116 results found
Jenkins R, Shen C, Dumontheil I, et al., 2020, Social networking site use in young adolescents: association with health-related quality of life and behavioural difficulties, Computers in Human Behavior, Vol: 109, Pages: 1-10, ISSN: 0747-5632
Despite Social Networking Sites (SNS) having a minimum age of 13, younger adolescents are using them. In this study, we examine self-reported overall SNS use and SNS use if awake at night in relation to Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQOL, measured by KIDSCREEN-10) and behaviour (measured by Strengths and DifficultiesQuestionnaire, SDQ) in 5229 adolescents aged 11–12 in the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) cohort. Two-thirds of the study population used SNS. Weekday and weekend SNS use on mobile phones and other devices was significantly associated with lower HRQOL in females (all p-values for linear trend < 0.01) but not males. Using SNS if awake at night was also significantly associated with lower HRQOL in females (adjustedβ-coefficient - 2.20 (95% CI - 3.18, - 1.22)). Higher SNS use on mobile phones and other devices was associated with increased behavioural difficulties in both genders (p-value for trend < 0.001). Similarly, SNS useif awake at night was associated with greater behavioural difficulties (adjusted β-coefficient 2.54 (95% CI 2.09, 2.98)). We recommend further longitudinal research in this area in order have a better understanding of the direction of relationships between SNS and wellbeing and behaviour in adolescents.
Tettamanti G, Auvinen A, Åkerstedt T, et al., 2020, Long-term effect of mobile phone use on sleep quality: results from the cohort study of mobile phone use and health (COSMOS), Environment International, Vol: 140, Pages: 1-9, ISSN: 0160-4120
BACKGROUND: Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic field exposure (RF-EMF) from mobile phone use on sleep quality has mainly been investigated in cross-sectional studies. The few previous prospective cohort studies found no or inconsistent associations, but had limited statistical power and short follow-up. In this large prospective cohort study, our aim was to estimate the effect of RF-EMF from mobile phone use on different sleep outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study included Swedish (n = 21,049) and Finnish (n = 3120) participants enrolled in the Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS) with information about operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline and sleep outcomes both at baseline and at the 4-year follow-up. Sleep disturbance, sleep adequacy, daytime somnolence, sleep latency, and insomnia were assessed using the Medical Outcome Study (MOS) sleep questionnaire. RESULTS: Operator-recorded mobile phone use at baseline was not associated with most of the sleep outcomes. For insomnia, an odds ratio (OR) of 1.24, 95% CI 1.03-1.51 was observed in the highest decile of mobile phone call-time (>258 min/week). With weights assigned to call-time to account for the lower RF-EMF exposure from Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service (UMTS, 3G) than from Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM, 2G) the OR was 1.09 (95% CI 0.89-1.33) in the highest call-time decile. CONCLUSION: Insomnia was slightly more common among mobile phone users in the highest call-time category, but adjustment for the considerably lower RF-EMF exposure from the UMTS than the GSM network suggests that this association is likely due to other factors associated with mobile phone use than RF-EMF. No association was observed for other sleep outcomes. In conclusion, findings from this study do not support the hypothesis that RF-EMF from mobile phone use has long-term effects on sleep quality.
Clark S, Alli AS, Brauer M, et al., High-resolution spatiotemporal measurement of air and environmental noise pollution in sub-Saharan African cities: Pathways to Equitable Health Cities Study protocol for Accra, Ghana, BMJ Open, ISSN: 2044-6055
Introduction: Air and noise pollution are emerging environmental health hazards in African cities, with potentially complex spatial and temporal patterns. Limited local data is a barrier to the formulation and evaluation of policies to reduce air and noise pollution. Methods and analysis: We designed a year-long measurement campaign to characterize air and noise pollution and their sources at high-resolution within the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area, Ghana. Our design utilizes a combination of fixed (year-long, n = 10) and rotating (week-long, n = ~130) sites, selected to represent a range of land uses and source influences (e.g. background, road-traffic, commercial, industrial, and residential areas, and various neighbourhood socioeconomic classes). We will collect data on fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx), weather variables, sound (noise level and audio) along with street-level time-lapse images. We deploy low-cost, low-power, lightweight monitoring devices that are robust, socially unobtrusive, and able to function in the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) climate. We will use state-of-the-art methods, including spatial statistics, deep/machine learning, and processed-based emissions modelling, to capture highly resolved temporal and spatial variations in pollution levels across Accra and to identify their potential sources. This protocol can serve as a prototype for other SSA cities. Ethics and dissemination: This environmental study was deemed exempt from full ethics review at Imperial College London and the University of Massachusetts Amherst; it was approved by the University of Ghana Ethics Committee. This protocol is designed to be implementable in SSA cities to map environmental pollution to inform urban planning decisions to reduce health harming exposures to air and noise pollution. It will be disseminated through local stakeholder engagement (public and private sectors), peer-reviewed publications, contribution to policy documents, media, a
Bruton J, Jones K, Jenkins R, et al., Barriers and facilitators to the participation of people from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Communities in health research: a case study from the SCAMP adolescent cohort study, Research for All, ISSN: 2399-8121
Aim: To investigate barriers and facilitators to BME parental consent for children’s involvement in data-sharing aspects of study on mobile phone and wireless device use (SCAMP). To co-produce solutions to increase participation. Methods: Focus groups, telephone interviews, community event, PPI Café; symposium with public, participants and researchers. Results: Barriers were concerns about the research, practical constraints, poor communication. Facilitators were value of research, benefits to others. Solutions to increase participation were community support and clear, simple communication. Overall, trust in the research and the researchers was a key focus of enabling participation.Sharing recommendations: Symposium generated ideas about improving participation including tailoring participant information, engaging with local advocates, involving people in research design and delivery.Key words: Seldom heard, BME, research participation, co-production, PPI, parental consent
Piel F, Fecht D, Hodgson S, et al., 2020, Small-area methods for investigation of environment and health, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 49, Pages: 686-699, ISSN: 1464-3685
Small-area studies offer a powerful epidemiological approach to study disease patterns at the population level and assess health risks posed by environmental pollutants. They involve a public health investigation on a geographic scale (e.g. neighbourhood) with overlay of health, environmental, demographic and potential confounder data. Recent methodological advances, including Bayesian approaches, combined with fast growing computational capabilities permit more informative analyses than previously possible, including the incorporation of data at different scales, from satellites to individual-level survey information. Better data availability has widened the scope and utility of small-area studies, but also led to greater complexity, including choice of optimal study area size and extent, duration of study periods, range of covariates and confounders to be considered, and dealing with uncertainty. The availability of data from large, well-phenotyped cohorts such as UK Biobank enables the use of mixed-level study designs and the triangulation of evidence on environmental risks from small-area and individual-level studies, therefore improving causal inference, including use of linked biomarker and -omics data. As a result, there are now improved opportunities to investigate the impacts of environmental risk factors on human health, particularly for the surveillance and prevention of non-communicable diseases.
