Brent A Coull

Brent A Coull
Harvard University | Harvard · Department of Biostatistics

About

593
Publications
68,198
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23,212
Citations
Citations since 2017
322 Research Items
15144 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,5003,000

Publications

Publications (593)
Article
Full-text available
Background Knowing the geographical and temporal variation in radon concentrations is essential for assessing residential exposure to radon, the leading cause of lung cancer in never-smokers in the United States. Tens of millions of short-term radon measurements, which normally last 2 to 4 days, have been conducted during the past decades. However,...
Article
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The radioactive component of particulate matter (PM), particle radioactivity (PR), can continue to emit radiation after inhalation. While PR has been associated with other adverse pregnancy outcomes, no studies have examined the association with fetal growth. Our retrospective cohort included singleton pregnancies that underwent obstetric ultrasoun...
Article
There has been heightened interest in identifying critical windows of exposure for adverse health outcomes; that is, time points during which exposures have the greatest impact on a person's health. Multiple informant models implemented using generalized estimating equations (MIM GEEs) have been applied to address this research question because the...
Article
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Though billions of passengers and crew travel by air each year and are exposed to altitude equivalents of 7000–8000 feet, the health impact of cabin oxygenation levels has not been well studied. The hypoxic environment may produce ectopic heartbeats that may increase the risk of acute in-flight cardiac events. We enrolled forty older and at-risk pa...
Article
Distributed lag models (DLMs) are often used to estimate lagged associations and identify critical exposure windows. In a simulation study of prenatal nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and birth weight, we demonstrate that bias amplification and variance inflation can manifest under certain combinations of DLM estimation approaches and time trend adjustment m...
Article
Background Left unabated, rising temperatures pose an escalating threat to human health. The potential effects of hot temperatures on fetal health have been under-explored. Here, we examined the association between prenatal ambient temperature exposure and fetal growth measures in a Massachusetts-based pregnancy cohort. Methods We used ultrasound...
Article
Background: Mood disorders are common during and after pregnancy, and environmental metals may contribute to increased risk. Antepartum metal exposures have not been well characterized in relation to maternal depression. We evaluated the extent to which early pregnancy erythrocyte concentrations of essential and non-essential metals were prospecti...
Article
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Humans are exposed to increasingly complex mixtures of hormone-disrupting chemicals from a variety of sources, yet, traditional research methods only evaluate a small number of chemicals at a time. We aimed to advance novel methods to investigate exposures to complex chemical mixtures. Silicone wristbands were worn by 243 office workers in the USA,...
Article
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COVID-19 vaccination may be associated with change in menstrual cycle length following vaccination. We estimated covariate-adjusted differences in mean cycle length (MCL), measured in days, between pre-vaccination cycles, vaccination cycles, and post-vaccination cycles within vaccinated participants who met eligibility criteria in the Apple Women’s...
Article
Background Environmental metal exposures have been associated with multiple deleterious health endpoints. DNA methylation (DNAm) may provide insight into the mechanisms underlying these relationships. Toenail metals are non-invasive biomarkers, reflecting a medium-term time exposure window. Objectives This study examined variation in leukocyte DNA...
Article
Background Previous studies on the impact of measurement error for PM2.5 were mostly simulation studies, did not control for other pollutants, or used a single regression calibration model to correct for measurement error. However, the relationship between actual and error-prone PM2.5 concentration may vary by time and region. We aim to correct the...
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Background The physical environmental risk factors for psychotic disorders are poorly understood. This study aimed to examine the associations between exposure to ambient air pollution, climate measures and risk of hospitalization for psychotic disorders and uncover potential disparities by demographic, community factors. Methods Using Health Cost...
Article
Background Although the effects of fine particulate matter (particulate matter ≤2.5 μm aerodynamic diameter [PM 2.5 ]) on cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality are well established, little is known about the CVD health effects of particle radioactivity. In addition, there are still questions about which of the PM 2.5 physical, chemic...
