04 May 2020 In General Health

Cancer is a major contributing cause of morbidity and mortality in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The aim of the current study was to estimate the cancer burden attributable to major lifestyle and environmental risk factors.

We used age-, sex- and site-specific incidence estimates for 2012 from IARC's GLOBOCAN, and assessed the following risk factors: smoking, alcohol, high body mass index, insufficient physical activity, diet, suboptimal breastfeeding, infections and air pollution. The prevalence of exposure to these risk factors came from different sources including peer-reviewed international literature, the World Health Organization, noncommunicable disease Risk Factor Collaboration, and the Food and Agriculture Organization. Sex-specific population-attributable fraction was estimated in the 22 countries of the Eastern Mediterranean region based on the prevalence of the selected risk factors and the relative risks obtained from meta-analyses. We estimated that approximately 33% (or 165,000 cases) of all new cancer cases in adults aged 30 years and older in 2012 were attributable to all selected risk factors combined.

Infections and smoking accounted for more than half of the total attributable cases among men, while insufficient physical activity and exposure to infections accounted for more than two-thirds of the total attributable cases among women. A reduction in exposure to major lifestyle and environmental risk factors could prevent a substantial number of cancer cases in the Eastern Mediterranean. Population-based programs preventing infections and smoking (particularly among men) and promoting physical activity (particularly among women) in the population are needed to effectively decrease the regional cancer burden.

16 October 2015 In General Health

No available abstract for this article.

PURPOSE: The Dutch national policy regarding alcohol and youth relies on retailers' willingness to refuse to sell alcohol to underage customers. This study examined unobtrusively whether supermarkets and liquor stores do indeed comply with the legal age restrictions for alcohol sales.

METHODS: A research protocol was developed based on the methodology of mystery shopping. Using the protocol, 150 supermarkets and 75 liquor stores were visited by 15-year-old adolescents who tried to buy soft alcoholic beverages (legal age, 16 years), and 75 liquor stores were visited by 17-year-old adolescents who tried to buy strong alcoholic beverages (legal age, 18).

RESULTS: Of all 300 buying attempts, 86% were successful. In supermarkets, 88% of all attempts succeeded. In liquor stores, a difference was found between the purchase of strong alcohol by 17-year-olds (89%) and the purchase of soft alcoholic beverages by 15-year-olds (77%). In only 71 of all visits, mystery shoppers were asked for an ID. In 39% of these cases, they were still able to buy alcohol. Female adolescents were more successful in buying alcohol than male adolescents.

CONCLUSIONS: The results show that supermarkets and liquor stores generally fail to see the need for extra care when young customers try to buy alcohol. Legal age restrictions without enforcement and facilitation clearly do not suffice to protect adolescents from early exposure to alcohol.

Numerous developmental changes occur across levels of personal organization (eg, changes related to puberty, brain and cognitive-affective structures and functions, and family and peer relationships) in the age period of 10 to 15 years. Furthermore, the onset and escalation of alcohol use commonly occur during this period. This article uses both animal and human studies to characterize these multilevel developmental changes. The timing of and variations in developmental changes are related to individual differences in alcohol use. It is proposed that this integrated developmental perspective serve as the foundation for subsequent efforts to prevent and to treat the causes, problems, and consequences of alcohol consumption.

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