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

Journal: Preventive medicine


Active travel (cycling, walking) is beneficial for the health due to increased physical activity (PA). However, active travel may increase the intake of air pollution, leading to negative health consequences. We examined the risk-benefit balance between active travel related PA and exposure to air pollution across a range of air pollution and PA scenarios. The health effects of active travel and air pollution were estimated through changes in all-cause mortality for different levels of active travel and air pollution. Air pollution exposure was estimated through changes in background concentrations of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ranging from 5 to 200μg/m3. For active travel exposure, we estimated cycling and walking from 0 up to 16h per day, respectively. These refer to long-term average levels of active travel and PM2.5 exposure. For the global average urban background PM2.5 concentration (22μg/m3) benefits of PA by far outweigh risks from air pollution even under the most extreme levels of active travel. In areas with PM2.5 concentrations of 100μg/m3, harms would exceed benefits after 1h 30min of cycling per day or more than 10h of walking per day. If the counterfactual was driving, rather than staying at home, the benefits of PA would exceed harms from air pollution up to 3h 30min of cycling per day. The results were sensitive to dose-response function (DRF) assumptions for PM2.5 and PA. PA benefits of active travel outweighed the harm caused by air pollution in all but the most extreme air pollution concentrations.

Concepts: Pollution, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Particulate, Visibility, Smog, Air pollution, Dust, Scrubber


Naloxone access through established healthcare settings is critical to responding to the opioid crisis. We conducted a systematic review to assess the acceptability and feasibility of prescribing naloxone to patients in primary care. We queried PubMed, EmBase and CINAHL for US-based, peer-reviewed, full-length, original articles relating to acceptability or feasibility of prescribing naloxone in primary care. Searches yielded 270 unduplicated articles; one analyst reviewed all titles and abstracts. Two analysts independently reviewed eligible articles for study design, study outcome, and acceptability and/or feasibility. Analyses were compared and a third reviewer consulted if discrepancies emerged. Seventeen articles were included. Providers' willingness to prescribe naloxone appeared to increase over time. Most studies provided prescribers in-person naloxone trainings, including how to write a prescription and indications for prescribing. Most studies implemented universal prescribing, whereby anyone prescribed long-term opioids or otherwise at risk for overdose was eligible for naloxone. Patient education was largely provided by prescribers and most studies provided take-home educational materials. Providers reported concerns around naloxone prescribing including lack of knowledge around prescribing and educating patients. Providers also reported benefits such as improving difficult conversations around opioids and resetting the culture around opioids and overdose. Current literature supports the acceptability and feasibility of naloxone prescribing in primary care. Provision of naloxone through primary care may help normalize such medication safety interventions, support larger opioid stewardship efforts, and expand access to patients not served by a community distribution program.


The rates of cervical cancer (CxCa) in England among women aged 20-24yrs increased from 2.7 in 2012 to 4.6 per 100,000 in 2014 (p=0.0006). There was concern that the sudden increase was linked to the withdrawal of cervical screening in women aged 20-24 (a policy that affected women born since 1984). We analyse granular data on age and FIGO stage at diagnosis using a generalised linear model to see whether the unprecedented increase in CxCa in young women in 2014 was linked to the change in 2012 to the age at which the first invitation to screening was sent (from 25.0 to 24.5). Annual rates of CxCa per 100,000 women aged 20.0-24.5yrs decreased gradually over time, whereas at age 24.5-25.0yrs they increased from an average of 16 pre-2013 to 49 in 2015. An increase of 20.3 per 100,000 women aged 24.5-25.0yrs (95% CI: 15.2-25.4) was associated with inviting women for screening at age 24.5yrs instead of at age 25.0. At age 25.0-25.5yrs, rates decreased by 23.7 per 100,000 after women were invited at age 24.5yrs (p<0.001). All these changes were limited to stage I CxCa. There was a dramatic increase in diagnoses at age 25yrs in 2009-2011 associated with changing the age at first invitation from 20yrs to 25yrs. No changes were observed at age 26.0-27.0yrs. The increase in CxCa aged 20-24 is attributable to an increase in the proportion of women first screened aged 24.5yrs. The increase was limited to stage I CxCa. There is no evidence of a lack of screening leading to increasing rates.

Concepts: Metastasis, Human papillomavirus, Carcinoma in situ, Senescence, Change, Endometrial cancer


To examine associations of time spent sitting in cars with markers of cardio-metabolic risk in Australian adults.

