2011 Progress Report: Intra-Urban Variation of Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health EffectsEPA Grant Number: R834898
Title: Intra-Urban Variation of Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health Effects
Investigators: Ito, Kazuhiko , Matte, Thomas , Ross, Zev
Current Investigators: Ito, Kazuhiko , Clougherty, Jane E. , Matte, Thomas , Ross, Zev
Institution: New York University School of Medicine , New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Current Institution: New York University School of Medicine , Hunter College , New York University , University of Pittsburgh
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2013 (Extended to December 31, 2015)
Project Period Covered by this Report: April 1, 2011 through March 31,2012
Project Amount: $299,998
RFA: Exploring New Air Pollution Health Effects Links in Existing Datasets (2010) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Air Quality and Air Toxics , Health Effects , Air
The objectives of this project are to: (1) determine the impacts of air pollution effects on the cardiovascular health outcomes available at NYCDOHMH, including cardiovascular emergency department (ED) syndrome data, hospitalizations, and mortality; (2) determine the effect modification of the cardiovascular effects by intra-urban variation of combustion sources as measured by the NYC Community Air Survey (NYCCAS); and (3) determine the effect modification of the cardiovascular effects of air pollution by socio-economic status. We have recently developed a cardiovascular ED syndrome indicator that is useful in determining near-real time impacts of weather and air pollution. NYC residents are exposed to multiple air pollutants coming from a variety of combustion sources including transported secondary aerosols, local sources, including traffic, building space-heating, and oil burning from ships in nearby ports. NYC residents also reflect a wide range of health and socio-economic status, and therefore likely present a range of susceptibility indicators associated with neighborhood characteristics. Thus, this study will take advantage of the unique databases that have been recently developed to determine the cardiovascular effects of air pollution in unique environmental and population settings of NYC to answer the relevant research questions.
This grant was awarded in April, 2011, when the principal investigator, Dr. Ito, was at New York University (NYU), which was the primary grantee institution at the time. However, Dr. Ito took a position at NYCDOHMH in August 2011, and the grant is in the process of being transferred to NYCDOHMH as of the summer 2012. Because of the anticipated transfer, no research activity related to this project occurred at NYU. While the primary grantee at the time of the application and award was NYU, all the research activities were to be conducted at NYCDOHMH with Dr. Matte (the co-investigator) because both the health outcome data and the NYCCAS air pollution data were housed at NYCDOHMH, as described in the proposal. Therefore, the transfer of this grant to NYCDOHMH will benefit this project.
While the project has not officially started at NYCDOHMH, as part of the tasks that Dr. Ito’s position at NYCDOHMH require, he has been involved in the analyses of the NYCCAS data for several research purposes. He has also been involved in the analyses (mostly weather and pollen effects) of a variety of health outcomes that are relevant to this EPA project, including mortality, hospitalizations, and ED syndrome data. Through these tasks, Dr. Ito has been able to make progress that have prepared the way for rapid and more productive work on this EPA project when it is funded and formally launched: (1) assembled weather variables for the years 2002-2010; (2) obtained permission to analyze and access the mortality, hospitalizations, and ED visits data at NYCDOHMH; (3) written computer code to process and assemble these health outcome data; (4) started analysis of the chemical constituents of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) collected at NYCCAS sites; (5) obtained EPA-collected daily air pollution data for 2002-2010; and (6) written code to conduct time-series analysis. These activities have either accomplished or laid groundwork for the tasks associated with the year one of project schedule described in the proposal. In addition, Drs. Matte and Ito are also involved in a NIH-funded study (P.I.: David Savitz at Brown University) of air pollution and birth outcomes in NYC. The methods developed and evaluated for that study to estimate exposures for the subjects using temporally adjusted NYCCAS air pollution concentrations will be applied to this EPA project. Drs. Matte (an Assistant Commissioner at the NYCDOHMH) and Ito, who work in the same bureau, regularly meet and discuss the issues associated with the health effects of weather and air pollution in New York City, which benefits the overall integrity and potential for policy-relevance of this EPA project. Thus, while the actual funding has not started, we have made considerable progress due in large measure to Dr. Ito’s full-time status at NYCDOHMH.
In the coming months, we will start analyzing the associations between daily air pollution/weather and CVD mortality, hospitalizations, and ED syndrome data, taking into consideration the intra-urban variations of air pollution from the NYCCAS data as planned.