[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that persist in the environment, bioaccumulate through the food chain, and exhibit toxic effects that threaten the health of humans and animals alike. The potential influence of POP-related air pollution on male reproductive outcomes has attracted increasing interest in the scientific community and among policymakers and the public. Therefore, epidemiological studies on fertility should examine the impact of chronic exposure to POPs via inhalation. The objective of this review is to present and discuss the available evidence linking the exposure to airborne POPs to male reproductive health problems. This study focuses on the air concentrations, biomarkers, and potential effects on the male reproductive health of two classes of POPs: the industrial polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Although the association between atmospheric pollutants and male reproductive health has been extensively investigated, particularly in relation to semen quality and endocrine outcomes, the molecular mechanisms of action, the adverse effects, and the dose-response relationships for many of these chemicals remain poorly understood. No systematic screening of common chemicals for negative endocrine effects is currently underway, and many questions remain regarding the impact on male reproductive health of exposures to these POPs. This review presents the air concentrations, biomarkers, and adverse male reproductive effects of PCBs and PBDEs pollutants. Given the dearth of information on this topic in the literature, studies are clearly needed to assess how pre-and post-natal exposure to airborne PCBs and PBDEs affects the male reproductive system. Future studies must also identify aerosols and airborne POPs that have a significant impact on male reproductive health and the pathways responsible for those effects.
Aerosol and Air Quality Research 06/2014; 14:1292–1298. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic evidence for an association between vaccinations and atopy development is inconsistent. We evaluated the influence of Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) combination vaccines in 6-month-old infants on the prevalence of atopic disorders in 18-month-old children.
We used multistage, stratified systematic sampling to recruit 24,200 mother-newborn pairs from the Taiwan national birth registration in 2005. Vaccination status was ascertained through official vaccine cards, while risk factors for atopic disorders were gathered by questionnaires at 6 months of age. Information about development of atopic dermatitis (AD) and recurrent wheezing was collected at 18 months of age. The relationship between atopic disorders and Hib combination vaccines, diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus-Hib and oral poliomyelitis vaccines (DPT-Hib&OPV) and DPT-Hib-inactivated poliomyelitis vaccines (DPT-Hib-IPV), were estimated by multiple logistic regression.
A total of 19,968 children completed the follow-up and participated in the study. AD was noted in 1584 (7.9%) infants while recurrent wheezing was found in 1220 (6.1%) infants. The adjusted odds ratios (ORs) (95% CI) for the development of AD in the DPT-Hib&OPV and DPT-Hib-IPV vaccination groups were given as 1.38 (1.15-1.65) and 1.49 (1.29-1.72), compared to those without Hib vaccination (DTP&OPV vaccination). However, the association between DPT-Hib&OPV and DPT-Hib-IPV vaccinations and recurrent wheezing failed to reach statistical significance.
There is a potential risk for AD after receiving Hib combination vaccines. Hib vaccination is important to the public health, and therefore the observation requires further investigations.
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 12/2012; 111(12):711-8. · 1.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Muscle imbalance between serratus anterior (SA), upper trapezius (UA), middle trapezius (MT), and lower trapezius (LT) muscles has been observed in subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS). OBJECTIVE: (1) To investigate the effect of electromyography (EMG) biofeedback training on muscle balance ratios and scapular kinematics in healthy adults and subjects with SAIS. (2) To investigate whether the effects of EMG biofeedback on muscle balance ratios are different between groups. DESIGN: Twelve healthy adults and 13 subjects with SAIS were recruited in this study. EMG was used to record the activity of scapular muscles. The ratios (UT/SA, UT/MT, and UT/LT) during exercises with/without EMG biofeedback were calculated. Scapular kinematics were recorded before and after exercises with/without EMG biofeedback. RESULTS: For the subjects with SAIS, muscle balance ratios were lower during forward flexion with EMG biofeedback than during exercise only (UT/SA: 70.3-45.2; UT/LT: 124.8-94.6). Additionally, similar results were found during side-lying external rotation (UT/MT: 58.5-36.4). For the scapular upward rotation and tipping in both groups, there were no significant differences with and without EMG biofeedback. CONCLUSION: EMG biofeedback improved the scapular muscular balance during training exercises in both groups. Further clinical trials should investigate the long-term effects of EMG biofeedback.
