Publications by authors named "Suzanne Côte"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Non-Essential Trace Elements Dietary Exposure in French Polynesia: Intake Assessment, Nail Bio Monitoring and Thyroid Cancer Risk

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2019 Feb 26;20(2):355-367. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Radiation Epidemiology Group, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), UMR 1018 Inserm, Villejuif, France.

Background: In French Polynesia, thyroid cancer mortality and incidence is reported to be the highest in the world. Excessive levels of non-essential trace elements (nETE) in the body are associated with several types of cancer. Objective: The present study aims to provide quantitative information on food contamination by mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and cadmium (Cd) in French Polynesia and its potential correlation with measurements performed in fingernails of Polynesians, and then to investigate the potential association between these nETE and different thyroid cancer risks. Methods: The study population included 229 interviewed cases and 373 interviewed controls We performed a descriptive analysis of Polynesian food and examined the association between thyroid cancer risk and daily intake levels of nETE and with fingernail nETE levels. Results: Hg contamination was mainly present in sea products, Pb contamination was present in almost all samples, Cd was detectable in starchy food and As was detectable in all sea products. No patient exceeded dietary contamination WHO limits for Pb, 2 participants exceeded it for Hg and 3 individuals (0.5%) for cadmium. In fingernail clippings, the most detectable pollutant was Pb (553 participants), then Hg (543 participants) then Cd (only in 130 participants). Thyroid cancer risk was increased more than 4 times by Pb daily intake in patients with a history of cancer in first-degree relatives than in ones without (p for interaction =0.01), and 2 times more in women with more than 3 pregnancies than in those with none or less (p for interaction =0.005); it was also increased following As intake by more than 30% in patients with a history of cancer in first-degree relatives than in ones without (p for interaction =0.05). Conclusion: Locally produced foods are not a source of nETE exposure in French Polynesia. Dieatry nETE exposure and fingernail nETE concentration are not associated to differentiated thyroid cancer risk. No correlation found between nETE dietary exposure and fingernail nETE concentration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.31557/APJCP.2019.20.2.355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6897028PMC
February 2019

Evaluation of exposure to organophosphate, carbamate, phenoxy acid, and chlorophenol pesticides in pregnant women from 10 Caribbean countries.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2015 Sep 4;17(9):1661-71. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, St George's University, St George's, Grenada.

Pesticides are commonly used in tropical regions such as the Caribbean for both household and agricultural purposes. Of particular concern is exposure during pregnancy, as these compounds can cross the placental barrier and interfere with fetal development. The objective of this study was to evaluate exposure of pregnant women residing in 10 Caribbean countries to the following commonly used classes of pesticides in the Caribbean: organophosphates (OPs), carbamates, phenoxy acids, and chlorophenols. Out of 438 urine samples collected, 15 samples were randomly selected from each Caribbean country giving a total of 150 samples. Samples were analyzed for the following metabolites: six OP dialkylphosphate metabolites [dimethylphosphate (DMP), dimethylthiophosphate (DMTP), dimethyldithiophosphate (DMDTP), diethylphosphate (DEP), diethylthiophosphate (DETP) and diethyldithiophosphate (DEDTP)]; two carbamate metabolites [2-isopropoxyphenol (2-IPP) and carbofuranphenol]; one phenoxy acid 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and five chlorophenols [2,4-dichlorophenol (DCP), 2,5-dichlorophenol (2,5-DCP), 2,4,5-trichlorophenol (TCP), 2,4,6-trichlorophenol (2,4,6-TCP), and pentachlorophenol (PCP)]. OP metabolites were consistently detected in ≥60% of the samples from Antigua and Barbuda, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Of the carbamate metabolites, 2-IPP was detected in seven of the 10 Caribbean countries with a detection frequency around 30%, whereas carbofuranphenol was detected in only one sample. The detection frequency for the phenoxy acid 2,4-D ranged from 20% in Grenada to a maximum of 67% in Belize. Evidence of exposure to chlorophenol pesticides was also established with 2,4-DCP by geometric means ranging from 0.52 μg L(-1) in St Lucia to a maximum of 1.68 μg L(-1) in Bermuda. Several extreme concentrations of 2,5-DCP were detected in four Caribbean countries-Belize (1100 μg L(-1)), Bermuda (870 μg L(-1)), Jamaica (1300 μg L(-1)), and St Kitts and Nevis (1400 μg L(-1)). 2,4,5-TCP, 2,4,6-TCP, and pentachlorophenol were rarely detected. This biomonitoring study underscores the need for Caribbean public health authorities to encourage their populations, and in particular pregnant women, to become more aware of the potential routes of exposure to pesticides and to utilize these chemicals more cautiously given the possible adverse effects such exposures can have on their unborn children and infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c5em00247hDOI Listing
September 2015