Preprint
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Background Menstrual characteristics are important signs of women's health. We examined the variation of menstrual cycle length by age, race and ethnicity, and body weight using data collected from mobile menstrual tracking apps. Understanding how menstrual characteristics vary by these factors can provide important information for further study of...
Article
Background Radon (²²²Rn) decay products can attach to particles in the air, be inhaled, and potentially cause airway damage. Research question Is short-term exposure to particle radioactivity (PR) attributable to radon decay products emitted from particulate matter ≤2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) associated with pulmonary function in chronic obstructi...
Article
Background Use of menstrual tracking data to understand abnormal bleeding patterns has been limited due to lack of incorporation of key demographic and health characteristics and confirmation of menstrual tracking accuracy. Objective(s) The objectives of this study were to identify abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) patterns and their prevalence and...
Preprint
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US Census Bureau (USCB) has implemented a new privacy-preserving disclosure avoidance system (DAS), which includes application of differential privacy (DP), on the public-release 2020 decennial census data. There are increasing concerns among social scientists, epidemiologists, and public health practitioners that DP may bias small-area and demogra...
Article
Distributed lag models are useful in environmental epidemiology as they allow the user to investigate critical windows of exposure, defined as the time periods during which exposure to a pollutant adversely affects health outcomes. Recent studies have focused on estimating the health effects of a large number of environmental exposures, or an envir...
Article
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Background: Aging-related cognitive decline is an early symptom of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and on its own can have substantial consequences on an individual's ability to perform important everyday functions. Despite increasing interest in the potential roles of extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) in central nervous system (CNS) patho...
Article
Background Problem-solving skills build upon three core executive functions: inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. There is evidence of adverse associations of prenatal exposure to manganese (Mn) with core executive functions, but less is known about Mn associations with problem-solving or potential mediators of this association....
Article
Background Emerging studies investigated the adverse health effects of PM2.5 using data from multiple cohorts, and results often are not generalizable across cohorts. Therefore, we aim to assess associations between prenatal PM2.5 and childhood cognition in two U.S. cohorts while accounting for between-site heterogeneity. Methods Analyses included...
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Pregnant individuals are exposed to acetaminophen and caffeine, but it is unknown how these exposures interact with the developing gut microbiome. We aimed to determine whether acetaminophen and/or caffeine relate to the childhood gut microbiome and whether features of the gut microbiome alter the relationship between acetaminophen/caffeine and neu...
Article
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Background: Exposure measurement error is a central concern in air pollution epidemiology. Given that studies have been using ambient air pollution predictions as proxy exposure measures, the potential impact of exposure error on health effect estimates needs to be comprehensively assessed. Objectives: We aimed to generate wide-ranging scenarios...
Data
Supplementary material for: Vanoli, Jacopoa,b; Coull, Brent A.c; Ettinger de Cuba, Stephanied; Fabian, Patricia M.e; Carnes, Feie; Massaro, Marisa A.e; Poblacion, Anad; Bellocco, Rinob,f; Kloog, Itaig; Schwartz, Joela,h; Laden, Francinea,h,i,j; Zanobetti, Antonellaa,* Postnatal exposure to PM2.5 and weight trajectories in early childhood, Environme...
Preprint
Background COVID-19 vaccination may be associated with change in menstrual cycle length following vaccination. Methods We conducted a longitudinal analysis within a subgroup of 14,915 participants in the Apple Women’s Health Study (AWHS) who enrolled between November 2019 and December 2021 and met the following eligibility criteria: were living in...
Article
Exposures to environmental chemicals during gestation can alter health status later in life. Most studies of maternal exposure to chemicals during pregnancy have focused on a single chemical exposure observed at high temporal resolution. Recent research has turned to focus on exposure to mixtures of multiple chemicals, generally observed at a singl...
Article
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Background Previous studies have suggested emergent events may affect pregnancy planning decisions. However, few have investigated the impact of factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic on pregnancy planning, measured by attempting conception, and how attempting conception status may differ by individual level factors such as social status or educa...