Journal of electromyography and kinesiology: official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology 10/2012; · 2.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Taiwan Birth Panel Study (TBPS) is a prospective follow-up study to investigate the development of child health and disease in relation to in-utero and/or early childhood environmental exposures. The rationale behind the establishment of such a cohort includes the magnitude of potential environmental exposures, the timing of exposure window, fatal and children's susceptibility to toxicants, early exposure delayed effects, and low-level or unknown neurodevelopmental toxicants.
A total of 486 mother-infant paired was enrolled from April 2004 to January 2005 in this study. Maternal blood before delivery, placenta and umbilical cord blood at birth, and mothers' urine after delivery were collected. The follow-up was scheduled at birth, 4, 6 months, and 1, 2, 3 and 5 years. The children's blood, urine, hair, and saliva were collected at 2 years of age and children's urine was collected at 5 years of age as well. The study has been approved by the ethical committee of National Taiwan University Hospital. All the subjects signed the inform consent on entering the study and each of the follow up.
Through this prospective birth cohort, the main health outcomes were focused on child growth, neurodevelopment, behaviour problem and atopic diseases. We investigated the main prenatal and postnatal factors including smoking, heavy metals, perfluorinated chemicals, and non-persistent pesticides under the consideration of interaction of the environment and genes.
This cohort study bridges knowledge gaps and answers unsolved issues in the low-level, prenatal or postnatal, and multiple exposures, genetic effect modification, and the initiation and progression of "environmentally-related childhood diseases."
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of the present study were to investigate in diabetic rats: (1) the chronological changes of compromised medial olivocochlear bundle (MOCB) activity and auditory brainstem responses (ABR) and (2) the effect of insulin on diabetes-related hearing dysfunction. Diabetes mellitus was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. Thirty male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control (C), diabetes with insulin injection (DI), and diabetes without insulin injection (DM). Click-evoked ABR, distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) and the contralateral suppression (CS) of DPOAE were measured for all animals monthly. Throughout the experiment, the thresholds of click-evoked ABR did not differ among groups. Wave III was delayed and interpeak latency I-III was prolonged in the DM group at the age of 29 weeks (p < 0.05). The amplitudes of the CS of DPOAE were markedly decreased after the 25th week in the DM group, but not in the C and DI groups. Compared to the C group, the CS in the DI group was not attenuated at any frequency. Dysfunction of auditory efferent olivocochlear activity developed in diabetic rats presenting no evidence of hearing loss. The finding of a significant decrease of the CS of DPOAE could be used as an earlier indicator of diabetes-related hearing impairment than changes of ABRs. The time course of compromised MOCB is positively correlated with the duration of diabetes. Insulin could therefore protect against compromised MOCB.
Hearing research 12/2010; 270(1-2):173-8. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nurses are at risk of occupational assaults. However, the incidence and effects have not been documented among nurses in Taiwan. We aimed to study the incidence of assaults and their effects, including quality of life and job-related stress among nurses.
A cross-sectional study was conducted to understand the incidence of work-related assaults in nurses. Job content questionnaire was used to determine the job control, psychological demands at work, and workplace support in these nurses. Quality of life was assessed by short form-36 (SF-36).
A total of 842 nurses satisfactorily completed the questionnaire, including 375 from general hospitals and 467 from psychiatric hospitals. A total of 237 (28.1%) reported to have experienced physical and/or verbal assaults in past 6 months. Experiences of sexual assault or verbal abuse were risk factors for feeling threatened by potential attacks. Nurses who felt threatened by potential attacked scored lower in general health, mental health, and vitality by SF-36, and had higher psychological demands at work, lower job control, and lower workplace support.