Iodine status of Eeyou Istchee community members of northern Quebec, Canada, and potential sources.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2015 Apr;17(4):844-53

Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, 200 University Ave W., Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada.

A multi community environment-and-health study among six of the nine communities of Eeyou Istchee in northern Quebec, Canada provided greater insight into iodine intake levels among these Cree First Nation communities. Using data from this large population-based study, descriptive statistics of measured urinary iodine concentrations (UICs) and iodine-creatinine ratios (stratified by age, sex, community of residence, and water consumption) were calculated, and the associations between independent variables and iodine concentration measures were examined through a general linear model. Traditional food consumption contributions were examined through Pearson partial correlation tests and linear regression analyses; and the importance of water sources through ANOVA. Generally speaking, urinary iodine levels of Eeyou Istchee community members were within the adequate range set out by the World Health Organization, though sex and community differences existed. However, men in one community were considered to be at risk of iodine deficiency. Older participants had significantly higher mean iodine-creatinine ratios than younger participants (15-39 years = 90.50 μmol mol(-1); >39 years = 124.52 μmol mol(-1)), and consumption of beaver (Castor canadensis) meat, melted snow and ice, and bottled water were predictive of higher iodine excretion. It is concluded that using both urinary iodine indicators can be helpful in identifying subgroups at greater risk of iodine deficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00674gDOI Listing
April 2015

Obesity and metabolic parameters in adolescents: a school-based intervention program in French Polynesia.

J Adolesc Health 2015 Feb 20;56(2):174-80. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Population Health and Optimal Health Practices Research Unit, CHU de Québec Research Centre, Québec, Canada; Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université Laval, Québec, Canada. Electronic address:

Purpose: The prevalence of overweight/obesity among French Polynesian adolescents is alarming. This study aims to prevent rises in obesity by modifying school food and the physical environment of French Polynesian adolescents.

Methods: During the 5-month study, 240 adolescents from a Tubuai island college (in French Polynesia) received a balanced diet based almost exclusively on local agricultural products and fishing by the island community. They were divided into three subgroups according to their college attendance status: external (n = 14), half residents (n = 155), and residents (n = 71). To increase energy expenditure, weekly physical activity was augmented by 2-4 hours of training in Polynesian Va'a canoes. Anthropometric parameters were recorded, and blood samples collected at baseline and after 5 months. Collegians from Rurutu, a neighboring island, were considered as controls (N = 90).

Results: At baseline, overweight/obesity prevalence was 60% (with 28% obesity) in the intervention group. After 5 months, adjusted weight gain was -.76 kg for residents (95% confidence interval [CI], -1.59 to .08), 1.34 kg for half residents (95% CI, .84-1.83), 1.82 kg for externs (95% CI, .66-2.97), and 4.2 kg (95% CI, 3.4-5.0) in the controls. Our results indicate that the more adolescents were subjected to food and physical activity commitments, the higher was the rate among those who lost weight. We noted that the weight change magnitude predicted insulin, glucose, and visceral obesity modifications.

Conclusions: This 5-month school-based intervention slowed weight gain and improved the health of Polynesian collegians. The implementation of longer school-based interventions deserves evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.09.001DOI Listing
February 2015

Lack of association between fingernail selenium and thyroid cancer risk: a case-control study in French Polynesia.

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 2014 ;15(13):5187-94

Radiation Epidemiology Group, Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health (CESP), UMR 1018 Inserm, France E-mail

Background: Numerous studies have suggested that selenium deficiency may be associated with an increased risk for several types of cancer, but few have focused on thyroid cancer.

