Ibrahimou awarded $877,746 by the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to study Particulate Matter metals in the air

Exposure to particulate matter metals or metal particles suspended in air, during pregnancy is known to be harmful to both mother and the newborn as many of these particles are hazardous. Additionally, these metals are also closely associated with the incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Boubakari Ibrahimou, associate professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, was awarded a $877,746 grant by National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute to better understand particular matter metals mixtures in the environment and their effects on health.

“In addition to using novel method of identifying mixtures of air pollutants in the environment, the study could help understand certain diseases etiology including cardiovascular disease among vulnerable populations of pregnant and minority women,” said Ibrahimou. “My hope is this research could lead to healthier babies and could be the basis for some future air pollution regulation.”

In the natural environment, individuals are constantly exposed to mixtures of chemicals with different toxicities. These toxins enter the body through several routes, including inhalation, which can lead to harmful effects on the body. Unfortunately, methods of identifying those mixtures are limited.

Ibrahimou added: “To what extent cardiovascular disease risk factors are in a causal pathway between metals exposure and child morbidity/mortality is unknown.”

The five-year project looks to find a novel statistical method to identify pollutant mixtures and will investigate racial/ethnic disparity in cardiovascular risk factors after exposure to pollutant mixtures during pregnancy.

The proposal will identify cardiovascular risk factors associated with exposure to particulate matter metal mixtures. It will inform of which cardiovascular disease risk factors are in the pathway affecting child development.

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