ISSN: 1582-5388





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Public  health


Nitrate toxicity and drinking water standards – a review

B.C. Kross

Abstract. The current US EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for public drinking water supplies and the health advisory level (HAL) for other private water supplies is 10 mg/L, expressed as NO3-N. Unlike other drinking water standards, the nitrate standard has no safety factor, which typically is about a 10-fold safety factor to account for differences in human susceptibility. Guidance, action, or advisory levels for nitrate in drinking water are lower in several countries, including Germany (4.4 mg/L), South Africa (4.4 mg/L), and Denmark (5.6 mg/L). Clearly health and regulatory officials in other countries believe that the current WHO and USA drinking water standard for nitrate is not adequate to protect their most susceptible population from methemoglobinemia. In addition to acute methemoglobinemia, other potential health effects of nitrate exposure in drinking water include cancer, disruption of thyroid function, birth defects, and developmental disorders in children. Is the current drinking water standard in the US and World Health Organization for nitrate adequate? I think not! Clearly the most susceptible human population (infants under four months of age with existing diarrhea conditions) is not adequately protected from methemoglobinemia. In addition, recent studies suggest other possible linkages between nitrate in drinking water and adverse health consequences for adults. Particularly troublesome is the finding of a positive association between nitrate in drinking water (at levels below the USA drinking water standard) and bladder cancer and ovarian cancer in a large cohort of women in Iowa, USA. Given this framework, the regulatory authorities should establish a safety factor of two, which would reduce the current MCL and HAL for nitrate to 5.0 mg/L NO3-N. This regulatory mandate would encourage a prudent public health strategy of limiting human nitrate exposure.

Key words:  nitrate, drinking water, safety factor, methemoglobinemia   Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Adverse health effects associated with methemoglobinemia in children      

Gabriela Mancaş, MarietaVasilov, Gabriela Albu  

Abstract. In order to point out some health effects associated with methemoglobinemia in children, we investigated a battery of oxidative and antioxidant defence bioindicators (methemoglobin, reduced glutathione, lipid peroxides and glutathione peroxidase) in 336 children aged 0-3 years living in eight rural localities within three districts, confirmed as high risk territories for nitrate exposure in drinking water. The results showed significant increased lipid peroxides levels in the children exposed to nitrates vs. unexposed group, as a possible early reversible effect of exposure. The investigation also highlighted significant differences of the biochemical changes pattern in 0-3 year aged children at two levels (moderate and high) of nitrate concentrations in drinking water.

Key words: epidemiological study, bioindicators, methemoglobin, lipid peroxides, glutathione   Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Some metabolic and behavioural risk factors in hypertensive patients in a catchment area of Iasi city

Elena Lungu, Iliana Palamaru, Lidia Rusu            

Abstract. The present study is constituent part of a program which have started in 1997, aiming to assess the prevalence of physical, metabolic and behavioural risk factors related to primary hypertension in Iasi city. This cross-sectional survey was conducted in a primary care unit in Iasi city during 01.01 – 31.12.2001. The mean age of investigated persons was 58.38 ± 15.12 y for the Ist hypertension grade of severity, 64.12 ± 7.66 y for the IInd hypertension grade of severity, and 64.64 ± 9.73 y for the IIIrd grade of severity. No hypertension of IVth grade of severity (according to the Joint National Committee classification) was found in this catchments area. Body mass index (BMI) had average values between 26.05 ± 3.87 kg/m2 and 29.51 ± 5.82 kg/m2, indicating a moderate risk for cardiovascular disease. Hypertension was present in patientsfamily history in 41.93% in mothers and 13.97% in fathers, most of the patients were never smokers (93.46%). More than 24% of patients had a sedentary lifestyle. The total HDL-cholesterol ratio indicates a risk of coronary event, in 12.25% of male and 11.25% of female.

Key words: primary hypertensions, body mass index, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, coronary event, family history 



Cardiovascular risk assessment in elderly patients

Ioana Dana Alexa, Gina Constantinescu, Larisa Panaghiu, G. Ungureanu

Abstract. The aim of study was the investigation of particularities of the cardiovascular risk factors in elderly compared with middle-aged patients. The subjects were divided into two groups: group A consisting of 61 patients aged ³ 65 years old and group B consisting of 58 patients aged between 50 and 64 years old. The subjects were admitted in our Department for the following cardiovascular diseases: angina, miocardial infarction, hypertension, and heart failure. Patients diagnosed with arrhythmias, different types of atrioventricular blocks or valvular diseases have been excluded. The cardiovascular risk factors studied were: obesity, dyslipidemia (characterized by a high total/HDL cholesterol ratio), isolated systolic hypertension, diabetes, sinus tachycardia (heart rate > 80 beats/min at rest) and smoking. A detailed questionnaire have been administered at hospital admission, followed by clinical and laboratory investigations. After one year of specific treatment, patient’s status have been reevaluated. The spectrum of cardiovascular risk factors in elderly is different from middle-aged patients. So in elderly group predominate basic synusal tachycardia, diabetes and isolated systolic hypertension and for middle aged patients dislipidemia and smoking were lieder factors of risk.

