2002 Progress Report: Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter

EPA Grant Number: R827353C005
Subproject: this is subproject number 005 , 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: Assessing Life-Shortening Associated with Exposure to Particulate Matter
Investigators: Schwartz, Joel
Current Investigators: Schwartz, Joel , Bateson, Thomas F , Coull, Brent , O'Neill, M. , Zanobetti, Antonella
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

Objective:

During the first 2 years of the PM Center grant, this project dealt with issues related to harvesting. The next focus for this project is to develop statistical methods for investigating confounding, dose-response relationships and other particle health effects issues.

Progress Summary:

Harvesting

We have examined whether particles advance mortality by a few days (harvesting) or have a more profound impact on public health. We have published several papers on the harvesting effect. Two papers used a smoothing approach to examine the association of PM over time with daily deaths in Boston (Schwartz, 2000b) and Chicago (Schwartz, 2001). Hospital admissions also were examined in the Chicago paper. The main conclusions of our analyses were that particle effects on mortality and morbidity become stronger as averaging time increases, thus rejecting the harvesting hypothesis.

We also have developed a new methodology (smoothed distributed lag models) to investigate the relationship between pollution and daily deaths in Milan, Italy (Zanobetti et al., 2000). This paper confirmed that far from reduced effects, "harvesting resistant" estimates are higher by a factor of two. More recently, we extended the distributed lag approach to examine the potential harvesting effect in 10 European cities. As with our previous results, the findings from this study do not provide evidence to support a harvesting effect (Zanobetti et al., 2000).

Dose-Response

To date, PM health effects studies suggest a no-threshold dose-response relationship. If in fact thresholds for the effects of particles on deaths or hospital admissions exist, estimated health effects may be overstated. We have therefore developed a new methodology that allows combining smoothed dose-response curves from multiple locations and demonstrated its effectiveness using simulation studies to examine this result. Subsequently, we applied this method to analyze daily deaths in 10 U.S. cities. No deviation from linearity down to the lowest exposure concentrations was observed (Schwartz, 2000a). In addition, case-crossover studies have been developed and applied to examine the association between PM2.5 concentrations and hospital admission for myocardial infarctions (MIs) in Boston (a paper is currently in preparation) (Bateson and Schwartz, in review 2003).

Co-Pollutant Effects

We have investigated the confounding effect of gaseous co-pollutants for both morbidity and mortality. We have developed a hierarchical model to assess confounding, and applied it to examine the association between PM10 and daily deaths (Schwartz, 2000a). The results of this analysis suggested that PM-related associations were not confounded by gaseous air pollutants. Further work has shown that the two-stage hierarchical modeling approach is more resistant to measurement error in the pollutants and confirmed that there is no association of gaseous co-pollutants with mortality in 10 U.S. cities (Schwartz and Coull, in press 2003).

Statistical Methods

We have demonstrated that it is possible to control for season and analyze mortality and morbidity using the case crossover approach. Last year, we showed that potential selection bias in applying the case crossover approach exists, which can be estimated and corrected (Bateson and Saldiva, 2001). Using this approach, we have reinvestigated the association between PM10 and daily deaths in 10 U.S. cities.

During the last 6 months, the validity of using Generalized Additive Models to assess PM health outcomes has been under examination. Center investigators have spent a great deal of time addressing this issue. Towards this end, we have reanalyzed our 10 U.S. cities mortality study, the Six City time-series study, the Six City Source Apportionment Study, our Hospital Admissions studies, and the long term distributed lag models from the APHEA study. In addition to reanalyzing these data using different convergence criteria and natural splines, we have developed alternative approaches including the penalized spline method.

References:

Lippman M, Frampton M, Schwartz J, Dockery DW, Schlesinger R, Koutrakis P, Froines J. The EPA's particulate matter (PM) health effects research centers program: a mid-course (2 1/2 year) report of status, progress, and plans. Environmental Health Perspectives (in press, 2003).

Schwartz J, Ballester F, Saez M, Pérez-Hoyos S, Bellido J, Cambra K, Arribas F, Canada A, Pérez-Boillos MJ, Sunyer J. The concentration-response relation between air pollution and daily deaths. Environmental Health Perspectives 2001;109:1001-1006.

Schwartz J, Zanobetti A. Using meta-smoothing to estimate dose-response trends across multiple studies, with application to air pollution and daily death. Epidemiology 2000;11(6):666-672.

Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. Cardiovascular damage by airborne particles: are diabetics more susceptible? Epidemiology 2002;13(5):588-592.