Concepts: Automobile, Happy Feet


Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are lifelong disabilities caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Prenatal alcohol use is common in the UK, but FASD prevalence was unknown. Prevalence estimates are essential for informing FASD prevention, identification and support. We applied novel screening algorithms to existing data to estimate the screening prevalence of FASD. Data were from a population-based cohort study (ALSPAC), which recruited pregnant women with expected delivery dates between 1991 and 1992 from the Bristol area of the UK. We evaluated different missing data strategies by comparing results from complete case, single imputation (which assumed that missing data indicated no exposure and no impairment), and multiple imputation methods. 6.0% of children screened positive for FASD in the analysis that used the single imputation method (total N = 13,495), 7.2% in complete case analysis (total N = 223) and 17.0% in the analysis with multiply imputed data (total N = 13,495). A positive FASD screen was more common among children of lower socioeconomic status and children from unplanned pregnancies. Our analyses showed that the complete case and single imputation methods that are commonly used in FASD prevalence studies are likely to underestimate FASD prevalence. Although not equivalent to a formal diagnosis, these screening prevalence estimates suggest that FASD is likely to be a significant public health concern in the UK. Given current patterns of alcohol consumption and recent changes in prenatal guidance, active case ascertainment studies are urgently needed to further clarify the current epidemiology of FASD in the general population of the UK.


Many factors contribute to sleep disturbance among young adults. Social media (SM) use is increasing rapidly, and little is known regarding its association with sleep disturbance.

Concepts: Sleep, The Association, Sunshine pop



The principal objective was to determine the extent to which physical activity (PA) accounts for differences in leukocyte telomere length (LTL) in a large random sample of U.S. adults. Another purpose was to assess the extent to which multiple demographic and lifestyle covariates affect the relationship between PA and LTL. A total of 5823 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999-2002) were studied cross-sectionally. Employing the quantitative polymerase chain reaction method, LTL was compared to standard reference DNA. PA was indexed using MET-minutes using self-reported frequency, intensity, and duration of participation in 62 physical activities. Covariates were controlled statistically. Telomeres were 15.6 base pairs shorter for each year of chronological age (F=723.2, P<0.0001). PA was inversely related to LTL after adjusting for all the covariates (F=8.3, P=0.0004). Telomere base pair differences between adults with High activity and those in the Sedentary, Low, and Moderate groups were 140, 137, and 111, respectively. Adults with High activity were estimated to have a biologic aging advantage of 9years (140 base pairs÷15.6) over Sedentary adults. The difference in cell aging between those with High and Low activity was also significant, 8.8years, as was the difference between those with High and Moderate PA (7.1years). Overall, PA was significantly and meaningfully associated with telomere length in U.S. men and women. Evidently, adults who participate in high levels of PA tend to have longer telomeres, accounting for years of reduced cellular aging compared to their more sedentary counterparts.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Polymerase chain reaction, Senescence, Base pair, DNA replication, Reverse transcriptase, Telomere


Despite the public, political, and media narrative that mental health is at the root of gun violence, evidences are lacking to infer a causal link. This study examines the temporal associations between gun violence (i.e., threatening someone with a gun and gun carrying) and mental health (i.e., anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, hostility, impulsivity, and borderline personality disorder) as well the cross-sectional associations with gun access and gun ownership in a group of emerging adults. Waves 6 (2015) and 8 (2017) data were used from a longitudinal study in Texas, US. Participants were 663 emerging adults (61.7% female) including 33.6% self-identified Hispanics, 26.0% white, 27.0% Black, and 13.4% other, with an average age of 22 years. Multivariate logistic regression indicated that, individuals who had gun access were 18.15 times and individuals with high hostility were 3.51 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun, after controlling for demographic factors and prior mental health treatment. Individuals who had gun access were 4.74 times, individuals who reported gun ownership were 5.22 times, and individuals with high impulsivity were 1.91 times more likely to have carried a gun outside of their homes, after controlling for prior gun carrying, mental health treatment, and demographic factors. Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence. Instead, access to firearms was the primary culprit. The findings have important implications for gun control policy efforts.


The vegetarian diet is thought to have health benefits including reductions in type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Evidence to date suggests that vegetarians tend to have lower mortality rates when compared with non-vegetarians, but most studies are not population-based and other healthy lifestyle factors may have confounded apparent protective effects. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between categories of vegetarian diet (including complete, semi and pesco-vegetarian) and all-cause mortality in a large population-based Australian cohort. The 45 and Up Study is a cohort study of 267,180 men and women aged ≥45years in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Vegetarian diet status was assessed by baseline questionnaire and participants were categorized into complete vegetarians, semi-vegetarians (eat meat≤once/week), pesco-vegetarians and regular meat eaters. All-cause mortality was determined by linked registry data to mid-2014. Cox proportional hazards models quantified the association between vegetarian diet and all-cause mortality adjusting for a range of potential confounding factors. Among 243,096 participants (mean age: 62.3years, 46.7% men) there were 16,836 deaths over a mean 6.1years of follow-up. Following extensive adjustment for potential confounding factors there was no significant difference in all-cause mortality for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians [HR=1.16 (95% CI 0.93-1.45)]. There was also no significant difference in mortality risk between pesco-vegetarians [HR=0.79 (95% CI 0.59-1.06)] or semi-vegetarians [HR=1.12 (95% CI 0.96-1.31)] versus regular meat eaters. We found no evidence that following a vegetarian diet, semi-vegetarian diet or a pesco-vegetarian diet has an independent protective effect on all-cause mortality.

Concepts: Nutrition, Obesity, Meat, Diets, New South Wales, Vegetarianism, Veganism, Pescetarianism