By the current global obesogenic environment, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is becoming an important health problem in the pediatric age group.
This study aimed to determine the first age-and gender-specific percentiles and upper limit normal limit (ULN) of alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransaminase (AST) among a nationally-representative sample of children and adolescents in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The second objective was to determine the linear association of obesity indexes and age with serum ALT and AST levels.
Patients and Methods
This nationwide study was conducted among a representative sample of 4078 students aged 10-18 years, who were selected by multistage random cluster sampling from 27 provinces of Iran. ALT and AST were measured on fresh sera. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated as an index of generalized obesity, and waist- to- height ratio (WHtR) as an index of abdominal obesity. The age- and gender-specific percentiles of ALT and AST were constructed, and the 95th percentile of each enzyme was considered as the ULN. Gender-specific linear regression analysis was employed to examine the association of BMI or WHtR with the levels of ALT and AST.
Data of ALT and AST were available for 4078 (2038 girls) and 4150 (2061 girls),respectively. Participants had a mean (SD) age of 14.71 (2.41).The ULN of ALT for boys, girls,and the total individuals were 36.00; 38.00; and, 37.00 U/L, respectively. In both genders, ALT and AST had linear association with age. The association with BMI was significant for ALT in both genders and for AST only in boys, the association of ALT with WHtR was significant in both genders; the corresponding figures were not significant for AST.
The findings of the current study confirmed the current ULN value of 40 U/L commonly used for the pediatric age group. The linear association of indexes for generalized and abdominal obesity with ALT underscores the importance of timely prevention and control of childhood obesity.
Aminotransferase; Child; Iran
Little experience exists on valid and reliable tools for assessment of the determinants of underweight and overweight in children and adolescents living in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA). This study aimed to develop a valid and wideranging questionnaire for assessment of these parameters in a nationwide sample of Iranian children and adolescents.
This national study was conducted in 31 provinces in Iran. The first phase consisted of focus group discussion with 275 children and adolescents and their parents. After a qualitative content analysis, the initial items were extracted. In the next step, the face validity was assessed by expert panelists using the quantitative method of the Impact Score. To assess the content validity, the content validity rate (CVR) and the content validity index (CVI) were determined. The internal consistency was examined by Cronbach alpha, and its test-retest reliability was determined. The socio-demographic variables, perinatal factors, lifestyle factors, family history, knowledge and attitude were assessed. Dietary intakes were assessed by a validated 168-item semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire. A validated questionnaire for quality of life was filled in anonymously.
A team of expert researchers conducted the data analysis of 576 interviews by using qualitative content analysis method. The analysis process began by determining the semantic units about the concepts studied. The initial questionnaire was developed in four domains by including Likert scale questions. In the face validity step, all questions of the primary questionnaire obtained a score of more than 1.5. In the phase of CVR assessment, 6 questions obtained a score of less than 0.62, and were omitted. The rest of questions were assessed for CVI, and got a score of more than 0.75. Cronbach's alpha coefficient of the whole questionnaire was 0.97, and the Pearson correlation coefficient of the test-retest phase was 0.94.
The developed questionnaire is a valid and reliable tool for assessment of the determinants of weight disorders in a nationally representative sample of children and adolescents in the MENA.
Children and adolescents; overweight; questionnaire validity; underweight
The World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of establishing a new global database on the growth of school children and adolescents. Limited national data exist from Asian children, notably those living in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This study aimed to generate the growth chart of a nationally representative sample of Iranian children aged 10–19 years, and to explore how well these anthropometric data match with international growth references.
In this nationwide study, the anthropometric data were recorded from Iranian students, aged 10–19 years, who were selected by multistage random cluster sampling from urban and rural areas. Prior to the analysis, outliers were excluded from the features height-for-age and body mass index (BMI)-for-age using the NCHS/WHO cut-offs. The Box-Cox power exponential (BCPE) method was used to calculate height-for-age and BMI-for-age Z-scores for our study participants. Then, children with overweight, obesity, thinness, and severe thinness were identified using the BMI-for-age z-scores. Moreover, stunted children were detected using the height-for-age z-scores. The growth curve of the Iranian children was then generated from the z-scores, smoothed by cubic S-plines.