We conclude that nurses in general and psychiatric hospitals had high risk of assaults. Worksite assaults caused nurses to feel threatened, and such an effect was likely to cause increased job stress and decreased quality of life.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 10/2010; 83(7):823-32. · 2.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether repeated noise exposure aggravates the level of permanent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) in diabetic rats and whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a precursor of glutathione, attenuates the level of noise-induced permanent hearing loss in diabetic rats. Fifty male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: 12 non-diabetic control rats with saline injection (Control-Saline), 11 non-diabetic control rats with NAC injection (Control-NAC), 13 streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with saline injection (Diabetes-Saline) and 14 streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats with NAC injection (Diabetes-NAC). NAC (325mg/kg) was given by intraperitoneal injection twice per day (b.i.d.) for 14 days starting 2 days before noise exposure. All rats were exposed to noise for 8hours per day for 10 consecutive days to develop noise-induced permanent hearing loss. The hearing status of all animals was evaluated with auditory brainstem responses (ABR) evoked by clicks and tone bursts. ABRs were measured before and at 1hour, 1 week, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after noise exposure. After a recovery time of 4 weeks, animals were decapitated, and the loss of hair cells was assessed microscopically. In all groups, ABR thresholds failed to return to pre-exposure values throughout the experimental period. The ABR threshold to clicks was markedly elevated in the Diabetes-Saline group (36.9+/-2.3dB SPL), less elevated in the Control-Saline and Diabetes-NAC groups and least in the Control-NAC group (19.5+/-2.0dB SPL) at 4 weeks after noise exposure. Diabetes caused increased susceptibility to noise-induced hearing loss, and NAC treatment reduced the loss in both control and diabetic rats. Cochleograms revealed no gross destruction of hair cells in the non-diabetic groups or the Diabetes-NAC group; however, a significant number of outer hair cells (OHCs) were lost in the Diabetes-Saline group. This study demonstrated that diabetics were prone to developing more severe NIHL than non-diabetics and that NAC could preserve most OHCs and attenuate the permanent noise-induced hearing loss in both groups.
Hearing research 08/2010; 267(1-2):71-7. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The increase in the prevalence of atopic dermatitis (AD) is likely to involve changes in specific environmental exposures among genetically susceptible individuals.
To evaluate the effect of glutathione S-transferase (GST) genotype polymorphisms and prenatal smoke exposure on pediatric AD on the basis of the cord blood cotinine levels.
We conducted a case-control study composed of 34 children with AD and 106 non-AD controls, all of whom were selected from 483 participants in the Taiwan Birth Panel cohort study. Cord blood samples and information on perinatal factors of children were gathered at birth. At 2 years of age, information about the development of AD and environmental exposures was collected. We compared AD with non-AD children for GTM1 and GSTP1 polymorphisms stratified by the cotinine level. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to estimate the association of genotype polymorphisms and cotinine levels with AD.
GSTM1 null and GSTP1 Ile/Ile genotypes showed a significant increase in the risk of AD (odds ratio [OR], 3.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.40-9.31; and OR, 3.11; 95% CI, 1.30-7.46; respectively). In children with a cotinine level less than 0.1 ng/mL, the risk of AD increased for those carrying 2 GSTP1 Ile-105 alleles (OR, 6.63; 95% CI, 1.46-30.18). In children a with cotinine level of 0.1 ng/mL or greater, the GSTM1 null genotype was significantly related to AD (OR, 5.21; 95% CI, 1.32-20.58).
Within groups of children, genetic polymorphisms in GSTM1 and GSTP1 may be responsible for differences in susceptibility to AD with regard to prenatal smoke exposure.
Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 08/2010; 105(2):124-9. · 3.45 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to be part of the mechanism underlying noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Glutathione is an important cellular antioxidant that limits cell damage by ROS. We aimed to determine the effect of genetic polymorphisms of glutathione S-transferase (GST) T1, GSTM1, and GSTP1, on temporary threshold shift (TTS) in 58 noise-exposed male workers from a steel factory. The pre-shift hearing impairment at high frequency (HF, average of 3, 4, and 6kHz) was 30.7dB HL (S.D.=19.3). The amount of daily noise exposure was 83.0dBA (S.D.=5.0). Noise-induced TTS at HF by pure-tone audiometry (PTA) was related to the daily noise exposure (p<0.05). Based on combinatory analysis, we found that individuals carrying all genotypes with GSTT1 null, GSTM1 null, and GSTP1 Ile(105)/Ile(105) were more susceptible to NIHL. These results suggest that pre-shift hearing impairment and daily noise exposure had impacts on TTS at HF by PTA. In addition, GST genetic polymorphisms may modify the susceptibility to noise-induced TTS.
