The Magnetic Susceptibility of the Late Quaternary Loess in North-East of Iran and Its Correlation with Other Palaeoclimatical Parameters

Magnetic susceptibility (χ) is operational to identify of late quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles in loess-paleosol sequences. It is well accepted that many loess-paleosol sequences bear witness to cold-dry/warm-humid periods, well known as glacial-interglacial cycles, respectively. For this study, loess-paleosol sequence of north-east of Iran was magnetically investigated. The study area is situated at about 8 km away of Neka city, on the main road of Sari-Behshahr, in Mazandaran Province, north of Iran. The youngest deposits of study area are the late Quaternary wind-blown accumulations. In this study, the total number of 117 samples was collected from loess-paleosols units. After that, the natural remnant magnetization (NRM) and magnetic susceptibility (MS) of the samples were measured. Variation of MS of more than 110 loess samples was plotted to reveal the correlation of the MS and paleoclimatic changes. This study aims reconstruction of climatic changes (glacial-interglacial and stadials-interstadials cycles). To confirm our results we compared MS (χ) and the curves of other investigations in paleoclimatology. This correspondence abled us to recognize worldly events in the study area such as: Younger Dryas, the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), deglaciation of Northern Hemisphere etc. The obtained magnetic data indicate that during almost 50 ka, at least two glacial-interglacial periods occurred in north-east of Iran. Further, variation of χ values revealed short period of climatically cycles known as stadials-interstadials. We recognized 4 stadials and a single stadial as colder sub-periods for S0 (recently soil-paleosol) and S2 (lower paleosol), respectively, Moreover, we recognized 6 warmer sub-periods (interstadials) for L1 (upper loess) and one interstadial L2 (lower loess).

Dietary Habit and Anthropometric Status in Hypertensive Patients Compared to Normotensive Participants in the North of Iran

Hypertension is one of the important reasons of morbidity and mortality in countries, including Iran. It has been shown that hypertension is a consequence of the interaction of genetics and environment. Nutrients have important roles in the controlling of blood pressure. We assessed dietary habit and anthropometric status in patients with hypertension in the north of Iran, and that have special dietary habit and according to their culture. This study was conducted on 127 patients with newly recognized hypertension and the 120 normotensive participants. Anthropometric status was measured and demographic characteristics, and medical condition were collected by valid questionnaires and dietary habit assessment was assessed with 3-day food recall (two weekdays and one weekend). The mean age of participants was 58 ± 6.7 years. The mean level of energy intake, saturated fat, vitamin D, potassium, zinc, dietary fiber, vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, copper and magnesium was significantly lower in the hypertensive group compared to the control (p < 0.05). After adjusting for energy intake, positive association was observe between hypertension and some dietary nutrients including; Cholesterol [OR: 1.1, P: 0.001, B: 0.06], fiber [OR: 1.6, P: 0.001, B: 1.8], vitamin D [OR: 2.6, P: 0.006, B: 0.9] and zinc [OR: 1.4, P: 0.006, B: 0.3] intake. Logistic regression analysis showed that there was not significant association between hypertension, weight and waist circumference. In our study, the mean intake of some nutrients was lower in the hypertensive individuals compared to the normotensive individual. Health training about suitable dietary habits and easier access to vitamin D supplementation in patients with hypertension are cost-effective tools to improve outcomes in Iran.

The Diet Adherence in Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Patients in the North of Iran Based on the Mediterranean Diet Adherence

Background and objectives: Before any nutritional intervention, it is necessary to have the prospect of eating habits of people with cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we assessed the adherence of healthy diet based on Mediterranean dietary pattern and related factors in adults in the north of Iran. Methods: This study was conducted on 550 men and women with cardiovascular risk factors that referred to Heshmat hospital in Rasht, northern Iran. Information was collected by interview and reading medical history and measuring anthropometric indexes. The Mediterranean Diet Adherence Screener was used for assessing dietary adherence, this screener was modified according to religious beliefs and culture of Iran. Results: The mean age of participants was 58±0.38 years. The mean of body mass index was 27±0.01 kg/m2, and the mean of waist circumference was 98±0.2 cm. The mean of dietary adherence was 5.76±0.07. 45% of participants had low adherence, and just 4% had suitable adherence. The mean of dietary adherence in men was significantly higher than women (p=0. 07). Participants in rural area and high educational participants insignificantly had an unsuitable dietary Adherence. There was no significant association between some cardiovascular disease risk factors and dietary adherence. Conclusion: Education to different group about dietary intake correction and using a Mediterranean dietary pattern that is similar to dietary intake in the north of Iran, for controlling cardiovascular disease is necessary.

