Author: Derek MCLELLAN
The disruptive and potentially harmful effects of naturally occurring and man-made endocrine disrupting compounds found in the environment are a topic of considerable debate within government, industry and the general public. Bisphenol A (BPA) is of particular concern due to its incorporation in many consumer products and its potential for leeching. Scientific study continues with attempts to identify and quantify risk associated with this chemical, in order to support industry and regulatory actions. The issue of greatest concern with regards to BPA is the effects of routine exposure to very low concentration of the chemical. The effects of this phenomenon, called Low Dose Effects, raise a great deal of controversy as it is difficult to accurately assess the health outcomes from these exposures. This paper gives a basic understanding of what constitutes Low Dose effects and also examines several studies conducted to determine the health outcomes as a result of exposure to low dose BPA.
Regulatory activities seek to mitigate risk through enactment of legislation to control the use of and exposure to these compounds. As a result the regulatory agencies in Canada and the U.S. have banned the sale of certain consumer products containing BPA and have imposed strict limits on concentration in industrial effluents and waste water drainage. This paper outlines the conditions and limits put in place by both the Canadian and U.S. government regarding the presence of BPA in effluents and consumer products.
Social media holds considerable potential for health promotion and other health intervention activities, as it addresses some of the limitations in traditional health communication by increasing accessibility, interaction, engagement, empowerment and customization. The use of social media increases the potential for easy access to preventive medicine, interaction with health care providers, interprofessional communication in emergency management, and public health. However, more research is needed to determine its long term effectiveness and to maximize the strategic presence of health organizations on social networking websites. This paper provides encouraging information about the possibilities of using social media to improve access to health information and health care providers, as well as to promote positive health behaviour change. It is essential for health promotion organizations to capitalize on the opportunities provided by social media, in order to modernize strategies to reach all age groups and to tailor programs to current communication trends, all of which are offered at a relatively low cost.
Author: Philip M. LEE
The cause of homosexuality remains a hotly contested debate to this day. Although the role of genetics has diminished over the past decade because of the popularity of environmental influences, it continues to be a relevant correlative possibility. Since its inception in the early 1990’s from a study conducted by Dr. Dean Hamer, the genetic locus Xq28 has become amongst one of the most important genetic factors of sexual orientation. Subsequent studies attempting replication have improved on the original experiment although the initial measures and methods of experimentation may have biased the results of the findings. Consequently, contention between advocates for and against Xq28 continues over 15 years later with mounting evidence weakening the link of Xq28 and homosexuality. Even though the majority of genetic discussion revolves around Hamer’s original findings, more recent genetic markers have also now been found which may show positive connections and provide the basis for further research.
Author: Tiffany L. HOLDSWORTH-TAYLOR
More pregnant women turn to reality-based television programs and the Internet than to prenatal classes. Scant research examines the portrayal of childbirth in these new media. Although its impact is unknown, we do know that up to 20% of pregnant women fear giving birth; consequences include avoiding pregnancy, termination, depression, and increased maternal morbidity.
Overall internet content tended to be contradictory but largely reflected two categories: natural and mainstream, with two different portrayals of childbirth. Natural sources focused on eliminating fear, discrediting hospital births, and promoting ‘alternative’ options such as home birth and midwifery. Mainstream sources reinforced fears, discredited home births, reported statistics from studies, and employed misinformation. Popular Internet sources tended to have the goal of educating whereas media uncovered in the purposive searches tended towards entertainment goals. Conflicting and misinformation from the Internet may entrench rather than assuage fears. Women may become confused and develop a heavily biased representation of birth. This could strongly impact a woman’s approach to and experience of birth.
Author: Maria A. CZERNIAKOW
Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a psychologically debilitating disease due to its embarrassing skin lesions and pruritic nature which disturb the quality of life (QOL) of the patients. Even though children are primarily affected, caregivers can also be affected due to being the first line of care for others who are inflicted. This review focuses on randomized control trials which investigated the use of non-chemical forms of treatment to improve QOL and disease severity in children. A search of the PubMed database identified six studies that met the inclusion criteria. The studies were ranked from most rigorous trial to least. Various forms of education as an intervention were used. Conversely the viewing of a humorous film was tested to examine if it had an impact on QOL. Education intervention versus no education at all showed that the intervention group had a larger decrease in disease severity than the control group. The form of education as a single consult with an AD educated nurse showed no difference between the control and the intervention group. Comparison of nurse-led clinics with the dermatologist-led clinics indicated that the nurse-led clinics were more successful. Viewing humorous films before bedtime was demonstrated as a successful means of reducing night-time awakenings. Also specific AD education versus routine education and consultations showed improvement in both groups. Finally AD video-education versus direct parental teaching concluded that the video-education was more effective. Although the studies show that any form of education intervention is better than none, the methodological assessment of the studies showed that four of the studies were not rigorous enough or were not described at all. Further studies must be conducted in a more methodologically sound manner for the results to be considered replicable and valid.
Author: Stephanie AUBIN
Not available for this article.
Notre société accorde une grande importance à la beauté et à la performance physique. Il n’est donc pas surprenant qu’une fraction non négligeable de gens aient recours à des méthodes draconiennes pour atteindre ces objectifs, ou s’en rapprocher. Une des méthodes les plus populaires est l’utilisation abusive de stéroïdes anabolisants. Plusieurs études ont évalué les effets indésirables et néfastes de ces composés à des doses “supra-
Author: Andre Guerra
Multiple sclerosis (MS) has long been labeled as a neurological disease with a high incidence among Canadians, women in particular. The disease first manifests itself in young adulthood (between the ages of 15 and 40 years). Areas of demyelination with a proliferation of astrocytes are found scattered in the white matter of MS patients, this leads to muscle weakness, numbness, disequilibrium, sphincter disturbance and other neurological dysfunctions. Recently Dr. Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon at the University of Ferrara in Italy, found that many multiple sclerosis patients have a narrowing of some of the neck veins responsible for draining blood from the brain. According to Dr. Zamboni, this narrowing of the blood vessels leads to the deposit of iron in the defected veins, which restricts blood flow and is responsible for some of the MS complications. Dr. Zamboni achieved unblocking of the veins through angioplasty, a procedure normally used to open arteries affected by atherosclerosis. In one of his trials, 65 patients were given the procedure, which decreased the rate of occurrence of lesions, from 50 % to 12 % in patients. There was an improvement in mental and physical quality of life in most of the patients in this trial. Ethical questions are also discussed in this review. Dr. Zamboni`s studies suggest a genetic inheritance of factors that may lead to MS. Should health care providers institute a screening procedure in newborns? Would these screenings be mandatory? Would the screenings be free?