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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Interactions Between Cigarette Smoking and Fine Particulate Matter in the Risk of Lung Cancer Mortality in Cancer Prevention Study II.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-15-2014
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The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently classified outdoor air pollution and airborne particulate matter as carcinogenic to humans. However, there are gaps in the epidemiologic literature, including assessment of possible joint effects of cigarette smoking and fine particulate matter (particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 µm in diameter) on lung cancer risk. We present estimates of interaction on the additive scale between these risk factors from Cancer Prevention Study II, a large prospective US cohort study of nearly 1.2 million participants recruited in 1982. Estimates of the relative excess risk of lung cancer mortality due to interaction, the attributable proportion due to interaction, and the synergy index were 2.19 (95% confidence interval (CI): -0.10, 4.83), 0.14 (95% CI: 0.00, 0.25), and 1.17 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.37), respectively, using the 25th and 75th percentiles as cutpoints for fine particulate matter. This suggests small increases in lung cancer risk among persons with both exposures beyond what would be expected from the sum of the effects of the individual exposures alone. Although reductions in cigarette smoking will achieve the greatest impact on lung cancer rates, these results suggest that attempted reductions in lung cancer risk through both tobacco control and air quality management may exceed expectations based on reducing exposure to either risk factor alone.
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Relationships Between Fine Particulate Air Pollution, Cardiometabolic Disorders and Cardiovascular Mortality.
Circ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-29-2014
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Rationale: Growing evidence suggests that long-term exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution contributes to risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality. There is uncertainty regarding who are most susceptible. Individuals with underlying cardiometabolic disorders, including hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, may be at greater risk. PM2.5 pollution may also contribute to cardiometabolic disorders, augmenting CVD risk. Objective: This analysis evaluates relationships between long-term PM2.5 exposure and cardiometabolic disease on risk of death from CVD and cardiometabolic conditions. Methods and Results: Data on 669,046 participants from the American Cancer Society, Cancer Prevention Study II cohort were linked to modeled PM2.5 concentrations at geocoded home addresses. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate adjusted hazards ratios (HR) for death from CVD and cardiometabolic diseases based on death-certificate information. Effect modification by pre-existing cardiometabolic risk factors on the PM2.5-CVD mortality association was examined. PM2.5 exposure was associated with CVD mortality, with the HR (95% CI) per 10 µg/m(3) increase in PM2.5 equal to 1.12 (1.10-1.15). Deaths linked to hypertension and/or diabetes (mentioned on death certificate as either primary or contributing cause of death) were also associated with PM2.5. There was no consistent evidence of effect modification by cardiometabolic disease risk factors on the PM2.5-CVD mortality association. Conclusions: Pollution-induced CVD mortality risk is observed for those with and without existing cardiometabolic disorders. Long-term exposure may also contribute to the development or exacerbation of cardiometabolic disorders, increasing risk of CVD and cardiometabolic disease mortality.
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Developing small-area predictions for smoking and obesity prevalence in the United States for use in Environmental Public Health Tracking.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2014
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Globally and in the United States, smoking and obesity are leading causes of death and disability. Reliable estimates of prevalence for these risk factors are often missing variables in public health surveillance programs. This may limit the capacity of public health surveillance to target interventions or to assess associations between other environmental risk factors (e.g., air pollution) and health because smoking and obesity are often important confounders.
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Traffic-related air pollution and obesity formation in children: a longitudinal, multilevel analysis.
Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Biologically plausible mechanisms link traffic-related air pollution to metabolic disorders and potentially to obesity. Here we sought to determine whether traffic density and traffic-related air pollution were positively associated with growth in body mass index (BMI?=?kg/m2) in children aged 5-11 years.
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Spatiotemporal modeling of ozone levels in Quebec (Canada): a comparison of kriging, land-use regression (LUR), and combined Bayesian maximum entropy-LUR approaches.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Ambient air ozone (O3) is a pulmonary irritant that has been associated with respiratory health effects including increased lung inflammation and permeability, airway hyperreactivity, respiratory symptoms, and decreased lung function. Estimation of O3 exposure is a complex task because the pollutant exhibits complex spatiotemporal patterns. To refine the quality of exposure estimation, various spatiotemporal methods have been developed worldwide.
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Residential proximity to major roads and term low birth weight: the roles of air pollution, heat, noise, and road-adjacent trees.
Epidemiology
PUBLISHED: 05-03-2014
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Maternal residential proximity to roads has been associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. However, there is no study investigating mediators or buffering effects of road-adjacent trees on this association. We investigated the association between mothers' residential proximity to major roads and term low birth weight (LBW), while exploring possible mediating roles of air pollution (PM(2.5), PM(2.5-10), PM(10), PM(2.5) absorbance, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxides), heat, and noise and buffering effect of road-adjacent trees on this association.
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Positive health effects of the natural outdoor environment in typical populations in different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE): a study programme protocol.
BMJ Open
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2014
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Growing evidence suggests that close contact with nature brings benefits to human health and well-being, but the proposed mechanisms are still not well understood and the associations with health remain uncertain. The Positive Health Effects of the Natural Outdoor environment in Typical Populations in different regions in Europe (PHENOTYPE) project investigates the interconnections between natural outdoor environments and better human health and well-being.
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Factors predicting the capacity of Los Angeles city-region recreation programs to promote energy expenditure.
Health Place
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2014
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An audit of recreation programs with moderate or higher levels of physical activity (PA) in Los Angeles area cities (N=82) was conducted using internet, telephone, and survey methods. Metabolic Equivalents (METs) were used to code programs? physical activity intensity. MET-hours per recreation program was associated with required age for enrollment, percent of residents >64 years of age, and fiscal capacity of cities. Capacity to promote energy expenditure may depend on targeted age groups, age of population, and municipal fiscal capacity. Cities with lower fiscal capacity might offer those higher MET-hour activities which require less specialized equipment and seek outside funding to offer higher MET programs.
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Indirect adjustment for multiple missing variables applicable to environmental epidemiology.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2014
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Develop statistical methods for survival models to indirectly adjust hazard ratios of environmental exposures for missing risk factors.
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Assessment of traffic-related noise in three cities in the United States.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-05-2014
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Traffic-related noise is a growing public health concern in developing and developed countries due to increasing vehicle traffic. Epidemiological studies have reported associations between noise exposure and high blood pressure, increased risk of hypertension and heart disease, and stress induced by sleep disturbance and annoyance. These findings motivate the need for regular noise assessments within urban areas. This paper assesses the relationships between traffic and noise in three US cities.
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A Longitudinal Cohort Study of Body Mass Index and Childhood Exposure to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke and Air Pollution: The Southern California Children's Health Study.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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Childhood body mass index (BMI) and obesity prevalence have been associated with exposure to secondhand smoke (SHS), maternal smoking during pregnancy, and vehicular air pollution. There has been little previous study of joint BMI effects of air pollution and tobacco smoke exposure.
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Neighborhood park use by children: use of accelerometry and global positioning systems.
Am J Prev Med
PUBLISHED: 01-21-2014
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Although having a greater number of neighborhood parks may be associated with greater overall physical activity in children, information is lacking about the extent to which children actually use parks for physical activity.
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Presence of other allergic disease modifies the effect of early childhood traffic-related air pollution exposure on asthma prevalence.