The study population comprised 5430 school students consisting of 2312 (44%) participants aged 10–14 years , and 3118 (58%) with 15–19 years of age. Eight percent of the participants had low BMI (thinness: 6% and severe thinness: 2%), 20% had high BMI (overweight: 14% and obesity: 6%), and 7% were stunted. The prevalence rates of low and high BMI were greater in boys than in girls (P < 0.001). The mean BMI-for-age, and the average height-for-age of Iranian children aged 10–19 years were lower than the WHO 2007 and United states Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 (USCDC2000) references.
The current growth curves generated from a national dataset may be included for establishing WHO global database on children’s growth. Similar to most low-and middle income populations, Iranian children aged 10–19 years are facing a double burden of weight disorders, notably under- and over- nutrition, which should be considered in public health policy-making.
Growth; Iran; Reference curve; Weight disorder
A school-based surveillance system entitled the childhood and adolescence surveillance and prevention of Adult Noncommunicable disease (CASPIAN) Study is implemented at national level in Iran. This paper presents the methods and primary findings of the third survey of this surveillance system.
This national survey was performed in 2009–2010 in 27 provinces of Iran among 5570 students and one of their parents. In addition to physical examination, fasting serum was obtained. Body mass index was categorized based on the World Health Organization growth charts.
Data of 5528 students (2726 girls, 69.37% urban, mean age 14.7 ± 2.4 years) were complete and are reported. Overall, 17.3% (17.3% of girls and 17.5% of boys) were underweight, and 17.7% (15.5% of girls and 19.9% of boys) were overweight or obese. Abdominal obesity was documented in 16.3% of students (17.8% of girls and 15% of boys). 57.6% of families consumed breads, the staple food for Iranians, prepared with white flour. Most families (43.8% in urban areas and 58.6% in rural areas) used solid hydrogenated fats. 22.7% of students did not add salt to the table food. 14.2% of students reported to have a regular daily physical activity for at least 30 min a day. Overall, 10.4% of students (11.7% in urban areas and 7.3% in rural areas) reported that they used tobacco products, often waterpipe. 32.8% of students experienced at least three times of bullying in the previous 3 months. During the year prior to the survey, 14.46% of students had an injury needing the interference by school health providers.
This survey is confirmatory evidence on the importance of establishing surveillance systems for risk behaviors to implement action-oriented interventions.
Chronic diseases; prevention; risk behaviors; risk factors; school health; surveillance
This study aimed to determine the association of particulate matters with endothelial function, measured by flow mediated dilation (FMD) of brachial artery, in children with or without exposure to secondhand smoke.
This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to March 2011 in Isfahan, which is the second large and air-polluted city in Iran. The areas of the city with lowest and highest air pollution were determined, and in each area, 25 prepubescent boys with or without exposure to daily tobacco smoke in home were selected, i.e. 100 children were studied in total.
FMD was significantly smaller in those living in high-polluted area and those exposed to secondhand smoke. Multiple linear regression analysis, adjusted for age and body mass index, showed that both passive smoking status and living area in terms of particulate air pollution were effective determinants of the brachial artery diameter. The standardized coefficient of passive smoking status was –0.36 (SD = 0.09, P < 0.0001) showing negative association with percent increase in FMD. Likewise, the percent increase in brachial artery diameter was lower in passive smoker children. Similar relationship was documented for PM10 concentration with a regression coefficient of –0.32 (SD = 0.04, P < 0.0001). Without considering passive smoking variable, PM10 concentration has significant independent effect on FMD level.
Our findings provide evidence on the association of environmental factors on endothelial dysfunction from early life. Studying such associations among healthy children may help identify the underlying mechanisms. The clinical implications of environmental factors on early stages of atherosclerosis should be confirmed in longitudinal studies.
