Publications by authors named "Masayuki Shima"

102 Publications

Association of maternal total cholesterol with SGA or LGA birth at term: The Japan Environment and Children's Study.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya City University.

Context: Maternal cholesterol is important for fetal development. Whether maternal serum total cholesterol (maternal TC) levels in mid-pregnancy are associated with small- (SGA) or large- (LGA) for-gestational-age independent of pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) and weight gain during pregnancy is inconclusive.

Objective: To prospectively investigate the association between maternal TC in mid-pregnancy and SGA or LGA.

Design And Setting: The Japan Environment and Children's Study is a nationwide prospective birth cohort study in Japan.

Participants: A total of 37,449 non-diabetic, non-hypertensive mothers with singleton birth at term without congenital abnormalities.

Outcome Measures: Birth weight for the gestational age <10 percentile and ≥90 percentile were respectively defined as SGA and LGA by the Japanese neonatal anthropometric charts.

Results: The mean gestational age at blood sampling was 22.7±4.0 weeks. After adjustment for maternal age, sex of child, parity, weight gain during pregnancy, pre-pregnancy BMI, smoking, alcohol drinking, blood glucose levels, household income, and Study Areas, one standard deviation decrement of maternal TC was linearly associated with SGA [odds ratio (OR): 95% confidence intervals (CI) = 1.20: 1.15-1.25]. In contrast, one standard deviation increment of maternal TC was linearly associated with LGA [OR: 95% CI = 1.13: 1.09-1.16]. Associations did not differ according to pre-pregnancy BMI and gestational weight gain (p for interaction>0.20).

Conclusion: Maternal TC levels in mid-pregnancy were associated with SGA or LGA in Japanese. Maternal TC in mid-pregnancy may help to predict SGA and LGA. Favorable maternal lipid profiles for fetal development must be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgab618DOI Listing
August 2021

Estimating monthly concentrations of ambient key air pollutants in Japan during 2010-2015 for a national-scale birth cohort.

Environ Pollut 2021 Sep 31;284:117483. Epub 2021 May 31.

Japan Environment and Children's Study Programme Office, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, 305-8506, Japan. Electronic address:

Exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with maternal and child health. Some air pollutants exhibit similar behavior in the atmosphere, and some interact with each other; thus, comprehensive assessments of individual air pollutants are required. In this study, we developed national-scale monthly models for six air pollutants (NO, NO, SO, O, PM, and suspended particulate matter (SPM)) to obtain accurate estimates of pollutant concentrations at 1 km × 1 km resolution from 2010 through 2015 for application to the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS), which is a large-scale birth cohort study. We developed our models in the land use regression framework using random forests in conjunction with kriging. We evaluated the model performance via 5-fold location-based cross-validation. We successfully predicted monthly NO (r = 0.65), NO (r = 0.84), O (r = 0.86), PM (r = 0.79), and SPM (r = 0.64) concentrations. For SO, a satisfactory model could not be developed (r = 0.45) because of the low SO concentrations in Japan. The performance of our models is comparable to those reported in previous studies at similar temporal and spatial scales. The model predictions in conjunction with the JECS will reveal the critical windows of prenatal and infancy exposure to ambient air pollutants, thus contributing to the development of environmental policies on air pollution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2021.117483DOI Listing
September 2021

Changes in Cell-Mediated Immunity (IFN-γ and Granzyme B) Following Influenza Vaccination.

Viruses 2021 06 13;13(6). Epub 2021 Jun 13.

Department of Microbiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya 663-8501, Hyogo, Japan.

Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) is considered a key moderator of cell-mediated immunity. However, little is known about its association with granzyme B, which plays an important role in the effector function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). In the present study, we collected blood samples from 32 healthy adults before and after vaccination with inactivated influenza vaccine in 2017/18 to measure the levels of IFN-γ and granzyme B, which play roles in cell-mediated immunity, and hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) antibody, which plays a role in humoral immunity. The levels of IFN-γ and granzyme B were significantly correlated both before and after vaccination. Furthermore, the post-vaccine fold increases in the IFN-γ and granzyme B levels were significantly correlated. The levels of IFN-γ and granzyme B decreased five months after vaccination in more than half of the subjects who exhibited an increase in IFN-γ and granzyme B at two weeks post-vaccination. This is the first study to investigate the correlation between IFN-γ and granzyme B levels following influenza vaccination. Our study suggests that both IFN-γ and granzyme B can be used as markers of cell-mediated immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13061137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8231587PMC
June 2021

Associations between prenatal exposure to volatile organic compounds and neurodevelopment in 12-month-old children: The Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS).

Sci Total Environ 2021 Nov 24;794:148643. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of problems associated with neurodevelopmental disorders in children, and there has been a growing interest in the relationship between environmental chemicals and children's health. The objective of this study was to examine whether an association exists between occupational or environmental prenatal maternal exposure to volatile organic compounds and the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children using Japanese translations of the Ages & Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (J-ASQ-3). An increase in the risk of neurodevelopmental delay in 12-month-old children associated with maternal exposure to formalin or formaldehyde was identified in terms of problem-solving (odds ratio (OR): 1.76, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.99-3.12) and personal-social skills (OR: 3.32, 95% CI: 1.46-7.55). It is not clear whether or not this tendency is reversible, and whether it is observed past 12 months of age. Further research and a preventive approach are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.148643DOI Listing
November 2021

Feelings about pregnancy and mother-infant bonding as predictors of persistent psychological distress in the perinatal period: The Japan Environment and Children's Study.

J Psychiatr Res 2021 08 30;140:132-140. Epub 2021 May 30.

