Advances in Traditional and eHealth Research on Non-communicable Diseases

A special issue of Healthcare (ISSN 2227-9032).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 8001

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Cardiovascular, Endocrine-Metabolic Diseases and Aging, Italian National Institute of Health, Via Giano della Bella 34, 00162 Rome, Italy
Interests: non-communicable diseases; epidemiology and public health; evidence-based practice; infectious diseases; health disparities; vaccination; cancer epidemiology and prevention; medical and health profession education; healthcare quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide. Although more than three-quarters of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, they are on the rise in western countries. Globally, seven of the top ten causes of death in 2019 were NCDs, which increased from four of the top ten causes in 2000. The socioeconomic burden of NCDs is high and poses a significant challenge to society and health systems. The prevention and control of these diseases are therefore of paramount importance.

NCDs share four major risk factors: tobacco use, physical inactivity, the harmful use of alcohol and unhealthy diets. According to the WHO Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs 2013-2030, progress has been made in addressing tobacco use, but similar progress has not yet been achieved with other risk factors. There is a need for greater use and analysis of data on NCD risk factors, diseases and mortality through traditional and eHealth research to develop targeted public health interventions and evidence-based policy planning.

This Special Issue of Healthcare seeks commentaries, original research, short reports, and reviews on NCD risk factors, diseases and mortality, as well as on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies on NCDs.

The aim of the Special Issue is to present advances in research activities on NCDs using traditional and eHealth approaches.

Dr. Brigid Unim
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Healthcare is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • non-communicable diseases
  • risk factors
  • traditional research
  • eHealth

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 248 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Tobacco Price Policy among Students from Sapienza University of Rome: Can This Policy Mitigate Smoking Addiction and Its Health Impacts?
by Martina Antinozzi, Susanna Caminada, Mariano Amendola, Vittoria Cammalleri, Barbara Dorelli, Monica Giffi, Felice Giordano, Alessandra Marani, Roberta Noemi Pocino, Davide Renzi, Alessandro Sindoni and Maria Sofia Cattaruzza
Healthcare 2024, 12(9), 944; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12090944 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 620
Abstract
Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Avoiding youth initiation and treating addiction are fundamental public health issues to ensure better health. Among tobacco control policies, increasing tobacco price is the single most effective intervention. It reduces tobacco [...] Read more.
Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Avoiding youth initiation and treating addiction are fundamental public health issues to ensure better health. Among tobacco control policies, increasing tobacco price is the single most effective intervention. It reduces tobacco consumption, especially among youths, while representing a government financing source. This study aimed to assess the agreement with the proposal of a one-euro increase in tobacco price earmarked to health issues among students at Sapienza University. Two convenience samples were surveyed, five years apart, on World No Tobacco Days. Smoking habits, agreement with the proposal and reasons for it were collected. Results from the 208 questionnaires (107 in 2014, 101 in 2019) showed 46.6% of agreement with the proposal (53.3% in 2014, 39.2% in 2019, p = 0.044). Main predictive factor for agreement was being a non-smoker (OR = 6.33 p < 0.001), main reason (64.8%) was it could trigger smokers to quit or reduce consumption. Several factors might have influenced this finding, including the introduction of novel tobacco products and their increased advertisement on social media. In 2024, European Union is planning to update the Tobacco Taxation Directive which could greatly contribute to the reduction of non-communicable diseases and premature deaths. Full article
37 pages, 1621 KiB  
Article
Nutrition, Physical Activity and Smoking Habit in the Italian General Adult Population: CUORE Project Health Examination Survey 2018–2019
by Chiara Donfrancesco, Brigitta Buttari, Benedetta Marcozzi, Sabina Sieri, Anna Di Lonardo, Cinzia Lo Noce, Elisabetta Profumo, Francesca Vespasiano, Claudia Agnoli, Serena Vannucchi, Marco Silano, Daniela Galeone, Paolo Bellisario, Francesco Vaia and Luigi Palmieri
Healthcare 2024, 12(4), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare12040475 - 15 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 707
Abstract
Background: Tobacco consumption, incorrect nutrition and insufficient physical activity/sedentariness represent modifiable NCDs risk factors in Western countries. To evaluate recent lifestyle indicators in Italy, data from the national Health Examination Survey (HES), implemented in 2018–2019 within the CUORE Project, were assessed. Methods: Age–sex [...] Read more.
Background: Tobacco consumption, incorrect nutrition and insufficient physical activity/sedentariness represent modifiable NCDs risk factors in Western countries. To evaluate recent lifestyle indicators in Italy, data from the national Health Examination Survey (HES), implemented in 2018–2019 within the CUORE Project, were assessed. Methods: Age–sex standardized results from random samples of Italian general population (35–74 years) were reported by sex, age-class, educational level and geographical area. From 2106 participants, 2090 were considered for smoking habit, 2016 for physical activity and 1578 for nutrition. Standardized questionnaires were used for smoking habit and physical activity, and the EPIC questionnaire for nutrition. Results: Total cigarette current smokers were 23% in men and 19% in women; sedentariness during leisure time was 34% in men and 45% in women and at work 45% and 47% in men and women, respectively. Prevalence of balanced eating behaviours for vegetables was 28% in men and 39% in women; and for fruits 50% and 52%, respectively; prevalence of correct lifestyle (not smoker, regular physical activity and following at least five correct eating behaviours) was 7% and 12% for men and women, respectively. Conclusions: In 2018–2019, levels of unhealthy lifestyles were found to be still epidemic and basically stable compared to 10 years earlier (slight smoking habit decrease, slight sedentariness increase and slight nutrition improvements); intersectoral strategies and monitoring need to be continued. Full article
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Review