Air pollution; children; endothelium-dependent brachial artery; smoke
Malignancies are primarily environmental diseases mostly attributed to environmental factors. By plotting the prevalence and spatial distribution maps, important differences can be observed in detail. This study aimed to determine the association between map distribution of malignancies and the geological phenomena of lead (Pb) accumulation in soil in the province of Isfahan, Iran.
Spatial distribution maps of malignant diseases were plotted by using data recorded during 2007 to 2009 in the Isfahan Cancer Registry Program. Data on Pb accumulation in soil was obtained from the National Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration. Pb concentrations were documented in three parts of agricultural, non-agricultural, urban, and industrial land. The geographical mapping of cancers and soil Pb were then incorporated into a geographic information system (GIS) to create a spatial distribution model.
The spatial distributions of ten common malignant diseases in the province, i.e. skin cancers, hematological malignancies, and breast cancers, followed by other malignancies were scattered based on Pb distribution. In fact, common cancers were more prevalent in the parts of the province where soil Pb was more abundant.
The findings of this study underscore the importance of preventing Pb exposure and controlling industrial production of Pb. The data is also important to establish further effects modeling for cancers. Moreover, physicians and health professionals should consider the impact of environmental factors on their patients’ health.
Environment; Cancers; Lead; Spatial Distribution; Iran
Objective. To determine the most effective and biodegradable dispersant of spilled oil in water surrounding two Persian Gulf provinces. Methods. This study compared the effects of three dispersants, Pars 1, Pars 2, and Gamlen OD4000 on removal of oil in two Persian Gulf provinces' water. Overall, 16 stations were selected. Using the Well method, the growth rate of isolated bacteria and fungi was identified. To specify the growth rate of microorganisms and their usage of oil in the presence of the above-mentioned dispersants, as exclusive sources of carbon, the bacteria were grown in culture medium for 28 days at 120 rpm, 30°C, and their optical density was measured by spectrophotometry. Then, we tested biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD) in microorganisms. Results. The highest growth rate was documented for the growth of microorganisms on either Pars 1 or Pars 2 dispersants or their mixtures with oil. However, the culture having microorganisms grown on Pars 1 had higher BOD and COD than the other two dispersants (9200 and 16800 versus 500 and 960, P < 0.05). Mixture of oil and Pars 2 as well as oil and Pars 1 dispersants showed the highest BODs and CODs, respectively. In the Bahregan province, microorganisms grown on Pars 2 had maximum amount of BOD and COD in comparison with Pars 1 and Gamlen dispersants (7100 and 15200 versus 6000 and 10560, P < 0.05). Conclusion. Pars 1 and Pars 2 were the most effective dispersants with highest degradability comparing Gamlen. In each region, the most suitable compound for removing oil spill from offshores with least secondary contamination should be investigated.
Background. The purpose of this study is environmental impact assessment of the industrial estate development planning. Methods. This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2010 in Isfahan province, Iran. GIS and matrix methods were applied. Data analysis was done to identify the current situation of the region, zoning vulnerable areas, and scoping the region. Quantitative evaluation was done by using matrix of Wooten and Rau. Results. The net score for impact of industrial units operation on air quality of the project area was (−3). According to the transition of industrial estate pollutants, residential places located in the radius of 2500 meters of the city were expected to be affected more. The net score for impact of construction of industrial units on plant species of the project area was (−2). Environmental protected areas were not affected by the air and soil pollutants because of their distance from industrial estate. Conclusion. Positive effects of project activities outweigh the drawbacks and the sum scores allocated to the project activities on environmental factor was (+37). Totally it does not have detrimental effects on the environment and residential neighborhood. EIA should be considered as an anticipatory, participatory environmental management tool before determining a plan application.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming as an important health problem in the pediatric age group. In addition to the well-documented role of obesity on the fatty changes in liver, there is a growing body of evidence about the role of environmental factors, such as smoking and air pollution, in NAFLD. Given that excess body fat and exposure to air pollutants is accompanied by systemic low-grade inflammation, oxidative stress, as well as alterations in insulin/insulin-like growth factor and insulin resistance, all of which are etiological factors related to NAFLD, an escalating trend in the incidence of pediatric NAFLD can be expected in the near future. This review focuses on the current knowledge regarding the epidemiology, diagnosis and pathogenesis of pediatric NAFLD. The review also highlights the importance of studying the underlying mechanisms of pediatric NAFLD and the need for broadening efforts in prevention and control of the main risk factors. The two main universal risk factors for N LD, obesity and air pollution, have broad adverse health effects, and reducing their prevalence will help abate the serious health problems associated with pediatric NAFLD.
