2012 Progress Report: Analytical Strategies for Assessing Cumulative Effects of Chemical and Nonchemical Stressors

EPA Grant Number: R834580
Title: Analytical Strategies for Assessing Cumulative Effects of Chemical and Nonchemical Stressors
Investigators: Lai, Dejian , Linder, Stephen H. , Marko, Dritana , Sexton, Ken , Peek, M. Kristin , Cutchin, Malcolm , Stowe, Raymond
Current Investigators: Lai, Dejian , Linder, Stephen H. , Sexton, Ken , Peek, M. Kristin , Cutchin, Malcolm , Stowe, Raymond
Institution: The University of Texas School of Public Health , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , The University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston
Current Institution: The University of Texas at Houston , Microgen LLC , The University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston , The University of Texas at Austin , University of Minnesota , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: June 1, 2010 through May 31, 2014 (Extended to May 31, 2015)
Project Period Covered by this Report: February 1, 2012 through July 31,2013
Project Amount: $555,923
RFA: Understanding the Role of Nonchemical Stressors and Developing Analytic Methods for Cumulative Risk Assessments (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Human Health

Objective:

The study’s purpose is to develop and test empirically-valid models for understanding cumulative risks in community settings.  We are modeling population data drawn from Texas City in 2004-6, using generalized linear latent and mixed models, to understand how ambient chemical exposures interact with nonchemical stressors (at both the neighborhood and individual levels) and result in adverse health effects.  The key health effect of interest is allostatic load, as measured by a suite of biological markers.

Progress Summary:

Most of the accomplishments to date focus on measurement and technical modeling issues.
  1. Measures of ambient chemical concentrations for Texas City have been obtained from the National-scale Air Toxics Assessment, stationary monitors, and upset-event records.  A special database was assembled for the upset events permitting comparisons across sources, chemicals and time periods.  Taken together, these measures will support inferences about chemical stressors that affect different neighborhoods and how these relate to other kinds of stressors that vary across neighborhoods and households.  The use of upset events offers a look at acute exposures that are extensive but not a part of the National Emission Inventory.  We will consider the time series of exposures relative to serum samples collected for our biologic markers of health.
  2. Measurement of nonchemical stressors has focused on the validation of psychological scales that were administered as part of a sample survey of Texas City households.  We have created several new scales to better reflect features of neighborhood quality of life and individual level stressors tied to financial pressure and chronic disease.
  3. Finally, we have completed test runs on rudimentary versions of our hypothesized linkages to refine variable specification and the estimation techniques for our generalized latent and mixed models.  To the author’s knowledge, this class of techniques has not yet been applied to understanding cumulative effects of chemical and non-chemical stressors.
Some of the practical applications will include: new screening methods for identifying communities at risk; better information for targeting interventions to reduce neighborhood-level stressors in ways that can improve health outcomes; documenting health disparities that relate to unequal risk burdens to remedy environmental injustice.  Eventually, we hope to convert our modeling results into procedures useful for identifying factors that work to multiply risks that affect people’s health.    
  

Future Activities:

There are four principal tasks that have been, and will continue to be, the central focus of our activities: measurement validation, model specification, empirical estimation, and linkage to risk assessment.  As measures are validated, we include them in our modeling. From these results, we then reconsider measurement error and alternative proxies for the concepts we are attempting to measure.  After many rounds of iterative estimation and adjustment, we will have a stable set of estimates for each of the paths of influence that we have specified.  From these estimates, we then reconsider how tools for identifying cumulative risks can be refined and made into robust and useful screening methods for communities to use.


Journal Articles on this Report : 15 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 17 publications 17 publications in selected types All 17 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Howrey BT, Peek MK, Raji MA, Ray LA, Ottenbacher KJ. Self‐reported sleep characteristics and mortality in older adults of Mexican origin: results from the Hispanic established population for the Epidemiologic Study of the Elderly. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2012;60(10):1906-1911. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Linder SH, Sexton K. Conceptual models for cumulative risk assessment. American Journal of Public Health 2011;101(Suppl 1):S74-S81. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Mair CA, Cutchin MP, Kristen Peek M. Allostatic load in an environmental riskscape: the role of stressors and gender. Health & Place 2011;17(4):978-987. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Peek MK, Cutchin MP, Freeman D, Stowe RP, Goodwin JS. Environmental hazards and stress: evidence from the Texas City Stress and Health Study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2009;63(10):792-798. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Peek MK, Cutchin MP, Salinas JJ, Sheffield KM, Eschbach K, Stowe RP, Goodwin JS. Allostatic load among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, and people of Mexican origin: effects of ethnicity, nativity, and acculturation. American Journal of Public Health 2010;100(5):940-946. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Peek MK, Howrey BT, Ternent RS, Ray LA, Ottenbacher KJ. Social support, stressors, and frailty among older Mexican American adults. The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 2012;67(6):755-764. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Prochaska JD, Nolen AB, Kelley H, Sexton K, Linder SH, Sullivan J. Social determinants of health in environmental justice communities: examining cumulative risk in terms of environmental exposures and social determinants of health. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment: An International Journal 2014;20(4):980-994. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Ruiz RJ Stowe RP, Brown A, Wommack J. Acculturation and biobehavioral profiles in pregnant women of Hispanic origin: generational differences. Advances in Nursing Science 2012;35(3):E1-E10. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Salinas JJ, Shah M, Abdelbary B, Gay JL, Sexton K. Application of a novel method for assessing cumulative risk burden by county. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2012;9(5):1820-1835. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Sexton K, Linder SH. The role of cumulative risk assessment in decisions about environmental justice. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2010;7(11):4037-4049. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Sexton K, Linder SH. Cumulative risk assessment for combined health effects from chemical and nonchemical stressors. American Journal of Public Health 2011;101(Suppl 1):S81-S88. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Sexton K. Cumulative risk assessment: an overview of methodological approaches for evaluating combined health effects from exposure to multiple environmental stressors. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2012;9(2):370-390. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Stowe RP, Peek MK, Cutchin MP, Goodwin JS. Plasma cytokine levels in a population-based study: relation to age and ethnicity. Journals of Gerontology Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2010;65(4):429-433. R834580 (2010)
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  • Journal Article Stowe RP, Peek MK, Cutchin MP, Goodwin JS. Reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 is associated with cytomegalovirus and age. Journal of Medical Virology 2012;84(11):1797-1802. R834580 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Wommack JC, Ruiz RJ, Marti CN, Stowe RP, Brown CE, Murphey C. Interleukin-10 predicts preterm birth in acculturated Hispanics. Biological Research For Nursing 2013;15(1):78-85. R834580 (2012)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Cumulative environmental stressors, Biologic risk, GLAMM models, Latent variable analysis, Allostatic load, NATA 2005, Upset events

    Relevant Websites:

    The principal investigator (Linder) is responsible for the design and content of two web sites:
    www.hhs2010.net Exit , an interactive site for access to the Health of Houston 2010 survey of 5,116 households.
    www.KTexchange.org Exit , a portal of knowledge translation projects and literature for public health researchers and decision-makers.

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report