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Ricceri F.,Human Genetics Foundation | Ricceri F.,University of Turin | Matullo G.,Human Genetics Foundation | Matullo G.,University of Turin | And 2 more authors.
Mutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis | Year: 2012

DNA suffers from a wide range of damage, both from extracellular agents and via endogenous mechanisms. Damage of DNA can lead to cancer and other diseases. Therefore, it is plausible that sequence variants in DNA repair genes are involved in cancer development. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis, based on the " Venice criteria" , showed that out of 241 associations investigated, only three resulted to have a strong grade of cumulative evidence. These associations were: two SNPs rs1799793 and rs13181 in the ERCC2 gene and lung cancer (recessive model) and rs1805794 in the NBN gene and bladder cancer (dominant model). An update of this meta-analysis has been performed in the present paper, and we found partially inconsistent results. Inconsistencies in the literature are thus far not easy to explain. In addition, none of the cancer genome-wide association studies (GWAs) published so far showed highly statistically significant associations for any of the common DNA repair gene variants, in such a way as to place DNA repair genes among the top 10-20 hits identified in GWAs. Though this suggests that it is unlikely that DNA repair gene polymorphisms per se play a major role, a clarification of the discrepancies in the literature is needed. Also, gene/environment and gene/lifestyle interactions for the carcinogenic mechanisms involving DNA repair should be investigated more systematically and with less classification error. Finally, the combined effect of multiple SNPs in several genes in one or more relevant DNA repair pathways could have a greater impact on pathological phenotypes than SNPs in single genes, but this has been investigated only occasionally. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Patelarou E.,Nightingale | Tzanakis N.,University of Crete | Kelly F.J.,Center for Environment and Health
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2015

Background: This review aimed to summarize existing epidemiological evidence of the association between quantitative estimates of indoor air pollution with early childhood respiratory disease. Methods: We carried out a systematic literature search of peer-reviewed epidemiological studies undertaken in “westernized” countries that have assessed exposure to indoor pollutants and asthma and wheeze from infancy up to the age of 5. Results: The search, between January 2004 and February 2014 yielded 1840 studies for consideration. Following application of eligibility criteria to titles and abstracts 22 independent studies were deemed relevant for further review. Two additional studies were next identified through examination of the references’ lists of these studies. Of these 24 selected studies, 16 adopted a prospective cohort design and 8 were case-control studies. Fourteen studies assessed exposure to bio-aerosols, 8 studies assessed exposure to specific air chemicals and two studies assessed exposure to bio-aerosols and air chemicals. Furthermore, 11 studies examined the association of exposure with asthma and 16 with wheeze. Findings indicate that existing studies have reported contradictory effects of indoor pollutants levels and occurrence of asthma/wheeze. Conclusion: Additional research to establish causality and evaluate interventions to prevent disease onset is needed. © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Source

Elliott P.,Center for Environment and Health
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

High intakes of dietary sodium are associated with elevated blood pressure levels and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. National and international guidelines recommend reduced sodium intake in the general population, which necessitates population-wide surveillance. We assessed the utility of casual (spot) urine specimens in estimating 24-hour urinary sodium excretion as a marker of sodium intake in the International Cooperative Study on Salt, Other Factors, and Blood Pressure. There were 5,693 participants recruited in 1984-1987 at the ages of 20-59 years from 29 North American and European samples. Participants were randomly assigned to test or validation data sets. Equations derived from casual urinary sodium concentration and other variables in the test data were applied to the validation data set. Correlations between observed and estimated 24-hour sodium excretion were 0.50 for individual men and 0.51 for individual women; the values were 0.79 and 0.71, respectively, for population samples. Bias in mean values (observed minus estimated) was small; for men and women, the values were -1.6 mmol per 24 hours and 2.3 mmol per 24 hours, respectively, at the individual level and -1.8 mmol per 24 hours and 2.2 mmol per 24 hours, respectively, at the population level. Proportions of individuals with urinary 24-hour sodium excretion above the recommended levels were slightly overestimated by the models. Casual urine specimens may be a useful, low-burden, low-cost alternative to 24-hour urine collections for estimation of population sodium intakes; ongoing calibration with study-specific 24-hour urinary collections is recommended to increase validity. © 2013 © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. Source

Zhang J.,The New School | Mauzerall D.L.,Princeton University | Zhu T.,Center for Environment and Health | Liang S.,Ohio State University | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2010

Environmental risk factors, especially air and water pollution, are a major source of morbidity and mortality in China. Biomass fuel and coal are burned for cooking and heating in almost all rural and many urban households, resulting in severe indoor air pollution that contributes greatly to the burden of disease. Many communities lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and thus the risk of waterborne disease in many regions is high. At the same time, China is rapidly industrialising with associated increases in energy use and industrial waste. Although economic growth from industrialisation has improved health and quality of life indicators, it has also increased the release of chemical toxins into the environment and the rate of environmental disasters, with severe effects on health. Air quality in China's cities is among the worst in the world, and industrial water pollution has become a widespread health hazard. Moreover, emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases from energy use are rapidly increasing. Global climate change will inevitably intensify China's environmental health troubles, with potentially catastrophic outcomes from major shifts in temperature and precipitation. Facing the overlap of traditional, modern, and emerging environmental dilemmas, China has committed substantial resources to environmental improvement. The country has the opportunity to address its national environmental health challenges and to assume a central role in the international effort to improve the global environment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Favarato G.,Imperial College London | Anderson H.R.,Center for Environment and Health | Atkinson R.,University of London | Fuller G.,Center for Environment and Health | And 2 more authors.
Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health | Year: 2014

Ambient nitrogen dioxide is a widely available measure of traffic-related air pollution and is inconsistently associated with the prevalence of asthma symptoms in children. The use of this relationship to evaluate the health impact of policies affecting traffic management and traffic emissions is limited by the lack of a concentration-response function based on systematic review and meta-analysis of relevant studies. Using systematic methods, we identified papers containing quantitative estimates for nitrogen dioxide and the 12 month period prevalence of asthma symptoms in children in which the exposure contrast was within-community and dominated by traffic pollution. One estimate was selected from each study according to an a priori algorithm. Odds ratios were standardised to 10 μg/m3 and summary estimates were obtained using random- and fixed-effects estimates. Eighteen studies were identified. Concentrations of nitrogen dioxide were estimated for the home address (12) and/or school (8) using a range of methods; land use regression (6), study monitors (6), dispersion modelling (4) and interpolation (2). Fourteen studies showed positive associations but only two associations were statistically significant at the 5 % level. There was moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 32.8 %) and the random-effects estimate for the odds ratio was 1.06 (95 % CI 1.00 to 1.11). There was no evidence of small study bias. Individual studies tended to have only weak positive associations between nitrogen dioxide and asthma prevalence but the summary estimate bordered on statistical significance at the 5 % level. Although small, the potential impact on asthma prevalence could be considerable because of the high level of baseline prevalence in many cities. Whether the association is causal or indicates the effects of a correlated pollutant or other confounders, the estimate obtained by the meta-analysis would be appropriate for estimating impacts of traffic pollution on asthma prevalence. © 2014, The Author(s). Source

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