Fatty Liver; Child; Obesity; Environmental Exposure; Prevention and Control; Air Pollution
Pediatric pre-hypertension (pre-HTN) has a complex multifactorial etiology. Although most cases are secondary to other disorders, a substantial number of children and adolescents have primary or essential HTN and pre-HTN. The gene-gene and gene-environment interactions should be considered in this context. The strong relationship of pre-HTN with environmental factors such as air pollution, noise pollution and passive smoking and obesity suggest that its prevalence will be escalating.
Exposure to ambient particulate matters may increase blood pressure (BP) within hours to days. The underlying biologic pathways include autonomic nervous system imbalance and arterial vascular dysfunction or vasoconstriction because of systemic oxidative stress and inflammation. Likewise, tobacco smoke exposure of pregnant mothers increases systolic BP of their offspring in early infancy. Parental smoking also independently affects systolic BP among healthy preschool children. Noise exposure, notably in night, is associated with catecholamine secretion, increased BP and a pre-HTN state even in pre-school age children.
Excess weight is associated with dysfunction of the adipose tissue, consisting of enlarged hypertrophied adipocytes, increased infiltration by macrophages and variations in secretion of adipokines and free fatty acids. These changes would result in chronic vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and sympathetic response, and ultimately to pre-HTN from childhood.
Prevention and control of the modifiable risk factors of pre-HTN from prenatal period can have long-term health impact on primordial and primary prevention of chronic non-communicable diseases. This review presents a general view on the diagnosis, prevalence and etiology of pre-HTN along with practical measures for its prevention and control.
Prevention; Blood Pressure; Pre-hypertension; Genetics; Environment; Children
This study aimed to determine the secular trends in the national prevalence of overweight and obesity among 6-year-old Iranian children, and to compare the results in Northern, Central and Southern parts of the country.
The data were collected as part of a routine and mandatory national screening program on children entering elementary schools in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The study population comprised 2,600,065 children including 862,433 in 2007, 782,244 in 2008 and 955,388 in 2009. Of total children 12.8%, 13.5% and 10.9% were overweight in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively (P > 0.05). The corresponding figures for obesity were 3.4%, 3.5% and 3.4%, respectively (P > 0.05). In all surveys, the prevalence of overweight was higher in Southern region than in the other two regions. P for trend was not significant for prevalence rates of overweight and obesity in any of the regions.
To the best of our knowledge, this study was the first of its kind in presenting the nationwide trend of overweight and obesity in young children living in a developing country. It showed a considerably high prevalence of overweight and obesity, but with a constant rate in three years. The higher prevalence of overweight in Southern region than in Central and Northern regions might be related to the lower socioeconomic position of this population. At a very young age, children's lifestyle is more under control of parents. Primordial and primary prevention efforts against the overweight epidemic can be effective and shall be further strengthened.
Prevalence; Trend; Overweight; Children; National Study; Iran
The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of exercise on the aerobic power, serum lactate level, and cell blood count among active individuals in the environments with similar climatic characteristics differing in their level of air pollution.
This trial comprised 20 volunteer students of Physical education in The University of Isfahan, Iran. Two places with the same climate (altitude, temperature, and humidity), but low and high level of air pollutants air were selected in Isfahan, Iran. Participants underwent a field Cooper test with a 12-minute run for fitness assessment. Then the aerobic power, serum lactate, and cell blood counts were measured and compared between the two areas.
