June 25 | 2018

The Association of Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Matter Air Pollution with Brain MRI Findings: The ARIC Study

Melinda C. Power, Archana P. Lamichhane, Duanping Liao, Xiaohui Xu, Clifford R. Jack Jr., Rebecca F. Gottesman, Thomas Mosley, James D. Stewart, Jeff D. Yanosky, and Eric A. Whitsel

Environ Health Perspect; February 2018 Vol 126 Issue 2. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP2152

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Increasing evidence links higher particulate matter (PM) air pollution exposure to late-life cognitive impairment. However, few studies have considered associations between direct estimates of long-term past exposures and brain MRI findings indicative of neurodegeneration or cerebrovascular disease.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to quantify the association between brain MRI findings and PM exposures approximately 5 to 20 y prior to MRI in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study.

METHODS: ARIC is based in four U.S. sites: Washington County, Maryland; Minneapolis suburbs, Minnesota; Forsyth County, North Carolina; and Jackson, Mississippi. A subset of ARIC participants underwent 3T brain MRI in 2011–2013 (n=1,753). We estimated mean exposures to PM with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 or 2.5μm (PM10 and PM2.5) in 1990–1998, 1999–2007, and 1990–2007 at the residential addresses of eligible participants with MRI data. We estimated site-specific associations between PM and brain MRI findings and used random-effect, inverse variance–weighted meta-analysis to combine them.

RESULTS: In pooled analyses, higher mean PM2.5 and PM10 exposure in all time periods were associated with smaller deep-gray brain volumes, but not other MRI markers. Higher PM2.5 exposures were consistently associated with smaller total and regional brain volumes in Minnesota, but not elsewhere.

CONCLUSIONS: Long-term past PM exposure in was not associated with markers of cerebrovascular disease. Higher long-term past PM exposures were associated with smaller deep-gray volumes overall, and higher PM2.5 exposures were associated with smaller brain volumes in the Minnesota site. Further work is needed to understand the sources of heterogeneity across sites.

Assessing Interest | Special Issue HPCDP on Climate Change and Health | LOI June 29 2018

[Announcement sent on behalf of Margaret de Groh, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief, HPCDP Journal]

Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, Research Policy and Practice

Assessing Interest in a Special Issue on Climate Change and Health

The Public Health Agency of Canada’s Journal Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada is exploring the possibility of publishing a special issue on climate change and health next April, 2019, to coincide with Earth Day.  In order to determine if this is a viable topic for the journal, we are conducting a targeted call out for “letters of intent” to specific groups within and outside the federal government.  We see this as an important opportunity to profile the work of scientists in other government departments and demonstrate the important interconnections and impacts of other sectors on health.  We also welcome submissions from scientists external to government (please feel free to share this call out with colleagues).

The timelines for this initiative would be tight and, therefore, would likely involve work already in progress or completed.  We publish both peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed manuscripts.  Since we see this as an opportunity to showcase  interdisciplinary research not generally seen in our Journal, we would entertain short non-peer reviewed pieces (called “at-a-glance” analyses) summarizing work that may otherwise be published in academic journals outside of health.

Deadlines:

Receipt of Letters of Intent (title and brief description of potential submission):  by June 29, 2018

Decision on special issue will be made by July 6, 2018 (all authors will be contacted on our decision)

Submission of Articles (if there is a special issue):  October 1, 2018

For more information on Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada, please visit our website:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/reports-publications/health-promotion-chronic-disease-prevention-canada-research-policy-practice/information-authors.html

Final consideration:  when we publish special issues, we try to engage a guest editor – someone who knows the area and can help to identify appropriate reviewers.  This is an important role and guest editors are invited to write a commentary (not essential).  If you would be interested in this type of contribution, please contact me, Margaret de Groh, Acting/Editor-in-Chief of the HPCDP Journal.

Thank you!

Margaret

Margaret de Groh, Ph.D.

Editor-in-Chief, HPCDP Journal

Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research

Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention Branch

Public Health Agency of Canada | Government of Canada

margaret.degroh@canada.ca Tel: 613-960-0076 | Cell: 613-614-2045 | Fax: 613-960-0921

Rédactrice en chef, la revue PSPMC

Centre de surveillance et de recherche appliquée

Direction générale de la promotion de la santé et de la prévention des maladies chroniques

Agence de la santé publique du Canada | Gouvernement du Canada

June 11 | 2018

Do green neighbourhoods promote urban health justice?

