Bibliography

This bibliography is still a work in progress.  Below are over 1200 references compiled from multiple different sources. We plan to remove some that are only tangentially related to planetary health and then constantly update them via a combination of automated searches followed by evaluation by a staff member of the PHA for relevance. The bibliography will be searchable by topic, author, or date to facilitate quick capture of relevant literature for a particular project or question. 

If you are aware of a reference related to planetary health that you have noticed is missing, please bring it to our attention. Contact: pha@harvard.edu.

Tang B, Liu X, Liu Y, Xue C, Zhang L. A meta-analysis of risk factors for depression in adults and children after natural disasters. BMC Public Health [Internet]. 2014;14 :623. Publisher's VersionAbstract

BACKGROUND: A number of studies have shown a range of negative psychological symptoms (e.g. depression) after exposure to natural disasters. The aim of this study was to determine risk factors for depression in both children and adults who have survived natural disasters. METHODS: Four electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and PsychInfo) were used to search for observational studies (case-control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies) about depression following natural disasters. The literature search, study selection, and data extraction were conducted independently by two authors. Thirty-one articles were included in the study, of which twenty included adult participants and eleven included child participants. Summary estimates were obtained using random-effects models. Subgroup analysis, sensitivity analysis, and publication bias tests were performed on the data. RESULTS: The prevalence of depression after natural disasters ranged from 5.8% to 54.0% in adults and from 7.5% to 44.8% in children. We found a number of risk factors for depression after exposure to natural disasters. For adults, the significant predictors were being female ;not married;holding religious beliefs; having poor education; prior trauma; experiencing fear, injury, or bereavement during the disaster; or losing employment or property, suffering house damage as a result of the disaster. For children, the significant predictors were prior trauma; being trapped during the disaster; experiencing injury, fear, or bereavement during the disaster; witnessing injury/death during the disaster; or having poor social support. CONCLUSIONS: The current analysis provides evidence of risk factors for depression in survivors of natural disasters. Further research is necessary to design interventions to improve the mental health of survivors of natural disasters.

Mondelaers K, Aertsens J, Huylenbroeck G. A meta-analysis of the differences in environmental impacts between organic and conventional farming. British Food Journal [Internet]. 2009;111 (10) :1098-1119. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Purpose: This paper aims to perform a meta-analysis of the literature comparing the environmental impacts of organic and conventional farming and linking these to differences in management practices. The studied environmental impacts are related to land use efficiency, organic matter content in the soil, nitrate and phosphate leaching to the water system, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity.

Design/methodology/approach: The theoretic framework uses the driver-state-response framework and literature data were analyzed using meta-analysis methodology. Meta-analysis is the statistical analysis of multiple study results. Data were obtained by screening peer reviewed literature.

Findings: From the paper's meta-analysis it can conclude that soils in organic farming systems have on average a higher content of organic matter. It can also conclude that organic farming contributes positively to agro-biodiversity (breeds used by the farmers) and natural biodiversity (wild life). Concerning the impact of the organic farming system on nitrate and phosphorous leaching and greenhouse gas emissions the result of the analysis is not that straightforward. When expressed per production area organic farming scores better than conventional farming for these items. However, given the lower land use efficiency of organic farming in developed countries, this positive effect expressed per unit product is less pronounced or not present at all. Original value - Given the recent growth of organic farming and the general perception that organic farming is more environment friendly than its conventional counterpart, it is interesting to explore whether it meets the alleged benefits. By combining several studies in one analysis, the technique of meta-analysis is powerful and may allow the generation of more nuanced findings and the generalisation of those findings.

Renaudeau D, Gourdine JL, St-Pierre NR. A meta-analysis of the effects of high ambient temperature on growth performance of growing-finishing pigs. J Anim Sci [Internet]. 2011;89 (7) :2220-30. Publisher's VersionAbstract

High ambient temperature (T) is one of the most important climatic factors influencing pig performance. Increased T occurs sporadically during summer heat waves in temperate climates and year round in tropical climates. Results of published experiments assessing the effects of high T on pig performance are surprisingly variable. Thus, a meta-analysis was performed to aggregate our knowledge and attempt to explain differences in the results across studies on the effect of increased T on ADFI and ADG in growing-finishing pigs. Data for ADFI and ADG were extracted from 86 and 80 trials, respectively, from articles published in scientific journals indexed in PubMed, Science Direct, and from proceedings of scientific meetings through November 2009. Data on ADFI and ADG were analyzed using a linear mixed model that included the linear and the quadratic effects of T and BW, and their interactions as continuous, fixed effects variables, and the trial as a random effect factor (i.e., block). In addition, the effects of housing type (2 levels: individual and group housing) and the year of publication (3 levels: 1970 to 1989, 1990 to 1999, and 2000 to 2009) on the intercept and the linear regression term for T (i.e., the slope) were also tested. Results showed that high T had a curvilinear effect on ADFI and ADG and that this effect was more pronounced in heavier pigs. Across T, ADFI was less when pigs were group-housed. The intercept and the regression coefficient (slope) for T were significantly affected by the year of publication. The effect of increased T was greater in more contemporary works, suggesting that modern genotypes could be more sensitive to heat stress than older genotypes of lesser growth potential. In conclusion, pig performance decreases at an accelerating rate as T is increased. The large between-study variability on the effects of high T on pig performance is partially explained by differences in pig BW and to a lesser extent by the year the study was published.

