AllerGen researcher funded to lead worldwide study of air pollution and disease

Dr. Michael Brauer, an AllerGen investigator and a professor in the School of Population and Public Health at The University of British Columbia (UBC), is leading a new study that will provide an unparalleled worldwide analysis of the relationship between air pollution and cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

“PURE AIR: A Global Assessment of Air Pollution and Respiratory and Cardiovascular Disease within the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study” has received a four-year, $753,000 operating grant from the CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health.

The award will support Dr. Brauer and a team of seven researchers, including AllerGen research leader Dr. Paul O’Byrne, to conduct the first worldwide health study on the impacts of both outdoor and household air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory disease. The study will use an existing international cohort: the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological Study (PURE), led by Dr. Salim Yusuf of the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University. PURE has recruited 155,000 individuals residing in 628 communities in 17 countries and 5 continents, with follow-up completed for four years and continuing for a further six.

PURE AIR will use novel satellite-based approaches to estimate outdoor air pollution levels, as well as targeted air pollution monitoring for all communities. Household air pollution will be estimated using detailed information already collected on the heating and cooking methods, fuel types and ventilation practices used in the PURE study participants’ homes.

The results will help to determine the relationship between outdoor and household air pollution exposures and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as key relevant risk factors, such as blood pressure and lung function.