ULTRA III: "ENVIRONMENTAL NANOPARTICLES AND HEALTH: Exposure, Modeling and Epidemiology of Nanoparticles and their Composition within KORA""(2013-2016)

Study objectives:
Using predicted exposures based on land-use regression models, we are investigating the association between annual averages of environmental nanoparticles (ultrafine particles (UFP)), their chemical composition and source contributions, black carbon (BC), nitrogen dioxides (NOx), ozone and particulate matter and several health outcomes collected as part of the KORA FF4 cohort (KORA re-examination in 2013/14).

Specific objectives:

  • To measure UFP, its chemical composition and further pollutants in the Augsburg region for purposes of characterizing spatial-temporal variation.

  • To model the long-term average exposure to the pollutants for participants of the KORA cohort and verify these models against previously collected personal monitoring data.

  • To assess the long-term association between the air pollutants and oxidative stress, cardio-metabolic outcomes including inflammatory markers, lung function, metabolic disease development, onset of diabetes, myocardial infarction and/or stroke, kidney function, and brain disorders.

Study design:

The air pollutants were monitored several times a year following the ESCAPE protocol at 20 locations within the Augsburg region. Annual averages were calculated and land-use regression models compiled to explain the spatial variation of the pollutants by predictor variables derived from geographic information systems (GIS). The land-use models were applied to the residential addresses of the cohort participants to assign individual long-term concentrations.

To assess the health effects, we combine the modeled individual long-term concentrations with health data from the KORA FF4 study. We use cross-sectional linear and logistic regression models adjusting for known risk factors such as age, gender, body mass index, risk factor profiles, socio-economic status, active and passive smoking and also investigate effect modification by metabolic disease status. In addition, we longitudinally investigate incidence of diabetes, myocardial infarction and/or stroke with Cox proportional hazards models.

Study population:
KORA participants

Study area:
Augsburg, Germany

2013 - 2016

Current status:

Field work and exposure modelling completed; epidemiological analyses and paper drafting ongoing.

Institute of Epidemiology: Annette Peters, Josef Cyrys, Alexandra Schneider, Kathrin Wolf, Susanne Breitner
Comprehensive Molecular Analytics: Ralf Zimmermann
Institute of Epidemiology: Holger Schulz


Collaboration with two institutes of Helmholtz Zentrum München


Intramural funding for Environmental Health projects of Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health


Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health

Institute of Epidemiology
Dr. Annette Peters

Related publication:

Li, F. ; Schnelle-Kreis, J.; Cyrys, J.; Wolf, K.; Karg, E.W.; Gu, J.; Orasche, J.; Abbaszade, G.; Peters, A.; Zimmermann, R.
Spatial and temporal variation of sources contributing to quasi-ultrafine particulate matter PM0.36 in Augsburg, Germany.
Sci. Total Environ. 631-632, 191-200 (2018)

Pilz, V.; Wolf, K.; Breitner, S.; Rückerl, R.; Koenig, W.; Rathmann, W.; Cyrys, J.; Peters, A.; Schneider, A.E.
C-reactive protein (CRP) and long-term air pollution with a focus on ultrafine particles.
Int. J. Hyg. Environ. Health 221, 510-518 (2018)

Wolf K, Cyrys J, Harciníková T, Gu J, Kusch T, Hampel R, Schneider A, Peters A:
Land use regression modeling of ultrafine particles, ozone, nitrogen oxides and markers of particulate matter pollution in Augsburg, Germany.
Sci Total Environ. 2017 Feb 1;579:1531-1540. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.160. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

NCBI Abstract

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