2012 Progress Report: 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)
Project Period Covered by this Report: August 1, 2011 through July 31,2012
RFA: Clean Air Research Centers (2009) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Health Effects , Air

Objective:

In this Project we 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 then will ascertain the level of increased effects in susceptible and vulnerable subpopulations by examining modifying factors of obesity, diabetes, diet, socioeconomic position, and psychosocial stress.

Progress Summary:

We have a number of accomplishments to report.

A key part of this project and of all the cohort studies is development of a spatio-temporal model predicting daily PM2.5 concentrations in New England using land use regression terms and satellite remote sensing. We have successfully developed a model and we published a paper describing it. We published two papers on using our novel prediction models for predicting daily PM2.5 at the spatial resolution of a 10x10 km grid across New England.

In one paper, we investigated both the long- and short-term effects of PM2.5 exposures on hospital admissions across New England and found that chronic exposure to particles is associated with substantially larger increases in hospital admissions than acute exposure, and both can be detected simultaneously using our exposure models.

In the other paper, we evaluated the relationship between premature birth and birth weight with exposure to PM2.5 levels during pregnancy in Massachusetts for a 9-year period (2000-2008), and we found that exposure to PM2.5 during the last month of pregnancy contributes to risks for lower birth weight and preterm birth in infants.

We studied the cross-sectional association between DNA methylation in nine inflammatory genes and lung function in the Normative Aging Study cohort of 756 elderly men living in the metropolitan area of Boston. In the published paper, we show that DNA methylation may be part of the biological processes underlying the lung function decline and that IFNγ and IL6 may have ambivalent roles through activation of negative feedback.

We published the results of a further follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities Study where we replicated our previous analysis on the association between PM2.5 and mortality; we further examined different time lags, the shape of the concentration-response relationship, changes in the slope of the relation over time, and the impact of time-varying effects for smoking, sex, and education on the results.

We published another paper using data from the Normative Aging Study, where we investigated short- and intermediate-term air pollution effects on repeated measurements of fibrinogen, C-reactive protein, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and epigene-environment interactions by DNA methylation of Alu, LINE-1, tissue factor (F3), Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR-2), and ICAM-1. We observed associations of traffic-related pollutants on fibrinogen, and both traffic and secondary particles on C-reactive protein, ICAM-1, and VCAM-1. There was effect modification by DNA methylation status, indicating that epigenetic states can convey susceptibility to air pollution.

We published a paper on using our novel approach to within city survival analysis to examine the association of temperature variability and ozone in survival in four cohorts of potentially susceptible individuals, showing that long-term increases in temperature variability may elevate the risk of mortality in different subgroups of susceptible older populations.

We also have published a paper in another elderly cohort in Boston (MOBILIZE) demonstrating an effect of distance to road on cognitive function. Finally, we have used our model for long-term exposure to black carbon to show that long-term exposure to traffic particles is associated with higher blood pressure.

Future Activities:

We will continue to work on the activities proposed in our grant application. In addition, we received a grant from NIEHS to investigate epigenomic effects of environmental exposures. This will allow us to continue examining exposure and epigenetic effects in the Normative Aging Study.


Journal Articles on this Report : 8 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other subproject views: All 87 publications 87 publications in selected types All 87 journal articles
Other center views: All 408 publications 345 publications in selected types All 345 journal articles
Type Citation Sub Project Document Sources
Journal Article Bind M-A, Baccarelli A, Zanobetti A, Tarantini L, Suh H, Vokonas P, Schwartz J. Air pollution and markers of coagulation, inflammation, and endothelial function:associations and epigene-environment interactions in an elderly cohort. Epidemiology 2012;23(2):332-340. R834798 (2012)
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  • Abstract: Epidemiology-Abstract
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  • Journal Article Kloog I, Koutrakis P, Coull BA, Lee HJ, Schwartz J. Assessing temporally and spatially resolved PM2.5 exposures for epidemiological studies using satellite aerosol optical depth measurements. Atmospheric Environment 2011;45(35):6267-6275. R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Kloog I, Coull BA, Zanobetti A, Koutrakis P, Schwartz JD. Acute and chronic effects of particles on hospital admissions in New-England. PLoS ONE 2012;7(4):e34664 (8 pp.). R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Kloog I, Melly SJ, Ridgway WL, Coull BA, Schwartz J. Using new satellite based exposure methods to study the association between pregnancy PM2.5 exposure, premature birth and birth weight in Massachusetts. Environmental Health 2012;11:40 (8 pp.). R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Lepeule J, Laden F, Dockery D, Schwartz J. Chronic exposure to fine particles and mortality: an extended follow-up of the Harvard Six Cities study from 1974 to 2009. Environmental Health Perspectives 2012;120(7):965-970. R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Lepeule J, Baccarelli A, Tarantini L, Motta V, Cantone L, Litonjua AA, Sparrow D, Vokonas PS, Schwartz J. Gene promoter methylation is associated with lung function in the elderly:the Normative Aging Study. Epigenetics 2012;7(3):261-269. R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Schwartz J, Alexeeff SE, Mordukhovich I, Gryparis A, Vokonas P, Suh H, Coull BA. Association between long-term exposure to traffic particles and blood pressure in the Veterans Administration Normative Aging Study. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2012;69(6):422-427. R834798 (2012)
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  • Journal Article Zanobetti A, O'Neill MS, Gronlund CJ, Schwartz JD. Summer temperature variability and long-term survival among elderly people with chronic disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012;109(17):6608-6613. R834798 (2012)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    air pollution, ambient particles, multi-pollutants, cognitive effects, vascular function, inflammation, neurological impairment, susceptibility, 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

    Relevant Websites:

    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/clarc/ Exit EPA Disclaimer

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2010 Progress Report
  • 2011 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