Joel Schwartz

Joel Schwartz
Harvard University | Harvard · Department of Environmental Health

Ph.D.

About

1,545
Publications
218,325
Reads
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118,986
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 1994 - present
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Position
  • Epidemiologist

Publications

Publications (1,545)
Article
Full-text available
Particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 µm (PM2.5) is a multi-million human silent killer worldwide, and contains many trace elements (TEs). Understanding the relative toxicity is largely limited by lack of data. Ensembles of machine learning models were used to generate ~163 billion predictions estimating annual mean PM2.5 TEs,...
Data
Particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) increases mortality and morbidity. PM2.5 is composed of a mixture of chemical components that vary across space and time. Due to limited hyperlocal data availability, less is known about health risks of PM2.5 components, their US-wide exposure disparities, or which species are dr...
Article
Full-text available
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...
Article
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Birth defects are a major cause of poor health outcomes during both childhood and adulthood. A growing body of evidence demonstrated associations between air pollution exposure during pregnancy and birth defects. To date, there is no study looking at birth defects and exposure to wildfire-related air pollution, which is suggested as a type of air p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm (PM2.5) increases mortality and morbidity.1,2 PM2.5 is composed of a mixture of chemical components that vary across space and time.3 Due to limited hyperlocal data availability, less is known about health risks of PM2.5 components, their US-wide exposure disparities, or which species ar...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Short-term ambient fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) is associated with adverse cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction (MI). However, few studies have examined associations between PM 2.5 and subclinical cardiomyocyte damage outside of overt cardiovascular events. Here we evaluate the impact of daily PM 2.5 on cardiac tropo...
Article
Rationale: Methylation integrates factors present at birth and modifiable across life that can influence pulmonary function. Studies are limited in scope and replication. Objectives: To conduct large-scale epigenome-wide meta-analyses of blood DNA methylation and pulmonary function. Methods: Twelve cohorts analyzed associations of methylation...
Article
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Background Air pollution exposure has been associated with critical neonatal morbidities, including low birth weight (LBW). However, little is known on short-term exposure to wildfire smoke and LBW. In this study, we estimated the association between birth weight following pregnancy and wildfire smoke exposure in more than 1.5 million newborns in B...
Article
Objectives: Growing evidence supports optimism as a health asset, yet how optimism influences well-being and health remains uncertain. We evaluated 1 potential pathway-the association of optimism with daily stress processes-and tested 2 hypotheses. The stressor exposure hypothesis posits that optimism would preserve emotional well-being by limitin...
Article
Inhalation of ambient PM2.5, shown to be able to cross the placenta, has been linked to adverse obstetric and postnatal metabolic health outcomes. The placenta regulates fetal growth and influences postnatal development via fetal programming. Placental gene expression may be influenced by intrauterine exposures to PM2.5. Herein, we explore whether...
Article
Background : Short-term changes in ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) increase the risk for unplanned hospital readmissions. However, this association has not been fully evaluated for high-risk patients or examined to determine if the readmission risk differs based on time since discharge. Here we investigate the relation between ambient PM2.5...
Article
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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
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Fine particulate matter (PM2.5) is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Neighborhood walkability and greenness may also be associated with CVD, but there is limited evidence on their joint or interacting effects with PM2.5. Methods: Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate the risk of CVD mortality among adults with a...
Article
Background Low birth weight is associated with increased risks of health problems in infancy and later life. Among the epidemiological analyses suggesting an association between air pollution and birth weight, few have estimated the effects of black carbon (BC) or together with nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and even fewer studies have used causal modelli...
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...
Article
Rationale: Risk of asthma hospitalization and its disparities associated with air pollutant exposures are less clear within socioeconomically disadvantaged populations, particularly at low exposure levels. Objectives: To assess effects of short-term exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), warm-season ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)...
Article
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Background Public drinking water can be an important source exposure to lead, which can affect children’s cognitive development and academic performance. Few studies have looked at the impact of lead exposures from community water supplies or their impact on school achievements. We examined the association between annual community water lead levels...
Article
Importance Previous studies have reported associations between in utero exposure to regional air pollution and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In utero exposure to components of near-roadway air pollution (NRAP) has been linked to adverse neurodevelopment in animal models, but few studies have investigated NRAP association with ASD risk. Objectiv...
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
