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2017 Conference

Abstract Number: 910 | ID: 2017-910

Assessment of the Association between Environmental Justice Data for Air Pollution and Telomere Length

Stephen K. Van Den Eeden(Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, United States, stephen.vandeneeden@kp.org), Jun Shan(Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, United States), Charles Quesenberry(Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, United States), Mark Kvale(University of California San Francisco, United States), Elizabeth Blackburn(Salk Institute for Biological Studies, United States), Neil Risch(University of California San Francisco, United States), Cathy Schaefer(Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, United States), Stacey Alexeeff(Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, United States)
Background/Aim: CalEnviroScreen (CES) data were developed to be used as an environmental justice (EJ) tool to help identify California communities that are impacted by pollution and socioeconomic disadvantage. We sought to determine if EJ measures of air pollution were associated with telomere length (TL), a health related outcome.
Methods: The CES is collection of 19 pollution and population indicators where each is calculated at the census tract level using the most up-to-date data. We ascertained the CES indicators for diesel, PM2.5, ozone and traffic and mapped them to participants in the Genetic Epidemiology of Research on Aging (GERA) Cohort (n=110,266). TL has been measured for the GERA participants using quantitative PCR (qPCR) using leukocytes collected in 2009-2011. Genomic DNA was quantified, normalized and analyzed using the tel1b and single-copy gene (human beta-globin) primers. Relative telomere length (T/S) was obtained from the initial concentrations of the sample telomere (T) with the corresponding sample reference gene (S) (human beta-globin). After quality control filtering and log transformation, we used the log(T/S) estimates derived from the average value from replicate assays per subject.
Results: Of the GERA cohort, 103,653 individuals had valid TL and CES data available. We observed significant associations when we compared the highest quartile of exposure to the for ozone (p<0.001) and PM2.5 (p=0.03). The highest quartile relative the lowest for diesel exposure was associated with shorter TL and of borderline significance (p=0.06). We found no association with traffic.
Conclusions: Environmental justice indicators may be useful in assessments of health outcomes.