Isabelle Anguelovski, Helen Cole, James Connolly, Margarita Triguero-Mas

The Lancet, Public Health. Vol 3, No. 6, e270 June 2018

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(18)30096-3

For the past 30 years, a search for social and health justice has shaped many cities in North America and Europe. Residents of these cities have mobilised to address the effects of neighbourhood disinvestment, pollution, harmful land uses, and low-quality green spaces on health. In cities such as Leipzig or Barcelona, these movements have transformed neighbourhoods. However, while green amenities are important selling points for attracting high-income populations, the resulting increased property values shape a new conundrum, embodied in the exclusion and displacement associated with so-called green gentrification

June 4 | 2018

Healthy cities: key to a healthy future in China

William Summerskill, Helena Hui Wang, Richard Horton

The Lancet, Vol 391, No. 10135, p2086–2087, 26 May 2018 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30608-1

Summary

By 2030, up to one in eight people will live in a city in China. As urbanisation accelerates around the world, and particularly in Asia, the pivotal role of cities to influence the health of their inhabitants has never been greater. Hence, the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

 

GSC Spring Meeting Webinar

 

CANUE member Dr. Michael Jerrett presents at the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine – Geographical Sciences Committee Meeting, May 2018. Hear Dr. Jerrett’s thoughts on how we deal with individual movements through time and space, what that means for environmental exposures, and how we capture data to characterize exposures for health studies.

May 21 | 2018

Kernel Density Estimation as a Measure of Environmental Exposure Related to Insulin Resistance in Breast Cancer Survivors

Marta M. Jankowska, Loki Natarajan, Suneeta Godbole, Kristin Meseck, Dorothy D. Sears, Ruth E. Patterson and Jacqueline Kerr

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 26(7); 1078–84. Published July 2017

DOI: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-16-0927

Abstract

Background:

Environmental factors may influence breast cancer; however, most studies have measured environmental exposure in neighborhoods around home residences (static exposure). We hypothesize that tracking environmental exposures over time and space (dynamic exposure) is key to assessing total exposure. This study compares breast cancer survivors’ exposure to walkable and recreation-promoting environments using dynamic Global Positioning System (GPS) and static home-based measures of exposure in relation to insulin resistance.

Methods:

GPS data from 249 breast cancer survivors living in San Diego County were collected for one week along with fasting blood draw. Exposure to recreation spaces and walkability was measured for each woman’s home address within an 800 m buffer (static), and using a kernel density weight of GPS tracks (dynamic). Participants’ exposure estimates were related to insulin resistance (using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, HOMA-IR) controlled by age and body mass index (BMI) in linear regression models.

Results:

The dynamic measurement method resulted in greater variability in built environment exposure values than did the static method. Regression results showed no association between HOMA-IR and home-based, static measures of walkability and recreation area exposure. GPS-based dynamic measures of both walkability and recreation area were significantly associated with lower HOMA-IR (P < 0.05).

Conclusions:

Dynamic exposure measurements may provide important evidence for community- and individual-level interventions that can address cancer risk inequities arising from environments wherein breast cancer survivors live and engage.

Impact: This is the first study to compare associations of dynamic versus static built environment exposure measures with insulin outcomes in breast cancer survivors.

May 14 | 2018

Environmental noise pollution and risk of preeclampsia.

Auger N, Duplaix M, Bilodeau-Bertrand M, Lo E, Smargiassi A.

Environ Pollut. 2018 Apr 25;239:599-606. Doi. 10.1016/j.envpol.2018.04.060

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Environmental noise exposure is associated with a greater risk of hypertension, but the link with preeclampsia, a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, is unclear.

OBJECTIVES:

We sought to determine the relationship between environmental noise pollution and risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy.

