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  FAQ
  1. Are you still looking for participants?
  2. Who can participate?
  3. What do we know about the link between air pollution and heart disease?
  4. Shouldn’t I be worrying more about cholesterol and smoking?
  5. Why should I be worried about fine particles? Shouldn't I be worried more about the black soot I can see?
  6. I exercise and take care of myself. Why should I be worried?
  7. What is the MESA Air Study?
  8. Are you sill looking for participants?
  9. Who can participate?
  10. What will I be asked to do?
  11. Is there any risk?
  12. Why is this study important?
  13. What are the benefits of participation in the study?
  14. What will I receive for my participation in the study?
  15. Will I find out the results?

 

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Are you still looking for participants?
Yes. We will be recruiting participants from 2004 through 2006.

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Who can participate?
Men and women between the ages of 50 and 95 who are residents of the six study communities are selected and invited to participate. About 8,700 individuals will be enrolled over a two-year period. The study communities are:
Baltimore, MD
Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
Rockland County, NY
Twin Cities, MN
Winston-Salem, NC

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What do we know about the link between air pollution and heart disease?
Scientists at the University of Southern California found that air pollution may contribute to narrowing of the arteries at a very early stage of the disease, similar to smoking, and enhance atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Find out more: http://scientificsessions.americanheart.org/portal/scientificsessions/ss/newsrelease11.07.04b


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Shouldn’t I be worrying more about cholesterol and smoking?
In June 2004, the American Heart Association, an 80-year-old organization that has traditionally focused on risk factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise, issued a scientific statement that concluded that air pollutants pose a “serious public health problem” for cardiovascular disease. Air pollution exposure can increase the risk from other factors such as diet and smoking. Find out more: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/members/2004/112-15/focus.html


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Why should I be worried about fine particles? Shouldn’t I be worried more about the black soot I can see?
Fine particles in the air contain microscopic substances such as sulfates and nitrates, organic chemicals, metals, and carbon soot. These tiny particles can get trapped deep in the lungs. They have been linked to reduced lung function, greater use of asthma medications, and increased rates of school absenteeism, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and premature death. Find out more: http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=50324


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I exercise and take care of myself. Why should I be worried?
Long-term studies have found that people living in areas with high fine particle concentrations have an increased risk of premature death compared to those in cleaner cities, even when all other factors are equal. Find out more:
http://www.lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=50324


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What is the MESA Air study?
The MESA Air Pollution Study examines the relation between air pollution exposures and the progression of cardiovascular disease. For at least ten years, it will follow volunteers in six states, representing diverse areas of the country. MESA stands for Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (i.e. hardening of the arties). MESA Air is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and is conducted through six universities: Columbia University (NY), Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore), Northwestern and Loyola Universities (Chicago), UCLA (LA), University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), and Wake Forest University (Winston-Salem).


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Are you still looking for participants?
Yes. We will be recruiting participants from 2004 through 2006.


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Who can participate?
Men and women between the ages of 50 and 95 who are residents of the six study communities are selected and invited to participate. About 8,700 individuals will be enrolled over a two-year period. The study communities are:

Baltimore, MD
Chicago, IL
Los Angeles, CA
Rockland County, NY
Twin Cities, MN
Winston-Salem, NC


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What will I be asked to do?
Volunteers are asked to participate in health examines and a select group will participate in aspects of an air pollution survey. The health exams occur four times over a period of seven years, and include: a health interview, physical examination, eye examination, and computed tomography (CT). The air pollution surveys occur seasonally over the span of ten years and include: a questionnaire, air monitoring in and around volunteer homes, and monitoring individual exposures to pollution.


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Is there any risk?
There is no foreseeable risk of injury. Participants do not incur any cost—all clinical procedures are offered free of charge, air-monitoring equipment is provided by the study, and travel to and from exams is reimbursed by the study. All personal information is kept confidential and there is no pressure to answer questions that cause you to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. If ever a participant were to be injured as a direct result of the research, MESA Air will provide necessary treatment at no cost.


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Why is this study important?
The information learned from this study will increase scientific knowledge about whether air pollution increases the risk for early cardiovascular disease.


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What are the benefits of participating in the study?
There are no direct benefits to study participants. The scientific knowledge gained from the study will have potential benefits to future society. The information learned will increase scientific knowledge about the relationship between air pollution and the risk for early heart and blood vessel diseases.


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What will I receive for my participation in the study?
Participants receive annual cardiovascular check-ups in addition to health and air pollution education. They also receive the satisfaction of knowing they are contributing to scientific advances in health and well-being. There are no other direct benefits to volunteers.


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Will I find out the results?
We will send you (and your doctor, if you wish) results from medical tests that might be valuable to your health. All these results will be provided free of charge.


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