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Concept: Risk assessment


A modified version of the Joint British Societies (JBS3) ‘heart age’ tool was introduced online to broaden access to personalised risk assessment to the general population and encourage participation in the National Health Service (NHS) Health Check programme. This study reports on its early uptake and the profiles of those who used the self-assessment tool to determine their own cardiovascular risk.

Concepts: Health care, Heart, Blood vessel, Risk, Cardiovascular disease, Circulatory system, National Health Service, Risk assessment


Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100% after one hour to 40% after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group.

Concepts: Species, Animal, Pesticide, Tetrapod, Risk assessment, Amphibian, Frog, Toad


Prospective Hazard Analysis techniques such as Healthcare Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (HFMEA) and Structured What If Technique (SWIFT) have the potential to increase safety by identifying risks before an adverse event occurs. Published accounts of their application in healthcare have identified benefits, but the reliability of some methods has been found to be low. The aim of this study was to examine the validity of SWIFT and HFMEA by comparing their outputs in the process of risk assessment, and comparing the results with risks identified by retrospective methods.

Concepts: Risk, Psychometrics, Risk management, Probability, Hazard, Risk assessment, Failure mode and effects analysis, Safety engineering


Potential environmental risks caused by chemicals that could be released from a recycled plastic product were assessed using a screening risk assessment procedure for chemicals in recycled products.

Concepts: Risk, Assessment, Risk management, Environmentalism, Risk assessment, Probabilistic risk assessment


The National Health Service Health Check program in England is the largest cardiovascular risk assessment and management program in the world. We assessed the effect of this program on modelled risk of cardiovascular disease, individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease, prescribing of relevant medications and diagnosis of vascular disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Risk, Cardiovascular disease, Peripheral vascular disease, Management, Risk management, Risk assessment


Caramel color is added to many widely-consumed beverages as a colorant. Consumers of these beverages can be exposed to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI), a potential carcinogen formed during its manufacture. California’s Proposition 65 law requires that beverages containing 4-MEI concentrations corresponding to exposures that pose excess cancer risks > 1 case per 100,000 exposed persons (29 μg 4-MEI/day) carry warning labels. Using ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we assessed 4-MEI concentrations in 12 beverages purchased in California and a geographically distant metropolitan area (New York) in which warning labels are not required. In addition, we characterized beverage consumption by age and race/ethnicity (using weighted means calculated from logistic regressions) and assessed 4-MEI exposure and resulting cancer risks and US population cancer burdens attributable to beverage consumption. Data on beverage consumption were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, dose-response data for 4-MEI were obtained from the California Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Health Hazards Assessment, and data on population characteristics were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau. Of the 12 beverages, Malta Goya had the highest 4-MEI concentration (915.8 to 963.3μg/L), lifetime average daily dose (LADD - 8.04x10-3 mg/kgBW-day), lifetime excess cancer risk (1.93x10-4) and burden (5,011 cancer cases in the U.S. population over 70 years); Coca-Cola had the lowest value of each (4-MEI: 9.5 to 11.7μg/L; LADD: 1.01x10-4 mg/kgBW-day; risk: 1.92x10-6; and burden: 76 cases). 4-MEI concentrations varied considerably by soda and state/area of purchase, but were generally consistent across lots of the same beverage purchased in the same state/area. Routine consumption of certain beverages can result in 4-MEI exposures > 29 μg/day. State regulatory standards appear to have been effective in reducing exposure to carcinogens in some beverages. Federal regulation of 4-MEI in caramel color may be appropriate.

Concepts: Risk, United States, Coffee, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Risk assessment, Drink, Soft drink, United States Census Bureau


Stunting affects one-third of children under 5 y old in developing countries, and 14% of childhood deaths are attributable to it. A large number of risk factors for stunting have been identified in epidemiological studies. However, the relative contribution of these risk factors to stunting has not been examined across countries. We estimated the number of stunting cases among children aged 24-35 mo (i.e., at the end of the 1,000 days' period of vulnerability) that are attributable to 18 risk factors in 137 developing countries.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Death, Risk, Gerontology, Old age, Ageing, Risk assessment, Googol


Changing the nature, kind and quantity of particular regulatory-RNA molecules through genetic engineering can create biosafety risks. While some genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are intended to produce new regulatory-RNA molecules, these may also arise in other GMOs not intended to express them. To characterise, assess and then mitigate the potential adverse effects arising from changes to RNA requires changing current approaches to food or environmental risk assessments of GMOs. We document risk assessment advice offered to government regulators in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil during official risk evaluations of GM plants for use as human food or for release into the environment (whether for field trials or commercial release), how the regulator considered those risks, and what that experience teaches us about the GMO risk assessment framework. We also suggest improvements to the process.

Concepts: DNA, Molecular biology, Evaluation, Genetic pollution, Risk assessment, Genetically modified organism, Genetically modified food, Ice-minus bacteria


To identify critical elements of physical examination (PE) of potential tissue donors that could help to improve the safety of tissue transplantation. Physical signs were identified that can indicate the presence of a contraindication mentioned in EU Directive 2006/17/EC and that can theoretically be detected at PE. A risk assessment was designed, according to the Failure Mode and Effects Analysis model. Signs were scored on several aspects, taking into account various control measures, either required in the EU Directive or additional non-required measures. 106 signs associated with general and tissue-specific contraindications were identified. Signs of advanced infection with HIV, hepatitis B/C and syphilis (n = 13, 12.3%) can be omitted, since these contraindications will be detected by the required serological testing. With the required control measures, risk priorities are unacceptably “high” for 17.3% of the signs. For 64.5% of the signs, additional control measures are possible, which result in acceptable risk priorities for all signs. This risk management procedure identified the minimal necessary content of PE in potential tissue donors. Furthermore, risks associated with tissue donation were elucidated and possible risk control measures were identified as well as their impact on the safety of tissue transplantation.

Concepts: European Union, Risk, Management, Risk management, Regulation, Risk assessment, Seroconversion, Directive


This study aimed to systematically review the effectiveness of risk assessment tools in predicting sexual recidivism of adult male offenders.

Concepts: Male, Reproduction, Evaluation, Sex offender, Risk assessment, Recidivism