Special Issue "Community and Family-Focused Public Health and Sustainable Development"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 21 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Wioletta Zukiewicz-Sobczak
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biala Podlaska, Sidorska 95/97, 21-500 Biała Podlaska, Poland
Interests: food and nutrition; food production; health aspects in sustainable production
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Paulina Wojtyla-Buciora

Guest Editor
State University of Applied Sciences, Kalisz Poland
Interests: health behaviour; adolescent health; public health
Dr. Izabela Rącka

Guest Editor
State University of Applied Sciences, Kalisz Poland
Interests: housing market; urban renewal; public space; sustainable city development; real estate appraisal
Prof. Andrzej Wojtyla

Guest Editor
State University of Applied Sciences, Kalisz Poland
Interests: health inequalities; reproductive health; environmental and rural health; public health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue “Community and Family-Focused Public Health and Sustainable Development” is part of the renowned International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. This Special Issue encompasses applications in novel aspects connected with sustainability issues in community and family-focused public health studies. Contributions with a significant impact on solving public health problems at the family and community level are particularly welcome. All types of scientific papers, including review articles, qualify for publication, as long as they fall under this Special Issue’s remit and are relevant to audiences worldwide. Currently, the term 'family health' is most commonly used in aspects of mother and child health, and reproductive health. It is rare for family health to include the family as an important context for health development, including all family members and the family’s social environment. We therefore particularly encourage authors of scientific research covering issues of the impact of the family and the environment in which the family lives and functions on its members’ health presently and in the future. In addition, we are especially interested in scientific reports on social, economic, and health inequalities in the context of achieving sustainable development goals.

Prof. Dr. Wioletta Zukiewicz-Sobczak
Prof. Paulina Wojtyla-Buciora
Dr. Izabela Rącka
Prof. Andrzej Wojtyla
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Prenatal Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Exposure and Pregnancy Outcomes—Analysis of Term Pregnancies in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5820; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165820 - 11 Aug 2020
Abstract
Air pollution is currently one of the greatest threats to global health. Polish cities are among the most heavily polluted in Europe. Due to air pollution 43,100 people die prematurely in Poland every year. However, these data do not take into account the [...] Read more.
Air pollution is currently one of the greatest threats to global health. Polish cities are among the most heavily polluted in Europe. Due to air pollution 43,100 people die prematurely in Poland every year. However, these data do not take into account the health consequences of air pollution for unborn children. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the fine particulate matter air pollution (less than 2.5 μm in diameter) on pregnancy outcomes. An analysis of pregnant women and their children was made using a questionnaire survey from a nationwide study conducted in 2017. Questionnaires from 1095 pregnant women and data from their medical records were collected. An analysis of air pollution in Poland was conducted using the air quality database maintained by the Chief Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in Poland. A higher concentration of PM2.5 was associated with a decrease in birth weight and a higher risk of low birthweight (i.e., <2500 g). We also observed lower APGAR scores. Thus, all possible efforts to reduce air pollution are critically needed. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Changes in Knowledge about Umbilical Cord Blood Banking and Genetic Tests among Pregnant Women from Polish Urban and Rural Areas between 2010–2012 and 2017
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5744; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165744 - 08 Aug 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge of umbilical cord blood (UBC) banking and prenatal genetic diagnosis among pregnant women from rural and urban areas, and how this knowledge changed within a five-year period. A survey by questionnaire was conducted between [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate knowledge of umbilical cord blood (UBC) banking and prenatal genetic diagnosis among pregnant women from rural and urban areas, and how this knowledge changed within a five-year period. A survey by questionnaire was conducted between 2010 and 2012, and in 2017 in public hospitals; the study population comprised 6128 women, with 2797 patients from the years 2010–2012 and 3331 from the year 2017. 41% of the studied population declared that they were living in rural areas. In the 2010–2012 period, fewer women from rural areas knew about UBC banking. In 2017 that same relative difference in knowledge persisted, but the percentage of women who now knew about this procedure rose significantly in both studied groups. Prenatal diagnosis was more familiar for urban inhabitants both in 2010 and 2017 but as with the UBC data, a trend of growing awareness was also seen in pregnant women from rural areas. Knowledge of new techniques such as UBC banking and genetic tests has grown among pregnant women during the time frame of our study, but there is still a need to emphasize the benefits of these two possibilities to pregnant women, especially among rural inhabitants. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
How to Screen Suitable Service Improve Community Health Care Services by University Students in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(15), 5402; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155402 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Engaging in social contributions to enhance social participation and attending community experiential service learning or internship courses have become an essential learning experience for university students. On the basis of postmodern education theories, this study adopted images and oral accounts involving personal experiences [...] Read more.