The study participants had a mean (SD) age of 21.70 (2.10) years and body mass index (BMI) of 24.44 (2.32) Kg/m2. We found a significant decrease in mean Vo2 max, red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and mean corpuscular hemoglobin, as well as significant increase in mean lactate level, white blood cell count and mean corpuscular volume in the higher-polluted than in the lower-polluted area. No significant difference was documented for other parameters as platelet counts or maximum heart rate.
Exercise in high-polluted air resulted in a significant reduction in the performance at submaximal levels of physical exertion. Therefore, the acute exposure to polluted air may cause a significant reduction in the performance of active individuals. The clinical importance of these findings should be assessed in longitudinal studies.
Air pollution; Aerobic power; Lactate; Active individuals
Health professionals face the adverse health effects of climate change and air pollution in their practices. This review underscores the effects of these environmental factors on maternal and children's health, as the most vulnerable groups to climate change and air pollution.
We reviewed electronic databases for a search of the literature to find relevant studies published in English from 1990 to 2011.
Environmental factors, notably climate change and air pollution influence children's health before conception and continue during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. Experts have suggested that such health hazards may represent the greatest public health challenge that humanity has faced. The accumulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, primarily from burning fossil fuels, results in warming which has an impact on air pollution particularly on levels of ozone and particulates. Heat-related health effects include increased rates of pregnancy complications, pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, low birth weight, renal effects, vector-borne diseases as malaria and dengue, increased diarrheal and respiratory disease, food insecurity, decreased quality of foods (notably grains), malnutrition, water scarcity, exposures to toxic chemicals, worsened poverty, natural disasters and population displacement. Air pollution has many adverse health effects for mothers and children. In addition to short-term effects like premature labour, intrauterine growth retardation, neonatal and infant mortality rate, malignancies (notably leukaemia and Hodgkin lymphoma), respiratory diseases, allergic disorders and anaemia, exposure to criteria air pollutants from early life might be associated with increase in stress oxidative, inflammation and endothelial dysfunction which in turn might have long-term effects on chronic non-communicable diseases.
Health professionals have an exclusive capability to help prevent and reduce the harmful effects of environmental factors for high-risk groups, and should consider this capacity in their usual practice.
Climate change; air pollution; health; health professionals; pregnant mothers; children; prevention
Some experimental studies revealed that exposure to air pollution increases the expression of tissue factor (TF) in atherosclerotic lesions. We aimed to investigate the role of TF +5466A>G (rs3917643) polymorphism in the association of air pollution on serum levels of TF as a biomarker of vascular injury in children.
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 110 children, consisting of 58 (52.8%) girls and 52 (47.2%) boys with a mean age of 12.7 ± 2.3 years, living in Isfahan, Iran. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay were used for measurement of serum TF. Genotype of +5466A>G (rs3917643) polymorphism was determined by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction length fragment polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) method.
We identified 2 individuals with +5466AG genotype and 108 homozygous for the +5466A allele (no +5466GG homozygotes). The mean pollution standards index (PSI) value was at moderate level, the mean particular matter measuring up to 10 μm (PM10) was more than twice the normal level. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that after adjustment for confounding factors (weight status, dietary and physical activity pattern), serum TF level had significant relationship with PSI (beta: 0.55, SE: 0.07, p<0.000) and PM10 (beta: 0.51, SE: 0.03, p=0.001).
In spite of similar genetic polymorphism of TF, air pollutants might have an independent association with systemic inflammatory and coagulation responses. The harmful effects of air pollutants on the first stages of atherosclerosis in the pediatric age group should be underscored in primordial and primary prevention of chronic diseases.
Atherosclerosis; Prevention; Air pollution; Genetics; Children
This study aimed to develop and test the validity of a risk score to be used as a simple tool to identify those children at high risk of sonographic non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 962 participants aged 6–18 years in Isfahan, Iran. They consisted of three groups of nearly equal number of normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals. Coefficients of the logistic regression models were used to assign a score value for each variable and the composite sonographic NAFLD risk score was calculated as the sum of those scores. Performance of model was assessed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve procedure.