Hyogo Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan; Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan. Electronic address:

Feelings about pregnancy and mother-infant bonding are associated with maternal mental health before and after childbirth. The current study examined factors associated with persistent distress at 12 months after childbirth among mothers with psychological distress in the first trimester, using data from the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS). Feelings about pregnancy were assessed using a questionnaire in the first trimester, and maternal mental health was assessed using the Kessler 6 (K6) in the first trimester and at 12 months after childbirth. In addition, mother-infant bonding was assessed using the Mother-to-Infant Bonding Scale Japanese version (MIBS-J) at 12 months after childbirth, and 5 items from the MIBS-J at one and six months after childbirth. Among the 97,415 mothers registered in the JECS, 24,324 mothers with psychological distress (K6 ≥ 5) in the first trimester were included in this analysis. The relationships between persistence of psychological distress at 12 months after childbirth with feelings about pregnancy and mother-infant bonding were analyzed. Both maternal negative feelings about pregnancy in the first trimester and mother-infant bonding after childbirth were significantly associated with persistent psychological distress at 12 months after childbirth (β = 0.02, p = 0.001 and β = 0.35, p < 0.001, respectively). The indirect effect of feelings about pregnancy on persistent distress through mother-infant bonding was also observed (β = 0.06, p < 0.001). These findings indicate that mother-infant bonding after childbirth may be important for improving the mental health of mothers with prenatal psychological distress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.05.056DOI Listing
August 2021

Association between house renovation during pregnancy and wheezing in the first year of life: The Japan environment and children's study.

Allergol Int 2021 May 29. Epub 2021 May 29.

Department of Pediatrics, Hyogo College of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan; Hyogo Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS), Hyogo College of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan.

Background: Wheezing is a common symptom in infants, which may occasionally develop into asthma. There are many factors related to infant wheezing, including anatomical features, viral infections, and passive smoking. There are only a few reports on the association between renovation and pregnancy worldwide, and reports on this association are inadequate in Japan. This study aimed to examine the association between house renovation and new construction during pregnancy and wheezing in infants during the first year of life using data from the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS).

Methods: Data of pregnant women registered in JECS were collected using self-administered questionnaires during the second/third trimester and 1 month after delivery. Childbirth records were completed by the doctors. Similarly, wheezing in infants was evaluated using self-administered questionnaires 1 year after birth. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the primary outcome.

Results: In total, 75,731 infants, excluding those with unknown gender, who were not singleton infants, and who relocated during pregnancy and the first month of life, were examined in this study. Renovation during pregnancy increased the prevalence of wheezing (odds ratio [OR]: 1.33, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.20-1.48) and recurrent wheezing (OR: 1.22, 95% CI: 1.00-1.48) in the first year of life. The relationship between new construction during pregnancy and wheezing in infants was insignificant (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.90-1.06).

Conclusions: Renovation during pregnancy may be a risk factor for wheezing in infants, and should be avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2021.05.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Estimating historical PM exposures for three decades (1987-2016) in Japan using measurements of associated air pollutants and land use regression.

Environ Pollut 2020 Aug 5;263(Pt A):114476. Epub 2020 Apr 5.

Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto, 606-8501, Japan.

Accurate estimation of historical PM exposures for epidemiological studies is challenging when extensive monitoring data are limited in duration. Here, we develop a national-scale PM exposure model for Japan using measurements recorded between 2014 and 2016 to estimate monthly means for 1987 through 2016. Our objective is to obtain accurate PM estimates for years prior to implementation of extensive PM monitoring, using observations from a limited period. We utilize a neural network to convey the non-linear relationship between the target pollutant and predictors, while incorporating the associated air pollutants. We obtain high R values of 0.76 and 0.73 through spatial and temporal cross validation, respectively. We evaluate estimation accuracy using an independent data set and achieve an R of 0.75. Moreover, monthly variations for 2000-2013 are well reproduced with correlation coefficients of greater than 0.78, obtained through a comparison with observations. We estimate monthly means at 1 × 1 km resolution from 1987 through 2016. The estimates show decreases in the area and population weighted means beginning in the 1990s. We successfully estimate monthly mean PM concentrations over three decades with outstanding predictive accuracy. Our findings illustrate that the presented approach achieves accurate long-term historical estimations using observations limited in duration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114476DOI Listing
August 2020

Association between the serum insulin-like growth factor-1 concentration in the first trimester of pregnancy and postpartum depression.

Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2021 May 11;75(5):159-165. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Hyogo Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.

Aim: Patients with major depression present with an increased serum insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentration. However, the longitudinal relationship between serum IGF-1 levels and depression development remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the longitudinal association between the serum IGF-1 concentration in the first trimester of pregnancy and postpartum depression development using data obtained from the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS).

Methods: The JECS included 97 415 pregnant women; among them, 8791 were enrolled in this study. Data regarding depression in the first trimester, postpartum depression development at 1 month after childbirth, and other covariates were collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Serum IGF-1 levels were measured in the first trimester of pregnancy. The participants were divided into four groups according to the serum IGF-1 level.

Results: In the first trimester, serum IGF-1 levels were not significantly associated with psychological distress in pregnant women. In the longitudinal analyses, however, postpartum depression development in mothers within the highest quartile for serum IGF-1 concentration in the first trimester was significantly less common than in those within the lowest quartile (odds ratio 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.30-0.79).

Conclusion: Pregnant women with a high serum IGF-1 concentration in the first trimester were less likely to develop postpartum depression than those with a low concentration. A high serum IGF-1 concentration during pregnancy may help to protect against postpartum depression development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pcn.13200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248044PMC
May 2021

Relationship between psychosocial factors and objective physical function in special needs school staff members suffering from low back pain.

Ind Health 2021 Feb 21;59(1):54-62. Epub 2020 Nov 21.

Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, Japan.

