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How are key environmental factors linked to public health and wellbeing? This blog addresses all aspects of natural and human built environments, provides latest updates and overview of key health indicators.
Is that it? Summer is finally over. And so is the sweet melancholy of August, listening to nature sounds - soothing ocean waves or a chorus of crickets while sitting on a porch, sun drying you with warm rays... It's the end of the holiday break.Tomorrow is September, the second most stressful month of the year. It is known for stock market volatility and big financial crashes, strategic planning meetings, storms and tornadoes, hectic days at work, the season of "back to school" and the time for ........ Read more »
Muehling, D., Sprott, D., & Sprott, D. (2004) THE POWER OF REFLECTION: An Empirical Examination of Nostalgia Advertising Effects. Journal of Advertising, 33(3), 25-35. DOI: 10.1080/00913367.2004.10639165
Picture your dream home. Chances are you did not think much about cutting edge technology, but more about luscious green grass, backyard oasis, fresh clean air, soothing pool of water or watching the sunset in your rocking chair. Scientific studies and crowdsourcing projects showed that the amount of greenery is usually associated with beauty, quietness, or happiness, while broad streets, fortress-like buildings, and council houses are associated with ugly, noisy, and unhappy environments. ........ Read more »
Lindal, P., & Hartig, T. (2013) Architectural variation, building height, and the restorative quality of urban residential streetscapes. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26-36. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2012.09.003
Shaocai Yu. (2014) Water spray geoengineering to clean air pollution for mitigating haze in China’s cities. Environmental Chemistry Letters. info:/10.1007/s10311-013-0444-0
Mitchell BW, & Waltman WD. (2003) Reducing airborne pathogens and dust in commercial hatching cabinets with an electrostatic space charge system. Avian diseases, 47(2), 247-53. PMID: 12887184
Seasonal changes, holidays and shopping activities are among the environmental factors that can influence our health. What positive or negative effects can we expect on Black Friday and days right after? The Friday-after-Thanksgiving was coined "Black" by police officers because of the fact that the traffic on the day after Thanksgiving is usually heavy and crowds are large. And they were right. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration & CDC, Thanksgiving is the most dang........ Read more »
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2001) Reducing the risk for injury while traveling for Thanksgiving holidays. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 50(45), 1016-7. PMID: 11724161
Hull HR, Radley D, Dinger MK, & Fields DA. (2006) The effect of the Thanksgiving holiday on weight gain. Nutrition journal, 29. PMID: 17118202
Rick, S., Pereira, B., & Burson, K. (2014) The benefits of retail therapy: Making purchase decisions reduces residual sadness. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 24(3), 373-380. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcps.2013.12.004
Beauchamp GA, Ho ML, & Yin S. (2014) Variation in suicide occurrence by day and during major American holidays. The Journal of emergency medicine, 46(6), 776-81. PMID: 24462023
Food, drugs, air and everyday products like soap, cloth and grocery receipts are polluting our bodies with hundreds of toxic chemicals. New chemicals are constantly being introduced into our environment and the effects of most of them on human health are not known. About 30% of human diseases are due to environmental exposures as genetics is not the whole story. Whether rich or poor, our bodies are burdened with toxic waste. High socioeconomic status means more mercury and arsenic........ Read more »
Giles LV, & Koehle MS. (2013) The Health Effects of Exercising in Air Pollution. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). PMID: 24174304
The environment plays a significant role in our health. We are exposed to multiple physical, chemical and biological challenges, including information - like news and gossip stories related to health and wellness. How exactly is it affecting us? University of Pennsylvania researchers surveyed over two thousand US adults 40 to 70 years of age on how they scanned for information about specific health behaviors. The researchers followed up one year later to see how participants' behaviors chang........ Read more »
Hornik R, Parvanta S, Mello S, Freres D, Kelly B, & Schwartz JS. (2013) Effects of Scanning (Routine Health Information Exposure) on Cancer Screening and Prevention Behaviors in the General Population. Journal of health communication. PMID: 24083417
Asthma sufferers know that when it rains it spores - as fungi and mold get moving through the air. But many don't realize that the most dangerous month for children's asthma symptoms is dry September. A study of hospital data found the spike in admissions in two to three weeks after the return to school. It happens in the United States, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Israel, Finland, Trinidad, and Canada, where 20% to 25% of all childhood asthma exacerbations requiring hospitalization have occurred........ Read more »
Lin S, Jones R, Liu X, & Hwang SA. (2011) Impact of the return to school on childhood asthma burden in New York State. International journal of occupational and environmental health, 17(1), 9-16. PMID: 21344814
Lee CC, Sheridan SC, & Lin S. (2012) Relating weather types to asthma-related hospital admissions in New York State. EcoHealth, 9(4), 427-39. PMID: 23224756