Data of 931 participants was included in the analysis. The sonographic findings of 16.8% of participants were compatible with NAFLD. Age, sex, body mass index, waist circumference and serum triglycerides level were diagnosed as factors associated with NAFLD. The risk score was calculated as 50 for sonographic NAFLD.
This study, to the best of our knowledge is the first of its kind in the pediatric age group, focuses on predicting sonographic NAFLD from easily-measured factors. It may suggest an association of hypertriglyceridemic-waist phenotype with NAFLD in the pediatric age group.
Fatty Liver; Risk Factors; Logistic Regression; Prediction; Prevention
This study aimed to determine the short- and long-term effects of consumption of grape and pomegranate juices on markers of endothelial function and inflammation in adolescents with metabolic syndrome (MetS).
In a non-pharmacologic randomized controlled trial, 30 individuals were randomly assigned to two groups of drinking natural grape or pomegranate juice for 1 month. Measurements of inflammatory factors [Hs-CRP, sE-selectin, sICAM-1, sVCAM, and interleukin 6 (IL-6)] and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were made at baseline, 4 hours after first juice consumption and after one month of juice consumption.
The percent changes of FMD were significant in both groups in the short- and long-term. Hs-CRP had a nonsignificant decrease. sE selectin had a significant decrease after 4 hours in total and in the pomegranate juice group, followed by a significant decrease after 1 month in both groups. After 4 hours, sICAM-1 significantly decreased in the pomegranate juice group, and after 1 month it decreased in total and pomegranate juice group. Interleulkin-6 (IL-6) had a significant constant decrease at 4-hour and 1-month measurements after drinking pomegranate juice, and in both groups after 1 month. Significant negative correlations of changes in sICAM-1 and sE-selectin with changes in FMD were found in both periods of follow-up; and at 1 month for IL-6.
Decline in inflammation was associated with improvement in FMD without changes in conventional risk factors. Daily consumption of natural antioxidants may improve endothelial function in adolescents with MetS.
Endothelium function; metabolic syndrome; antioxidants; inflammation; adolescents
This study aimed to compare the timing of puberty between various geographic locations and different ethnicities.
This national survey was conducted in 20 provinces in Iran. Healthy Iranian girls were selected from public schools using cluster random sampling. A total number of 30 clusters including 7493 girls, aged 6.0–20 years, were selected. In order to compare different areas, the national classification of the provinces based on climate, ethnicity, geographic locations, and socioeconomic variables were used. Accordingly, there are 11 regions in Iran. Analysis of variance was used to compare the mean ages of menarche, pubarche, and thelarche in different regions.
Tehranian girls, with 11.99 ± 1.35 years (mean ± SD), had the lowest age of menarche which was statistically significantly. The second region with lowest age at menarche was Fars (12.40 ± 1.27 years). The mean age at breast bud stage (B2) was significantly lower in Ghazvin-Zanjan region (8.97 ± 1.45 years). In Fars region, the mean age at B2 stage of breast development (11.01 ± 1.88 years) was higher than other regions except for Mazendran-Guilan and Tehran-related cities. The mean age at public hair development at Tanner stage 2 (PH2) in Kordestan-Lorestan-Ilam region (10.70 ± 1.23 years) was significantly higher than other regions.
We found significant differences in the age of pubertal stages of girls living in various regions with different ethnicity and geographic characteristics. Considering the impact of pubertal age on general health, more studies should be done about the lifestyle and environmental factors affecting the onset of puberty.
Puberty; Girls; Living area; Iran
This trial study aimed to assess the effects of adenoidectomy on the markers of endothelial function and inflammation in normal-weight and overweight prepubescent children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
This trial study was conducted in Isfahan, Iran in 2009. The study population was comprised of 90 prepubescent children (45 normal-weight and 45 overweight children), aged between 4-10 years old, who volunteered for adenoidectomy and had OSA documented by validated questionnaire. The assessment included filling questionnaire, physical examination, and laboratory tests; it was conducted before the surgery and was repeated two weeks and six months after the surgery.