Toledano MB, Shaddick G, de Hoogh C, et al., 2020, Electric field and air ion exposures near high voltage overhead power lines and adult cancers: a case control study across England and Wales, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 49, Pages: i57-i66, ISSN: 0300-5771
Background: Various mechanisms have been postulated to explain how electric fields emitted by high voltage overhead power lines, and the charged ions they produce, might be associated with possible adult cancer risk but this has not previously been systematically explored in large scale epidemiologic research. Methods: We investigated risks of adult cancers in relation to modelled air ion density (per cm3) within 600m (focusing analysis on mouth, lung, respiratory) and calculated electric field within 25m (focusing analysis on non-melanoma skin) of high voltage overhead power lines in England and Wales, 1974-2008. Results: With adjustment for age, sex, deprivation and rurality, odds ratios (OR) in the highest fifth of net air ion density (0.504-1) compared with the lowest (0-0.1879) ranged from 0.94 (95% CI 0.82 – 1.08) for mouth cancers to 1.03 (95% CI 0.97 -1.09) for respiratory system cancers, with no trends in risk. The pattern of cancer risk was similar using corona ion estimates from an alternative model proposed by others. For keratinocyte carcinoma, adjusted OR in the highest (1.06 - 4.11 kV/m) compared with the lowest (<0.70 kV/m) thirds of electric field strength was 1.23 (95% CI 0.65-2.34) with no trend in risk. Conclusions: Our results do not provide evidence to support hypotheses that air ion density or electric fields in the vicinity of power lines are associated with cancer risk in adults.
Zhang Y, Elliott P, Toledano M, et al., 2020, The Consortium on Vulnerability to Externalising Disorders and Addictions (c-VEDA): an accelerated longitudinal cohort of children and adolescents in India, Molecular Psychiatry, ISSN: 1359-4184
The global burden of disease attributable to externalising disorders such as alcohol misusecalls urgently for effective prevention and intervention. As our current knowledge is mainlyderived from high-income countries such in Europe and North-America, it is difficult toaddress the wider socio-cultural, psychosocial context, and genetic factors in which risk andresilience are embedded in low- and medium-income countries. c-VEDA was established asthe first and largest India-based multi-site cohort investigating the vulnerabilities for thedevelopment of externalising disorders, addictions, and other mental health problems. Usinga harmonised data collection plan coordinated with multiple cohorts in China, USA, andEurope, baseline data were collected from 7 study sites between November 2016 and May2019. 9010 participants between the ages of 6 and 23 were assessed during this time, amongstwhich 1278 participants underwent more intensive assessments including MRI scans. Bothwaves of follow-ups have started according to the accelerated cohort structure with plannedmissingness design. Here we present descriptive statistics on several key domains ofassessments, and the full baseline dataset will be made accessible for researchers outside theconsortium in September 2019. More details can be found on our website [cveda.org].
