (IRRTotal Effect= 0.58; 95%CI 0.50-0.81). Perceived stress mediates 12.5% of the total effect of physical well-being on chronic pain. The stratum-specific IRRs of current smokers and non-current smokers were different from each other and were larger than the crude IRR (IRR=1.49; 95% CI: 1.24-1.80), which indicates that smoking could be both confounder and interactor. Interaction analyses showed that physical activity could act as a potential interactor (RERI=0.25; 95% CI: 0.13, 0.60). Conclusion: Perceived stress is an important mediator of the relation between physical well-being and chronic pain, while smoking is both a confounder and an interactor. Our findings may prove useful in distinguishing high-risk from low-risk groups, in the interven-tions aimed at reducing chronic pain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0449.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: glyphosate; Mexican legislation; environment; healthcare; water; pollution
Online: 8 May 2023 (05:02:00 CEST)
This paper analyzes the status of legal regulation of the use of glyphosate in Mexico. To achieve this purpose, its use has been debated in constitutional obligations to the human rights to health, environment, and access to drinking water. Several international instruments have been reviewed to give a brief balance among healthy, legal, and environmental approaches, and hence their impact in Mexico. Glyphosate is an agrochemical compound used as a main substance in the formulation of pesticides having a low toxicological lever, and it is currently the most widely used herbicide worldwide. It is well known that many international organizations have reported that the use of glyphosate does not represent harm to health, if it is used properly and, in concentration indicated in the regulations. However, glyphosate inhibits the enzymatic production which is the key factor to the aromatic amino acid biosynthesis needed for vegetation growth, having a negative effect on the environment. In the last years researchers have suggested an important risk to health by indirect glyphosate exposure, such as water and food polluted with glyphosate residues, which could develop diseases or health conditions such as skin irritations, gastrointestinal conditions, endocrine or hematological disrupters, etc. In Mexico, there are reports about the presence of glyphosate in food, particularly 30% of tortillas production in Mexico City presents glyphosate residues. For this reason, the Mexican government has decided to eliminate the use of glyphosate in crop fields by 2024.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0432.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Humoral immune response; Persistence; South Africa
Online: 8 May 2023 (03:29:35 CEST)
This study assesses the durability of severe acute respiratory coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) anti-nucleocapsid (anti-N) immunoglobulin G (IgG) after infection, and examines its association with established risk factors among South African healthcare workers (HCWs). Blood samples were obtained from 390 HCWs with diagnosis of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for assay of the SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG at two time points (Phase 1 & 2) between November 2020 and February 2021. Out of 390 HCWs with COVID-19 diagnosis, 267 (68.5%) had detectable SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG antibodies at the end of phase I. These antibodies persisted for 4-5 and 6-7 months in 76.4% and 16.1%, respectively. In the multivariate logistic regression model analysis, black participants were more likely to sustain SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG for 4-5 months. However, participants who were HIV positive were less likely to sustain SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG antibodies for 4-5 months. In addition, individuals who were <45 years of age were more likely to sustain SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG for 6-7 months. Of the 202 HCWs selected for phase 2, 116 participants (57.4%) had persistent SARS-CoV-2 anti-N IgG for an extended mean period of 223 days (7.5 months). Findings support the longevity of vaccine responses against SARS CoV-2 in black Africans.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0331.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: female college student; appetitive traits; BMI; food choice; meal regularity; latent profile analysis
Online: 5 May 2023 (08:49:04 CEST)
Appetitive traits have been associated with eating behaviors and weight in youth. However, the relationships among adults have received less attention. In this study, we measured appetitive traits among 520 female college students from a University in eastern Chinese using the Chinese translated Adults Eating Behavior Questionnaire (C-AEBQ) and found that two food approach traits (food enjoyment and emotional over-eating) were positively while two food avoidance traits (slowness in eating and satiety responsiveness) were negatively associated with BMI. Individual trait was differentially associated with eating behaviors. Specifically, a positive correlation was found between food responsiveness and higher frequency of selecting delivery food, spicy food, and sugared beverage; conversely, satiety responsiveness was associated with higher frequency of skipping meals. Using latent profile analysis, participants were classified into four appetitive patterns: food approacher, food approacher with emotional under-eating, food avoider, and food avoider with emotional over-eating. Food avoiders had significant lower BMI and higher proportion of underweight than other three patterns. Compared to food approacher, food avoiders had higher frequency of skipping breakfast, and food avoiders with emotional over-eating had higher frequency of skipping both breakfast and lunch. No significant differences were observed in food choice and dieting behavior among four appetitive patterns. The findings suggested a correlation between an individual’s appetitive pattern and eating behaviors among female college students, those with food avoidance patterns are more likely to have irregular meals, which may contribute to their low BMI. The findings provide valuable insights for female college students to cultivate a healthy eating behavior and sustain a healthy body weight.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0324.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: scabies; outbreak; prevention protocol; healthcare workers
Online: 5 May 2023 (07:49:39 CEST)
This retrospective observational study describes the results of an ad-hoc designated prevention protocol aimed at containing the spread of the scabies infestation among healthcare workers (HCWs) of a large University Hospital in Italy. The outbreak started on October 2022 and a preventive protocol was set up thanks to a multidisciplinary approach. HCWs at high scabies risk were defined as subjects working in UOs with more than five confirmed cases of scabies, close contacts of a confirmed case of scabies, or HCWs with signs and symptoms of the disease. All cases of at high scabies risk underwent a dermatological examination and the infested HCWs were suspended from work until definitive healing. Mass prophylactic treatment was established for all HCWs working in UOs with more than five confirmed cases of scabies. Until March 2023, out of 183 screening dermatological examinations, 21 (11.5%) were diagnostic for scabies. We obtain a prevalence of scabies of 2.6% (21/800) and a duration of the outbreak of 14.7 weeks. Statistical analysis shows a significant association between scabies and being a nurse and have an allergy to dust mites. We obtained a low prevalence of scabies infection, limiting the duration of the outbreak and the related economic burden.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202305.0237.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: radiation; radioactivity; child leukemia; Chernobyl; public health
Online: 4 May 2023 (08:32:37 CEST)
2003 it is shown that after the Chernobyl accident, childhood leukemia by single age and year of birth in the 0-4y cohort increased significantly in Wales and Scotland combined in the period 1986-1990 compared with controls born 1970-1985 and 1991-1994. Relative risk RR = 1.41; 95% CI 1.20<RR<1.65; p = 0.00004. These exposure periods were chosen because whole body Caesium-137 monitoring had demonstrated that internal exposures persisted for more than 4 years. The dose-response exhibits saturation and reversal, interpreted as biological censoring effects in the developing individual.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1186.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Air quality; Southeast Asia; PM2.5; Public health; Particulate matter
Online: 28 April 2023 (13:02:43 CEST)
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.1026.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: adults; worksite; sedentary behavior; social cognitive theory; workplace; health promotion
Online: 27 April 2023 (04:06:17 CEST)
Sedentary behavior (SB) is an important public health concern. Adults working in desk-based occupations spend a considerable proportion of the workday sitting. More information is needed regarding the factors that contribute to occupational SB. The aim of this study was to assess the utility of social cognitive theory (SCT) to explain work-related SB using a quantitative, cross-sectional design by administering an online questionnaire. Participants included 381 full-time employees at a large, public university in the south-central United States. Hierarchical multiple linear regression was used to determine the relationship between SCT constructs and SB. Mean work-related SB was 6.08 (SD = 1.59) hours/day. In model 1, 9.6% of the total variance in SB was accounted for by standing desk ownership and physical activity level (p=0.001; R2=0.096). In model 2, SCT constructs led to a statistically significant R2 increase of 4.9% (p < 0.001, where standing desk ownership, physical activity, and self-efficacy explained 13.3% of the variance in work-related SB. Findings from this study suggest that self-efficacy may be an important factor in explaining variation in occupational SB. Public health researchers and practitioners should consider strategies to address employees’ self-efficacy when developing workplace interventions to target occupational SB.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0949.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: green dentistry; green dental settings; sustainable buildings, circular economy, green building; environmentalism, energy saving; willingness to pay; environmental belief
Online: 26 April 2023 (03:46:17 CEST)
As in every workplace, human sustainability in dental enterprises is connected to air and water quality, eco-friendly and naturally designed working spaces and 4R’s culture. Purpose of this study is to access the preferences and knowledge on circular economy and green building construction in a sample of students and dentists in Greece. Students (N1=93) and dentists (N2= 126) filled in e-questionnaires from April to December 2022. The response rate was 17,88% for N1 and 1.94% for N2. Data revealed that both students and dentists lack knowledge on circular economy (N1=67.7%, N2=68,25%), EU regulations on amalgam disposal (N1=64.5%, N2=58.73%) and plastic recycling (N1=76.34%, N2=76,98) while they do recycle at home (N1= 80.6%, N2=82.54%) and have participated in voluntary environmental actions (N1=58.1%, N2=66.67%). Gender influences the importance of factors related to green dental practices, with women students being more prone to answer positively as important for increase costs for network changes (p=0.02), lack of environmental awareness of manufacturers (p=0.057), and poor wastewater management (p=0.01). Students from urban areas are more prone to answer positively for lack of state financial support (p=0.02), low level of green design in the building (p=0.03), low direct financial benefit of a green dental office (p=0.04), low benefit to the reputation of the green dental office (p=0.02), lack of continuing education training seminars on green dentistry (p=0.05). For dentists, no significant relationships were observed except of a weak positive relationship in increase in costs for changes related to utility networks (p=0.08) while increased wasteful energy (p=0.12) and waste of dental materials (p=0.19) seemed important only for dentists in urban areas. Women dentists were more prone to answer positively on wasting energy (p=0.024) and use of unapproved disinfection products (p=0.036). The findings contribute ideas and solutions on green dental office buildings and sustainable behaviors through educational activities and social perspective of factors such as age, experience in dentistry, gender, and urbanism. It also inspires future multi-disciplinary research on dental quality assurance, psychology of environmentalism, economics, and behavioral science in dentistry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0777.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Ergonomic; Occupational Risk Prevention; Police Physical Intervention; Use of Force; Operational Tactical Procedure; Motion Capture Technology
Online: 23 April 2023 (05:07:05 CEST)
(1) Background: A set of relevant Police Ergonomics Parameters (PEP) has been used for the assessment and prevention of occupational risks involved in Police Physical Interventions (PITs). Through this set of PEPs, a comparison has been made between 2 traditional PITs against 2 novel OTPs (Operational Tactical Procedures). (2) Method: The data have been collected by means of a motion capture suit fitted with 19 Inertial Measurement Units, IMUs. A specific and powerful software package specific for ergonomic analysis has been used to manage the large amount of data registered and to generate a series of 3-dimensional plots. Traditional PITs and newer OTPs have been performed for their analysis. Specifically, the PEPs corresponding to the implementation of 4 PITs have been analyzed by collecting the measurements provided by a set of IMUs installed on a motion capture suit and their occupational risk assessments have been compared against those corresponding to newer OTPs. (3) Results: For the 4 PITs, the PEPs have been analyzed with the measured values from the IMUs, throughout the duration of each technique. The two traditional intervention techniques have scored higher than the new OTPs in the REBA system, the Assymetry angle, L5-Pelvis Shear and Joint Contac Forces, and the Total Muscle Power measurements. (4) Conclusions: It has been confirmed that the new OPTs minimize the risk of injuries, since their PEPs reached lower values than those corresponding to the traditional PITs, which are still being taught at Police academies.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0771.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Use of force; IMUS; body injuries; forensic medicine; police arrest techniques; criminology; Op-erational Tactical Procedures
Online: 23 April 2023 (04:45:23 CEST)
(1) Background: the use of force by Public and Private Security Forces is currently an issue of great relevance because of the potential injuries that any excessive use of force by either the active or passive subjects or a deficit in the real mastery of the appropriate Physical Intervention Techniques (PIT) may cause. For this reason, certain traditionally used Physical Intervention Techniques have been questioned by scientific research studies and punished by justice. On the other hand, certain media have dealt with this matter in a biased and unfair manner by broadcasting videos where the use of force by police officer is displayed out of context. As a consequence, this problem has been brought under the spotlight, causing general uneasiness of the communities and rapidly spreading over social networks while favoring all sorts of parallel judgments. (2) Research method: A suit equipped with 19 Inertial Measurement Units (IMU) and a Biomechanics of Bodies software application for the Marras’ analysis of the data collected on trajectory, trunk twisting velocity, its sagittal angle, load, nature and severity of the injuries associated to the different intervention techniques that have been examined. (3) Results: according to the data registered, the implementation of Operational Tactical Procedures (OTP) reduces the probability of injuries and leads to a more satisfactory outcome. (4) Conclusions: the implementation of Operational Tactical Procedures, to-gether with the awareness on the risks associated to the excessive use of force by Public and Private Security Forces and Bodies, could reduce the risk of injuries suffered by both officers and citizens.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0622.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: aging; aged; sexual and gender minorities; quality of life; stereotyping; social discrimination
Online: 20 April 2023 (07:49:10 CEST)
There is a general lack of research involving older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people. This systematic review aimed to synthesize Japanese and Swedish qualitative research on LGBTQ people aged 60 years or older. PRISMA guidelines were followed. Japanese and Swedish articles, published in English-language journals, were searched across PsychINFO, Medline, CINAHL, and Sociological Abstracts databases. Additional searches were carried out to include studies written in Japanese or Swedish. There were no papers from Japan, and five from Sweden were reviewed. Four articles were included, including 48 participants aged 60–94 years. We summarized the findings using a deductive thematic synthesis. Two major themes emerged: (a) quality of life, minority joy, and resilience (positive aspects), and (b) experiences of discrimination, stigmatization, and minority stress (negative aspects). The participants described a wish to be acknowledged for their own assets and unique life histories, and to be treated as everyone else. They emphasized the importance of knowledge of LGBTQ issues among nursing staff, so that older LGBTQ people are treated in a competent and affirmative way. The study revealed several important topics for understanding older LGBTQ people’s life circumstances and the severe lack of qualitative studies in Japan and Sweden.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0605.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: inorganic arsenic; liver fibrosis; autophagy; Notch1/Hes1/PTEN