Out of the 90 children evaluated, 83 completed the 2-week evaluation and 72 patients continued with the study for the 6-month follow up. Markers of endothelial function, i.e., serum adhesion molecules including endothelial leukocyte adhesion molecule (E-selectin), intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and the markers of inflammation, i.e., interleukin-6, and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) decreased significantly in both normal-weight and overweight children after both two weeks and six months. After six months, the total and LDL-cholesterol showed a significant decrease in the overweight children.
The findings of the study demonstrated that irrespective of the weight status, children with OSA had increased levels of the endothelial function and inflammation markers, which improved after OSA treatment by adenoidectomy. This might be a form of confirmatory evidence on the onset of atherogenesis from the early stages of the life, and the role of inflammation in the process. The reversibility of endothelial dysfunction after improvement of OSA underscores the importance of primordial and primary prevention of chronic diseases from the early stages of the life.
Sleep; Endothelial Function; Inflammation; Child; Prevention
This study aimed to assess the relationship of air pollution and plasma surrogate markers of endothelial dysfunction in the pediatric age group.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009-2010 among 125 participants aged 10-18 years. They were randomly selected from different areas of Isfahan city, the second large and air-polluted city in Iran. The association of air pollutants' levels with serum thrombomodulin (TM) and tissue factor (TF) was determined after adjustment for age, gender, anthropometric measures, dietary and physical activity habits.
Data of 118 participants was complete and was analyzed. The mean age was 12.79 (2.35) years. The mean pollution standards index (PSI) value was at moderate level, the mean particular matter measuring up to 10 μm (PM10) was more than twice the normal level. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that TF had significant relationship with all air pollutants except than carbon monoxide, and TM had significant inverse relationship with ozone. The odds ratio of elevated TF was significantly higher in the upper vs. the lowest quartiles of PM10, ozone and PSI. The corresponding figures were in opposite direction for TM.
The relationship of air pollutants with endothelial dysfunction and pro-coagulant state can be an important factor in the development of atherosclerosis from early life. This finding should be confirmed in future longitudinal studies. Concerns about the harmful effects of air pollution on children's health should be considered a top priority for public health policy; it should be underscored in primordial and primary prevention of chronic diseases.
To provide a low-cost and simple model of culturally-appropriate and low cost facilities for improvement of physical activity for girls and their mothers through an after-school program and to determine the changes in anthropometric indexes after this trial.
This national study was conducted in 2006-2007 in 7 provinces with different socioeconomic situations in Iran. Female students who studied in the 7th through 10th grade and their mothers were selected by random cluster sampling. In each province, 24 sessions of after-school aerobic physical activity were held for 90 minutes, two days a week, and 3 months long at school sites in the afternoon.
The study comprised 410 participants (204 mothers and 206 daughters), with a mean age of 15.86±1.01 and 40.71±6.3 years in girls and their mothers, respectively. The results of the focus group discussions showed that in general, both mothers and daughters were satisfied from the program and found it feasible and successful. After the trial, the indexes of generalized and abdominal obesity improved significantly both in girls and in their mothers (P-value <0.0001 for weight, body mass index and waist circumference).
Our findings may provide a low-cost and simple effective model of motivation for physical activity with targeted interventions for girls and their mothers. We suggest that the success of this trial might be a result of bonding and accompaniment of mothers and daughters. Such model can be integrated in the existing health and education systems to increase the physical activity level.
