|Year : 2016 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 1-2
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
|Date of Web Publication||14-Apr-2016|
Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Zhang K. Environmental diseases. Environ Dis 2016;1:1-2
Global environmental challenges, such as climate change, overuse of natural resources, loss of biodiversity, and environmental health issues, are increasingly recognized. In modern times, while human society has achieved improved medical care, advanced technologies, and enriched material supplies, we are experiencing increased morbidity and mortality that are directly attributed to environmental factors. According to the World Health Organization, more than 13 million deaths annually are due to environmental causes. Approximately, two-fifths of infant mortality in the developing countries is associated with environmental factors. Modern human common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, neurodegenerative disease and cancer, are closely associated with environmental challenges. From a broad view, modern human common diseases are environmental diseases.
While new types of environmental disease, such as Gulf War syndrome, Sick Building syndrome, and antibiotic-resistant infections are emerging, we also confront the increased challenges of old environmental “enemies,” for example, air pollution. An extensive body of scientific evidence showed that long- and short-term exposures to airborne fine particle pollution, also known as fine particulate matter (PM2.5), not only cause pulmonary disease and premature death, but also exert harmful effects on the cardiovascular and metabolic systems., Epidemiological and animal model studies have consistently linked air pollutants, primarily derived from stationary and traffic-related combustion sources to the increased rates of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, and type-2 diabetes mellitus.,,,,, Ambient PM2.5 levels are strongly associated with the pathogenesis of air pollution-associated systemic diseases and even life expectancy. A linear dose–risk relationship between PM2.5 concentrations and occurrence of metabolic disease exists, even in the countries compliant with the US National Air Quality Standards (average daily PM2.5 level <15 μg/m 3), such as the USA and European countries. In the developing countries, such as China, India, and Latin America, where daily and annual PM2.5 levels range from 100 to 300 μg/m ,, the detrimental effects of PM2.5 exposure on public health have been grossly underestimated.
A hopeful perspective is that many of the environmental challenges to the public health are modifiable - that is, many are readily amenable to change through policies or existing technologies. Understanding the pathogenesis of environmental diseases and biological mechanisms of environmental factors is crucial to developing interventions or strategies for the prevention and treatment of systemic diseases, and therefore, has a high impact in medical care and public health policy-making. Under the current circumstances, intensive research in environmental health and diseases is timely and highly impactful to the wellbeing of the modern human society.
The newly launched journal Environmental Disease provides a timely and effective platform for front-running biomedical scientists, public health professionals, and physicians to address the interrelationships, mechanistic factors, and interventional strategies for environment-associated modern common diseases. The journal will cover, but not be limited to, the topics of: (1) mechanisms and interactions between genetic and environmental factors in health and disease; (2) adverse health effects of environmental pollutions (air, water, and noise pollutions); (3) influences of life styles on health and disease; (4) food safety and genetically modified food; (5) impact of climate change in health and disease; (6) human cell- and tissue-based in vitro models to study the effects and mechanisms of environmental stressors; (7) animal models to study the effects and mechanisms of environmental stressors; and (8) health care and therapeutic strategies to address environmental challenges. The related concepts are particularly informative to the public health and biomedical research communities, clinical professionals, as well as the public at large.
The Editors and Editorial Staff at Environmental Disease will take specific measures to avoid unnecessary delays in the publication process, yet the integrity and high standard of the work will be emphasized. The editorial office will work closely with the authors and reviewers to facilitate the peer review and revision process. We would like to extend our invitations to the international communities of scientists, physicians, and public health professionals to submit their high-quality works to the journal. We are confident that Environmental Disease will be a premier platform to convey high-impact information dealing with the global public health challenges.
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