2012 Progress Report: Associations of Short-Term Pollution Exposures with Childhood Autoimmune Disease

EPA Grant Number: R834992
Title: Associations of Short-Term Pollution Exposures with Childhood Autoimmune Disease
Investigators: Zeft, Andrew S. , Pope, Clive Arden
Institution: Brigham Young University
Current Institution: Cleveland Clinic Foundation , Brigham Young University
EPA Project Officer: Ilacqua, Vito
Project Period: June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2014 (Extended to May 31, 2015)
Project Period Covered by this Report: June 1, 2012 through May 31,2013
Project Amount: $298,857
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


We are further testing the hypothesis that clinical autoimmune disease presentation and exacerbation are associated with exposures to short-term pollution, including PM2.5, constituents of PM2.5, and O3. In Objective 1, we will further establish associations between short-term PM2.5 exposure and the clinical onset of Systemic Onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritics, a subtype of JIA. In Objective 2, we will establish associations between short-term ambient PM2.5 and O3 and the clinical onset of Kawasaki Disease. In Objective 3, we will establish associations between short-term PM2.5 and O3 exposures and clinical disease activity of Henoch Schonlein Purpura. Cases come from various geographic metropolitan regions of the US and Canada (Toronto). 

Progress Summary:

  •  We have assembled PM2.5 exposure measurements from monitors and have carefully imputed PM2.5 to provide day-to-day temporal variability and resolution for reliable time series indexes of pollution exposures for each metropolitan area (Philadelphia, Boston, Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Cincinnati, San Diego, Salt Lake City), now also including both the Denver and Cleveland metropolitan areas, geographic sites which have been added to the study. 
  • We have formalized all necessary university and hospital institutional review board processes and all necessary data transfer agreements between institutions.
  • We have facilitated the assembly of and have received case datasets from all collaborating institutions, including Children’s Hospital Denver and The Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, except for the systemic onset Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis dataset from Children’s Hospital Toronto (grant objective #1) and the Kawasaki Disease dataset from The University of Utah (objective #2). We are working to facilitate appropriate assembly of the data for transfer. 
  • We have completed all necessary institutional requirements placed by The Children’s Health Corporation of America to release the data from their Pediatric Health Information System database (objective #3). We have begun case crossover data analysis required of this aim.
  • We are excited by our preliminary case-crossover analysis findings. If results obtained from the complete, final analysis of Kawasaki subjects further support these preliminary results, this finding will have a significant impact on the field of particulate induced environmental epidemiology research of autoimmune disease.

Future Activities:

 In the coming year, we will perform the following:

  • Acquire subject data from Children’s Hospital Toronto and The University of Utah/Primary Children’s Hospital as described above.
  • Finalize the case-crossover analysis and interpretation of results of grant objectives 1& 2, which depend on retrieval of the complete data.
  • Continue and complete the case-crossover analysis and interpretation of results of grant objective 3.
  • Submit final results in the form of scientific abstracts to the Society of Pediatric Research/American Academy of  Pediatrics.
  • Complete manuscript preparation for peer reviewed publications

Journal Articles:

No journal articles submitted with this report: View all 10 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Urban air quality, climate, personal exposure, health risks, air toxics, air quality, ambient particle properties, atmospheric monitoring, cumulative exposure, children’s health

Progress and Final Reports:

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