Engaging in social contributions to enhance social participation and attending community experiential service learning or internship courses have become an essential learning experience for university students. On the basis of postmodern education theories, this study adopted images and oral accounts involving personal experiences to construct a postmodern education research scheme by using the method of collaborative ethnography. This study selected and performed the following services: filming a community documentary, administering community health dance classes, and archiving community cultural artifacts in databases. Interviews were also administered to facilitate implementation of the actual services. Community health services commonly seen in Taiwan and abroad were compiled, and the resources required for each service were examined. Subsequently, factor analysis was performed to explore the characteristic of these services in order to recommend feasible services for university students to undertake. The results indicated that the eight resources required for the 59 common community health services were (1) a designated space or venue, (2) materials, (3) monetary resources, (4) human resources, (5) expertise, (6) professional equipment, (7) patience, and (8) empathy. The results revealed three principal components, namely labor services, high-resource services, and professional services, for a total explanatory power of 67.99%; the individual explanatory power of these components accounted for 25.04%, 21.81%, and 21.15%, respectively. Next, community health care services suitable for university students to perform were selected and implemented, and these services were well received. The study results indicated that community and environmental justice can be realized by identifying with the value of community health services and promoting postmodern education theories and social norms. The research results are suitable for implementation after the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alterations in Serum-Free Amino Acid Profiles in Childhood Asthma
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4758; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134758 - 02 Jul 2020
Abstract
Asthma often begins in childhood, although making an early diagnosis is difficult. Clinical manifestations, the exclusion of other causes of bronchial obstruction, and responsiveness to anti-inflammatory therapy are the main tool of diagnosis. However, novel, precise, and functional biochemical markers are needed in [...] Read more.
Asthma often begins in childhood, although making an early diagnosis is difficult. Clinical manifestations, the exclusion of other causes of bronchial obstruction, and responsiveness to anti-inflammatory therapy are the main tool of diagnosis. However, novel, precise, and functional biochemical markers are needed in the differentiation of asthma phenotypes, endotypes, and creating personalized therapy. The aim of the study was to search for metabolomic-based asthma biomarkers among free amino acids (AAs). A wide panel of serum-free AAs in asthmatic children, covering both proteinogenic and non-proteinogenic AAs, were analyzed. The examination included two groups of individuals between 3 and 18 years old: asthmatic children and the control group consisted of children with neither asthma nor allergies. High-performance liquid chromatography combined with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS technique) was used for AA measurements. The data were analyzed by applying uni- and multivariate statistical tests. The obtained results indicate the decreased serum concentration of taurine, L-valine, DL-β-aminoisobutyric acid, and increased levels of ƴ-amino-n-butyric acid and L-arginine in asthmatic children when compared to controls. The altered concentration of these AAs can testify to their role in the pathogenesis of childhood asthma. The authors’ results should contribute to the future introduction of new diagnostic markers into clinical practice. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Bone Metabolism in Patients Treated for Depression
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4756; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134756 - 02 Jul 2020
Abstract
Background: Depression and osteoporosis are severe public health problems. There are conflicting findings regarding the influence of depression on bone metabolism. The aim of the presented study was to compare bone turnover markers and vitamin D levels between patients treated for depression and [...] Read more.
