An EAACI review: Go green in health care and research. Practical suggestions for sustainability in clinical practice, laboratories, and scientific meetings.
Health care professionals (HCPs) and researchers in the health care sector dedicate their professional life to maintaining and optimizing the health of their patients. To achieve this, significant amounts of resources are used and currently it is estimated that the health care sector contributes to more than 4% of net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. GHG emissions adversely impact planetary health and consequently human health, as the two are intricately linked. There are many factors of health care that contribute to these emissions. Hospitals and research labs also use high amounts of consumables which require large amounts of raw materials and energy to produce. They are further responsible for polluting the environment via disposal of plastics, drug products, and other chemicals. To maintain and develop state-of-the-art best practices and treatments, medical experts exchange and update their knowledge on methods and technologies in the respective fields at highly specialized scientific meetings. These meetings necessitate thousands of attendants traveling around the globe. Therefore, while the goal of HCPs is to care for the individual, current practices have an enormous (indirect) impact on the health of the patients by their negative environmental impacts. There is an urgent need for HCPs and researchers to mitigate these detrimental effects. The installation of a sustainability-manager at health care facilities and research organizations to implement sustainable practices while still providing quality health care is desirable. Increased use of telemedicine, virtual/hybrid conferences and green chemistry have recently been observed. The benefits of these practices need to be evaluated and implemented as appropriate. With this manuscript, we aim to increase the awareness about the negative impacts of the health care system (including health care research) on planetary and human health. We suggest some easy and highly impactful steps and encourage health care professionals and research scientists of all hierarchical levels to immediately implement them in their professional as well as private life to counteract the health care sector's detrimental effects on the environment.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.15836
View details for PubMedID 37584433
The Role of Climate Change in Asthma.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology
2023; 1426: 25-41
Human activity and increased use of fossil fuels have led to climate change. These changes are adversely affecting human health, including increasing the risk of developing asthma. Global temperatures are predicted to increase in the future. In 2019, asthma affected an estimated 262 million people and caused 455,000 deaths. These rates are expected to increase. Climate change by intensifying climate events such as drought, flooding, wildfires, sand storms, and thunderstorms has led to increases in air pollution, pollen season length, pollen and mold concentration, and allergenicity of pollen. These effects bear implications for the onset, exacerbation, and management of childhood asthma and are increasing health inequities. Global efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change are urgently needed with the goal of limiting global warming to between 1.5 and 2.0 °C of preindustrial times as per the 2015 Paris Agreement. Clinicians need to take an active role in these efforts in order to prevent further increases in asthma prevalence. There is a role for clinician advocacy in both the clinical setting as well as in local, regional, and national settings to install measures to control and curb the escalating disease burden of childhood asthma in the setting of climate change.
View details for DOI 10.1007/978-3-031-32259-4_2
View details for PubMedID 37464115
View details for PubMedCentralID 6591438
Child-focused climate change and health content in medical schools and pediatric residencies.
Anthropogenic climate change-driven primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels that form greenhouse gases-has numerous consequences that impact health, including extreme weather events of accelerating frequency and intensity (e.g., wildfires, thunderstorms, droughts, and heat waves), mental health sequelae of displacement from these events, and the increase in aeroallergens and other pollutants. Children are especially vulnerable to climate-related exposures given that they are still developing, encounter higher exposures compared to adults, and are at risk of losing many healthy future years of life. In order to better meet the needs of generations of children born into a world affected by climate change, medical trainees must develop their knowledge of the relationships between climate change and children's health-with a focus on applying that information in clinical practice. This review provides an overview of salient climate change and children's health topics that medical school and pediatric residency training curricula should cover. In addition, it highlights the strengths and limitations of existing medical school and residency climate change and pediatric health curricula. IMPACT: Provides insight into the current climate change and pediatric health curricular opportunities for medical trainees in North America at both the medical school and residency levels. Condenses climate change and pediatric health material relevant to trainees to help readers optimize curricula at their institutions.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41390-023-02600-7
View details for PubMedID 37081111
View details for PubMedCentralID 6265068
Climate Change and Global Health: A Call to more Research and more Action.
There is increasing understanding, globally, that climate change and increased pollution will have a profound and mostly harmful effect on human health. This review brings together international experts to describe both the direct (such as heat waves) and indirect (such as vector-borne disease incidence) health impacts of climate change. These impacts vary depending on vulnerability (i.e., existing diseases) and the international, economic, political and environmental context. This unique review also expands on these issues to address a third category of potential longer-term impacts on global health: famine, population dislocation, and environmental justice and education. This scholarly resource explores these issues fully, linking them to global health in urban and rural settings in developed and developing countries. The review finishes with a practical discussion of action that health professionals around the world in our field can yet take.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.15229
View details for PubMedID 35073410
World Health Organization Global Air Quality Guideline Recommendations: Executive Summary.
Air pollution is a leading cause of death globally and has resulted in the loss of millions of healthy years of life. Moreover, the health burden has fallen disproportionately upon people in many low- and middle-income countries, where air quality continues to deteriorate. To assist authorities and civil society in improving air quality, World Health Organization has published the first global update to its 2005 air quality guidelines based on a significantly improved body of evidence. To facilitate the implementation of the World Health Organization Global Air Quality Guideline recommendations, this article summarizes the purpose and rationale of the quantitative air quality guidelines and interim target levels for six key pollutants: particulate matter 2.5, particulate matter 10, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and carbon monoxide. In addition, good practice statements are established for the management of pollutants of concern that lack sufficient evidence to substantiate numerical targets.
