The role of air pollution in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) remains uncertain.
The aim was to assess the impact of chronic exposure to air pollution on COPD in four cohorts using the standardised ESCAPE exposure estimates. Annual average particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and road traffic exposure were assigned to home addresses using land-use regression models. COPD was defined by NHANES reference equation (forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1)/forced vital capacity (FVC) less than the lower limit of normal) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease criterion (FEV1/FVC <0.70) and categorised by severity in non-asthmatics.
We included 6550 subjects with assigned NOx and 3692 with PM measures. COPD was not associated with NO2 or PM10 in any individual cohort. In meta-analyses only NO2, NOx, PM10 and the traffic indicators were positively, although not significantly, associated with COPD. The only statistically significant associations were seen in females (COPD prevalence using GOLD: OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.11–2.23; and incidence: OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.21–2.68).
None of the principal results were statistically significant, the weak positive associations of exposure with COPD and the significant subgroup findings need to be evaluated in further well standardised cohorts followed up for longer time, and with time-matched exposure assignments.
Results from the ESCAPE study: what is the association of COPD prevalence and incidence with ambient air pollution? http://ow.ly/rQcFM
Ambient air pollution results in adverse acute respiratory effects in populations of all ages . These effects include short-term decreases in lung function, respiratory symptoms, asthma attacks and worsening of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), and related increases in hospitalisations and death due to respiratory causes –. It is less clear to what extent long-term exposure to air pollution contributes to the pathologic processes and mechanisms that result in COPD .
COPD is a common chronic disease of the respiratory tract in the elderly and hence the most common cause of respiratory insufficiency . Due to the slow progression and chronic nature of the disease, COPD represents a massive and growing disease burden and is an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide . Tobacco smoke is recognised as the most important risk factor for the development and the progression of COPD. Although tobacco smoke and combustion-related air pollution emit a range of pollutants in common, the role of ambient air pollution on the underlying chronic disease processes that ultimately lead to COPD are not well investigated. An effect of ambient air pollution on lung growth during childhood has been reported , but the link between impaired lung development and COPD in future life is not established. Similarly, if repeated exacerbations of COPD are considered a cause of disease progression, one may claim indirect evidence for a causal role of air pollution on COPD, given the ability of air pollution to trigger exacerbations .
However, few studies have addressed the COPD hypothesis in adults directly, and only five studies have used spirometry to define COPD objectively .
Accordingly, the overall evidence that long-term exposure to ambient air pollution causes COPD among adults was considered suggestive but not conclusive in both an American Thoracic Society statement and a recent update of the literature . A causal role of ambient air pollution in the development of COPD is, though, biologically plausible. Oxidative stress and inflammation have been described as consequences of exposure to several air pollutants , . Both pulmonary and systemic effects have been observed and these pathways are likely contributors to respiratory pathologies related to COPD.
The ESCAPE project (European Studies on Chronic Air Pollution Effects) was initiated to provide standardised procedures to measure and model home outdoor concentrations of air pollution to investigate its long-term health effects. This paper makes use of four cohort studies participating in ESCAPE, namely the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS), the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), the Study on the influence of Air pollution on Lung function, Inflammation and Aging (SALIA) and the Swiss cohort Study on Air Pollution and Lung and Heart Diseases in Adults (SAPALDIA), to investigate the association of ambient air pollution with the prevalence and incidence of COPD –.
The analyses are based on random samples of the general population from four cohort studies. All studies performed lung function measurements on two occasions (called baseline and follow-up). To be included in the ESCAPE analyses, participants of the original cohort studies had to be at least 20 years old at baseline; have valid lung function data on two occasions; have available information for the primary covariates; be living in geographic areas where the ESCAPE project derived exposure models; and have at least one successfully assigned home outdoor estimate of exposure (NO2/NOx or particulate matter (PM)) (figs S1–S4).
Definition of COPD
In all cohort studies, only pre-bronchodilator spirometric measurements were available. Therefore, to reduce the risk of asthma/COPD misclassification, subjects who reported “ever asthma” or a diagnosis of asthma either at baseline or follow-up were excluded from the analyses .
COPD was defined according to both the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD)  and the lower limit of normal (LLN) (definitions in online supplementary material: methods). As results did not materially differ we only present the LLN results (GOLD results can be found in the online supplementary material). NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) III equations were used as reference .