Environ Int
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a surrogate measure of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP), has been associated with incident childhood asthma. Timing of exposure and atopic status may be important effect modifiers. We collected cross-sectional data on asthma outcomes from Toronto school children aged 5-9years in 2006. Lifetime home, school and daycare addresses were obtained to derive birth and cumulative NO2 exposures for a nested case-control subset of 1497 children. Presence of other allergic disease (a proxy for atopy) was defined as self-report of one or more of doctor-diagnosed rhinitis, eczema, or food allergy. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust for potential confounders, and examine hypothesized effect modifiers while accounting for clustering by school. In children with other allergic disease, birth, cumulative and 2006 NO2 were associated with lifetime asthma (OR 1.46, 95% CI 1.08-1.98; 1.37, 95% CI 1.00-1.86; and 1.60, 95% CI 1.09-2.36 respectively per interquartile range increase) and wheeze (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.10-1.89; 1.31, 95% CI 1.02-1.67; and 1.60, 95% CI 1.16-2.21). No or weaker effects were seen in those without allergic disease, and effect modification was amplified when a more restrictive algorithm was used to define other allergic disease (at least 2 of doctor diagnosed allergic rhinitis, eczema or food allergy). The effects of modest NO2 levels on childhood asthma were modified by the presence of other allergic disease, suggesting a probable role for allergic sensitization in the pathogenesis of TRAP initiated asthma.
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A Case-Control Study of Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Volatile Organic Compounds and Lung Cancer in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 11-27-2013
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Few studies have investigated associations between nonoccupational exposure to ambient volatile organic compounds and lung cancer. We conducted a case-control study of 445 incident lung cancers and 948 controls (523 hospital, 425 general population) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, between 1997 and 2002. Participants provided information on several risk factors, including tobacco use, secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke, obesity, and family history of cancer. Exposure to benzene, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen dioxide was estimated using land-use regression models. Exposures were linked to residential addresses to estimate exposure at the time of interview, 10 years before interview, and across past residences (time-weighted average). Logistic regression was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios. Analyses involving the population-based controls found that an interquartile-range increase in the time-weighted average benzene concentration (0.15 µg/m(3)) across previous residences was associated with lung cancer (odds ratio = 1.84, 95% confidence interval: 1.26, 2.68). Similarly, an interquartile-range increase in the time-weighted average nitrogen dioxide concentration (4.8 ppb) yielded an odds ratio of 1.59 (95% confidence interval: 1.19, 2.12). Our study suggests that long-term exposure to ambient volatile organic compounds and nitrogen dioxide at relatively low concentrations is associated with lung cancer. Further work is needed to evaluate joint relationships between these pollutants, smoking, and lung cancer.
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Spatial Association between Ambient Fine Particulate Matter and Incident Hypertension.
Circulation
PUBLISHED: 11-04-2013
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Laboratory studies suggest that exposure to fine particulate matter (2.5?m in diameter or less; PM2.5) can trigger a combination of pathophysiological responses that may induce the development of hypertension. However, epidemiological evidence relating PM2.5 and hypertension is sparse. We thus conducted a population-based cohort study to determine whether exposure to ambient PM2.5 is associated with incident hypertension.
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Determinants of manganese in prenatal dentin of shed teeth from CHAMACOS children living in an agricultural community.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 09-23-2013
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Manganese (Mn) is an essential nutrient, but overexposure can be neurotoxic. Over 800?000 kg of Mn-containing fungicides are applied each year in California. Manganese levels in teeth are a promising biomarker of perinatal exposure. Participants in our analysis included 207 children enrolled in the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS), a longitudinal birth cohort study in an agricultural area of California. Mn was measured in teeth using laser-ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry. Our purpose was to determine environmental and lifestyle factors related to prenatal Mn levels in shed teeth. We found that storage of farmworkers shoes in the home, maternal farm work, agricultural use of Mn-containing fungicides within 3 km of the residence, residence built on Antioch Loam soil and Mn dust loading (?g/m(2) of floor area) during pregnancy were associated with higher Mn levels in prenatal dentin (p < 0.05). Maternal smoking during pregnancy was inversely related to Mn levels in prenatal dentin (p < 0.01). Multivariable regression models explained 22-29% of the variability of Mn in prenatal dentin. Our results suggest that Mn measured in prenatal dentin provides retrospective and time specific levels of fetal exposure resulting from environmental and occupational sources.
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Prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution and risk of early childhood cancers.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 08-28-2013
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Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy has been linked to the risk of childhood cancer, but the evidence remains inconclusive. In the present study, we used land use regression modeling to estimate prenatal exposures to traffic exhaust and evaluate the associations with cancer risk in very young children. Participants in the Air Pollution and Childhood Cancers Study who were 5 years of age or younger and diagnosed with cancer between 1988 and 2008 were had their records linked to California birth certificates, and controls were selected from birth certificates. Land use regression-based estimates of exposures to nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxides were assigned based on birthplace residence and temporally adjusted using routine monitoring station data to evaluate air pollution exposures during specific pregnancy periods. Logistic regression models were adjusted for maternal age, race/ethnicity, educational level, parity, insurance type, and Census-based socioeconomic status, as well as childs sex and birth year. The odds of acute lymphoblastic leukemia increased by 9%, 23%, and 8% for each 25-ppb increase in average nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, and nitrogen oxide levels, respectively, over the entire pregnancy. Second- and third-trimester exposures increased the odds of bilateral retinoblastoma. No associations were found for annual average exposures without temporal components or for any other cancer type. These results lend support to a link between prenatal exposure to traffic exhaust and the risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and bilateral retinoblastoma.
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Spatial analysis of air pollution and mortality in California.
Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-29-2013
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Although substantial scientific evidence suggests that chronic exposure to ambient air pollution contributes to premature mortality, uncertainties exist in the size and consistency of this association. Uncertainty may arise from inaccurate exposure assessment.
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Long-term fine particulate matter exposure and mortality from diabetes in Canada.
Diabetes Care
PUBLISHED: 06-18-2013
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Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure to air pollution can promote the development of diabetes. However, whether this relationship actually translates into an increased risk of mortality attributable to diabetes is uncertain.
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A hybrid approach to estimating national scale spatiotemporal variability of PM2.5 in the contiguous United States.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 06-11-2013
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Airborne fine particulate matter exhibits spatiotemporal variability at multiple scales, which presents challenges to estimating exposures for health effects assessment. Here we created a model to predict ambient particulate matter less than 2.5 ?m in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5) across the contiguous United States to be applied to health effects modeling. We developed a hybrid approach combining a land use regression model (LUR) selected with a machine learning method, and Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME) interpolation of the LUR space-time residuals. The PM2.5 data set included 104,172 monthly observations at 1464 monitoring locations with approximately 10% of locations reserved for cross-validation. LUR models were based on remote sensing estimates of PM2.5, land use and traffic indicators. Normalized cross-validated R(2) values for LUR were 0.63 and 0.11 with and without remote sensing, respectively, suggesting remote sensing is a strong predictor of ground-level concentrations. In the models including the BME interpolation of the residuals, cross-validated R(2) were 0.79 for both configurations; the model without remotely sensed data described more fine-scale variation than the model including remote sensing. Our results suggest that our modeling framework can predict ground-level concentrations of PM2.5 at multiple scales over the contiguous U.S.
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Long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution and cardiovascular mortality.
Epidemiology
PUBLISHED: 06-01-2013
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Findings from previous cohort studies suggest a positive association between traffic-related air pollution and cardiovascular mortality. However, few studies have assessed intraurban variation in traffic-related pollution or evaluated cardiovascular effects at lower levels of pollution that are typically seen in Canadian cities.