Physical function impairment in patients with low back pain (LBP) occurs due to the influence of psychosocial factors. Only a few studies have objectively evaluated physical function. We aimed to objectively assess the physical functions of individuals subjects with LBP, and clarify the association between physical function and psychosocial factors. We enrolled 411 individuals with LBP working in special needs schools. We examined their degree of pain, and the psychosocial factors strength through the STarT Back Tool, which categorized them into the low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk groups. We assessed their abdominal muscle endurance, lower limb muscle strength, and hip joint flexibility. The relationships between these physical functions and psychosocial factors were analyzed by logistic regression models. Those in the high-risk group had significantly lower abdominal muscle and lower limb muscle strength (p<0.001). After adjusting for confounding factors, the odds ratios of the high-risk compared to the low-risk group for low abdominal muscle endurance, lower limb muscle strength, and restricted right and left Straight Leg Raising were 5.47, 3.14, 2.65, and 3.12, respectively (95% CIs: 2.35-12.74, 1.43-6.89, 1.08-6.55, and 1.20-8.11, respectively). Therefore, the low physical function observed in the high-risk group was associated with their psychosocial factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2486/indhealth.2020-0169DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7855674PMC
February 2021

Association of Protein and Endotoxin in Outdoor Air with Emergency Department Visits for Children and Adults with Asthma in Fukuoka, Japan.

Biol Pharm Bull 2020 ;43(9):1361-1366

Department of Public Health, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University.

We examined the association of biological components in airborne particles, i.e., proteins and endotoxins, in outdoor air with asthma exacerbation in the Fukuoka metropolitan area, Fukuoka, Japan. Data on emergency department (ED) visits for asthma in children (age, 0-14 years) and adults (age, 15-64 years) were collected at a medical center from December 2014 to November 2015. One hundred eighty-one children and 143 adults visited the ED for asthma, and the weekly number of ED visits in children increased in autumn, i.e., September (second week) to November (first week). Fine (aerodynamic diameter ≤2.5 µm) and coarse (≥2.5 µm) particles were collected for 3 or 4 weeks per month, and protein and endotoxin concentrations were analyzed. Protein was largely prevalent in fine particles (0.34-7.33 µg/m), and concentrations were high in April, May, June, and October. In contrast, endotoxin was mainly included in coarse particles (0.0010-0.0246 EU/m), and concentrations were high in September (third week), October (first, second, and fourth weeks), February (fourth week), and July (first week). The results of a Poisson regression analysis indicated that endotoxin (in fine and coarse particles alike) was a significant factor for ED visits related to asthma in children, even after adjusting for meteorological factors, i.e., temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. However, there was no association between environmental factors and ED visits for asthma in adults. These results suggest that endotoxin in outdoor air is significantly associated with an increased risk of asthma exacerbation in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1248/bpb.b20-00297DOI Listing
June 2021

Sensitivity and specificity of different antibody tests for detecting varicella-zoster virus.

J Infect Chemother 2020 Dec 22;26(12):1283-1287. Epub 2020 Aug 22.

Department of Microbiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.

Introduction: Antibody tests for detecting varicella-zoster virus include the fluorescent-antibody-to-membrane-antigen (FAMA) assay, immune adherence hemagglutination assay (IAHA), enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and the glycoprotein-based enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (gpELISA). Although FAMA and gpELISA are highly sensitive, FAMA is not available commercially. Therefore, this study was performed to compare potential high-sensitivity tests with commercially available tests.

Methods: Four antibody tests, FAMA, gpELISA, EIA, and IAHA, were performed using sera collected from 32 children aged 7 months-10 years. Using FAMA as a reference, the sensitivity and specificity of gpELISA, EIA, and IAHA were assessed. Subsequently, using gpELISA as a reference, the positive agreement rate of EIA and IAHA was assessed.

Results: On a reference scale with FAMA set at 100%, the sensitivity and specificity of the antibody tests were as follows: gpELISA, 67% and 100%; EIA, 67% and 100%; and IAHA, 47% and 100%, respectively. The positive agreement rates of EIA and IAHA relative to gpELISA were 86% and 64%, respectively.

Conclusions: gpELISA had a lower positive rate than did FAMA, and showed comparable sensitivity to that of EIA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiac.2020.07.012DOI Listing
December 2020

Association between surgical procedures under general anesthesia in infancy and developmental outcomes at 1 year: the Japan Environment and Children's Study.

Environ Health Prev Med 2020 Jul 25;25(1):32. Epub 2020 Jul 25.

Hyogo Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.

Background: The neurotoxicity of general anesthesia to the developing human brains is controversial. We assessed the associations between surgery under general anesthesia in infancy and development at age 1 year using the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS), a large-scale birth cohort study.

Methods: In the JECS, 103,062 pregnancies and 104,065 fetuses were enrolled between January 2011 and March 2014. Of the 100,144 registered live births, we excluded preterm or post-term infants, multiple births, and infants with chromosomal anomalies and/or anomalies of the head or brain. Data on surgical procedures under general anesthesia in infancy were collected from self-administered questionnaires by parents at the 1-year follow-up. Developmental delay at age 1 year was assessed using the Japanese translation of the Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (J-ASQ-3), comprising five developmental domains.

Results: Among the 64,141 infants included, 746 infants had surgery under general anesthesia once, 90 twice, and 71 three or more times. The percentage of developmental delay in the five domains of the J-ASQ-3 significantly increased with the number of surgical procedures. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the risk of developmental delays in all five domains was significantly increased in infants who had surgery under general anesthesia three times or more (adjusted odds ratios: for communication domain 3.32; gross motor domain 4.69; fine motor domain 2.99; problem solving domain 2.47; personal-social domain 2.55).

