2014 Progress Report: Intra-Urban Variation of Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health Effects

EPA Grant Number: R834898
Title: Intra-Urban Variation of Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Health Effects
Investigators: Ito, Kazuhiko , Clougherty, Jane E. , Matte, Thomas , Ross, Zev
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, 2014 through March 31,2015
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 and weather effects on the cardiovascular health outcomes available at NYCDOHMH including cardiovascular emergency department 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 of modification of the cardiovascular effects of air pollution by socio-economic status. 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 takes 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.

Progress Summary:

  • In our land-use regression (LUR) models for 15 PM2.5 elements measured at 150 sites in New York City, six emission indicators examined in the LUR models for the first full year PM2.5 elements data showed the following associations: residual oil (Ni, Zn); near-road (Cu, Fe); industrial structures (Si); construction/demolition (Br, K, Mn); commercial cooking (Fe, K); and ships (V).
  • We estimated Zip code level average PM2.5 elements’ concentrations based on the LUR models and evaluated if they explained the heterogeneity in PM2.5 risk estimates for cardiovascular syndrome ED visits across 172 zip-codes. While several elements (e.g., S, V), as well as census variables (e.g., percent non-Hispanic black) and a traffic density indicator at Zip code level were positive predictors of larger PM2.5 CVD ED risks, none of these associations were significant. Similar analysis for asthma syndrome ED visits are in progress. Similar analyses for CVD ED visits and hospitalizations at smaller geographic scale are being conducted.
  • The short-term mortality risks for PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, and O3 were estimated for: (1) 2000-2003; (2) 2004-2007; and (3) 2008-2012, to determine if the risk estimates changed over the period. All the pollutants, with the exception of O3, exhibited a monotonic decline in the mean levels across the three periods, with the magnitude of reduction ranging from ~20% (NO2) to over 50% (SO2 and CO). The significance of association with all-cause mortality was diminished in the most recent period for CO, NO2, SO2, and O3, but PM2.5’s risk estimates and their significance have not declined. Similar analysis is being conducted for CVD hospitalizations and asthma ED visits.
  • To investigate the difference in seasonal pattern of associations between PM2.5 and CVD mortality and PM2.5 and CVD hospitalizations reported in the past multi-city studies, we stratified CVD deaths into those who died in vs. outside hospital and CVD hospitalizations into those who were discharged alive vs. died. Among CVD deaths, the association with PM2.5 was stronger among the outside-hospital deaths and stronger in the warm season. Among the CVD hospitalizations, the association with PM2.5 was stronger among those who were discharged alive, and while their associations with PM2.5 were seen in both seasons, they were stronger in the cold season. We are currently analyzing the linked hospitalization-death records to further examine these seasonal patterns of associations with PM2.5.
  • In collaboration with Brown University and other institutions, we examined the relationship between spatial variation of PM2.5 elements, emission indicators, and birth weight reduction in New York City. The PM2.5 chemical constituents’ exposures were estimated at maternal address for the 252,967 singleton term births to non-smokers in NYC born 2008-2010. Adjusting for individual and neighborhood characteristics, the estimated Ni and Cu exposures as well as their associated emission indicators, residual oil combustion and traffic density, were associated with birth weight reductions. When the constituents’ exposures were assigned using the nearest monitors’ (of the 150 monitors), as was often done in the past studies, the associations were weaker and not significant for near-road associated elements, suggesting that, for the air pollutants whose spatial extent is relatively short (e.g., near-road), the scale of analysis matters.
  • Using the daily weather and air pollution data set developed for this project, and collaborating with Columbia and Fordham University researchers who collected daily pollen counts, we analyzed associations between daily variations of nine clinically relevant pollen types and over-the-counter allergy medication sales, and asthma syndrome ED visits in the spring period for years 2002-2012. We found that mid-spring pollen types (e.g., ash, sycamore, oak) had substantive impacts on both outcomes, and for asthma syndrome ED visits, the associations were strongest for children (age 5-17). A parallel analysis was conducted for CVD syndrome ED visits (because this outcome also showed variations in the spring), but we found no association.

Future Activities:

Preparing and revising manuscripts of the progress described above.

Journal Articles on this Report : 1 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 10 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Ito K, Weinberger KR, Robinson GS, Sheffield PE, Lall R, Mathes R, Ross Z, Kinney PL, Matte TD. The associations between daily spring pollen counts, over-the-counter allergy medication sales, and asthma syndrome emergency department visits in New York City, 2002-2012. Environmental Health 2015;14(1):71. R834898 (2014)
R834898 (Final)
  • Full-text from PubMed
  • Abstract from PubMed
  • Associated PubMed link
  • Full-text: Environmental Health-Full Text HTML
  • Abstract: Environmental Health-Abstract
  • Other: Environmental Health-Full Text PDF
  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Cardiovascular, asthma, weather, mortality, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, air pollution

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
  • 2011 Progress Report
  • 2012 Progress Report
  • 2013 Progress Report
  • Final Report