Online: 20 April 2023 (03:59:35 CEST)
Background: Exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs) remains a global public health problem. The liver is the main target organ of arsenic, leading to arsenic-induced liver fibrosis. Autophagy is involved. Phosphatase and tensin homology deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) may participate in arsenic-induced liver fibrosis by regulating autophagy, but the exact mechanisms remain unclear. We established a mouse model of arsenic poisoning through the drinking water, and a fibrosis model using the huma stellate cell (HSC) line LX-2, which was exposed to NaAsO2 for 24h. HE and Masson staining was adopted to observe the degree of liver fibrosis. The cells were transfected using PTEN overexpression plasmid. Western blot and qRT-PCR were used to determine the levels of protein/mRNA expression. The in vivo results were confirmed in HSCs exposed to NaAsO2, with changes suggesting fibrosis as seen in mice. NaAsO2 upregulated the expression of the autophagic markers microtubule-associated protein light chain A/B (LC3), recombinant human autophagy effector protein (Beclin-1), hairy and enhancer of split homolog-1 (HES1), but downregulated PTEN. α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression was significantly upregulated in all NaAsO2 groups. PTEN overexpression altered NaAsO2-induced autophagy which LC3, Beclin-1 were downregulated. Notch1, HES1, α-SMA, and collagenⅠexpression were all downregulated in the NaAsO2 groups. In conclusion, PTEN overexpression might decrease autophagy and inhibit fibrosis progression caused by this toxin. The NOTCH1/HES1 pathway is likely to be involved in this process. Most previous studies did not investigate PTEN and arsenic-induced liver fibrosis specifically. The present study highlights the importance of targeting PTEN for the management of arsenic exposure.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0442.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: functional state of a person; stress; working capacity; vitamin D; dynamic monitoring; adaptation; the Arctic
Online: 17 April 2023 (10:21:49 CEST)
(1) Background: The issue of human adaptation to the Arctic environmental factors is relevant. The adaptation can be assessed through dynamic monitoring of the functional state of a person during his/her stay there. The vitamin D level in blood is one of the markers of the functional reserves of the human body and can contribute to more successful adaptation in the Arctic. (2) Methods: The study involved 38 participants in the scientific and educational expeditionary project "Arctic Floating University-2021". Blood collection for determination of vitamin D content was carried out at the beginning of the expedition. A dynamic study was carried out for 20 days in the morning and in the evening during a marine scientific expedition to the Arctic. The main parameters of the functional state of the participants were assessed using instrumental psychophysiological, projective and questionnaire methods. Statistical methods: Mann-Whitney U-test, correlation analysis using the Spearman coefficient. (3) Results: It was found that at the beginning of the expedition, the functional state of participants with severe vitamin D deficiency is characterized by a shorter average duration of RR intervals and reduced SDNN values, which may indicate a higher level of regulatory mechanisms tension. The pronounced differences in the nature of the dynamic series of objective and projective working capacity parameters were manifested most clearly. According to the subjective questionnaire characteristics of well-being, activity and mood, no significant features of the participants with vitamin D deficiency were revealed. (4) Conclusion: The participants with vitamin D deficiency in blood are characterized by a reduced adaptive capacity during the expedition to the Arctic.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0303.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; children; allergic; skin conditions; environmental factors
Online: 13 April 2023 (07:29:54 CEST)
There has been a rise in the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) globally especially in low-and middle-income countries such as Nigeria. The condition has been linked to genetic predisposes, living conditions, and environmental factors. Environmental factors are considered a significant contributor to AD in low- and middle-income countries. This study determined the prevalence of AD in southwestern Nigeria and identified risk factors in home and school environments that children aged 6 to 14 years are exposed to. A cross-sectional study was adopted, and the total sample size was 349. Four randomly selected health facilities were used for the study. A questionnaire was used to determine the risk factors in the population. Data analysis was done using the latest version of Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The prevalence of atopic dermatitis in this study is 25%. Atopic dermatitis was found to be common in females ( 27%). Children who lived where trucks pass on the street almost daily had the highest cases of atopic dermatitis (28%). Children with rugs in their houses and those whose houses are surrounded by bushes also had higher cases of atopic dermatitis at 26% and 26% respectively. Children who played on school grass, attended creche with rubber toys, and attended a school where wooden chairs and chalkboards were used had higher numbers of AD cases at 26%, 26%, 28%, and 27% respectively. This study identified home and school exposure that predisposes children to AD. It is envisaged that the study will serve as a basis for possible research on evidence-based treatment options.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0152.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Leptospirosis; Awareness; Knowledge; Zoonosis; Health Risk; Prevention
Online: 10 April 2023 (05:26:23 CEST)
Limited understanding exists concerning leptospirosis in Zanzibar. The objective of this study is to evaluate the degree of knowledge and awareness of leptospirosis within the urban and peri-urban populations of Unguja. A cross-sectional study was conducted utilizing semi-structured questionnaires from January to April 2022. Two hundred respondents were randomly selected (130 males and 70 females) aged between 18 and 89 years. Descriptive analysis was employed to assess the main trends in knowledge and awareness, and χ2 analysis was utilized to determine associations between demographic characteristics with respondents’ knowledge and awareness. The majority of respondents (64%) lacked awareness of leptospirosis' etiology, but a significant proportion of respondents had a favorable attitude (68.6%) towards leptospirosis compared to their average knowledge and awareness (35%) and practices (29.3%). Nonetheless, the livestock keeper, farmers, fishermen, and healthcare providers had low levels of knowledge and awareness. The findings also demonstrated that males had a strong association with occupational physical activities, while educational level was associated with preventive practices. Living in urban or peri-urban areas was significantly linked with the respondents' practices. The study's outcomes demonstrated low levels of community knowledge and awareness regarding leptospirosis' etiology, mode of transmission, and symptoms among livestock keepers, farmers, fishermen, and healthcare providers. Although most respondents had a favorable attitude, their low level of knowledge and poor practices indicate that supplementing a positive attitude with enhanced knowledge and awareness is necessary to promote individual engagement in preventive measures.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0073.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Vaping; e-cigarettes; addiction; social; flavors; nicotine; toxicity
Online: 6 April 2023 (05:40:10 CEST)
This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of vaping from various perspectives that contributes to the origin, development, achievement, and consequences of the greed of e-cigarette manufacturers. In our analysis, multiple elements of the social landscape, including economic, cultural, moral, psychological, and philosophical dimensions, contributed to the origin and development of the vaping greed and shaped people’s behaviors. Further discussion was made on how the specific characteristics of e-cigarette products and the marketing strategies of the companies, especially social media marketing, fostered the growth of such greed. Through interviews, we have also discussed the unfolding of this greed within the community of teenage vapers. The growth of the vaping greed was manifested in the large market share taken by the companies, but these all significantly harm people’s health and the communities. Nicotine and other chemicals in e-liquids promote each other’s negative effects in the mechanism leading to pulmonary symptoms and addiction, which are not limited to the physical level. We described that addiction could be transgenerational and can induce trauma both at an individual level and a community level. Overall, the greed of the vaping industry is a very complex system. The treatment of the greed shall be complicated as well: Besides the public health measures taken to treat the symptoms of the greed, we should educate individuals to be aware of their unfulfilled needs to regain authenticity and establish an infallible authority to enforce universal morality, which eradicates the complications of addiction and the root of the capitalists’ greed, respectively.
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202303.0553.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: A(H5N1) avian influenza virus; Influenza viruses; Virus host range; Zoonotic risk, Human exposure risk; Viral infection; Epidemiology
Online: 4 April 2023 (14:22:33 CEST)
A brief overview of the past and present trajectories made by the A(H5N1) avian influenza virus among domestic birds, avian and mammalian wildlife species and humans is presented here, thereby taking into special account the 22.214.171.124b clade of the virus recently emerged in several geographic areas of the globe.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202304.0017.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: systematic review; aircrew; occupational risk factors
Online: 3 April 2023 (08:24:00 CEST)
The primary objective of this systematic review was to analyze the main physical agents representing risk factors for commercial aircrew, together with their consequences. The secondary objective was to identify the countries in which studies on the topic were conducted, as well as the quality of the publications available. Thirty-five articles, published between 1996 and 2020, were selected for the review, having met all inclusion criteria. The majority of studies were conducted in the United States, Germany and Finland and had moderate or low methodological quality of evidence. The main risk factors for aircrew identified in publications were exposure to abnormal air pressure, cosmic radiation, noise, and vibrations. Hypobaric pressure was explored in response to demands for studies on this agent, a factor which may lead to otic and ear barotraumas, as well as acceleration of atherosclerosis of the carotid artery. However, there is a dearth of research exploring this phenomenon.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202302.0283.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: cognitive rehearsal; coping skills; nursing education; simulation training; workplace bullying
Online: 16 February 2023 (09:36:05 CET)
Bullying makes learning difficult for nursing students, and using real-life scenarios during training can improve the understanding of workplace bullying. Thus, to mitigate bullying experienced by nurses, this study developed and evaluated a cognitive rehearsal education program that constituted of training nursing students through role-play simulations. A mixed-method research design was used to evaluate 39 nursing students from two universities. A quasi-experimental research design was applied to assess symptoms, knowledge, and perceptions of bullying, and a focus group interview was conducted with six participants. Quantitative analyses revealed that the program improved participants’ knowledge and perceptions, but not their symptoms. The focus group interview revealed that the program improved participants’ coping skills and desire for education. This program could be effective in raising awareness of workplace bullying and increasing relevant coping skills. It can be further developed as part of an overall strategy to manage workplace bullying and its consequences in hospital settings.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202211.0289.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: South Africa; fourth industrial revolution’s biological drivers; health and safety; construction occupations; construction-related diseases
Online: 15 November 2022 (11:25:43 CET)
The persistence of diseases that affect construction workforce as a result of activities on construction sites poses a danger to the sustainable development of the industry. This resulted to a huge loss of skilled labour and economic development of the industry and the entire country. The arrival of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies urges an urgent need to assess the effect of the technology’s biological driver on the construction occupation related diseases. Therefore, this study is aimed at assessing the effect of 4IR on the construction occupation related diseases in Gauteng, South Africa. The study is quantitative in design and questionnaire survey were administered to project and Health and Safety (H&S) managers in Gauteng, South African construction sector using a proportionate simple random sampling technique. For data analysis, the Warp PLS-SEM 8.0 software algorithm was used for the analysis of the collated data. The study found that the effects of the 4IR’s biological driver variables ranges between moderate to high effects for genome sequencing (GENSE) and Neurotechnology (NEURO) respectively. The combined predictive relevance of the two (2) variables predicts 64% of the construction occupation related diseases. This implies that the adoption of the driver would help reduce the causes of construction-related diseases. Hence, implies that continuous deployment of 4IR technologies would ensure that construction occupation related diseases are easily identified and put on alert.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0460.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Occupation, vulnerable workers, Informal Economy, Occupational Health and Safety challenges, Health and Safety, low wage earners
Online: 31 October 2022 (01:41:46 CET)
Previous studies have shown that agricultural works bear a disproportionately higher burden of HIV, which is the highest HIV prevalence ever reported in any working population in South Africa. This study aimed to assess HIV knowledge, attitudes and practices of agricultural workers, as a precarious and vulnerable workforce. A cross-sectional study design was employed. A pre-piloted paper-based questionnaire was administered to a consenting sample of agricultural workers. Descriptive and inferential statistics were performed using stata version 16.1 software, 0.05 level was used as a measure of significance. The majority of agricultural workers had adequate knowledge level (72.1%) regarding HIV/AIDS. Knowledge was significantly associated with having some level of education,) secondary education (AOR: 1.46, 95% CI:1.01-2.12), and post-matric qualification (AOR: 3.07, 95% CI: 1.61-5.83). The attitudes level of workers towards HIV was good (88.1%). Attitude was negatively associated with residing in informal settlements (AOR: 0.64, 95% CI 0.43-0.97). Majority of participants exhibited poor prevention practices regarding HIV (60.9%). Half of participants reported low condom usage (50.9%) and multiple sexual partners (50.6%). The portrayed risky sexual behavior establishes agricultural workers as an HIV high-risk population. Strategizing non-conventional approaches to HIV prevention and behavior change communication targeting agricultural workers is recommended.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202210.0177.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: drowning; epidemiology; low-and-middle-income; South Africa
Online: 12 October 2022 (10:35:25 CEST)
Drowning is a serious public health concern. Low middle income countries are mostly affected, as they carry 90% of the global drowning burden. The purpose of this epidemiological study is to provide a comprehensive overview of fatal drownings in South Africa between 2016 and 2021. The data used for the study was obtained from the South African Police Service. Descriptive statistics were used to summarise data. Statistical analysis included a t-test and chi-square test. The results indicate that the average fatal drownings per annum is 1477 in South Africa, with a drowning rate of 2.54 per 100 000 population from 2016 - 2021. The KwaZulu-Natal province had the highest incidence of drowning. The 0 – 4-year category has a high prevalence of drowning amongst all the age categories. More males drowned in South Africa compared to females. The study highlights key areas of concern these include age, sex, race, province, type of water body and time of day. This information is crucial to inform drowning prevention initiatives in South Africa.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0489.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Occupational; Musculskeletal; pain; lifecourse; mathematical modeling.
