Health administrative data can be a valuable tool for disease surveillance and research. Few studies have rigorously evaluated the accuracy of administrative databases for identifying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Our aim was to validate administrative data algorithms to identify RA patients in Ontario, Canada.
We performed a retrospective review of a random sample of 450 patients from 18 rheumatology clinics. Using rheumatologist-reported diagnosis as the reference standard, we tested and validated different combinations of physician billing, hospitalization, and pharmacy data.
One hundred forty-nine rheumatology patients were classified as having RA and 301 were classified as not having RA based on our reference standard definition (study RA prevalence 33%). Overall, algorithms that included physician billings had excellent sensitivity (range 94-100%). Specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) were modest to excellent and increased when algorithms included multiple physician claims or specialist claims. The addition of RA medications did not significantly improve algorithm performance. The algorithm of "(1 hospitalization RA code ever) OR (3 physician RA diagnosis codes [claims] with =1 by a specialist in a 2-year period)" had a sensitivity of 97%, specificity of 85%, PPV of 76%, and negative predictive value of 98%. Most RA patients (84%) had an RA diagnosis code present in the administrative data within ±1 year of a rheumatologist's documented diagnosis date.
We demonstrated that administrative data can be used to identify RA patients with a high degree of accuracy. RA diagnosis date and disease duration are fairly well estimated from administrative data in jurisdictions of universal health care insurance.
The research purpose is an estimation of influence of the bauxite dust on the state of the bronchopulmonary system of workers. It has been indicated that exposure of the poor fibrogenic dust while the process of the bauxite ore extraction, results in development of pnevmokoniosis characterized by substantial ventilatory and haemodynamic disorders limiting the workability of patients.
The analysis of age features of prevalence of an arterial hypertensia in the basic professional groups of the coal-mining enterprises was carried out. In total 1575 workers of collieries and cuts of Kuzbas united in 9 professional groups participated in the research. The results of research demonstrated the distinctions of age structure in the professional groups, testifying about expressed professional senescence among workers of mines, which reveals itself in the decrease in relative density of persons of 50+ years. In these groups with the expressed professional senescence the decrease in relative density of persons with an arterial hypertensia--so-called effect of the "healthy worker", in turn, is observed.
Understanding the biogeochemical cycling of mercury is critical for explaining the presence of mercury in remote regions of the world, such as the Arctic and the Himalayas, as well as local concentrations. While we have good knowledge of present-day fluxes of mercury to the atmosphere, we have little knowledge of what emission levels were like in the past. Here we develop a trend of anthropogenic emissions of mercury to the atmosphere from 1850 to 2008-for which relatively complete data are available-and supplement that trend with an estimate of anthropogenic emissions prior to 1850. Global mercury emissions peaked in 1890 at 2600 Mg yr(-1), fell to 700-800 Mg yr(-1) in the interwar years, then rose steadily after 1950 to present-day levels of 2000 Mg yr(-1). Our estimate for total mercury emissions from human activities over all time is 350 Gg, of which 39% was emitted before 1850 and 61% after 1850. Using an eight-compartment global box-model of mercury biogeochemical cycling, we show that these emission trends successfully reproduce present-day atmospheric enrichment in mercury.
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Novel solutions for sulfide-mine tailings remediation were evaluated in field-scale experiments on a former tailings repository in northern Sweden. Uncovered sulfide-tailings were compared to sewage-sludge biosolid amended tailings over 2 years. An application of a 0.2m single-layer sewage-sludge amendment was unsuccessful at preventing oxygen ingress to underlying tailings. It merely slowed the sulfide-oxidation rate by 20%. In addition, sludge-derived metals (Cu, Ni, Fe, and Zn) migrated and precipitated at the tailings-to-sludge interface. By using an additional 0.6m thick fly-ash sealing layer underlying the sewage sludge layer, a solution to mitigate oxygen transport to the underlying tailings and minimize sulfide-oxidation was found. The fly-ash acted as a hardened physical barrier that prevented oxygen diffusion and provided a trap for sludge-borne metals. Nevertheless, the biosolid application hampered the application, despite the advances in the effectiveness of the fly-ash layer, as sludge-borne nitrate leached through the cover system into the underlying tailings, oxidizing pyrite. This created a 0.3m deep oxidized zone in 6-years. This study highlights that using sewage sludge in unconventional cover systems is not always a practical solution for the remediation of sulfide-bearing mine tailings to mitigate against sulfide weathering and acid rock drainage formation.
The utilisation of data mining methods has become common in many fields. In occupational accident analysis, however, these methods are still rarely exploited. This study applies methods of data mining (decision tree and association rules) to the Finnish national occupational accidents and diseases statistics database to analyse factors related to slipping, stumbling, and falling (SSF) accidents at work from 2006 to 2007. SSF accidents at work constitute a large proportion (22%) of all accidents at work in Finland. In addition, they are more likely to result in longer periods of incapacity for work than other workplace accidents. The most important factor influencing whether or not an accident at work is related to SSF is the specific physical activity of movement. In addition, the risk of SSF accidents at work seems to depend on the occupation and the age of the worker. The results were in line with previous research. Hence the application of data mining methods was considered successful. The results did not reveal anything unexpected though. Nevertheless, because of the capability to illustrate a large dataset and relationships between variables easily, data mining methods were seen as a useful supplementary method in analysing occupational accident data.
