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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 69

Environments and diseases: A voice from developing countries

Department of Neurosurgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI, USA

Date of Submission30-Sep-2017
Date of Acceptance30-Sep-2017
Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2017

Correspondence Address:
Yuchuan Ding
Department of Neurosurgery, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ed.ed_16_17

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How to cite this article:
Rajah G, Ding Y. Environments and diseases: A voice from developing countries. Environ Dis 2017;2:69

How to cite this URL:
Rajah G, Ding Y. Environments and diseases: A voice from developing countries. Environ Dis [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jun 6];2:69. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2017/2/3/69/216536

The interaction between humans and their environments has been bittersweet for centuries. For better or for worse our genetic makeup, fragile physique is forever impacted by our surroundings, and it is through adaptation and evolution our species continues, but through inimical mutation, epigenetic transformation,[1] and biological degeneration, our health is stolen. While this double-edged relationship is true in both developed and developing countries, the latter has few appropriate outlets to voice their plight. As developed countries such as the United States struggle with the obesity epidemic and related diseases,[2] developing countries have their own struggles. This issue will discuss disease from an environmental standpoint in developing countries.

Balmagambetova et al. review the toxicity of organochloride pesticide, notably lindane and dichlorodiphenyltricloroethane on reproductive health and carcinogenic potential in the Aral Sea area. Much of the area contamination is thought to be related to cotton field irrigation in the surrounding area. The authors suggest large-scale screening in the area to document and prevent further toxicity.

Kulshreshtha et al. discuss peptic ulcer (PU) disease and how the disease has reached 5th rank in the world for India in deaths due to PU. It is postulated that a rise in PU in India is related to increased age, smoking, Helicobacter pylori infection, spicy food, and hygiene. The article goes on to recommend lifestyle modification and herbal supplements, which they claim maybe more beneficial than synthetic compounds in India.

Srivastava et al. touch on the fact that workers around the globe are unable to avoid their environmental hepatotoxic exposures for many reasons. Thus, the authors suggest the addition of ursolic acid at natural potent hepatoprotective compound to their diets. This compound derived from numerous plants including olive and thyme has antioxidant, as well as Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase and nuclear factor-κB-modulating properties.

And lastly, Rambiharilal et al. call upon the WHO in their editorial to set the maximum safe values for pesticides on food globally and to impose these guidelines via bans for all values greater than those deemed safe.

A common thread connects the above narratives, one of alarm and action. Looking back on the eradication of smallpox which involved developing countries, embracing technology, communicating the mission, and being open to contrarian views were all part of the success.[3] And yet many hurdles remain, a study evaluating the challenges to randomized controlled trials in Nigeria found numerous issues related to: obtaining consent, cost, health and laboratory infrastructure, stigma, and religious issues as impediments.[4] At the same time, it is the hope of all that, through greater population education and WHO oversight, prevention and treatment of environmental-related health hazards would be possible. Gandhi quoted as saying, “an ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching” and this remains accurate for the many ailments of human.

  References Top

Jirtle RL, Skinner MK. Environmental epigenomics and disease susceptibility. Nat Rev Genet 2007;8:253-62.  Back to cited text no. 1
Heymsfield SB, Wadden TA. Mechanisms, pathophysiology, and management of obesity. N Engl J Med 2017;376:254-66.  Back to cited text no. 2
Henderson DA. Smallpox eradication: Leadership and legacy. J Infect Dis 2017;215:673-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
Erhabor O, Udomah F, Abdulrahaman Y, Zama I, Imoru M, Adias TC, et al. Randomized Clinical Trials on Breast Cancer in Nigeria and Other Developing Countries: Challenges and Constraints, Perioperative Inflammation as Triggering Origin of Metastasis Development, Springer; 2017. p. 123-59.  Back to cited text no. 4


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