Online: 30 September 2022 (11:27:07 CEST)
Introduction. Musculoskeletal disorders related to work might follow with a cumulative effect during working life. We aimed to develop a new model to allow to compare the accuracy of duration of work and intensity/frequency associations in application to severe knee pain. Methods. The CONSTANCES cohort is used with data from n=66553 subjects who were working at inclusion and coded. From a biomechanical job exposure matrix “JEM Constances”, intensity/frequency of heavy lifting and kneeling/squatting were used and applied to the work history in comparison to severe knee pain. An innovative model was developed and evaluated, allowing to compare the accuracy of duration of work and intensity/frequency associations. Results. The mean age is 49 years at inception with 46 percent of women. The G model developed was slightly better than regular models. In men, odds ratios of the highest quartile for the duration and low intensity were not significant for both exposures, whereas intensity/duration were for every duration. Results in women were less interpretable. Conclusion. Though increased duration increased strength of association with severe knee pain, intensity/frequency were important predictors among men. Exposure estimation along working history should have emphasis on such parameters, though other outcomes should be studied such as women.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0013.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: parental presence; alcohol and drug consumption; deviant behaviours; adolescents
Online: 1 August 2022 (08:52:00 CEST)
The study is based on wide international research, the International Self-report Delinquency Study 3 (ISRD-3) and it analyses the relationship between parental presence, juvenile delinquency, and the consumption of psychotropic substances in adolescents. The data have been collected by a questionnaire ISRD-3 administered to 6021 students from 7th to 9th grade from 24 countries. The results confirmed the protective effect of dual-parent families on alcohol and drug use and committing illicit behaviours. Monoparental families and families without parents are associated with higher levels of alcohol, drug use, and deviant behaviors by young people.
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0323.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: rural health: urban health; health status; cancer survivors; United Kingdom
Online: 24 May 2022 (05:13:59 CEST)
Objective: To explore the effect of rural-urban residence on self-reported health status with UK cancer survivors. Design: A cross-sectional postal questionnaire that collected data on demographics, post-code and self-reported health status. Methods: Independent Samples t test was used to detect differences in health status between rural and urban respondents. Pearson’s χ2 was used to control for confounding variables and multivariate analysis was conducted using Stepwise linear regression. Setting: East Midlands of England. Participants: Adult cancer survivors who had undergone primary treatment in the last five years. Participants were excluded if they had recurrence or metastatic spread, started active oncology treatment in the last twelve months and were in receipt of palliative or end of life care. Main Outcome: Residence was measured using the UK ONS RUC2011 Rural-Urban Classifications and Health Status via the UK ONS self-reported health status measure. Results: 227 respondents returned a questionnaire. Forty-five per cent (N=103) were resident in a rural area and fifty-three per cent (N=120) in an urban area. Rural (4.11±0.85) respondents had significantly (p<0.001) higher self-reported health status compared to urban (3.65±0.93) respondents (MD 0.47; 95% CI 0.23, 0.70). Conclusion: Rural respondents had significantly higher self-reported health status compared to their urban counterparts. It is hoped that the results will stimulate further work in this area and that researchers will be encouraged to collect data on rural-urban residency where appropriate.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202205.0002.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Digital; end-user; framework; health; implementation; learning; model; professional; research; social; theory
Online: 4 May 2022 (06:48:50 CEST)
Digital health research is an emerging discipline that requires easy-to-understand theoretical frameworks and implementation models for digital health providers in health and social care settings. The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened demand for digital health discipline-specific instruction on ‘how to’ manage evidence-based digital health transformation. Access to the use of these models guarantees that digital health providers can investigate phenomena using safe and suitable approaches and methods to conduct research and identify answers to challenges and problems that arise in health and social care settings. The COMPASS theory is designed to aid transformation of health and social care environments. A navigational rose of primary quadrants is divided by four main compass points, with person-centred care being central to the philosophy. Two axes produce Cartesian planes that intersect to form a box plot, which can be used to discover human and physical resource weightings to augment digital health research design and implementation. A third continuum highlights stakeholders' capabilities, critical for any multidisciplinary study. The COMPASS mnemonic guides end-users through the process of design, development, implementation, evaluation, and communication of digital health transformations. The theory's foundations are presented and explained in context of the 'new normal' of health and social care delivery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0058.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Needlestick and other sharp injuries; hospital-acquired infection; biological hazards; infection control; occupational hazards
Online: 3 March 2022 (08:13:53 CET)
Needlestick and other sharp injuries (NSIs) are critical occupational hazard for healthcare workers. Exposure to blood and body fluids through NSIs increases the risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens among them. The objectives of this study were to estimate the one-year incidence of NSIs and investigate its associated factors among the healthcare workers in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted between October and November 2021. A total of 361 healthcare workers participated in the survey from all over Saudi Arabia. The one-year incidence of NSIs among healthcare workers is estimated at 22.2%. More than half of the injury event (53.8%) was not reported to the authority by the healthcare worker. Incidence of NSIs was highest among the physicians (36%) and is followed by nurses (34.8%), dentists (29.2%), and medical technologists (21.1%). The likelihood of injury is higher (OR: 2.51; 95% CI: 1.04, 6.03) among the works aged 26 – 30 years compared to the 20 – 25 years age group and the workers directly deal with needles or other sharp objects while working (OR: 5.90; 2.69, 12.97). The high incidence rate of injury and low reporting rate highlight the needs of an education program targeting healthcare providers with higher risk.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0355.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: DOAS; intercomparison; nitrogen dioxide; photoabsorption; spectrometer
Online: 19 November 2021 (13:10:13 CET)
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2) contributes to several impacts both for human health and the environment. Periodical measurement of NO2 at industrial and residential areas needs comprehensive and reliable instrumentation; long-interference-free measures with minimum maintenance and re-calibration. DOAS can be used as a direct measurement technique based on specific absorption characteristics of NO2 follow Beer-Lambert law. This research applies a low-cost folded path photometer for measurement NO2 in air. Cheap tubular acrylic used as a detection cell with a 3D printed framework makes it compact, modular, and flexible. Evaluation of the DOAS conducted by instrument test responses using NO2 gas. The estimated LOD was ~ 1263 pb using 2 nm resolution of the spectrometer and 6-meter detection cell length. Deviation of the DOAS estimated to be 0.8% at high concentration and 2.85% at a low concentration based on DOAS calibration. An intercomparison between methods used to evaluate instrument performance to measure NO2 using emission from a motorcycle with coefficient correlation (R) 0.649 for paired DOAS-ASTM D1607 Griesz Saltzmann Method 0.846 for paired DOAS-Electrochemical Gas Analyzer. This significant correlation is caused by different respond time between paired methods, while it is still comparable for NO2 measurement.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0528.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: black carbon; systolic blood pressure; diastolic blood pressure; sex; obesity; traffic enforcers
Online: 30 September 2021 (16:08:10 CEST)
Exposure to traffic-related air pollution is linked with acute alterations in blood pressure (BP). We examined the cumulative short-term effect of black carbon (BC) exposure on systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) BP and assessed effect modification by participant characteristics. SBP and DBP were repeatedly measured on 152 traffic enforcers. Using a linear mixed-effects model with random intercepts, quadratic (QCDL) and cubic (CCDL) constrained distributed lag models were fitted to estimate the cumulative effect of BC concentration on SBP and DBP during the 10-hours (daily exposure) and 7-days (weekly exposure) before the BP measurement. Ambient BC was related to increased BP with QCDL models. An interquartile range change in BC cumulative during the 7-days before the BP measurement was associated with increased BP [1.2% change in mean SBP, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.1 to 2.3; and 0.5% change in mean DBP, 95% CI, –0.8 to 1.7]. Moreover, the association between the 10-hours cumulative BC exposure and SBP was stronger for females (4.0% change, 95% CI: 2.1–5.9) versus males, and for obese (2.9% change, 95% CI: 1.0–4.8) vs. non-obese traffic enforcers. Short-term cumulative exposure to ambient traffic-related BC could bring about cardiovascular diseases through mechanisms involving increased BP.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0334.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: organic producer; organic practices; surveillance data; health and safety
Online: 20 September 2021 (13:40:18 CEST)
Research indicates that farmers’ demographic characteristics and production practices have safety and health implications. However, current systems do not identify organic farmers independently from conventional farmers, and literature on how organic and conventional farmers compare is very limited. We conducted a secondary analysis of 2012 Census of Agriculture data to compare organic and non-organic farms and principal operators (POs) in New Mexico (NM). Organic farms were smaller in size, and POs of farms with organic sales were significantly younger (55.8±9.5 vs. 60.5±5.5 years) and less experienced (19.5±6.8 vs. 25.2±6.8 years). Significant differences were also found in POs ethnicity, race, and primary occupation. More farms with organic sales had a female PO compared to farms with non-organic sales (27% vs. 19%). Other significant differences related to work arrangements, household income, living conditions, and access to Internet. National surveys and regional studies may not accurately typify and describe the local organic producer, which is essential in order to advance policy, develop health interventions, and properly address occupational safety and risk among organic farmers. This study makes a unique contribution to understanding the importance of surveillance and collecting place-based data that are specific to the organic producer.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Artisanal mining; PPE; Occupational factors; Occupational health and safety
Online: 13 September 2021 (08:43:37 CEST)
Artisanal goldminers in Ghana are exposed to various levels and forms of health, safety and environmental threats. Without the required legislation and regulations, artisanal miners are responsible for their own health and safety at work. Consequently, understanding the probabilities of self-protection at work by artisanal goldminers is crucial. A cross-sectional survey of 500 artisanal goldminers was conducted to examine the probabilities of personal protective equipment use among artisanal goldminers in Ghana. The data was subjected to both descriptive and inferential statistics. Initial findings showed that personal protective equipment use among artisanal miners was 77.4%. Overall, higher probabilities of personal protective equipment use was observed among artisanal goldminers who work in good health and safety conditions as compared to artisanal miners who work in poor health and safety conditions. Also, personal protective equipment use was more probable among the highly educated artisanal goldminers, miners who regularly go for medical screening and the most experienced miners. Additionally, personal protective equipment use was more probable among artisanal miners who work in non-production departments and miners who work in the medium scale subsector. Inversely, personal protective equipment use was less probable among female artisanal miners and miners who earn more monthly income ($174 and above). To increase self-care and safety consciousness in artisanal mining, there is the need for a national occupational health and safety legislation in Ghana. Also, interventions and health promotion campaigns for better occupational conditions in artisanal mining should target and revise the health and safety related workplace programs and conditions
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0540.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Smokeless tobacco; India; Ageing; Occupation; Tobacco consumption
Online: 30 August 2021 (11:49:45 CEST)
More than two-thirds of death in developing countries are due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and tobacco is a leading risk factor. Among different socio-demographic factors, occupation and its corelates have impact on use of smokeless tobacco (SLT) and the evidence in India is limited. The objectives of this study are to find out the overall preva-lence of SLT use and its pattern of association with various occupation and associated variables. Methods: This study used data from Longitudinal Ageing Study in India (LASI) wave 1. Current and ever users of SLT are taken into consideration as target population. For the data analysis, survey-weighted tools have been applied for descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic re-gression model. The weighted data analysis has been done using R. Results and Discussion: From the sample size of 65561, 38% have ever used either smoking or SLT, of them, 40 % use to-bacco in smoke form, 51 % use SLT and 9 % take both. At the population level, 22.8% and 20.4% are ever and current users of SLT respectively. Type, place, and workload in the occupation found to be significantly associated with SLT use. Workplace tobacco-cessation-policy for infor-mal-workers is required to manage this issue.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0580.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Exercise; Sport; Team Sport; Resilience; Identity; Health; School