Article
Background: Globally, the ages at pubertal onset for girls and boys have been decreasing during recent decades, partly attributed to excess body fat accumulation. However, a growing body of literature has recognized that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may play an important role in this global trend, but the association has not yet been full...
Preprint
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We develop a simple and unified framework for nonlinear variable selection that incorporates model uncertainty and is compatible with a wide range of machine learning models (e.g., tree ensembles, kernel methods and neural network). In particular, for a learned nonlinear model $f(\mathbf{x})$, we consider quantifying the importance of an input vari...
Preprint
A key goal of environmental health research is to assess the risk posed by mixtures of pollutants. As epidemiologic studies of mixtures can be expensive to conduct, it behooves researchers to incorporate prior knowledge about mixtures into their analyses. This work extends the Bayesian multiple index model (BMIM), which assumes the exposure-respons...
Article
Objective: The School Inner-City Asthma Intervention Study 2 (SICAS 2) tested interventions to reduce exposures in classrooms of students with asthma. The objective of this post-hoc analysis was limited to evaluating the effect of high-efficiency particulate (HEPA) filtration interventions on mold levels as quantified using the Environmental Relat...
Article
Objectives: Evidence from murine research supports that fine particulate matter (PM2.5) may stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, leading to elevated circulating glucocorticoid levels. Epidemiologic research examining parallel associations document similar associations. We examined these associations among a diverse sample of pregnant...
Article
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Rationale: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients often report aggravated symptoms due to heat and cold, but few studies have formally evaluated this. Methodology: We followed 30 Boston-based former smokers with COPD for four non-consecutive 30-day periods over 12 months. Personal and outdoor temperature exposure were measured usi...
Article
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Background: Environmental risk factors for psychiatric health are poorly identified. We examined the association between air pollution and psychiatric symptoms, which are often precursors to the development of psychiatric disorders. Methods: This study included 570 participants in the US Veterans Administration (VA) Normative Aging Study and 1,1...
Article
Background Adversity exposure and the negative psychological responses that often result have been linked with poor physical health outcomes and deteriorative physiological processes, like dysregulated circulating cortisol. Individuals exposed to early adversity who also demonstrate positive psychological functioning may be characterized as psychol...
Article
Research in functional regression has made great strides in expanding to non-Gaussian functional outcomes, but exploration of ordinal functional outcomes remains limited. Motivated by a study of computer-use behavior in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), we introduce the Ordinal Probit Functional Outcome Regression model (OPFOR). OPFOR models can be...
Article
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Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) potentiates in utero oxidative stress influencing fetal development while antioxidants have potential protective effects. We examined associations among prenatal PM2.5, maternal antioxidant intake, and childhood wheeze in an urban pregnancy cohort (n = 530). Daily PM2.5 exposure over gestation was estimated using a s...
Preprint
A common problem in spatial statistics tackles spatial distributions of clusters of objects. Such clusters of similar or dissimilar objects are encountered in many fields, including field ecology, astronomy, and biomedical imaging. Still challenging is to quantify spatial clustering when one or more entities clusters around a different entity in mu...
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Little is known about whether exposure to unconventional oil and gas development is associated with higher mortality risks in the elderly and whether related air pollutants are exposure pathways. We studied a cohort of 15,198,496 Medicare beneficiaries (136,215,059 person-years) in all major US unconventional exploration regions from 2001 to 2015....
Article
Rationale Little is known about personal characteristics and systemic responses to particulate pollution in patients with COPD. Objectives Assess whether diabetes, obesity, statins and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)) modify associations between indoor black carbon (BC) and fine particulate matter ≤2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) o...
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Humans are exposed to a diverse mixture of chemical and non-chemical exposures across their lifetimes. Well-designed epidemiology studies as well as sophisticated exposure science and related technologies enable the investigation of the health impacts of mixtures. While existing statistical methods can address the most basic questions related to th...