Hearing research 07/2009; 257(1-2):8-15. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to investigate whether diabetes impairs the recovery from noised-induced temporary hearing loss.
Twenty-eight male Wistar rats were divided into three groups: control, diabetes with insulin control (DI), and diabetes without insulin control (DM). Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin. All animals were exposed to white noise at 110 dB SPL for 8 hours. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) amplitudes were measured for all animals 1 day prior to noise exposure to obtain a baseline for hearing function, and then 1 hour, 1 day, 2 days, 4 days, 7 days, and 14 days after noise exposure.
One hour post exposure, ABR thresholds shifted markedly, and DPOAE was reduced similarly in all groups. Both ABR thresholds and DPOAE returned to the baseline in the control group at day 1, but they were not back to the baseline in the DM group even by day 14. Compared with the control group, the ABR threshold shifts and DPOAE returned to baseline more slowly in the DI group.
The present study suggests that diabetic patients need proper blood sugar control and probably need more effective preventive measures to preserve their hearing from the effects of noise. Laryngoscope, 2009.
The Laryngoscope 05/2009; 119(6):1190-4. · 1.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seasonality of asthma may result from varying exposures. This cross-sectional study was designed to examine the relationship between indoor environmental factors and seasonal childhood asthma. Study subjects were participants from the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) in 2004, a population-based surveillance, which included school children aged 6-15 yr in south Taiwan. Cases included 1725 children who experienced asthma symptoms in the past 12 months and the references consisted of 19,646 children who reportedly have no asthma history. By using a moving average and principal component analysis, asthmatic children were grouped into four asthma subtypes: winter, spring, summer/fall, and perennial. Multivariate logistic regression was used to evaluate the effect of indoor environmental factors on seasonality of childhood asthma. For all asthma prevalence, a peak occurred in the winter and a nadir appeared in summer. Contributing factors of asthma for children, regardless of seasonality, included younger age, parental atopy, maternal smoking during pregnancy, breast feeding, and perceived air pollution. After adjusted for salient risk factors, water damage was significantly associated with all subtypes of asthma. Presence of cockroaches was related to the summer/fall asthma (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.12-2.55). Visible mold on the walls was associated with an increased occurrence of winter and spring asthma (aOR = 1.53, 95% CI = 1.26-1.85 and aOR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.10-1.62, respectively). Passive smoking was shown to be related to spring and summer/fall asthma. Water damage is a possible risk for childhood asthma year-round. Cockroaches and visible mold on the walls may play essential roles for seasonality of childhood asthma in Taiwan. Plausible mechanisms and allergic effects should be further determined. Elimination of these allergens is necessary to help prevent the development of asthma.
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 03/2009; 20(8):748-56. · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are ubiquitous pollutants found in the environment and human tissues. A cohort in Taiwan has undergone follow-up for 24 years after exposure to high levels of PCBs and PCDFs. The incidence of chloracne, hyperkeratosis, and abnormal nail was increased among exposed people. We conducted a study to identify the genes whose expressions were affected by such exposure. A cDNA microarray system consisting of 908 genes was used for pooled serum samples from non-smoking men exposed to PCBs and PCDFs (n=15) and their matched referents (n=15) in triplicate. After adjusting for background and housekeeping genes, genes with different expressions between the exposure and reference groups were determined by both regression and cluster analysis, and further confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. The tumor suppressor gene von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) was found to be down-regulated in the microarray analysis. VHL gene expression levels were also found to be positively associated with age, shown by real-time RT-PCR. Upon age adjustment, VHL gene expression was reduced in Yucheng ("oil disease") subjects as compared to referents. Among Yucheng people, those with abnormal nails had lower VHL expressions than those without abnormal nails. These findings provide new insights into the potential role of VHL in health conditions associated with PCB and PCDF exposures.
