Drinking and recreational water-related diseases: a bibliometric analysis (1980–2015)

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Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
nnals of Occupational and Environmental MedicineThe official journal of the Korean Society of Occupational and Environmental Medicine201628:40
Year of Publication: 
Waleed M. SweilehEmail author, Sa’ed H. Zyoud, Samah W. Al-Jabi, Ansam F. Sawalha and Naser Y. Shraim
Preferred Abstract (Original): 


Water – related diseases are worldwide health concern. Microbial contamination and contaminant products in water are a source of disease outbreaks and development of cumulative toxic effects. Ensuring safe water is one of the goals to be achieved at the global level. The aim of this study was to assess publications on drinking and recreational water from a health point of view to understand current problems and future research trends in this field.


Scopus, the largest scientific electronic database, was used to retrieve related articles and present the results as bibliometric tables and maps. Search query was modified manually using related terms to maximize accuracy.


A total of 2267 publications were retrieved with an average of 16.82 citations per article. The h-index of retrieved articles was 88. Visual mapping showed that E. coli, diarrhea, cryptosporidiosis, fluoride, arsenic, cancer, chlorine, trihalomethane, and H. pylori were most frequently encountered terms in title and abstract of retrieved articles. The number of articles on water microbiology was a significant (P < 0.01) predictor of worldwide productivity of water – related disease publications. Journal of Water and Health ranked first in number of publications with 136 (6.00 %) articles. The United States of America ranked first in productivity with a total of 623 (27.48 %) articles. Germany (15.44 %), India (16.00 %) and China (20.66 %) had the least international collaboration in water-related disease research. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Prevention and Control were among top ten productive institutions. In the top ten cited articles, there were three articles about arsenic, one about aluminum, one about trihalomethane, one about nitrate, one about toxoplasmosis, one about gastroenteritis, and the remaining two articles were general ones.


There was a linear increase in the number of publications on water – related diseases in the last decade. Arsenic, in drinking water is a serious concern. Cryptosporidiosis and other infectious gastroenteritis remain a major health risk of exposure to contaminated water. Increased number of publications from Asian countries was not associated with a high percentage of international collaboration.