Online: 26 July 2021 (14:24:29 CEST)
Covid-19 restrictions impacted many people’s daily lives through infection, fear of infection and the implementation of restrictions on movement. Restrictions and fear of contamination impacted physical activity patterns activity and increased mental health issues globally across a variety of ages. This re-issue of a questionnaire sought to examine the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on frequency of physical activity, participation in sports, wellbeing and symptoms of anxiety and depression in Irish adolescents. 3,021 adolescents from 61 post-primary schools in the Republic of Ireland completed questionnaires. Consistent with a previous issue of the questionnaire, a minority of adolescents were found to meet the WHO’s physical activity guidelines (11.6% of males and 5.2% of females) although there were large decreases in 1st year males and females. Adolescents reporting elevated symptoms of depression increased from 39% to 46% with almost 3 in 5 females reporting symptoms of depression ranging from mild to extreme. Highest levels of wellbeing were found in adolescents who participated in 3 or more sports, although there was an 8% reduction in the amount of adolescents who participated in 3 or more sports. There were no changes in physical activity levels overall, despite changes within sub-groups and patterns of physical activity. There was a clear increase in symptoms of depression, with females impacted more than males. Previously active individuals were more likely to increase activity and therefore report higher levels of mental health while those who were less active were more likely to decrease activity and report lower mental health.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0204.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: One Health; Planetary Health; Pandemics; Ecology; Evolution; Environment; Climate change; Biodiversity loss; Emergence; Pathogen
Online: 8 June 2021 (09:34:57 CEST)
The implementation of One Health/EcoHealth/Planetary Health approaches has been identified as key (i) to address the strong interconnections between risk for pandemics, climate change and biodiversity loss, and (ii) to develop and implement solutions to these interlinked crises. As a response to the multiple calls of scientists in that direction, we have put forward seven long term research questions regarding COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) that are based on an effective integration of environmental, ecological, evolutionary, and social sciences to better anticipate and mitigate EIDs. Research needs cover the social-ecology of infectious disease agents, their evolution, the determinants of susceptibility of humans and animals to infections, and the human and ecological factors accelerating infectious disease emergence. For comprehensive investigation, they include the development of nature-based solutions to interlinked global planetary crises, addressing ethical and philosophical questions regarding the relationship of humans to nature and regarding transformative changes to safeguard the environment and human health. In support of this research, we propose the implementation of innovative multidisciplinary facilities embedded in social-ecosystems locally: the “ecological health observatories” and the “living laboratories”. This work has been carried out in the frame of the EC project HERA (www.HERAresearchEU.eu) that aims to set the priorities for an environment, climate and health research agenda in the EU by adopting a systemic approach in the face of global environmental change.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0557.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Wastewater; treatment; plant; Environmental Virology Monitoring and Surveillance; E gene
Online: 24 May 2021 (10:35:04 CEST)
The experience gained over the last hundred years clearly indicates that two groups of viruses represent the main risk for the development of highly transmissible epidemics and pandemics in the human species: influenza viruses and coronaviruses (CoV). Although the search for viruses with pandemic potential in the environment may have an important predictive and monitoring role, it is still based on empirical methodologies, mostly translated from the clinic and not fully validated for environmental matrices.As far as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, currently underway, is concerned, environmental monitoring activities aiming at checking the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater can be extremely useful to predict and control the diffusion of the disease. For this reason, the present study aims to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 diffusion by means of a wastewater-based environmental monitoring developed in Piedmont, N-W Italy, during the pandemic second and third waves. Sampling strategies, sampling points, sample pre-treatments and analytical methods have been developed and validated to give representative and reliable results. The outcomes highlighted by the present paper demonstrate a strong correlation between SARS-CoV-2 concentration in untreated wastewater and epidemic evolution in the considered areas as well as a predictive potential that could provide decision-makers with indications for establishing effective policies to mitigate the effects of the ongoing pandemic and to prepare response plans for future pandemics that could certainly arise in the decades to come.Moreover, the study highlights the potential of wastewater treatment plants to degrade the genetic material referable to SARS-CoV-2 as well.In conclusion, the preliminary data reported in the present paper, although they need to be complemented by further studies considering other geographical regions as well, are very promising.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0168.v2
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: awareness, adverse health effects, exposure, stone quarry workers, silica dust
Online: 13 May 2021 (11:02:43 CEST)
Background: Work experience is a key factor that influences safety awareness among workers. This study investigated the influence of work experience on the level of awareness on adverse health effects of silica dust exposure among stone quarry workers in Ghana while controlling for theoretically relevant compositional and contextual factors, evaluated the magnitude and order of association between the predictors and the predicted variable. Method: A cross-sectional survey data of 524 randomly selected stone quarry workers were subjected to multivariate statistical analyses. Results: Stone quarry workers who had 6 to10 years and more than 10 years of work experience were 48% (OR = 1.475, P = 0.021) and 82% (OR = 1.816, P = 0.003) respectively more likely to be aware of the adverse health effects of silica dust exposure compared to their counterparts who had 1 to 5 years work experience. Workers who had secondary or higher education were 32% (OR = 1.320, P = 0.036) more likely to be aware of the adverse health effects of silica dust exposure compared to their counterparts who had no education. Conclusion: These findings provide relevant information for managers and policymakers to plan and maximize awareness on silica dust health hazards among silica exposed workers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0778.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Covid-19, fake news, health protocols, belief
Online: 29 April 2021 (14:31:37 CEST)
Along with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, the development of false news or misinformation about Covid-19 -19 is getting bigger. This article aims to analyze public opinion about the various hoaxes that were widely spread in Indonesia during the pandemic. The method used is a mixture, namely literature review, in the form of searching for related journals regarding the distribution of hoaxes during the pandemic and conducting online surveys via a google form. The research conducted indicates that during the pandemic there were rapid spreads of fake news, it is proven with more than 45% of the participants who were often heard hoax news about Covid-19 on online media. From this evidence, it also can be discovered that hoax news can affect a person's belief in the Covid-19 virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0597.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Surveillance; COVID; Football; Infection; Professional; PCR; Elite
Online: 26 February 2021 (08:59:29 CET)
Medical surveillance and risk mitigation protocols to reduce viral transmission have underpinned the return of elite football during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article describes the evidence-informed approach and surveillance findings from the English Football League across a 9-week period at the end of the 2019-20 season. Protocols were devised by the lead EFL Medical Advisor with specialist occupational medicine input. Isolation requirements for cases and contacts were in-line with UK Government regulations, with external contact tracing conducted by local public health authorities. Quantitative PCR testing was conducted twice weekly and within 72 hours of fixtures. 43 individuals, including 18 players returned positive tests. No positive results were returned after week 5 (round 10). Our findings support those from other leagues that with appropriate compliance, elite football can continue safely during this pandemic. We recommend that protocols and compliance should be revised as necessary according to community prevalence and changes in viral transmission dynamics.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0306.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Quarantine; COVID-19; Physical activity
Online: 12 February 2021 (14:39:16 CET)
The COVID-19 pandemic which have affected every part of the world have been deemed a public health concern and classified as a pandemic. The government imposing travel bans and quarantine measures have been found to be effective in preventing and reducing the spread of COVID-19. A reduction in physical activity and increase in the consumption of unhealthy foods have been observed to be some of the major implications of quarantine. Adequate physical activity and increased access to healthy foods would help in improving the psychological wellbeing of individuals thereby preventing the development of cardiovascular diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0267.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Knowledge; Overweight; Obesity; Body Mass Index; Health Risks
Online: 14 January 2021 (12:47:52 CET)
Background: Overweight and obesity are becoming serious public health menace in the world today. Weight gain is skyrocketing across the globe due to growing economy, fast food expansion and a shift towards more sedentary living. However, most people lack knowledge regarding risks associated with overweight and obesity. Aim: The study aimed to explore the knowledge level of bankers in the Ho Municipality on the health risks associated with overweight and obesity. Methodology: A cross-sectional study design with quantitative method was employed. The study spanned from September 7, 2018 to April 25, 2019. A self-administered questionnaire and convenience sampling technique were used to obtain data. Data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics 21 Developer and the results presented in statistical tables and graphs. Results: Of 136 participants investigated, 67 (49.3%) were between 31 - 40 years. 2 participants (1.5%) were underweight, 49(36.0%) had normal weight, 43(31.6%) were overweight while 42 (30.9%) were obese. The study revealed that female bankers were prone to overweight (37.78%) while the males were prone to obesity (56.52%). Participants generally had low knowledge and awareness on health risks of overweight and obesity. Conclusion: Most bankers in the Ho Municipality were overweight and obese due to insufficient knowledge and low awareness on the risks associated with overweight and obesity. Public education and awareness creation are urgently needed to stem the tide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0046.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: health care, innovation, resistance, staff behavior, employment relationship, strategy, organizational climate
Online: 4 January 2021 (13:25:12 CET)
Frequent employee resistance to innovation is one of the main barriers of change failure in a health care organization and one of the negative stimuli of employment relationships. Identifying the reasons of resistance is a topical issue for every organization, as the speed of change can affect their competitiveness. Consequently, it is helpful not only to know the causes of potential resistance but also to be ready to control any implicit opposition. The organizational climate and the attitude of the staff play an important role in understanding and accepting innovation. Purpose of the study is to develop a model, which would facilitate the choice of an appropriate strategy necessary to enable the health care organization to eliminate or at least to reduce resistance to often essential innovative changes. The article analyses the root causes of resistance and identifies strategies that help to mitigate or eliminate staff resistance for innovation. Use of suggested model can make easier reducing staff resistance to change processes and thus speed up the implementation of innovations. This methodology can be used to eliminate the reasons for staff resistance to change in health care institutions of different countries, but it was tested in Lithuania and achieved good enough results.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: pesticide regulation; pesticide exposure; pesticide policy; non-occupational pesticide exposure; human health; pesticide pollution
Online: 4 December 2020 (15:09:18 CET)
Pesticides have a vital contribution to the agricultural industry in Australia. However, pesticide applications may not always selective to its target organism. Exposure to pesticide has been associated with negative impacts to human health. One of the ways to reduce pesticide risk to the population and the environment is through government regulations. To put Australia pesticide regulations into perspective, comparisons were made between Australia and other nation’s pesticides regulations. The EU pesticide regulatory system was chosen for comparison with the Australian’s in the aspect of protecting the population from pesticide exposure. The comparison showed that the assessment to authorize a pesticide in Australia is based on the risk while in the EU, the assessment is based on the hazard of the pesticide. A registered active substance in Australia can be authorized for use indefinitely unless it is nominated for reconsideration while the period of registration of an active substance in the EU lasts for 10 years. In addition, no routine systematic chemical residue surveys are conducted in Australia for food commodities. The results highlight areas for improvement in the Australian pesticide regulatory system from the perspective of controlling undue exposure among the general population.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Urban Heat Island; Heat-Related Health Risk (HRHR); Urban Landscape Metrics (ULM); Local Indicators of Spatial Autocorrelation (LISA); Spatial Error (SE) Regression; NCT-Delhi.