Materials And Methods: We examined the association between post-diagnostic fingernail selenium levels and differentiated thyroid cancer risk in a French Polynesian matched case-control study. Conditional logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results: The median selenium concentration among controls was 0.76 μg/g. Significantly, we found no association between fingernail selenium levels and thyroid cancer risk after conditioning on year of birth and sex and additionally adjusting for date of birth (highest versus lowest quartile: odds-ratio=1.12, 95% confidence interval: 0.66-1.90; p-trend=0.30). After additional adjustment for other covariates, this association remained non-significant (p-trend=0.60). When restricting the analysis to thyroid cancer of 10 mm or more, selenium in nails was non-significantly positively linked to thyroid cancer risk (p-trend=0.09). Although no significant interaction was evidenced between iodine in nails and selenium in nails effect (p=0.70), a non-significant (p-trend =0.10) positive association between selenium and thyroid cancer risk was seen in patients with less than 3 ppm of iodine in nails. The highest fingernail selenium concentration in French Polynesia was in the Marquises Islands (M=0.87 μg/g) and in the Tuamotu-Gambier Archipelago (M=0.86 μg/g).

Conclusions: Our results do not support, among individuals with sufficient levels of selenium, that greater long-term exposure to selenium may reduce thyroid cancer risk. Because these findings are based on post-diagnostic measures, studies with prediagnostic selenium are needed for corroboration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7314/apjcp.2014.15.13.5187DOI Listing
April 2015

Mercury and lead blood concentrations in pregnant women from 10 caribbean countries.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2014 Sep 2;16(9):2184-90. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, St. George's University, PO Box 7, St. George, Grenada, West Indies.

Maternal mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) blood concentrations were measured in a total of 442 samples taken from pregnant and delivering women in 10 Caribbean countries. Hg was detected in all 10 countries with the geometric mean ranging from a low of 0.83 μg L(-1) (Jamaica) to a high of 3.13 μg L(-1) (Grenada). When compared to comparable U.S. and Canadian data, Hg concentrations in Caribbean women are on average more than 2 times higher. With the exception of St. Kitts & Nevis, Pb was detected in at least one of the samples taken from the other 9 countries with two countries-Grenada and St. Vincent - having Pb detected in ≥60% of those sampled. In these two countries, the Pb concentrations ranged from a low of 1.17 μg dL(-1) (Grenada) to a high of 1.98 μg dL(-1) (St. Vincent). Compared to comparable U.S. and Canadian data, Pb concentrations in Caribbean women are generally higher than that measured in North America. This study confirms that neonates in the Caribbean are being exposed to both Hg and Pb and highlights the need to implement surveillance programs that continuously monitor, intervene, and evaluate the levels of these toxic elements to ensure that they are reduced as far as possible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00239cDOI Listing
September 2014

Prenatal exposure to persistent organic pollutants and polybrominated diphenyl ethers in 10 Caribbean countries.

Environ Res 2014 Aug 24;133:211-9. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

Axe Santé des populations et pratiques optimales en santé, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec and Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada; Institut national de la santé publique du Québec, Québec, QC, Canada.

Prenatal exposures to legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxin-like compounds (DLC), as well as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), were analyzed in pregnant women from 10 Caribbean countries. A total of 438 samples were collected and descriptive statistics calculated and compared to comparable Canadian Health Measure Survey (CHMS) and U.S. National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) datasets. Maternal POPs blood concentrations were found to be generally relatively low in the Caribbean samples compared with the U.S. and Canada datasets. Evidence of exposure to DLC and PBDE was established. DLC levels ranged from a geometric mean low of 3.96 pg/g lipids in Antigua and Barbuda to a high of 11.4 pg/g lipids in St. Lucia. Several of the PBDEs (15, 17, 25, 28, 33, 100) were detected in less than 60% of the country' samples. For PBDE-47, significantly higher levels were found in Bermuda, while Jamaica recorded a significantly low level. The overall calculated concentration of PBDE-47 for the Caribbean (5.33 μg/kg lipids) was significantly lower than the concentrations measured for the U.S. (10.83 μg/kg lipids) and Canada (23.90 μg/kg lipids). This study confirms that prenatal expose to multiple environmental chemicals is taking place in the Caribbean and highlights the need to implement surveillance programs that continuously monitor, intervene, and evaluate the levels of these toxic environmental contaminants to ensure that they are reduced as much as possible and that the health risk to humans, in particular the unborn child, are minimized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2014.05.021DOI Listing
August 2014

An examination of traditional foods and cigarette smoking as cadmium sources among the nine First Nations of Eeyou Istchee, Northern Quebec, Canada.