Smith RB, Beevers SD, Gulliver J, et al., 2020, Impacts of air pollution and noise on risk of preterm birth and stillbirth in London, Environment International, Vol: 134, Pages: 105290-105290, ISSN: 0160-4120
BackgroundEvidence for associations between ambient air pollution and preterm birth and stillbirth is inconsistent. Road traffic produces both air pollutants and noise, but few studies have examined these co-exposures together and none to date with all-cause or cause-specific stillbirths.ObjectivesTo analyse the relationship between long-term exposure to air pollution and noise at address level during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth and stillbirth.MethodsThe study population comprised 581,774 live and still births in the Greater London area, 2006–2010. Outcomes were preterm birth (<37 completed weeks gestation), all-cause stillbirth and cause-specific stillbirth. Exposures during pregnancy to particulate matter with diameter <2.5 μm (PM2.5) and <10 μm (PM10), ozone (O3), primary traffic air pollutants (nitrogen dioxide, nitrogen oxides, PM2.5 from traffic exhaust and traffic non-exhaust), and road traffic noise were estimated based on maternal address at birth.ResultsAn interquartile range increase in O3 exposure was associated with elevated risk of preterm birth (OR 1.15 95% CI: 1.11, 1.18, for both Trimester 1 and 2), all-cause stillbirth (Trimester 1 OR 1.17 95% CI: 1.07, 1.27; Trimester 2 OR 1.20 95% CI: 1.09, 1.32) and asphyxia-related stillbirth (Trimester 1 OR 1.22 95% CI: 1.01, 1.49). Odds ratios with the other air pollutant exposures examined were null or <1, except for primary traffic non-exhaust related PM2.5, which was associated with 3% increased odds of preterm birth (Trimester 1) and 7% increased odds stillbirth (Trimester 1 and 2) when adjusted for O3. Elevated risk of preterm birth was associated with increasing road traffic noise, but only after adjustment for certain air pollutant exposures.DiscussionOur findings suggest that exposure to higher levels of O3 and primary traffic non-exhaust related PM2.5 during pregnancy may increase risk of preterm birth and stillbirth; and a possible relationship between long-term traff
Parkes B, Hansell AL, Ghosh RE, et al., 2020, Risk of congenital anomalies near municipal waste incinerators in England and Scotland, Retrospective population-based cohort study, Vol: 134, ISSN: 0160-4120
Background: Few studies have investigated congenital anomalies in relation to municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) and results are inconclusive. Objectives: To conduct a national investigation into the risk of congenital anomalies in babies born to mothers living within 10 km of an MWI associated with: i) modelled concentrations of PM10 as a proxy for MWI emissions more generally and; ii) proximity of residential postcode to nearest MWI, in areas in England and Scotland that are covered by a congenital anomaly register. Methods: Retrospective population-based cohort study within 10 km of 10 MWIs in England and Scotland operating between 2003 and 2010. Exposure was proximity to MWI and log of daily mean modelled ground-level particulate matter ≤10 μm diameter (PM10) concentrations. Results: Analysis included 219,486 births, stillbirths and terminations of pregnancy for fetal anomaly of which 5154 were cases of congenital anomalies. Fully adjusted odds ratio (OR) per doubling in PM10 was: 1·00 (95% CI 0·98–1·02) for all congenital anomalies; 0·99 (0·97–1·01) for all congenital anomalies excluding chromosomal anomalies. For every 1 km closer to an MWI adjusted OR was: 1·02 (1·00–1·04) for all congenital anomalies combined; 1·02 (1·00–1·04) for all congenital anomalies excluding chromosomal anomalies; and, for specific anomaly groups, 1·04 (1·01–1·08) for congenital heart defect sand 1·07 (1·02–1·12) for genital anomalies. Discussion: We found no increased risk of congenital anomalies in relation to modelled PM10 emissions, but there were small excess risks associated with congenital heart defects and genital anomalies in proximity to MWIs. These latter findings may well reflect incomplete control for confounding, but a possible causal effect cannot be excluded.
Auvinen A, Feychting M, Ahlbom A, et al., 2019, Headache, tinnitus and hearing loss in the international Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health (COSMOS) in Sweden and Finland, International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 48, Pages: 1567-1579, ISSN: 1464-3685
BackgroundMobile phone use and exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) from it have been associated with symptoms in some studies, but the studies have shortcomings and their findings are inconsistent. We conducted a prospective cohort study to assess the association between amount of mobile phone use at baseline and frequency of headache, tinnitus or hearing loss at 4-year follow-up.MethodsThe participants had mobile phone subscriptions with major mobile phone network operators in Sweden (n = 21 049) and Finland (n = 3120), gave consent for obtaining their mobile phone call data from operator records at baseline, and filled in both baseline and follow-up questionnaires on symptoms, potential confounders and further characteristics of their mobile phone use.ResultsThe participants with the highest decile of recorded call-time (average call-time >276 min per week) at baseline showed a weak, suggestive increased frequency of weekly headaches at 4-year follow-up (adjusted odds ratio 1.13, 95% confidence interval 0.95–1.34). There was no obvious gradient of weekly headache with increasing call-time (P trend 0.06). The association of headache with call-time was stronger for the Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network than older Global System for Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) technology, despite the latter involving higher exposure to RF-EMF. Tinnitus and hearing loss showed no association with call-time.ConclusionsPeople using mobile phones most extensively for making or receiving calls at baseline reported weekly headaches slightly more frequently at follow-up than other users, but this finding largely disappeared after adjustment for confounders and was not related to call-time in GSM with higher RF-EMF exposure. Tinnitus and hearing loss were not associated with amount of call-time.
Freni Sterrantino A, Elliott P, Blangiardo M, et al., 2019, Bayesian spatial modelling for quasi-experimental designs: an interrupted time series study of the opening of Municipal Waste Incinerators in relation to infant mortality and sex ratio, Environment International, Vol: 128, Pages: 109-115, ISSN: 0160-4120
BackgroundThere is limited evidence on potential health risks from Municipal Waste Incinerators (MWIs), and previous studies on birth outcomes show inconsistent results. Here, we evaluate whether the opening of MWIs is associated with infant mortality and sex ratio in the surrounding areas, extending the Interrupted Time Series (ITS) methodological approach to account for spatial dependencies at the small area level.MethodsWe specified a Bayesian hierarchical model to investigate the annual risks of infant mortality and sex-ratio (female relative to male) within 10 km of eight MWIs in England and Wales, during the period 1996–2012. We included comparative areas matched one-to-one of similar size and area characteristics.ResultsDuring the study period, infant mortality rates decreased overall by 2.5% per year in England. The opening of an incinerator in the MWI area was associated with −8 deaths per 100,000 infants (95% CI −62, 40) and with a difference in sex ratio of −0.004 (95% CI −0.02, 0.01), comparing the period after opening with that before, corrected for before-after trends in the comparator areas.ConclusionOur method is suitable for the analysis of quasi-experimental time series studies in the presence of spatial structure and when there are global time trends in the outcome variable. Based on our approach, we do not find evidence of an association of MWI opening with changes in risks of infant mortality or sex ratio in comparison with control areas.