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19 pages, 2571 KiB  
Review
Brain Analysis with a Complex Network Approach in Stroke Patients Based on Electroencephalography: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Borhan Asadi, Juan Nicolás Cuenca-Zaldivar, Noureddin Nakhostin Ansari, Jaime Ibáñez, Pablo Herrero and Sandra Calvo
Healthcare 2023, 11(5), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11050666 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2320
Abstract
Background and purpose: Brain function can be networked, and these networks typically present drastic changes after having suffered a stroke. The objective of this systematic review was to compare EEG-related outcomes in adults with stroke and healthy individuals with a complex network approach. [...] Read more.
Background and purpose: Brain function can be networked, and these networks typically present drastic changes after having suffered a stroke. The objective of this systematic review was to compare EEG-related outcomes in adults with stroke and healthy individuals with a complex network approach. Methods: The literature search was performed in the electronic databases PubMed, Cochrane and ScienceDirect from their inception until October 2021. Results: Ten studies were selected, nine of which were cohort studies. Five of them were of good quality, whereas four were of fair quality. Six studies showed a low risk of bias, whereas the other three studies presented a moderate risk of bias. In the network analysis, different parameters such as the path length, cluster coefficient, small-world index, cohesion and functional connection were used. The effect size was small and not significant in favor of the group of healthy subjects (Hedges’g = 0.189 [−0.714, 1.093], Z = 0.582, p = 0.592). Conclusions: The systematic review found that there are structural differences between the brain network of post-stroke patients and healthy individuals as well as similarities. However, there was no specific distribution network to allows us to differentiate them and, therefore, more specialized and integrated studies are needed. Full article
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Other

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10 pages, 652 KiB  
Systematic Review
Thirdhand Smoke Knowledge, Beliefs and Behaviors among Parents and Families: A Systematic Review
by Valentina Vanzi, Flavio Marti and Maria Sofia Cattaruzza
Healthcare 2023, 11(17), 2403; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11172403 - 27 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1481
Abstract
Families play a primary role in protecting children. Thirdhand smoke (THS) is an underestimated public health issue, and health effects correlated to its exposition are emerging. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze papers focusing on knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors regarding [...] Read more.
Families play a primary role in protecting children. Thirdhand smoke (THS) is an underestimated public health issue, and health effects correlated to its exposition are emerging. The aim of this systematic review was to analyze papers focusing on knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors regarding THS among parents, families, and caregivers, published until May 2022 on MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library. Critical appraisal of the included studies was conducted by two independent reviewers using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal tool. Out of the 97 articles, 8 were included in this review (two from the USA, one from Europe, and five from Asia). Although there were no restrictions on the date of publication, all the articles were published in the last 10 years, underlining that THS is an emerging concept. They were characterized by relevant heterogeneity in the study design and assessment tools. The results showed that percentages of parents who believed that THS is harmful ranged from 42.4% to 91%, but parental awareness was not always associated with the adoption of a home- and car-smoking ban or healthy behaviors. Further research is needed to understand the resistance and problems faced by parents who are aware of THS risks but unable to improve good practices. Full article
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8 pages, 616 KiB  
Commentary
Management and Prevention of Pre-Eclampsia in Nigeria
by Oluwabunmi Victoria Adeyeye, Nwikwu Vivian Ebubechukwu, Omotayo Faith Olanrewaju, Aderayo Grace Eniayewun, Chidinma Nwuta, Fortune Benjamin Effiong and Brigid Unim
Healthcare 2023, 11(13), 1832; https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare11131832 - 23 Jun 2023
Viewed by 2051
Abstract
This research paper analyses the management and prevention of pre-eclampsia in Nigeria. Although efforts have been made to reduce outcomes due to pre-eclampsia, it still rears its head in the form of high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The aim of this [...] Read more.
This research paper analyses the management and prevention of pre-eclampsia in Nigeria. Although efforts have been made to reduce outcomes due to pre-eclampsia, it still rears its head in the form of high maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. The aim of this review was to identify the main obstacles, gaps, and interventions related to the prevention and management of pre-eclampsia in order to be fully knowledgeable of the magnitude of the issue at the national level, to assess if current government policies are adequate and to recommend solutions. A search was performed on online databases and it was completed with hand searches related to the subject matter. Screening tests for early detection of pre-eclampsia are hardly available in Nigeria as many hospitals rely on the history of previous and current pregnancies, blood pressure monitoring and urinalysis–proteinuria. The administration of low-dose aspirin, antihypertensive drugs and magnesium sulphate, coupled with calcium in calcium deficit regions, was recommended. The main barriers to the wider implementation of these strategies are inadequacy of the antenatal care services in providing appropriate care, lack of resources and trained personnel, high healthcare costs, and low antennal care attendance. Improving education and awareness, use of low-cost screening modalities and low-dose aspirin can be deployed in developing countries to curb pre-eclampsia. Full article
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