Environ Sci Process Impacts 2014 May;16(6):1422-33

Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Cadmium (Cd), a nonessential toxic metal present in the environment, accumulates in the organs of herbivorous mammals which typically are consumed by Aboriginal populations. The relative contribution of this potential exposure source to concentrations of blood Cd was investigated in 1429 participants (age >7 years) residing in the nine Cree First Nations communities of Eeyou Istchee, northern Quebec, Canada. Analysis of variance identified significant Cd concentration differences between communities, sex, and age groups, although these were complicated by significant 2-way interactions. The percentage of participants with Cd concentrations within the adopted health-based guideline categories of 'acceptable', 'concern' and 'action' pertaining to kidney damage was 56.2%, 38.3%, and 5.5%, respectively. Partial correlations (controlling for age as a continuous variable) did not show a significant association between consumption of traditional foods and Cd concentrations (r = 0.014, df = 105, p = 0.883). A significant and positive partial correlation (r = 0.390, df = 105, p < 0.001) was observed between Cd concentrations and number of cigarettes smoked daily. Analysis of covariance (with mean daily organ meat consumption over the year as a covariate) confirmed that smokers had significantly higher levels of blood Cd than non-smokers (F1,1109 = 1918.2, p < 0.001), and that traditional food consumption was not a good predictor of Cd exposure. Our findings suggest that consumption of traditional foods should not be restricted in Eeyou Istchee for fear of increased Cd exposure risk. Further studies of smoking prevalence among the Cree First Nations and additional public health initiatives to reduce smoking are recommended.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1039/c4em00064aDOI Listing
May 2014

Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency among healthy school-age Cree children.

Paediatr Child Health 2014 Mar;19(3):e15-9

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Laval University, Quebec City; ; St-François d'Assise Hospital Research Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Quebec City, Quebec.

Background: First Nations children are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency and rickets.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and the correlations between fat mass, parathyroid hormone and dietary habits with serum vitamin D level in a random sample of Cree children eight to 14 years of age.

Methods: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels and additional information regarding anthropometrics and dietary habits were obtained from participants in two Cree communities. Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency was defined as serum 25(OH)D levels <30 nmol/L and <50 nmol/L, respectively. Proportions to estimate the vitamin D status were weighted to account for the complex sampling design, and Pearson's correlation coefficients were used to estimate the associations of milk and fish intake, parathyroid hormone and fat mass with serum 25(OH)D levels.

Results: Data from 52 healthy Cree children (mean [± SD] age 11.1±2.0 years; 27 boys) were included in the analyses. The median serum 25(OH)D level was 52.4 nmol/L (range 22.1 nmol/L to 102.7 nmol/L). Forty-three percent (95% CI 29% to 58%) and 81% (95% CI 70% to 92%) of Cree children had vitamin D levels <50 nmol/L and <75 nmol/L, respectively. Vitamin D intake was positively associated with serum 25(OH)D levels. Obese children had lower vitamin D levels; however, the difference was nonsignificant.

Conclusion: There may be a substantial proportion of Cree children who are vitamin D deficient. Increasing age, lower dietary vitamin D intake and, possibly, higher body mass index were associated with decreased vitamin D levels; however, causality cannot be inferred.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3959979PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pch/19.3.e15DOI Listing
March 2014

Zoonotic infections in communities of the James Bay Cree territory: An overview of seroprevalence.

Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol 2013 ;24(2):79-84

Axe Santé des Populations et Environnement, Centre de recherche, Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHUQ); ; Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ);

