2001 Progress Report: Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures

EPA Grant Number: R827353C004
Subproject: this is subproject number 004 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R827353
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Harvard Particle Center
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures
Investigators: Schwartz, Joel
Current Investigators: Schwartz, Joel , Zanobetti, Antonella , Wellenius, Gregory , O'Neill, M.
Institution: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health , Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: June 1, 1999 through May 31, 2005 (Extended to May 31, 2006)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2001 through May 31, 2002
Project Amount: Refer to main center abstract for funding details.
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter (PM) Centers (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Particulate Matter , Air


This project is one of four projects under Theme II: Identifying Populations Susceptible to the Health Effects of Air Pollution. The objective of this research project is to test the hypothesis that patients with pre-existing respiratory, cardiovascular, or diabetic conditions have an enhanced mortality response to particle exposures.

Progress Summary:

To date, we have reported that socioeconomic factors are not modifiers of particulate matter (PM) associated mortality risk, although there was some increased risk in females (Zanobetti, Schwartz, 2000). The same pattern held true for hospital admissions for heart and lung disease (Zanobetti, Schwartz, et al., 2000). In contrast, we found that respiratory illness modified the risk of cardiovascular hospital admissions associated with PM, and that heart failure modified the risk of PM associated chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) admissions.

Last year, we examined the association of diabetes as an effect modifier for cardiovascular admissions. We published two studies suggesting that diabetes is an effect modifier (Zanobetti, Schwartz, 2001) and (Zanobetti, Schwartz, 2002).

Furthermore, we have conducted mortality follow ups of subjects whose potentially predisposing conditions were identified for use in hospital admissions data. These analyses will use the case-crossover approach. We recently have completed a methodological paper examining the potential for bias and confounding in that approach. Therefore, we developed new statistical methods to overcome these problems (Bateson, Schwartz, 1999). This analysis will be conducted this year.

Mixed models represent an important tool for determining whether persons with certain characteristics are more susceptible to the effects of airborne particles. However, classic mixed regression programs are linear models, whereas we know that season and weather effects on health often are nonlinear. These often have been addressed using nonparametric smoothing. To enhance our ability to assess sensitivity while maintaining good covariate control, we have developed an additive mixed model, which combines the attributes of both approaches (Coull, Schwartz, et al., 2001).

Furthermore, we have addressed two susceptibility issues: we have clarified that control for influenza and other respiratory epidemics does not change the effect size estimates for PM effects on daily deaths (Braga, Zanobetti, et al., 2000), and we have studied the effects of particulate air pollution on the fetus (Ha, Hong, et al., 2001).

Finally, we held a workshop (mostly by teleconference) on the role of social condition as a modifier of the effects of air pollution, with an international attendance: Drs. M.S. O'Neill, M. Jerrett, A.J. Cohen, J. Schwartz, I. Kawachi, J.I. Levy, T. Fletcher, L. Cifuentes, N. Gouveia.

Future Activities:

In the coming year, we will continue to test the hypothesis that patients with pre-existing respiratory, cardiovascular, or diabetic conditions have an enhanced mortality response to particle exposures.

Journal Articles on this Report : 3 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 34 publications 34 publications in selected types All 33 journal articles
Other center views: All 200 publications 198 publications in selected types All 197 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Coull BA, Schwartz J, Wand MP. Respiratory health and air pollution:additive mixed model analyses. Biostatistics 2001;2(3):337-349. R827353 (Final)
R827353C004 (2000)
R827353C004 (2001)
R827353C004 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Biostatistics-Full Text PDF
  • Abstract: Biostatistics-Abstract
  • Journal Article Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. Are diabetics more susceptible to the health effects of airborne particles? American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 2001;164(5):831-833. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C004 (2001)
    R827353C004 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: AJRCCM-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: AJRCCM-Abstract
  • Other: AJRCCM-Full Text PDF
  • Journal Article Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. Cardiovascular damage by airborne particles:are diabetics more susceptible? Epidemiology 2002;13(5):588-592. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C004 (2001)
    R827353C004 (2002)
    R827353C004 (2003)
    R827353C004 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Epidemiology-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: Epidemiology-Abstract
  • Other: Epidemiology-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    respiratory, cardiovascular, diabetic, particulate matter, PM, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, State, Risk Assessments, Microbiology, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, Children's Health, genetic susceptability, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Environmental Engineering, ambient air quality, health effects, interindividual variability, molecular epidemiology, monitoring, particulates, risk assessment, sensitive populations, chemical exposure, air pollutants, cardiopulmonary responses, health risks, human health effects, indoor exposure, lung, stratospheric ozone, ambient air monitoring, exposure and effects, ambient air, ambient measurement methods, exposure, pulmonary disease, Utah (UT), developmental effects, epidemelogy, biological response, respiratory disease, air pollution, ambient monitoring, children, Human Health Risk Assessment, Massachusetts (MA), particle exposure, lung cancer, biological mechanism , cardiopulmonary response, human exposure, inhalation, pulmonary, susceptibility, Illinois (IL), particulate exposure, assessment of exposure, ambient particle health effects, elderly, indoor air, inhaled, Connecticut (CT), atmospheric monitoring, epidemeology, human susceptibility, environmental health hazard, inhalation toxicology, cardiopulmonary, indoor air quality, inhaled particles, human health, air quality, cardiovascular disease, dosimetry, human health risk, respiratory

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/epacenter Exit

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827353    Harvard Particle Center

    Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
    R827353C001 Assessing Human Exposures to Particulate and Gaseous Air Pollutants
    R827353C002 Quantifying Exposure Error and its Effect on Epidemiological Studies
    R827353C003 St. Louis Bus, Steubenville and Atlanta Studies
    R827353C004 Examining Conditions That Predispose Towards Acute Adverse Effects of Particulate Exposures
    R827353C005 Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C006 Investigating Chronic Effects of Exposure to Particulate Matter
    R827353C007 Determining the Effects of Particle Characteristics on Respiratory Health of Children
    R827353C008 Differentiating the Roles of Particle Size, Particle Composition, and Gaseous Co-Pollutants on Cardiac Ischemia
    R827353C009 Assessing Deposition of Ambient Particles in the Lung
    R827353C010 Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures
    R827353C011 Studies of Oxidant Mechanisms
    R827353C012 Modeling Relationships Between Mobile Source Particle Emissions and Population Exposures
    R827353C013 Toxicological Evaluation of Realistic Emissions of Source Aerosols (TERESA) Study
    R827353C014 Identifying the Physical and Chemical Properties of Particulate Matter Responsible for the Observed Adverse Health Effects
    R827353C015 Research Coordination Core
    R827353C016 Analytical and Facilities Core
    R827353C017 Technology Development and Transfer Core