Final Report: Exploring New Questions of Multiple Air Pollutants, Sources and Health in Denver

EPA Grant Number: R834899
Title: Exploring New Questions of Multiple Air Pollutants, Sources and Health in Denver
Investigators: Peel, Jennifer , Hannigan, Michael P.
Institution: Colorado State University , University of Colorado at Boulder
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2013 (Extended to August 31, 2014)
Project Amount: $298,362
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

Objective:

This project took advantage of a rich and unique existing time-series to evaluate novel questions regarding the relationship between air pollution and hospital admissions in Denver, Colorado. We leveraged 5 years of data from the Denver Aerosol Sources and Health (DASH) study, including daily fine particulate matter mass (PM­2.5; particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter), species, and source factors, to examine the association of air pollution with novel health outcomes (Objective 1). Additionally, we explored several questions aimed at providing insight regarding susceptible populations (Objective 2) as well as regarding other potential factors leading to heterogeneity of health effect estimates in relation to ambient air pollution (Objectives 3 and 4).

Summary/Accomplishments (Outputs/Outcomes):

Objective 1:

High blood pressure: The most suggestive results we have observed are for high blood pressure. We observe positive associations between multiple pollutants (PM2.5 mass, elemental carbon, nitrate, and NO2) and hospital admissions for high blood pressure (primarily at lag 0). These associations were generally stronger in the cool season compared to the warm season.

Preeclampsia: We observed positive associations for preeclampsia with nitrate at longer lags (0-6, 0-13). We did not observe a consistent seasonal pattern for preeclampsia.

Migraine/headache: We observed positive associations for migraine/headache and multiple pollutants (EC, sulfate, CO), and positive/suggestive but not statistically significant associations with fine PM, OC, nitrate, and SO2 (all at lag 0). These associations were stronger in the cool season.

Deep Vein Thrombosis: We observed suggestive/positive associations (but not statistically significant) associations with EC, sulfate, CO, and NO2 at longer lags (0-6, 0-13). We did not observe a consistent seasonal pattern. Power was very limited for this outcome.

Cystic fibrosis: We observed limited evidence of an association for cystic fibrosis (nitrate, EC, OC); these associations were also stronger in the cool season than in the warm season.

Results for gastroenteritis were primarily consistent with a null association.

Objective 2:

We did not observe any consistent pattern for primary cardiovascular disease hospital admissions with respect to susceptible subgroups. There was a weak suggestion of stronger effects for admissions with secondary autoimmune conditions (carbon monoxide) and for admissions without secondary metabolic conditions.

For primary respiratory disease hospital admissions we observed stronger associations for admissions with secondary immunosuppressive conditions, autoimmune conditions, and metabolic conditions. However, the pattern is not as evident when we examined asthma or COPD separately (compared to when we examined all respiratory disease together).

Objective 3:

The association of fine PM and cardiovascular disease appears to be stronger on days with low EC, OC, nitrate, and ozone (individually). We are continuing to explore possible explanations for this. 

We did not observe any consistent pattern for effect modification by ambient temperature.

Objective 4:

The effect estimates for cardiovascular and respiratory groups were largely unchanged when we removed the top decile of pollutant values and when removing values above the NAAQS.

Conclusions:

These results add to the body of evidence linking ambient air pollution and adverse health outcomes. We observed associations between air pollution and several health outcomes for which there is no or limited evidence to date. These health outcomes should be further examined in datasets with more power. These associations were observed at relatively low ambient concentrations, and were not influenced by the highest air pollution values.


Journal Articles on this Report : 4 Displayed | Download in RIS Format

Other project views: All 4 publications 4 publications in selected types All 4 journal articles
Type Citation Project Document Sources
Journal Article Xie M, Coons TL, Hemann JG, Dutton SJ, Milford JB, Peel JL, Miller SL, Kim S-Y, Vedal S, Sheppard L, Hannigan MP. Intra-urban spatial variability and uncertainty assessment of PM2.5 sources based on carbonaceous species. Atmospheric Environment 2012;60:305-315. R834899 (2012)
R834899 (2013)
R834899 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Xie M, Coons TL, Dutton SJ, Milford JB, Miller SL, Peel JL, Vedal S, Hannigan MP. Intra-urban spatial variability of PM2.5-bound carbonaceous components. Atmospheric Environment 2012;60:486-494. R834899 (2012)
    R834899 (2013)
    R834899 (Final)
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  • Journal Article Xie M, Hannigan MP, Dutton SJ, Milford JB, Hemann JG, Miller SL, Schauer JJ, Peel JL, Vedal S. Positive matrix factorization of PM2.5:comparison and implications of using different speciation data sets. Environmental Science & Technology 2012;46(21):11962-11970. R834899 (2012)
    R834899 (2013)
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  • Journal Article Xie M, Piedrahita R, Dutton SJ, Milford JB, Hemann JG, Peel JL, Miller SL, Kim S-Y, Vedal S, Sheppard L, Hannigan MP. Positive matrix factorization of a 32-month series of daily PM2.5 speciation data with incorporation of temperature stratification. Atmospheric Environment 2013;65:11-20. R834899 (2012)
    R834899 (2013)
    R834899 (Final)
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  • Supplemental Keywords:

    Particulate matter, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, autoimmune, immunosuppressive, metabolic syndrome

    Progress and Final Reports:

    Original Abstract
    2011 Progress Report
    2012 Progress Report
    2013 Progress Report