Environmental Research 09/2008; 108(2):247-51. · 3.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adverse impact of smoking on respiratory diseases and birth outcomes in children is well-known. However, the influence of smoke exposure including environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and maternal smoking during pregnancy on atopic dermatitis (AD) is not clear. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of gestational smoke exposure on the development of AD in the offspring on the basis of the maternal and cord blood cotinine. We recruited 261 mother and newborn pairs in 2004. Cord blood and information on perinatal factors of children were gathered at birth. At 2 yr of age, information about development of AD and environmental exposures were collected. We compared AD with non-AD children for the concentration of cotinine in cord and maternal blood measured by high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Multiple logistic regressions were performed to estimate the relationship of cotinine levels and AD. About 150 mother and child pairs completed the follow-up study and specimen collection with 38 (25.3%) children developing AD. Two (1.3%) out of 150 mothers smoked during pregnancy, while 38 (25.3%) mothers reported having ETS exposure. Cotinine levels in cord blood and maternal blood were highly correlated (r = 0.71, p < 0.001). The risk of AD was found to increase with maternal and cord blood cotinine levels in a dose-response manner (p for trend = 0.01). Children exposed to high levels (>75th percentile) had a significantly increased risk of AD. Smoke exposure during pregnancy might increase the risk of AD in children. Avoidance of prenatal smoke exposure may be warranted for early prevention.
Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 07/2008; 19(7):580-6. · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) may affect the female reproductive system in animals and humans. In 1978-1979, a mass poisoning occurred in central Taiwan due to PCB/PCDF-contaminated cooking oil; this incident was called Yucheng ("oil disease" in Chinese).
The purpose of our study was to determine whether PCB/PCDF exposure affected fertility in exposed women.
After the event, we followed the exposed individuals and a reference group who were sex-, age-, and community-matched. In 2003, we obtained fertility histories from Yucheng and reference women by telephone interview. We used Kaplan-Meier survival curves and multivariable Cox regression to compare time to pregnancy (TTP) between Yucheng and reference women, and we performed multiple logistic regression to determine whether PCB/PCDF exposure caused infertility.
In total, 412 women responded, with a median TTP of 4 months in Yucheng women and 3 months in reference women (p = 0.019). After adjusting for confounders by Cox regression, we found a fecundability ratio of 0.90 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.80-1.00] for Yucheng women. Among the 408 women who had non-contraceptive sexual activity for > 12 months, 19.7% of Yucheng women and 9.7% of reference women did not become pregnant (i.e., they were infertile). After we adjusted for confounders by logistic regression, the infertility odds ratio was 2.34 (95% CI, 1.23-4.59) for Yucheng women compared with the reference group.
We found prolonged TTP and reduced fertility among women previously exposed to PCBs/PCDFs. Because of the limited sample size and the relatively small decrease in the fertility rate, these effects require cautious interpretation and further investigation for confirmation.
Environmental Health Perspectives 06/2008; 116(5):599-604. · 7.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are important and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in humans. Recent cross-sectional studies have detected increased concentrations of serum POPs in diabetic patients. We aimed to examine the association between previous high exposures to PCBs and PCDFs and the cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes and hypertension.
During the late 1970s, the consumption of rice-bran oil laced with PCBs poisoned thousands of Taiwanese. Between 1993 and 2003, we examined 1,054 Yucheng ("oil disease") victims against neighborhood reference subjects using a protocol blinded for POP exposure. Here, we report the results derived from 378 Yucheng subjects and 370 matched references.
The diabetes risk to members of the Yucheng cohort relative to their reference subjects was significantly increased for women (odds ratio [OR] 2.1 [95% CI 1.1-4.5]) but not for men after considering age, BMI, cigarette smoking, and alcohol intake. Yucheng women diagnosed with chloracne had adjusted ORs of 5.5 (95% CI 2.3-13.4) for diabetes and 3.5 (1.7-7.2) for hypertension compared with those who were chloracne free.