The Cree communities of James Bay are at risk for contracting infectious diseases transmitted by wildlife. Data from serological testing for a range of zoonotic infections performed in the general population (six communities), or trappers and their spouses (one community), were abstracted from four population-based studies conducted in Cree territory (Quebec) between 2005 and 2009. Evidence of exposure to Trichinella species, Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira species, Coxiella burnetii and Francisella tularensis was verified in all communities, whereas antibodies against Sin Nombre virus and California serogroup viruses (Jamestown Canyon and snowshoe hare viruses) were evaluated in three and six communities, respectively. Seroprevalence varied widely among communities: snowshoe hare virus (1% to 42%), F tularensis (14% to 37%), Leptospira species (10% to 27%), Jamestown Canyon virus (9% to 24%), C burnetii (0% to 18%), T gondii (4% to 12%), T canis (0% to 10%), E granulosus (0% to 4%) and Trichinella species (0% to 1%). No subject had serological evidence of Sin Nombre virus exposure. These data suggest that large proportions of the Cree population have been exposed to at least one of the targeted zoonotic agents. The Cree population, particularly those most heavily exposed to fauna, as well as the medical staff living in these regions, should be aware of these diseases. Greater awareness would not only help to decrease exposures but would also increase the chance of appropriate diagnostic testing.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3720002PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/370321DOI Listing
January 2014

Evaluation of pyrethroid exposures in pregnant women from 10 Caribbean countries.

Environ Int 2014 Feb 5;63:201-6. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Laval University CHUQ Research Center, Québec, Canada; Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Canada.

Pyrethroid pesticides are commonly used in tropical regions such as the Caribbean as household insecticides, pet sprays, and where malaria is endemic, impregnated into mosquito-repellent nets. Of particular concern is exposure during pregnancy, as these compounds have the potential to cross the placental barrier and interfere with fetal development, as was shown in limited animal studies. The objective of this study was to evaluate exposure to pyrethroids to pregnant women residing in 10 English-speaking Caribbean countries. Pyrethroid exposures were determined by analyzing five pyrethroid metabolites in urine samples from 295 pregnant women: cis-DBCA, cis-DCCA, trans-DCCA, 3-PBA, and 4-F-3-PBA. Pyrethroid metabolite concentrations in Caribbean pregnant women were generally higher in the 10 Caribbean countries than levels reported for Canadian and U.S. women. In Antigua & Barbuda and Jamaica participants the geometric mean concentrations of cis-DBCA was significantly higher than in the other nine countries together (p<0.0001 and <0.0012 respectively). For cis- and trans-DCCA, only Antigua & Barbuda women differed significantly from participants of the other nine Caribbean countries (p<0.0001). Urinary 4-F-3-PBA and 3-PBA levels were significantly higher in Antigua & Barbuda (p<0.0028 and p<0.0001 respectively) as well as in Grenada (p<0.0001 and p<0.007 respectively). These results indicate extensive use of pyrethroid compounds such as permethrin and cypermethrin in Caribbean households. In Antigua & Barbuda, the data reveals a greater use of deltamethrin. This study underscores the need for Caribbean public health authorities to encourage their populations, and in particular pregnant women, to utilize this class of pesticides more judiciously given the potentially adverse effects of exposure on fetuses and infants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2013.11.014DOI Listing
February 2014

Plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants in the Cree of northern Quebec, Canada: results from the multi-community environment-and-health study.

Sci Total Environ 2014 Feb 2;470-471:818-28. Epub 2013 Nov 2.

Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.

Historically, resource development has had negative impacts on the traditional lifestyle of First Nation Cree Communities in the Province of Quebec, Canada. In response to the perceived need for fisheries restoration and for managing health concerns associated with environmental pollutants, the Mercury Program in the James Bay Region of Quebec was reconstituted in 2001 and broadened to include a wider range of chemicals of concern. Based on comprehensive surveys of the nine Cree Territory (Eeyou Istchee) communities in this region during the period 2002-2009, blood plasma concentrations are presented of Aroclor 1260, PCB congeners 28, 52, 99, 101, 105, 118, 128, 138, 153, 156, 163, 170, 180, 183, and 187, Aldrin, ß-HCH, α-Chlordane, γ-Chlordane, oxy-Chlordane, trans-Nonachlor, cis-Nonachlor, p,p'-DDT, p,p'-DDE, Hexachloro benzene (HCB), Mirex, PBB 153, PBDE 47, PBDE 99, PBDE 100, PBDE 153, Toxaphene 26, and Toxaphene 50. The organohalogenated compounds were extracted using solid-phase extraction and cleaned on florisil columns before high resolution HRGC-MS analysis. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to reduce the large number of contaminant variables into a smaller number of uncorrelated variables. ANOVA identified significant differences between age groups, with the older participants having higher body burdens of legacy lipophilic contaminants, but not for the PBDEs. In certain female age groups, plasma concentrations of PBDEs were observed to be lower than for males; conversely, DDT was higher. Among communities, concentrations were different (p<0.001) for all contaminants. This work provides a baseline for the James Bay Eeyou Istchee communities who, to varying degrees, rely on food and other resources from the land and therefore are at higher risk of increased body burdens of legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.048DOI Listing
February 2014

Prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency and associated factors among Canadian Cree: a cross-sectional study.

