Chair, Indigenous & Northern Health; Senior Scientist, Health Sciences North Research Institute; Scientific Director, Institute of Indigenous Peoples' Health, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Sudbury, ON.
This commentary examines the inequitable access to healthcare services that Indigenous peoples in Canada face on a daily basis. It considers not only geographical or physical access but also culturally safe access to healthcare. Racism is cited as a major deterrent in not accessing mainstream health services. Three recent studies are cited that reveal that racism, discrimination, stigma, sexism and bias prevent Indigenous peoples from accessing mainstream health services. Cultural safety training is recommended, as well as recruitment and retention of Indigenous health professionals. Several recommendations to address physical and geographical access are also recommended, including self-governance and capacity building; enhanced partnerships and collaboration to address jurisdictional issues, particularly for First Nations communities, and a national strategy for access to healthy and affordable food in northern, remote and rural communities.
Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA), School of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, GPO Box 2471, Adelaide, SA, 5001, Australia. email@example.com.
Daily activity data are by nature compositional data. Accordingly, they occupy a specific geometry with unique properties that is different to standard Euclidean geometry. This study aimed to estimate the difference in adiposity associated with isotemporal reallocation between daily activity behaviours, and to compare the findings from compositional isotemporal subsitution to those obtained from traditional isotemporal substitution.
We estimated the differences in adiposity (body fat%) associated with reallocating fixed durations of time (isotemporal substitution) between accelerometer-measured daily activity behaviours (sleep, sedentary time and light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA)) among 1728 children aged 9-11 years from Australia, Canada, Finland and the UK (International Study of Childhood Obesity, Lifestyle and the Environment, 2011-2013). We generated estimates from compositional isotemporal substitution models and traditional non-compositional isotemporal substitution models.
Both compositional and traditional models estimated a positive (unfavourable) difference in body fat% when time was reallocated from MVPA to any other behaviour. Unlike traditional models, compositional models found the differences in estimated adiposity (1) were not necessarily symmetrical when an activity was being displaced, or displacing another (2) were not linearly related to the durations of time reallocated, and (3) varied depending on the starting composition.
The compositional isotemporal model caters for the constrained and therefore relative nature of activity behaviour data and enables all daily behaviours to be included in a single statistical model. The traditional model treats data as real variables, thus the constrained nature of time is not accounted for, nor reflected in the findings. Findings from compositional isotemporal substitution support the importance of MVPA to children's health, and suggest that while interventions to increase MVPA may be of benefit, attention should be directed towards strategies to avoid decline in MVPA levels, particularly among already inactive children. Future applications of the compositional model can extend from pair-wise reallocations to other configurations of time-reallocation, for example, increasing MVPA at the expense of multiple other behaviours.
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The Aamjiwnaang First Nations community is located in Canada's 'Chemical Valley' situated in southwest Ontario near Sarnia. Mercury pollution in the region has been known since the 1940s but little is known about levels in the environment and area residents. The current study, using ecological and human exposure assessment methods, was conducted at the community's request to help fill these gaps. First, Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory and the U.S. Toxics Release Inventory were queried to investigate mercury releases from area facilities. In 2010, 700 pounds of mercury were emitted into the air, 25 pounds were released into water bodies, and 93 thousand pounds were disposed of on-site via underground injections or into landfills, and together these show continued releases into the region. Second, mercury levels were measured in stream sediment and nearby soil from sites at Aamjiwnaang (n = 4) and off Reserve (n = 19) in Canada and the U.S. during three seasons that spanned 2010-2011. Total mercury in sediment across all sites and sampling seasons ranged from 5.0 to 398.7 µg/kg, and in soils ranged from 1.2 to 696.2 µg/kg. Sediment and soil mercury levels at Aamjiwnaang were higher than the reference community, and Aamjiwnaang's Talfourd Creek site had the highest mercury levels. Third, a biomonitoring study was performed with 43 mother-child pairs. Hair (mean ± SD of all participants: 0.18 ± 0.16 µg/g) and blood (1.6 ± 2.0 µg/L) mercury levels did not differ between participants studied on- and off-Reserve, likely because of limited seafood intake (
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To explore international differences in the classification of births at extremely low gestation and the subsequent impact on the calculation of survival rates.