Toledano M, Mukherjee S, Howell J, et al., 2019, The emerging burden of liver disease in cystic fibrosis patients: a UK nationwide study, PLoS ONE, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1932-6203
ObjectiveCystic fibrosis associated liver disease (CFLD) is the third largest cause of mortality in CF. Our aim was to define the burden of CFLD in the UK using national registry data and identify risk factors for progressive disease.MethodsA longitudinal population-based cohort study was conducted. Cases were defined as all patients with CFLD identified from the UK CF Registry, 2008–2013 (n = 3417). Denominator data were derived from the entire UK CF Registry. The burden of CFLD was characterised. Regression analysis was undertaken to identify risk factors for cirrhosis and progression.ResultsPrevalence of CFLD increased from 203.4 to 228.3 per 1000 patients during 2008–2013. Mortality in CF patients with CFLD was more than double those without; cirrhotic patients had higher all-cause mortality (HR 1.54, 95% CI 1.09 to 2.18, p = 0.015). Median recorded age of cirrhosis diagnosis was 19 (range 5–53) years. Male sex, Pseudomonas airway infection and CF related diabetes were independent risk factors for cirrhosis. Ursodeoxycholic acid use was associated with prolonged survival in patients without cirrhosis.ConclusionsThis study highlights an important changing disease burden of CFLD. The prevalence is slowly increasing and, importantly, the disease is not just being diagnosed in childhood. Although the role of ursodeoxycholic acid remains controversial, this study identified a positive association with survival.
Mireku MO, Barker MM, Mutz J, et al., 2019, Processed data on the night-time use of screen-based media devices and adolescents’ sleep quality and health-related quality of life, Data in Brief, Vol: 23, ISSN: 2352-3409
The data presented in this article relate to the research article entitled “Night-time screen-based media device use and adolescents' sleep and health-related quality of life”. The present data reports findings from the investigation of the relationship between night-time screen-based media devices (SBMD) use and both sleep quality and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 11 to 12-year-olds. Baseline data from a large cohort of 6,616 adolescents from 39 schools in and around London, UK, participating in the Study of Cognition Adolescents and Mobile Phone (SCAMP) were analysed. Self-report data on adolescents’ use of any SBMD (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, television etc.) were the main exposures of interest. Mobile phone and television were the most commonly used portable and non-portable device, respectively. Sleep variables were derived from self-reported weekday and/or weekend bedtime, sleep onset latency (SOL) and wake time. Sleep quality was assessed using four standardised dimensions from the Swiss Health Survey. HRQoL was estimated using the KIDSCREEN-10 questionnaire.
Maes MJA, Jones KE, Toledano MB, et al., 2019, Mapping synergies and trade-offs between urban ecosystems and the sustainable development goals, Environmental Science and Policy, Vol: 93, Pages: 181-188, ISSN: 1462-9011
Global urbanisation has increased pressures on ecosystems located within city boundaries, resulting in loss and fragmentation of urban ecosystems. In September 2015, the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 SDG targets. It made environmental sustainability a key component of the agenda, whose preamble recognises that social and economic development depends on the sustainable management of Earth’s natural resources. Understanding the interlinkages between the broad and globally focused 2030 Agenda and components of the natural environment remain a practical challenge for both researchers and decision-makers in all disciplines. It is unclear how SDG targets relate to urban ecosystems and what evidence base supports these relationships. Here, we address what changes are required concerning urban ecosystem management and how management of urban ecosystems can reinforce or undermine action to deliver all 169 targets in the 2030 Agenda. We characterised 91 targets requiring action in relation to urban ecosystem management. These collectively emphasise the need to sustainably manage nature, provide equal rights to basic services, pursue sustainable economic growth, and strengthen governance and policy development at multiple scales. We identified 102 targets (99 synergies and 51 trade-offs) with published evidence of relationships with urban ecosystems, where decisions about urban ecosystems affect humanities ability to realise greater welfare and well-being, and build physical and social infrastructure. These findings highlight that sustainable management of urban ecosystems cannot be achieved without addressing other issues such as economic growth, equality or good governance. Translating these interlinkages into a strategy supported by all actors in society is important for achieving sustainable urban ecosystem management.
Mireku MO, Barker M, Mutz J, et al., 2019, Night-time screen-based media device use and adolescents’ sleep and health-related quality of life, Environment International, Vol: 124, Pages: 66-78, ISSN: 0160-4120
ObjectiveThe present study investigates the relationship between night-time screen-based media devices (SBMD) use, which refers to use within 1 h before sleep, in both lit and dark rooms, and sleep outcomes and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among 11 to 12-year-olds.MethodsWe analysed baseline data from a large cohort of 6616 adolescents from 39 schools in and around London, United Kingdom, participating in the Study of Cognition Adolescents and Mobile Phone (SCAMP). Adolescents self-reported their use of any SBMD (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, television etc.). Sleep variables were derived from self-reported weekday and/or weekend bedtime, sleep onset latency (SOL) and wake time. Sleep quality was assessed using four standardised dimensions from the Swiss Health Survey. HRQoL was estimated using the KIDSCREEN-10 questionnaire.ResultsOver two-thirds (71.5%) of adolescents reported using at least one SBMD at night-time, and about a third (32.2%) reported using mobile phones at night-time in darkness. Night-time mobile phone and television use was associated with higher odds of insufficient sleep duration on weekdays (Odds Ratio, OR = 1.82, 95% Confidence Interval, CI [1.59, 2.07] and OR = 1.40, 95% CI [1.23, 1.60], respectively). Adolescents who used mobile phones in a room with light were more likely to have insufficient sleep (OR = 1.32, 95% CI [1.10, 1.60]) and later sleep midpoint (OR = 1.64, 95% CI [1.37, 1.95]) on weekends compared to non-users. The magnitude of these associations was even stronger for those who used mobile phones in darkness for insufficient sleep duration on weekdays (OR = 2.13, 95% CI [1.79, 2.54]) and for later sleep midpoint on weekdays (OR = 3.88, 95% CI [3.25, 4.62]) compared to non-users. Night-time use of mobile phones was associated with lower HRQoL and use in a dark room was associated with even lower KIDSCREEN-10 score (β = –1.18, 95% CI [–1.85, –0.52]) compared to no use.ConclusionsWe found consistent
Toledano MB, Mutz J, Roosli M, et al., 2019, Cohort profile: the study of cognition, adolescents and mobile phones (SCAMP), International Journal of Epidemiology, Vol: 48, Pages: 25-26l, ISSN: 1464-3685
The Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) is a prospective secondary school-based cohort study established to investigate whether use of mobile phones and other wireless devices that emit radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is associated with cognitive, behavioural, educational, physical and mental health outcomes during adolescence. Specifically, the principal aim is to discern whether any observed associations may be due to: (i) RF-EMF exposure from mobile phones; (ii) a combination of various RF-EMF sources (e.g. digital enhanced cordless technology phones or wireless internet); or (iii) other behavioural reasons associated with technology use for communication and entertainment, irrespective of exposure to RF-EMF.