Key words: cardiovascular risk factors, elderly, association of risk factors   Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Preterm birthnew insights on an old problem

Iolanda Elena Blidaru, Maria Stamatin     

Abstract. Preterm labor is the final common pathway after several potential insults to the feto-maternal unit. As a common cause, intrauterine infections (both clinically evident and subclinical) are associated with increased proinflammatory cytokine concentrations in the amniotic fluid and the gestational tissues. This fact represents the trigger for “the intrauterine inflammatory response syndrome” as an abnormal maternal immune response.   

Key words: preterm birth, preterm labor, maternal immune response, cytokines    Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Maternal biomineral status and newborn data

Victoria Papadopol, Otilia Damian, Iliana Palamaru, Cristina Adam, Nicoleta Florescu, Doina Dămăceanu       

Abstract. The study aimed to investigate some bioelement levels of  pregnant women as well as the relationship of these levels with the newborn data. The studied group consisted of 211 fullterm pregnant women who were hospitalized for delivery in “CuzaVodă” Maternity from Iaşi city. Calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc levels were measured. The recorded data of newborns were: duration of gestation, sex, length, weight, 5 min Apgar score and head circumference. Low levels of zinc and magnesium have been found in pregnant women. Mean newborn parameters were in normal range. Serum and erythrocyte zinc and magnesium showed positive  correlations with newborn length and weight and erythrocyte magnesium showed negative correlations with duration of gestation and positive correlation with head circumference. Our study draws the attention to the necessity of improvement, by nutrition or therapy, of these especial important maternal bioelements  focusing on the highly vulnerable foetus.

Key words: pregnancy, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, newborn data Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Dermatoglyphic indicators of illness risk for endogamous populations

Ana Ţarcă         

Abstract. The results of a study of digital-palmar Dermatoglyphics from a pathological perspective on a sample of 600 subjects (300 men and 300 women), coming from three endogamous Moldavian villages, with a predominantly catholic population, have been assessed. More than 75% of the persons under investigation were bearers of dermatoglyphic anomalies with serious medical implications. Their frequency in the studied populations draws strikingly close to the values that we have found for some subjects with different congenital and hereditary illnesses in Moldavia. They are present in a high percentage in both men and women and they are often disposed not only on one hand but on both. These digital-palmar anomalies are, in fact, the graphic expression of a rich clinical picture that already exists in the population and that can amplify and diversify within the next generations. In time, this could lead to the degradation of the population’s health condition.

Key words: dermatoglyphics, endogamy, dermatoglyphic anomalies   Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Occupational medicine


Internal doses as function of aerosol size for the reference worker inhaling radon daughters


Abstract. The paper presents an assessment of internal doses received by workers in Uranium mining, due to inhalation of radon daughters. Four Reference Worker subjects have been taken: normal nose breathers performing usual work, or heavy work, and habitual mouth augmenter involved in heavy or usual work. The total activity duration is 6 hours, i.e. one working day. The equilibrium between radon and its decay products was considered at 1 kBq/m3 mean concentration of Radon activity in air. The paper takes into account the contribution to internal dose of all short live radon daughters, all being considered attached to aerosols. The aerosol size is ranging from 0.0006 mm to 20 mm.

The work shows radiation doses on several internal organs and tissues and the effective dose, as function of aerosol size. Results were computed with ModeLung software, based on ICRP Publication 66 data

Key words: reference worker, inhalation, radon daughters, aerosol size, organ dose, effective dose   Ü FULL TEXT.PDF


Epidemiology: communicable disease


Chlamydia antibodies in rheumatic patients

Sofia Constantiniu, Angela Romaniuc, Cecilia Durnea, Elena Rezuş, Rodica Chiriac, C. Berea

Abstract. 93 patients with recent inflammatory joint disease were investigated for the presence of anti- Chlamydia IgM antibodies. The specific antibodies have been found in 17 patients (18.2%) by ELISA Chlamydia TRUE- IgM commercial kit. 58.8% of positive patients had clinical diagnosis of reactive arthritis; 29.4% of ankylosing spondylitis and 5.9% of sacroilitis and Reiter’s syndrome too. Serological investigation of patients with arthritis appeared as necessary for a better understanding the germy ethyology of seronegative arthritis.

Key words: reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, IgM antibodies, Chlamydia, ELISA  Ü FULL TEXT.PDF