Conclusions: Surgery under general anesthesia in infancy was associated with an increased likelihood of developmental delay in all five domains of the J-ASQ-3, especially the gross motor domain at age 1 year. The neurodevelopment with the growth should be further evaluated among the children who had surgery under general anesthesia.

Trial Registration: UMIN Clinical Trials Registry (number: UMIN000030786 ).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12199-020-00873-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7382792PMC
July 2020

Effects of the Use of Air Purifier on Indoor Environment and Respiratory System among Healthy Adults.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 05 23;17(10). Epub 2020 May 23.

Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya 663-8501, Japan.

Air purifiers have become popular among ordinary families. However, it remains controversial whether indoor air purification improves the respiratory health of healthy adults. A randomized crossover intervention study was conducted with 32 healthy individuals. The subjects were categorized into two groups. One group continuously used true air purifiers, and the other followed with sham air purifiers for 4 weeks. Following this first intervention, all the subjects underwent a 4-week washout period and continued with the second 4-week intervention with the alternate air purifiers. We collected fine particulate matter (PM) ≤ 2.5 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5), coarse particulate matter between 2.5 and 10 µm in aerodynamic diameter (PM10-2.5) and ozone (O). The subjects' pulmonary function and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) were measured during the study period. The indoor PM2.5 concentrations decreased by 11% with the true air purifiers compared to those with sham air purifiers. However, this decrease was not significant ( = 0.08). The air purification did not significantly improve the pulmonary function of the study subjects. In contrast, an increase in the indoor PM10-2.5 and O concentration led to a significant decrease in the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV)/forced vital capacity (FVC) and maximal mid-expiratory flow (MMEF), respectively. In conclusion, air purification slightly improved the indoor PM2.5 concentrations in ordinary homes but had no demonstrable impact on improving health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277583PMC
May 2020

Natural aeolian dust particles have no substantial effect on atmospheric polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): A laboratory study based on naphthalene.

Environ Pollut 2020 Aug 31;263(Pt A):114454. Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan; Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan. Electronic address:

Natural aeolian dust (AD) particles are potential carriers of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the atmosphere. The heterogeneous interaction between them may lead to worsened air quality and enhanced cytotoxicity and carcinogenicity of ambient particulates in downwind areas, and this topic requires in-depth exploration. In this study, AD samples were collected from four Asian dust sources, and their physical properties and compositions were determined, showing great regional differences. The physical and chemical interactions of different AD particles with naphthalene (Nap; model PAH) were observed in aqueous systems. The results showed that AD particles from the Loess Plateau had weak adsorption to Nap, which was fitted by the Langmuir isotherm. There was no obvious adsorption to Nap found for the other three AD samples. This difference seemed to depend mainly on the specific surface area and/or the total pore volume. In addition, the Nap in the aqueous solution did not undergo chemical reactions under dark conditions and longwave ultraviolet (UV) radiation but degraded under shortwave UV radiation, and 2-formylcinnamaldehyde and 1,4-naphthoquinone were the first-generated products. The degradation of Nap in the aqueous solution was probably initiated by photoionization, and the reaction rate constant (between 1.44 × 10 min and 8.55 × 10 min) was much lower than that of Nap with hydroxyl radicals. Instead of inducing or promoting the chemical change in Nap, the AD particles slowed photodegradation due to the extinction of radiation. Therefore, it is inferred that natural AD particles have no substantial effect on the transportation and transformation of PAHs in the atmosphere.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114454DOI Listing
August 2020

PM-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons inside and outside a primary school classroom in Beijing: Concentration, composition, and inhalation cancer risk.

Sci Total Environ 2020 Feb 2;705:135840. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan; Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan. Electronic address:

PM samples were collected inside and outside a primary school classroom in Beijing in 2015 and analysed for 11 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and 10 nitro-PAHs (NPAHs). In the sampling period in the heating season (namely, the heating period), the median concentrations of indoor and outdoor PAHs were 223 ng/m and 264 ng/m, respectively, and those of indoor and outdoor NPAHs were 3.61 ng/m and 5.12 ng/m, respectively. The concentrations of PAHs and NPAHs were consistently higher in the heating period than those (indoor PAHs: 8.75 ng/m, outdoor PAHs: 8.95 ng/m, indoor NPAHs: 0.25 ng/m, outdoor NPAHs: 0.40 ng/m) in the sampling period in the non-heating season (namely, the non-heating period). In both periods, total PAHs and total NPAHs in indoor PM, as well as most individual PAHs and NPAHs, were positively correlated with the outdoor PAH and NPAH concentrations (p < 0.05). This finding suggests that indoor PAHs and NPAHs are largely dependent on outdoor inputs. It is inferred from the diagnostic ratios that PAHs and NPAHs in indoor and outdoor PM were affected jointly by coal combustion and vehicular emission in the heating period and mainly derived from vehicle exhaust in the non-heating period. Both indoor and outdoor PM showed considerable benzo[a]pyrene equivalent toxicity (BaP), especially in the heating period. Benzo[c]fluorene (BcFE) had relatively low concentrations but large contributions to BaP in both periods. This is the first report of PM-bound BcFE inside and outside classrooms in Beijing. This result indicates that neglecting PAHs with low abundance but high toxicity leads to a significant underestimation of the overall PAH toxicity. The inhalation cancer risk (CR) of PAHs and NPAHs in PM during the primary school year exceeded the acceptable level as defined by the U.S. EPA, emphasizing its impact on the lifetime CR in schoolchildren.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135840DOI Listing
February 2020

Paternal occupational exposure to chemicals and secondary sex ratio: results from the Japan Environment and Children's Study.