View details for DOI 10.1111/all.15224
View details for PubMedID 35060140
Addressing Climate Change and Its Effects on Human Health: A Call to Action for Medical Schools.
Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Human health is increasingly threatened by rapid and widespread changes in the environment and climate, including rising temperatures, air and water pollution, disease vector migration, floods, and droughts. In the United States, many medical schools, the American Medical Association, and the National Academy of Sciences have published calls for physicians and physicians-in-training to develop a basic knowledge of the science of climate change and an awareness of the associated health risks. The authors--all medical students and educators--argue for the expeditious redesign of medical school curricula to teach students to recognize, diagnose, and treat the many health conditions exacerbated by climate change as well as understanding public health issues. In this Invited Commentary, the authors briefly review the health impacts of climate change, examine current climate change course offerings and proposals, and describe the rationale for promptly and comprehensively including climate science education in medical school curricula. Efforts in training physicians now will benefit those physicians' communities, whose health will be impacted by a period of remarkable climate change. The bottom line is that the health effects of climate reality cannot be ignored, and people everywhere must adapt as quickly as possible.
View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003861
View details for PubMedID 33239537
Management of Acute Pain From Non-Low Back Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-analysis of Randomized Trials.
Annals of internal medicine
BACKGROUND: Patients and clinicians can choose from several treatment options to address acute pain from non-low back musculoskeletal injuries.PURPOSE: To assess the comparative effectiveness of outpatient treatments for acute pain from non-low back musculoskeletal injuries by performing a network meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials (RCTs).DATA SOURCES: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database), and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials to 2 January 2020.STUDY SELECTION: Pairs of reviewers independently identified interventional RCTs that enrolled patients presenting with pain of up to 4 weeks' duration from non-low back musculoskeletal injuries.DATA EXTRACTION: Pairs of reviewers independently extracted data. Certainty of evidence was evaluated by using the GRADE (Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation) approach.DATA SYNTHESIS: The 207 eligible studies included 32959 participants and evaluated 45 therapies. Ninety-nine trials (48%) enrolled populations with diverse musculoskeletal injuries, 59 (29%) included patients with sprains, 13 (6%) with whiplash, and 11 (5%) with muscle strains; the remaining trials included various injuries ranging from nonsurgical fractures to contusions. Topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) proved to have the greatest net benefit, followed by oral NSAIDs and acetaminophen with or without diclofenac. Effects of these agents on pain were modest (around 1 cm on a 10-cm visual analogue scale, approximating the minimal important difference). Regarding opioids, compared with placebo, acetaminophen plus an opioid improved intermediate pain (1 to 7 days) but not immediate pain (≤2 hours), tramadol was ineffective, and opioids increased the risk for gastrointestinal and neurologic harms (all moderate-certainty evidence).LIMITATIONS: Only English-language studies were included. The number of head-to-head comparisons was limited.CONCLUSION: Topical NSAIDs, followed by oral NSAIDs and acetaminophen with or without diclofenac, showed the most convincing and attractive benefit-harm ratio for patients with acute pain from non-low back musculoskeletal injuries. No opioid achieved benefit greater than that of NSAIDs, and opioids caused the most harms.PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: National Safety Council. (PROSPERO: CRD42018094412).
View details for DOI 10.7326/M19-3601
View details for PubMedID 32805127
Association between media attention and presentation of vaccination information on Canadian chiropractors' websites: a prospective mixed-methods cohort study.
2020; 8 (2): E338–E345
BACKGROUND: Historically, some chiropractors have been critical of vaccination, and this has been the subject of recent media attention in Canada. We explored the association between media attention and public dissemination of vaccination information on Canadian chiropractors' websites.METHODS: In 2016, we identified all Canadian chiropractors' websites that provided information on vaccination by extracting details from the regulatory college website for each province using the search engine on their "find a chiropractor" page. We assessed the quality of information using the Web Resource Rating Tool (scores range from 0% [worst] to 100% [best]), determined whether vaccination was portrayed in a positive, neutral or negative manner, and conducted thematic analysis of vaccination content. We revisited all identified websites in 2019 to explore for changes to posted vaccination material.RESULTS: In July 2016, of 3733 chiropractic websites identified, 94 unique websites provided information on vaccination: 59 (63%) gave negative messaging, 19 (20%) were neutral and 16 (17%) were positive. The quality of vaccination content on the websites was generally poor, with a median Web Resource Rating Tool score of 19%. We identified 4 main themes: there are alternatives to vaccination, vaccines are harmful, evidence regarding vaccination and health policy regarding vaccination. From 2012 to 2016, there was 1 Canadian newspaper story concerning antivaccination statements by chiropractors, whereas 51 news articles were published on this topic between 2017 and 2019. In April 2019, 45 (48%) of the 94 websites we had identified in 2016 had removed all vaccination content or had been discontinued.INTERPRETATION: In 2016, a minority of Canadian chiropractors provided vaccination information on their websites, the majority of which portrayed vaccination negatively. After substantial national media attention, about half of all vaccination material on chiropractors' websites was removed within several years.
View details for DOI 10.9778/cmajo.20190204
View details for PubMedID 32371527
The Weight of the White Coat.
2019; 321 (1): 35–36
View details for PubMedID 30620374