Neighborhood safety and the prevalence of physical inactivity--selected states, 1996.
Physical inactivity is an important risk factor for premature morbidity and mortality, especially among high-risk populations. Although health-promotion programs have targeted high-risk groups (i.e., older adults, women, and racial/ethnic minorities), barriers exist that may affect their physical activity level. Identifying and reducing specific barriers (e.g., lack of knowledge of the health benefits of physical activity, limited access to facilities, low self-efficacy, and environmental issues [2-6]) are important for efforts designed to increase physical activity. Concerns about neighborhood safety may be a barrier to physical activity. To characterize the association between neighborhood safety and physical inactivity, CDC analyzed data from the 1996 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. This report summarizes the results of this analysis, which indicate that persons who perceived their neighborhood to be unsafe were more likely to be physically inactive. (+info)
Prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in range beef calves at weaning.
This study was designed to determine the prevalence of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection of beef calves at weaning, prior to arrival at the feedlot or mixing with cattle from other sources. Fifteen range cow-calf herds, which weaned calves in October and November, were sampled in Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota. Faecal culture for E. coli O157:H7 was performed and anti-O157 serum antibody titres were determined by blocking ELISA. Thirteen of the 15 herds (87%) were found to have at least one positive isolation of E. coli O157:H7 in faecal samples. Within positive herds, prevalence ranged from 1.7-20.0%, with an average of 7.4+/-6.2% S.D. of individual animals shedding E. coli O157:H7 in faeces. All herds had high prevalence of anti-O157 antibodies, ranging 63-100% of individuals within herds seropositive. This study indicates that E. coli O157:H7 infection before weaning, prior to entry into feedlots, is widespread. Furthermore, serologic evidence suggests that most calves (83%) and all herds (100%) have been exposed to E. coli O157. (+info)
Fungi from geothermal soils in Yellowstone National Park.
Geothermal soils near Amphitheater Springs in Yellowstone National Park were characterized by high temperatures (up to 70 degrees C), high heavy metal content, low pH values (down to pH 2.7), sparse vegetation, and limited organic carbon. From these soils we cultured 16 fungal species. Two of these species were thermophilic, and six were thermotolerant. We cultured only three of these species from nearby cool (0 to 22 degrees C) soils. Transect studies revealed that higher numbers of CFUs occurred in and below the root zone of the perennial plant Dichanthelium lanuginosum (hot springs panic grass). The dynamics of fungal CFUs in geothermal soil and nearby nongeothermal soil were investigated for 12 months by examining soil cores and in situ mesocosms. For all of the fungal species studied, the temperature of the soil from which the organisms were cultured corresponded with their optimum axenic growth temperature. (+info)
Respiratory cancer in a cohort of copper smelter workers: results from more than 50 years of follow-up.
Several studies have linked inhalation of airborne arsenic with increased risk of respiratory cancer, but few have analyzed the shape of the exposure-response curve. In addition, since inhaled airborne arsenic affects systemic levels of inhaled arsenic, there is concern that inhaled arsenic may be associated with cancers of the skin, bladder, kidney, and liver, which have been linked to ingested arsenic. The authors followed 8,014 white male workers who were employed for 12 months or more prior to 1957 at a Montana copper smelter from January 1, 1938 through December 31, 1989. A total of 4,930 (62%) were deceased, including 446 from respiratory cancer. Significantly increased standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were found for all causes (SMR = 1.14), all cancers (SMR = 1.13), respiratory cancer (SMR = 1.55), diseases of the nervous system and sense organs (SMR = 1.31), nonmalignant respiratory diseases (SMR = 1.56), emphysema (SMR = 1.73), ill-defined conditions (SMR = 2.26), and external causes (SMR = 1.35). Internal analyses revealed a significant, linear increase in the excess relative risk of respiratory cancer with increasing exposure to inhaled airborne arsenic. The estimate of the excess relative risk per mg/m3-year was 0.21/(mg/m3-year) (95% confidence interval: 0.10, 0.46). No other cause of death was related to inhaled arsenic exposure. (+info)
Sin nombre virus in deer mice captured inside homes, southwestern Montana.