Background: Depression and osteoporosis are severe public health problems. There are conflicting findings regarding the influence of depression on bone metabolism. The aim of the presented study was to compare bone turnover markers and vitamin D levels between patients treated for depression and healthy controls. Patients and Methods: We determined a concentration of osteocalcin, carboxy-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (β-CTX), 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and 1,25(OH)2D3 in 99 patients, aged 46.9 ± 11 years, treated for depression, as well as in 45 healthy subjects. Depressive status was determined with the Hamilton Depression Scale (HDRS). Results: In patients treated for depression, we demonstrated significantly lower osteocalcin concentrations (p < 0.03) and higher concentration of β-CTX (result on the border of significance; p = 0.08). Those relationship were stronger in women. The level of 25OHD and 1,25(OH)2D3 did not differ significantly between the examined groups. We observed a negative correlation between the 25OHD and HDRS score after treatment in all patients treated for depression and in subgroups of women and subjects with recurrent depression. Conclusions: Our results indicate that depression is related to disturbances in bone metabolism, especially in women and patients with recurrent depression, suggesting its role in context of osteoporosis development. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cervical Cancer Mortality in East-Central European Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(13), 4639; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17134639 - 28 Jun 2020
Abstract
Changes that took place in Europe in the early 1990s had an impact on health-associated issues. They were an impulse for the changes in healthcare systems and, consequently, also for the changes in cancer control programmes. Those changes also had an effect on [...] Read more.
Changes that took place in Europe in the early 1990s had an impact on health-associated issues. They were an impulse for the changes in healthcare systems and, consequently, also for the changes in cancer control programmes. Those changes also had an effect on mortality rates due to cervical cancer (CC). Therefore, the aim of this study is to analyse CC mortality trends in east-central Europe after 1990. Data on deaths due to CC were retrieved from the WHO Mortality Database. Trends in east-central European countries between 1990 and 2017 were assessed using Joinpoint Regression Program software. CC mortality decreased in the majority of analysed countries. However, an increase was observed in Latvia and Bulgaria. Despite decreasing mortality in the majority of the analysed countries, significant differences were observed. In order to improve the epidemiological situation, effective early detection programmes for cervical cancer ought to be rearranged and based not only on pap smears but also on molecular methods, as well as on introducing widespread programmes of vaccination against HPV. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health-Related Behaviors of Pregnant Women Residing in Urban and Rural Areas in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124395 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge regarding a healthy lifestyle and prophylaxis during pregnancy among women from rural and urban areas and how this changed within a 5-year period. Analyses of the population of pregnant women in Poland were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge regarding a healthy lifestyle and prophylaxis during pregnancy among women from rural and urban areas and how this changed within a 5-year period. Analyses of the population of pregnant women in Poland were made using a questionnaire survey. The survey was conducted in the years 2010–2012 and 2017. Questionnaires from 6128 pregnant women were collected. The statistical analyses were conducted using IBM SPSS. The examined population was comprised of 41% women from rural areas and 59% women from urban areas. Alcohol consumption was lower among women from rural areas than among urban inhabitants in 2010–2012; in 2017 a trend of even lower consumption was observed. Folic acid supplementation was more broadly developed in the urban population; however, in 2017, higher percentage rates of both populations admitted taking folates before pregnancy. More women in urban than in rural areas performed physical activity during pregnancy, but the differences decreased in 2017. Knowledge of a healthy lifestyle and prophylaxis during pregnancy increased regardless of place of residence; however, the most evident change could be observed among women from rural areas. Full article
Open AccessArticle
The Quality of Life of Seniors Hospitalized Due to Cardiovascular Diseases in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3721; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103721 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Introduction: In the light of the increased ageing of the world population, social policy needs to be focused on actions aimed at improving the quality of life of older people. Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess the quality of [...] Read more.