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Background: Studies have shown that air pollution exposures during pregnancy are associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children, and the risk appears to be greater for boys. However, studies assessing gestational windows of susceptibility have been mostly limited by trimesters. Objective: We identified sensitive...
Data
Daily 1km ozone data are available on the NASA SEDAC website (https://doi.org/10.7927/a4mb-4t86). The Daily 8-Hour Maximum and Annual O3 Concentrations for the Contiguous United States, 1-km Grids, v1 (2000 - 2016) data set contains estimates of ozone concentrations at a high resolution in space (1 km x 1 km grid cells) and time (daily) for the ye...
Article
Full-text available
Decades of air pollution regulation have yielded enormous benefits in the United States, but vehicle emissions remain a climate and public health issue. Studies have quantified the vehicle-related fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 )-attributable mortality but lack the combination of proper counterfactual scenarios, latest epidemiological evidence, an...
Article
Full-text available
Importance Outdoor particulate matter 2.5 μm or less in diameter (PM2.5) is a ubiquitous environmental neurotoxicant that may affect the developing brain. Little is known about associations between PM2.5 and white matter connectivity. Objectives To assess associations between annual residential PM2.5 exposure and white matter microstructure health...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Studies examining the association of short-term air pollution exposure and daily deaths have typically been limited to cities and used citywide averages for exposure. This study aims to estimate the associations between short-term exposures to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone (O3), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and all-cause and caus...
Article
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Background Many studies have reported that long-term air pollution exposure is associated with increased mortality rates. These investigations have been criticized for failure to control for omitted, generally personal, confounders. Study designs that are robust to such confounders can address this issue. Methods We used a self-controlled design f...
Article
Background Many studies have found associations between early life air pollution exposure and subsequent onset of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, characteristics that affect susceptibility remain unclear. Objective This systematic review examined epidemiologic studies on the modifying roles of social, child, genetic and maternal character...
Article
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We quantified the impacts of wildfire-related PM 2.5 on 2 million hospital admissions records due to cardiorespiratory diseases in Brazil between 2008 and 2018. The national analysis shows that wildfire waves are associated with an increase of 23% (95%CI: 12%–33%) in respiratory hospital admissions and an increase of 21% (95%CI: 8%–35%) in circulat...
Article
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Background: Ambient air pollution is an important environmental exposure and has been linked with impaired cognitive function. Few studies have investigated its impact on children's academic performance on a nationwide level. We hypothesize that higher ambient air pollution concentrations will be associated with lower average academic test scores....
Article
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Background Since solar activity and related geomagnetic disturbances modulate autonomic nervous system activity, we hypothesized that these events would be associated with blood pressure (BP). Methods and Results We studied 675 elderly men from the Normative Aging Study (Boston, MA) with 1949 BP measurements between 2000 and 2017. Mixed‐effects re...
Article
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Background: Long-term exposure to air pollution has been linked with an increase in risk of mortality. Whether existing US Environmental Protection Agency standards are sufficient to protect health is unclear. Our study aimed to examine the relationship between exposure to lower concentrations of air pollution and the risk of mortality. Methods:...
Article
Background Birthweight is a strong predictor of normal growth, healthy development, and survival. Several studies have found associations between temperature, fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and birth weight. However, the relevant timing of exposures varies between studies and is yet unclear. Therefore, we assessed the difference in term birthweig...
Article
Background: Air pollution exposure has been linked with diminished fertility. Identifying the metabolic changes induced by periconception air pollution exposure among women could enhance our understanding of the potential biological pathways underlying air pollution's reproductive toxicity. Objective: To identify serum metabolites associated wit...
Article
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Ambient particulate matter of aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 microns PM2.5) levels in Delhi routinely exceed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and Indian National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for acceptable levels of daily exposure. Only a handful of studies have examined the short-term mortality effects of PM in India, with n...
Article
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Inhalation of particulate matter (PM) radioactivity is an important pathway of ionizing radiation exposure. We investigated the associations between short-term exposures to PM gamma radioactivity with oxidative stress in COPD patients. Urinary concentrations of 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and malondialdehyde (MDA) of 81 COPD patients from...
Article
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Background: Many studies have reported associations of air pollutants and death, but fewer examined multiple pollutants, or used causal methods. We present a method for directly estimating changes in the distribution of age at death using propensity scores. Methods: We included all participants in Medicare from 2000 to 2016 (637,207,589 person-y...
Data
