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Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

International environmental health expert leads research to improve health outcomes among adolescents and children

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Biography

A growing body of research is shedding light on environmental factors that negatively impact child and adolescent health. Intrigued by how these factors shape human choices and health outcomes, Caroline Barakat-Haddad, PhD, Assistant Professor in Environmental/Occupational Health in the Faculty of Health Sciences, is passionate about enhancing community health, contributing to health promotion, and shaping health policy.

She is focused on identifying and examining relevant social and physical environmental determinants that influence child and adolescent health. An expert in air pollution and health, particularly the long-term health effects of childhood exposure to air quality, her research aims to develop ways to reduce regular exposure to negative environmental factors by strengthening health protection and promotion. Her research interests also include spatial patterns of health and health care, environmental epidemiology, population health, and health inequities.

Before joining UOIT in 2014, she was an Assistant Professor and Discipline Representative for Health Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough, and an Assistant Professor in Health Sciences at Zayed University, Dubai. While at Zayed, she received the Provost’s Research Fellowship Award for her groundbreaking National Study of Population Health in the United Arab Emirates (UAE): Geographical Differences in Exposures and Outcomes. She examined differences in health status and environmental exposures across the seven emirates and among nationals and expatriates that reside in the UAE.

Recently, Dr. Barakat-Haddad has joined forces with some of Canada’s most respected environmental, health, youth and educational organizations to create a Health Canada-funded video project for youth. The EduTox Video Challenge is designed to give youth a leadership voice to promote awareness and action to reduce environmental toxins. Supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, and Sport Canada, Dr. Barakat-Haddad is also collaborating on research to examine and address constraints to sport participation among ethnically diverse female adolescents.

She earned her Doctorate in Medical Geography, and Environmental Health from the School of Geography and Earth Sciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She completed her Master of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, and her Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the University of Toronto.

Industry Expertise (4)

Education/Learning Health and Wellness Public Policy Research

Areas of Expertise (7)

Environmental Health Occupational Health Child Health Adolescent Health Air Pollution and Health Health Geography Health Inequities

Accomplishments (3)

Provost's Research Fellowship Award (professional)

2009-06-01

Notably, Dr. Barakat-Haddad was the inaugural winner of the Provost’s Research Fellowship Award, for her research entitled: 'A National Study of Population Health in the United Arab Emirates: Geographical Differences in Exposures and Outcomes,' while serving as an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at the College of Arts and Sciences, Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Chair, Geography of Health and Health Care Specialty Group (professional)

2016-07-01

The official study group of the Canadian Association of Geographers, it provides information and support to an active membership of over 100 academic, professional, and student geographers in Canada and beyond.

Editorial Board Member, Universal Journal of Public Health (professional)

2013-01-01

An international peer-reviewed journal that publishes original and high-quality research papers in all areas of public health, and an important academic exchange platform to keep scientists and researchers informed about the current academic trends and seek valuable primary sources for reference.

Education (3)

McMaster University, School of Geography and Earth Sciences: PhD, Medical Geography, Environmental Health 2008

York University, Faculty of Environmental Studies: MES, Environmental Studies 2003

University of Toronto, Faculty of Arts and Sciences: BSc (Honours) 1993

Affiliations (2)

  • Canadian Association of Geographers
  • American Association of Geographers

Languages (3)

  • English
  • French
  • Arabic

Media Appearances (4)

Durham Region planners and health department work to create healthier neighbourhoods

Port Perry Star  print

2016-08-08

A community that is walkable, safe, close to amenities, has lots of green space, and allows for social interaction between residents is considered to be a healthy neighbourhood, and living in one may allow the residents to be healthier too.

The idea that where you live affects your health has been growing in popularity, according to Caroline Barakat-Haddad, an assistant professor in environmental and occupational health at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

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Why some adolescents don't visit the doc

Khaleej Times  print

2016-01-13

Hint: They just don't have the time!

