Little attention has been devoted to the effects on children's respiratory health of exposure to sulphur dioxide (SO2) in ambient air from local industrial emissions. Most studies on the effects of SO(2) have assessed its impact as part of the regional ambient air pollutant mix.
To examine the association between exposure to stack emissions of SO(2) from petroleum refineries located in Montreal's (Quebec) east-end industrial complex and the prevalence of active asthma and poor asthma control among children living nearby.
The present cross-sectional study used data from a respiratory health survey of Montreal children six months to 12 years of age conducted in 2006. Of 7964 eligible households that completed the survey, 842 children between six months and 12 years of age lived in an area impacted by refinery emissions. Ambient SO(2) exposure levels were estimated using dispersion modelling. Log-binomial regression models were used to estimate crude and adjusted prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% CIs for the association between yearly school and residential SO(2) exposure estimates and asthma outcomes. Adjustments were made for child's age, sex, parental history of atopy and tobacco smoke exposure at home.
The adjusted PR for the association between active asthma and SO(2) levels was 1.14 (95% CI 0.94 to 1.39) per interquartile range increase in modelled annual SO(2). The effect on poor asthma control was greater (PR=1.39 per interquartile range increase in modelled SO(2) [95% CI 1.00 to 1.94]).
Results of the present study suggest a relationship between exposure to refinery stack emissions of SO(2) and the prevalence of active and poor asthma control in children who live and attend school in proximity to refineries.
The APHEA 2 project investigated short-term health effects of particles in eight European cities. In each city associations between particles with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 microm (PM(10)) and black smoke and daily counts of emergency hospital admissions for asthma (0-14 and 15-64 yr), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and all-respiratory disease (65+ yr) controlling for environmental factors and temporal patterns were investigated. Summary PM(10) effect estimates (percentage change in mean number of daily admissions per 10 microg/m(3) increase) were asthma (0-14 yr) 1.2% (95% CI: 0.2, 2.3), asthma (15-64 yr) 1.1% (0.3, 1.8), and COPD plus asthma and all-respiratory (65+ yr) 1.0% (0.4, 1.5) and 0.9% (0.6, 1.3). The combined estimates for Black Smoke tended to be smaller and less precisely estimated than for PM(10). Variability in the sizes of the PM(10) effect estimates between cities was also investigated. In the 65+ groups PM(10) estimates were positively associated with annual mean concentrations of ozone in the cities. For asthma admissions (0-14 yr) a number of city-specific factors, including smoking prevalence, explained some of their variability. This study confirms that particle concentrations in European cities are positively associated with increased numbers of admissions for respiratory diseases and that some of the variation in PM(10) effect estimates between cities can be explained by city characteristics.
OBJECTIVES--To identify families in which the parents reported the child's illness as particularly stressful (high perception of illness threat), and to find out which health problems the parents perceive as particularly threatening. DESIGN--The parents registered the diagnosis and perception of illness threat in relation to the child's latest illness within a four-week retrospective period. Selected psychosocial conditions of the families were recorded in the same questionnaire. SETTING--18,949 families with at least one child under the age of 8 years, resident in the County of Ringkøbing in western Denmark at 1 March 1988. SUBJECTS--An age-stratified random sample of 1982 families was entered in the study. 85% of the families returned the questionnaire. RESULTS--There was a considerable variation in the parents' perception of illness threat. On the basis of a score it was possible to group parents with a high, medium, and low perception of illness threat. Every fourth family reported a high perception of illness threat. A multivariate analysis, with a high perception of illness threat as dependent and selected psychosocial conditions and the diagnosis as independent variables, led to the following main results: 1) parents with a high perception of the general health threat ("worried" parents) most frequently reported a high perception of illness threat, 2) the diagnoses were decisive; in particular, inflammation in the middle ear, bronchitis, pneumonia, and accidents led to the parents' reporting a high perception of illness threat, 3) parents without experience of children and children's illnesses more frequently perceived an actual illness as a high illness threat than parents with this experience, 4) parents more frequently perceive an illness in girls as a high illness threat. CONCLUSIONS--"Worried" parents, without experience of children and children's illnesses, perceive the child's latest illness as a high illness threat. These families need special care.
OBJECTIVES--To describe parent-reported morbidity in relation to the psycho-social conditions of the families and to characterize families whose children are frequently ill. DESIGN--The parent-reported morbidity in a two-month prospective period, and the psychosocial conditions of the families were registered by means of a questionnaire. The conditioned probability of parents' reporting an episode of illness was estimated by means of logistic regression analysis, taking the psycho-social conditions into consideration. SETTING--18,949 families with at least one child under the age of 8 years, resident in the County of Ringkjøbing in western Denmark at 1 March 1988. SUBJECTS--An age-stratified random sample of 1982 families was entered in the study. 1588 (82%) families returned the questionnaire. RESULTS--The parents reported considerable morbidity in their children. The cumulative incidence proportion (CIP) for the period was 48%. The multivariate analysis of the parent-reported morbidity led to the following main results: 1) the morbidity was greatest for children aged 6 to 18 months, after which it decreased with age, 2) there was interaction between the care conditions and the child's age--CIP for children up to two years was largest for the children who were cared for in daycare, while the CIP for the older children was largest for the children who were cared for at home, 3) if the parents reported that the child's siblings suffered from chronic or frequently recurring morbidity, the child's morbidity rate was significantly increased, 4) mothers with higher education reported more morbidity in their children than mothers without this education, and 5) parents with a high perception of the general health threat ("worried" parents) reported more morbidity than did parents with a low perception. CONCLUSIONS--The results made it possible to characterize families whose children were frequently reported ill.
Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Food-Borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Environmental Issues Division, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen's University, Canada. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of extreme ambient temperature on hospital emergency room visits (ER) related to mental and behavioral illnesses in Toronto, Canada.
A time series study was conducted using health and climatic data from 2002 to 2010 in Toronto, Canada. Relative risks (RRs) for increases in emergency room (ER) visits were estimated for specific mental and behavioral diseases (MBD) after exposure to hot and cold temperatures while using the 50th percentile of the daily mean temperature as reference. Poisson regression models using a distributed lag non-linear model (DLNM) were used. We adjusted for the effects of seasonality, humidity, day-of-the-week and outdoor air pollutants.
We found a strong association between MBD ER visits and mean daily temperature at 28?C. The association was strongest within a period of 0-4 days for exposure to hot temperatures. A 29% (RR=1.29, 95% CI 1.09-1.53) increase in MBD ER vists was observed over a cumulative period of 7 days after exposure to high ambient temperature (99th percentile vs. 50th percentile). Similar associations were reported for schizophrenia, mood, and neurotic disorers. No significant associations with cold temperatures were reported.
The ecological nature and the fact that only one city was investigated.
Our findings suggest that extreme temperature poses a risk to the health and wellbeing for individuals with mental and behavior illnesses. Patient management and education may need to be improved as extreme temperatures may become more prevalent with climate change.
An understanding of the occurrence and comparative timing of influenza infections in different age groups is important for developing community response and disease control measures. This study uses data from a Scandinavian county (population 427.000) to investigate whether age was a determinant for being diagnosed with influenza 2005-2010 and to examine if age was associated with case timing during outbreaks. Aggregated demographic data were collected from Statistics Sweden, while influenza case data were collected from a county-wide electronic health record system. A logistic regression analysis was used to explore whether case risk was associated with age and outbreak. An analysis of variance was used to explore whether day for diagnosis was also associated to age and outbreak. The clinical case data were validated against case data from microbiological laboratories during one control year. The proportion of cases from the age groups 10-19 (p
Socioemotional risks associated with nonparental care have been debated for decades, and research findings continue to be mixed. Yet few studies have been able to test the causal hypothesis that earlier, more extensive, and longer durations of nonmaternal care lead to more problems. To examine the consequences of age of entry into nonparental care for childhood aggression, we used prospective longitudinal data from Norway, where month of birth partly determines age of entry into Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) centers. In this sample of 939 children followed from ages 6 months through 4 years, ECEC teachers reported the children's aggression when they were 2, 3, and 4 years old. We found some evidence that age of entry into ECEC predicted aggression at age 2, albeit modestly and not robustly. Between the ages of 2 and 4 years, the effect of age of entry on aggression faded to negligible levels. The implications for psychological science and policy are discussed.
The aim of this study was to test whether alexithymia mediates the relationship between childhood maltreatment and self-injurious behaviors (SIB) in college women.
The sample was comprised of 100 female undergraduate students. Measures were the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire [D. Bernstein, L. Fink, Manual for the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, The Psychological Corporation, New York, 1998], the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 [Journal of Psychosomatic Research 38 (1994) 23; Journal of Psychosomatic Research 38 (1994) 33], and the Self-Injurious Behaviors Questionnaire which assessed the lifetime frequency of six methods of superficial self-injury (hair pulling, head banging, punching, scratching, cutting, and burning). Regression analyses were used to test the proposed mediational model.
Forty-one percent of respondents reported having engaged in SIB; most engaged in multiple methods, and self-cutting was the most frequently endorsed method. Results of regression analyses supported the proposed mediational model for all types of maltreatment except sexual abuse. Sexual abuse, considered alone, was not significantly associated with alexithymia which precluded testing for mediational effects.
Results support a link between a history of childhood maltreatment and SIB among college women and the hypothesis that alexithymia mediates this relationship.
The aim of the present study was to assess the impact of chronic exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and methylmercury on visual brain processing in Inuit children from Nunavik (Northern Québec, Canada). Concentrations of total mercury in blood and PCB 153 in plasma had been measured at birth and they were again measured at the time of testing in 102 preschool aged children. Relationships between contaminants and pattern-reversal visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were assessed by multivariate regression analyses, taking into account several potential confounding variables. The possible protective effects of selenium and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids against methylmercury and PCB toxicity were also investigated. Results indicate that exposure to methylmercury and PCBs resulting from fish and sea mammal consumption were associated with alterations of VEP responses, especially for the latency of the N75 and of the P100 components. In contrast, the concomitant intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was associated with a shorter latency of the P100. However, no significant interactions between nutrients and contaminants were found, contradicting the notion that these nutrients could afford protection against environmental neurotoxicants. Interestingly, significant associations were found with concentrations of neurotoxicants in blood samples collected at the time of testing, i.e. at the preschool age. Our findings suggest that VEP can be used as a valuable tool to assess the developmental neurotoxicity of environmental contaminants in fish-eating populations.