Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Environmental health and preventive medicine


Most studies have investigated the association between parental socioeconomic factors and dental caries in children based on educational and income levels; studies focusing on parental occupation, however, have been relatively limited. This cross-sectional study examined the associations between parental occupations and levels of education and household income and the prevalence of dental caries in Japanese children aged 3 years.

Concepts: Education, Lactic acid, The Association, Dental caries, Household income in the United States


We previously developed a model for projection of heat-related mortality attributable to climate change. The objective of this paper is to improve the fit and precision of and examine the robustness of the model.

Concepts: Das Model, Actuarial science


Devastating disasters may increase suicide rates due to mental distress. Previous domestic studies have reported decreased suicide rates among men following disasters. Few reports are available regarding factors associated with disasters, making it difficult to discuss how these events affect suicide rates. This study aimed to observe changes in suicide rates in disaster-stricken and neighboring areas following the Great East Japan Earthquake, and examine associations between suicide rates and economic factors.

Concepts: Affect, Cultural studies, Economics, Suicide, Report, Great Hanshin earthquake


During the last two decades, Sri Lanka, located close to the equator, has experienced an escalating incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) of unknown aetiology (CKDue) in dry zonal areas. Similar incidences of unusual CKDs have been reported in the dry zonal, agricultural areas of several other equatorial countries. In Sri Lanka, the incidence of CKDue is highest in the North Central Province (NCP), where approximately 45 % of the country’s paddy fields are located. However, in recent years, the disease has spread into areas adjacent to as well as distant from the NCP. The cause of CKD in Sri Lanka is unknown, and may likely due to interactions of different potential agents; thus, CKD is of multi-factorial origin (CKD-mfo). These factors include, the negative effects from overuse of agrochemicals. Nevertheless, the potential interactions and synergism between probable agents have not been studied. This systematic review discusses the proposed hypotheses and causes of CKD-mfo in Sri Lanka, and ways to decrease the incidence of this disease and to eradicate it, and provide some recommendations. During the past decade, a number of groups have investigated this disorder using different methodologies and reported various correlations, but failed to find a cause. Research has focussed on the contamination of water with heavy metals, agrochemicals, hard water, algae, ionicity, climate change, and so forth. Nevertheless, the levels of any of the pollutants or conditions reported in water in NPC are inconsistent not correlated with the prevalence of the disease, and are too low to be the sole cause of CKD-mfo. Meanwhile, several nephrotoxins prevalent in the region, including medications, leptospirosis, toxic herbs, illicit alcohol, locally grown tobacco, and petrochemicals, as well as the effects of changed habits occured over the past four decades have not been studied to date. Taken together, the geographical distribution and overall findings indicate that combinations of factors and/or their interactions are likely to precipitate CKD-mfo, which kills more than 5,000 people annually in Sri Lanka; most victims are middle-aged male farmers. Much anecdotal evidence from this region suggests that consumption of contaminated water is the most likely source of this deadly disease. Although the aetiology is unknown, prevention of this “environmentally acquired” disease seems relatively straightforward. Solutions include (a) preventing environmental pollution, (b) stopping the irresponsible use and decreasing the usage of agrochemicals, and encouraging the use of environmentally friendly agricultural methods, © taking proper precautions when using agrochemicals and safe disposal of their containers, (d) changing the risky behaviour of farmers and educating them to preserve the environment, and (e) providing clean potable water to all affected regions. Implementing a well-coordinated, in-depth, region-wide, broad-based research study together with a long-term effective surveillance programme across the country is essential to curbing this disease. Unless firm actions are taken promptly, more than three million healthy people in the country, live in agricultural regions, are at risk for contracting CKD-mfo and succumb to premature deaths, which are preventable.

Concepts: Central Province, Sri Lanka, Water, Northern Province, Sri Lanka, Incidence, Kidney, Prevalence, Sri Lanka, Chronic kidney disease


The aim of this study was to investigate the linkage among climate parameters, total ambulance transports and the number of deaths in Asahikawa City in northern Japan.

Concepts: Japan, Death


Pesticides are an agricultural chemical suspected to be a significant contributor to a global diabetes pandemic. The purpose of this study was to confirm previous findings of the link between diabetes and some agricultural pesticides and to identify the particular pesticides that are most likely to pose a risk of diabetes in the community.

Concepts: Case-control study, The Link REIT, Epidemiology


Acute coronary syndrome (ACS) may occur during any human activity, including driving. The objectives of this study were to report the frequency of ACS occurring while driving, clarify patient characteristics, and analyze the behavioral patterns of drivers who sustained ACS.