Lancet Planet Health 2019 12;3(12):e529-e538

Hyogo Regional Center for the Japan Environment and Children's Study, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan; Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan. Electronic address:

Background: Declining proportions of male births have been reported in several industrialised countries. Previous reports have shown that exposure to certain chemical substances might influence the secondary sex ratio (SSR). We assessed the associations between paternal occupational exposure to chemicals and the SSR of their children using the Japan Environment and Children's Study (JECS), a large-scale birth cohort study.

Methods: Data on paternal occupational exposure to various agents and other covariates were collected using a self-administered questionnaire to partners of pregnant female participants enrolled in the JECS. After adjusting for potential confounders, multivariable modified Poisson regression models were used to evaluate associations between paternal occupational exposures and the SSR of their children. This study was registered in the UMIN Clinical Trials Registry, number UMIN000030786.

Findings: The JECS study gathered data on 103 062 pregnancies, 104 065 fetuses, and 51 898 partners of pregnant women. Among 50 283 children with data on paternal occupational exposures, 25 657 were male and 24 626 were female. The proportion of boys whose fathers were regularly occupationally exposed to insecticides was 0·445 (males, n=293; females, n=366; 95% CI 0·406-0·483), which was lower than the proportion of boys whose fathers were not exposed to insecticides. After adjusting for confounding factors, regular paternal occupational exposure to insecticides (adjusted relative risk 0·86, 95% CI 0·78-0·96) and medical disinfectants (0·95, 0·90-1·00) were significantly associated with lower SSRs among their offspring compared with the offspring of fathers not exposed to these substances.

Interpretation: A declining proportion of boys could potentially be due to fathers working in environments in which they are exposed to chemicals. The associations between poorer semen quality and levels of reproductive and thyroid hormones require investigation.

Funding: Ministry of the Environment of Japan.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30239-6DOI Listing
December 2019

Coal burning-derived SO and traffic-derived NO are associated with persistent cough and current wheezing symptoms among schoolchildren in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Environ Health Prev Med 2019 Nov 27;24(1):66. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Department of Hygiene and Public Health, Kansai Medical University, 2-5-1 Shinmachi, Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

Background: Children in Ulaanbaatar are exposed to air pollution, but few epidemiological studies have been conducted on the effects of environmental risk factors on children's health. Also, no studies have yet examined the prevalence of respiratory symptoms in children in suburban areas, where air quality-monitoring stations have not yet been installed. This cross-sectional study evaluated the associations between outdoor air pollution and respiratory symptoms among schoolchildren in urban and suburban districts of Ulaanbaatar.

Methods: The ATS-DLD-78 C questionnaire was used to investigate the respiratory symptoms of schoolchildren aged 6-12 years (n = 1190) who lived in one of three urban districts or a suburban district of Ulaanbaatar. In each district, the outdoor concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO) and sulfur dioxide (SO) were measured at two sites (at ≤100 m and > 100 m from the nearest major road) in the 2-year period from 2015 to 2016. The associations between health outcomes and exposure to air pollutants were estimated using the multinomial logistic regression method.

Results: The outdoor concentration of SO was significantly associated with persistent cough symptom (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 1.04-1.22). Furthermore, the outdoor concentration of NO was significantly associated with the current wheezing symptom (OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.01-1.75) among children in urban and suburban.

Conclusions: The prevalence of persistent cough symptom was markedly high among the schoolchildren in urban/suburban districts of Ulaanbaatar. Overall, the increases in the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among children might be associated with ambient air pollution in Ulaanbaatar.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12199-019-0817-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6882210PMC
November 2019

Characteristics of air pollutants inside and outside a primary school classroom in Beijing and respiratory health impact on children.

Environ Pollut 2019 Dec 30;255(Pt 1):113147. Epub 2019 Aug 30.

Institute of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan; Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-machi, Kanazawa, 920-1192, Japan. Electronic address:

This study investigated the spatial and temporal distributions of particulate and gaseous air pollutants in a primary school in Beijing and assessed their health impact on the children. The results show that air quality inside the classroom was greatly affected by the input of outdoor pollutants; high levels of pollution were observed during both the heating and nonheating periods and indicate that indoor and outdoor air pollution posed a threat to the children's health. Traffic sources near the primary school were the main contributors to indoor and outdoor pollutants during both periods. Moreover, air quality in this primary school was affected by coal combustion and atmospheric reactions during the heating and nonheating periods, respectively. Based on the estimation by exposure-response functions and the weighting of indoor and outdoor pollutants during different periods, the levels of PM, PM and O at school had adverse respiratory health effects on children. Longer exposures during the nonheating period contributed to higher health risks. These results emphasized that emission sources nearby had a direct impact on air quality in school and children's respiratory health. Therefore, measures should be taken for double control on air pollution inside and outside the classroom to protect children from it.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2019.113147DOI Listing
December 2019

[ALLERGY AND ENVIRONMENT, INCLUDING THE JAPAN ENVIRONMENT AND CHILDREN'S STUDY (JECS)].

Authors:
Masayuki Shima

Arerugi 2019;68(7):840-845

Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.15036/arerugi.68.840DOI Listing
August 2019

The Characteristics of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Different Emission Source Areas in Shenyang, China.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 08 7;16(16). Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Institute of Nature and Environmental Technology, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan.

