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COUPH: COpenhagen Ultrafine Particles and Health

Principal Investigator: 

University of Copenhagen, Denmark

This New Investigator Award study seeks to provide novel exposure–response functions for the effects of long-term exposure to ultrafine particles on several mortality and morbidity outcomes, while adjusting for exposures to other traffic-related air pollutants, road traffic noise, and socioeconomic status. The study makes use of a new Danish cohort of 650,000 adults.

Funded under

Poster abstract for HEI Annual Conference 2022

COUPH: COpenhagen Ultrafine Particles and Health

Heresh Amini1, Roel Vermeulen2, Jules Kerckhoffs2, Marie L. Bergmann1, Seyed Mahmood Taghavi Shahri1, Youn-Hee Lim1, Jeanette T. Jørgensen1, Tom Cole-Hunter1, Laust H. Mortensen1,3, Amar J. Mehta1, Theis Lange1, Esben Budtz-Jørgensen1, Thomas Ellermann4, Ole Hertel4, Rasmus Reeh5, Christian Gaarde Nielsen5, Kees de Hoogh6,7, Jie Chen2, Gerard Hoek2, Bert Brunekreef2, Kees Meliefste2, Rudi Westendorp1, Steffen Loft1, Joel Schwartz8, Zorana J. Andersen1

1Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark; 2Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, The Netherlands; 3Statistics Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark; 4Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark; 5City of Copenhagen and Copenhagen Solution Lab, Copenhagen, Denmark; 6Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland; 7University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; 8Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, United States

Background: To date, sparse epidemiological evidence suggests associations of ultrafine particles (particulate matter with diameter < 0.1 µm; UFPs) with cardiovascular disease (CVD), yet no studies adjusted for road traffic noise. Further, there is lack of studies on long-term exposure to UFPs and all- and cause-specific mortality and morbidity due to dementia, diabetes, and respiratory diseases (RD), all of which have been linked so far to long-term exposure to particulate matter ≤ 2.5 µm (PM2.5).

Objectives: The overall objective of this project is to examine the association between long-term exposure to UFPs and mortality and morbidity due to major cardio- and cerebrovascular, respiratory, metabolic, and neurodegenerative diseases in a large, comprehensive population-based cohort study in Copenhagen, Denmark, utilizing recent Google Air View-based high-resolution model estimates.

Methods: We will define a new, population based COpenhagen Ultrafine Particles and Health (COUPH) cohort by including people who were residing in the Greater Copenhagen area defined by the Google Air View car routes measurement campaign from 2018-2020, and who were 30 years or older in 2010. We will include the populations of municipalities of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, and Tårnby (~350,000), who will be linked to the national registries to extract individual-level data on SES related variables in year 2010. Data on mortality and incidence of CVD, RD, lung cancer, diabetes, and dementia until 2020 will be extracted from nationwide health registries. The main source for exposure will be Google Air View data where exposure to UFPs, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and black carbon (BC) will be estimated at COUPH subjects' addresses in 2010 by land-use regression (LUR) models based on measurement campaign in Greater Copenhagen area (November 2018- March 2020). Additionally, data on PM2.5 from the European-wide hybrid LUR model will be used. We will use Cox proportional hazard models with age as an underlying time to examine the associations of long-term exposure to UFPs and other pollutants with the mortality and incidence of CVD, RD, diabetes, and dementia. We will adjust for conventional air pollutants (PM2.5, NO2, and BC) and road traffic noise.

Discussion: COUPH will use unique data and advanced methods to provide novel exposure-response functions for the effects of long-term exposure to UFPs, and will be useful in evaluation of a need of regulating UFPs.