Research Group "Environmental Risks"

Air Pollution and Diabetes and Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality:

INGER: "Integrating gender into environmental health research: Building a sound evidence basis for gender-sensitive prevention and environmental health protection"

The aim of the proposed project is to develop methods for gender-sensitive data collection and data analyses in population-based studies on environmental health to be able to analyse the impacts of sex/gender and to build a sound basis for gender-sensitive prevention and environmental health protection. The project is designed as close interdisciplinary collaboration between environmental epidemiology, toxicology, public health, and gender studies.

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ELAPSE: "Effects of Low-Level Air Pollution: a Study in Europe"

Epidemiological cohort studies have consistently found associations between long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution and a range of morbidity and mortality endpoints. Recent evaluations by the World Health Organization and the Global Burden of Disease study have suggested that these associations may be non-linear, and persist at very low concentrations. Therefore, ELAPSE aims to investigate if the long-term exposure to low concentrations of outdoor air pollution is related to adverse health effects.

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ULTRA III: "ENVIRONMENTAL NANOPARTICLES AND HEALTH: Exposure, Modeling and Epidemiology of Nanoparticles and their Composition within KORA"

The lack of evidence on long-term effects of environmental nanoparticles is currently preventing any regulations in the EU and worldwide. ULTRA III aims to investigate the association between annual averages of ultrafine particles, their chemical composition and source contributions, black carbon, nitrogen dioxides, ozone and particulate matter and several health outcomes using predicted exposures based on novel land-use regression models.

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CATHGEN: "CATHeterization GENetics Research Project“

This project is designed to investigate the effects of acute and chronic air pollution exposure on acute and chronic cardiovascular disease. Gene-by-air quality effects on newly identified cardiovascular risk biomarkers and blood-based whole genome gene expression profiles as biological mediators of acute cardiovascular events (myocardial infarction and hospitalization) and cardiovascular disease state (extent of coronary artery atherosclerosis) will be examined.

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UF&Health: “Health effects of ultrafine particles in Europe”

Epidemiological evidence on the association between short-term exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) and mortality is weak, due to the lack of routine UFP measurements and standardized multi-center studies. This projects aims to investigate the relationship between UFP and particulate matter (PM) with daily mortality and hospitalization in eight European urban areas (Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Augsburg, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Athens).

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RETRO: "Retrospective analysis of chamber studies data"

The study combines six existing chamber studies using only the repeated health measurements pre and 24h post exposure in the chamber. The aim of the study is to investigate ambient air pollution effects on ECG, blood, and lung function parameters in healthy subjects as well as in participants with metabolic syndrome or mild asthma.

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PREVIOUS PROJECTS

  • GeUmGe-Net: "Gender, Environment and Health – Geschlecht, Umwelt und Gesundheit“
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  • TRANSPHORM: "Transport related Air Pollution and Health impacts – Integrated Methodologies for Assessing Particulate Matter"
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  • UFIREG: 
"Ultrafine particles – an evidence based contribution to the development of regional and European environmental and health policy"
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  • "Health impact of improved air quality during the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing, China"
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  • HEI project: “Ambient and controlled particle exposures as triggers for acute ECG-changes, and the role of anti-oxidant status”
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  • EPA STAR 2: "Source-specific health effects of ultrafine and fine particles"
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  • “Combining individual and central site measurements of ultrafine particles: Complex statistical analyses of source-dependent health effects”
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  • ESCAPE: "Effects of long-term exposure to air pollution on health in European cohorts"
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  • DEPS: “Diabetes and the Environment Panel Study in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. A cooperation project between HMGU and US EPA (Human Studies Division, Chapel Hill, North Carolina)”
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  • AIRGENE: "Air pollution and inflammatory response in myocardial infarction survivors: gene-environment interaction in a high risk group"
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  • "Short-term health effects of fine and ultrafine particle pollution in Beijing, China"
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  • HEI Erfurt I: "Daily mortality and fine and ultrafine particles in Erfurt, Germany"
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  • HEI Erfurt II: "Improved air quality and its influences on short-term health effects in Erfurt, Eastern Germany"
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  • EPA STAR 1: "Inflammatory response and cardiovascular risk factors in elderly subjects with angina pectoris or COPD in association with fine and ultrafine particles"
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  • HEI Augsburg: "Particulate air pollution and the onset of nonfatal myocardial infarction – A case-crossover study"
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  • HEAPSS: "Health effects of air pollution on susceptible subpopulations". Traditional air pollutants, ultrafine particles and myocardial infarction: database and health assessment
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  • Ultra II: "Exposure and risk assessment for fine and ultrafine particles in ambient air - ULTRA II"
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Weather and Climate:

EXHAUSTION: “Exposure to heat and air pollution in Europe – cardiopulmonary impacts and benefits of mitigation and adaptation” (2019-2023)

This project aims to quantify the future burden of cardio-pulmonary disease (CPD) morbidity and mortality attributable to heat and air pollution based upon the exposure-response association from retrospective data and the latest climate modelling techniques, also modelling the socio-economic cost estimates for CPD. Furthermore, health co-benefits and cost estimates of future adaptation as well as greenhouse gas mitigation actions will be projected.

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“Interactive effects of air temperature and air pollution on daily myocardial infarctions in the region of Augsburg”

This project aims to investigate potential modifications of the association between air temperature and daily myocardial infarctions by air pollution concentrations based on data of the Augsburg myocardial infarction registry (1986 – 2015). Moreover, susceptible subgroups should be identified.

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TAMINA

Within this project, we analyze short-term effects of changes in the climate, in particular changes in temperature, on mortality. In detail, we investigate the effects of daily changes in air temperature on daily numbers of cause-specific mortality in the region of Augsburg and in selected regions of Nepal for the time period 1990 – 2012.

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"Impact of Meteorological Parameters on Suicide Rates in Germany“

This study aims to investigate the impact of daily meteorological conditions (e.g. air temperature or sunshine duration) on the risk of committing suicide based on mortality and meteorological data gathered in four Bavarian cities and eleven counties between 1990 and 2006.

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REKLIM: “Regionaler Klimawandel: Ursachen und Folgen”

PREVIOUS PROJECTS

MOHIT: "Mortality, myocardial infarction and air temperature in Bavaria"

Project description

 

Health Risk Assessment and Environmental Burden of Disease:

Nitrogen dioxide: population-weighted exposure assessment and quantification of environmental burden of disease in Germany

In this project, a population-weighted NO2 exposure assessment from assimilated modelling data was conducted for the German population. The most relevant NO2-associated health risks in Germany were identified and quantified in DALYs (Disability Adjusted Life Years). The results may support policy makers in evaluation and resource allocation with respect to environment-related health protection.

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Persistent Organic Pollutants and Diabetes:

POPDIAB: "Relationship between blood concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and regional difference in risk of type 2 diabetes in Germany"

Although persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been banned in most countries, these substances can still be detected in the food chain because of their long half-lives and they can also accumulate in human adipose tissue. As evidence from animal studies is growing that POPs can act as endocrine disruptors we aim to investigate the blood concentrations of POPs in participants from two German cohort studies who developed type 2 diabetes with non-diabetic age- and sex-matched controls.

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