Statistical Methods

This page has a list of publications and news articles related to Innovative Strategies - Statistical Methods. Find more information on Innovation in HEI's research programs.

Research Report 187
Corwin M. Zigler
Chanmin Kim
Christine Choirat
John Barrett Hansen
Yun Wang
Lauren Hund
Jonathan Samet
Gary King
Francesca Dominici
May 2016

HEI Research Report 187 was funded as part of HEI’s Accountability research program, aimed at understanding whether actions to improve air quality have resulted in improved health outcomes. Corwin M. Zigler and his colleagues used existing and newly developed statistical methods to assess whether an intervention was causally related to changes in pollutant levels or health outcomes, and applied their methods in two well-developed case studies: effects of air quality interventions to reduce PM10 concentrations in nonattainment areas and the impact of installation of scrubber technologies on emissions from coal-fired power plants.

"Direct" Approach Evaluates Air Quality Interventions

May 31, 2016

HEI Research Report 187, Causal Inference Methods for Estimating Long-Term Health Effects of Air Quality Regulations, was funded as part of HEI’s Accountability research program, aimed at understanding whether actions to improve air quality have resulted in improved health outcomes.

This newsletter reports on a third study under way in Europe to complete the comprehensive HEI effort to examine the potential health effects of air pollution at low levels; HEI's new research program focusing on the health effects of exposure to traffic-related pollution; and the GBD MAPS team's presentation of preliminary data on coal’s impact on health in China. In addition, it covers the publication of two new research reports covering novel statistical methods for studying pollutant mixtures and a “direct” approach evaluating the impact of air quality interventions through “causal inference” methods, as well as the retirement of HEI's Aaron Cohen, a strategy session held with HEI's sponsors, and HEI in the news.

Spring 2016 Update now available

May 18, 2016

The Spring 2016 newsletter reports on a third study under way in Europe to complete the comprehensive HEI effort to examine the potential health effects of air pollution at low levels; HEI's new research program focusing on the health effects of exposure to traffic-related pollution; and the GBD MAPS team's presentation of preliminary data on coal’s impact on health in China, and more. 

Research Report 183, Part III
John Molitor
Eric Coker
Michael Jerrett
Beate Ritz
Arthur Li
April 2016

This report is Part 3 of HEI Research Report 183, Development of Statistical Methods for Multipollutant Research. It describes a study to develop and apply statistical methods to analyze the effects of multipollutant exposures on health, expanding beyond the two-pollutant approaches used in many studies to date. HEI funded three innovative studies in recent years to improve the tools for analyzing complex multipollutant exposures. In this last report from these studies, John Molitor and colleagues describe a Bayesian framework to identify spatial clusters of air pollution exposures — and other covariates such as socioeconomic status — and estimated pregnancy outcomes associated with those clusters, using a data set for Los Angeles county. 

Novel Statistical Methods for Studying Pollutant Mixtures

April 7, 2016

HEI Research Report 183, Part 3Modeling of Multipollutant Profiles and Spatially Varying Health Effects with Applications to Indicators of Adverse Birth Outcomes, describes a study to develop and apply statistical methods to analyze the effects of multipollutant exposures on health, expanding beyond the two-pollutant approaches used in many studies to date. 

This newsletter reports on the approval of new HEI studies to examine potential health effects of low-level pollution; the completion of a review of diesel exhaust studies (Special Report 19) by an HEI-appointed panel; and WHO's plans to update global air quality guidelines. In addition, it announces the publication of an HEI report taking a closer look at exposure to PM2.5 and its composition and a report evaluating rapid heart rhythm changes after exposure to PM. HEI also announces the recipient of the 2015 Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award and the appointment of three new HEI Research Committee members.

Research Report 183, Parts 1 and 2
Brent A Coull
et al.
Eun Sug Park
et al.
June 2015

This report contains two studies, by Drs. Brent A Coull and Eun Sug Park and their colleagues, and a Commentary discussing each study individually, as well as an Integrative Discussion of the two. 
Part 1. Statistical Learning Methods for the Effects of Multiple Air Pollution ConstituentsBrent A. Coull et al.
Part 2. Development of Enhanced Statistical Methods for Assessing Health Effects Associated with an Unknown Number of Major Sources of Multiple Air Pollutants. Eun Sug Park et al. 

Contents: HEI's Strategic Plan for 2015–2020 Now Under Way;  Greenbaum Chairs NRC Review of U.S. Climate, Health Assessment; O'Keefe Closes Out Successful Run on Key Air Advisory Committee; Communicating Results - HEI Science Highlighted at EPA Workshops HEI in the News - Wide Audience for ACES Findings; Novel Statistical Methods for Studying Pollutant Mixtures; Journal Spotlights NPACT Studies; Eyes on the Future - HEI Sponsors Meet with Research Committee to Discuss the Path Forward;  Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award Announced

Research Report 175
James M Robins
Peng Zhang
Rajeev Ayyagari
Roger Logan
Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen
Lingling Li
Thomas Lumley
Aad van der Vaart
November 2013

This report describes semiparametric methods for epidemiologic investigations of the short-term effects of air pollution on health, intended specifically to improve the reliability of point estimates and confidence intervals. Dr. James Robins of the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues developed the new methods, used simulations to compare them with other methods, and applied them to a large epidemiologic data set from the National Morbidity, Mortality, and Air Pollution Study (NMMAPS) to assess their effectiveness. The report is accompanied by a short editorial to assist the reader in understanding this study and its contributions to epidemiologic methods for air pollution.