Introduction: In the light of the increased ageing of the world population, social policy needs to be focused on actions aimed at improving the quality of life of older people. Objective: The main objective of this study was to assess the quality of life in a population of seniors hospitalized due to cardiovascular disease. Materials and methods: The study included 408 elderly patients hospitalized for cardiovascular diseases in the Poddębickie Centrum Zdrowia Hospital in Poddębice, Łódzkie voivodship, Poland. The study used two survey questionnaires: the author’s survey questionnaire and the standardized SF36v2 Questionnaire. Statistical analysis of the obtained test results was carried out in the R program, version 3.5.1. Results: Having analyzed the health status of the study group, it was found that the largest group of subjects (84.07%) were treated due to hypertension. Among the ailments that hindered daily functioning, the respondents indicated primarily poor eyesight (53.68%). Patients assessed their own health as ‘mediocre’ (average) (58.58%). The analysis of the study results from the SF36v2 Questionnaire showed that the highest quality of life was in the limited activity due to emotional problems (RE) dimension, social functioning (SF), and physical functioning (PF); the weakest scores were observed in vitality (VT), general health perception (GH), and health transition (HT) dimensions. Conclusions: The significant demographic, social and socio-medical factors that determined respondents’ quality of life were: age, gender, marital status, education and health situation. The analysis of quality of life according to the SF36v2 Questionnaire showed that the study group functioned better in the mental dimension (MCS—mental component summary, overall mental health) than in the physical one (PCS—physical component summary, total physical health). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure to Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) among Employees of Hospitality Venues in the Light of Changes in Anti-Tobacco Legislation in Poland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103691 - 23 May 2020
Abstract
Introduction: Numerous studies conducted in Europe and worldwide have indicated that employees of hospitality venues are the most exposed professional group to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of employees of hospitality [...] Read more.
Introduction: Numerous studies conducted in Europe and worldwide have indicated that employees of hospitality venues are the most exposed professional group to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) in the workplace. The purpose of this study was to assess the exposure of employees of hospitality venues to ETS in the light of changes in anti-tobacco legislation in Poland. Materials and methods: The study consisted of two stages. The first stage was conducted in 2010, while the second in 2015. The study was conducted among employees of 300 randomly selected hospitality venues in the city of Łódź (Poland). In total, 2607 questionnaires were analysed. The study used two survey questionnaires created and recommended by the Institute for Global Tobacco Control to study exposure to ETS. Statistical analysis was made with Statistica 13.1 PL (StatSoft, Poland). Results: In the group of all nonsmoking employees, individuals exposed to ETS at work in 2010 accounted for 72.6%; while in 2015 it was 51.8%. Factors affecting exposure to ETS in the workplace included, among others: age, marital status, education, position held, presence of a smoking room on the premises, and noncompliance with the provisions of the anti-tobacco laws. Conclusions: The prevalence of tobacco smoking among employees of hospitality venues decreased in 2010–2015, however, it remained high. More than half of nonsmoking employees were exposed to ETS at work. Full article
Open AccessArticle
In-Vitro Growth Inhibition of Bacterial Pathogens by Probiotics and a Synbiotic: Product Composition Matters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093332 - 11 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
A variety of activities potentially contribute to the beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria observed in humans. Among these is a direct inhibition of the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. The present study characterizes head-to-head the in-vitro pathogen growth inhibition of clinically [...] Read more.
