Evidence suggests that exposure to ambient air particles promotes altered autonomic nervous system function, systemic inflammation, and vascular endothelial injury and dysfunction. Although epidemiologic Studies suggest that people older than 65 years are at greatest risk of pollution-related cardiovascular events, these mechanistic hypotheses have frequently been evaluated in young healthy volunteers or specific patient populations, rather than in unselected community-dwelling elderly. Accordingly, we will conduct a prospective, repeated-measures study to evaluate the mechanisms by which particulate air pollution affects autonomic function, inflammation, and vascular endothelial injury and function in a cohort of community dwelling elderly aged 65 years or older. Specifically, we will link detailed environmental data with non-invasive measures of autonomic nervous system function (heart rate variability), systemic inflammation (circulating levels of specific serum markers), and endothelial function (cerebral vascular resistance and reactivity). We will assess short-term exposure to ambient air pollution using prospectively-collected measurements from a central ambient monitoring site. Available environmental data includes hourly measures of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), black carbon (BC, a measure of traffic-related pollution), sulfates (a measure of regional pollution), gaseous pollutants (CO, N02, S02, ozone), and meteorologic data. Additionally, we will use a validated spafiotemporal land-use regression model to predict short-term residential exposure to pollution specifically from traffic. We hypothesize that short-term exposure to ambient PM will be associated with adverse changes in autonomic function, inflammation, and vascular function. Results supporting these hypotheses would suggest that ambient PM has adverse effects in a representative population-based sample of community-dwelling elderly and provide insight into the mechanism of pollution-related acute cardiovascular events.

Public Health Relevance

Short-term exposure to ambient air pollution has been linked to increased risk of death and hospitalization, with elderly Americans bearing most of the excess burden of disease. Understanding the underlying mechanisms of these effects may lead to new preventative strategies, new treatments, or improved air quality.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Type
Research Transition Award (R00)
Project #
5R00ES015774-05
Application #
8135375
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (NSS)
Program Officer
Dilworth, Caroline H
Project Start
2009-09-29
Project End
2013-08-31
Budget Start
2011-09-01
Budget End
2013-08-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$249,000
Indirect Cost
Name
Brown University
Department
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
001785542
City
Providence
State
RI
Country
United States
Zip Code
02912
Tchalla, Achille E; Wellenius, Gregory A; Sorond, Farzaneh A et al. (2017) Elevated Soluble Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Is Associated With Cerebrovascular Resistance and Cognitive Function. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 72:560-566
Gronlund, Carina J; Zanobetti, Antonella; Wellenius, Gregory A et al. (2016) Vulnerability to Renal, Heat and Respiratory Hospitalizations During Extreme Heat Among U.S. Elderly. Clim Change 136:631-645
Tchalla, Achille E; Wellenius, Gregory A; Sorond, Farzaneh A et al. (2015) Elevated circulating vascular cell Adhesion Molecule-1 (sVCAM-1) is associated with concurrent depressive symptoms and cerebral white matter Hyperintensities in older adults. BMC Geriatr 15:62
Wellenius, Gregory A; Koutrakis, Petros; Wang, Yi (2015) Ambient air pollution and depressive symptoms in older adults: Wellenius et al. respond. Environ Health Perspect 123:A114-5
Pan, Wen-Chi; Eliot, Melissa N; Koutrakis, Petros et al. (2015) Ambient Temperature and Cerebrovascular Hemodynamics in the Elderly. PLoS One 10:e0134034
Kingsley, Samantha L; Eliot, Melissa N; Whitsel, Eric A et al. (2015) Residential proximity to major roadways and incident hypertension in post-menopausal women. Environ Res 142:522-8
Tchalla, Achille E; Wellenius, Gregory A; Travison, Thomas G et al. (2015) Circulating vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 is associated with cerebral blood flow dysregulation, mobility impairment, and falls in older adults. Hypertension 66:340-6
Wilker, Elissa H; Wu, Chih-Da; McNeely, Eileen et al. (2014) Green space and mortality following ischemic stroke. Environ Res 133:42-8
Wang, Yi; Eliot, Melissa N; Wellenius, Gregory A (2014) Short-term changes in ambient particulate matter and risk of stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Am Heart Assoc 3:
Kingsley, Samantha L; Eliot, Melissa N; Carlson, Lynn et al. (2014) Proximity of US schools to major roadways: a nationwide assessment. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 24:253-9

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