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Estimating Error in Using Ambient PM2.5 Concentrations as Proxies for Personal Exposures: A Review

Citation

Avery, Christy L.; Mills, Katherine T.; Williams, Ronald W.; McGraw, Kathleen A.; Poole, Charles L.; Smith, Richard L.; & Whitsel, Eric A. (2010). Estimating Error in Using Ambient PM2.5 Concentrations as Proxies for Personal Exposures: A Review. Epidemiology, 21(2), 215-223. PMCID: PMC5370079

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Several methods have been used to account for measurement error inherent in using ambient concentration of particulate matter < 2.5 microm/m(3) (PM(2.5)) as a proxy for personal exposure. Such methods commonly rely on the estimated correlation between ambient and personal PM(2.5) concentrations (r). However, studies of r have not been systematically and quantitatively assessed for publication bias or heterogeneity.
METHODS: We searched 7 electronic reference databases for studies of the within-participant correlation between ambient and personal PM(2.5).
RESULTS: We identified 567 candidate studies, 18 (3%) of which met inclusion criteria and were abstracted. The studies were published between 1999 and 2008, representing 619 nonsmoking participants aged 6-93 years in 17 European and North American cities. Correlation coefficients (median 0.54; range 0.09-0.83) were based on a median of 8 ambient-personal PM(2.5) pairs per participant (range 5-20) collected over 27-547 days. Overall, there was little evidence for publication bias (funnel plot symmetry tests: Begg's log-rank test, P 0.9; Egger's regression asymmetry test, P 0.2). However, strong evidence for heterogeneity was noted (Cochran's Q test for heterogeneity, P = 0.001). European locales, eastern longitudes in North America, higher ambient PM(2.5) concentrations, higher relative humidity, and lower between-participant variation in r were associated with increased r.
CONCLUSIONS: Characteristics of participants, studies, and the environments in which they are conducted may affect the accuracy of ambient PM2.5 as a proxy for personal exposure.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181cb41f7

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2010

Journal Title

Epidemiology

Author(s)

Avery, Christy L.
Mills, Katherine T.
Williams, Ronald W.
McGraw, Kathleen A.
Poole, Charles L.
Smith, Richard L.
Whitsel, Eric A.

PMCID

PMC5370079