We used national data on births at 22 to 25 weeks' gestation from the United States (2014; n = 11?144), Canada (2009-2014; n = 5668), the United Kingdom (2014-2015; n = 2992), Norway (2010-2014; n = 409), Finland (2010-2015; n = 348), Sweden (2011-2014; n = 489), and Japan (2014-2015; n = 2288) to compare neonatal survival rates using different denominators: all births, births alive at the onset of labor, live births, live births surviving to 1 hour, and live births surviving to 24 hours.
For births at 22 weeks' gestation, neonatal survival rates for which we used live births as the denominator varied from 3.7% to 56.7% among the 7 countries. This variation decreased when the denominator was changed to include stillbirths (ie, all births [1.8%-22.3%] and fetuses alive at the onset of labor [3.7%-38.2%]) or exclude early deaths and limited to births surviving at least 12 hours (50.0%-77.8%). Similar trends were seen for infants born at 23 weeks' gestation. Variation diminished considerably at 24 and 25 weeks' gestation.
International variation in neonatal survival rates at 22 to 23 weeks' gestation diminished considerably when including stillbirths in the denominator, revealing the variation arises in part from differences in the proportion of births reported as live births, which itself is closely connected to the provision of active care.
The Canadian lynx and snowshoe hare pelt data by the Hudson Bay Company did not fit the classical predator-prey theory. Rather than following the peak density of the hare, that of the lynx leads it, creating the hares-eat-lynx (HEL) paradox. Although trappers were suspected to play a role, no mathematical model has ever demonstrated the HEL effect. Here we show that the long-held assumption that the pelt number is a proxy of the wild populations is false and that when the data are modeled by the harvest rates by the trappers, the problem is finally resolved: both the HEL paradox and the classical theory are unified in our mechanistic hare-lynx-competitor-trapper (HLCT) model where competitor stands for all predators of the hares other than the lynx. The result is obtained by systematically fitting the data to various models using Newton's inverse problem method. Main findings of this study include: the prey-eats-predator paradox in kills by an intraguild top-predator can occur if the top-predator prefers the predator to the prey; the benchmark HLCT model is more sensitive to all lynx-trapper interactions than to the respective hare-trapper interactions; the Hudson Bay Company's hare pelt number maybe under-reported; and, the most intriguing of all, the trappers did not interfere in each other's trapping activities.
Our team has identified 17 Boreal forest species from the traditional pharmacopeia of the Eastern James Bay Cree that presented promising in vitro and in vivo biological activities in the context of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We now screened the 17 plants extracts for potential anti-apoptotic activity in cultured kidney cells and investigated the underlying mechanisms.
MDCK (Madin-Darnby Canine Kidney) cell damage was induced by hypertonic medium (700 mOsm/L) in the presence or absence of maximal nontoxic concentrations of each of the 17 plant extracts. After 18 h' treatment, cells were stained with Annexin V (AnnV) and Propidium iodide (PI) and subjected to flow cytometry to assess the cytoprotective (AnnV-/PI-) and anti-apoptotic (AnnV+/PI-) potential of the 17 plant extracts. We then selected a representative subset of species (most cytoprotective, moderately so or neutral) to measure the activity of caspases 3, 8 and 9.
Gaultheria hispidula and Abies balsamea are amongst the most powerful cytoprotective and anti-apoptotic plants and appear to exert their modulatory effect primarily by inhibiting caspase 9 in the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway.
We conclude that several Cree antidiabetic plants exert anti-apoptotic activity that may be relevant in the context of diabetic nephropathy (DN) that affects a significant proportion of Cree diabetics.
Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae is a zoonotic pathogen that causes erysipeloid and is most frequently associated with exposure to domestic swine. Infection of native and prosthetic joints is a rarely reported manifestation.
We describe a case of E. rhusiopathiae prosthetic joint infection in a woman with a history of exposure to wild animals in the Canadian Arctic. Patient management involved a 1-stage surgical revision exchange with an antibiotic impregnated cement spacer and 6 weeks of intravenous penicillin G followed by 6?weeks of oral amoxicillin. Ten previously reported cases of E. rhusiopathiae joint infection are reviewed. Recent increases in mortality due to infection with this organism among host animal populations in the Canadian Arctic have generated concern regarding a potential increase in human infections. However, whole genome sequencing (WGS) of the organism was unable to identify a zoonotic origin for this case.
Consideration should be given to E. rhusiopathiae as a cause of joint infections if the appropriate epidemiologic and host risk factors exist. Expanded use of WGS in other potential animal hosts and environmental sources may provide important epidemiologic information in determining the source of human infections.
While marine animals are exposed to environmental contaminants via their prey, because plastic pollution in the aquatic environment can concentrate some chemicals, ingested plastics are thought to increase the exposure of biota to contaminants. Currently, in the literature there are contradictory results relating to how higher levels of ingested plastics by birds may lead to higher levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs). To date none of these have incorporated known Toxic Equivalency Factors (TEFs) for non-ortho and mono-ortho congeners of PCB which is critical to assessing the potential effects from PCBs. We examined northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) from the Labrador Sea region Canada, and the ingested plastics from these same birds for comparative PCB concentrations. We found no significant correlations between the PCB concentrations in the birds and the mass or number of retained ingested plastic pieces in the stomach, this held true when PCBs were considered by a number of different ways, including ?4PCB, ?PCB, lower-chlorinated, high-chlorinated, non-ortho PCB, and mono-ortho congeners. PCB concentrations were lower in plastics as compared with livers. We found significant differences in congener profiles between the ingested plastics and seabird livers suggesting that while plastics do not contribute to the PCB concentrations, there may be some interactions between plastics and the chemicals that the birds are exposed to via ingested plastics.
Canada's Food Guide (CFG) has been an important health promotion tool for over seventy years. The most recent version was released in 2007. This study examined Canadians' exposure to, knowledge, and use of CFG.
Data came from the Canadian Community Health Survey's Rapid Response on the Awareness and Usage of Canada's Food Guide, which included 10,098 Canadians =12 y in all ten provinces. Questions were asked on familiarity, awareness and usage of CFG and Canada's Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Métis, as well as healthy eating principles and behaviours. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to observe counts and differences among key demographic variables.
More than 80% of Canadians have heard of CFG however significantly more women than men were aware of the Guide. Most knew that 'Vegetables and Fruit' had the most recommended servings and that dark green vegetables should be consumed daily; however fewer than half knew this of orange vegetables. Just under one third had a copy in their homes, and the most common sources for obtaining CFG were child's school and health professional/trainer. Those who consulted CFG recently were more likely to consume the recommended servings of vegetables and fruits, and to state that their eating habits were 'much better' than one year previously.
CFG has "brand recognition" among Canadians however there are gaps between awareness and eating behaviours. The new Food Guide could consider additional dissemination tools including social media, videos and workbooks tailored to various age groups, demographic groups and settings.
Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen's University, 36 Union St., Kingston, ON K7L 3N6, Canada; Department of Earth Sciences, University of Southern California, 3651 Trousdale Pkwy, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The controls on the mobility and fate of arsenic in lakes impacted by historical gold ore roasting in northern Canada have been examined. A detailed characterization of arsenic solid and aqueous phases in lake waters, lake sediments and sediment porewaters as well as surrounding soils was conducted in three small lakes (80 wt%) of arsenic is contained in the form of secondary sulphide precipitates, with iron oxy-hydroxides hosting a minimal amount of arsenic (