Cognitive Decline, Cardiovascular Changes, and Biological Aging in Response to Air Pollution

EPA Grant Number: R834798C002
Subproject: this is subproject number 002 , established and managed by the Center Director under grant R834798
(EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).

Center: Air Pollution Mixtures: Health Effects across Life Stages
Center Director: Koutrakis, Petros
Title: Cognitive Decline, Cardiovascular Changes, and Biological Aging in Response to Air Pollution
Investigators: Schwartz, Joel , Mittleman, Murray
Institution: Harvard University
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2015 (Extended to December 31, 2016)
RFA: Clean Air Research Centers (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air

Objective:

In this Project we will investigate the acute and chronic effects of air pollution on cognitive and neurological impairments, systemic inflammation, and vascular dysfunction. We will determine how these effects differ depending on the composition of multi- pollutant mixtures and the source contributions to PM composition. We will then ascertain the level of increased effects in susceptible and vulnerable subpopulations by examining modifying factors of obesity, diabetes, diet, socioeconomic position, and psychosocial stress.

Approach:

Project 2 will build on our previous success using the Normative Aging Study (NAS) cohort, a large prospective cohort living in Eastern Massachusetts, and expand to make use of its extensive characterization for cognitive performance and psychosocial stress. With so much data already collected in this cohort, we can look at health effects longitudinally, where subjects act as their own controls. This reduces the potential for confounding while also increasing power. Our investigation of the health effects of air pollution will use our novel exposure approach to examine effects of individual pollutants, multi-pollutant mixtures, and sources. Under our current EPA Center grant, we developed and validated a spatio-temporal model for Black Carbon (BC) in the greater Boston area. Building on that success, we will now add a spatio-temporal model for 03 to capture the spatial heterogeneity of exposure in the cohort study region, and we will estimate spatio-temporal variations in PM2.5, and longer term variations in composition of air pollution, as described in the Exposure core. Using these improved exposure models will allow us to extend previous findings to understand the impact of different components and combinations of air pollutants on different aspects of health. In combination with Project 1 and 5, we will examine these exposures across a spectrum from biomarker to mortality, and in combination with Projects 3 and 4, across the lifecourse. Finally, we will examine the differential effects due to factors of susceptibility and vulnerability.

Expected Results:

We have already reported different associations of traffic vs. secondary particles and ozone with different endpoints. With better exposure characterization and longer follow-up we will identify the key aspects of pollution that drive the association with cognition, inflammation, and vascular function. We will also determine the extent to which susceptibility factors, such as obesity, diabetes, and diet, modify these associations. This is critical for risk assessment, and will grow in importance as the prevalence of these conditions increases. Developing evidence suggests that stress and socioeconomic position may modify these health outcomes, and we will investigate the extent of these effects as well.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this subproject: View all 87 publications for this subprojectView all 359 publications for this center

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this subproject: View all 87 journal articles for this subprojectView all 297 journal articles for this center

Supplemental Keywords:

Air pollution, ambient particles, multi-pollutants, cognitive effects, vascular function, inflammation, neurological impairment, suscepribi lity, susceptibility and vulnerability,, Scientific Discipline, Air, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Air Pollution Effects, Biochemistry, Environmental Monitoring, Biology, ambient air quality, children's health, complex mixtures, health effects, particulates, sensitive populations, air pollutants, aerosol particles, biological sensitivities, exposure and effects, lung epithelial cells, susceptible populations, chemical composition, neurotoxicity, human exposure, toxicity, coronary artery disease, cardiopulmonary, cardiotoxicity, environmental effects, human health, mortality

Progress and Final Reports:

2010 Progress Report
2011 Progress Report
2012 Progress Report
2013 Progress Report
2014 Progress Report
Final Report


Main Center Abstract and Reports:

R834798    Air Pollution Mixtures: Health Effects across Life Stages

Subprojects under this Center: (EPA does not fund or establish subprojects; EPA awards and manages the overall grant for this center).
R834798C001 Relative Toxicity of Air Pollution Mixtures
R834798C002 Cognitive Decline, Cardiovascular Changes, and Biological Aging in Response to Air Pollution
R834798C003 Identifying the Cognitive and Vascular Effects of Air Pollution Sources and Mixtures in the Framingharn Offspring and Third Generation Cohorts
R834798C004 Longitudinal Effects of Multiple Pollutants on Child Growth, Blood Pressure and Cognition
R834798C005 A National Study to Assess Susceptibility, Vulnerability, and Effect Modification of Air Pollution Health Risks