Online: 2 November 2020 (13:53:03 CET)
Urbanization induced land use land cover (LULC) changes intensify the urban heat island effects. It magnifies the risk of urban dwellers and sometimes causes the loss of human life, defined as heat-related health risk (HRHR). Hence, urban LULC planning plays a crucial role. Present study analyses the impact of composition and configuration of urban LULC defined as urban landscape metric (ULM) on HRHR in Delhi at the ward level. Firstly, the HRHR is measured by using satellite thermal and other digital data. Then, measured HRHR is validated by conducting a rapid field survey. Thirdly, ULM measured at ward level using Fragstat 4 software. Finally, both, HRHR and ULM linked with bi-variate Moran's I and impacts of ULM are assessed using ordinary least square (OLS) and spatial error (SE) regression. The result indicates the high risk is found as clustered in north-east, central and middle of south-west Delhi. Built-up density intensifies HRHR and abundance of vegetation reduce it; however, it is not similar for all vegetation patches. Larger vegetation patches surrounded by dense built-up might not able to reduce the risk as much as a large vegetation patch could in other regions. Findings can be helpful for heat resilient city planning.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0341.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; airborne transmission; environmental virology; bioaerosol; wastewater samples
Online: 16 October 2020 (08:26:10 CEST)
Since the beginning of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, large attention has been focused on the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 diffusion and environment. As a matter of fact, clear evidence of the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via respiratory aerosol would be of primary importance; at the same time, checking the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater can be extremely useful to control the diffusion of the disease. Up to now, many studies report SARS-CoV-2 concentrations in indoor/outdoor air samples or water/wastewater samples that can differ by order of magnitude. Unfortunately, complete information about the scientific approach of many studies is still missing, relating to: samplers and sampling materials performances, recovery tests, measurement uncertainty, robustness, detection and quantification limits, infectivity of captured virus, virus degradation during sampling, influence of sample pre-treatments (included freezing) on results, effects of inhibitors, sample alterations due to manipulation, validation of methods and processes, quality assurance according to ISO/IEC 17025 requirements.Based on the first experiences focused on the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples such as air quality filters, air-liquid impingers and wastewater samples, the present study describes a coherent preliminary approach to SARS-CoV-2 environmental sampling in order to overcome the evident lack of standardization. Three aspects are highlighted here: the first solution to assure quality and consistency to environmental sampling relies on the development of recovery tests using standard materials and investigating sampling materials, sampling techniques, sampling durations, sample conservation and pre-treatments; secondly, in order to overcome the shortcomings of every single sampling technique, coupling different samplers in parallel sampling could be an efficient strategy to collect more information and make data more reliable, in particular for air samples; finally, with regards to airborne virus sampling, the results could be confirmed by simplified emission and dilution models.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0453.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: one health; Africa; public health; animal health; environment health; zoonosis; emerging and re-emerging diseases; food safety; antimicrobial resistance; toxicosis
Online: 19 September 2020 (10:05:32 CEST)
An evaluation of emerging issues in One Health (OH) in Sub-Saharan Africa was undertaken to map the existing OH initiatives in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Desk review, expert opinions survey, limited interviews and wider consultations with selected OH stakeholders were conducted. The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to OH initiatives were identified. OH influence, interest and impacts were evaluated. One Health is transiting from multidisciplinary to transdisciplinary concepts and OH viewpoint should move from ‘proxy for zoonoses’, to include issues of climate change, nutrition and food safety, social sciences, geography, policy and planning, economics, welfare and well-being, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), vector-borne diseases, toxicosis and pesticides issues. While the identified major strengths should be boosted, the weaknesses should be addressed.OH Networks in SSA were spatially and temporally spread across SSA and stakeholders were classified as key, latent, marginal and OH defenders. Imbalance in stakeholders’ representation led to hesitation in buying-in from stakeholders who are outside the main networks. Theory of change, monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and tools to standardized evaluation of OH policies is needed for sustained future of OH and the future OH engagement should be outputs and outcomes-driven and not activity-driven.National roadmap for OH implementation and institutionalization is necessary and proofs of concepts in OH should be verified and scaled-up. Dependence on external funding is unsustainable and must be addressed. Necessary policy and legal instrument to support OH nationally and sub-nationally should be implemented taking cognizance of contemporary issues like urbanization, endemic poverty and other emerging issues. Utilizing current technologies and OH approach to address ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 and other emerging diseases is desirable. Finally, OH implementation should be anticipatory and not reactive to significantly benefit budgeting and contain disease outbreaks in animal sources before the risk of spillover to human can be envisaged.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0450.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: workplace; health promotion; public health; health checks; education; construction
Online: 20 August 2020 (09:42:29 CEST)
Interprofessional learning (IPL) is essential to prepare healthcare trainees as the future public health workforce. WHIRL was an innovative IPL intervention that engaged multi-professional teams of volunteer healthcare trainees (n=20) to deliver health checks (n=464), including tailored advice and signposting, to employees in the UK construction industry (across 21 events, 16 sites, 10 organisations) as part of an ongoing research programme called Test@Work. Volunteers undertook a four-part training and support package of trainer-led education, observations of practice, self-directed learning and clinical supervision, together with peer mentoring. In a one-group post-test only design, IPL outcomes were measured using the Inventory of Reflective Vignette - Interprofessional Learning (IRV-IPL), and the psychometric properties of the IRV-IPL tool were tested. WHIRL demonstrably improved healthcare trainees’ interprofessional skills in all five areas of collaboration, coordination, cooperation, communication, and commendation. The IRV-IPL tool was found to be a valid and reliable measure of interprofessional competencies across three scenarios; before and after health promotion activities, and as a predictor of future health promotion competence. This industry-based workplace IPL programme resulted in attainment of health check competencies, and bridged the gap between research, education and clinical practice.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0416.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: food handlers; medical examinations; fitness; radiology; rectal and throat swabs
Online: 19 August 2020 (12:15:54 CEST)
Food handlers’ medical examinations are mandated by most countries as a way of safeguarding the health and safety of consumers. Food-borne diseases are an important cause of morbidity and mortality. In Zimbabwe, the use of chest radiographs and throat and rectal swab tests are a requirement during food handlers’ medical examinations. This study aimed at exploring the patterns and outcomes of physical medical examinations, chest radiographs, and other tests of food handlers. A cross-sectional review of retrospective occupational health records was carried out. The mean age for the study population was 37 years with an age range of 21 to 56 years. Males accounted for 73% of the study participants. All of the 157 rectal swabs were normal and did not culture any organism. Fifteen percent (24) of the throat swabs cultured one or more organisms. Ninety-seven percent of chest radiographs were normal. Ninety-seven percent of employees were certified as fit. Thirty-six percent of the food handlers were in the overweight and obese categories. Hypertension and high blood pressure were common conditions in the study sample. It can be concluded that routine radiological and laboratory testing of the food handlers in this study was of little value.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0390.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: school; water; sanitation and hygiene
Online: 18 August 2020 (12:07:32 CEST)
Background: Ongoing Primary and Secondary Education Development Program (PEDP & SEDP) has led to increase in enrollment of children in schools. This created a high demand for facilities such as classroom, chairs, laboratories, latrines and water supply. Water and latrines did not receive equal attention like others. National strategic plan for School Water Sanitation and Hygiene (SWASH) 2012-2017 was to address such challenges with objectives to improve SWASH by 2017. Hence this study aimed to evaluate the implementation of SWASH program in Ukerewe. Methodology: A cross sectional survey was done among 42 schools in the district with 40 schools being government owned. Systematic random sampling was used and data were collected using a structured interview which was pre-tested and amended prior to conducting fieldwork. UNICEF, WASH in Schools Monitoring Package observational check-list was used to assess sanitation facilities. Results: Findings from this study showed the latrine-hole to student ratio was 1:71 with only 31.3% of the latrines being in good clean condition and about half (59.5%) of the schools have no facilities for washing hands. For the schools with hand washing facilities only 21.4% have an effective hand washing practice (presence of soap and water). The most common source of water used was lake water (35.7%) with (42.9%) having water storage facilities. Conclusion: The study shows that most of the objectives of national strategic plan are yet to be implemented at Ukerewe. There is a need for minor repairs to complete new construction of SWASH facilities in Ukerewe.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0284.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Park cooling effect; Urban Heat Island; Thermal comfort; Perceived Thermal Comfort; Physiological Equivalent Temperature; Cognitive Maps
Online: 12 August 2020 (11:32:18 CEST)
The combined effects of global warming and increasing urban heat islands (UHIs) on air temperature and heat stress in cities are notable physical and mental health implications for citizens. With research having shown the effective role of urban green spaces in decreasing urban heat, this study investigated the cooling effect of a large urban park on thermal comfort outside the park area, from psychological and physiological perspectives. The studied park is located in the center of Madrid and adjacent to UHI. The study was performed by conducting field measurements and a survey with questionnaires. The measurements made on six summer days (with two-week intervals) showed that the park’s cooling effect could decrease the air temperature by 2.4-2.8°C right up to the edge of the heat island (600m), and decrease the physiological equivalent temperature (PET) by about 3.9°C. By decreasing air temperature and PET, this park was also shown to increase the perceived thermal comfort (PTC) of the citizens from the psychological perspective in the defined area of effect. This perceived thermal comfort was found to have a significant inverse relationship with PET (P-value <0.05). The examination of cognitive maps drawn by citizens showed that out of the 145 respondents, 68.3% marked the park as the area that they perceive as having the greatest thermal comfort, and prefer as the place to spend time enjoying thermal comfort, irrespective of its distance from their location.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0152.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: occupational safety; management systems for occupational safety; OSHMS; efficiency; effectiveness criterion; effectiveness indicator; generalized desirability indicator; Harrington function
Online: 6 August 2020 (10:29:04 CEST)
This paper is focused on the analysis of methods used to assess effectiveness and efficiency of the occupational safety and health management system (OSHMS) in a company. It reviews current Russian and international occupational safety and health standards. The paper details the method outlined in International Standard GOST 126.96.36.199-2016 “Occupational safety standards system. Management systems for occupational safety. Evaluation of effectiveness and efficiency” based on the data collected during the external audit of OSHMS function efficiency in a Russian mining company. Effectiveness and efficiency indicators were determined, and a generalized desirability coefficient was calculated. Weaknesses of the method proposed in GOST 188.8.131.52-2016 were identified and mathematical and linguistic solutions were proposed to improve it. Harrington function was used to determine a numerical and linguistic score. The performed calculation demonstrated that the company needed strategic management decisions to improve the current situation. Practical approaches were offered to enhance the company's systems-based occupational safety and health performance..
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0577.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: COVID-19; Coronavirus; SARS-CoV2; Random walks; Population dispersal; Diffusion; Lockdown; Confinement; Movement restrictions; Disease spread; Kuwait
Online: 24 July 2020 (10:57:04 CEST)
To mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, some countries have enforced more stringent non-pharmaceutical interventions in contrast to those widely adopted (for e.g. the state of Kuwait). In addition to standard practices such as enforcing curfews, social distancing, and closure of non-essential service industries, other non-conventional policies such as the total confinement of highly populated areas has also been implemented. In this paper, we model the movement of a host population using a mechanistic approach based on random walks, which are either diffusive or super-diffusive. Infections are realised through a contact process, whereby a susceptible host may be infected if in close spatial proximity of the infectious host. Our focus is only on the short-time scale prior to the infectious period, so that no further transmission is assumed. We find that the level of infection depends heavily on the population dynamics, and increases in the case of slow population diffusion, but remains stable for a high or super-diffusive population. Also, we find that the confinement of homogeneous or overcrowded sub-populations has minimal impact in the short term. Finally, we discuss the possible implications of our findings for total confinement in the context of the current situation in Kuwait.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0188.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: sickle cell disease; knowledge assessment; practices; physicians; Democratic Republic of Congo
Online: 14 June 2020 (17:29:23 CEST)
Background: Sickle cell disease is a major public health issue in the DRC while it is still poorly understood by health professionals. The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge and practices of Congolese physicians treating sickle cell disease (SCD) in order to identify areas for improvement in clinical care. Methods: This is a descriptive observational study conducted on Congolese physicians using a questionnaire. Participants were evaluated on a pre-established answer grid. Results: A total of 460 physicians participated, including 81 women (18%) with an average age of 35 years (range 25–60 years). Most physicians were general practitioners. Although self-assessment of their level of knowledge on SCD was estimated as average to good, less than half of the participants (n= 460; 46%) reported adequate management of vaso-occlusive crisis but only 1% of them had received specific training on SCD. Most physicians reported difficulties both in terms of diagnostic (65%) and management (79%) options of SCD patients. This study showed also that 85% of them did not have access to diagnostic tools for SCD. Conclusions: Insufficient knowledge on SCD, poor diagnostic and treatment options may contribute to morbidity and mortality of patients living in the DRC. Interventions aiming at improving physician’s knowledge, patient’s follow-up and treatment access are needed. Specific training alongside existing programs (HIV, malaria), early diagnosis of the disease, and creation of patients’ advocacy groups should improve SCD patient’s care.