A sizeable number of adolescents in the UAE do not obtain any kind of healthcare because they are too busy, dislike/are afraid of doctors or do not like waiting at hospitals, a study that looks into healthcare accessibility for youngsters in the country has revealed.

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A third of UAE teenagers have abused inhalants, survey finds

The National UAE  print

2015-06-12

ABU DHABI // Nearly a third of all teenagers have tried unconventional drugs, such as inhaling gasoline fumes, glue, correcting fluids or burning black ants, a survey has found.

Research published in Journal of Environmental and Public Health in April found that of the 6,363 youngsters aged 13 to 20 surveyed, 14 per cent said they smoked tobacco and 29 per cent had tried the inhalants.

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Unhealthy outlook for the folk of the Northern Emirates

The National UAE  print

2010-07-18

DUBAI // People living in the Northern Emirates are heavy smokers, more prone to respiratory problems due to poor air quality and more likely to suffer from allergies than those in any other part of the country, according to a comprehensive survey of the state of the nation's health. More than 35,000 people - local and expatriate - from the seven emirates were interviewed for the Zayed University study, which aims to determine the geographic inequalities in the population's well-being.

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Event Appearances (5)

Injuries, Motor Vehicles, and Adolescence: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar  Doha, Qatar

2016-01-14

Best Poster Award: Primary Healthcare Use and Healthcare Accessibility Among Adolescents: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar  Doha, Qatar

2016-01-14

Factors Linked to Tobacco Smoking Among Adolescents Who Reside in the United Arab Emirates

The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar  Doha, Qatar

2016-01-14

Popping Pills. Over-the-counter Medication Use Among Adolescents: A Case Study from the United Arab Emirates

The International Conference in Emergency Medicine and Public Health – Qatar  Doha, Qatar

2016-01-14

Environments and Health: Interplay of Biological, Physical, Social, Psychological, and Institutional Determinants Across the Life Course

Humboldt Colloquium “Excellence in Research"  Toronto, Ontario

2017-04-07

Research Grants (3)

Examining and Addressing Constraints to Sport Participation among Ethnically Diverse Female Adolescents

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Sport Canada $84,642

2017-01-01

Dr. Barakat-Haddad is a co-investigator of this three-year research project which aims to increase sport participation among adolescent girls, particularly those of ethnic minorities. Sport is associated with better long-term adherence than general exercise or physical activity. Creating an evidence-based program that incorporates the needs of adolescent ethnic minority goals is important to ensure engagement.

Examining Constraints to Sport Participation among Ethnically Diverse Female Adolescents from Durham Region, Ontario

Women’s Xchange 15K Award 

2016-03-01

Dr. Barakat-Haddad is a co-investigator of this one-year research project which aims to increase sport participation among adolescent girls, particularly those of ethnic minorities.

EduTox Video Challenge

Health Canada $24900

2015-04-01

This national video challenge creates a platform to raise youth awareness of environmental toxicants found in products they use on a regular basis.

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Courses (4)

Environmental and Occupational Health

HLSC 4809U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Public Health I Online

Course Code to Come.

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Research Methods for Health Professionals

HLSC 3910U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

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Applied Biostatistics for the Health Sciences

HLSC 5118G, Graduate Course

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Articles (10)

Genetic Variation Associated With the Occurrence and Progression of Neurological Disorders NeuroToxicology

2016-10-01

This paper presents an overview of genetic variation associated with the onset and progression of 14 neurological disorders, focusing primarily on association studies. The 14 disorders are heterogeneous in terms of their frequency, age of onset, etiology and progression. There is substantially less evidence on progression than onset. With regard to onset, the conditions are diverse in terms of their epidemiology and patterns of familial aggregation. While the muscular dystrophies and Huntington's disease are monogenic diseases, for the other 12 conditions only a small proportion of cases is associated with specific genetic syndromes or mutations.

