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Last Edited: 9/28/2005

Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Disease in the California Teachers Cohort
09/2005 -

Hundreds of studies implicate exposure to short-term ambient air pollution as a risk factor for exacerbation of pre-existing illness and for mortality in susceptible individuals. In contrast, much less is known about: (1) the health impacts of longer-term exposure, particularly on the development of cardiac or respiratory diseases; and (2) the roles of specific sources, especially traffic-associated emissions, with respect to the pathogenesis of chronic illness. This project will examine the following questions: (1) Are long-term exposures to particulate matter or to any of several gaseous pollutants related to cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality? (2) Is long-term exposure to traffic emissions, measured by residential proximity to busy roads, related to cardiovascular disease incidence or mortality? This effort will leverage the infrastructure of the California Teachers’ Study, a prospective study of 133,479 current and former female public school teachers and administrators recruited in 1995. Many members of this study population are at risk for developing and dying from cardiovascular diseases by virtue of their older age and post-menopausal status. Their mortality and hospitalization experience will be analyzed in relation to long-term measures of air pollution and traffic exposures. This effort is funded in part by the California Air Resources Board.