Particulate matter (PM) was collected in three different areas, SY-1, SY-2, and SY-3, in Shenyang, China, during the warm and cold seasons from 2012 to 2014. SY-1 was located beside a thermal power plant, far from the central area. SY-2 was near a coal heating boiler on the main road, close to the central area. SY-3 was on the main road, without fixed emission sources. Nine PM-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were analyzed. The results showed that the mean concentration of total PAHs was higher in the cold season (92.6-316 ng m) than in the warm season (18.4-32.2 ng m). Five- and six-ring PAHs occupied a large percentage at all sites in the warm season, and four-ring PAHs were the dominant components in the cold season. Several diagnostic PAH ratios indicated that the main sources of PAHs in Shenyang in the warm and cold seasons were not only coal burning but also vehicle emission. In this study, we suggest that a benzo[]pyrene/benzo[]perylene ratio ([BaP]/[BgPe]) of 0.6 was a useful indicator to speculate the relative significance of coal burning and vehicle exhaust. Although the Shenyang government has undertaken actions to address air pollution, the PM and PAH concentrations did not decrease significantly compared to those in our previous studies. The cancer risk calculated from the BaP equivalent total concentration at all three sites in the warm and cold seasons exceeded the acceptable limit established by the US EPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16162817DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6721111PMC
August 2019

Short-Term Effects of Carbonaceous Components in PM on Pulmonary Function: A Panel Study of 37 Chinese Healthy Adults.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 06 26;16(13). Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.

Objectives: To explore the health effects of indoor/outdoor carbonaceous compositions in PM on pulmonary function among healthy students living in the local university campus.

Methods: Daily peak expiratory flow (PEF) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV) were measured among 37 healthy students in the morning and evening for four two-week periods. Concurrent concentrations of indoor and outdoor PM (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5μm), carbonaceous components in PM, ambient temperature, and relative humidity in the study area were also obtained. Mixed-effects model was applied to evaluate the associations between carbonaceous components and lung function. Different lags for the carbonaceous components were investigated.

Results: In single-pollutant model, a 10 μg/m increase of indoor and outdoor EC (elemental carbon) associated with -3.93 (95%: -6.89, -0.97) L/min and -3.21 (95%: -5.67, -0.75) L/min change in evening PEF at lag 0 day, respectively. Also, a 10 μg/m increase of indoor and outdoor POC (primary organic carbon) concentration was significantly associated with -5.82 (95%: -10.82, -0.81) L/min and -7.32 (95%: -12.93, -1.71) L/min change of evening PEF at lag 0 day. After adjusting total mass of PM, indoor EC consistently had a significant adverse impact on evening PEF and FEV at lag3 day and a cumulative effect at lag0-3 day.

Conclusions: This study suggests that carbonaceous components in PM indeed have impacts on pulmonary function among healthy young adults especially on evening PEF. Thus, the local mitigation strategies on pollution are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132259DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6651261PMC
June 2019

Evaluation of influenza vaccine-induced cell-mediated immunity: Comparison between methods using peripheral blood mononuclear cells and whole blood.

Microbiol Immunol 2019 Jun 17;63(6):223-228. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Department of Microbiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo, Japan.

Assessment of cell-mediated immunity (CMI) may be critical to evaluating the ability of individuals to protect themselves against influenza virus infection. However, it has been difficult to evaluate CMI because no simple means of measuring it is currently available. The aim of this study was to compare the performance of a CMI measurement method developed by us, which involves reacting whole blood with antigen, with the conventional method, which is based on isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Correlations between these methods before and after vaccination of 26 healthy adults (aged 28-58 years; 12 men and 14 women) were assessed and changes in CMI after influenza vaccination in PBMCs cultured with antigen for 48 and 96 hr and whole blood cultured with antigen for 48 hr were studied. Results of CMI measurement using whole blood on Day 2 and PBMCs on Day 4 were found to be correlated. Spearman's correlation coefficients with four antigens (A [H1N1], A [H3N2], B [Yamagata lineage], and B [Victoria lineage]) before vaccination were 0.55, 0.61, 0.58, and 0.70, respectively and 0.40, 0.45, 0.62, and 0.52, respectively, after vaccination. CMI was detected sooner when whole blood was reacted with antigen than when PBMCs were reacted with antigen. The rate of positive reaction of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) in whole blood on Day 2 was higher than that in PBMCs on Day 2. Our method is simple and may be useful for vaccine development because it can measure CMI in a small amount of blood without separating off PBMCs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1348-0421.12687DOI Listing
June 2019

Stronger association between particulate air pollution and pulmonary function among healthy students in fall than in spring.

Sci Total Environ 2019 Jul 18;675:483-489. Epub 2019 Apr 18.

Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan. Electronic address:

Previous studies have reported the short-term effects of particulate air pollution on health. However, most of those studies were relatively short in duration, with only a few, in healthy adolescents. We investigated the short-term effects of particulate air pollution on pulmonary function in healthy adolescents over a long period. A panel study was repeatedly conducted twice a year for about one month each, in spring and fall from 2014 to 2016, in an isolated island in the Seto Inland Sea, Japan. Daily measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF) and forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV) were performed in a total of 48 healthy college students aged 15-19 years. The ambient concentrations of particulate matter with diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM) and between 2.5 and 10 μm (PM), and black carbon (BC) were continuously measured. A mixed-effects model was used to investigate the relationships between air pollutants and pulmonary function. In the overall analyses of the six study periods, decreases in the PEF and FEV were significantly associated with increases in the PM and BC concentrations. The greatest decrease was found in FEV (-1.97% [95% confidence interval (CI): -2.90, -1.04]), which was associated with an interquartile range (IQR) increase in the 0-72-h average concentrations of PM (14.1 μg/m). Neither PEF nor FEV were associated with PM concentrations. In the analyses by season, both the PEF and FEV values decreased significantly in relation to increases in the PM, PM and BC concentrations in the fall. However, in spring, both PEF and FEV showed weak associations with each of the pollutants. In conclusion, relatively low increases in the ambient particulate matter levels were associated with reduced pulmonary function among healthy adolescents. This association was stronger in fall than in spring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.268DOI Listing
July 2019

Association between chemical components of PM and children's primary care night-time visits due to asthma attacks: A case-crossover study.

Allergol Int 2019 Jul 7;68(3):329-334. Epub 2019 Feb 7.

