Tag Archives: Texas

Is Trace Lithium in Tap Water Beneficial?

Small associations from ecological studies are questionable whether the effect is negative or as in this case positive.

Fajardo VA, LeBlanc PJ, Fajardo VA. Trace lithium in Texas tap water is negatively associated with all-cause mortality and premature death. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism 2017 Dec 5. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0653.

Lithium in tap water was previously found to have life-extending effects across 18 Japanese municipalities. Using a larger dataset with several Texas counties, our study shows that lithium concentrations in tap water are negatively associated with all-cause mortality (r = -0.18, p = 0.006, 232 counties) and years of potential life lost (r = -0.22, p = 0.001, 214 counties). Thus, our present findings extend and reinforce lithium’s purported life-prolonging effect in humans.

Texas Church Attack Stopped by a Good Citizen with an AR-15

“The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre pointed out a week after the heinous attack on gun-free Sandy Hook Elementary School that good guys with guns are necessary to stop bad guys with guns, which Sunday’s church attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas, has proven correct.” click here

Political Opportunism Raining on Harvey

click here

Hurricane Harvey not Related to “Climate Change”

“Let’s review the two basic reasons why the Houston area is experiencing what now looks like a new record amount of total rainfall, at least for a 2-3 day period over an area of tens of thousands of square miles.” click here

 

 

West Nile Virus Infection and Proximity of Residence to Bodies of Water

Melissa S. Nolan, Ana Zangeneh, Salma A. Khuwaja, Diana Martinez, Susan N. Rossmann, Victor Cardenas, and Kristy O. Murray.  Proximity of Residence to Bodies of Water and Risk for West Nile Virus Infection: A Case-Control Study in Houston, Texas. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology  Volume 2012, Article ID 159578, 6 pages doi:10.1155/2012/159578 

West Nile virus (WNV), a mosquito-borne virus, has clinically affected hundreds of residents in the Houston metropolitan area since its introduction in 2002. This study aimed to determine if living within close proximity to a water source increases one’s odds of infection with WNV. We identified 356 eligible WNV-positive cases and 356 controls using a population proportionate to size model with US Census Bureau data. We found that living near slow moving water sources was statistically associated with increased odds for human infection, while living near moderate moving water systems was associated with decreased odds for human infection. Living near bayous lined with vegetation as opposed to concrete also showed increased risk of infection. The habitats of slow moving and vegetation lined water sources appear to favor the mosquito-human transmission cycle. These methods can be used by resource-limited health entities to identify high-risk areas for arboviral disease surveillance and efficient mosquito management initiatives.

 

Gun Control Laws Will Not Stop This Type of Terrorism

“According to the indictment of Shannon Miles, the motive for the alleged killing of a Harris County deputy was for the deputy’s service as a member of law enforcement. The man accused of executing Deputy Darren Goforth by walking up behind him at a gas station and unloading 15 rounds into his head and back was indicted on Monday.” click here

West Texas Arsenic Study Associations Premature

One could go through a list of the limits of this study but I am not going to do that here. In short, the inference drawn here is a bit premature. This study reminds me of many published in the 1980s and 1990s and written intentionally to alarm. Studies like this can be useful. But a conclusion such as this “Measures should be taken to reduce arsenic in drinking water in order to prevent hypothyroidism” based on the study design applied here is premature. 

Gong G, Basom J, Mattevada S, Onger F. Association of hypothyroidism with low-level arsenic exposure in rural West Texas. Environmental Research. 2015 Feb 23;138C:154-160. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2015.02.001.

It has been reported recently that a higher airborne arsenic level was correlated with higher urinary arsenic concentration and lower serum thyroxin level among urban policemen and rural highway workmen in Italy. The current study was to determine whether exposure to low-level arsenic groundwater (2-22µg/L) is associated with hypothyroidism among 723 participants (118 male and 267 female Hispanics; 108 male and 230 female non-Hispanic whites, NHW) living in rural West Texas counties. Arsenic and iodine levels in their groundwater used for drinking and or cooking were estimated by the inverse distance weighted (IDW) interpolation technique. Groundwater arsenic was ≥8µg/L in 36% of the subjects’ wells while iodine concentration was <1µg/L in 91% of their wells. Logistic regression analysis showed that arsenic in groundwater ≥8µg/L and cumulative arsenic exposure (groundwater arsenic concentration multiplied by the number of years living in the current address) but not groundwater iodine concentration were significant predictors for hypothyroidism among Hispanics (p<0.05) but not NHW after adjusting for covariates such as age, gender, annual household income and health insurance coverage. The ethnic difference may be due to a marginally higher percentage of Hispanics (p=0.0622) who lived in areas with groundwater arsenic ≥8µg/L compared with NHW. The prevalence of hypothyroidism was significantly higher in Hispanics or NHW of this rural cohort than the national prevalence. Measures should be taken to reduce arsenic in drinking water in order to prevent hypothyroidism in rural areas.