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Development of land use regression models for particle composition in twenty study areas in Europe.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2013
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Land Use Regression (LUR) models have been used to describe and model spatial variability of annual mean concentrations of traffic related pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM). No models have yet been published of elemental composition. As part of the ESCAPE project, we measured the elemental composition in both the PM10 and PM2.5 fraction sizes at 20 sites in each of 20 study areas across Europe. LUR models for eight a priori selected elements (copper (Cu), iron (Fe), potassium (K), nickel (Ni), sulfur (S), silicon (Si), vanadium (V), and zinc (Zn)) were developed. Good models were developed for Cu, Fe, and Zn in both fractions (PM10 and PM2.5) explaining on average between 67 and 79% of the concentration variance (R(2)) with a large variability between areas. Traffic variables were the dominant predictors, reflecting nontailpipe emissions. Models for V and S in the PM10 and PM2.5 fractions and Si, Ni, and K in the PM10 fraction performed moderately with R(2) ranging from 50 to 61%. Si, NI, and K models for PM2.5 performed poorest with R(2) under 50%. The LUR models are used to estimate exposures to elemental composition in the health studies involved in ESCAPE.
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Risk of incident diabetes in relation to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter in Ontario, Canada.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2013
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Laboratory studies suggest that fine particulate matter (? 2.5 µm in diameter; PM(2.5)) can activate pathophysiological responses that may induce insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, epidemiological evidence relating PM2.5 and diabetes is sparse, particularly for incident diabetes.
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Smart growth community design and physical activity in children.
Am J Prev Med
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2013
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Physical inactivity is a leading cause of death and disease globally. Research suggests physical inactivity might be linked to community designs that discourage active living. A "smart growth" community contains features likely to promote active living (walkability, green space, mixed land use), but objective evidence on the potential benefits of smart growth communities is limited.
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Comparison of physical activity measures using mobile phone-based CalFit and Actigraph.
J. Med. Internet Res.
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2013
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Epidemiological studies on physical activity often lack inexpensive, objective, valid, and reproducible tools for measuring physical activity levels of participants. Novel sensing technologies built into smartphones offer the potential to fill this gap.
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Factors influencing whether children walk to school.
Health Place
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2013
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Few studies have simultaneously evaluated multiple levels of influence on whether children walk to school. A large cohort of 4338 subjects from 10 communities was used to identify the determinants of walking through (1) a one-level logistic regression model for individual-level variables and (2) a two-level mixed regression model for individual and school-level variables. Walking rates were positively associated with home-to-school proximity, greater age, and living in neighborhoods characterized by lower traffic density. Greater land use mix around the home was, however, associated with lower rates of walking. Rates of walking to school were also higher amongst recipients of the Free and Reduced Price Meals Program and attendees of schools with higher percentage of English language learners. Designing schools in the same neighborhood as residential districts should be an essential urban planning strategy to reduce walking distance to school. Policy interventions are needed to encourage children from higher socioeconomic status families to participate in active travel to school and to develop walking infrastructures and other measures that protect disadvantaged children.
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Improving estimates of air pollution exposure through ubiquitous sensing technologies.
Environ. Pollut.
PUBLISHED: 02-13-2013
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Traditional methods of exposure assessment in epidemiological studies often fail to integrate important information on activity patterns, which may lead to bias, loss of statistical power, or both in health effects estimates. Novel sensing technologies integrated with mobile phones offer potential to reduce exposure measurement error. We sought to demonstrate the usability and relevance of the CalFit smartphone technology to track person-level time, geographic location, and physical activity patterns for improved air pollution exposure assessment. We deployed CalFit-equipped smartphones in a free-living population of 36 subjects in Barcelona, Spain. Information obtained on physical activity and geographic location was linked to space-time air pollution mapping. We found that information from CalFit could substantially alter exposure estimates. For instance, on average travel activities accounted for 6% of peoples time and 24% of their daily inhaled NO2. Due to the large number of mobile phone users, this technology potentially provides an unobtrusive means of enhancing epidemiologic exposure data at low cost.
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Cyclist route choice, traffic-related air pollution, and lung function: a scripted exposure study.
Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2013
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A travel mode shift to active transportation such as bicycling would help reduce traffic volume and related air pollution emissions as well as promote increased physical activity level. Cyclists, however, are at risk for exposure to vehicle-related air pollutants due to their proximity to vehicle traffic and elevated respiratory rates. To promote safe bicycle commuting, the City of Berkeley, California, has designated a network of residential streets as "Bicycle Boulevards." We hypothesized that cyclist exposure to air pollution would be lower on these Bicycle Boulevards when compared to busier roads and this elevated exposure may result in reduced lung function.
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A cohort study of intra-urban variations in volatile organic compounds and mortality, Toronto, Canada.
Environ. Pollut.
PUBLISHED: 01-29-2013
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This study investigated associations between long-term exposure to ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mortality. 58,760 Toronto residents (?35 years of age) were selected from tax filings and followed from 1982 to 2004. Death information was extracted using record linkage to national mortality data. Land-use regression surfaces for benzene, n-hexane, and total hydrocarbons were generated from sampling campaigns in 2002 and 2004 and assigned to residential addresses in 1982. Cox regression was used to estimate relationships between each VOC and non-accidental, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. Positive associations were observed for each VOC. In multi-pollutant models the benzene and total hydrocarbon signals were strongest for cancer. The hazard ratio for cancer that corresponded to an increase in the interquartile range of benzene (0.13 ?g/m(3)) was 1.06 (95% CI = 1.02-1.11). Our findings suggest ambient concentrations of VOCs were associated with cancer mortality, and that these exposures did not confound our previously reported associations between NO2 and cardiovascular mortality.
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Identifying vulnerable populations through an examination of the association between multipollutant profiles and poverty.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2011
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Recently, concerns have centered on how to expand knowledge on the limited science related to the cumulative impact of multiple air pollution exposures and the potential vulnerability of poor communities to their toxic effects. The highly intercorrelated nature of exposures makes application of standard regression-based methods to these questions problematic due to well-known issues related to multicollinearity. Our paper addresses these problems by using, as its basic unit of inference, a profile consisting of a pattern of exposure values. These profiles are grouped into clusters and associated with a deprivation outcome. Specifically, we examine how profiles of NO(2)-, PM(2.5)-, and diesel- (road and off-road) based exposures are associated with the number of individuals living under poverty in census tracts (CTs) in Los Angeles County. Results indicate that higher levels of pollutants are generally associated with higher poverty counts, though the association is complex and nonlinear. Our approach is set in the Bayesian framework, and as such the entire model can be fit as a unit using modern Bayesian multilevel modeling techniques via the freely available WinBUGS software package, (1) though we have used custom-written C++ code (validated with WinBUGS) to improve computational speed. The modeling approach proposed thus goes beyond single-pollutant models in that it allows us to determine the association between entire multipollutant profiles of exposures with poverty levels in small geographic areas in Los Angeles County.
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Long-term exposure to air pollution and cardiorespiratory disease in the California teachers study cohort.
Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med.
PUBLISHED: 06-25-2011
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Several studies have linked long-term exposure to particulate air pollution with increased cardiopulmonary mortality; only two have also examined incident circulatory disease.
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A study of community design, greenness, and physical activity in children using satellite, GPS and accelerometer data.
Health Place
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2011
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This study examined relationships between greenness exposure and free-living physical activity behavior of children in smart growth and conventionally designed communities. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was used to quantify childrens (n=208) greenness exposure at 30-s epoch accelerometer and GPS data points. A generalized linear mixed model with a kernel density smoothing term for addressing spatial autocorrelation was fit to analyze residential neighborhood activity data. Excluding activity at home and during school-hours, an epoch-level analysis found momentary greenness exposure was positively associated with the likelihood of contemporaneous moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). This association was stronger for smart growth residents who experienced a 39% increase in odds of MVPA for a 10th to 90th percentile increase in exposure to greenness (OR=1.39, 95% CI 1.36-1.44). An individual-level analysis found children who experienced >20 min of daily exposure to greener spaces (>90th percentile) engaged in nearly 5 times the daily rate of MVPA of children with nearly zero daily exposure to greener spaces (95% CI 3.09-7.20).
