2003 Progress Report: Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures

EPA Grant Number: R827353C010
Subproject: this is subproject number 010 , 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: EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Relating Changes in Blood Viscosity, Other Clotting Parameters, Heart Rate, and Heart Rate Variability to Particulate and Criteria Gas Exposures
Investigators: Speizer, Frank E.
Current Investigators: Speizer, Frank E. , Park, S.
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, 2002 through May 31, 2003
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


The overall objective of this research project is to investigate associations of selected inflammatory and blood clotting parameters in free-living humans with particle and criteria gas exposures.

This is one of 10 projects funded by the Center. The progress for the other nine projects is reported separately (see reports for R827353C001 through R827353C009 and R827353C011.

Progress Summary:

The Normative Aging Study is a prospective cohort study of veterans, enrolled between 1963 and 1968, living in the Boston area. Approximately 1,200 active participants of this cohort are examined at the Boston Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital on a 3- to 5-year basis. During exams, height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and standard blood parameters are measured. Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, medical history and conditions, and subjects’ use of medications were assessed by questionnaire.

Since the year 2000, in collaboration with VA researchers, the Center has funded heart rate variability (HRV) measurements on the participants during their routine exams as well as analysis of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and the clotting factor fibrinogen in the blood. The CRP and fibrinogen analyses were conducted in addition to the standard blood analyses. Measurements of approximately 700 individuals have been completed to date.

Among 506 of the participants, we found an association between both particulate matter (PM2.5) and ozone and reduced HRV. Other pollutants showed few significant or consistent associations with HRV. The associations between both PM2.5 and reduced HRV were much stronger among participants with hypertension. Those with coronary heart disease also had stronger associations between HRV and PM2.5. Two manuscripts are being prepared (Park SK, et al., 2004; O’Neill, et al., 2004).

In addition to pollutant associations with HRV, we were interested in examining associations by source region of the air. We used wind field model output from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to identify the sources of air over Boston on different days. The HYSPLIT model calculates "back trajectories" showing the path of air parcels before they arrive in Boston during the 36 hours prior to the time of the subject's exam at the VA. In collaboration with Barbara Stunder of NOAA, we used factor analysis methods to cluster these trajectories by source region and analyzed their association with HRV. In preliminary analyses, we found that trajectories from the Northwest, which were associated with high concentrations of copper and zinc on PM filters, but not particularly high mass concentrations, were most strongly associated with decreases in HRV. A manuscript describing these results currently is in preparation (Park, et al., in preparation, 2004).

In a preliminary analysis, we examined the effects of several pollutants—black carbon [BC], particulate nitrogen [PN], and PM2.5—on the inflammatory markers and blood parameters measured among 701 subjects between 2000 and 2003. We examined the short-term and latent effects of several pollutants (BC, PN, and PM2.5) in intervals of time between 0 hours and 1 month before the blood measurement. CRP and fibrinogen were elevated in association with BC concentrations 48 hours and 1 week before the measurement, and cholesterol increased with 1 month lagged exposures. A manuscript reporting these results currently is in preparation (Zeka, et al., in preparation, 2004).

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 6 publications for this subproject

Supplemental Keywords:

exposure, health effects, susceptibility, biology, epidemiology, toxicology, environmental chemistry, monitoring, air pollutants, air pollution, air quality, ambient air, ambient air monitoring, ambient air quality, ambient monitoring, ambient particle health effects, ambient particles, animal inhalation study, exposure assessment, biological mechanism, biological response, cardiopulmonary, cardiopulmonary response, cardiovascular disease, chemical exposure, environmental health hazard, exposure and effects, health risks, human exposure, human health, human health effects, human health risk, human susceptibility, indoor air quality, indoor exposure, inhalation, inhalation toxicology, inhaled particles, particle exposure, particulate exposure, particulates, pulmonary, pulmonary disease, respiratory, respiratory disease, risk assessment., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Toxicology, air toxics, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, State, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Disease & Cumulative Effects, Environmental Monitoring, Atmospheric Sciences, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Environmental Engineering, ambient air quality, health effects, interindividual variability, molecular epidemiology, monitoring, particle size, particulates, risk assessment, sensitive populations, cardiac arrhythmia, chemical exposure, atmospheric particulate matter, air pollutants, cardiopulmonary responses, health risks, human health effects, ambient air monitoring, exposure and effects, ambient air, ambient measurement methods, exposure, pulmonary disease, developmental effects, epidemelogy, respiratory disease, automotive emissions, air pollution, children, Human Health Risk Assessment, Massachusetts (MA), particle exposure, lung cancer, biological mechanism , cardiopulmonary response, chronic effects, human exposure, inhalation, pulmonary, particulate exposure, ambient particle health effects, blood viscosity, heart rate, elderly, inhaled, PM, human susceptibility, inhalation toxicology, gaseous co-polutants, cardiopulmonary, indoor air quality, inhaled particles, human health, cardiac ischemia, traffic related air pollution, air quality, cardiovascular disease, dosimetry, human health risk, metals, respiratory, genetic susceptibility, cardiopulmonery responses, toxics

Relevant Websites:

https://cfserver.hsph.harvard.edu/cfdocs/eer/epa/ Exit

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 1999
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • Final Report

  • Main Center Abstract and Reports:

    R827353    EPA Harvard Center for Ambient Particle Health Effects

    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