METHODS:

We analyzed a population-based cohort comprising 269,263 deliveries on the island of Montreal, Canada between 2000 and 2013. We obtained total environmental noise pollution measurements (LAeq24, Lden, Lnight) from land use regression models, and assigned noise levels to each woman based on the residential postal code. We computed odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association of noise with preeclampsia in mixed logistic regression models with participants as a random effect, and adjusted for air pollution, neighbourhood walkability, maternal age, parity, multiple pregnancy, comorbidity, socioeconomic deprivation, and year of delivery. We assessed whether noise exposure was more strongly associated with severe or early onset preeclampsia than mild or late onset preeclampsia.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of preeclampsia was higher for women exposed to elevated environmental noise pollution levels (LAeq24h ≥ 65 dB(A) = 37.9 per 1000 vs. <50 dB(A) = 27.9 per 1000). Compared with 50 dB(A), an LAeq24h of 65.0 dB(A) was not significantly associated the risk of preeclampsia (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.99-1.20). Associations were however present with severe (OR 1.29, 95% CI 1.09-1.54) and early onset (OR 1.71, 95% CI 1.20-2.43) preeclampsia, with results consistent across all noise indicators. The associations were much weaker or absent for mild and late preeclampsia.

CONCLUSIONS:

Environmental noise pollution may be a novel risk factor for pregnancy-related hypertension, particularly more severe variants of preeclampsia.

Urban Green and Built Infrastructure as a Tool to Mitigate Local Air Pollution | April 10 | 2018 | VIDEO AVAILABLE

VIDEO NOW AVAILABLE

For his presentation, Dr. Baldauf will summarize the U.S. EPA’s research program on the use of built and green infrastructure to mitigate local air pollution impacts from transportation facilities.  His presentation will describe the current scientific understanding of how urban infrastructure affects local air quality, including a review of projects conducted in the US and other parts of the world investigating solid noise barrier and roadside vegetation impacts in particular.  He will also summarize existing resources developed by the U.S. EPA to assist environmental and health professionals, urban planners, and developers to identify best practices to mitigate local air pollution impacts and avoid unintended consequences where urban infrastructure may exacerbate local air quality concerns.

 

 

Dr. Baldauf has over 20 years of experience conducting research on emissions, air quality impacts, and adverse health effects from exposures to air pollution emitted by transportation and industrial sources.  His research focuses on the development of policies and practices to mitigate air pollution emissions and impacts at local, urban, and global scales.  His research has led to national emissions standards and best practices to mitigate air pollution impacts using urban development including built and green infrastructure.  He has a joint affiliation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Research & Development and the Office of Transportation & Air Quality where he has led cross-disciplinary research teams focusing on air quality measurements, air dispersion modeling, and sustainable transportation and urban development issues.  He also maintains Adjunct Professor appointments in the School of Engineering at North Carolina State University and Texas A&M University.  Dr. Baldauf co-manages the U.S. EPA’s Mobile Source Emissions Research Laboratory and led the cross-agency Sustainable Transportation Initiative.  He has published over 100 peer-review journal articles and several book chapters on these topics during his career at the U.S. EPA.

April 30 | 2018

Using electronic health record data for environmental and place based population health research: a systematic review.

Schinasi LH, Auchincloss AH, Forrest CB, Diez Roux AV.

Ann Epidemiol. 2018 Mar 21. pii: S1047-2797(18)30059-0. [Epub ahead of print] DOI:10.1016/j.annepidem.2018.03.008 

Abstract 

PURPOSE:

We conducted a systematic review of literature published on January 2000-May 2017 that spatially linked electronic health record (EHR) data with environmental information for population health research.

METHODS:

We abstracted information on the environmental and health outcome variables and the methods and data sources used.

RESULTS:

The automated search yielded 669 articles; 128 articles are included in the full review. The number of articles increased by publication year; the majority (80%) were from the United States, and the mean sample size was approximately 160,000. Most articles used cross-sectional (44%) or longitudinal (40%) designs. Common outcomes were health care utilization (32%), cardiometabolic conditions/obesity (23%), and asthma/respiratory conditions (10%). Common environmental variables were sociodemographic measures (42%), proximity to medical facilities (15%), and built environment and land use (13%). The most common spatial identifiers were administrative units (59%), such as census tracts. Residential addresses were also commonly used to assign point locations, or to calculate distances or buffer areas.

CONCLUSIONS:

Future research should include more detailed descriptions of methods used to geocode addresses, focus on a broader array of health outcomes, and describe linkage methods. Studies should also explore using longitudinal residential address histories to evaluate associations between time-varying environmental variables and health outcomes.