Indoor environment and respiratory symptoms in children living in the Dutch-German borderland
ABSTRACT To investigate the relation between indoor environmental risk factors and respiratory symptoms in 7-8-year-old children living in the Dutch-German borderland.
A nested case-control study was conducted among children participating in a large longitudinal study on respiratory health. Parents of all 781 children with respiratory complaints and an equal number of randomly selected controls were asked to complete a questionnaire, including questions on indoor environment.
The parents of 1191 children (76.2%) participated. Past exposure to environmental (OR = 2.73, 95% CI 1.14-6.67) as well as in utero exposure (OR = 2.28, 95% CI 1.15-4.53) to tobacco smoke, use of an unvented geyser for water heating (OR = 3.01, 95% CI 1.21-7.56), long-term exposure to dampness (OR = 2.98, 95% CI 1.10-8.28) or pets (OR = 2.18, 95% CI 1.39-3.42) increased the risk of asthmatic symptoms in 7-8-year-old children. A middle or low socio-economic status also increased the risk of asthmatic symptoms. An inverse association with asthmatic symptoms was seen for wall-to-wall carpeting (OR = 0.57, 95% CI 0.33-0.95) and insulation measures (OR = 0.46, 95% CI 0.25-0.83). Except for the presence of an unvented geyser, these environmental risk factors also presented a risk for coughing symptoms in children.
This study showed an increased risk of respiratory symptoms in children exposed to several indoor environmental risk factors.
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ABSTRACT: Thirty-six studies, with over 33,000 participants, were meta-analysed. The sample-weighted average effect was d þ ¼0.08. Energy efficiency interventions, therefore, had a small, positive effect on health. Participants with low incomes saw greater benefits. Larger effects were found in more recent studies and where medical tests were used. a b s t r a c t It is widely accepted that interventions designed to promote household energy efficiency, like insulation, central heating and double glazing, can help to reduce cold-related illnesses and associated stress by making it easier for residents to keep their homes warm. However, these interventions may also have a detrimental effect on health. For example, the materials used or lower ventilation rates could result in poorer indoor air quality. The present research sought to systematically quantify the impact of household energy efficiency measures on health and wellbeing. Thirty-six studies, involving more than 33,000 participants were meta-analysed. Effect sizes (d) ranged from À 0.43 (a negative impact on health) to 1.41 (a substantial positive impact on health), with an overall sample-weighted average effect size (d þ) of 0.08. On average, therefore, household energy efficiency interventions led to a small but significant improvement in the health of residents. The findings are discussed in the context of the health improvements experienced by different groups of participants and the study design factors that influence health outcomes. The need for future studies to investigate the long term health benefits of interventions designed to promote household energy efficiency is identified.Energy Policy 01/2013; 65. DOI:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.10.054i · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Public health has been defined as the science and art of disease prevention, prolonging life, and promoting health and well-being through organized community effort for the sanitation of the environment, the control of communicable infections, the organization of medical and nursing services for the early diagnosis and prevention of disease, the education of the individual in personal health and the development of the social machinery to assure everyone a standard of living adequate for the maintenance or improvement of health.1 In the era of the eradication of smallpox in the sixties and seventies of the last century the world was optimistic about a future world with controlled communicable diseases. The eradication of smallpox inspired the world to eradicate poliomyelitis as well. This optimism was in vain. The poliomyelitis eradication experienced drawbacks, resulting in an all or nothing battle.2 Also old infectious diseases like Influenza, Dengue and Tuberculosis have revived and Legionella, HIV and SARS and the development of antibiotic resistance in the form of MRSA and multi-drug resistance of Mycobacterium tuberculosis are new examples of emerging communicable diseases.3 Microbial agents that cause communicable diseases have proven to be very dynamic, resilient, and well adapted to exploit opportunities for change, development and emergence of new species and for spread. In the “global village” the increase of travelling of humans and animals and the enormous increase in meat industry and its antibiotic use, have created new opportunities for sexually transmitted diseases, zoonoses, antibiotic resistance and emerging diseases.