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Understanding the cumulative impacts of inequalities in environmental health: implications for policy.
Health Aff (Millwood)
PUBLISHED: 05-11-2011
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Racial or ethnic minority groups and low-income communities have poorer health outcomes than others. They are more frequently exposed to multiple environmental hazards and social stressors, including poverty, poor housing quality, and social inequality. Researchers are grappling with how best to characterize the cumulative effects of these hazards and stressors in order to help regulators and decision makers craft more-effective policies to address health and environmental disparities. In this article we synthesize the existing scientific evidence regarding the cumulative health implications of higher rates of exposure to environmental hazards, along with individual biological susceptibility and social vulnerability. We conclude that current environmental policy, which is focused narrowly on pollutants and their sources, should be broadened to take into account the cumulative impact of exposures and vulnerabilities encountered by people who live in neighborhoods consisting largely of racial or ethnic minorities or people of low socioeconomic status.
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Green space, health inequality and pregnancy.
Environ Int
PUBLISHED: 04-06-2011
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Green spaces have been suggested to improve physical and mental health and well-being by increasing physical activity, reducing air pollution, noise, and ambient temperature, increasing social contacts and relieving psychophysiological stress. Although these mechanisms also suggest potential beneficial effects of green spaces on pregnancy outcomes, to our knowledge there is no available epidemiological evidence on this impact. We investigated the effects of surrounding greenness and proximity to major green spaces on birth weight and gestational age at delivery and described the effect of socioeconomic position (SEP) on these relationships. This study was based on a cohort of births (N=8246) that occurred in a major university hospital in Barcelona, Spain, during 2001-2005. We determined surrounding greenness from satellite retrievals as the average of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) in a buffer of 100 m around each maternal place of residence. To address proximity to major green spaces, a binary variable was used to indicate whether maternal residential address is situated within a buffer of 500 m from boundaries of a major green space. For each indicator of green exposure, linear regression models were constructed to estimate change in outcomes adjusted for relevant covariates including individual and area level SEP. None of the indicators of green exposure was associated with birth weight and gestational age. After assessing effect modification based on the level of maternal education, we detected an increase in birth weight (grams) among the lowest education level group (N=164) who had higher surrounding NDVI (Regression coefficient (95% confidence interval (CI) of 436.3 (43.1, 829.5)) or lived close to a major green space (Regression coefficient (95% CI)) of 189.8 (23.9, 355.7)). Our findings suggest a beneficial effect of exposure to green spaces on birth weight only in the lowest SEP group.
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Creating national air pollution models for population exposure assessment in Canada.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2011
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Population exposure assessment methods that capture local-scale pollutant variability are needed for large-scale epidemiological studies and surveillance, policy, and regulatory purposes. Currently, such exposure methods are limited.
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Lung cancer and cardiovascular disease mortality associated with ambient air pollution and cigarette smoke: shape of the exposure-response relationships.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2011
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Lung cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risks increase with smoking, secondhand smoke (SHS), and exposure to fine particulate matter < 2.5 ?m in diameter (PM?.?) from ambient air pollution. Recent research indicates that the exposure-response relationship for CVD is nonlinear, with a steep increase in risk at low exposures and flattening out at higher exposures. Comparable estimates of the exposure-response relationship for lung cancer are required for disease burden estimates and related public health policy assessments.
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Confounding and exposure measurement error in air pollution epidemiology.
Air Qual Atmos Health
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2011
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Studies in air pollution epidemiology may suffer from some specific forms of confounding and exposure measurement error. This contribution discusses these, mostly in the framework of cohort studies. Evaluation of potential confounding is critical in studies of the health effects of air pollution. The association between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and mortality has been investigated using cohort studies in which subjects are followed over time with respect to their vital status. In such studies, control for individual-level confounders such as smoking is important, as is control for area-level confounders such as neighborhood socio-economic status. In addition, there may be spatial dependencies in the survival data that need to be addressed. These issues are illustrated using the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention II cohort. Exposure measurement error is a challenge in epidemiology because inference about health effects can be incorrect when the measured or predicted exposure used in the analysis is different from the underlying true exposure. Air pollution epidemiology rarely if ever uses personal measurements of exposure for reasons of cost and feasibility. Exposure measurement error in air pollution epidemiology comes in various dominant forms, which are different for time-series and cohort studies. The challenges are reviewed and a number of suggested solutions are discussed for both study domains.
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Improving health through policies that promote active travel: a review of evidence to support integrated health impact assessment.
Environ Int
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2011
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Substantial policy changes to control obesity, limit chronic disease, and reduce air pollution emissions, including greenhouse gasses, have been recommended. Transportation and planning policies that promote active travel by walking and cycling can contribute to these goals, potentially yielding further co-benefits. Little is known, however, about the interconnections among effects of policies considered, including potential unintended consequences.
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Traffic-related air toxics and preterm birth: a population-based case-control study in Los Angeles County, California.
Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2011
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Numerous studies have associated air pollutant exposures with adverse birth outcomes, but there is still relatively little information to attribute effects to specific emission sources or air toxics. We used three exposure data sources to examine risks of preterm birth in Los Angeles women when exposed to high levels of traffic-related air pollutants--including specific toxics--during pregnancy.
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Traffic-related air toxics and term low birth weight in Los Angeles County, California.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2011
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Numerous studies have linked criteria air pollutants with adverse birth outcomes, but there is less information on the importance of specific emission sources, such as traffic, and air toxics.
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Does exposure to air pollution in urban parks have socioeconomic, racial or ethnic gradients?
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2011
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Little is known about the levels of air pollution at public parks where regular exercise takes place or in park-adjacent neighborhoods where people have easy access to parks. In this study we investigated the ambient concentrations of criteria pollutants nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), fine particulate (PM(2.5)) and ozone (O(3)) at public parks and in park-adjacent neighborhoods for metropolitan Los Angeles. Socioeconomic and racial-ethnic inequalities in exposure to the three criteria pollutants were also investigated using multiple linear regression models. In addition, differences in inhalation doses from breathing the three +criteria pollutants were investigated for the top and bottom quartile racial composition in the parks and neighborhoods. Our research showed that although public parks had on average the lowest pollutant concentrations of NO(2) and PM(2.5), they had relatively high O(3) concentrations. Park-adjacent neighborhoods, by contrast, had the highest NO(2) and PM(2.5) concentrations, but the lowest O(3) concentrations. Higher exposures to NO(2) and PM(2.5) were systematically identified for the lower socioeconomic position or higher minority population neighborhoods. For children and adolescents aged 6-15 engaging in high and moderate intensity activities in and around public parks, those from the top quartile of primarily Hispanic neighborhoods had much higher (63%) inhaled doses of NO(2) compared to the bottom quartile counterpart. PM(2.5) showed a similar but less pronounced pattern of inhalation doses. Evidence of socioeconomic and racial-ethnic gradients was found in air pollution exposure and inhalation doses in and around the urban parks in Los Angeles. This suggests that patterns of exposure inequality found in other environmental justice research are present in exposures in and around urban parks.
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Social environment and asthma: associations with crime and No Child Left Behind programmes.
J Epidemiol Community Health
PUBLISHED: 11-11-2010
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The relationship between asthma and socio-economic status remains unclear. The authors investigated how neighbourhood, school and community social environments were associated with incident asthma in Southern California schoolchildren.