Ghosh RE, Freni-Sterrantino A, Douglas P, et al., 2019, Fetal growth, stillbirth, infant mortality and other birth outcomes near UK municipal waste incinerators; retrospective population based cohort and case-control study, Environment International, Vol: 122, Pages: 151-158, ISSN: 0160-4120
Background: Some studies have reported associations between municipal waste incinerator (MWI) exposures and adverse birth outcomes but there are few studies of modern MWIs operating to current European Union (EU) Industrial Emissions Directive standards. Methods: Associations between modelled ground-level particulate matter ≤10 μm in diameter (PM10) from MWI emissions (as a proxy for MWI emissions) within 10 km of each MWI, and selected birth and infant mortality outcomes were examined for all 22 MWIs operating in Great Britain 2003–10. We also investigated associations with proximity of residence to a MWI. Outcomes used were term birth weight, small for gestational age (SGA) at term, stillbirth, neonatal, post-neonatal and infant mortality, multiple births, sex ratio and preterm delivery sourced from national registration data from the Office for National Statistics. Analyses were adjusted for relevant confounders including year of birth, sex, season of birth, maternal age, deprivation, ethnicity and area characteristics and random effect terms were included in the models to allow for differences in baseline rates between areas and in incinerator feedstock. Results: Analyses included 1,025,064 births and 18,694 infant deaths. There was no excess risk in relation to any of the outcomes investigated during pregnancy or early life of either mean modelled MWI PM10 or proximity to an MWI. Conclusions: We found no evidence that exposure to PM10 from, or living near to, an MWI operating to current EU standards was associated with harm for any of the outcomes investigated. Results should be generalisable to other MWIs operating to similar standards.
Maitre L, Robinson O, Martinez D, et al., 2018, Urine metabolic signatures of multiple environmental pollutants in pregnant women - an exposome approach, Environmental Science and Technology, Vol: 52, Pages: 13469-13480, ISSN: 0013-936X
Exposure to environmental pollutants, particularly during pregnancy, can have adverse consequences on child development but little is known about the effects of pollutant mixtures on endogenous metabolism in pregnant women. We aimed to identify urinary metabolic signatures associated with low level exposure to multiple environmental pollutants in pregnant women from the INMA (INfancia y Medio Ambiente) birth cohort (Spain, N = 750). 35 chemical exposures were quantified in first trimester blood samples (organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, PFAS), in cord blood (mercury), and twice in urine at 12 and 32 weeks of pregnancy (metals, phthalates, bisphenol A). 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolic profiles of urine were acquired in the same samples as pollutants. We explored associations between exposures and metabolism through an exposome-metabolome wide association scan and multivariate O2PLS modeling. Novel and reproducible associations were found across two periods of pregnancy for three nonpersistent pollutants and across two subcohorts for four of the persistent pollutants. We found novel metabolic signatures associated with arsenic exposure: TMAO and dimethylamine possibly related to gut microbial methylamine metabolism and homarine related to fish intake. Tobacco smoke exposure was related to coffee metabolism and PCBs with 3-hydroxyvaleric acid, usually released under ketoacidosis. These findings will have implications for further understanding of maternal-fetal health, and health across the life-course.