Himeji Medical Association, Himeji, Japan.

Background: Few papers have examined the association between the chemical components of PM and health effects. The existence of an association is now under discussion.

Methods: This case-crossover study aimed to examine the association between the chemical components of PM and night-time primary care visits (PCVs) due to asthma attacks. The subjects were 1251 children aged 0-14 years who received medical care for asthma at a municipal emergency clinic. We measured daily average concentrations of hydrogen ion, sulfate ion, nitrate ion and water-soluble organic compounds (WSOCs), which are components of PM. We estimated the odds ratios (ORs) of PCVs per unit increment (inter quartile ranges) in each chemical component of PM for the subgroups of warmer months and colder months separately.

Results: No association was seen between PCVs and PM mass concentrations the day before the PCVs in either warmer or colder months. In the warmer months, an association was seen with the concentrations of WSOCs and hydrogen ion the day before the PCVs (OR = 1.33; 95% CI: 1.00-1.76, OR = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.02-1.36, respectively). Furthermore, a negative association was seen between sulfate ion and PCVs (OR = 0.85; 95%CI: 0.74-0.98). No associations were observed in the colder months.

Conclusions: We observed a positive association between PCVs and certain concentrations of WSOCs and hydrogen ions in warmer months. In contrast, sulfate ion showed a negative association.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2019.01.001DOI Listing
July 2019

Dioxins levels in human blood after implementation of measures against dioxin exposure in Japan.

Environ Health Prev Med 2019 Jan 10;24(1). Epub 2019 Jan 10.

Centre for Health and Environmental Risk Research, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, 305-8506, Japan.

Background: Over the past few decades, the Japanese Ministry of the Environment has been biomonitoring dioxins in the general Japanese population and, in response to public concerns, has taken measures to reduce dioxin exposure. The objectives of this study were to assess the current dioxin dietary intake and corresponding body burden in the Japanese and compare Japanese dioxin data from 2011 to 2016 and 2002-2010 surveys. We also examined the relationship between blood dioxins and health parameters/clinical biomarkers.

Methods: From 2011 to 2016, cross-sectional dioxin surveys were conducted on 490 Japanese (242 males and 248 females, aged 49.9 ± 7.6 years) from 15 Japanese prefectures. Blood (n = 490) and food samples (n = 90) were measured for 29 dioxin congeners including polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (Co-PCBs) using gas chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. Using the 2006 World Health Organization toxic equivalence factors, the toxic equivalents (TEQs) were calculated. Clinical biomarkers and anthropometric parameters were also measured and information on lifestyle behaviours collected. Data imputations were applied to account for blood dioxins below the detection limit.

Results: The median (95% confidence interval or CI) blood levels and dioxin dietary intake was respectively 9.4 (8.8-9.9) pg TEQ/g lipid and 0.3 (0.2-0.4) pg TEQ/kg body weight/day. The median blood dioxin level in the 2011-2016 survey was found to have decreased by 41.3% compared to the 2002-2010 surveys. Participants who were older were found to be more likely to have higher dioxin levels. Blood dioxins were also significantly associated with body mass index, triglycerides, docosahexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, and dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid levels in blood. Furthermore, associations between blood dioxin and dietary dioxin intake were evident in the unadjusted models. However, after adjusting for confounders, blood dioxins were not found to be associated with dietary dioxin intake.

Conclusions: Blood dioxin levels declined over the past decade. This study showed that the measures and actions undertaken in Japan have possibly contributed to these reductions in the body burden of dioxins in the Japanese population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12199-018-0755-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6329082PMC
January 2019

Population-based cohort study on health effects of asbestos exposure in Japan.

Cancer Sci 2019 Mar 6;110(3):1076-1084. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Division of Environmental Medicine and Population Sciences, Department of Social and Environmental Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, Suita, Japan.

Occupational asbestos exposure occurs in many workplaces and is a well-known cause of mesothelioma and lung cancer. However, the association between nonoccupational asbestos exposure and those diseases is not clearly described. The aim of this study was to investigate cause-specific mortality among the residents of Amagasaki, a city in Japan with many asbestos factories, and evaluate the potential excess mortality due to established and suspected asbestos-related diseases. The study population consisted of 143 929 residents in Amagasaki City before 1975 until 2002, aged 40 years or older on January 1, 2002. Follow-up was carried out from 2002 to 2015. Standardized mortality ratio (SMR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated by sex, using the mortality rate of the Japanese population as reference. A total of 38 546 deaths (including 303 from mesothelioma and 2683 from lung cancer) were observed. The SMRs in the long-term residents' cohort were as follows: death due to all causes, 1.12 (95% CI, 1.10-1.13) in men and 1.07 (95% CI, 1.06-1.09) in women; lung cancer, 1.28 (95% CI, 1.23-1.34) in men and 1.23 (95% CI, 1.14-1.32) in women; and mesothelioma, 6.75 (95% CI, 5.83-7.78) in men and 14.99 (95% CI, 12.34-18.06) in women. These SMRs were significantly higher than expected. The increased SMR of mesothelioma suggests the impact of occupational asbestos exposure among men and nonoccupational asbestos exposure among women in the long-term residents' cohort. In addition, the high level of excess mortality from mesothelioma has persisted, despite the mixture of crocidolite and chrysotile no longer being used for three or four decades.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cas.13930DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6398882PMC
March 2019

Factors for inhibition of early discharge from the psychiatric emergency ward for elderly patients.

Environ Health Prev Med 2018 Oct 10;23(1):48. Epub 2018 Oct 10.

Department of Public Health, Hyogo College of Medicine, 1-1 Mukogawa-cho, Nishinomiya, 663-8501, Japan.

