2003 Progress Report: Chronic Exposure to Particulate Matter and Cardiopulmonary Disease

EPA Grant Number: R830545
Title: Chronic Exposure to Particulate Matter and Cardiopulmonary Disease
Investigators: Laden, Francine , Camargo, Carlos , Schwartz, Joel , Speizer, Frank E. , Suh, Helen H.
Current Investigators: Laden, Francine , Camargo, Carlos , Puett, Robin C. , Schwartz, Joel , Speizer, Frank E. , Suh, Helen H. , Yanosky, Jeff D.
Institution: Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Current Institution: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Inc.
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: January 20, 2003 through January 19, 2006 (Extended to January 19, 2008)
Project Period Covered by this Report: January 20, 2003 through January 19, 2004
Project Amount: $933,602
RFA: Epidemiologic Research on Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter and Other Air Pollutants (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Health Effects , Particulate Matter , Air


The objectives of this research project are to:

  1. develop a model estimating long-term exposure to air pollution in the continental United States using existing databases, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality System (AQS);
  2. and evaluate the association of chronic exposure to air pollution with incident coronary and respiratory disease and total mortality in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), an ongoing prospective cohort study of 121,700 women residing throughout the United States.

We hypothesize that the incidence of these diseases and total mortality are positively associated with air pollution and that exposure to air pollution exacerbates existing disease. We also hypothesize that the association with coronary heart disease will be greater among diabetics than nondiabetics and that consumption of antioxidants will modify the association.

Progress Summary:

In Year 1 of the project, we focused on case ascertainment, geocoding of the participants’ residences, and collecting data for the exposure model. Addresses for the NHS are updated every 2 years, and during the period of followup (1986-2000), 232,585 unique addresses were recorded. Of these, 99 percent were mapped to zip code level, and of the non-PO boxes, 90 percent mapped to street level. Cleaning of these addresses is still underway. The exposure model so far has focused on predicting PM10 concentrations in space and time using AQS PM10 data, temperature, block group and tract level population density, and distance to nearest road by Census Feature Class Code road class. We will model different regions of the country separately. We have begun in the Northeast, where there is dense monitoring coverage and where more than 60 percent of our participants reside. Additional information that also will be incorporated into the model include precipitation and wind speed, elevation from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Elevation Dataset, land use/land cover from the USGS National Land Cover Dataset, primary criteria pollutant emissions information from the EPA’s National Emissions Inventory and, potentially, predictions from EPA’s Community Multiscale Air Quality Model, among others.

Future Activities:

We will continue to develop exposure models in the Northeast and throughout the United States. We will evaluate the PM10 models using cross-validation techniques and examine models for other pollutants, as well as examine relationships between PM10 and PM2.5. We will complete mapping of the participants’ addresses and begin setting up Cox Proportional Hazards models to assess the association of air pollution exposure with cardiovascular and respiratory disease. These models will control for known risk factors of these diseases. Effect modification by diabetes status will be assessed.

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 12 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

epidemiology, health effects, ambient air, particulates, environmental monitoring, PM2.5, PM10, air pollutants, cardiovascular disease, chronic effects, chronic exposure, human exposure, mortality, exposure modeling, GIS, geocoding, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, myocardial infarction, antioxidants, lung cancer, diabetes, smoking, physical activity,, RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, PHYSICAL ASPECTS, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, HUMAN HEALTH, particulate matter, Bioavailability, Health Risk Assessment, air toxics, Exposure, Epidemiology, Monitoring/Modeling, Risk Assessments, Disease & Cumulative Effects, Environmental Monitoring, Physical Processes, tropospheric ozone, particulates, health effects, ambient air quality, sensitive populations, urban air, atmospheric measurements, EMPACT, chronic exposure, monitoring, PM 2.5, air pollutants, effects assessment, particulate, stratospheric ozone, acute cardiovascular effects, airway disease, pulmonary disease, ozone, continuous monitoring, ambient air, air pollution, children, carbon black, particles, human exposue, clinical studies, human exposure, chronic effects, sensitive subgroups, ecological risk, ambient particulates, Acute health effects, PM2.5, allergic response, cardiotoxicity, mortality, measurement methods , atmospheric chemistry, long-term exposure, cardiopulmonery responses, cardiovascular disease

Progress and Final Reports:

Original Abstract
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • 2005 Progress Report
  • 2006 Progress Report
  • Final Report