Can J Public Health 2013 Jul 25;104(4):e291-7. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Laval University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine.

Objectives: Aboriginal peoples affected by a nutrition transition and living at high latitudes are among the ethnic groups most at risk of vitamin D deficiency. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of meeting predefined cut-off concentrations of vitamin D and to examine associated factors among James Bay Cree aged ≥ 15 years.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between the months of May and September from 2005 to 2009. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay. Anthropometrics were measured and additional information on socio-demographic characteristics, lifestyle and dietary habits was obtained using questionnaires. A logistic regression model predicting vitamin D insufficiency (<50 nmol/L) included known covariates.

Results: Data were obtained from 944 Cree (406 men (43%); mean age 37.4 years), with an effective participation rate of 49% among women and 41% among men. Mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations (nmol/L) by gender were 52.9 (95% CI 51.4-54.5) in men and 47.5 (95% CI 46.2-48.9) in women, and by age group were 46.0 (95% CI 44.9-48.9) in those 15-39 years and 59.6 (95% CI 57.9-61.4) in those ≥ 40 years of age. Overall, 5.8%, 42.6%, 40.0%, and 11.7% of the participants had 25(OH)D concentrations <30, 30-49.9, 50-74.9 and ≥ 75 nmol/L, respectively. Female gender, obesity, younger age, spring, low fish and milk intake, and low vigorous physical activity predicted vitamin D insufficiency (all p<0.05).

Conclusion: The vitamin D status in Eastern James Bay Cree is suboptimal with nearly half of the population having insufficient concentrations for optimum bone health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.104.3838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6973682PMC
July 2013

Polyunsaturated fatty acids and calcaneal ultrasound parameters among Inuit women from Nuuk (Greenland): a longitudinal study.

Int J Circumpolar Health 2013 5;72:20988. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Axe Santé Publique et Pratiques Optimales en Santé, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Québec, Canada.

Background: The traditional diet of Inuit people comprises large amounts of fish and marine mammals that are rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Results from in vitro studies, laboratory animal experiments and population studies suggest that omega-3 PUFA intake and a high omega-3/omega-6 ratio exert a positive effect on bone health.

Objective: This longitudinal study was conducted to examine the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA status and quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters in Greenlandic Inuit women.

Methods: The study included 118 Inuit women from Nuuk (Greenland), aged 49-64 years, whose QUS parameters measured at baseline (year 2000), along with PUFA status and covariates, and follow-up QUS measurements 2 years later (year 2002). QUS parameters [speed of sound (SOS); broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA)] were measured at the right calcaneus with a water-bath Lunar Achilles instrument. Omega-3 and omega-6 PUFA contents of erythrocyte membrane phospholipids were measured after transmethylation by gas chromatography coupled with a flame ionization detector. Relationships between QUS parameters and different PUFAs were studied in multiple linear regression models.

Results: Increasing values of EPA, DHA and the omega-3/omega-6 PUFA ratio were associated with increased BUA values measured at follow-up (year 2002). These associations were still present in models adjusted for several confounders and covariates. We found little evidence of associations between PUFAs and SOS values.

Conclusion: The omega-3 PUFA intake from marine food consumption seems to have a positive effect on bone intrinsic quality and strength, as revealed by higher BUA values in this group of Greenlandic Inuit women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/ijch.v72i0.20988DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3675267PMC
January 2014

Evaluation of a public health intervention to lower mercury exposure from fish consumption in Bermuda.

PLoS One 2012 15;7(10):e47388. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

Department of Population Health and Environment, Research Center CHUQ, Québec, Canada.

Objectives: To assess the efficacy of a public health intervention to reduce blood mercury (Hg) concentration levels in pregnant Bermudian women.

