In the 1960s and early 1970s, coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality in Finland was the highest in the world, and within Finland, mortality was particularly high in the eastern part of the country. The North Karelia Project, the first large community-based cardiovascular diseases prevention program was established in 1972 to reduce the extremely high CHD mortality through behavioral change and reduction of the main cardiovascular disease risk factors among the whole population of North Karelia, the easternmost province of Finland. During the 40-year period from 1972 to 2012, smoking prevalence, serum total cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure declined markedly, except a small increase in serum cholesterol levels between 2007 and 2012. From the early 1970s to 2012, CHD mortality decreased by 82% (from 643 to 118 per 100,000) among working-age (35 to 64 years) men. Among working-age women, the decline was 84% (from 114 to 17 per 100,000). During the first 10 years, changes in these 3 target risk factors explained nearly all of the observed mortality reduction. Since the mid-1980s, the observed reduction in mortality has been larger than the predicted reduction. In the early 1970s, premature CHD mortality (35 to 74 years) was about 37% higher among Eastern Finnish men and 23% higher among Eastern Finnish women, compared with men and women in Southwestern Finland. During the last 40 years, premature CHD mortality declined markedly in both areas, but the decline was larger in Eastern Finland and the mortality gap between the two areas nearly disappeared.
Arctic residents can be exposed to a wide range of contaminants through consumption of traditional (country) foods (i.e. food from wild animals and plants that are hunted, caught or collected locally in the Arctic). Yet these foods provide excellent nutrition, promote social cohesion, meet some spiritual needs for connectedness to the land and water, reinforce cultural ties, are economically important and promote overall good health for many. The risk and benefit balance associated with the consumption of traditional Arctic foods is complicated to communicate and has been referred to as the "Arctic Dilemma". This article gives an update on health risk communication in the Arctic region. It briefly summarizes some research on risk communication methodologies as well as approaches to an evaluation of the outcomes of risk communication initiatives. It provides information on specific initiatives in several Arctic countries, and particularly those that were directed at Indigenous populations. This article also summarizes some international versus local risk communication activities and the complexity of developing and delivering messages designed for different audiences. Finally, the potential application of social media for risk communication and a summary of "best practices" based on published literature and a survey of Inuit in a few Arctic countries are described.
Several of the risk communication initiatives portrayed in this article indicate that there is only limited awareness of the outcome of risk communication messages. In some cases, risk communication efforts appear to have been successful, at least when effectiveness is measured in an indirect way, for example, by lower contaminant levels. However, due to missing effectiveness evaluation studies, uncertainty remains as to whether a specific risk communication method was successful and could be clearly linked to behavioural changes that resulted in decreased contaminant exposure.
Cites: Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Feb;122(2):178-86 PMID 24345328
Cites: Sci Total Environ. 2010 Oct 15;408(22):5165-234 PMID 20728918
Cites: Int J Circumpolar Health. 2012 Jul 10;71:18594 PMID 22789518
Cites: Arctic Med Res. 1988;47 Suppl 1:159-62 PMID 3152417
As assessed over the period of satellite observations, October 1978 to present, there are downward linear trends in Arctic sea ice extent for all months, largest at the end of the melt season in September. The ice cover is also thinning. Downward trends in extent and thickness have been accompanied by pronounced interannual and multiyear variability, forced by both the atmosphere and ocean. As the ice thins, its response to atmospheric and oceanic forcing may be changing. In support of a busier Arctic, there is a growing need to predict ice conditions on a variety of time and space scales. A major challenge to providing seasonal scale predictions is the 7-10 days limit of numerical weather prediction. While a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean is likely well within this century, there is much uncertainty in the timing. This reflects differences in climate model structure, the unknown evolution of anthropogenic forcing, and natural climate variability. In sharp contrast to the Arctic, Antarctic sea ice extent, while highly variable, has increased slightly over the period of satellite observations. The reasons for this different behavior remain to be resolved, but responses to changing atmospheric circulation patterns appear to play a strong role.
After the European Food Safety Authority reviewed reports of methylmercury and heart rate variability (HRV) in 2012, the panel concluded that, although some studies of cardiac autonomy suggested an autonomic effect of methylmercury, the results were inconsistent among studies and the implications for health were unclear. In this study, we reconsider this association by adding a perspective on the physiological context. Cardiovascular rhythmicity is usually studied within different frequency domains of HRV. Three spectral components are usually detected; in humans these are centered at
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting up to 20% of children and 3% of adults worldwide. There is wide variation in the prevalence of AD among different countries. Although the frequency of AD is increasing in developing countries, it seems to have stabilized in developed countries, affecting approximately 1 in 5 schoolchildren. Adult-onset AD is not uncommon and is significantly higher, affecting between 11% and 13% of adults in some countries, for example, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sweden. AD is thus associated with significant health care economic burden in all age groups.