Daily 1km PM2.5 data are available on the NASA SEDAC website (https://beta.sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/set/aqdh-pm2-5-concentrations-contiguous-us-1-km-2000-2016). The Daily and Annual PM2.5 Concentrations for the Contiguous United States, 1-km Grids, v1 (2000 - 2016) data set includes predictions of PM2.5 concentrations in grid cells at a res...
Article
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Background: The metabolomic signatures of short- and long-term exposure to PM2.5 have been reported and linked to inflammation and oxidative stress. However, little is known about the relative contribution of the specific PM2.5 species (hence sources) that drive these metabolomic signatures. Objectives: We aimed to determine the relative contrib...
Article
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Climate change affects human health; however, there have been no large-scale, systematic efforts to quantify the heat-related human health impacts that have already occurred due to climate change. Here, we use empirical data from 732 locations in 43 countries to estimate the mortality burdens associated with the additional heat exposure that has re...
Article
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Background: Short-term exposures to air pollution and temperature have been reported to be associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. However, mechanistic understanding of the affected metabolic pathways is still lacking and literature on the short-term exposure of air-pollution on the metabolome is limited. Objectives: We aimed to deter...
Preprint
Full-text available
Epidemiological evidence suggests air pollution exposure may increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD). However, previous U.S. studies have predominantly focused on hospitalizations, which fails to fully capture ADRD. Here we constructed two national population-based cohorts of those aged 65 and above from the Medicare Chron...
Article
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Background Extreme heat exposure can lead to premature death. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme heat events, resulting in many additional heat-related deaths globally, as well as changing the nature of extreme cold events. At the same time, vulnerability to extreme heat has decreased over time,...
Article
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Background Previous studies have found associations between fine particulate matter <2.5 µm in diameter (PM 2.5 ) and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) among populations with no CVD history. Less is understood about susceptibility of adults with a history of CVD and subsequent PM 2.5 ‐related CVD events and whether current regulation l...
Article
Background Long‐term air pollution exposure is a significant risk factor for inpatient hospital admissions in the general population. However, we lack information on whether long‐term air pollution exposure is a risk factor for hospital readmissions, particularly in individuals with elevated readmission rates. Methods and Results We determined the...
Article
Background A growing body of evidence links maternal exposure to particulate matter < 2.5 μM in diameter (PM2.5) and deviations in fetal growth. Several studies suggest that the placenta plays a critical role in conveying the effects of maternal PM2.5 exposure to the developing fetus. These include observed associations between air pollutants and c...
Article
Rationale: People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have increased risk of cardiovascular disease and may be more susceptible to air pollution exposure. However, no study has examined the association between long-term fine particulate matter exposure (<2.5 µm in diameter) and risk of cardiovascular events in this potentially vulnerable po...
Article
Full-text available
Background Studies examining the nonfatal health outcomes of exposure to air pollution have been limited by the number of pollutants studied and focus on short-term exposures. Methods We examined the relationship between long-term exposure to fine particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter <2.5 micrometers (PM 2.5 ), NO 2 , and tropospheric o...
Article
Full-text available
Lead is a ubiquitous toxicant following three compartment kinetics with the longest half-life found in bones. Patella and tibia lead levels—validated measures of cumulative exposure—require specialized X-ray-fluorescence-spectroscopy available only in a few centers worldwide. We developed minimally invasive biomarkers reflecting individual cumulati...
Article
Background Although long-term exposure to particulate matter<2.5 μm (PM2.5) has been linked to chronic debilitating brain disorders (CDBD), the role of short-term exposure in health care demand, and increased susceptibility for PM2.5-related health conditions, among Medicare enrollees with CDBD has received little attention. We used a causal modeli...
Article
Full-text available
Background Long-term exposures to air pollution has been reported to be associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. However, the underlying metabolic mechanisms remain poorly understood. Objectives We aimed to determine the changes in the blood metabolome and thus the metabolic pathways associated with long-term exposure to outdoor air poll...
Article
Full-text available
Background DNA methylation (DNAm) may play a role in age-related outcomes. It is not yet known which DNAm-based biomarkers of age acceleration (BoAA) has the strongest association with age-related endpoints. Methods We collected the blood samples from two independent cohorts: the Normative Ageing Study, and the Cooperative Health Research in the R...
Article
Background Both elemental metals and particulate air pollution have been reported to influence adult blood pressure (BP). The aim of this study is to examine which elemental components of particle mass with diameter ≤2.5 μm (PM 2.5 ) are responsible for previously reported associations between PM 2.5 and neonatal BP. Methods and Results We studied...
Article
We evaluated the associations amongst fine particulate matter (PM2.5 <12, 12–14, and ≥15 μg/m3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 <26, 26–29, and ≥30 ppb) and abruption in prospective cohort of 685,908 pregnancies in New York City (2008-2014). In co-pollutant analyses these associations were examined using distributed lag non-linear models based on Cox mod...