The common ESCAPE exposure assessment approaches have been published elsewhere , . In summary, standardised measurement protocols were used in all geographic sites of ESCAPE (www.escapeproject.eu/manuals/). In all 24 sites included from the four studies, NO2/NOx measurements were conducted in three seasons in 2008–2011 using passive samplers. In 12 ESCAPE locations, PM monitoring campaigns were conducted. Land use regression models (LUR) described the spatial distributions of the annual mean concentrations taken as a proxy for the long-term averages for all ESCAPE exposure markers. These models were used to assign exposure estimates to each residential address of all study participants. Two markers of local exposure to traffic related pollutants were also derived for each address, namely annual mean traffic intensity on the nearest road, and total traffic load on major roads in a 100-m buffer.
Baseline clinical measurements and interviews occurred up to 25 years prior to the ESCAPE measurement campaigns in 2008–2011. In light of the substantial changes, usually decreases, in air pollution during these decades, ESCAPE exposure values were back-extrapolated to correct for the differential time trends of pollution. Back extrapolation was conducted by assuming within-city spatial patterns to remain constant, hence individually assigned estimates of ambient concentrations could be adjusted (calibrated) for the long-term trends using a pre-defined back extrapolation algorithm (www.escapeproject.eu/manuals/Procedure_for_extrapolation_back_in_time.pdf).
Thus, wherever available, individual estimates of the home outdoor air pollutant concentrations at the time of the baseline and/or follow-up surveys could be derived.
Data from the studies were analysed separately in each cohort following an identical pre-defined analytic code, applied to the study data, and the results then combined by meta-analyses. All studies used identical codebooks to define and name variables.
In the first step, cohort-specific models were defined a priori, based on current knowledge. All models were run for the default exposure metrics and for the primary COPD outcomes, namely 1) prevalence of COPD at follow-up and 2) incidence of COPD at follow-up, using GOLD in severity stages 1+ and 2+.
Logistic regression models were used in each study separately to obtain study-specific estimates with a random intercept for area. Several alternative sets of potential confounders were considered in the analyses (online supplementary material: methods). However, only the estimates obtained by our “main model”, adjusting for age, age squared, height, sex, body mass index, education and smoking status, are reported in the paper, since the diverse models yielded very similar results.
Sensitivity analyses explored whether the use of a different definition for COPD, whether moving residence between baseline and follow-up or whether adding an aggregate socio-economic level of the residential neighbourhood might change observed associations.
In a second step a random-effect meta-analysis of all the cohort-specific estimates obtained by the main model (model 3) was performed to provide overall estimates (the same procedure was used also in specific subgroups and/or for sensitivity analyses).
All models were fitted to the data using Stata, version 12 (StataCorp, College Station, TX, USA).
In total, 6550 subjects with NO2 and 3692 subjects with PM10 measurements were available, respectively. The number of participants per cohort varied from 580 (SALIA cohort) to 3194 (ECRHS cohort). table 1 provides distributions of main covariates of the study populations used in the analyses with NO2/NOx (population F1) and those with assigned with all PM measurements (F2) included in these analyses (figs S1–S4).
The distributions of COPD prevalence and incidence and the staging of severity are presented in table 2, stratified also by sex and smoking status. Baseline assessment years were 1985–1999 and follow-up years were 2001–2010. The cohorts included in this study were heterogeneous in composition, with an average age at follow-up ranging from 43 years (ECRHS) to 73 years (SALIA). The SALIA cohort only included females, whereas the other cohorts had an even distribution of males and females (table 1).
The highest prevalence of COPD (all stages) was observed in the SAPALDIA cohort (15.7%; n=276) and the lowest in the NSHD cohort (2.80%; n=23); the same pattern was observed for incidence of COPD (table 2).