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; Public AwareneSs; Public Practice; Social Distancing and Saudi Arabia
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:27:01 CEST)
Objectives: Social distancing measures are currently implemented to control COVID-19 pandemic in many countries, including Saudi Arabia. The aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the awareness and adherence of the Saudi population to these measures. Methods: A web-based questionnaire was designed with 16 questions (8 questions related to demographics, 3 in relation to awareness about social distancing and 5 related to overall practice of social distancing). Results: 5105 participants completed the survey [58.4% female, 66.3% young individuals (aged 18-37 years), 55.8% bachelor degree holders, and 51.0% from the western region]. The Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH) was the main source of information about COVID-19 for most participants (78.2%). High awareness (81.3%) regarding social distancing was observed, associated mainly with female participants, those from the middle region and those with high education and income. Overall implementation of social distancing was satisfactory (score 3.13/5), with 37.8% never leaving home during the home-stay period. Better adherence to social distancing was observed for female participants, higher degree holders and those aged over 38 years. Conclusions: Organised plans by the Saudi MOH have been effective in raising awareness and improving practice of social distancing among public. However, the observed lower practice of social distancing by individuals with lower education and income indicates the need for targeted interventions to achieve better outcome.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0467.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Covid-19; SARS-CoV; Environmental factors; Air pollution; Smoking; Air temperature
Online: 29 May 2020 (13:02:07 CEST)
The physical environment plays an important role in the transmission of respiratory infections like Covid-19. To find relevant articles on environmental factors influencing respiratory infection outbreaks, we searched Pub med Central on the following topics: 1. Environmental pollution causing coronavirus fatality- 73 results, relevant 1 article, 2. Environmental factors affecting Covid-19, 149 results from which there were 6 relevant articles, 3. Impact of air pollution on Covid-19 fatality, 10 results, relevant 3 articles, 4. Environmental factors affecting respiratory viruses- 10646 results were obtained, 2 relevant articles. We searched Google scholar on environmental factors affecting Covid-19 transmission and found 7 relevant papers. We excluded the duplicates in each of the key words search. Date of search was on 20th April 2020. All articles included in results were scrutinized and relevance of articles was based on their content that discussed meteorological and physical environment factors in the spread and severity of Covid-19. We have discussed factors like air pollution, smoking, air temperature, humidity and air velocity as contributing factors. If meteorological factors are conducive to spread in a particular area, we need protective measures way before a respiratory infection outbreak occurs. Covid-19 is a lesson learnt the hard way, and we must enable people to practice hygienic practices with limited resources but high level of protection that it provides. Air pollution control can prevent priming of respiratory system which shall further protect from pulmonary infections.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0338.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: pharmacy practice; infection control; sanitation; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; pharmacists; public health; workplace safety
Online: 21 May 2020 (08:37:52 CEST)
Background: Australia received its first case of coronavirus on 25 January 2020. Since then the demands of COVID-19 has presented unparalleled levels of strain on the public healthcare systems in the country. In this time of crisis, pharmacists and community pharmacy staff have modified work strategies according to the rapidly changing environment. With a delayed dissemination of resources and guidelines, pharmacist and pharmacies are practicing innovative infection control methods across Australia to protect their staff, patients and the community. This article seeks to explore the current activities undertaken by pharmacists in various community pharmacy settings across Australia in relation to the safety of the workplace environments for staff and patients. Information collected can help inform future decisions in pandemic preparation for pharmacies in response to similar health crisis now and in the future. Methods: An online cross-sectional survey study was conducted in Australia during the COVID-19 outbreak from 1st to 30th April 2020. The questionnaire addressed community pharmacist’s awareness and response to infection and sanitation control. Results: A total of 137 pharmacists took part in the survey, with almost half (45.26%) belonging to the age group of 25 to 34 years. Community pharmacy formed the bulk (89.05%) of the respondent’s primary place of practice. There was a good uptake of safety measures by pharmacists and their pharmacies to protect staff and patients. However the task of reassigning high health risk staff was not heavily practiced (34.31%). Regular cleaning took place in the pharmacy, but the use of gloves while cleaning was not practiced in 48.18% of respondents. In addition, only 46.72% of respondents reported observing script baskets being cleaned and disinfected. About one-third (37.96%) of pharmacists were aware of the two-step cleaning and disinfecting process, but only 18.98% of pharmacists reported observing or performing this sanitation procedure. More than half of surveyed pharmacists reported having difficulty keeping up with infection control changes and pharmacy practice guidelines during the pandemic. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the majority of pharmacists are not fully aware of the infection control measures needed in a community pharmacy setting. The influx of coronavirus updates has made it difficult for pharmacists to implement accurate procedures on some aspects of workplace hygiene, which may have led to some gaps in infection control measures. Pharmacists must aim to uphold their public health ambassador role and aim to keep up-to-date with professional guidance to provide the necessary infection control measures to ensure staff, patient and public health safety.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0244.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Chagas disease; cost of illness; mortality premature; efficiency; organizational; life expectancy
Online: 15 April 2020 (10:18:15 CEST)
Economic burden due to premature mortality has a negative impact not only in health system even though in the society. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential years of work tenure lost (PYWL) due to Chagas disease in Colombia from 2010-2017. National data on mortality by sex and ages between 15 and 62 dues to Chagas from 2010 to 2017. The PYWL methodology was applied to assess the impact of Chagas disease in workers who suffer from them. In total, 1,261 deaths were analyzed in the study, of which 60% corresponded to males. The loss of labor productivity caused by Chagas disease was estimated at $29 million. Overall, 48,621 PYWL were lost, and there was an average of 21 years for all subjects with Chagas. Throughout the analyzed period, PYWL increased substantially, and it is necessary to continue with early detection programs to avoid premature death in working age population.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0150.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: maternal smoking; post partum smoking; health education
Online: 15 January 2020 (12:15:54 CET)
Smoking during pregnancy remains one of the most significant risk factors for poor birth outcomes. The Loma Linda University Health Comprehensive Tobacco Treatment Program (CTTP) is the largest maternal tobacco cessation program in San Bernardino County – the largest county in the contiguous US. CTTP is an eight week, incentivized, behavioral intervention for tobacco cessation for pregnant smokers. As part of program evaluation, we used a retrospective cohort design to assess smoking abstinence and to identify predictors of relapse/smoking after enrollment. Among CTTP cohort enrollees (n=233) from 2012-2013 we found: 1) a 28.4% 8 week point prevalence abstinence (PPA), and at a median of 9 months of follow-up after the PPA, 81.6% continued to indicate tobacco cessation, and 2) a high rate of relapse or loss to follow-up (56%). Our modeling of relapse/smoking after enrollment indicated that this was higher in young mothers, non-Hispanic mothers (White, Black), first/third trimester mothers, and rural mothers. The evaluation identified efficacy of the behavioral model at 8 weeks, but that relapse/smoking was occurring in disparity populations. Formative research is needed to expand the programmatic outreach and enrollment of mothers wanting to quit smoking.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0082.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: noise; noise induced hearing loss; noise apps; weather stressors; psychological stressors; tractor safety; seatbelt use; dust; air quality
Online: 6 December 2019 (11:37:43 CET)
There are numerous hazards found on the farms. Most of them are ignored, which might cause the farmer to pay later in terms of his ill health, potential injuries or death. The current article discusses some of the common issues such as dust and air quality concerns; environmental (weather) stressors and psychological stressors; noise and hearing protection; and tractor safety and seatbelt use. And finally, the recommendations to overcome the hazards are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0388.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: social noise; auditory, non-auditory noise effects; personal music players; university students
Online: 30 November 2019 (10:07:18 CET)
Purpose: The study is aimed to quantify the effects of social noise (personal music players (PMP), high-intensity noise exposure events) and road traffic noise exposures in the sample of Slovak university students living and studying in Bratislava. Methods: There were 1,003 university students (306 males and 697 females, average age 23.13±2) enrolled in the study; 347 lived in the student housing facility exposed to road traffic noise (LAeq =67.6 dB) and 656 in the control one (LAeq =53.4 dB). Respondents completed a validated ICBEN 5-grade scale “Noise annoyance questionnaire”. The exposure to PMP was objectified by the conversion of the subjective evaluation of the volume setting and duration. With the cooperation of the ENT specialist, we arranged audiometric examinations on the pilot sample of 41 volunteers. Results: From the total sample of 1,003 students, 794 (79.16 %) of them reported the use of PMP in the course of the last week; average time of 285 minutes. There was a significant difference in PMP use between the exposed (85.59 %) and the control group (75.76 %) (p=0.01). Among PMP users 30.7 % exceeded the LAV (lower action value for industry LAeq,8h = 80 dB). On a pilot sample of volunteers (n=41) audiometry testing was performed indicating a hearing threshold shift at higher frequencies in 22% of subjects. Conclusions: The results of the study on a sample of young healthy individuals showed the importance of exposure to environmental noise from different sources (transportation, neighborhood, construction, entertainment facilities, etc.) as well as social noise and the need for prevention and intervention.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0276.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: occupational health and safety education; quality of health and safety education; health and safety education best practices
Online: 24 November 2019 (13:14:27 CET)
Research into professionalization in health and safety has recently gained in interest. Graduate training is one of the factors that determines or conditions the role of the safety professional, thus intervene in the professionalization process. This article is the result of a workshop and the discussions of nine academic directors of safety education programs about quality evaluation. This article introduces the issue with a historic overview of safety education, presents a synthesis of nine selected education programs, discusses quality evaluation of health and safety education programs, propose a quality evaluation frame and finally, proposes a process for designing a quality safety education program with an associated model of the learning objectives. The outcomes are interesting for everyone who is interested in health and safety education and quality evaluation and will give insights into how safety professionals are educated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0255.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Brazil; slavery; modern slavery; occupational hygiene; rural
Online: 21 May 2019 (03:04:03 CEST)
The Brazilian economy, the rural in particular, was until the end of the 19th century based on slave labour. In this research, it was intended to obtain, through a review of historical descriptive studies, a detailed picture of the occupational hygiene conditions related to the slaves’ work and their interactions with climatic and environmental conditions. The search was done in the following databases: Science Direct, Scopus, Web of Science, Criminal Justice, Ebsco, Business Source Supplement, as well as original historical documents. Descriptive studies, without the restriction of language, were selected that involved the rural work of slaves in colonial and imperial Brazil. Working environmental conditions have been evaluated: environmental and occupational hygiene conditions to which the captive workers were exposed, as well as their accommodation and clothing. The analysed studies registered the existence of accommodation and similar dresses all over Brazil, regardless of the region's climate. In addition to these accommodation conditions, slaves were still exposed in a similar way to physical, chemical and biological agents throughout the country. Finally, it was also possible to identify a clear similarity with the occupational exposure conditions of the modern slaves in the 21st century.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0165.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS); pregnant women; questionnaire; urinary cotinine; oxidative stress parameters
Online: 15 March 2019 (14:03:35 CET)
Abstract: Background: Exposure to ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) is one of the most toxic environmental exposures. Objective: To investigate the impact of ETS on physiological, biochemical, psychological indicators, on the urine antioxidant capacity (AC) and oxidative damage to lipids in a pilot sample of healthy pregnant women. Methods: The exposure to ETS was investigated by a validated questionnaire, urine cotinine and the marker of oxidative damage to lipids - 8-isoprostane concentrations using an ELISA kit. Urine AC was determined by the spectrophotometric TEAC method. From the sample of pregnant women (n=319, average age 30.84 ± 5.09 years) in 80 the levels of cotinine and oxidative stress markers were analyzed. Results: From our sample, 5 % individuals (7.4 % objectified by cotinine) were current smokers and 25 % reported passive smoking in the household (18.8 % objectified by cotinine). The Kappa was 0.78 for smokers and 0.22 for ETS exposed non-smokers. Smokers as well as non-smokers had significantly higher (p<0.05) urine AC than ETS exposed non-smokers. Non-smokers had significantly lower levels of 8-isoprostane than smokers (p<0.01) and ETS-exposed non-smokers (p<0.05). Correlations between urine levels of cotinine and AC were positive in ETS exposed non-smokers. Conclusion: The harmful effect of active and passive smoking on oxidative stress parameters has been indicated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0422.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: awareness; education; hearing loss; mineworkers; occupational health; health literacy; audiologists
