2020

UCLA Fielding School of Public Health team leading California state study of air pollution and COVID-19


A research team has been awarded a contract by the California Air Resources Board to study connections between air pollution & the COVID-19 pandemic.

pollution

A research team led by UCLA Fielding School of Public Health faculty has been awarded a contract to study connections between air pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re really interested in seeing whether long term exposure to air pollution makes someone more likely to have a worse prognosis after they do get COVID-19,” said Michael Jerrett, a Fielding School of Public Health professor of environmental health sciences who serves as the principal investigator of the team. The researchers include scientists and physicians from UCLA, the University of California, Davis; the University of California, Berkeley; and Kaiser Permanente Southern California.

The partnership with Kaiser will provide the researchers with patient information from a large cross-section of southern California’s population, from San Diego to Bakersfield. Jerrett said the size of that data pool and the quality of the health data is critical to understanding the impact that living in an area with bad air quality may have on whether a COVID-19 patient survives the disease.

“Kaiser has a population base of 4.5 million patients, and we can follow them from diagnosis through therapy to – potentially, and tragically – death,” said Jerrett, who has led similar research projects on air pollution and mortality in California and the U.S.

“We’re hypothesizing that people who live in areas with worse air quality in southern California are more likely to experience severe illness than people who live in areas with cleaner air,” Jerrett said. “Our advanced exposure modeling also allows us to hone in on the specific types of air pollution that could make people more likely to be admitted to be admitted to intensive care, or to die.”

The project is funded by the California Air Resources Board, whose board voted unanimously in July to allot more than $600,000 to the research effort. The work will analyze information from Kaiser Permanente about patient outcomes from Los Angeles, Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties. The information will also enable the investigators to examine whether exposure gradients along socioeconomic status, race, and ethnicity are partly responsible for a worse prognosis of some patient groups, as well as examining the impacts of preexisting conditions.


The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, founded in 1961, is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, training future leaders and health professionals from diverse backgrounds, translating research into policy and practice, and serving our local communities and the communities of the nation and the world. The school has 690 students from 25 nations engaged in carrying out the vision of building healthy futures in greater Los Angeles, California, the nation and the world.

Faculty Referenced by this Article

Michael Jerrett
Michael Jerrett
Environmental Health Sciences
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Mel Suffet
Irwin Suffet
Environmental Health Sciences
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Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Pouran D. Faghri
Pouran D. Faghri
Environmental Health Sciences
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Arthur Cho
Arthur Cho
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Lara Cushing
Lara Cushing
Environmental Health Sciences
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Miriam Marlier
Miriam Marlier
Environmental Health Sciences
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Jian Li
Jian Li
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Dr. Kevin Njabo
Kevin Njabo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Tao Huai
Tao Huai
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Jane Valentine
Jane Valentine
Environmental Health Sciences
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Michael Collins
Michael Collins
Environmental Health Sciences
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Nicole Green
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Oliver Hankinson
Oliver Hankinson

Dr. Hankinson is a Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and of EHS, and Chair of the Molecular Toxicology IDP

Environmental Health Sciences
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Jesus Araujo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Timothy Malloy
Environmental Health Sciences
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Angelo J Bellomo
Angelo Bellomo
Environmental Health Sciences
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Andre Nel
André Nel
Environmental Health Sciences
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Rachael Jones
Rachael Jones
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Yifang Zhu
Yifang Zhu
Environmental Health Sciences
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Kirsten Schwarz
Environmental Health Sciences
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Richard J. Jackson
Richard J. Jackson
Environmental Health Sciences
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Rosenstock
Linda Rosenstock
Environmental Health Sciences Health Policy and Management
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Arabzadah, Hamid
Hamid Arabzadeh
Environmental Health Sciences
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Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Pablo Cicero-Fernandez
Environmental Health Sciences
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Brian Cole
Brian Cole
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Robert Schiestl
Robert Schiestl
Environmental Health Sciences
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Arthur Winer
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Candace Tsai
Candace Tsai

Associate Professor for Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Health Sciences

Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Daniel Uslan
Daniel Uslan
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Beate Ritz
Beate Ritz
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Dr. Shane Que Hee
Shane Que Hee

Industrial Hygiene & Analytical Chemistry

Environmental Health Sciences
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Feng Gao
Feng Gao
Environmental Health Sciences
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Niklas Krause
Environmental Health Sciences Epidemiology
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Curtis Eckhert
Curtis Eckhert
Environmental Health Sciences
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Dr. Wendie Robbins
Wendie Robbins
Environmental Health Sciences
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Richard Ambrose
Richard Ambrose
Environmental Health Sciences
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