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Development, reliability, and validity of an urban trail use survey.
Am J Health Promot
PUBLISHED: 09-03-2010
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To evaluate the psychometric characteristics of the Research on Urban Trail Environments (ROUTES) Trail Use Questionnaire.
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Multi-perspective analysis and spatiotemporal mapping of air pollution monitoring data.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2010
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Space-time data analysis and assimilation techniques in atmospheric sciences typically consider input from monitoring measurements. The input is often processed in a manner that acknowledges characteristics of the measurements (e.g., underlying patterns, fluctuation features) under conditions of uncertainty; it also leads to the derivation of secondary information that serves study-oriented goals, and provides input to space-time prediction techniques. We present a novel approach that blends a rigorous space-time prediction model (Bayesian maximum entropy, BME) with a cognitively informed visualization of high-dimensional data (spatialization). The combined BME and spatialization approach (BME-S) is used to study monthly averaged NO2 and mean annual SO4 measurements in California over the 15-year period 1988-2002. Using the original scattered measurements of these two pollutants BME generates spatiotemporal predictions on a regular grid across the state. Subsequently, the prediction network undergoes the spatialization transformation into a lower-dimensional geometric representation, aimed at revealing patterns and relationships that exist within the input data. The proposed BME-S provides a powerful spatiotemporal framework to study a variety of air pollution data sources.
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Bayesian profile regression with an application to the National Survey of Childrens Health.
Biostatistics
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2010
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Standard regression analyses are often plagued with problems encountered when one tries to make inference going beyond main effects using data sets that contain dozens of variables that are potentially correlated. This situation arises, for example, in epidemiology where surveys or study questionnaires consisting of a large number of questions yield a potentially unwieldy set of interrelated data from which teasing out the effect of multiple covariates is difficult. We propose a method that addresses these problems for categorical covariates by using, as its basic unit of inference, a profile formed from a sequence of covariate values. These covariate profiles are clustered into groups and associated via a regression model to a relevant outcome. The Bayesian clustering aspect of the proposed modeling framework has a number of advantages over traditional clustering approaches in that it allows the number of groups to vary, uncovers subgroups and examines their association with an outcome of interest, and fits the model as a unit, allowing an individuals outcome potentially to influence cluster membership. The method is demonstrated with an analysis of survey data obtained from the National Survey of Childrens Health. The approach has been implemented using the standard Bayesian modeling software, WinBUGS, with code provided in the supplementary material available at Biostatistics online. Further, interpretation of partitions of the data is helped by a number of postprocessing tools that we have developed.
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Childhood incident asthma and traffic-related air pollution at home and school.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 03-22-2010
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Traffic-related air pollution has been associated with adverse cardiorespiratory effects, including increased asthma prevalence. However, there has been little study of effects of traffic exposure at school on new-onset asthma.
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Childhood obesity and proximity to urban parks and recreational resources: a longitudinal cohort study.
Health Place
PUBLISHED: 03-06-2010
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The objective of the research was to assess how proximity to parks and recreational resources affects the development of childhood obesity through a longitudinal study. Data were collected on 3173 children aged 9-10 from 12 communities in Southern California in 1993 and 1996. Children were followed for eight years to collect longitudinal information, including objectively measured body mass index (BMI). Multilevel growth curve models were used to assess associations between attained BMI growth at age 18 and numerous environmental variables, including park space and recreational program access. For park acres within a 500 m distance of childrens homes, there were significant inverse associations with attained BMI at age 18. Effect sizes were larger for boys than for girls. Recreation programs within a 10 km buffer of childrens homes were significantly and inversely associated with achieved levels in BMI at age 18, with effect sizes for boys also larger than those for girls. We conclude that children with better access to parks and recreational resources are less likely to experience significant increases in attained BMI.
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Spatial modeling in environmental and public health research.
Int J Environ Res Public Health
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2010
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THIS PAPER HAS TWO AIMS: (1) to summarize various geographic information science methods; and (2) to provide a review of studies that have employed such methods. Though not meant to be a comprehensive review, this paper explains when certain methods are useful in epidemiological studies and also serves as an overview of the growing field of spatial epidemiology.
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Ambient air pollution and the progression of atherosclerosis in adults.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-12-2010
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Cross-sectional studies suggest an association between exposure to ambient air pollution and atherosclerosis. We investigated the association between outdoor air quality and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis (common carotid artery intima-media thickness, CIMT).
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Predicting personal nitrogen dioxide exposure in an elderly population: integrating residential indoor and outdoor measurements, fixed-site ambient pollution concentrations, modeled pollutant levels, and time-activity patterns.
J. Toxicol. Environ. Health Part A
PUBLISHED: 12-23-2009
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Predicting chronic exposure to air pollution at the intra-urban scale has been recognized as a priority area of research for environmental epidemiology. Exposure assessment models attempt to predict and proxy for individuals personal exposure to ambient air pollution, and there are no studies to date that explicitly attempt to compare and cross-validate personal exposure concentrations with pollutants modeled at the intra-urban level using methods such as interpolated surfaces and land-use regression (LUR) models. This study aimed to identify how well personal exposure to NO(2) (nitrogen dioxide) can be predicted from ambient exposure measurements and intra-urban exposure estimates using LUR and what other factors contribute to predicting variations in personal exposure beyond measured pollutant levels within home. Personal, indoor and outdoor NO(2) were measured in a population of older adults (>65 yr old) living in Hamilton, Canada. Our results show that personal NO(2) was most strongly associated with contemporaneously collected indoor and outdoor concentrations of NO(2). Predicted NO(2) exposures from intra-urban LUR models were not associated with personal NO(2), whereas interpolated surfaces of particulates and ozone were modestly associated. Combinations of variables that best predicted personal NO(2) variability were derived from time-activity diaries, interpolated surfaces of ambient particulate pollutants, and a city wide temporally matched average of NO(2). The nonsignificant associations between personal NO(2) and the modeled ambient NO(2) concentrations suggest that observed associations between NO(2) generated by LUR models and health effects are probably not produced by NO(2), but by other pollutants that follow a similar spatial pattern.
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Public health benefits of strategies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: health implications of short-lived greenhouse pollutants.
Lancet
PUBLISHED: 11-26-2009
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In this report we review the health effects of three short-lived greenhouse pollutants-black carbon, ozone, and sulphates. We undertook new meta-analyses of existing time-series studies and an analysis of a cohort of 352,000 people in 66 US cities during 18 years of follow-up. This cohort study provides estimates of mortality effects from long-term exposure to elemental carbon, an indicator of black carbon mass, and evidence that ozone exerts an independent risk of mortality. Associations among these pollutants make drawing conclusions about their individual health effects difficult at present, but sulphate seems to have the most robust effects in multiple-pollutant models. Generally, the toxicology of the pure compounds and their epidemiology diverge because atmospheric black carbon, ozone, and sulphate are associated and could interact with related toxic species. Although sulphate is a cooling agent, black carbon and ozone could together exert nearly half as much global warming as carbon dioxide. The complexity of these health and climate effects needs to be recognised in mitigation policies.