The jury is still out whether Angelina's choice is brave or fearful, but the fact remains: having or not having the "bad" genes is not enough to develop or avoid developing breast cancer. As a matter of fact, only 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases result directly from inherited gene defects. Check it yourself, by using this decision tool developed in Stanford. Even though for members of some families with BRCA mutations the risk may be as high as 80%, this could be because of environme........ Read more »
Grundy A, Richardson H, Burstyn I, Lohrisch C, Sengupta SK, Lai AS, Lee D, Spinelli JJ, & Aronson KJ. (2013) Increased risk of breast cancer associated with long-term shift work in Canada. Occupational and environmental medicine. PMID: 23817841
Nothing is certain, but blood pressure does increase in the end of winter and beginning of spring. According to Aurametrix users and google statistics. As a matter of fact, it highly correlates with tax fever - as found by Google Correlate algorithm comparing millions of web queries. But the reason for raising blood pressure is not always taxes. Seasonal variation in blood pressure was noticed and described more than 50 years ago and was connected to periods of decreasing outdoor temperature. ........ Read more »
Alpérovitch, A. (2009) Relationship Between Blood Pressure and Outdoor Temperature in a Large Sample of Elderly IndividualsThe Three-City Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 169(1), 75. DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2008.512
Halonen, J., Zanobetti, A., Sparrow, D., Vokonas, P., & Schwartz, J. (2010) Relationship between outdoor temperature and blood pressure. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 68(4), 296-301. DOI: 10.1136/oem.2010.056507
Brook RD, Weder AB, & Rajagopalan S. (2011) "Environmental hypertensionology" the effects of environmental factors on blood pressure in clinical practice and research. Journal of clinical hypertension (Greenwich, Conn.), 13(11), 836-42. PMID: 22051429
Worst of flu season may be over. But you can still catch a chill. If you shake hands with lots of sick people, for example. Or don't keep sufficiently warm. Yes, your mother has told you, and you thought it was just an old wives' tale, but it wasn't. Scientists (Johnson and Eccles, 2005) provide evidence that cold exposure may induce cold symptoms without any contact to sick individuals. As we all carry dormant (sub-clinical) infections in our nose, genitals and other parts of the body, and thes........ Read more »
Johnson C, & Eccles R. (2005) Acute cooling of the feet and the onset of common cold symptoms. Family practice, 22(6), 608-13. PMID: 16286463
Huang Y, Zaas AK, Rao A, Dobigeon N, Woolf PJ, Veldman T, Øien NC, McClain MT, Varkey JB, Nicholson B.... (2011) Temporal dynamics of host molecular responses differentiate symptomatic and asymptomatic influenza a infection. PLoS genetics, 7(8). PMID: 21901105
An apple doesn't fall far from the tree. So if you don't like apples, trees won't like you either. And the other way around.If your mother ate apples during pregnancy, she might have protected you from asthma. And if you like apple juice, this might help you avoid chronic wheezing issues. Research has already proven these and many similar connections. Now a new study suggests that eating apples could also help you cope with seasonal allergies - particularly with allergies to ........ Read more »
Kopac P, Rudin M, Gentinetta T, Gerber R, Pichler Ch, Hausmann O, Schnyder B, & Pichler WJ. (2012) Continuous apple consumption induces oral tolerance in birch-pollen-associated apple allergy. Allergy, 67(2), 280-5. PMID: 22070352
Okamoto Y, & Kurihara K. (2012) [A case of oral allergy syndrome whose symptoms were dramatically improved after rush subcutaneous injection immunotherapy with pollen extracts of birch]. Arerugi , 61(5), 652-8. PMID: 22705787
Fewer people caught the flu this season compared with past years. And many more apps tracking the flu have been developed. Any relationship between these two trends?Of course, less flu could be just the result of fewer mutations in bugs, warmer weather and more vaccinations. Yet the power of good software - such as google flu trends, twitter-based trackers and numerous apps can not be underestimated. Thanks to these tools, we are now more aware (and more afraid).The flu is inher........ Read more »
Dugas, A., Hsieh, Y., Levin, S., Pines, J., Mareiniss, D., Mohareb, A., Gaydos, C., Perl, T., & Rothman, R. (2012) Google Flu Trends: Correlation With Emergency Department Influenza Rates and Crowding Metrics. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 54(4), 463-469. DOI: 10.1093/cid/cir883
Environment can significantly affect human health. And the risks are not limited to air pollution, seasonal allergies, tainted water or chemicals in food. Our life dramas are set against the backdrop of world events that contribute to environmental health too, to a lesser or greater extent.How does springing clocks forward affect our lives?Hopefully, not much financially. Despite earlier predictions that average stock market returns are likely to be lower on Mondays following time changes (........ Read more »
Janszky, I., Ahnve, S., Ljung, R., Mukamal, K., Gautam, S., Wallentin, L., & Stenestrand, U. (2012) Daylight saving time shifts and incidence of acute myocardial infarction – Swedish Register of Information and Knowledge About Swedish Heart Intensive Care Admissions (RIKS-HIA). Sleep Medicine, 13(3), 237-242. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2011.07.019
Schneider, A., & Randler, C. (2009) Daytime sleepiness during transition into daylight saving time in adolescents: Are owls higher at risk?. Sleep Medicine, 10(9), 1047-1050. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.08.009
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