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Personal light exposure and health: a mapping review of studies utilizing objective light measurements
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Influence of lighting environment on human health beyond the vision is an important public health issue. Guidance on healthy lighting should take such parameters as spectrum, intensity, duration, timing, and personal light history into account. Employing wearable photometers, which can obtain continuous objective measurements of personal light exposure over long period of time, is a way to investigate and quantify light exposure and its health effects within real-world settings.

Objectives: To analyze characteristics of existing health-related studies that utilized continuous objective measurements of personal light exposure under everyday conditions; to identify and discuss research gaps in areas relevant for public health.

Methods: Mapping review methodology was employed. Systematic searches were undertaken in MEDLINE/PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, OpenGrey, and Grey Literature Report.

Results: Overall 1425 articles were considered for the first level of selection, of which 114 met study inclusion criteria. Majority of studies were performed in the northern hemisphere in a range of latitude between 29° N and 48°N; more than 60% of reviewed papers did not explicitly state the exact locations and timeframes of data collection. Majority of studies employed observational study design, involved adults or elderlies, did not specify health status of participants or included only healthy ones. Among those studies which included diagnosed patients, three most frequent diagnoses under investigation were: Alzheimer or other dementia, insomnia, and depression. About 20% of studies had some selection criteria in relation to the occupation of participants, with focus on indoor working conditions. Overall, approximately 80 % of studies considered sleep or different circadian parameters among health outcomes.

Conclusions: Insufficient research attention has been given to such areas as interactions of light exposure effects with different seasonal, geographical conditions and long-term personal light history; long-term effects of light on mental health; interaction between light exposure and NCDs, especially hypertension in older part of population; possible combination of low light exposure and vitamin D deficiency. More research attention is justified towards younger age groups (children and adults) who are most vulnerable in terms of such light-related outcomes as myopia and affective disorders. Small amount of experimental studies among reviewed ones suggests that overall majority of similar studies investigates effects of prolonged light interventions without any objective controlling for baseline/intervention personal light exposure parameters, which can pose difficulties for making aggregated evidence-based recommendations in this field. Further investigation and quantification of optimal light environment for different groups of population would benefit from interdisciplinary approach and inclusion of objective personal light measurement into study design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 85
Series
Centre for Public Health Report Series, ISSN 1651-341X ; 2018:49
Keywords [en]
Light exposure, mapping review, objective light measurements
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-153752OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-153752DiVA, id: diva2:1266759
External cooperation
Dr Jennifer Stewart Williams - The University of Newcastle Australia
Educational program
Master's Programme in Public Health
Presentation
2018-10-18, Lecture room Alicante, building 5B. floor 3, Epidemiology and Global Health, Umeå University, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-11-29 Created: 2018-11-29 Last updated: 2018-11-29Bibliographically approved

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