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An index for assessing demographic inequalities in cumulative environmental hazards with application to Los Angeles, California.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2009
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Researchers in environmental justice contend that low-income communities and communities of color face greater impacts from environmental hazards. This is also of concern for policy makers. In this context, our paper has two principal objectives. First, we propose a method for creating an index capable of summarizing racial-ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities from the impact of cumulative environmental hazards. Second, we apply the index to Los Angeles County to illustrate the potential applications and complexities of its implementation. Individual environmental inequality indices are calculated based on unequal shares of environmental hazards for racial-ethnic groups and socioeconomic positions. The illustrated hazards include ambient concentrations of particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, and estimates of cancer risk associated with modeled estimates for diesel particulate matter. The cumulative environmental hazard inequality index (CEHII) then combines individual environmental hazards, using either a multiplicative or an additive model. Significant but modest inequalities exist for both individual and cumulative environmental hazards in Los Angeles. The highest level of inequality among racial-ethnic and socioeconomic groups occurs when a multiplicative model is used to estimate cumulative hazard. The CEHII provides a generalized framework that incorporates environmental hazards and socioeconomic characteristics to assess inequalities in cumulative environmental risks.
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Reasons for urban trail use predict levels of trail-related physical activity.
J Phys Act Health
PUBLISHED: 10-22-2009
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Efforts to increase community levels of physical activity through the development of multiuse urban trails could be strengthened by information about factors predicting trail use. This study examined whether reasons for trail use predict levels of physical activity on urban trails.
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Long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and risk of hospitalization with community-acquired pneumonia in older adults.
Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2009
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Little is known about the long-term effects of air pollution on pneumonia hospitalization in the elderly.
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Cardiovascular mortality and exposure to airborne fine particulate matter and cigarette smoke: shape of the exposure-response relationship.
Circulation
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2009
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Fine particulate matter exposure from both ambient air pollution and secondhand cigarette smoke has been associated with larger risks of cardiovascular mortality than would be expected on the basis of linear extrapolations of the relative risks from active smoking. This study directly assessed the shape of the exposure-response relationship between cardiovascular mortality and fine particulates from cigarette smoke and ambient air pollution.
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Extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking particulate air pollution and mortality.
Res Rep Health Eff Inst
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2009
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We conducted an extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society (ACS) Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) cohort in order to further examine associations between long-term exposure to particulate air pollution and mortality in large U.S. cities. The current study sought to clarify outstanding scientific issues that arose from our earlier HEI-sponsored Reanalysis of the original ACS study data (the Particle Epidemiology Reanalysis Project). Specifically, we examined (1) how ecologic covariates at the community and neighborhood levels might confound and modify the air pollution-mortality association; (2) how spatial autocorrelation and multiple levels of data (e.g., individual and neighborhood) can be taken into account within the random effects Cox model; (3) how using land-use regression to refine measurements of air pollution exposure to the within-city (or intra-urban) scale might affect the size and significance of health effects in the Los Angeles and New York City regions; and (4) what exposure time windows may be most critical to the air pollution-mortality association. The 18 years of follow-up (extended from 7 years in the original study [Pope et al. 1995]) included vital status data for the CPS-II cohort (approximately 1.2 million participants) with multiple cause-of-death codes through December 31, 2000 and more recent exposure data from air pollution monitoring sites for the metropolitan areas. In the Nationwide Analysis, the influence of ecologic covariate data (such as education attainment, housing characteristics, and level of income; data obtained from the 1980 U.S. Census; see Ecologic Covariates sidebar on page 14) on the air pollution-mortality association were examined at the Zip Code area (ZCA) scale, the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) scale, and by the difference between each ZCA value and the MSA value (DIFF). In contrast to previous analyses that did not directly include ecologic covariates at the ZCA scale, risk estimates increased when ecologic covariates were included at all scales. The ecologic covariates exerted their greatest effect on mortality from ischemic heart disease (IHD), which was also the health outcome most strongly related with exposure to PM2.5 (particles 2.5 microm or smaller in aerodynamic diameter), sulfate (SO4(2-)), and sulfur dioxide (SO2), and the only outcome significantly associated with exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2). When ecologic covariates were simultaneously included at both the MSA and DIFF levels, the hazard ratio (HR) for mortality from IHD associated with PM2.5 exposure (average concentration for 1999-2000) increased by 7.5% and that associated with SO4(2-) exposure (average concentration for 1990) increased by 12.8%. The two covariates found to exert the greatest confounding influence on the PM2.5-mortality association were the percentage of the population with a grade 12 education and the median household income. Also in the Nationwide Analysis, complex spatial patterns in the CPS-II data were explored with an extended random effects Cox model (see Glossary of Statistical Terms at end of report) that is capable of clustering up to two geographic levels of data. Using this model tended to increase the HR estimate for exposure to air pollution and also to inflate the uncertainty in the estimates. Including ecologic covariates decreased the variance of the results at both the MSA and ZCA scales; the largest decrease was in residual variation based on models in which the MSA and DIFF levels of data were included together, which suggests that partitioning the ecologic covariates into between-MSA and within-MSA values more completely captures the sources of variation in the relationship between air pollution, ecologic covariates, and mortality. Intra-Urban Analyses were conducted for the New York City and Los Angeles regions. The results of the Los Angeles spatial analysis, where we found high exposure contrasts within the Los Angeles region, showed that air pollution-mortality risks were nearly 3 times greater than those reported from earlier analyses. This suggests that chronic health effects associated with intra-urban gradients in exposure to PM2.5 may be even larger between ZCAs within an MSA than the associations between MSAs that have been previously reported. However, in the New York City spatial analysis, where we found very little exposure contrast between ZCAs within the New York region, mortality from all causes, cardiopulmonary disease (CPD), and lung cancer was not elevated. A positive association was seen for PM2.5 exposure and IHD, which provides evidence of a specific association with a cause of death that has high biologic plausibility. These results were robust when analyses controlled (1) the 44 individual-level covariates (from the ACS enrollment questionnaire in 1982; see 44 Individual-Level Covariates sidebar on page 22) and (2) spatial clustering using the random effects Cox model. Effects were mildly lower when unemployment at the ZCA scale was included. To examine whether there is a critical exposure time window that is primarily responsible for the increased mortality associated with ambient air pollution, we constructed individual time-dependent exposure profiles for particulate and gaseous air pollutants (PM2.5 and SO2) for a subset of the ACS CPS-II participants for whom residence histories were available. The relevance of the three exposure time windows we considered was gauged using the magnitude of the relative risk (HR) of mortality as well as the Akaike information criterion (AIC), which measures the goodness of fit of the model to the data. For PM2.5, no one exposure time window stood out as demonstrating the greatest HR; nor was there any clear pattern of a trend in HR going from recent to more distant windows or vice versa. Differences in AIC values among the three exposure time windows were also small. The HRs for mortality associated with exposure to SO2 were highest in the most recent time window (1 to 5 years), although none of these HRs were significantly elevated. Identifying critical exposure time windows remains a challenge that warrants further work with other relevant data sets. This study provides additional support toward developing cost-effective air quality management policies and strategies. The epidemiologic results reported here are consistent with those from other population-based studies, which collectively have strongly supported the hypothesis that long-term exposure to PM2.5 increases mortality in the general population. Future research using the extended Cox-Poisson random effects methods, advanced geostatistical modeling techniques, and newer exposure assessment techniques will provide additional insight.
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Parental stress increases the effect of traffic-related air pollution on childhood asthma incidence.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 07-20-2009
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Exposure to traffic-related pollution (TRP) and tobacco smoke have been associated with new onset asthma in children. Psychosocial stress-related susceptibility has been proposed to explain social disparities in asthma. We investigated whether low socioeconomic status (SES) or high parental stress modified the effect of TRP and in utero tobacco smoke exposure on new onset asthma. We identified 2,497 children aged 5-9 years with no history of asthma or wheeze at study entry (2002-2003) into the Childrens Health Study, a prospective cohort study in southern California. The primary outcome was parental report of doctor-diagnosed new onset asthma during 3 years of follow-up. Residential exposure to TRP was assessed using a line source dispersion model. Information about maternal smoking during pregnancy, parental education (a proxy for SES), and parental stress were collected in the study baseline questionnaire. The risk of asthma attributable to TRP was significantly higher for subjects with high parental stress (HR 1.51 across the interquartile range for TRP; 95% CI 1.16-1.96) than for subjects with low parental stress (HR 1.05, 95% CI 0.74-1.49; interaction P value 0.05). Stress also was associated with larger effects of in utero tobacco smoke. A similar pattern of increased risk of asthma was observed among children from low SES families who also were exposed to either TRP or in utero tobacco smoke. These results suggest that children from stressful households are more susceptible to the effects of TRP and in utero tobacco smoke on the development of asthma.