Article
Background Although prenatal chemical exposures influence neurobehavior, joint exposures are not well explored as risk factors for internalizing disorders through adolescence. Objective To evaluate associations of prenatal organochlorine and metal exposures, considered individually and as a mixture, with mid-childhood and adolescent internalizing...
Article
Greater understanding of the pathways through which an environmental mixture operates is important to design effective interventions. We present new methodology to estimate natural direct and indirect effects and controlled direct effects of a complex mixture exposure on an outcome through a mediator variable. We implement Bayesian Kernel Machine R...
Article
The benefits of nutritional factors on birth outcomes have been recognized, however, limited studies have examined the role of nutritional factors in mitigating the detrimental effects of metals exposure during gestation. We used data collected from 526 mother-infant dyads enrolled in the Programming of Intergenerational Stress Mechanisms longitudi...
Article
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Background Foreign-born Black and Latina women on average have higher birthweight infants than their US-born counterparts, despite generally worse socioeconomic indicators and prenatal care access, i.e., “immigrant birthweight paradox” (IBP). Residence in immigrant enclaves and associated social-cultural and economic benefits may be drivers of IBP....
Article
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Background Several epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of ambient particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 µm (PM2.5) have been reported. However, EWAS of PM2.5 elements (PEs), reflecting different emission sources, are very limited. Objectives We performed EWAS of short- and intermediate-term exposure to PM2.5 and 13 PEs. We hypot...
Article
Background/Aims Early life exposures to marine contaminants can adversely impact child health but modes of action are unclear. Human milk contains extracellular vesicles (EVs) that can transport biologically relevant cargo from mother to infant, including microRNAs (miRNAs), and may partly mediate the effects of pollutants on child health. However,...
Article
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Background: Prior studies have examined the association between fine particulate matter [PM ≤2.5μm in aerodynamic diameter (PM2.5)] and fetal growth with either limited spatial or temporal resolution. Objectives: In this study, we examined the association between PM2.5 exposure during pregnancy and fetal growth measures (ultrasound parameters an...
Preprint
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Small area estimates of population are necessary for many epidemiological studies, yet their quality and accuracy are often not assessed. In the United States, small area estimates of population counts are published by the United States Census Bureau (USCB) in the form of the Decennial census counts, Intercensal population projections (PEP), and Am...
Article
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Background: Inconsistent evidence has assessed the impact of air pollution exposure on children's growth trajectories. We investigated the role of 90-day average postnatal fine particulate matter (PM2.5) exposures by estimating the magnitude of effects at different ages, and the change in child weight trajectory by categories of exposure. Methods...
Article
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Cognitive flexibility, the ability to smoothly adapt to changing circumstances, is a skill that is vital to higher-level executive functions such as problem-solving, planning, and reasoning. As it undergoes substantial development during adolescence, decrements in cognitive flexibility may not become apparent until this time. There is evidence that...
Article
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Background Prenatal exposure to essential and non-essential metals impacts birth and child health, including fetal growth and neurodevelopment. DNA methylation (DNAm) may be involved in pathways linking prenatal metal exposure and health. In the Project Viva cohort, we analyzed the extent to which metals (As, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cs, Cu, Hg, Mg, Mn, Pb, Se,...
Article
Moderate indoor relative humidity (RH) levels (i.e., 40%–60%) may minimize transmission and viability of some viruses, maximize human immune function, and minimize health risks from mold, yet uncertainties exist about typical RH levels in offices globally and about the potential independent impacts of RH levels on workers’ health. To examine this,...
Article
Background Prenatal exposure to fine particulate matter with a diameter of ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5) has been linked to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in later childhood, while research on early infant behavior remains sparse. Objectives We examined associations between prenatal PM2.5 exposure and infant negative affectivity, a stable temperamental tra...
Article
Full-text available
Inhibition, one of the building blocks of executive function, is the ability to focus one’s attention despite interference from external stimuli. It undergoes substantial development during adolescence and may be susceptible to adverse impacts of prenatal exposure to chemical mixtures, yet few studies have explored this association. The New Bedford...