One of the serious environmental problems that society is facing today is mine tailings. These byproducts of the process of extraction of valuable elements from ores are a source of pollution and a threat to the environment. For example, mine tailings from past mining activities at Giant Mines, Yellowknife, are deposited in chambers, stopes, and tailing ponds close to the shores of The Great Slave Lake. One of the environmentally friendly approaches for removing heavy metals from these contaminated tailing is by using biosurfactants during the process of soil washing. The objective of this present study is to investigate the effect of sophorolipid (SL) concentration, the volume of washing solution per gram of medium, pH, and temperature on the efficiency of sophorolipids in removing heavy metals from mine tailings. It was found that the efficiency of the sophorolipids depends on its concentration, and is greatly affected by changes in pH, and temperature. The results of this experiment show that increasing the temperature from 15 to 23 °C, while using sophorolipids, resulted in an increase in the removal of iron, copper, and arsenic from the mine tailing specimen, from 0.25, 2.1, and 8.6 to 0.4, 3.3, and 11.7%. At the same time, increasing the temperature of deionized water (DIW) from 15 to 23 °C led to an increase in the removal of iron, copper, and arsenic from 0.03, 0.9, and 1.8 to 0.04, 1.1, and 2.1%, respectively. By increasing temperature from 23 to 35 °C, when using sophorolipids, 22% reduction in the removal of arsenic was observed. At the same time while using DI water as the washing solution, increasing temperature from 23 to 35 °C resulted in 6.2% increase in arsenic removal. The results from this present study indicate that sophorolipids are promising agents for replacing synthetic surfactants in the removal of arsenic and other heavy metals from soil and mine tailings.
A plant processing radium and uranium ores has been operating in the town of Port Hope since 1932. Given the nuclear industry located in the community and ongoing public health concerns, cancer incidence rates in Port Hope were studied for a recent 16 year period (1992-2007) for continued periodic cancer incidence surveillance of the community. The cancer incidence in the local community for all cancers combined was similar to the Ontario population, health regions with similar socio-economic characteristics in Ontario and in Canada, and the Canadian population. No statistically significant differences in childhood cancer, leukaemia or other radiosensitive cancer incidence were observed, with the exception of statistically significant elevated lung cancer incidence among women. However, the statistical significance was reduced or disappeared when the comparison was made to populations with similar socio-economic characteristics. These findings are consistent with previous ecological, case-control and cohort studies conducted in Port Hope, environmental assessments, and epidemiological studies conducted elsewhere on populations living around similar facilities or exposed to similar environmental contaminants. Although the current study covered an extended period of time, the power to detect risk at the sub-regional level of analysis was limited since the Port Hope population is small (16,500). The study nevertheless indicated that large differences in cancer incidence are not occurring in Port Hope compared to other similar communities and the general population.
The blue mussel (Mytilus sp.) has been used to assess the potential biological effects of the discharge effluent from the Omya Hustadmarmor mine, which releases its tailings into the Frænfjord near Molde, Norway. Chemical body burden and a suite of biological effects markers were measured in mussels positioned for 8?weeks at known distances from the discharge outlet. The biomarkers used included: condition index (CI); stress on stress (SoS); micronuclei formation (MN); acetylcholine esterase (AChE) inhibition, lipid peroxidation (LPO) and Neutral lipid (NL) accumulation. Methyl triethanol ammonium (MTA), a chemical marker for the esterquat based flotation chemical (FLOT2015), known to be used at the mine, was detected in mussels positioned 1500?m and 2000?m downstream from the discharge outlet. Overall the biological responses indicated an increased level of stress in mussels located closest to the discharge outlet. The same biomarkers (MN, SoS, NL) were responsible for the integrated biological response (IBR/n) of the two closest stations and indicates a response to a common point source. The integrated biological response index (IBR/n) reflected the expected level of exposure to the mine effluent, with the highest IBR/n calculated in mussels positioned closest to the discharge. Principal component analysis (PCA) also showed a clear separation between the mussel groups, with the most stressed mussels located closest to the mine tailing outlet. Although not one chemical factor could explain the increased stress on the mussels, highest metal (As, Co, Ni, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe) and MTA concentrations were detected in the mussel group located closest to the mine discharge.
Overland transport of ore concentrate from the Red Dog lead/zinc mine in northwest Alaska to its seaport has historically raised concerns among local subsistence users regarding the potential impacts of fugitive dust from the operation, including the potential uptake of metals into caribou meat. Caribou are an integral part of life for northern Alaska Natives for both subsistence and cultural reasons. The Western Arctic caribou herd, whose range includes the Red Dog mine, transportation corridor, and port site, sometimes overwinter in the vicinity of mine operations. A weight of evidence approach using multiple lines of evidence was used to evaluate potential risks associated with subsistence consumption of caribou harvested near the road and mine. Data from a long-term caribou monitoring program indicate a lack of consistent trends for either increasing or decreasing metals concentrations in caribou muscle, liver, and kidney tissue. Lead, cadmium, and zinc from all tissues were within the range of reference concentrations reported for caribou elsewhere in Northern Alaska. In addition, a site use study based on data from satellite-collared caribou from the Western Arctic Herd showed that caribou utilize the area near the road, port, and mine approximately 1/20th to 1/90th of the time assumed in a human health risk assessment conducted for the site, implying that risks were significantly overestimated in the risk assessment. The results from multiple lines of evidence consistently indicate that fugitive dust emissions from Red Dog Operations are not a significant source of metals in caribou, and that caribou remain safe for human consumption.