Methods: In 2003, we conducted a study entitled "Prenatal exposure of the Bermudian Population to Environmental Contaminants" which provided Bermuda's first baseline data on prenatal exposure to several environmental contaminants, including Hg. The mean Hg concentration from 42 healthy newborns measured in umbilical cord blood was 41.3 nmol/L, ranging from 5-160 nmol/L. This concentration was much higher than expected, being approximately 8 times the general levels found in Canada and the U.S. Furthermore, we estimated that 85% of total Hg measured was in the form of methylmercury (MeHg), indicating that seafood consumption was the primary source of Hg exposure during pregnancy in Bermuda. Locally sourced seafood was identified as the most significant possible contributory source of Hg exposure. In 2005 the authors began a complementary research programme to study the levels of Hg in local commercial fish species. Coming out of this research were specific local fish consumption guidelines issued by the Department of Health advising pregnant women to avoid those local fish species found to be high in Hg while still encouraging consumption of fish species having lower Hg levels.

Results: In 2010, under another research initiative, we returned to Bermuda to carry out another evaluation of Hg in human blood. Hg was measured in the blood of 49 pregnant women. The arithmetic mean Hg blood concentration was 6.6 nmol/L and the geometric mean 4.2 nmol/L. The maximum concentration found was 24 nmol/L.

Conclusions: Hg exposure of Bermudian pregnant women has dropped significantly by a factor of around 5 since the foetal cord blood study in 2003.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0047388PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3471810PMC
July 2013

Zoonotic infections in native communities of James Bay, Canada.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2012 Jun 4;12(6):473-81. Epub 2012 Jan 4.

Axe Santé des Populations et Environnement, Centre de recherche, Québec, Canada.

The Cree communities of James Bay might be at risk of contracting zoonoses from their contacts with wildlife. Evidence of exposure to seven zoonotic infections, namely Trichinella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira spp., Coxiella burnetii, and Francisella tularensis, was sought in sera from 267 residents of Chisasibi (166) and Waskaganish (101). Study participants responded to questionnaires documenting socio-demographic characteristics and hunting and trapping activities. Associations were assessed by univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis. High seroprevalence rates were documented for Leptospira spp. (23%), Francisella tularensis (18%), and Toxoplasma gondii (9%). Seroprevalence rates of less than 5% were observed for Coxiella burnetii, Echinococcus granulosus, and Toxocara canis. No subject exhibited serological proof of Trichinella spp. exposure in either community. Serological evidence of exposure to Leptospira spp. and T. gondii was greater in Chisasibi than in Waskaganish, while the T. canis seroprevalence rate was higher in Waskaganish than in Chisasibi. Handling of rabbits was associated with seropositivity for Leptospira spp. Statistical trends were also detected between the handling of ducks and exposure to Toxoplasma gondii, and between both handling animals without gloves and springtime hunting activities and Leptospira spp. seropositivity in Chisasibi and Waskaganish, respectively. A review of the medical records revealed few clinical events potentially related to zoonotic exposures. However, public health authorities and health care workers in these communities should be alert to the risk of these zoonoses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2011.0739DOI Listing
June 2012

Seroprevalence of 10 zoonotic infections in 2 Canadian Cree communities.

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2011 Jun 12;70(2):191-9. Epub 2011 Mar 12.

Axe Santé des Populations et Environnement du Centre de Recherche du CHUQ, Édifice Delta 2, Bureau 600, Québec, Canada G1V 2M2.

We evaluated the seroprevalence of 10 zoonotic agents among the general population (15 years old and over) of Eastmain and Wemindji, James Bay, Quebec, in 2007. Overall seroprevalence rates were similar between the 2 communities. Nearly half the individuals tested (n = 251; 146 women, 105 men) were seropositive (n = 115) for at least one zoonosis. The highest seroprevalence rates were for Leptospira sp. (23%), Francisella tularensis (17%), and the California serogroup viruses (JC and SSH viruses) (10%). The other zoonoses (Toxoplasma gondii, Coxiella burnetii, Echinococcus granulosus, Toxocara canis, and Trichinella sp.) had seroprevalence rates ≤5%; no exposures were identified to hantaviruses (Sin Nombre virus). Overall, seropositivity was related to age, gender, hunting, and owning a dog. There was no medical history suggestive of overt diseases. Nonetheless, physicians should consider these agents when confronted with difficult or confusing diagnoses. In particular, the bacterial zoonoses should be ruled out in individuals with high or prolonged fever.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2011.01.009DOI Listing
June 2011

Seroprevalence of zoonoses in a Cree community (Canada).

Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis 2007 Nov 18;59(3):283-6. Epub 2007 Sep 18.

Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Direction des risques biologiques, environnementaux et occupationnels, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada G1V 5B3.

Cree trappers and hunters are at risk for contracting infectious diseases conveyed by wildlife. We performed a study in a Cree community (Canada) to determine the seroprevalence of 8 zoonotic infections among hunters and trappers for evidence of exposure to Trichinella sp., Toxoplasma gondii, Toxocara canis, Echinococcus granulosus, Leptospira sp., Coxiella burnetii, Francisella tularensis, and Sin Nombre virus. A total of 50 participants (28 women and 22 men) were included in this study. Results indicate no or infrequent exposure to the Sin Nombre virus (0%) and 3 of the 4 parasites investigated (0-4%). Exposure to T. gondii (10%) and some bacteria appeared to be more prevalent (range, 4-18%). Overall, seropositivity was related to fishing, hunting, and trapping activities. Physicians should be aware of these infections in this population, particularly Q fever, tularemia, and leptospirosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2007.06.002DOI Listing
November 2007

Plasma organochlorine concentrations and bone ultrasound measurements: a cross-sectional study in peri-and postmenopausal Inuit women from Greenland.

Environ Health 2006 Dec 21;5:33. Epub 2006 Dec 21.

Unité de recherche en Santé publique, Centre de recherche du CHUL-CHUQ, Québec, QC, G1V 5B3, Canada.

Background: Inuit women are highly exposed through their traditional seafood based diet to organochlorine compounds, some of them displaying endocrine disrupting properties. We hypothesized that this exposure might be related to bone characteristics that are altered in osteoporosis, because hormone deficiency is a known risk factor for the disease.

Methods: We measured quantitative ultrasound parameters (QUS) at the right calcaneum of 153 peri- and postmenopausal Inuit women (49-64 year old) from Nuuk, Greenland, and investigated the relation between these parameters and plasma organochlorine concentrations. We used high-resolution gas chromatography with electron capture detection to analyze plasma samples for 14 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) congeners and 11 chlorinated pesticides and metabolites. We analysed morning urine samples for cadmium, a potential confounder, by atomic absorption spectrometry. We used a validated questionnaire to document dietary and lifestyle habits as well as reproductive and medical histories.

Results: Concentrations of PCB 153, a surrogate of exposure to most organochlorines present in plasma samples, were inversely correlated to QUS parameters in univariate analyses (p < 0.001). However, PCB 153 concentrations were not associated with QUS values in multivariate analyses that comprised potential confounding factors such as age, body weight, former oral contraceptive use and current hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use, which were all significant predictors of bone stiffness (total R2 = 0.39; p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Overall we found little evidence that organochlorines exposure is related to osteoporosis in Greenlandic Inuit women, but the hypothesis that exposure to dioxin-like compounds might be linked to decreased bone quality and osteoporosis deserves further attention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-069X-5-33DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770911PMC
December 2006

Exposure of a Cree population living near mine tailings in northern Quebec (Canada) to metals and metalloids.

Arch Environ Health 2004 Dec;59(12):732-41

Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec, Canada.

The authors investigated the effect of residues from copper- and gold-mining on the Cree population of Oujé-Bougoumou, located 560 km north of Quebec City, Canada. Subjects (225) from Oujé-Bougoumou and a control population (100) completed a questionnaire on lifestyle and dietary habits and provided blood and urine samples for analysis. Geometric means of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and copper concentrations were not significantly different for subjects or controls 15 yr and older or children (8-14 yr old). However, blood zinc was higher and selenium was lower in Oujé-Bougoumou samples. Mean blood lead level was higher in children from Oujé-Bougoumou, but lower in adults aged 40 yr and older. For adults (15 yr and older) blood lead level increased with age and was higher in men, those who hunted, and consumed wild meat (R2 = 0.43). Blood cadmium increased with age and smoking (R2 = 0.61). No influence of mine residues was observed among residents of Oujé-Bougoumou, but lifestyle exposure associations were noted for both communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00039890409602960DOI Listing
December 2004