Online: 18 October 2018 (12:04:09 CEST)
The aim of this study was to explore perspectives of occupation health personnels (OHPs) regarding education and training of mineworkers on occupational noise induced hearing loss (ONIHL) and its impact on mineworkers’ hearing. Qualitative, in-depth telephonic and face-to-face interviews were conducted with 16 OHPs comprising representatives from the state, employer and labour as well as audiologists and occupational health hygienists. Purposive and snowball sampling were utilized to recruit participants. Data were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Findings revealed that mineworkers have a superficial awareness and knowledge of the impact of noise on their hearing and health. Moreover, OHPs are not knowledgeable on how mineworkers are educated on ONIHL and its latent consequences. Furthermore, language, low levels of education and literacy as well as the financial constraints were factors that had a negative impact on raising awareness and training mineworkers. There is a need to prioritize health literacy among mineworkers. Additionally, audiologists need to play an active role in educating mineworkers about the effects of excessive exposure to noise. There is a need to take into account literacy levels and language barriers in planning training material for mineworkers.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0145.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Aged; Geriatrics; Successful Ageing; Care Quality; Health Systems; Training
Online: 8 October 2018 (12:34:05 CEST)
Malaysia became the centre of international attention when it democratically removed a semi-authoritarian government of 62 years during its 14th general election this year. This electoral success has provided geriatric medicine in Malaysia with the unexpected ageing icon in the oldest prime minister in the world. Political change has led to a wave of optimism for the expansion of geriatric services in Malaysia, which has met with numerous challenges in the last two decades. The number of geriatrics specialists and services had already begun expanding under the previous government. However, existing geriatricians will need to reassess the landscape of delivery and access of care in our rapidly growing ageing population and develop new strategies to truly expand their services. In addition to unrelenting efforts in the recruitment and training of future geriatricians, the steady expansion of the geriatric workforce should take into account the inclusion of geriatric medicine in the undergraduate training curricula of all healthcare professionals. Expansion of geriatric services will also be a cost-effective strategy to reduce the growing national healthcare budget incurred by the growing needs of an ageing population.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0100.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Hospitalized patients, sleep wake dysfunction, sleep disorders, circadian rhythm, sleep apnea
Online: 5 September 2018 (14:49:34 CEST)
Hospitalized patients frequently have disordered and poor-quality sleep due to a variety of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. These include frequent nighttime intrusions, insomnia related to pain and unfamiliar environments, dark conditions during the day with loss of natural light, and disruption of natural sleep cycle due to illness. Sleep wake disturbances can result in deleterious consequence on physical, emotional and cognitive status, which may impact patient satisfaction, clinical recovery, and hospital length of stay. Despite this, clinicians frequently fail to document sleep disturbances and are generally unaware of best practices to improve sleep quality in the hospital. The purpose of this review is to discuss sleep disturbances in hospitalized patients with a focus on causes of sleep disturbance, effect of poor quality sleep, high risk populations, considerations for surveillance and prevention, as well as pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options for treatment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201808.0462.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Key words: Occupational therapy, visual perceptual skills, Test of Visual Perceptual Skills-3 (TVPS-3), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Online: 27 August 2018 (13:36:15 CEST)
Abstract Introduction: Visual perceptual skills are essential for independent participation in self-care tasks, educational, work and leisure time activities. The effect of HIV on the visual perceptual skills is not well understood among children in low resource settings like Zimbabwe. Methods: A cross sectional comparative study was done with 30 children living with HIV and 30 children living without HIV residing in Harare urban area. The TVPS-3 was used to assess their visual perceptual skills. SPSS version 22, STATISTICA 13 and Microsoft 2016 were used for data analysis. Results: Both groups of children had mean percentile ranks below 50 on their TVPS-3 scores. Children without HIV generally performed better than those with HIV but the difference was not statistically significant in most cases. Through univariate analysis, only performance on Spatial Relations significantly differed between the two groups. Both groups had lowest scores in Basic visual perceptual skills. Age and school grade were the independent predictors of the children’s performances in the study. Conclusion: There is need for Occupational therapy services in public primary schools and in the pediatric Opportunistic Infections clinics in hospitals to be part of the health team which caters for children with visual perceptual challenges.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0408.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: quality of work life; organizational culture; organizational support; self-efficacy; maritime workers; culture-work-health model
Online: 23 July 2018 (10:00:06 CEST)
Using the culture-work-health model, this study investigates the factors influencing the quality of life of maritime workers. This study conducted a survey of 320 maritime workers who have experience living and working on a ship for more than six months. This self-administered questionnaire included questions on organizational culture and support, self-efficacy, perceived fatigue, as well as the quality of work life. Organizational culture and self-efficacy were identified as factors affecting the quality of work life, while organizational support was found to have an indirect effect after passing through self-efficacy and perceived fatigue. The final model accounts for 63.1% of the variance in maritime workers’ quality of life. As such, this study shows that self-efficacy is important for the quality of life of maritime workers, having both direct and indirect effects. Moreover, organizational support may prove the primary intervention point for relieving perceived fatigue and enhancing self-efficacy, thus improving the quality of work life.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0259.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: work accidents; drivers; waste; Finland
Online: 16 July 2018 (07:54:19 CEST)
Resilience embodies the personal qualities that enable one to thrive in the face of adversity. A previous Italian study showed that injured workers had a lower level of resilience than non-injured workers. The aim of this paper is to examine the relationship between occupational injuries and psychological resilience. The subjects were 197 drivers from two Finnish waste transport companies. As a part of larger questionnaire, they fulfilled the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale, which consisted of 25 items. Drivers reported their occupational injuries during the last three years. The drivers involved in occupational injuries had higher score (average 69.3) on Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale than drivers avoided injuries (67.7). According to Student’s t-test the difference between groups was highly significant (t = 40.44, df = 196, p<0.001). The result of this study was contradictory to earlier Italian study. One explanation may be that the Italian study was done with traumatic context with seriously injured patients. Waste transport drivers were rather young and fit males, who had suffered only minor injuries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0178.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: international health regulations; ship sanitation certificates; inspection; ship, travel; maritime health; sanitation
Online: 10 July 2018 (12:23:09 CEST)
The purpose of this study was to report data analysis results from the International Health Regulations (2005) Ship Sanitation Certificates (SSC), recorded in the European Information System (EIS). International sea trade and population movements by ships can contribute to the global spread of diseases. SSC are issued to ensure the implementation of control measures if public health risk exists on board. EIS designed according to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Handbook for Inspection of Ships and Issuance of SSC”. Inspection data were recorded and SSC issued by inspectors working at European ports were analysed. From July 2011-February 2017, 107 inspectors working at 54 ports in 11 countries inspected 5579 ships. Of these, there were 29 types under 85 flags (including 19 EU flags). As per IHR (2005) 10,281 Ship Sanitation Control Exception Certificates (SSCEC) and 296 Ship Sanitation Control Certificates (SSCC) were issued, 74 extensions to existing SSC were given, 7565 inspection findings were recorded, and 47 inspections were recorded without issuing an SSC. The most frequent inspection findings were the lack of potable water quality monitoring reports (23%). Ships aged ≥12 years (Odds Ratio, OR = 1.77, 95%Confidence Intervals, CI = 1.37–2.29) with an absence of cargo at time of inspection (OR = 3.36, 95%CI = 2.51–4.50) had a higher probability of receiving an SSCC, while ships under the EU flag had a lower probability of having inspection findings (OR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.66–0.79). Risk factors to prioritise the inspections according to IHR were identified by using the EIS. A global information system, or connection of national or regional information systems and data exchange, could help to better implement SSC using common standards and procedures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0495.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Gonorrhea; Outer membrane vesicle vaccine; Group B meningococcus; Cohort study; New Zealand
Online: 29 June 2018 (16:29:28 CEST)
Gonorrhea is a major global public health problem with emergence of multiple drug-resistant strains with no effective vaccine. This retrospective cohort study aimed to estimate the effectiveness of the New Zealand meningococcal B vaccine against gonorrhea associated hospitalization. The cohort consisted of individuals born 1984-1999 residing in New Zealand, therefore eligible for meningococcal B vaccination during 2004-2008. Administrative datasets of demographics, customs, hospitalization, education, income tax and immunization, were linked using the national Integrated Data Infrastructure. The primary outcome was hospitalization with a primary diagnosis of gonorrhea. Cox’s proportional hazards models were applied with a Firth correction for rare outcomes to generate estimates of hazard ratios. Vaccine effectiveness estimates were calculated as 1-Hazard Ratio expressed as percent. There were 1,143,897 eligible cohort members, with 135 missing information on gender, 16,245 missing ethnicity and/or 197,502 missing deprivation hence 935,496 were included in the analysis. After adjustment for gender, ethnicity and deprivation, vaccine effectiveness (MeNZB™) against hospitalization caused by gonorrhea was estimated to be 24% (95% CI 1-42%). In conclusion, vaccination with MeNZB™ significantly reduced the rate of hospitalization from gonorrhea. This supports prior research indicating possible cross protection of this vaccine against gonorrhea acquisition and disease in the outpatient setting.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0491.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: epidemiology, causality, association, smoking, lung cancer, vitamin D, sun exposure, multiple sclerosis
Online: 29 June 2018 (15:42:02 CEST)
If environmental exposures are shown to cause an adverse health outcome, reducing exposure should reduce the disease risk. Links between exposures and outcomes are typically based on ‘associations’ derived from observational studies, and causality may not be clear. Randomised controlled trials to ‘prove’ causality are often not feasible or ethical. Here the history of evidence that tobacco smoking causes lung cancer – in observational studies – is compared to that of low sun exposure and/or low vitamin D status as causal risk factors for the autoimmune disease, multiple sclerosis. Evidence derives from in vitro and animal studies, as well as ecological, case-control and cohort studies, in order of increasing strength. For smoking and lung cancer, the associations are strong, consistent, and biologically plausible – the evidence is coherent or ‘in harmony’. For low sun exposure/vitamin D as risk factors for MS, the evidence is weaker, with smaller effect sizes, but coherent across a range of sources of evidence, and biologically plausible. The association is less direct – smoking is directly toxic and carcinogenic to the lung, but sun exposure/vitamin D modulate the immune system, which in turn may reduce the risk of immune attack on self-proteins in the central nervous system. Opinion about whether there is sufficient evidence to conclude that low sun exposure/vitamin D increase the risk of multiple sclerosis, is divided. General public health advice to receive sufficient sun exposure to avoid vitamin D deficiency (<50nmol/L) should also ensure any benefits for multiple sclerosis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0457.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: disadvantages; living conditions; longitudinal; resilience; self-rated health; youth
Online: 28 June 2018 (05:10:36 CEST)
Disadvantaged circumstances in youth tend to translate into poor health development. Yet, the fact that this is not always the case has been seen as indicative of differential resilience. The current study highlights factors outside the context of the family with the potential to counteract the long-term negative influences of social and material adversity in adolescence on general health status. This study was based on two waves of questionnaire data from the Northern Swedish Cohort. From the wave in 1981 (age 16), indicators of social and material conditions as well as factors related to school, peers, and spare time, were derived. From the wave in 2008 (age 43), information about self-rated health was used. Ordinal logistic regression models (n=908) showed that adversity in youth was associated with poorer self-rated health in midlife among men and women alike, net of health status at baseline. However, having an advantaged situation with regard to school, peers, or spare time appeared to protect against the detrimental influences of disadvantaged circumstances in the family context on subsequent health. This suggests that health-promoting interventions may benefit from focusing on contexts outside the family in their effort to strengthen processes of resilience among disadvantaged youths.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0438.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: nuclear; detonations; trauma; thermal burn; radiation; fallout; New Delhi; India; Pakistan
Online: 27 June 2018 (10:06:50 CEST)