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A Systematic Review of Risk Factors Associated With Muscular Dystrophies NeuroToxicology

2016-03-24

The purpose of this study was to systematically review, assess, and prioritize factors (including biological, socioeconomic, environmental, psychosocial, comorbid, and genetic) for the onset and natural progression of Muscular Dystrophy. Comprehensive review of current literature of these factors was carried out in order to provide a basis for policy makers to identify appropriate measures to mitigate the burden of disease in Canada.

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Onset and Progression Factors in Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review NeuroToxicology

2016-04-05

Current research has identified several factors thought to be associated with the onset and progression of Parkinson’s Disease (PD); however, whether certain factors contribute to or are protective against PD remains unclear. As such, a systematic search of the literature was performed using variations of MeSH and keyword search terms to identify and summarize systematic reviews and primary studies pertaining to factors associated with the onset and progression of PD. Factors referred to both traditional risk factors and prodromal markers.

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Onset Factors in Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review NeuroToxicology

2016-04-01

Studies have noted several factors associated with the occurrence of Cerebral Palsy (CP), yet considerable uncertainty remains about modifiable factors related to disease onset. A systematic review was performed to identify existing systematic reviews and primary studies pertaining to targeted factors associated with the onset of CP.

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Air Quality and Respiratory Health among Adolescents from the United Arab Emirates Journal of Environmental and Public Health

The purpose of this research is to examine the role of air quality in relation to chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, wheeze, and dry cough among adolescents from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A survey was administered on 6,363 adolescents from 9 UAE regions. Data consists of demographic, socioeconomic, residential, and behavioural variables, such as location of residence, residing near industry/gas stations/dumpsites/construction sites, residing near overhead power line/plants, exposure to tobacco, residential exposure, ethnicity, concern over air pollution, smoking, and purposely smelling gasoline fumes/glue/correctors/car exhaust/burning black ants.

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Geographic Variations in the Predictors of Asthma, Wheeze, and Dry Nocturnal Cough Among Adolescents from the United Arab Emirates Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

2015-04-01

This study aims to determine the prevalence of asthma, wheeze and dry nocturnal cough, and also to assess predictors of these health outcomes among adolescents from nine different geographic regions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Guided by the population health framework, analysis focused on responses to select items from a survey that was administered on 6,363 UAE adolescents.

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Primary Health Care Use and Health Care Accessibility Among Adolescents in the United Arab Emirates Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal

2015-03-01

This study examined primary health care use and accessibility among adolescents living in the United Arab Emirates. In a cross-sectional study, we collected health care use, sociodemographic and residential data for a sample of 6363 adolescents.

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Childhood Exposure to Air Pollution as a Potential Contributor of Chronic Non-Respiratory Inflammatory Disorders: A Longitudinal Prospective Cohort Study in Hamilton, Canada Journal of Environmental Protection

2013-07-20

This study examines the relationship between childhood exposure to air pollution and diagnosis with chronic non-respiratory health outcomes in adulthood. This prospective cohort study uses data collected in the 1970/1980s from 395 children, including exposure to air pollution. Over thirty years later, a survey collected data on various health outcomes, including diagnosis with arthritis, high blood pressure, long-term skin conditions, and hay fever allergies.

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Injuries Among Adolescents in the United Arab Emirates Injury Prevention

2013-01-01

This study examines the profile of injuries among adolescents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and identifies related factors associated with injury. A cross-sectional study design determined incidence of injury for a sample of 6363 adolescents. Data collected information on injury in the past 12 months, socio-demographic, behavioural and sensory data.

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Book Chapter: Adolescent Health Risk Behaviors in a Migrant Population Advances in Sociology Research Volume 16

2015-01-01

This continuing series presents original leading edge research results in the field of sociology. Each chapter has been carefully selected in an attempt to present substantial advances across a broad spectrum. Included in this compilation are topics such as adolescent health risk behaviors in a migrant population; parent’s religious involvement, family socialization and adolescent behavioral problems in Hong Kong; social production of resilience and adjustment in social service users; foster caregiver perceptions of schooling problems; patriotism and Shanghai’s cooperation with Hong Kong; the dynamics of disability sport identity development; sociological developments in the history of health and illness; and suicide in India.

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