Mercedes A Bravo

Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, United States

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Publications (4)11.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Health impacts of air pollution may differ depending on sex, education, socioeconomic status (SES), location at time of death, and other factors. In São Paulo, Brazil, questions remain regarding roles of individual and community characteristics. We estimate susceptibility to air pollution based on individual characteristics, residential SES, and location at time of death (May 1996-December 2010). Exposures for particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM10), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and ozone (O3) were estimated using ambient monitors. Time-stratified case-crossover analysis was used with individual-level health data. Increased risk of non-accidental, cardiovascular, and respiratory mortality were associated with all pollutants (P<0.05), except O3 and cardiovascular mortality. For non-accidental mortality, effect estimates for those with >11 years education were lower than estimates for those with 0 years education for NO2, SO2, and CO (1.66% (95% confidence interval: 0.23%, 3.08%); 1.51% (0.51%, 2.51%); and 2.82% (0.23%, 5.35%), respectively). PM10 cardiovascular mortality effects were (3.74% (0.044%, 7.30%)) lower for the high education group (>11 years) compared with the no education group. Positive, significant associations between pollutants and mortality were observed for in-hospital deaths, but evidence of differences in air pollution-related mortality risk by location at time of death was not strong.Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology advance online publication, 14 January 2015; doi:10.1038/jes.2014.90.
    Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology 01/2015; · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wildfire smoke dramatically increased ambient air pollutant levels.•Wildfire smoke consistently associated with increased risk of respiratory disease.•Suggestive evidence wildfire smoke linked with cardiovascular diseases and mortality.•Key challenge of exposure assessment: estimating fire-specific pollutants.
    Environmental Research 01/2015; 136. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Air quality modeling could potentially improve exposure estimates for use in epidemiological studies. We investigated this application of air quality modeling by estimating location-specific (point) and spatially-aggregated (county level) exposure concentrations of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter less than or equal to 2.5 μm (PM(2.5)) and ozone (O(3)) for the eastern U.S. in 2002 using the Community Multi-scale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling system and a traditional approach using ambient monitors. The monitoring approach produced estimates for 370 and 454 counties for PM(2.5) and O(3), respectively. Modeled estimates included 1861 counties, covering 50% more population. The population uncovered by monitors differed from those near monitors (e.g., urbanicity, race, education, age, unemployment, income, modeled pollutant levels). CMAQ overestimated O(3) (annual normalized mean bias=4.30%), while modeled PM(2.5) had an annual normalized mean bias of -2.09%, although bias varied seasonally, from 32% in November to -27% in July. Epidemiology may benefit from air quality modeling, with improved spatial and temporal resolution and the ability to study populations far from monitors that may differ from those near monitors. However, model performance varied by measure of performance, season, and location. Thus, the appropriateness of using such modeled exposures in health studies depends on the pollutant and metric of concern, acceptable level of uncertainty, population of interest, study design, and other factors.
    Environmental Research 05/2012; 116:1-10. · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • Mercedes A Bravo, Michelle L Bell
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    ABSTRACT: Developing exposure estimates is a challenging aspect of investigating the health effects of air pollution. Pollutant levels recorded at centrally located ambient air quality monitors in a community are commonly used as proxies for population exposures. However, if ample intraurban spatial variation in pollutants exists, city-wide averages of concentrations may introduce exposure misclassification. We assessed spatial heterogeneity of particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter < or = 10 microm (PM10) and ozone (O3) and evaluated implications for epidemiological studies in São Paulo, Brazil, using daily (24-hr) and daytime (12-hr) averages and 1-hr daily maximums of pollutant levels recorded at the regulatory monitoring network. Monitor locations were also analyzed with respect to a socioeconomic status index developed by the municipal government. Hourly PM10 and O3 data for the Sāo Paulo Municipality and Metropolitan Region (1999-2006) were used to evaluate heterogeneity by comparing distance between monitors with pollutants' correlations and coefficients of divergence (CODs). Both pollutants showed high correlations across monitoring sites (median = 0.8 for daily averages). CODs across sites averaged 0.20. Distance was a good predictor of CODs for PM10 (p < 0.01) but not O3, whereas distance was a good predictor of correlations for O3 (p < 0.01) but not PM10. High COD values and low temporal correlation indicate a spatially heterogeneous distribution of PM10. Ozone levels were highly correlated (r > or = 0.75), but high CODs suggest that averaging over O3 levels may obscure important spatial variations. Of municipal districts in the highest of five socioeconomic groups, 40% have > or = 1 monitor, whereas districts in the lowest two groups, representing half the population, have no monitors. Results suggest that there is a potential for exposure misclassification based on the available monitoring network and that spatial heterogeneity depends on pollutant metric (e.g., daily average vs. daily 1-hr maximum). A denser monitoring network or alternative exposure methods may be needed for epidemiological research. Findings demonstrate the importance of considering spatial heterogeneity and differential exposure misclassification by subpopulation.
    Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association (1995) 01/2011; 61(1):69-77. · 1.17 Impact Factor