The human casualties from simulated nuclear detonation scenarios in New Delhi, India are analyzed, with a focus on the distribution of casualties in urban environments and the theoretical application of a nuclear-specific triage system. Model estimates of nuclear war casualties employed ESRI's ArcGIS 9.3, blast and prompt radiation were calculated using the Defense Nuclear Agency's WE program, and fallout radiation was calculated using the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA's) Hazard Prediction and Assessment Capability (HPAC) V404SP4, as well as custom GIS and database software applications. ESRI ArcGISTM programs were used to calculate affected populations from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's LandScanTM 2007 Global Population Dataset for areas affected by thermal, blast and radiation data. Trauma, thermal burn, and radiation casualties were thus estimated on a geographic basis for New Delhi, India for single and multiple (six) 25 kiloton (kt) detonations and a single 1 megaton (1000kt) detonation. Major issues related to the emergency management of a nuclear incident are discussed with specific recommendations for improvement. The consequences for health management of thermal burn and radiation patients is the worst, as burn patients require enormous resources to treat, and there will be little to no familiarity with the treatment of radiation victims.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201805.0111.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS); Slovak school children; mental health; physical health; Columbia Impairment Scale; Behavioral Problem Index
Online: 7 May 2018 (09:23:27 CEST)
ETS exposure has been shown as an important environmental risk factor in vulnerable population groups. The aim of the project is to analyze the relationships among the ETS and behavior and health in 6−15-year-old children in Slovakia. The status of physical and mental health of children in relation to exposure to tobacco smoke was examined in the representative group of 1478 school children. The methods used, included anonymous questionnaires ﬁlled in by parents, Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS), Behavior Problem Index (BPI) and anthropometry. The prevalence of passive smoking is the highest in the capital (27%) and southern cities. Significant relationships have been confirmed between ETS and the age, socio-economic status, the incompleteness of the family, the level of mother's education and the significantly higher prevalence of respiratory diseases (26.7%).The relationships of ETS with emotional (CIS scores ≥16) and behavioral functions (BPI score ≥14) were significant in children exposed to mother‘s and father‘s smoking at home. In the multivariate analysis this association was not significant; the factors such as income and completeness of the family were dominant. The results confirmed the impact of ETS and social factors on health state and health behavior and could be the argumentation for legislative changes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0375.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: pesticides; spirometry; respiratory symptoms; cholinesterase; rural workers; family farmers
Online: 29 April 2018 (10:25:38 CEST)
Pesticide exposure is a growing concern for public health. Although Brazil is the world's largest consumer of pesticides, few studies addressed the health effects among farmers. This study aimed to evaluate whether pesticide exposure is associated with respiratory outcomes among rural workers and relatives in Brazil during the crop and off-seasons. 82 family farmers were interviewed about occupational history and respiratory symptoms, and cholinesterase tests were conducted in the crop-season. Spirometry was performed during the crop and off-season. Respiratory outcomes were compared between seasons and multiple regressions were conducted to search for associations with exposure indicators. Participants were occupationally and environmentally exposed to multiple pesticides from an early age. During the crop and off-season, respectively, they presented a prevalence of 40% and 30.7% for cough, 30.7% and 24% for nasal allergies, and 24% and 17.3% for chest tightness. Significant relations between spirometry impairments and exposure indicators were found both during the crop and off-season. These findings provide complementary evidence about the association of pesticide exposure with adverse respiratory effects among family farmers in Brazil. This situation requires special attention as it may increase the risk of pulmonary dysfunctions, and the morbidity and mortality burden associated with these diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0351.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: topography; cotinine; fagerstrom score; addiction
Online: 27 April 2018 (06:21:27 CEST)
The difference of smoker’s topography has been found to be a function of sex, personality, nicotine yield, cigarette type (i.e., flavored versus non-flavored) ethnicity and etc. We evaluated the puffing behaviors of Korean smokers and its association with smoking-related biomarker levels. A sample of 300 participants was randomly recruited from metropolitan areas, South Korea. Topography measures during a 24-hour period were obtained using a CReSS pocket device. Korean male smokers smoked two puffs less per cigarette, compared to female smokers [15.0 (13.0–19.0) vs. 17.5 (15.0–21.0) as median (Interquartile range)], but had a significantly larger puff volume [62.7 (52.7–75.5) mL vs. 53.5 (42.0–64.2) mL); p = 0.012]. The interpuff interval was similar between men and women [8.9 (6.5–11.2) s vs. 8.3 (6.2–11.0) s; p = 0.122] but much shorter than other study results. A dose-response association (p = 0.0011) was observed between daily total puff volumes and urinary cotinine concentrations, after controlling for sex, age, household income level, nicotine addiction level. Understanding of the difference of topography measures, especially, larger puff volume and shorter interpuff interval of Korean smokers may help to overcome potential underestimation of internal dose of hazardous substitutes of smoking or corresponding its health effect.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0329.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: school connectedness; substance abuse; LGBTQ youth; bullying
Online: 26 April 2018 (04:47:30 CEST)
Transgender youth experience elevated levels of victimization and may therefore report greater drug use than their cisgender peers, yet little is known about protective factors like school belonging that may mediate this relationship. Further, scant research has explored the experiences of youth at the intersection of transgender identity and youth of color status or low socioeconomic status, especially with respect to these multiple minority statuses’ associations with peer victimization, drug use, and school belonging. Using data from the California Healthy Kids Survey, the current study employs structural equation modeling to explore the relationships among school belonging, peer victimization, and drug use for transgender youth. Findings indicate that school belonging does mediate the pathway between peer victimization and drug use for transgender youth and that although youth of color experience greater victimization, they do not engage in greater drug use than their white transgender peers. Based on these results, those concerned with the healthy futures of transgender youth should advocate for more open and affirming school climates that engender a sense of belonging and treat transgender youth with dignity and fairness.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0315.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: light armour; personal protective equipment; load; law enforcement; occupational tasks
Online: 24 April 2018 (09:47:48 CEST)
Policing duties may inherently be dangerous due to stab, blunt trauma and ballistic threats. The addition of individual light armour vests (ILAVs) has been suggested as a means to protect officers. However, the addition of the extra load of the ILAV may affect officer ability to conduct occupational tasks. The purpose of this study was to determine if wearing any of 3 different ILAVs (ILAV A, ILAV B, & ILAV C) affected occupational task performance when compared to that in normal station wear. A prospective, within-subjects repeated measures design was employed, using a counterbalanced randomization in which each ILAV was worn for an entire day while officers completed a variety of occupationally relevant tasks. These tasks included a victim drag, car exit and 5 meter sprint, step down and marksmanship task. Results showed that performance in each task did not vary between any of the ILAV or normal station wear conditions. There was less variability in the marksmanship task with ILAV B, however. The results suggest that none of the ILAVs used in this study were heavy enough to significantly affect task performance in the assessed tasks when compared to wearing normal station wear.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0272.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: construction industry; heart health; lifestyle behaviors; healthy eating; physical activity
Online: 20 April 2018 (14:59:45 CEST)
Objectives: 1) To describe the cardiovascular health of the construction workers in Hong Kong, 2) to examine the demographic differences in cardiovascular health, and 3) to examine the association between modifiable lifestyle behaviors and cardiovascular conditions. Methods: 626 registered construction workers were included in the analysis. Blood chemistry, blood pressure, weight and height were measured. Face-to-face questionnaire interview was conducted. T-tests and One-way ANOVAs were used to compare the cardiovascular health score, cardiovascular outcomes, and lifestyle behaviors by demographic characteristics. Logistic regressions were performed to assess the cardiovascular outcomes by lifestyle behaviors. Results: Two-thirds of the construction workers failed to achieve three out of the seven “ideal” cardiovascular health indicators. The younger, more educated, and female subjects had better cardiovascular health scores than their counterparts. The ideal fish and seafood consumption was associated with 1) ideal weight status and 2) ideal cholesterol level, whereas less soft drink consumption was associated with ideal cholesterol level. Conclusions: The findings highlighted the importance of promoting cardiovascular health in the construction industry. This study provided insights for future interventions, which should include increasing fish and seafood intake, decreasing soft drink consumption, and enhancing the health literacy amongst older, less educated, and male construction workers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0178.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: asbestos; ban; global estimates, costs
Online: 13 April 2018 (13:07:31 CEST)
Background. Asbestos has been used for thousands of years but in a large industrial scale for about 100–150 years. The first identified disease was asbestosis, a type of incurable pneumoconiosis caused by asbestos dust and fibres. The latest estimate of global number of asbestosis deaths from the Global Burden of Disease estimate 2016 is 3495. Asbestos caused cancer was identified in the late 1930’s but despite of today’s overwhelming evidence of the strong carcinogenicity of all asbestos types including chrysotile it is still widely used globally. Various estimates have been made over time including those of WHO and ILO 107,000–112,000 deaths. Present estimates are radically higher. This special edition of the Journal summarizes key aspects of the past and present of the asbestos problem globally. Methods. Documentation on milestones of asbestos related diseases, ARDs, their recognition, reporting, compensation and prevention efforts were examined, in particular from the regulatory and prevention point of view. Estimated global numbers of incidence and mortality of ARDs were looked at. Results. Asbestos causes an estimated 257,000 deaths (243,223–270,635) annually according to latest knowledge. Work-related exposures are responsible for 235,000 deaths (222,322–247,363) of those. In the European Union, USA and in other High income economies (WHO regional classification) the direct costs for sickness, early retirement and death, including production losses, have been estimated to be very high, in the Western European countries and EU equivalent of 0.70% of the GDP or 114.9*109 USD. Intangible costs could be much higher. When applying the Value of Statistical Life (VSL) of 4 million EUR per cancer death used by the European Commission we arrived 5at 410*109 USD while the human suffering and loss of life is impossible to quantify. The numbers and costs are increasing practically in every country and region in the world. Asbestos has been banned in 55 countries but used widely today, some 2,030,000 tons consumed annually according to latest available consumption data. Every 20 tons of asbestos produced and consumed kills a person somewhere in the world. Buying 1 kg asbestos powder format e.g. in Asia costs some 0.38 USD and 20 tons would cost in such retail market 7600 USD. Conclusions. Present efforts to eliminate this man-made problem, in fact an epidemiological disaster, and preventing exposures leading to it are insufficient in most countries in the world. Applying programmes and policies, such as those on the elimination of all kind of asbestos use—that is banning of new asbestos use and tight control and management of existing structures containing asbestos—need revision and resources. The ILO/WHO Joint Programme for the Elimination of Asbestos-related Diseases need to be revitalized. Exposure limits do not protect properly against cancer but for asbestos removal and equivalent exposure elimination work we propose a limit value of 1000 fibres/m3.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0123.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: lead exposure; adult literacy; global health; environmental health; Myanmar
Online: 10 April 2018 (09:51:02 CEST)
Environmental lead exposure is a population health concern in many low- and middle-income countries. Lead is found throughout Myanmar and prior to the 1940s, the country was the largest producer of lead worldwide. The aim of this study was to examine any potential association between lead mining and adult literacy rates at the level of the 330 townships in Myanmar. Townships were identified as lead or non-lead mining areas and 2015 census data were examined with association being identified using descriptive, analytical and spatial statistical methods. Overall, there does appear to be a significant relationship between lead mining activity and adult literacy levels (P<0.05) among townships with both low access [OR= 2.701 (1.136-6.421)] as well as townships with high access to safe sanitation [OR=18.40 (1.794-188.745)]. LISA cluster maps confirm these findings. This exploratory analysis is a first step in the examination of potential environmental lead exposure and its implications in Myanmar.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0086.v1
Subject: Public Health And Healthcare, Public, Environmental And Occupational Health Keywords: workplace; health promotion; work-related stress; anxiety; depression; participatory ergonomics; wellbeing; best practice; work organization
Online: 12 February 2018 (09:09:57 CET)
The workplace is an ideal setting for health promotion. The regular medical examination of workers enables us to screen for numerous diseases, spread good practices and correct lifestyles, and obtain a favourable risk/benefit ratio. The continuous monitoring of the level of workers' wellbeing using a holistic approach that goes beyond the simple prevention of occupational risks enables us to promptly identify problems in work organization and the company climate. Problems of this kind can be adequately managed by using a participatory approach. In this study participatory ergonomics groups were used to improve occupational life in a small company. After intervention we observed a reduction in levels of perceived occupational stress measured with the effort / reward imbalance model, and an improvement in psychological wellbeing assessed by means of the Goldberg anxiety / depression scale. Although the limited size of the sample calls for a cautious evaluation of this study, the GEP© strategy proved to be a useful tool due to its cost-effectiveness.