A variety of activities potentially contribute to the beneficial effects of probiotic bacteria observed in humans. Among these is a direct inhibition of the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut. The present study characterizes head-to-head the in-vitro pathogen growth inhibition of clinically relevant infectious bacterial strains by different types of probiotics and a synbiotic. In-vitro growth inhibition of Escherichia (E.) coli EPEC, Shigella (Sh.) sonnei, Salmonella (S.) typhimurium, Klebsiella (K.) pneumoniae and Clostridioides (C.) difficile were determined. Investigated products were a yeast mono strain probiotic containing Saccharomyces (Sac.) boulardii, bacterial mono strain probiotics containing either Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus GG or L. reuteri DSM 17938, a multi strain probiotic containing three L. rhamnosus strains (E/N, Oxy, Pen), and a multi strain synbiotic containing nine different probiotic bacterial strains and the prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Inhibition of pathogens was moderate by Sac. boulardii and L. rhamnosus GG, medium by L. reuteri DSM 17938 and the L. rhamnosus E/N, Oxy, Pen mixture and strong by the multi strain synbiotic. Head-to-head in-vitro pathogen growth inhibition experiments can be used to differentiate products from different categories containing probiotic microorganisms and can support the selection process of products for further clinical evaluation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Living with Children and the Health and Health Behavior of Women and Men. Are There Differences by Age? Results of the “German Health Update” (GEDA) Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093180 - 02 May 2020
Abstract
Does the health of women and men living with and without minor children differ, and are age differences evident in the association? For self-rated general health, depression, back pain, overweight, smoking and sporting inactivity, the GEDA data 2009–2012 (18–54 years, n = 39,096) [...] Read more.
Does the health of women and men living with and without minor children differ, and are age differences evident in the association? For self-rated general health, depression, back pain, overweight, smoking and sporting inactivity, the GEDA data 2009–2012 (18–54 years, n = 39,096) were used to calculate prevalence for women and men stratified by parental status (living with children: yes/no) and age. Moreover, we calculated odds ratios and predictive margins, performing logistic regressions with interaction terms of parental status and age. Women and men aged 45–54 living with children are healthier than those not living with children. Parents aged 18–24 smoke more frequently and do less sport; young mothers are also more likely to be overweight and suffer from back pain than women not living with children. In multivariable analysis, the interaction of living with children and age is significant for all outcomes (except depression and back pain in men). Living with children is an important social determinant of health, highly dependent on age. It is to be discussed whether the bio-psycho-social situation has an influence on becoming a parent, or whether parenthood in different phases of life strains or enhances health. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
CHEK2 Mutation in Patient with Multiple Endocrine Glands Tumors. Case Report
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4397; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124397 - 18 Jun 2020
Abstract
Background: Many studies show the occurrence of several multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes caused by different mutations, for example, in MEN1 and RET genes. Nevertheless, there are less common mutations causing multiple endocrine glands tumors. Examples of such mutations are CHEK2 gene mutations, causing [...] Read more.
Background: Many studies show the occurrence of several multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes caused by different mutations, for example, in MEN1 and RET genes. Nevertheless, there are less common mutations causing multiple endocrine glands tumors. Examples of such mutations are CHEK2 gene mutations, causing breast, kidney, gastric, colorectal, prostate, lung, ovarian, and thyroid cancers. Case description: In 2005, a 30-year-old woman was admitted to the hospital due to uncontrolled hypertension and obesity. Performed tests have shown ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone)—independent micronodular adrenal hyperplasia (AIMAH) as a cause. In 2010, the further diagnostic analysis revealed Cushing’s disease caused by ACTH-secreting pituitary microadenoma. Additionally, in 2011, the patient underwent the strumectomy of multinodular struma. Papillary thyroid carcinoma was found in the excised tissue. In 2018, transvaginal ultrasonography revealed a tumor of the right ovary. After a performed hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy, the histopathology result has shown female adnexal tumors of probable Wolffian origin (FATWO) located in the broad ligament of the uterus. Due to the history of multiglandular diseases, the patient was referred to genetic testing. We found a positive pathogenic mutation in CHEK2-suppressor gene involved in DNA repair, cell cycle arrest, and apoptosis in response to DNA damage. Conclusion: CHEK2 variants may predispose to a range of endocrine glands tumors, including those identified in our patient. Multiple endocrine glands tumors, as in the presented patient, are a serious problem of public health, due to numerous hospitalizations and necessary repeated surgical treatments. Moreover, the association between CHEK2 and ovarian cancer can be a serious problem with reproductive health. Full article
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