Williams ML, Beevers S, Kitwiroon N, et al., 2018, Public health air pollution impacts of pathway options to meet the 2050 UK Climate Change Act target: a modelling study, Public Health Research, Vol: 6, Pages: 1-124, ISSN: 2050-4381
<jats:sec id="abs1-1"><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>The UK’s<jats:italic>Climate Change Act 2008</jats:italic>(CCA; Great Britain.<jats:italic>Climate Change Act 2008</jats:italic>. Chapter 27. London: The Stationery Office; 2008) requires a reduction of 80% in carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions by 2050 on a 1990 base. This project quantified the impact of air pollution on health from four scenarios involving particulate matter of ≤ 2.5 µm (PM<jats:sub>2.5</jats:sub>), nitrogen dioxide (NO<jats:sub>2</jats:sub>) and ozone (O<jats:sub>3</jats:sub>). Two scenarios met the CCA target: one with limited nuclear power build (nuclear replacement option; NRPO) and one with no policy constraint on nuclear (low greenhouse gas). Another scenario envisaged no further climate actions beyond those already agreed (‘baseline’) and the fourth kept 2011 concentrations constant to 2050 (‘2011’).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec id="abs1-2"><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>The UK Integrated MARKAL–EFOM System (UKTM) energy system model was used to develop the scenarios and produce projections of fuel use; these were used to produce air pollutant emission inventories for Great Britain (GB) for each scenario. The inventories were then used to run the Community Multiscale Air Quality model ‘air pollution model’ to generate air pollutant concentration maps across GB, which then, combined with relationships between concentrations and health outcomes, were used to calculate the impact on health from the air pollution emitted in each scenario. This is a significant improvement on previous health impact studies of climate policies, which have relied on emissions changes. Inequalities in exposure in different socioeconomic groups were also calculated, as was the economic
Williams ML, Lott MC, Kitwiroon N, et al., 2018, The Lancet Countdown on health benefits from the UK Climate Change Act, a modelling study for Great Britain, Vol: 2, Pages: e202-e213, ISSN: 2542-5196
Background Climate change poses a dangerous and immediate threat to the health of populations in the UK and worldwide. We aimed to model different scenarios to assess the health co-benefits that result from mitigation actions. Methods In this modelling study, we combined a detailed techno-economic energy systems model (UK TIMES), air pollutant emission inventories, a sophisticated air pollution model (Community Multi-scale Air Quality), and previously published associations between concentrations and health outcomes. We used four scenarios and focused on the air pollution implications from fine particulate matter (PM2·5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and ozone. The four scenarios were baseline, which assumed no further climate actions beyond those already achieved and did not meet the UK's Climate Change Act (at least an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2050 compared with 1990) target; nuclear power, which met the Climate Change Act target with a limited increase in nuclear power; low-greenhouse gas, which met the Climate Change Act target without any policy constraint on nuclear build; and a constant scenario that held 2011 air pollutant concentrations constant until 2050. We predicted the health and economic impacts from air pollution for the scenarios until 2050, and the inequalities in exposure across different socioeconomic groups. Findings NO2 concentrations declined leading to 4 892 000 life-years saved for the nuclear power scenario and 7 178 000 life-years saved for the low-greenhouse gas scenario from 2011 to 2154. However, the associations that we used might overestimate the effects of NO2 itself. PM2·5 concentrations in Great Britain are predicted to decrease between 42% and 44% by 2050 compared with 2011 in the scenarios that met the Climate Change Act targets, especially those from road traffic and off-road machinery. These reductions in PM2·5 are tempered by a 2035 peak (and subsequent decline) in biomass (wood bu
Smith RB, Fecht D, Gulliver J, et al., 2017, Impact of London's road traffic air and noise pollution on birth weight: retrospective population based cohort study, BMJ, Vol: 359, Pages: j5299-j5299, ISSN: 1756-1833
Toledano MB, Mueller W, Fleming C, et al., 2017, Total recall in the SCAMP Cohort: Validation of self-reported mobile phone use in the smartphone era, Environmental Research, Vol: 161, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 0013-9351
Mobile phone use, predominantly smartphones, is almost ubiquitous amongst both adults and children. However adults and children have different usage patterns. A major challenge with research on mobile phone use is the reliability of self-reported phone activity for accurate exposure assessment. We investigated the agreement between self-reported mobile phone use data and objective mobile operator traffic data in a subset of adolescents aged 11-12 years participating in the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) cohort. We examined self-reported mobile phone use, including call frequency, cumulative call time duration and text messages sent among adolescents from SCAMP and matched these data with records provided by mobile network operators (n = 350). The extent of agreement between self-reported mobile phone use and mobile operator traffic data use was evaluated using Cohen's weighted Kappa (ĸ) statistics. Sensitivity and specificity of self-reported low (< 1 call/day, ≤ 5min of call/day or ≤ 5 text messages sent/day) and high (≥ 11 calls/day, > 30min of call/day or ≥ 11 text messages sent /day) use were estimated. Agreement between self-reported mobile phone use and mobile operator traffic data was highest for the duration spent talking on mobile phones per day on weekdays (38.9%) and weekends (29.4%) compared to frequency of calls and number of text messages sent. Adolescents overestimated their mobile phone use during weekends compared to weekdays. Analysis of agreement showed little difference overall between the sexes and socio-economic groups. Weighted kappa between self-reported and mobile operator traffic data for call frequency during weekdays was κ = 0.12, 95% CI 0.06-0.18. Of the three modes of mobile phone use measured in the questionnaire, call frequency was the most sensitive for low mobile phone users on weekdays and weekends (77.1, 95% CI: 69.3-83.7 and 72.0, 95% CI: 65.0-78.4, respectively). Specificity was
Toledano MB, Auvinen A, Tettamanti G, et al., 2017, An international prospective cohort study of mobile phone users and health (COSMOS): Factors affecting validity of self-reported mobile phone use., International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, Vol: 221, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 1438-4639
This study investigates validity of self-reported mobile phone use in a subset of 75 993 adults from the COSMOS cohort study. Agreement between self-reported and operator-derived mobile call frequency and duration for a 3-month period was assessed using Cohen's weighted Kappa (κ). Sensitivity and specificity of both self-reported high (≥10 calls/day or ≥4h/week) and low (≤6 calls/week or <30min/week) mobile phone use were calculated, as compared to operator data. For users of one mobile phone, agreement was fair for call frequency (κ=0.35, 95% CI: 0.35, 0.36) and moderate for call duration (κ=0.50, 95% CI: 0.49, 0.50). Self-reported low call frequency and duration demonstrated high sensitivity (87% and 76% respectively), but for high call frequency and duration sensitivity was lower (38% and 56% respectively), reflecting a tendency for greater underestimation than overestimation. Validity of self-reported mobile phone use was lower in women, younger age groups and those reporting symptoms during/shortly after using a mobile phone. This study highlights the ongoing value of using self-report data to measure mobile phone use. Furthermore, compared to continuous scale estimates used by previous studies, categorical response options used in COSMOS appear to improve validity considerably, most likely by preventing unrealistically high estimates from being reported.