Braga AL, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The effect of weather on respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in 12 U.S. cities. Environmental Health Perspectives 2002;110(9):859-863.

Braga AL, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The time course of weather related deaths. Epidemiology 2001;12(6):662-667.

Braga AL, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The lag structure between particulate air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in ten U.S. cities. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001;43(11):927-933.

Bateson T, Schwartz J. Selection bias and confounding in case-crossover analyses of environmental time series data. Epidemiology 2001;12(6):654-661.

Braga AL, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. Do respiratory epidemics confound the asociation between air pollution and daily deaths? European Respiratory Journal 2000;16:723-728.

Future Activities:

We will continue to focus on developing statistical methods for investigating confounding, dose-response relationships and other particle health effects issues.


Journal Articles on this Report : 6 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 22 publications 22 publications in selected types All 22 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 Bateson TF, Schwartz J. Selection bias and confounding in case-crossover analyses of environmental time-series data. Epidemiology 2001;12(6):654-661. R827353 (Final)
R827353C004 (2002)
R827353C004 (2003)
R827353C004 (2004)
R827353C004 (Final)
R827353C005 (2001)
R827353C005 (2002)
R827353C005 (2003)
R827353C005 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Epidemiology-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: Epidemiology-Abstract
    Exit
  • Other: Epidemiology-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Braga ALF, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. Do respiratory epidemics confound the association between air pollution and daily deaths? European Respiratory Journal 2000;16(4):723-728. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2000)
    R827353C005 (2002)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: European Respiratory Journal-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: European Respiratory Journal-Abstract
    Exit
  • Journal Article Braga ALF, Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The lag structure between particulate air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular deaths in 10 US cities. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001;43(11):927-933. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2001)
    R827353C005 (2002)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: ResearchGate-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Abstract: JOEM-Abstract
    Exit
  • Journal Article Dockery DW. Epidemiologic evidence of cardiovascular effects of particulate air pollution. Environmental Health Perspectives 2001;109(Suppl 4):483-486. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2002)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Journal Article Schwartz J, Zanobetti A. Using meta-smoothing to estimate dose-response trends across multiple studies, with application to air pollution and daily death. Epidemiology 2000;11(6):666-672. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2000)
    R827353C005 (2002)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Full-text: Epidemiology-Full Text HTML
    Exit
  • Abstract: Epidemiology-Abstract & PDF Link
    Exit
  • Other: Epidemiology-Full Text PDF
    Exit
  • Journal Article Schwartz J, Ballester F, Saez M, Perez-Hoyos S, Bellido J, Cambra K, Arribas F, Canada A, Perez-Boillos MJ, Sunyer J. The concentration-response relation between air pollution and daily deaths. Environmental Health Perspectives 2001;109(10):1001-1006. R827353 (Final)
    R827353C005 (2000)
    R827353C005 (2002)
    R827353C005 (2003)
    R827353C005 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air pollution, air pollutants, particulates, particles, particulate matter, PM, fine particulates, PM2.5, harvesting effect, mortality, life shortening, PM exposure, Boston, Massachusetts, MA, Chicago, Illinois, IL, hospital admission, morbidity, health effects, distributed lag approach, Europe, dose response, co-pollutant effects, gaseous air pollutants, myocardial infarction, cardiovascular effects., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, Geographic Area, particulate matter, Toxicology, Environmental Chemistry, Epidemiology, State, Risk Assessments, Microbiology, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Monitoring, genetic susceptability, Atmospheric Sciences, Molecular Biology/Genetics, Biology, Environmental Engineering, ambient air quality, interindividual variability, molecular epidemiology, particulates, risk assessment, sensitive populations, chemical exposure, cardiopulmonary responses, health risks, human health effects, indoor exposure, ambient air monitoring, ambient measurement methods, exposure, pulmonary disease, Utah (UT), developmental effects, epidemelogy, respiratory disease, air pollution, children, Human Health Risk Assessment, Massachusetts (MA), particle exposure, lung cancer, biological mechanism , pre-existing conditions, cardiopulmonary response, human exposure, inhalation, pulmonary, Illinois (IL), particulate exposure, ambient particle health effects, mortality studies, elderly, Connecticut (CT), human susceptibility, inhalation toxicology, indoor air quality, inhaled particles, air quality, cardiovascular disease, dosimetry, human health risk, respiratory, genetic susceptibility

    Relevant Websites:

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

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 1999 Progress Report
  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004
  • 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