Project at a Glance

Title: Incidence of respiratory symptoms and chronic disease in a non-smoking population as a function of long-term cumulative exposure to ambient air pollutants (Adventist health study of smog).

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Abbey, David E

Contractor: Loma Linda University

Contract Number: A932-160

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution, Vulnerable Populations


A cohort of 6,340 non-smoking California Seventh-day Adventists have been followed since 1977 for: incidence of cancer and myocardial infarction through 1982, development of definite symptoms of, and increasing severity of, airway obstructive disease, chronic bronchitis, and asthma through 1987, and all natural cause mortality through 1987. Cumulative ambient concentrations of seven pollutants have been estimated for study participants from 1967 to 1987 by interpolating monthly statistics from statewide air monitoring stations to zip codes of residence and work location. Pollutants studied included total suspended particulate ('BP); inhalable particulate less than 10 microns in diameter, estimated from regressions on TSP; fine particulate less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), estimated from airport visibility data; suspended sulfates; ozone; sulfur dioxide (Sq); and nitrogen dioxide (NOJ. Multivariate statistical models, which adjusted for several covariates, showed no statistically significant associations between any of the diseases studied and NO2 or S02. None of the pollutants studied showed statistically significant associations with all natural cause mortality or incidence of all malignant neoplasm in males. Statistically significant associations were observed between elevated ambient concentrations of one or more particulate pollutants and each of the other diseases. Ozone was significantly associated with increasing severity of asthma, and development of asthma in males.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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