Air pollution estimates
table 3 shows the distribution of the air pollution metrics for each study area. Prediction of LUR models was generally good: the R2 for PM2.5 models varied between 67% and 88% , for NO2 the R2 varied between 55% and 90%  (table S3). The range of study mean values of PM2.5 varied from 9.5 μg·m−3 in the NSHD study to 17.8 μg·m−3 in the SALIA cohort. Within-study contrasts were smaller for the SALIA and SAPALDIA studies given the smaller geographic study region. The highest average traffic loads were observed in ECRHS and SAPALDIA study sites, the lowest in the NSHD study. Correlations between the individually assigned air pollution estimates are presented in table S2a–d in the online supplement. The highest correlation was observed for NO2 and NOx in all cohorts (≥0.91), whereas correlations between other pollutants and traffic indicators were heterogeneous across sites, ranging from moderate to low.
Back extrapolation to baseline for NO2 and PM10 was possible in all studies, except in ECRHS, where it was only available for follow-up (2001). The back extrapolated PM10 concentrations between studies varied between 22.0 μg·m−3 and 47.7 μg·m−3 at baseline, respectively (table 3).
Association between air pollution and COPD prevalence and incidence defined according to the LLN
In the main analyses for prevalence of COPD defined according to the LLN stage 1+, a positive but not statistically significant association was observed for PM10 (OR 1.04, 95% CI 0.71–1.53, per 10 μg·m−3) NO2 (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.91–1.26, per 10 μg·m−3) and NOx (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.96–1.21, per 20 μg·m−3) (table 4). COPD prevalence was also positively but not significantly associated with traffic intensity on the nearest major road and the traffic load within 100 m of the residency (table 4).
With the exception of PMcoarse all exposure variables were positively associated, albeit not significantly, with incidence of COPD using LLN stage 1+ (table 4). Additional adjustment for covariates did not change the main results (data not shown). Associations for both prevalence and incidence of COPD stage 2+ showed similar patterns as for COPD stage 1+ but with wider confidence intervals, related to smaller numbers involved (data not shown).
Association between air pollution and COPD prevalence and incidence defined according to the GOLD
Associations using GOLD definitions showed similar patterns to those using LLN (table S5), except that associations with traffic intensity were statistically significant and that incidence clearly showed positive albeit nonsignificant associations with NO2/NOx and PM measures. Associations with COPD incidence were stronger in females than males (figs 1–4 and table S5). Similarly, a higher point estimate could be observed in never-smokers and non-movers (data not shown).
For both the LLN and GOLD definitions of COPD prevalence and incidence, using back-extrapolated exposure metrics instead of exposure metrics derived for the period of air pollution monitoring campaigns did not change the results (data not shown).
The findings of this multicentre European study on air pollution and COPD were inconclusive. Estimated long-term residential exposure to NO2, PM10 and traffic intensity on the nearest major road was positively but not statistically significantly associated with a higher COPD prevalence in four adult European cohort studies. COPD prevalence was not associated with PM2.5, PM2.5(abs), and PMcoarse with substantial heterogeneities between study and subgroups. The positive association between traffic intensity on the nearest major road and GOLD-defined COPD reached statistical significance only in females (prevalence and incidence) and never smokers (incidence).
Direct comparison with previous studies is in general limited due to differences in study design, exposure assessment, definition of COPD and statistical methods. ESCAPE is the first large-scale multi-cohort study using fully standardised exposure measurement, modelling, and assignment methods, which offers a unique opportunity to evaluate the potential influence of different exposure metrics and model validity on the heterogeneity of results. Most interestingly, as seen in the correlation matrix (table S2), the different metrics of pollution co-vary differently among the geographic regions of these cohorts. For example, whereas NO2 is rather highly correlated with PM10 in three studies, this is far less the case in the NSHD geography (R=0.43). Similarly, PM2.5(abs) and PMcoarse are poorly correlated in NSHD but rather well correlated in the other studies. This highlights the fact that different metrics of pollution may capture different characteristics of the air pollution mixture and that those may vary across regions.