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Effects of long-term exposure to traffic-related air pollution on respiratory and cardiovascular mortality in the Netherlands: the NLCS-AIR study.
Res Rep Health Eff Inst
PUBLISHED: 06-27-2009
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Evidence is increasing that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution is associated with deaths from cardiopulmonary diseases. In a 2002 pilot study, we reported clear indications that traffic-related air pollution, especially at the local scale, was related to cardiopulmonary mortality in a randomly selected subcohort of 5000 older adults participating in the ongoing Netherlands Cohort Study (NLCS) on diet and cancer. In the current study, referred to as NLCS-AIR, our objective was to obtain more precise estimates of the effects of traffic-related air pollution by analyzing associations with cause-specific mortality, as well as lung cancer incidence, in the full cohort of approximately 120,000 subjects. Cohort members were 55 to 69 years of age at enrollment in 1986. Follow-up was from 1987 through 1996 for mortality (17,674 deaths) and from late 1986 through 1997 for lung cancer incidence (2234 cases). Information about potential confounding variables and effect modifiers was available from the questionnaire that subjects completed at enrollment and from publicly available data (including neighborhood-scale information such as income distributions). The NLCS was designed for a case-cohort approach, which makes use of all the cases in the full cohort, while data for the random subcohort are used to estimate person-time experience in the study. Full information on confounders was available for the subjects in the random subcohort and for the emerging cases of mortality and lung cancer incidence during the follow-up period, and in NLCS-AIR we used the case-cohort approach to examine the relation between exposure to air pollution and cause-specific mortality and lung cancer. We also specified a standard Cox proportional hazards model within the full cohort, for which information on potential confounding variables was much more limited. Exposure to air pollution was estimated for the subjects home addresses at baseline in 1986. Concentrations were estimated for black smoke (a simple marker for soot) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) as indicators of traffic-related air pollution, as well as nitric oxide (NO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter < or = 2.5 microm (PM2.5), as estimated from measurements of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter < or = 10 microm (PM10). Overall long-term exposure concentrations were considered to be a function of air pollution contributions at regional, urban, and local scales. We used interpolation from data obtained routinely at regional stations of the National Air Quality Monitoring Network (NAQMN) to estimate the regional component of exposure at the home address. Average pollutant concentrations were estimated from NAQMN measurements for the period 1976 through 1996. Land-use regression methods were used to estimate the urban exposure component. For the local exposure component, geographic information systems (GISs) were used to generate indicators of traffic exposure that included traffic intensity on and distance to nearby roads. A major effort was made to collect traffic intensity data from individual municipalities. The exposure variables were refined considerably from those used in the pilot study, but we also analyzed the data for the full cohort in the current study using the exposure indicators of the pilot study. We analyzed the data in models with the estimated overall pollutant concentration as a single variable and with the background concentration (the sum of regional and urban components) and the local exposure estimate from traffic indicators as separate variables. In the full-cohort analyses adjusted for the limited set of confounders, estimated overall exposure concentrations of black smoke, NO2, NO, and PM2.5 were associated with mortality. For a 10-microg/m3 increase in the black smoke concentration, the relative risk (RR) (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 1.05 (1.00-1.11) for natural-cause (nonaccidental) mortality, 1.04 (0.95-1.13) for cardiovascular mortality, 1.22 (0.99-1.50) for respiratory mortality, 1.03 (0.88-1.20) for lung cancer mortality, and 1.04 (0.97-1.12) for noncardiopulmonary, non-lung cancer mortality. Results were similar for NO2, NO, and PM2.5. For a 10-microg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration, the RR for natural-cause mortality was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.97-1.16), the same as in the results of the American Cancer Society Study reported by Pope and colleagues in 2002. The highest relative risks were found for respiratory mortality, though confidence intervals were wider for this less-frequent cause of death. No associations with mortality were found for SO2. Some of the associations between the traffic indicator variables used to assess traffic intensity near the home and mortality reached statistical significance in the full cohort. For an increase in traffic intensity of 10,000 motor vehicles in 24 hours (motor vehicles/day) on the road nearest a subjects residence, the RR was 1.03 (95% CI, 1.00-1.08) for natural-cause mortality, 1.05 (0.99-1.12) for cardiovascular mortality, 1.10 (0.95-1.26) for respiratory mortality, 1.07 (0.96-1.19) for lung cancer mortality, and 1.00 (0.94-1.06) for noncardiopulmonary, non-lung cancer mortality. Results were similar for traffic intensity in a 100-m buffer around the subjects residence and living near a major road (a road with more than 10,000 motor vehicles/day). Distance in meters to the nearest major road and traffic intensity on the nearest major road were not associated with any of the mortality outcomes. We did not find an association between cardiopulmonary mortality and living near a major road as defined using the methods of the pilot study. In the case-cohort analyses adjusted for all potential confounders, we found no associations between background air pollution and mortality. The associations between traffic intensity and mortality were weaker than in the full cohort, and confidence intervals were wider, consistent with the smaller number of subjects. The lower relative risks of mortality associated with traffic variables in the case-cohort study population could be related to the particular subcohort that was randomly selected from the full cohort, as the risks estimated with the actual subcohort were well below the average estimates obtained for 100 new case-cohort analyses with 100 alternative subcohorts of 5000 subjects each that we randomly selected from the full cohort. Differences in adjusted relative risks between the full-cohort and the case-cohort analyses could be explained by random error introduced by sampling from the full cohort and by a selection effect resulting from the relatively large number of missing data for variables in the extensive confounder model used in the case-cohort analyses. More complete control for confounding probably did not contribute much to the lower relative risks in the case-cohort analyses, especially for the traffic variables, as results were similar when the limited confounder model for the full cohort was used in analyses of the subjects in the case-cohort study population. In additional analyses using black smoke concentrations as the exposure variables, we found that the association between overall black smoke and cardiopulmonary mortality was somewhat stronger for case-cohort subjects who did not change residence during follow-up, and in the full cohort, there was a tendency for relative risks to be higher for subjects living in the three major cities included in the study. Adjustment for estimated exposure to traffic noise did not affect the associations of background black smoke and traffic intensity with cardiovascular mortality. There was some indication of an association between traffic noise and cardiovascular mortality only for the 1.6% of the subjects in the full cohort who were exposed to traffic noise in the highest category of > 65 A-weighted decibels (dB(A); decibels with the sound pressure scale adjusted to conform with the frequency response of the human ear). Examination of sex, smoking status, educational level, and vegetable and fruit intake as possible effect modifiers showed that for overall black smoke concentrations, associations with mortality tended to be stronger in case-cohort subjects with lower levels of education and those with low fruit intake, but differences between strata were not statistically significant. For lung cancer incidence, we found essentially no relation to exposure to NO2, black smoke, PM2.5, SO2, or several traffic indicators. Associations of overall air pollution concentrations and traffic indicator variables with lung cancer incidence were, however, found in subjects who had never smoked, with an RR of 1.47 (95% CI, 1.01-2.16) for a 10-microg/m3 increase in overall black smoke concentration. In the current study, the mortality risks associated with both background air pollution and traffic exposure variables were much smaller than the estimate previously reported in the pilot study for risk of cardiopulmonary mortality associated with living near a major road (RR, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.09-3.51). The differences are most likely due to the extension of the follow-up period in the current study and to random error in the pilot study related to sampling from the full cohort. Though relative risks were generally small in the current study, long-term average concentrations of black smoke, NO2, and PM2.5 were related to mortality, and associations of black smoke and NO2 exposure with natural-cause and respiratory mortality were statistically significant. Traffic intensity near the home was also related to natural-cause mortality. The highest relative risks associated with background air pollution and traffic variables were for respiratory mortality, though the number of deaths was smaller than for the other mortality categories. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)
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Predicting traffic-related air pollution in Los Angeles using a distance decay regression selection strategy.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2009
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Land use regression (LUR) has emerged as an effective means of estimating exposure to air pollution in epidemiological studies. We created the first LUR models of nitric oxide (NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) for the complex megalopolis of Los Angeles (LA), California. Two-hundred and one sampling sites (the largest sampling design to date for LUR estimation) for two seasons were selected using a location-allocation algorithm that maximized the potential variability in measured pollutant concentrations and represented populations in the health study. Traffic volumes, truck routes and road networks, land use data, satellite-derived vegetation greenness and soil brightness, and truck route slope gradients were used for predicting NOX concentrations. A novel model selection strategy known as "ADDRESS" (A Distance Decay REgression Selection Strategy) was used to select optimized buffer distances for potential predictor variables and maximize model performance. Final regression models explained 81%, 86% and 85% of the variance in measured NO, NO2 and NOX concentrations, respectively. Cross-validation analyses suggested a prediction accuracy of 87-91%. Remote sensing-derived variables were significantly correlated with NOX concentrations, suggesting these data are useful surrogates for modeling traffic-related pollution when certain land use data are unavailable. Our study also demonstrated that reactive pollutants such as NO and NO2 could have high spatial extents of influence (e.g., > 5000 m from expressway) and high background concentrations in certain geographic areas. This paper represents the first attempt to model traffic-related air pollutants at a fine scale within such a complex and large urban region.