From 1996 through 1999, 35 deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were captured in 25 urban and suburban homes in southwestern Montana. Mice were captured throughout the year except for January; seven mice (20%) from seven (28%) of the homes were seropositive for Sin Nombre virus. The infected mice were mostly adult males captured in the spring and fall. (+info)
Self-reported concern about food security--eight states, 1996-1998.
Food security is defined as having access at all times to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle (1,2). This definition implies that safe and nutritious foods are available and that household resources are sufficient to meet cost. Recognition that hunger and food security are problems in the United States led to the development and implementation of measures of hunger and food security on national surveys. One of the national health objectives for 2010 is to increase food security and reduce the risk for hunger among all households (objective 19-18) (1). To characterize state-level prevalence of concern about food security, data were analyzed for the eight states that used the Social Context Module of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) during 1996-1998. This report summarizes the results of this analysis and indicates that approximately 4%-6% of adults reported a concern about having enough food for themselves or their family during the preceding month. (+info)
Genetic analysis for virulence factors in Escherichia coli O104:H21 that was implicated in an outbreak of hemorrhagic colitis.
Isolates of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) of serotype O104:H21 implicated in a 1994 outbreak of hemorrhagic colitis in Montana were analyzed for the presence of trait EHEC virulence markers. By using a multiplex PCR that specifically amplifies several genes, the O104:H21 strains were found to carry only the Shiga toxin 2 gene (stx2) and to express Stx2. They did not have the eaeA gene for gamma-intimin, which is typically found in O157:H7, or the alpha- or beta-intimin derivatives, which are common in other EHEC and enteropathogenic E. coli serotypes. Results of the multiplex PCR also indicated that the ehxA gene for enterohemolysin was absent from O104:H21. This, however, was not consistent with the results of a phenotypic assay that showed them to be hemolytic or a PCR analysis with another set of ehxA-specific primers, which indicated the presence of ehxA. To resolve this discrepancy, the ehxA region in O104:H21 and O157:H7 strains, to which the multiplex PCR primers anneal, was cloned and sequenced. Comparison of the sequences showed that the upstream primer binding site in the ehxA gene of O104:H21 was not identical to that of O157:H7. Specifically, there were several base mutations, including an A-to-G substitution at the 3' end of the primer binding site. These base mutations are presumably not unique to O104:H21, since other enterohemolytic serotypes were also not detected with the ehxA primers used in the multiplex PCR. Comparison of the ehxA sequences of O104:H21 strains with those of other Stx-producing E. coli strains showed that they more closely resembled those of O8:H19 strains, which have cluster II ehxA genes, than those of O157:H7 strains, which have cluster I ehxA sequences. By modifying the upstream ehxA primer, the multiplex PCR was able to detect ehxA genes in both O157:H7 and O104:H21 strains. (+info)
Antibody to sin nombre virus in rodents associated with peridomestic habitats in west central Montana.
Most human cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome are acquired in the peridomestic environment, yet studies of the ecology and infection dynamics in the reservoir host, the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), have focused on sylvan populations. We describe a 2.5-year study of hantavirus infection in rodents associated with peridomestic habitats in west central Montana. Antibodies reactive with Sin Nombre virus (SNV) were found in five species. Overall SNV antibody prevalence was highest among deer mice (25% of individuals tested). As has been demonstrated for sylvan populations, the antibody-positive component of the deer mouse population consisted of a higher proportion of adults and males. However, the prevalence of antibodies to SNV was higher in this study than has been reported in most sylvan studies. The average monthly proportion of deer mouse blood samples with antibodies to SNV ranged from approximately 20% to 25% and was highest in the late spring/early summer. The higher SNV antibody prevalence in peridomestic compared with sylvan settings may be related to behavioral differences and/or potentially longer survival of the virus deposited inside buildings. Peridomestic settings presented higher concentrations of virus and may present a higher risk of human infection than do sylvan settings. (+info)