With the exception of PMcoarse all associations between air pollutant exposure and COPD prevalence and incidence were positive but not statistically significant. The question arises to what extent uncertainties in the model based assignments of air pollution concentrations may explain the inconclusive findings. A limitation is the time of the ESCAPE exposure measurement. The study used data from measurements performed in 2008–2010 to build the exposure models for each study area. Models were applied to the participants' address of the baseline and the follow-up investigation. However, in some cases the baseline investigation was more than 20 years earlier. To overcome the problem of time discrepancy between exposure measure and examination, we additionally applied a back extrapolation procedure. Findings were, though, weaker when using the back-extrapolated estimates. However, back-extrapolated values have some inherent additional uncertainties. In some centres, routine monitoring stations were not active at the time of baseline investigation. Back extrapolation also relies on the assumption that the spatial pattern was the same in the past as the one observed 2008–2010. A recent publication showed that spatial variation in NO2 exposure can be reliably estimated retrospectively up to 8 years, also when mean concentrations of air pollutants change over time . Whether this applies also across two decades and to all our sites is less certain. Most importantly, while markers such as NO2 may well show similar spatial distributions across years and decades, the marker itself may not indicate the same type of pollution mixtures all across these time periods and different geographical areas due to substantial changes in fuel and engine technologies implemented over recent decades.
One should also be aware of inherent limitations in the LUR modelling, adding at least non-systematic uncertainties to the assigned concentrations. The ESCAPE LUR models showed different validity across cities. That could explain some of the between-study heterogeneity. The NO2 LUR models used in our study sites explained 31 to 88% of the spatial variance with validation R2 ranging from 55% to 92%. Moreover, it has been shown that the model performance depends on the number of measurement sites used to inform the model, with a tendency to be inflated in models based on the 20–40 default sites of the ESCAPE protocol . Thus, uncertainty in the exposure estimates may be substantial, resulting at least in the need for larger sample sizes to observe more conclusive, statistically significant associations.
SALIA is the only study that previously published on air pollution as well as traffic proximity and COPD prevalence . The published results from the baseline of SALIA around 20 years ago demonstrate that the 5-year mean of PM10 showed significant associations not only with forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 s but also with the odds of having GOLD defined COPD (stage 1–4): OR 1.68, 95% CI 1.01–2.78, per 10 μg·m−3 PM10. However, our ESCAPE analysis showed a nonsignificant association of COPD with PM10 in SALIA. A stepwise analysis revealed that restricting to surviving females and using the most recent lung function measurements were most influential in reducing the odds ratio towards null findings. In contrast to the baseline times when particle pollution was much higher, no association between particle pollution and prevalence of COPD was detected in SALIA in 2008. Thus, the previously published results could not be replicated in the smaller subpopulation of SALIA contributing to ESCAPE.
Our findings on the association between prevalence of COPD and traffic-related air pollution in females are partly consistent with those from other studies –. Kan et al.  reported that lung function was inversely related to traffic exposure in females. However, it is unclear whether females are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution compared to males. One may also argue that outdoor air quality at home may better reflect exposure in females, as they spend more time near home, on average . Only a few studies have reported sex-specific analyses of air pollution-induced respiratory health effects and the pattern is not conclusive , , . It is unclear whether the observed modifications of sex are a result of sex-linked biological differences or sex differences in activity pattern . Moreover, we cannot fully separate the possible modification by sex from possible impact of study design differences given that results in females are dominated by SALIA where all were older females.
The findings of more consistent and partly significant results for traffic intensity near the residence are interesting. One may argue that exhaust pollutants such as primary ultrafine particles (such as diesel soot) might be captured particularly with those near-road markers of traffic-related pollution. This is in accordance with postulated biological mechanisms that chronic inhalation of such pollutants may damage the lung tissue and hence lead to the development of COPD , . However, the heterogeneous findings for PM2.5 and in particular for PM reflectance, which is considered to be a good marker for near-road traffic-related pollutants, remain unexplained and inconsistent with our hypotheses, experimental studies and a few epidemiological studies.
Our study has major strength, including the objective definition of COPD, the relatively large number of observations, and the multicentre design across different European regions, which cover different types of environment and climates. We additionally harmonised the exposure assessment methods, and developed a common study protocol for exposure and outcome definition as well as the analytic approach. The limitations discussed above may, however, be rather influential and explain the inconsistencies and uncertainties. Moreover, the use of existing studies instead of prospectively designed very large cohorts comes with the inevitable disadvantage of not fully standardised health outcome and covariate assessment, which adds at least statistical noise to the data. Whether and to what extent this may be a source of systematic differences between studies is not known.
The mostly nonsignificant though positive associations cannot conclusively answer the question of whether traffic-related ambient air pollution may contribute to the development of COPD. Large-scale standardised cohort studies with longer follow-ups are needed to clarify the role of different sources of air pollution on COPD inception and to explain the inconsistent findings of this meta-analysis, especially for PM fractions.
