Health Effects of long-Term Exposure to Particles and Other Air Pollutants in Elderly Nonsmoking California Residents

EPA Grant Number: R827998
Title: Health Effects of long-Term Exposure to Particles and Other Air Pollutants in Elderly Nonsmoking California Residents
Investigators: Knutsen, Synnove F. , Abbey, David E. , Beeson, Larry
Institution: Loma Linda University
EPA Project Officer: Chung, Serena
Project Period: March 1, 2000 through February 28, 2003 (Extended to February 28, 2005)
Project Amount: $763,910
RFA: Airborne Particulate Matter Health Effects (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Particulate Matter , Air , Health Effects


  1. To extend mortality and cancer incidence ascertainment from 1992 through 1999 on a cohort of 6,338 nonsmoking California Seventh-day Adventists which have been followed prospectively since 1977.
  2. To update estimates through 1999 of ambient particles - 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), which are currently available 1966-1986.
  3. To update estimates of particles -10 microns in diameter (PM10), suspended sulfates (SO4), sulfur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), currently available through 1992.
  4. To determine associations between long-term and updated concentrations of PM2.5 and all natural cause and non-malignant respiratory mortality, lung cancer and CVD mortality and incidence.
  5. To study the health effects of Mixed Pollutants using same outcomes as in # 4.
  6. To evaluate associations between updated air pollutants and the outcomes in #4 in sensitive subgroups.
  7. Using the updated data, to confirm associations between elevated long-term concentrations of PM10 with outcomes mentioned in #4.
  8. Conduct single and multi-pollutant analyses for other air pollutants and the outcomes mentioned in #4.


  1. Update residence and work location histories, and exposures to occupational air pollutants and environmental tobacco smoke for the cohort.
  2. Interpolate monthly indices of air pollutants to zip code centroids according to updated work and residence histories of individual study participants.
  3. Estimate PM2.5 indirectly using site/seasonal specific regression equations based on visibility for 57% of subjects living in the vicinity of nine airports scattered throughout California.
  4. Update cancer incidence data using the Statewide California Tumor Registry.
  5. Update total mortality and fatal cancers and CVD using the state and national death indices.
  6. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models will be used to study associations between risk of disease or death adjusting for other air pollutants, lifestyle and other covariates.

Expected Results:

Because of longer follow-up, this study will produce more information from an existing cohort. It will be able to assess health effects of mixed pollutants and identify sensitive subgroups. The Public Health burden of both long- and short-term exposure to ambient air pollutants, including PM2.5, will be assessed. More stable estimates of associations with PM10 and other air pollutants will be obtained as well as identification of cut-offs above which significant effects occur.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 19 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Ambient air, mixed pollutants, health effects, sensitive populations, cumulative effects, particulates, oxidants, epidemiology., RFA, Health, Scientific Discipline, Air, ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, Geographic Area, particulate matter, air toxics, Health Risk Assessment, Epidemiology, State, Risk Assessments, Susceptibility/Sensitive Population/Genetic Susceptibility, Biochemistry, genetic susceptability, indoor air, tropospheric ozone, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Risk Assessment, ambient air quality, elderly adults, PM10, sulfates, Nitrogen dioxide, sensitive populations, PM 2.5, long term exposure, exposure and effects, stratospheric ozone, acute lung injury, ambient air, exposure, air pollution, lung cancer, Sulfur dioxide, particulate exposure, chronic health effects, sensitive subjects, human exposure, Acute health effects, epidemiological studies, elderly, PM, mortality, tobacco smoke, California (CA), indoor air quality, age dependent response, cumulative effects, respiratory, exposure assessment, genetic susceptibility, environmental hazard exposures, toxics

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001 Progress Report
  • 2002 Progress Report
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • Final Report