The Association between Food Security Status and Depression in Two Iranian Ethnic Groups Living in Northwest of Iran

Food insecurity (FI) influences may result in poor physical and mental health outcomes. Minor ethnic group may experience higher level of FI, and this situation may be related with higher depression prevalence. The aim of this study was to determine the association of depression with food security status in major (Azeri) and minor (Kurdish) ethnicity living in Urmia, West Azerbaijan, north of Iran. In this cross-sectional study, 723 participants (427 women and 296 men) aged 20–64 years old, from two ethnic groups (445 Azeri and 278 Kurdish), were selected through a multi stage cluster systematic sampling. Depression rate was assessed by “Beck” short form questionnaire (validated in Iranians) through interviews. Household FI status (HFIS) was measured using adapted HFI access scale through face-to-face interviews at homes. Multinomial logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (OR) of depression across HFIS. Higher percent of Kurds had moderate and severe depression in comparison with Azeri group (73 [17.3%] vs. 86 [27.9%]). There were not any significant differences between the two ethnicities in mild depression. Also, of all the subjects, moderate-to-sever FI was more prevalent in Kurds (28.5%), compared to Azeri group (17.3%) [P < 0.01]. Kurdish ethnic group living in food security or mild FI households had lower chance to have symptom of severe depression in comparison to those with sever FI (OR=0.097; 95% CI: 0.02-0.47). However, there was no significant association between depression and HFI in Azeri group. Findings revealed that the severity of HFI was related with severity depression in minor studied ethnic groups. However, in Azeri ethnicity as a major group, other confounders may have influence on the relation with depression and FI, that were not studied in the present study.

Water Quality Trading with Equitable Total Maximum Daily Loads

Waste Load Allocation (WLA) strategies usually intend to find economic policies for water resource management. Water quality trading (WQT) is an approach that uses discharge permit market to reduce total environmental protection costs. This primarily requires assigning discharge limits known as total maximum daily loads (TMDLs). These are determined by monitoring organizations with respect to the receiving water quality and remediation capabilities. The purpose of this study is to compare two approaches of TMDL assignment for WQT policy in small catchment area of Haraz River, in north of Iran. At first, TMDLs are assigned uniformly for the whole point sources to keep the concentrations of BOD and dissolved oxygen (DO) at the standard level at checkpoint (terminus point). This was simply simulated and controlled by Qual2kw software. In the second scenario, TMDLs are assigned using multi objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) method in which the environmental violation at river basin and total treatment costs are minimized simultaneously. In both scenarios, the equity index and the WLA based on trading discharge permits (TDP) are calculated. The comparative results showed that using economically optimized TMDLs (2nd scenario) has slightly more cost savings rather than uniform TMDL approach (1st scenario). The former annually costs about 1 M$ while the latter is 1.15 M$. WQT can decrease these annual costs to 0.9 and 1.1 M$, respectively. In other word, these approaches may save 35 and 45% economically in comparison with command and control policy. It means that using multi objective decision support systems (DSS) may find more economical WLA, however its outcome is not necessarily significant in comparison with uniform TMDLs. This may be due to the similar impact factors of dischargers in small catchments. Conversely, using uniform TMDLs for WQT brings more equity that makes stakeholders not feel that much envious of difference between TMDL and WQT allocation. In addition, for this case, determination of TMDLs uniformly would be much easier for monitoring. Consequently, uniform TMDL for TDP market is recommended as a sustainable approach. However, economical TMDLs can be used for larger watersheds.

Value Index, a Novel Decision Making Approach for Waste Load Allocation

Waste load allocation (WLA) policies may use multiobjective optimization methods to find the most appropriate and sustainable solutions. These usually intend to simultaneously minimize two criteria, total abatement costs (TC) and environmental violations (EV). If other criteria, such as inequity, need for minimization as well, it requires introducing more binary optimizations through different scenarios. In order to reduce the calculation steps, this study presents value index as an innovative decision making approach. Since the value index contains both the environmental violation and treatment costs, it can be maximized simultaneously with the equity index. It implies that the definition of different scenarios for environmental violations is no longer required. Furthermore, the solution is not necessarily the point with minimized total costs or environmental violations. This idea is testified for Haraz River, in north of Iran. Here, the dissolved oxygen (DO) level of river is simulated by Streeter-Phelps equation in MATLAB software. The WLA is determined for fish farms using multi-objective particle swarm optimization (MOPSO) in two scenarios. At first, the trade-off curves of TC-EV and TC-Inequity are plotted separately as the conventional approach. In the second, the Value-Equity curve is derived. The comparative results show that the solutions are in a similar range of inequity with lower total costs. This is due to the freedom of environmental violation attained in value index. As a result, the conventional approach can well be replaced by the value index particularly for problems optimizing these objectives. This reduces the process to achieve the best solutions and may find better classification for scenario definition. It is also concluded that decision makers are better to focus on value index and weighting its contents to find the most sustainable alternatives based on their requirements.