Research Reports

HEI’s mission is to provide credible science to support environmental regulations and other policy decisions. The results of each HEI-funded project undergo peer-review by outside scientists and the Health Review Committee. The HEI Research Reports contain the Investigator’s Report and the Review Committee’s evaluation of the study, summarized in a Commentary or short Critique.

ISSN 1041-5505 (print)        ISSN 2688-6855 (online) 

Research Report 194
Benjamin Barratt
Martha Lee
Paulina Wong
Robert Tang
Tsz Him Tsui
Wei Cheng
Yang Yang
Poh-Chin Lai
Linwei Tian
Thuan-Quoc Thach
Ryan Allen
Michael Brauer
February 2018

HEI’s Research Report 194 describes a study led by Benjamin Barratt of King’s College London, United Kingdom, that developed a dynamic three-dimensional land-use regression model for Hong Kong and used it to estimate exposure to traffic-related air pollution.

Research Report 193
Jiu-Chiuan Chen
Xinhui Wang
Marc Serre
Steven Cen
Meredith Franklin
Mark Espeland
October 2017

Research Report 193 describes a novel study by Jiu-Chiuan Chen and colleagues examining possible associations between long-term exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) and changes in the brains of older women in the United States. The study focused on brain volumes and neurocognitive outcomes, specifically mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Dr. Chen used neuroimaging and cognitive outcome data from women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study and estimated their exposure to ambient PM2.5 and to diesel PM.

Research Report 192 Part 1
Mark W Frampton
John R Balmes
Philip A Bromberg
Paul Stark
Mehrdad Arjomandi
Milan J Hazucha
David Q Rich
Danielle Hollenbeck-Pringle
Nicholas Dagincourt
Neil E Alexis
Peter Ganz
Wojciech Zareba
Maria G Costantini
June 2017

HEI Research Report 192 describes a multicenter study by John Balmes at the University of California–San Francisco, Phil Bromberg at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, and Mark Frampton at the University of Rochester, New York. The study was designed to test whether ozone has short-term cardiovascular effects at present-day ambient levels. It evaluated respiratory and cardiovascular outcomes in 87 healthy participants (60 years old on average) who were exposed to 0, 70, or 120 ppb ozone for 3 hours while exercising moderately.

Research Report 191
Allison D Fryer
David B Jacoby
Sarah A Wicher
March 2017

Research Report 191 describes a study by Allison Fryer and colleagues that addressed how exposure to ozone affects the immune and physiological responses in guinea pigs. In her study, Dr. Fryer focused on eosinophils, white blood cells that play an important role in inflammation, allergies, and allergic asthma, and can modify the airway response to ozone inhalation. This study tested a novel hypothesis: that allergic guinea pigs react differently to ozone than normal animals because of newly formed eosinophils that migrate from bone marrow to the lungs.

Research Report 190
Frank Gilliland
Edward L Avol
Rob McConnell
Kiros T Berhane
W James Gauderman
Fred W Lurmann
Robert Urman
Roger Chang
Edward B Rappaport
Stephen Howland
January 2017

Research Report 190 describes a study by Frank Gilliland and colleagues that was funded under HEI’s Accountability research program. The investigators collected air quality data and lung function and respiratory symptoms in three cohorts of children who participated in the Children’s Health Study in Southern California. During the 20-year study period, nearly 20 major policy actions were implemented to reduce pollution from transportation and other sources. Gilliland and colleagues evaluated whether the improved air quality was associated with improved lung function and respiratory symptoms in these children.

Research Report 189
Zhengmin Qian
Bin Zhang
Shengwen Liang
Jing Wang
Shaoping Yang
Ke Hu
Edwin Trevathan
Rong Yang
Qijie Li
Louise H Flick
Ronghua Hu
Zhen Huang
Yimin Zhang
Shixiang Hu
Jing Wang
Longjiao Shen
Yuan Lu
Hui Peng
Yuzhen Yu
Li Yang
Wei Chen
Wenjin Liu
Wei Zhang
September 2016

HEI Research Report 189 describes a study by Dr. Zhengmin Qian conducted in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei province in China. Wuhan experiences temperature extremes and generally has higher air pollution levels than those seen in the United States and Europe. Dr. Qian examined whether increased exposures to air pollutants (particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone) during vulnerable pregnancy periods were associated with increased rates of preterm birth, low birth weight, or intrauterine growth retardation, using both a cohort and nested case-control design.

Research Report 188
Jun Wu
Olivier Laurent
Lianfa Li
Jianlin Hu
Michael Kleeman
July 2016

HEI Research Report 188 analyzes associations between increases in various air pollution exposure metrics and increased risks of preterm birth. Jun Wu was funded under HEI's Walter A. Rosenblith New Investigator Award to conduct a comprehensive nested, case-control study of air pollution and adverse birth and pregnancy outcomes, using birth certificate data collected in California from 2001 to 2008. 

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.

Research Report 186
David Q Rich
Annette Peters
Alexandra Schneider
Wojciech Zareba
Susanne Breitner
David Oakes
Jelani Wiltshire
Cathleen Kane
Mark W Frampton
Regina Hampel
Philip K Hopke
Josef Cyrys
Mark J Utell
May 2016

Using data from four previously completed studies (two panel studies and two controlled-exposure studies), David Rich and Annette Peters and their teams investigated potential mechanisms behind the effects of short-term exposure to PM2.5 and ultrafine particles on changes in cardiac rhythm, including heart rate variability and other ECG parameters.

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.