Author affiliations are as follows. T. Schikowski: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland, and Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF), Düsseldorf, Germany; M. Adam, D. Keidel, H. Phuleria, M-Y. Tsai, E. Zemp, C. Schindler, N. Probst-Hensch and N. Künzli: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, and University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland; A. Marcon and R. de Marco: Unit of Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Dept of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Verona, Verona, Italy; Y. Cai, Z. Al Kanani, K. de Hoogh, G. Mosler and A. Hansell: MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK; A. Vierkötter and U. Krämer: Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine (IUF), Düsseldorf, Germany; A.E. Carsin, M.J. Nieuwenhuijsen and J. Sunyer: Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, and CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; B. Jacquemin: Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain, and Inserm, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, U1018, Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology Team, F-94807, Villejuif, France; R. Beelen and G. Hoek: Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands; M. Birk and J. Heinrich: Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology I, Neuherberg, Germany; P-O. Bridevaux and T. Rochat: Division of Pulmonary Medicine, University Hospitals of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; B. Brunekeef: Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, and Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands; P. Burney and D. Jarvis: MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Dept of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, and MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Dept of Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK; M. Cirach: Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain, and MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, Dept of Respiratory Epidemiology and Public Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK; J. Cyrys: Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Epidemiology II, Neuherberg, and Environmental Science Center, Universität Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany; A. de Nazelle: Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, London, UK; C. Declercq: French Institute for Public Health Surveillance, Saint-Maurice, France; B. Forsberg: Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Dept of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; R. Hardy and D. Kuh: MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, London, UK; T. Kuhlbusch: Air Quality and Sustainable Nanotechnology, Institute of Energy and Environmental Technology e.V. (IUTA), Duisburg, Germany; E. Migliore: Unit of Cancer Epidemiology, AO Citta' della Salute e della Scienza-University of Turin and Center for Cancer Prevention, Turin, Italy; S. Villani: Unit of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology, Dept of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy; and F. Kauffmann: Inserm, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, U1018, Respiratory and Environmental Epidemiology Team, F-94807, Villejuif, and Université Paris Sud 11, UMRS 1018, F-94807, Villejuif, France.
We thank all study members and staff involved in data collections in each cohort and also the respective funding bodies for ECRHS, EGEA, E3N, NSHD, SALIA and SAPALDIA.
ECRHS: The ECRHS data incorporated in this analysis would not have been available without the collaboration of the following individuals and their research teams.
ECRHS co-ordinating centre: P. Burney, D. Jarvis, S. Chinn, J. Knox (ECRHS II), C. Luczynska† and J. Potts.
Steering committee for ECRHS II: P. Burney, D. Jarvis, S. Chinn, J.M. Anto, I. Cerveri, R. de Marco, T. Gislason, J. Heinrich, C. Janson, N. Kunzli, B. Leynaert, F. Neukirch, T. Rochat, J. Schouten, J. Sunyer, C. Svanes, P. Vermeire† and M. Wjst.
