Great Lakes Air Center for Integrative Environmental Research

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GLACIER is a multidisciplinary center with the objective to explore one of the most prevalent and important global health-environment interfaces: the interrelationships between facets of the cardiometabolic syndrome (CMS) and air pollution. CMS is among the leading causes of death and threats to worldwide health. In tandem, exposure to air pollution, most notably fine particle matter (PM 2.5 ), remains highly prevalent and ranks among the leading causes of global mortality. Inter-relationships and health impacts of this burgeoning confluence between these two epidemics are of tremendous importance to elucidate. Our previous research has elucidated that PM 2.5 exposure plays a critical, yet under-appreciated, role in eliciting or exacerbating several key facets of the CMS-including elevating blood pressure, impairing vascular function, and even worsening metabolic insulin sensitivity and adiposity over a chronic duration. We have also found that the location of exposure, multipollutant context, and constituents within PM 2.5 affect the responses. The full extent and importance of inter-relationships between CMS and air pollution, individual susceptibility, specific pollution components, multipollutant atmospheres, PM 2.5 - ozone (O 3 ) coexposures, and underlying mechanisms of toxicity are all key issues remaining to be clarified. Our center's overall hypothesis is that PM 2.5 and O 3 are 1) capable of eliciting multiple important adverse cardiometabolic health effects that are dependent on 2) the local multipollutant milieu, 3) an individual's pre-existing cardiovascular (CV) and metabolic condition (susceptibility), and 4) the interactive toxicity of PM 2.5 and O 3 coexposure.


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