Background: As society is aging, the number of elderly patients with psychiatric disorder, such as dementia, is increasing. The hospitalization period of elderly patients in psychiatric wards tends to be prolonged. In this study, we have determined the factors that inhibit early discharge from the psychiatric emergency ward for elderly patients in Japan.

Methods: The information was collected from patients admitted to our hospital's emergency ward for elderly patients with psychiatric disorders between May 2015 and April 2016. We compared various factors between the early discharge group and the non-early discharge group. In addition, we used a multiple logistic regression model to clarify the risk factors for non-early discharge.

Results: Of the 208 elderly patients, body mass index (BMI) and serum albumin level were significantly lower in the non-early discharge group. In addition, we also showed that higher serum C-reactive protein (CRP) (> 0.5 mg/dL) and use of seclusion or physical restraint significantly inhibited the early discharge of patients. The results of multiple logistic analysis showed that the BMI ≤ 17.5 kg/m (OR, 2.41 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.06-5.46]), serum albumin level ≤ 30 g/L (OR, 3.78 [95% CI 1.28-11.16]), and use of seclusion or physical restraint (OR 3.78 [95% CI 1.53-9.37]) are particularly important explanatory factors.

Conclusions: Hypoalbuminemia, low BMI, and the use of seclusion or physical restraint were identified as the factors that inhibit early discharge from the psychiatric emergency ward for elderly patients. These factors reflect malnutrition and extremely serious psychiatric symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12199-018-0738-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6180627PMC
October 2018

Association of airborne particles, protein, and endotoxin with emergency department visits for asthma in Kyoto, Japan.

Environ Health Prev Med 2018 Aug 28;23(1):41. Epub 2018 Aug 28.

Department of Public Health, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, 1 Misasagi-Shichonocho, Yamashinaku, Kyoto, 607-8412, Japan.

Background: The health effects of biological aerosols on the respiratory system are unclear. The purpose of this study was to clarify the association of airborne particle, protein, and endotoxin with emergency department visits for asthma in Kyoto City, Japan.

Methods: We collected data on emergency department visits at a hospital in Kyoto from September 2014 to May 2016. Fine (aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 μm) and coarse (≥ 2.5 μm) particles were collected in Kyoto, and protein and endotoxin levels were analyzed. The association of the levels of particles, protein, endotoxin, and meteorological factors (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and air pressure) with emergency department visits for asthma was estimated.

Results: There were 1 to 15 emergency department visits for asthma per week, and the numbers of visits increased in the autumn and spring, namely many weeks in September, October, and April. Weekly concentration of protein in fine particles was markedly higher than that in coarse particles, and protein concentration in fine particles was high in spring months. Weekly endotoxin concentrations in fine and coarse particles were high in autumn months, including September 2014 and 2015. Even after adjusting for meteorological factors, the concentrations of coarse particles and endotoxin in both particles were significant factors on emergency department visits for asthma.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that atmospheric coarse particles and endotoxin are significantly associated with an increased risk of asthma exacerbation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12199-018-0731-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6114267PMC
August 2018

Spatiotemporal land use random forest model for estimating metropolitan NO exposure in Japan.

Sci Total Environ 2018 Sep 18;634:1269-1277. Epub 2018 Apr 18.

Graduate School of Energy Science, Kyoto University, Yoshidahonmachi, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan. Electronic address:

Adequate spatial and temporal estimates of NO concentrations are essential for proper prenatal exposure assessment. Here, we develop a spatiotemporal land use random forest (LURF) model of the monthly mean NO over four years in a metropolitan area of Japan. The overall objective is to obtain accurate NO estimates for use in prenatal exposure assessments. We use random forests to convey the non-linear relationship between NO concentrations and predictor variables, and compare the prediction accuracy with that of a linear regression. In addition, we include the distance decay effect of emission sources on NO concentrations for more efficient model construction. The prediction accuracy of the LURF model is evaluated through a leave-one-monitor-out cross validation. We obtain a high R value of 0.79, which is better than that of the conventional land use regression model using linear regression (R of 0.73). We also evaluate the LURF model via a temporal and overall cross validation and obtain R values of 0.84 and 0.92, respectively. We successfully integrate temporal and spatial components into our model, which exhibits higher accuracy than spatial models constructed individually for each month. Our findings illustrate the advantage of using a LURF to model the spatiotemporal variability of NO concentrations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.324DOI Listing
September 2018

Relationship between the frequency of influenza vaccination and cell-mediated immunity.

J Immunol Methods 2018 07 21;458:58-62. Epub 2018 Apr 21.

Department of Microbiology, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Hyogo 663-8501, Japan.

Despite established guidelines for population-level assessments of immunity after vaccination, standard methods for individual-level analyses have not been established, limiting the ability to optimize vaccination strategies within a particular season. In this study, we evaluated changes in cell-mediated immunity (CMI) with respect to the number of influenza vaccine doses. In particular, the influenza vaccine was administered to 21 adults during the 2015-2016 season. IFN-γ production induced by the influenza vaccine antigens [A (H1N1), A (H3N2), B (Yamagata lineage), and B (Victoria lineage)] increased after the first dose of vaccination in 11, 10, 10, and 11 subjects, respectively. In 5 of 10 (H1N1), 4 of 10 (H3N2), 3 of 9 (Yamagata lineage), and 3 of 8 (Victoria lineage) subjects who did not exhibit an increase in IFN-γ production after the first dose, CMI was enhanced after the second dose. The production of IFN-γ increased after the first or second dose of the vaccine in 16, 14, 13, and 14 of the 21 subjects, respectively. The results of this study showed that two doses of the influenza vaccine effectively enhance CMI in subjects with primary vaccine failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2018.04.008DOI Listing
July 2018
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