Principal investigators and senior scientific teams for ECRHS II: Australia: M. Abramson, R. Woods, E.H. Walters and F. Thien (Melbourne); Belgium: P. Vermeire†, J. Weyler, M. Van Sprundel and V. Nelen (South Antwerp and Antwerp City); Denmark: E.J. Jensen (Aarhus); Estonia: R. Jogi and A. Soon (Tartu), France: F. Neukirch, B. Leynaert, R. Liard and M. Zureik (Paris), I. Pin and J. Ferran-Quentin (Grenoble), A. Taytard and C. Raherison (Bordeaux), J. Bousquet and P. Demoly (Montpellier); Germany: J. Heinrich, M. Wjst, C. Frye and I. Meyer (Erfurt), K. Richter (Hamburg); Iceland: T. Gislason, E. Bjornsson, D. Gislason, T. Blondal and A. Karlsdottir (Reykjavik); Italy: M. Bugiani, P. Piccioni, E. Caria, A. Carosso, E. Migliore and G. Castiglioni (Turin), R. de Marco, G. Verlato, E. Zanolin, S. Accordini, A. Poli, V. Lo Cascio and M. Ferrari (Verona), A. Marinoni, S. Villani, M. Ponzio, F. Frigerio, M. Comelli, M. Grassi, I. Cerveri and A. Corsico (Pavia); the Netherlands: J. Schouten and M. Kerkhof (Groningen and Geleen); Norway: A. Gulsvik, E. Omenaas, C. Svanes and B. Laerum (Bergen); Spain: J.M. Anto, J. Sunyer, M. Kogevinas, J.P. Zock, X. Basagana, A. Jaen and F. Burgos (Barcelona), J. Maldonado, A. Pereira and J.L. Sanchez (Huelva), J. Martinez-Moratalla Rovira and E. Almar (Albacete), N. Muniozguren and I. Urritia (Galdakao), F. Payo (Oviedo); Sweden: C. Janson, G. Boman, D. Norback and M. Gunnbjornsdottir (Uppsala), K. Toren, L. Lillienberg, A.C. Olin, B. Balder, A. Pfeifer-Nilsson and R. Sundberg (Goteborg), E. Norrman, M. Soderberg, K. Franklin, B. Lundback, B. Forsberg and L. Nystrom (Umea); Switzerland: N. Kunzli, B. Dibbert, M. Hazenkamp, M. Brutsche and U. Ackermann-Liebrich (Basel); UK: D. Jarvis and B. Harrison (Norwich), D. Jarvis, R. Hall and D. Seaton (Ipswich); USA: M. Osborne, S. Buist, W. Vollmer and L. Johnson (Portland).
The excellent fieldwork by Gabriele Wölke and Matthias Birk is highly acknowledged.
SALIA: During the past decades many scientists, study nurses and laboratories were involved in conducting the study. As representatives for all these people we would like to thank especially Reinhard Dolgner for organising the baseline study and Barbara Schulten as study nurse for her help in organising the follow-up study. We are most grateful for all the females from the Ruhr area and from Borken who participated in the study over the decades.
SAPALDIA: Study directorate: T. Rochat (p), N.M. Probst Hensch (e/g), J.M. Gaspoz (c), N. Künzli (e/exp) and C. Schindler (s).
Scientific team: J.C. Barthélémy (c), W. Berger (g), R. Bettschart (p), A. Bircher (a), G. Bolognini (p), O. Brändli (p), C. Brombach (n), M. Brutsche (p), L. Burdet (p), M. Frey (p), U. Frey (pd), M.W. Gerbase (p), D. Gold (e/c/p), E. de Groot (c), W. Karrer (p), R. Keller (p), B. Knöpfli (p), B. Martin (pa), D. Miedinger (o), U. Neu (exp), L. Nicod (p), M. Pons (p), F. Roche (c), T. Rothe (p), E. Russi (p), P. Schmid-Grendelmeyer (a), A. Schmidt-Trucksäss (pa), A. Turk (p), J. Schwartz (e), D. Stolz (p), P. Straehl (exp), J.M. Tschopp (p), A. von Eckardstein (cc) and E. Zemp Stutz (e).
Scientific team at coordinating centres: M. Adam (e/g), E. Boes (g), P.O. Bridevaux (p), D. Carballo (c), E. Corradi (e), I. Curjuric (e), J. Dratva (e), A. Di Pasquale (s), L. Grize (s), D. Keidel (s), S. Kriemler (pa), A. Kumar (g), M. Imboden (g), N. Maire (s), A. Mehta (e), F. Meier (e), H. Phuleria (exp), E. Schaffner (s), G.A. Thun (g) A. Ineichen (exp), M. Ragettli (e), M. Ritter (exp), T. Schikowski (e), G. Stern (pd), M. Tarantino (s), M. Tsai (e) and M. Wanner (pa).
The following abbreviations are used above: (a) allergology, (c) cardiology, (cc) clinical chemistry, (e) epidemiology, (exp) exposure, (g) genetic and molecular biology, (m) meteorology, (n) nutrition, (o) occupational health, (p) pneumology, (pa) physical activity, (pd) paediatrics and (s) statistics.
The study could not have been performed without the help of the study participants, technical and administrative support and the medical teams and field workers at the local study sites.