Concepts: Wavelength, Asperger syndrome, Syndromes, Syndrome, Human behavior, Angina pectoris, Acute coronary syndrome


Suicide mortality varies in both the short and long term. Our study examines suicide mortality in Finland and Sweden from the 1750s until today. The aim of our study is to detect any seasonal peaks in suicide rates and examine their temporal evolution to suggest a mechanism that may explain such peaks.

Concepts: Term


Health problems and illnesses encountered by unprotected workers, first-responders, home-owners, and volunteers in recovery and restoration of moldy indoor environments after hurricanes, typhoons, tropical storms, and flooding damage are a growing concern for healthcare providers and disaster medicine throughout the world. Damp building materials, particularly cellulose-containing substrates, are prone to fungal (mold) and bacterial infestation. During remediation and demolition work, the airborne concentrations of such microbes and their by-products can rise significantly and result in an exposure risk. Symptoms reported by unprotected workers and volunteers may relate to reactions of the airways, skin, mucous membranes, or internal organs. Dampness-related fungi are primarily associated with allergies, respiratory symptoms or diseases such as dermatitis, rhinosinusitis, bronchitis, and asthma, as well as changes of the immunological system. Also, cognitive, endocrine, or rheumatological changes have been reported. Based on the consensus among experts at a recent scientific conference and a literature review, it is generally recommended to avoid and minimize unnecessary fungal exposure and use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in disaster response and recovery work. Mycologists recommend addressing any moisture or water intrusion rapidly, since significant mold growth can occur within 48 h. Systematic source removal, cleaning with “soap and water,” and “bulk removal” followed by high-efficiency particulate air vacuuming is recommended in most cases; use of “biocides” should be avoided in occupied areas. Public health agencies recommend use of adequate respiratory, skin, and eye protection. Workers can be protected against these diseases by use of dust control measures and appropriate personal protective equipment. At a minimum, a facial dust mask such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-approved N95 respirator should be used for mold remediation jobs. For any large-scale projects, trained remediation workers who have medical clearance and use proper personal protection (PPE) should be employed.

Concepts: Stachybotrys chartarum, Medicine, Mucus, Fungi, Tropical cyclone, Personal protective equipment, Protection, Occupational safety and health


Infection and inflammation account for approximately 25% of cancer-causing factors. Inflammation-related cancers are characterized by mutagenic DNA lesions, such as 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and 8-nitroguanine. Our previous studies demonstrated the formation of 8-oxodG and 8-nitroguanine in the tissues of cancer and precancerous lesions due to infection (e.g., Opisthorchis viverrini-related cholangiocarcinoma, Schistosoma haematobium-associated bladder cancer, Helicobacter pylori-infected gastric cancer, human papillomavirus-related cervical cancer, Epstein-Barr virus-infected nasopharyngeal carcinoma) and pro-inflammatory factors (e.g., asbestos, nanomaterials, and inflammatory diseases such as Barrett’s esophagus and oral leukoplakia). Interestingly, several of our studies suggested that inflammation-associated DNA damage in cancer stem-like cells leads to cancer development with aggressive clinical features. Reactive oxygen/nitrogen species from inflammation damage not only DNA but also other biomacromolecules, such as proteins and lipids, resulting in their dysfunction. We identified oxidatively damaged proteins in cancer tissues by 2D Oxyblot followed by MALDI-TOF/TOF. As an example, oxidatively damaged transferrin released iron ion, which may mediate Fenton reactions and generate additional reactive oxygen species. Dysfunction of anti-oxidative proteins due to this damage might increase oxidative stress. Such damage in biomacromolecules may form a vicious cycle of oxidative stress, leading to cancer development. Epigenetic alterations such as DNA methylation and microRNA dysregulation play vital roles in carcinogenesis, especially in inflammation-related cancers. We examined epigenetic alterations, DNA methylation and microRNA dysregulation, in Epstein-Barr virus-related nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the endemic area of Southern China and found several differentially methylated tumor suppressor gene candidates by using a next-generation sequencer. Among these candidates, we revealed higher methylation rates of RAS-like estrogen-regulated growth inhibitor (RERG) in biopsy specimens of nasopharyngeal carcinoma more conveniently by using restriction enzyme-based real-time PCR. This result may help to improve cancer screening strategies. We profiled microRNAs of nasopharyngeal carcinoma tissues using microarrays. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed the concordant downregulation of miR-497 in cancer tissues and plasma, suggesting that plasma miR-497 could be used as a diagnostic biomarker for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Chronic inflammation promotes genetic and epigenetic aberrations, with various pathogeneses. These changes may be useful biomarkers in liquid biopsy for early detection and prevention of cancer.