Physical Activity; Female; Overweight; Public Health; Adolescent
Air pollution is a global health issue with serious public health implications, particularly for children. Usually respiratory effects of air pollutants are considered, but this review highlights the importance of non-respiratory health hazards. In addition to short-term effects, exposure to criteria air pollutants from early life might be associated with low birth weight, increase in oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction, which in turn might have long-term effects on chronic non-communicable diseases. In view of the emerging epidemic of chronic disease in low- and middle- income countries, the vicious cycle of rapid urbanization and increasing levels of air pollution, public health and regulatory policies for air quality protection should be integrated into the main priorities of the primary health care system and into the educational curriculum of health professionals.
air pollution; children; health; prevention; chronic disease; public health
In view of the growing trend of obesity around the world, including in our country, and the effect of reduced physical activity in increasing the incidence of obesity and overweight in children and adolescents and limitations of families in providing transport for their children to attend exercise classes, as well as time limitations of students in taking part in these classes, accessing appropriate methods for presenting physical activity training seems essential.
This non-pharmacological clinical trial was performed during six months from May to November 2007 on 105 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years with obesity, randomly assigned to 3 groups of thirty-five. Nutrition and treatment behavior were the same in all groups, but physical activity training in the first group was taking part in physical activity training classes twice a week, in the second group by providing a training CD, and in the third group via face-to-face training. Before and after the intervention, anthropometric indicators were measured and recorded.
Mean body mass index (BMI) of participants in group attended physical activity training classes, and in the group undergone training with CD, after the interventions was significantly lower than that before the intervention.
Our findings demonstrated that training using CDs can also be effective in reducing BMI in overweight and obese children and adolescents as much as face-to-face education and participation in physical training classes. Extending such interventions can be effective at the community level.
Children; Adolescents; Physical activity; Education; Obesity; Treatment
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors begin from early life and track onto adulthood. Oral and dental diseases share some risk factors with CVD, therefore by finding a clear relation between dental diseases and cardiometabolic risk factors; we can then predict the potential risk of one based on the presence of the other. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of dental caries between two groups of age-matched adolescents with and without CVD risk factors.
In this case-control study, the decayed, missing and filled surfaces (DMFS), based on the criteria of the World Health Organization, were compared in two groups of equal number (n = 61 in each group) of population-based sample of adolescents with and without CVD risk factors who were matched for sex and age group.
The study participants had a median age 13 y 5 mo, age range 11 y 7 mo to 16 y 1 mo, with male-to-female proportion of 49/51. We found significant difference between the mean values of DMFS, body mass index, waist and hip circumferences, as well as serum lipid profile in the case and control groups. Significant correlations were documented for DMFS with TC (r = 0.54, p = 0.02), LDL-C (r = 0.55, p = 0.01) and TG (r = 0.52, p = 0.04) in the case group; with LDL-C (r = 0.47, p = 0.03) in the whole study participants and with TC in control s(r = 0.45, p = 0.04).
Given the significant associations between dental caries and CVD risk factors among adolescents, more attention should be paid to oral health, as one of the topics to be taken into account in primordial/primary prevention of cardiometabolic disorders.
This study was conducted to explore the barriers to physical activity in a representative sample of Iranian children and adolescents.
The study was conducted in 2007 in urban and rural areas of Isfahan district in Iran. In the qualitative part, we used the grounded theory approach, including semi-structured focus group discussions and indepth interviews. The quantitative part comprised 600 randomly selected students.
The qualitative study included 34 school students (16 girls), 20 parents (11 mothers) and 11 school staff. All students disclosed that studying was a priority. They pointed to lack of safe and easy-access place for physical activity and unsupportive family as the main barriers. Lack of self-confidence and low selfworth were the two other concepts developed in this context. Parents pointed to lack of safe and easy-access place for activity followed by the priority of studying. The concepts derived from interviews with school staff included unhealthy modeling of parents, priority of studying, and inadequate public knowledge about how to integrate physical activity in routine daily life. The quantitative survey comprised 600 students including 286 (47.8%) girls. Parents’ education level had inverse association with children’s physical activity level. Significant inverse associations of self-efficacy and physical activity levels were documented.
Increasing the public knowledge about adopting physical activity habits in routine daily life, informing the families and students about the benefits of physical activity to improve learning, as well as providing safe places such as using the school facilities in non-school hours should be considered in planning effective preventive strategies and interventions.
Physical activity; Pediatric; Barriers; Prevention; Iran