Local fieldworkers: Aarau: S. Brun, G. Giger, M. Sperisen and M. Stahel; Basel: C. Bürli, C. Dahler, N. Oertli, I. Harreh, F. Karrer, G. Novicic and N. Wyttenbacher; Davos: A. Saner, P. Senn and R. Winzeler; Geneva: F. Bonfils, B. Blicharz, C. Landolt and J. Rochat; Lugano: S. Boccia, E. Gehrig, M.T. Mandia, G. Solari and B. Viscardi; Montana: A.P. Bieri, C. Darioly and M. Maire; Payerne: F. Ding, P. Danieli and A. Vonnez; Wald: D. Bodmer, E. Hochstrasser, R. Kunz, C. Meier, J. Rakic, U. Schafroth and A. Walder.
Administrative staff: C. Gabriel and R. Gutknecht.
NHSD: We acknowledge the NSHD participants and the NSHD scientific and data collection teams.
Individual cohort funding information: ECRHS was supported by the European Commission, as part of their Quality of Life programme. The coordination of ECRHS II was supported by the European Commission, as part of their Quality of Life programme. The following bodies funded the local studies in ECRHS II in this article. Albacete: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (grant code: 97/0035-01, 13 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02), Hospital Universitario de Albacete, Consejeria de Sanidad. Antwerp: FWO (Fund for Scientific Research) Flanders Belgium (grant code: G.0402.00), University of Antwerp, Flemish Health Ministry. Barcelona: Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (grant code: 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02), Red Respira (RTIC 03/11 ISC IIF). Ciber of Epidemiology and Public Health has been established and founded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Erfurt: GSF–National Research Centre for Environment and Health, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (grant code FR 1526/1-1). Galdakao: Basque Health Department. Grenoble: Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no.2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, Ministere de l'Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, CHU de Grenoble, Comite des Maladies Respiratoires de l'Isere. Ipswich and Norwich: National Asthma Campaign (UK). Huelva: Fondo de Investigaciones Sanitarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02). Oviedo: Fondo de Investigaciones Santarias (FIS) (grant code: 97/0035-01, 99/0034-01, and 99/0034-02). Paris: Ministere de l'Emploi et de la Solidarite, Direction Generale de la Sante, UCBPharma (France), Aventis (France), Glaxo France, Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique-DRC de Grenoble 2000 no. 2610, Ministry of Health, Direction de la Recherche Clinique, CHU de Grenoble. Pavia: Glaxo, Smith & Kline Italy, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST), Local University Funding for Research 1998 & 1999 (Pavia, Italy). Turin: ASL 4 Regione Piemonte (Italy), AO CTO/ICORMA Regione Piemonte (Italy), Ministero dell'Università e della Ricerca Scientifica (Italy), Glaxo Wellcome spa (Verona, Italy). Umeå: Swedish Heart Lung Foundation, Swedish Foundation for Health Care Sciences and Allergy Research, Swedish Asthma and Allergy Foundation, Swedish Cancer and Allergy Foundation. Verona: University of Verona, Italian Ministry of University and Scientific and Technological Research (MURST); Glaxo, Smith & Kline Italy. Measurements and models for PM in Grenoble (ECRHS) were funded by Region Rhônes-Alpes.
NSHD and Profs Hardy and Kuh are supported by core funding and grant funding (U1200632239 and U12309272) from the UK Medical Research Council.
SALIA received funds from the German state (NRW) and Federal Ministries of the Environment. The follow-up investigation was funded by the DGUV (German statutory accident assurance) VT 266.1.
SAPALDIA received funds from the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants no 33CSCO-134276/1, 33CSCO-108796, 3247BO-104283, 3247BO-104288, 3247BO-104284, 3247-065896, 3100-059302, 3200-052720, 3200-042532, 4026-028099), the Federal Office for Forest, Environment and Landscape and several Federal and Cantonal authorities; The Swiss National Science Foundation and German research Foundation D-A-CH grant no 32473BM-133148.
For editorial comments see page 558.
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Support statement: ESCAPE funding: the research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007-2011) under grant agreement number 211250. This research would not have been possible without the large previous investments into the original cohort studies contributing existing data to ESCAPE. For further details of these, please refer to the acknowledgements section.
Conflict of interest: Disclosures can be found alongside the online version of this article at erj.ersjournals.com
- Received July 31, 2013.
- Accepted December 10, 2013.
- ©ERS 2014