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Purpose: Stroke is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, and air pollution is the third largest contributor to global stroke burden. Existing studies investigating the association between long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) and stroke incidence have been mixed and very little is known about the associations with medium-term exposures....
Article
Health inequities are assessed by health departments to identify social groups disproportionately burdened by disease and by academic researchers to understand how social, economic, and environmental inequities manifest as health inequities. To characterize inequities, group-specific small-area health data are often modeled using log-linear general...
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Background Prenatal exposure to metals has been individually associated with birth outcomes. However, little is known about the effect of metal mixture, particularly at low exposure levels. Objectives To estimate individual and joint effects of metal mixture components on birth outcomes. Methods We used data from 1,391 mother-infant pairs in Proj...
Article
Little is known about chemical contaminant exposures of office workers in buildings globally. Complex mixtures of harmful chemicals accumulate indoors from building materials, building maintenance, personal products, and outdoor pollution. We evaluated exposures to 99 chemicals in urban office buildings in the USA, UK, China, and India using silico...
Article
Prenatal ambient particulate matter (PM2.5) exposure impacts infant development and alters placental mitochondrial DNA abundance. We investigated whether the timing of PM2.5 exposure predicts placental mitochondrial mutational load using NextGen sequencing in 283 multi-ethnic mother-infant dyads. We observed increased PM2.5 exposure, particularly d...
Article
Working memory is the ability to keep information in one's mind and mentally manipulate it. Decrements in working memory play a key role in many behavioral and psychiatric disorders, therefore identifying modifiable environmental risk factors for such decrements is important for mitigating these disorders. There is some evidence that prenatal expos...
Article
Rationale: Few studies have assessed personal exposure to pollutants and lung function among adults with COPD. Blood eosinophilia may be a biomarker of airway inflammation and pollution susceptibility. Objectives: To evaluate if daily pollutant exposures are associated with lung function and if associations are modified by eosinophilia in COPD....
Article
Electronic health records (EHRs) offer unprecedented opportunities to answer epidemiologic questions. However, unlike in ordinary cohort studies or randomized trials, EHR data are collected somewhat idiosyncratically. In particular, patients who have more contact with the medical system have more opportunities to receive diagnoses, which are then r...
Article
Background Prospective longitudinal cohorts assessing women’s health and gynecologic conditions have been historically limited. Objectives The Apple Women’s Health Study was designed to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between menstrual cycles, health, and behaviors. This paper describes the design and methods of the ongoing Apple W...
Preprint
Children's health studies support an association between maternal environmental exposures and children's birth and health outcomes. A common goal in such studies is to identify critical windows of susceptibility -- periods during gestation with increased association between maternal exposures and a future outcome. The associations and timings of cr...
Article
Full-text available
Importance School and classroom allergens and particles are associated with asthma morbidity, but the benefit of environmental remediation is not known. Objective To determine whether use of a school-wide integrated pest management (IPM) program or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter purifiers in the classrooms improve asthma symptoms in...
Article
Purpose Childhood adversity is associated with adverse health outcomes, in part owing to its effects on healthy lifestyle. We examined whether psychological resilience to adversity may promote healthier behaviors and body weight in young adulthood. Methods Data are from the Growing Up Today Study, a longitudinal cohort of young adults (n = 3,767)...
Article
The ability to identify time periods when individuals are most susceptible to exposures as well as the biological mechanisms through which these exposures act is of great public health interest. Growing evidence supports an association between prenatal exposure to air pollution and epigenetic marks, such as DNA methylation, but the timing and gene-...
Article
An important goal of environmental health research is to assess the risk posed by mixtures of environmental exposures. Two popular classes of models for mixtures analyses are response-surface methods and exposure-index methods. Response-surface methods estimate high-dimensional surfaces and are thus highly flexible but difficult to interpret. In co...