Wilcox J, Makowski D. A meta-analysis of the predicted effects of climate change on wheat yields using simulation studies. Field Crops Research [Internet]. 2014;1 (156) :180-190. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Future climate change is expected to affect wheat yields. However, it is uncertain if the overall change in climate will result in wheat yield increases or decreases. This is due to the opposing effects of temperature, precipitation, and CO2 concentration on wheat yields. In this study, a meta-analysis of simulated yield change was conducted to identify the levels of temperature, precipitation and CO2 concentration that result in increasing or decreasing wheat yields. With data from 90 studies using computer modeling, we found that more than 50% of the simulated relative yield change resulted in yield losses when mean temperature change is higher than 2.3 degrees C, or mean precipitation change is null or less, or when CO2 concentration is lower than 395 ppm. A statistical model relating relative yield change to the three considered climatic variables was used to explore a large range of climate change scenarios. Results showed that, in average, the effects of high CO2 concentrations (>640 ppm) outweighed the effects of increasing temperature (up to +2 degrees C) and moderate declines in precipitation (up to 20%), leading to increasing yields. However, these results varied greatly from site to site, likely due to differences in topography, soils and farming practices. These results also do not take into account the effects of pests, diseases and weeds or climate variability, which may act to decrease wheat yields.

Salkeld DJ, Padgett KA, Jones JH. A Meta-analysis Suggesting that the Relationship Between Biodiversity and Risk of Zoonotic Pathogen Transmission is Idiosyncratic. Ecology Letters [Internet]. 2013. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Zoonotic pathogens are significant burdens on global public health. Because they are transmitted to humans from non-human animals, the transmission dynamics of zoonoses are necessarily influenced by the ecology of their animal hosts and vectors. The ‘dilution effect’ proposes that increased species diversity reduces disease risk, suggesting that conservation and public health initiatives can work synergistically to improve human health and wildlife biodiversity. However, the meta-analysis that we present here indicates a weak and highly heterogeneous relationship between host biodiversity and disease. Our results suggest that disease risk is more likely a local phenomenon that relies on the specific composition of reservoir hosts and vectors, and their ecology, rather than patterns of species biodiversity. 

Zinsstag J. A Model of Animal-Human Brucellosis Transmission in Mongolia. Preventive Veterinary Medicine [Internet]. 2005;69 :77-95. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Human disease is commonly caused by exposure to infected livestock and livestock products. Brucellosis is one such major zoonosis, transmitted to humans from both small ruminants (sheep and goats) and cattle. The authors develop a model of livestock-to-human brucellosis transmission as the basis for cost-effectiveness analysis of a nation-wide livestock vaccination program. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Examining the Links (meeting proceedings). Protection Agency/ National Center for Environmental Research (EPA/NCER) Biodiversity and Human Health: EPA/NCER; 2006. Publisher's VersionAbstract

EPA/NCER has proposed a joint Ecosystem-Health Research Program to study the links between changes in biodiversity and risks to human health. In cosponsorship with Yale University’s Center for EcoEpidemiology, the Smithsonian Institution, and the World Conservation Union, EPA/NCER convened a forum to discuss the state of the science, refine research priorities, and how to integrate existing data into a monitoring and risk-forecasting network to prevent or significantly mitigate risks of human disease and threats to biodiversity. Priority themes included: epidemiology and vector ecology; climate change, biodiversity, and health; wildlife trade and the spread of exotics and disease; pharmacopeia; the role of biodiversity in natural catastrophes; and valuation of biodiversity for public health. 

This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract 

Auchincloss AH, Diez Roux AV. A New Tool for Epidemiology: The Usefulness of Dynamic-Agent Models in Understanding Place Effects on Health. Am. J. Epidemiol. [Internet]. 2008;168 :1-8. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A major focus of recent work on the spatial patterning of health has been the study of how features of residential environments or neighborhoods may affect health. Place effects on health emerge from complex interdependent processes in which individuals interact with each other and their environment and in which both individuals and environments adapt and change over time. Traditional epidemiologic study designs and statistical regression approaches are unable to examine these dynamic processes. These limitations have constrained the types of questions asked, the answers received, and the hypotheses and theoretical explanations that are developed. Agent-based models and other systems-dynamics models may help to address some of these challenges. Agent-based models are computer representations of systems consisting of heterogeneous microentities that can interact and change/adapt over time in response to other agents and features of the environment. Using these models, one can observe how macroscale dynamics emerge from microscale interactions and adaptations. A number of challenges and limitations exist for agent-based modeling. Nevertheless, use of these dynamic models may complement traditional epidemiologic analyses and yield additional insights into the processes involved and the interventions that may be most useful.

Speldewinde PC. A Relationship between Environmental Degradation and Mental Health in Rural Western Australia. Health & Place [Internet]. 2009;15 :880-887. Publisher's VersionAbstract

A Bayesian spatial method was used to examine effects of environmental degradation (dryland salinity) on the mental health of rural residents. Dryland salinity and depression were associated suggesting environmental processes are driving the degree of psychological ill-health in these populations. This summary is not an official abstract. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract

Speldewinde PC, Cook A, Davies P, Weinstein P. A relationship between environmental degradation and mental health in rural Western Australia. Health & Place [Internet]. 2009;15 :880-887. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Australia is currently experiencing a process of escalating ecosystem degradation. This landscape degradation is associated with many outcomes that may directly or indirectly impact on human health. This study used a Bayesian spatial method to examine the effects of environmental degradation (measured as dryland salinity) on the mental health of the resident rural population. An association was detected between dryland salinity and depression, indicating that environmental processes may be driving the degree of psychological ill-health in these populations. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.