Climate change and ocean acidification are altering marine ecosystems and, from a human perspective, creating both winners and losers. Human responses to these changes are complex, but may result in reduced government investments in regulation, resource management, monitoring and enforcement. Moreover, a lack of peoples' experience of climate change may drive some towards attributing the symptoms of climate change to more familiar causes such as management failure. Taken together, we anticipate that management could become weaker and less effective as climate change continues. Using diverse case studies, including the decline of coral reefs, coastal defences from flooding, shifting fish stocks and the emergence of new shipping opportunities in the Arctic, we argue that human interests are better served by increased investments in resource management. But greater government investment in management does not simply mean more of "business-as-usual." Management needs to become more flexible, better at anticipating and responding to surprise, and able to facilitate change where it is desirable. A range of technological, economic, communication and governance solutions exists to help transform management. While not all have been tested, judicious application of the most appropriate solutions should help humanity adapt to novel circumstances and seek opportunity where possible.
The extremely high mortality of cardiovascular diseases in the 1960s in Finland, particularly in the Eastern Province of North Karelia and especially that of coronary heart disease in men, caused great concern among the local population. Action to reduce the problem was demanded in a petition signed in 1971 by the representatives of the population. In response, the North Karelia Project was launched in 1972 to carry out a comprehensive preventive project, first only in North Karelia as a national pilot (1972 to 1977), and thereafter continuing in North Karelia but at the same time transferring the experiences to a national level. The intervention was based on the at-that-time relatively new scientific information on the main causal risk factors. A comprehensive population-based intervention was carried out, aiming especially at the reduction of the high levels of serum cholesterol, blood pressure, and tobacco use, emphasizing general dietary changes and smoking reduction. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program was designed and implemented to learn from the experience in preparation for national and international use. Presented here are the background, principles, and general experiences of this project, which has made major contributions both to the contemporary public health work for the prevention and control of heart disease and noncommunicable diseases and for research in the area.
Public health has always been, and remains, an interdisciplinary field, and engineering was closely aligned with public health for many years. Indeed, the branch of engineering that has been known at various times as sanitary engineering, public health engineering, or environmental engineering was integral to the emergence of public health as a distinct discipline. However, in the United States (U.S.) during the 20th century, the academic preparation and practice of this branch of engineering became largely separated from public health. Various factors contributed to this separation, including an evolution in leadership roles within public health; increasing specialization within public health; and the emerging environmental movement, which led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with its emphasis on the natural environment. In this paper, we consider these factors in turn. We also present a case study example of public health engineering in current practice in the U.S. that has had large-scale positive health impacts through improving water and sanitation services in Native American and Alaska Native communities. We also consider briefly how to educate engineers to work in public health in the modern world, and the benefits and challenges associated with that process. We close by discussing the global implications of public health engineering and the need to re-integrate engineering into public health practice and strengthen the connection between the two fields.
Despite the existence of human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines with demonstrated safety and effectiveness and funded HPV vaccination programs, coverage rates are persistently lower and cervical cancer burden higher among Canadian Indigenous peoples. Barriers and supports to HPV vaccination in Indigenous peoples have not been systematically documented, nor have interventions to increase uptake in this population. This protocol aims to appraise the literature in Canadian and global Indigenous peoples, relating to documented barriers and supports to vaccination and interventions to increase acceptability/uptake or reduce hesitancy of vaccination. Although HPV vaccination is the primary focus, we anticipate only a small number of relevant studies to emerge from the search and will, therefore, employ a broad search strategy to capture literature related to both HPV vaccination and vaccination in general in global Indigenous peoples.
Eligible studies will include global Indigenous peoples and discuss barriers or supports and/or interventions to improve uptake or to reduce hesitancy, for the HPV vaccine and/or other vaccines. Primary outcomes are documented barriers or supports or interventions. All study designs meeting inclusion criteria will be considered, without restricting by language, location, or data type. We will use an a priori search strategy, comprised of key words and controlled vocabulary terms, developed in consultation with an academic librarian, and reviewed by a second academic librarian using the PRESS checklist. We will search several electronic databases from date of inception, without restrictions. A pre-defined group of global Indigenous websites will be reviewed for relevant gray literature. Bibliographic searches will be conducted for all included studies to identify relevant reviews. Data analysis will include an inductive, qualitative, thematic synthesis and a quantitative analysis of measured barriers and supports, as well as a descriptive synthesis and quantitative summary of measures for interventions.
To our knowledge, this study will contribute the first systematic review of documented barriers, supports, and interventions for vaccination in general and for HPV vaccination. The results of this study are expected to inform future research, policies, programs, and community-driven initiatives to enhance acceptability and uptake of HPV vaccination among Indigenous peoples.
The Swedish study Better Diabetes Diagnosis (BDD) has now been ongoing for ten years and detailed information and blood samples have been collected from more than 8000 children and adolescents with newly diagnosed diabetes. We have been able to demonstrate that by means of HLA diabetes antibodies and C-peptide the discrimination between type one and type 2 diabetes is improved. These analyses are therefore included in the clinical check-up for all children and adolescents in Sweden who are diagnosed with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is by far the most prevalent type of diabetes among Swedish children and adolescents. Type 2 diabetes is still relatively rare in Sweden but it is urgent to obtain a correct diagnosis as the long-term prognosis depends on a prompt pharmacological treatment. Monogenic diabetes (MODY) is also important to identify early. We therefore recommend that sequencing of MODY genes should be performed if an individual with newly-diagnosed diabetes is auto-antibody negative and has an HLA pattern associated with low risk for type 1 diabetes. However, despite these analytical tools it can be difficult to make the correct diabetes diagnosis initially. It is therefore prudent to re-evaluate the diabetes diagnosis after one year.