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BME estimation of residential exposure to ambient PM10 and ozone at multiple time scales.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 05-15-2009
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Long-term human exposure to ambient pollutants can be an important contributing or etiologic factor of many chronic diseases. Spatiotemporal estimation (mapping) of long-term exposure at residential areas based on field observations recorded in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencys Air Quality System often suffer from missing data issues due to the scarce monitoring network across space and the inconsistent recording periods at different monitors.
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Automobile traffic around the home and attained body mass index: a longitudinal cohort study of children aged 10-18 years.
Prev Med
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2009
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The objective of this study is to examine the relationship between measured traffic density near the homes of children and attained body mass index (BMI) over an eight-year follow up.
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Spatial analysis of air pollution and childhood asthma in Hamilton, Canada: comparing exposure methods in sensitive subgroups.
Environ Health
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2009
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Variations in air pollution exposure within a community may be associated with asthma prevalence. However, studies conducted to date have produced inconsistent results, possibly due to errors in measurement of the exposures.
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Long-term ozone exposure and mortality.
N. Engl. J. Med.
PUBLISHED: 03-13-2009
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Although many studies have linked elevations in tropospheric ozone to adverse health outcomes, the effect of long-term exposure to ozone on air pollution-related mortality remains uncertain. We examined the potential contribution of exposure to ozone to the risk of death from cardiopulmonary causes and specifically to death from respiratory causes.
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The active city? Disparities in provision of urban public recreation resources.
Health Place
PUBLISHED: 01-08-2009
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Recreation is critical to active living yet few studies have focused on disparities in the provision of recreational programs. We investigate the spatial distribution of public recreational programs in southern California. Findings indicate that more than half of all recreation programs take place away from a formal park site. Multivariate modeling results suggest that cities characterized by low household incomes, low fiscal capacity, minority populations, and multi-family housing are disadvantaged with respect to recreation provisions. Such disparities may increase health risks among populations in such communities. Urban planners and public health advocates should enhance recreation programs in lower-income non-white communities.
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A cohort study of traffic-related air pollution and mortality in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Environ. Health Perspect.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2009
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Chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution (TRAP) may contribute to premature mortality, but few studies to date have addressed this topic.
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Exposure to traffic-related air pollution during pregnancy and term low birth weight: estimation of causal associations in a semiparametric model.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
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Traffic-related air pollution is recognized as an important contributor to health problems. Epidemiologic analyses suggest that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollutants may be associated with adverse birth outcomes; however, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the relation is causal. The Study of Air Pollution, Genetics and Early Life Events comprises all births to women living in 4 counties in Californias San Joaquin Valley during the years 2000-2006. The probability of low birth weight among full-term infants in the population was estimated using machine learning and targeted maximum likelihood estimation for each quartile of traffic exposure during pregnancy. If everyone lived near high-volume freeways (approximated as the fourth quartile of traffic density), the estimated probability of term low birth weight would be 2.27% (95% confidence interval: 2.16, 2.38) as compared with 2.02% (95% confidence interval: 1.90, 2.12) if everyone lived near smaller local roads (first quartile of traffic density). Assessment of potentially causal associations, in the absence of arbitrary model assumptions applied to the data, should result in relatively unbiased estimates. The current results support findings from previous studies that prenatal exposure to traffic-related air pollution may adversely affect birth weight among full-term infants.
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Comparison of geostatistical interpolation and remote sensing techniques for estimating long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 concentrations across the continental United States.
Environ. Health Perspect.
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A better understanding of the adverse health effects of chronic exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) requires accurate estimates of PM2.5 variation at fine spatial scales. Remote sensing has emerged as an important means of estimating PM2.5 exposures, but relatively few studies have compared remote-sensing estimates to those derived from monitor-based data.
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Development of Land Use Regression models for PM(2.5), PM(2.5) absorbance, PM(10) and PM(coarse) in 20 European study areas; results of the ESCAPE project.
Environ. Sci. Technol.
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Land Use Regression (LUR) models have been used increasingly for modeling small-scale spatial variation in air pollution concentrations and estimating individual exposure for participants of cohort studies. Within the ESCAPE project, concentrations of PM(2.5), PM(2.5) absorbance, PM(10), and PM(coarse) were measured in 20 European study areas at 20 sites per area. GIS-derived predictor variables (e.g., traffic intensity, population, and land-use) were evaluated to model spatial variation of annual average concentrations for each study area. The median model explained variance (R(2)) was 71% for PM(2.5) (range across study areas 35-94%). Model R(2) was higher for PM(2.5) absorbance (median 89%, range 56-97%) and lower for PM(coarse) (median 68%, range 32- 81%). Models included between two and five predictor variables, with various traffic indicators as the most common predictors. Lower R(2) was related to small concentration variability or limited availability of predictor variables, especially traffic intensity. Cross validation R(2) results were on average 8-11% lower than model R(2). Careful selection of monitoring sites, examination of influential observations and skewed variable distributions were essential for developing stable LUR models. The final LUR models are used to estimate air pollution concentrations at the home addresses of participants in the health studies involved in ESCAPE.
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Organized physical activity in young school children and subsequent 4-year change in body mass index.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
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To determine whether participation in organized outdoor team sports and structured indoor nonschool activity programs in kindergarten and first grade predicted subsequent 4-year change in body mass index (BMI; calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) during the adiposity rebound period of childhood.
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What is Visualize?

JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

How does it work?

We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.

Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...

In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.