Park Group - Environmental and Molecular Epidemiology

Prospective Study of Atherosclerosis, Clinical Cardiovascular Disease, and Long Term Exposure to Ambient Particulate Matter in a Multi-Ethnic Cohort (MESA Air)

Principal Investigator

Joel Kaufman 


Sara Adar, Ana Diez Roux, Richard Kronmal, David Siscovick, Lianne Sheppard, Martha Daviglus, David Jacobs, R. Graham Barr, Greg Burke, Timothy Larson, Karol Watson, Matthew Budoff, Steven Shea, Ana Navas-Acien, Aaron Folsom, Kiang Liu, Edward Avol, James Stein, Paul Sampson, Thomas Lumley, Timothy Nyerges, Yinhai Wang 

Additional Personnel

Marie O'Neill, Sung Kyun Park, Yeh-Hsin Chen, University of Washington Air Pollution Research Group 

Funding Sources

Environmental Protection Agency (subcontracted through University of Washington)

Associated URL




Supporting Files

About this Project

The MESA Air Pollution Study investigates the impact of air pollution on the progression of cardiovascular disease among more than 7000 participants with diverse backgrounds from six states for 10 years. The central scientific hypothesis for this study is that long-term exposure to fine particles is associated with a more rapid progression of coronary atherosclerosis and an increased risk of coronary events. To test this hypothesis, a host of air pollution and participant health measures are being collected and analyzed. Measured PM concentrations and variability at the neighborhood, home and individual levels are being integrated into a model to estimate long-term PM exposure for all study participants. The cardiovascular health of each participant is also tracked, with a subgroup of 3600 participating in additional medical evaluations for subclinical,asymptomatic progression of atherosclerosis. The MESA Air Pollution Study will address the following critical scientific questions concerning PM-related health effects:

1. What role does long-term particle exposure play in the progression of coronary artery disease and the onset of clinical cardiovascular disease, including heart failure, heart attacks and mortality?

2. Are some ethnic populations more susceptible to the effects of particle exposure?

3. Does the presence of gaseous pollutants change the health risks associated with ambient particulate matter?