Yucheng women, who had endured previous exposure to PCBs and PCDFs, suffered from increased incidences of diabetes, particularly those who had retained significant levels of pollutant as evident from chloracne. When planning treatments against diabetes, the body burden of PCBs and dioxins should be carefully considered, especially for women.
Diabetes care 06/2008; 31(8):1574-9. · 7.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate whether cigarette smoking affects the blood lead levels (BLL) and whether exposure to lead introduces sperm chromatin DNA damage in factory workers.
A battery plant in Taiwan.
Eighty male workers employed within a battery plant.
Standard semen analysis was performed according to the World Health Organization guidelines.
Assessment of BLL, sperm chromatin DNA structure, reactive oxygen species generation and other conventional parameters of semen quality.
As compared with nonsmoking workers, the BLL were found to be considerably higher among smokers. Statistically significant differences were found in the sperm DNA denaturation (alphaT) induction and the percentage of sperm with increased DNA denaturation (COMP alphaT) in workers with moderate BLL (>or=25 microg/dL). After adjustment for smoking propensity, a positive correlation was discernible between BLL and alphaT, COMP alphaT, and morphologic abnormality. Furthermore, alphaT and COMP alphaT were also found to have positive correlations with sperm superoxide anion production.
Workers with higher BLL were found to be at a higher risk of sperm morphologic abnormality and chromatin DNA integrity. These data are significant because they can facilitate the estimation of lead exposure in reproductive toxicology.
Fertility and sterility 03/2008; 91(4):1096-103. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1979 approximately 2,000 people were exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) due to ingestion of contaminated cooking oil in Taiwan. Although a previous study has shown delayed developmental milestones and poorer neurocognitive functioning in children born to exposed mothers, it is unclear whether neurocognitive functioning was impaired in people who were directly exposed to the PCBs and PDCFs.
The objective of this study was to compare neurocognitive functioning in people exposed to PCBs and PCDFs with that of unexposed sex- and age-matched neighbors.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study among exposed and unexposed subjects > or =60 years of age using prospective outcome measurements. We evaluated neurocognitive tests including cognition, memory modalities, learning, motor and sensory function, mood, and daily activity.
In total, 162 (59%) exposed and 151 (55%) reference subjects completed this study. In exposed men, all test results were similar to the reference group; however, exposed women had reduced functioning in attention and digit span (ADS), visual memory span (VMS), and verbal memory recalls (VMR), especially learning ability. We also found a borderline reduction in the Mini-Mental State Examination. The digit symbol, motor, sensory, depression (determined by the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form), and activity of daily life were not different between the exposed and reference groups. A significant dose-response relationship was found for VMR, ADS, and VMS.
Our study showed dose-dependent neurocognitive deficits in certain aspects of attention, visual memory, and learning ability in women previously exposed to PCBs and PCDFs, but not in exposed men.
Environmental Health Perspectives 02/2008; 116(2):184-9. · 7.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hearing impairment in a representative adult population in southern Taiwan and compare the results to those of similar studies in other countries. A stratified systematic cluster sample of 1140 residents, aged > or =20 years, of Tainan City was studied from 2001 to 2003. The test battery included otoscopy, pure-tone audiometry, and a questionnaire covering relevant personal, occupational, and family history. The hearing threshold level (HTL) was defined as the better ear pure-tone average (BPTA) (i.e. the average of hearing thresholds at frequencies 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz). The prevalence of hearing impairment was 21.4% (95% confidence interval: 19.3-23.7%) at BPTA > or =25 dB HTL. Middle ear disease was a significant risk factor for hearing impairment in addition to age and gender. The overall prevalence of hearing impairment may be higher in Taiwan (17.1%) than in western populations (11.5%), but differences in the definition of hearing impairment severity and variation in sex distribution among studies may account for this higher prevalence.
International journal of audiology 12/2007; 46(12):732-737. · 1.34 Impact Factor