Ghosh R, Dag Berild J, Freni Sterrantino A, et al., 2017, Birth weight trends in England and Wales (1986– 2012): babies are getting heavier, Archives of Disease in Childhood-Fetal and Neonatal Edition, Vol: 103, Pages: F264-F270, ISSN: 1468-2052
Introduction Birth weight is a strong predictor of infant mortality, morbidity and later disease risk. Previous work from the 1980s indicated a shift in the UK towards heavier births; this descriptive analysis looks at more recent trends.Methods Office for National Statistics (ONS) registration data on 17.2 million live, single births from 1986 to 2012 were investigated for temporal trends in mean birth weight, potential years of birth weight change and changes in the proportions of very low (<1500 g), low (<2500 g) and high (≥4000 g) birth weight. Analysis used multiple linear and logistic regression adjusted for maternal age, marital status, area-level deprivation and ethnicity. Additional analyses used the ONS NHS Numbers for Babies data set for 2006–2012, which has information on individual ethnicity and gestational age.Results Over 27 years there was an increase in birth weight of 43 g (95% CI 42 to 44) in females and 44 g (95% CI 43 to 45) in males, driven by birth weight increases between 1986–1990 and 2007–2012. There was a concurrent decreased risk of having low birth weight but an 8% increased risk in males and 10% increased risk in females of having high birth weight. For 2006–2012 the birth weight increase was greater in preterm as compared with term births.Conclusions Since 1986 the birth weight distribution of live, single births in England and Wales has shifted towards heavier births, partly explained by increases in maternal age and non-white ethnicity, as well as changes in deprivation levels. Other potential influences include increases in maternal obesity and reductions in smoking prevalence particularly following the introduction of legislation restricting smoking in public places in 2007.
Tao F, Abdallah MA-E, Ashworth DC, et al., 2017, Emerging and legacy flame retardants in UK human milk and food suggest slow response to restrictions on use of PBDEs and HBCDD, Environment International, Vol: 105, Pages: 95-104, ISSN: 0160-4120
The legacy flame retardants (LFRs) polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), together with six emerging flame retardants (EFRs) were measured in United Kingdom (UK) human milk collected in 2010 (n = 25) and 2014–15 (n = 10). These data are the first report of the presence of EFRs in UK human milk. The most abundant EFR was β-tetrabromoethylcyclohexane (DBE-DBCH) (average = 2.5 ng/g lw; geometric mean = 1.5 ng/g lw), which is comparable to the concentrations of the most abundant LFRs i.e. BDE 47 and α-HBCDD at 2.8 and 2.1 ng/g lw, respectively (geometric mean = 2.1 and 1.7). The estimated median dietary intake of ΣEFRs by UK nursing infants was 18 ng/kg bw/day. EFRs were also measured in UK foodstuffs with β-DBE-DBCH again the predominant compound detected, accounting – on average – for 64.5 ± 23.4% of ΣEFRs. Average estimated dietary intakes of ∑ EFRs in the UK were 89 and 26 ng/day (1.3 and 2.6 ng/body weight/day) for adults and toddlers, respectively. Concentrations of Σtri-hexa BDEs in our UK food samples exceeded those reported in UK samples from the same food categories collected in 2003–04 and 2006. Despite this and our recent report elsewhere of significant temporal declines in concentrations of BDE 209 in UK indoor dust (p < 0.05) and HBCDDs in UK indoor dust and air (p < 0.001), no significant temporal differences (p > 0.05) were observed between concentrations of Σtri-hexa BDEs, BDE 209 and HBCDDs in human milk sampled in 2010 and those obtained in 2014–15. UK adult body burdens for EFRs were predicted via inhalation, diet and dust ingestion using a simple pharmacokinetic model. The predicted EFR body burdens compared well with observed concentrations in human milk.
Douglas P, Freni-Sterrantino A, Leal Sanchez M, et al., 2017, Estimating Particulate Exposure from Modern Municipal Waste Incinerators in Great Britain, Environmental science & technology, Vol: 51, Pages: 7511-7519, ISSN: 0013-936X
Municipal Waste Incineration (MWI) is regulated through the European Union Directive on Industrial Emissions (IED), but there is ongoing public concern regarding potential hazards to health. Using dispersion modeling, we estimated spatial variability in PM10 concentrations arising from MWIs at postcodes (average 12 households) within 10 km of MWIs in Great Britain (GB) in 2003-2010. We also investigated change points in PM10 emissions in relation to introduction of EU Waste Incineration Directive (EU-WID) (subsequently transposed into IED) and correlations of PM10 with SO2, NOx, heavy metals, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furan (PCDD/F), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) emissions. Yearly average modeled PM10 concentrations were 1.00 × 10-5 to 5.53 × 10-2 μg m-3, a small contribution to ambient background levels which were typically 6.59-2.68 × 101 μg m-3, 3-5 orders of magnitude higher. While low, concentration surfaces are likely to represent a spatial proxy of other relevant pollutants. There were statistically significant correlations between PM10 and heavy metal compounds (other heavy metals (r = 0.43, p = <0.001)), PAHs (r = 0.20, p = 0.050), and PCBs (r = 0.19, p = 0.022). No clear change points were detected following EU-WID implementation, possibly as incinerators were operating to EU-WID standards before the implementation date. Results will be used in an epidemiological analysis examining potential associations between MWIs and health outcomes.
