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 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. 

Research Report 185
Patrick H Ryan
Cole Brokamp
Zhi-Hua (Tina) Fan
MB Rao
December 2015

This report describes a study by Dr. Patrick Ryan at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He used the RIOPA data – which HEI has made available to all scientists on the Web to further explore relationships among the elemental composition of indoor, outdoor, and personal PM2.5 samples collected at participant’s homes. His analyses included traditional and novel approaches to comparing the samples.

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. 

Research Report 184
Jacob D McDonald
Jeffrey C Bemis
Lance M Hallberg
Daniel J Conklin
January 2015

This report describes four studies conducted as a single phase (Phase 3B) of HEI's Advanced Collaborative Emissions Study (ACES) program, which was designed to evaluate the emissions and health changes resulting from substantially improved diesel engines required under the U.S. EPA 2007–2010 Heavy Duty Diesel Rule. These studies were conducted by Drs. Jacob D. McDonald of the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jeffrey C. Bemis of Litron Laboratories, Rochester, New York, Lance M. Hallberg of the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, and Daniel J. Conklin, University of Louisville, Kentucky.