Maitre L, Villanueva CM, Lewis M, et al., 2016, Maternal urinary metabolic signatures of fetal growth and associated clinical and environmental factors in the INMA study, BMC Medicine, Vol: 14, ISSN: 1741-7015
BackgroundMaternal metabolism during pregnancy is a major determinant of the intra-uterine environment and fetal outcomes. Herein, we characterize the maternal urinary metabolome throughout pregnancy to identify maternal metabolic signatures of fetal growth in two subcohorts and explain potential sources of variation in metabolic profiles based on lifestyle and clinical data.MethodsWe used 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to characterize maternal urine samples collected in the INMA birth cohort at the first (n = 412 and n = 394, respectively, in Gipuzkoa and Sabadell cohorts) and third trimesters of gestation (n = 417 and 469). Metabolic phenotypes that reflected longitudinal intra- and inter-individual variation were used to predict measures of fetal growth and birth weight.ResultsA metabolic shift between the first and third trimesters of gestation was characterized by 1H NMR signals arising predominantly from steroid by-products. We identified 10 significant and reproducible metabolic associations in the third trimester with estimated fetal, birth, and placental weight in two independent subcohorts. These included branched-chain amino acids; isoleucine, valine, leucine, alanine and 3 hydroxyisobutyrate (metabolite of valine), which were associated with a significant fetal weight increase at week 34 of up to 2.4 % in Gipuzkoa (P < 0.005) and 1 % in Sabadell (P < 0.05). Other metabolites included pregnancy-related hormone by-products of estrogens and progesterone, and the methyl donor choline. We could explain a total of 48–53 % of the total variance in birth weight of which urine metabolites had an independent predictive power of 12 % adjusting for all other lifestyle/clinical factors. First trimester metabolic phenotypes could not predict reproducibly weight at later stages of development. Physical activity, as well as other modifiable lifestyle/clinical factors, suc
Krasner SW, Kostopoulou M, Toledano MB, et al., 2016, Occurrence of DBPs in Drinking Water of European Regions for Epidemiology Studies, JOURNAL AMERICAN WATER WORKS ASSOCIATION, Vol: 108, Pages: E501-E512, ISSN: 2164-4535
Robinson O, Toledano MB, Sands C, et al., 2016, Global metabolic changes induced by plant-derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids following a human poisoning outbreak and in a mouse model, Toxicology Research, Vol: 5, Pages: 1594-1603, ISSN: 2045-4538
Several hundred cases of Hirmi Valley Liver Disease (HVLD), an often fatal liver injury, occurred from 2001 to 2011 in a cluster of rural villages in Tigray, Ethiopia. HVLD is principally caused by contamination of the food supply with plant derived pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs), with high exposure to the pesticide DDT among villagers increasing their susceptibility. In an untargeted global approach we aimed to identify metabolic changes induced by PA exposure through 1H NMR spectroscopic based metabolic profiling. We analysed spectra acquired from urine collected from HVLD cases and controls and a murine model of PA exposure and PA/DDT co-exposure, using multivariate partial least squares discriminant analysis. In the human models we identified changes in urinary concentrations of tyrosine, pyruvate, bile acids, N-acetylglycoproteins, N-methylnicotinamide and formate, hippurate, p-cresol sulphate, p-hydroxybenzoate and 3-(3-hydroxyphenyl) propionic acid. Tyrosine and p-cresol sulphate were associated with both exposure and disease. Similar changes to tyrosine, one-carbon intermediates and microbial associated metabolites were observed in the mouse model, with tyrosine correlated with the extent of liver damage. These results provide mechanistic insight and implicate the gut microflora in the human response to challenge with toxins. Pathways identified here may be useful in translational research and as “exposome” signals.
Kogevinas M, Bustamante M, Gracia-Lavedán E, et al., 2016, Drinking water disinfection byproducts, genetic polymorphisms, and birth outcomes in a European mother-child cohort study, Epidemiology, Vol: 27, Pages: 903-911, ISSN: 1044-3983
BACKGROUND: We examined the association between exposure during pregnancy to trihalomethanes, the most common water disinfection by-products, and birth outcomes in a European cohort study (HiWate). We took into account exposure through different water uses, measures of water toxicity, and genetic susceptibility. METHODS: We enrolled 14,005 mothers (2002-2010) and their children from France, Greece, Lithuania, Spain, and the UK. Information on lifestyle- and water-related activities were recorded. We ascertained residential concentrations of trihalomethanes through regulatory records and ad hoc sampling campaigns and estimated route-specific trihalomethane uptake by trimester and for whole pregnancy. We examined single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variants in disinfection by-product metabolizing genes in nested case-control studies. RESULTS: Average levels of trihalomethanes ranged from around 10μg/L to above the regulatory limits in the EU of 100 μg/L between centers. There was no association between birth weight and total trihalomethane exposure during pregnancy (beta= 2.2 g in birth weight per 10μg/L of THM, 95%CI -3.3, 7.6). Birthweight was not associated with exposure through different routes or with specific trihalomethane species. Exposure to trihalomethanes was not associated with low birth weight (OR per 10μg/L=1.02, 95%CI 0.95, 1.10), small-for-gestational age (OR=0.99, 0.94, 1.03) and preterm births (OR= 0.98, 0.9, 1.05). We found no gene-environment interactions for mother or child polymorphisms in relation to preterm birth or small-for-gestational age. CONCLUSIONS: In this large European study we found no association between birth outcomes and trihalomethane exposures during pregnancy in the total population or in potentially genetically susceptible subgroups.
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