Research Overview

Incidence rate of end stage renal disease (ESRD) and the mortality rate among ESRD patients are high in both China and the US. Air quality in China has been worsening and often reaches or exceeds hazardous level in many regions in the past decade or so. Understanding the adverse effect of the exposure level to the air pollution on the ESRD patients’ mortality and morbidity is of great important but has been insufficiently studied in both China and the US. Comparing the association of air pollution on ESRD patients’ adverse health outcomes between the two countries facilitates the development of prevention measures and related public health policies.

The research team will first develop a model-based kriging for particle pollution exposure in both the US and China using environmental air pollution data from monitor stations; then associate the exposure to air pollutant with the mortality rate and hospitalization rate using the big public health data in the US and a Chinese ESRD patients cohort in the East China. From the perspective of epigenetics, we will further conduct analysis of ESRD patients’ DNA methylation for a group of ESRD patients to explore how the DNA methylation modify or mediate the air pollution’s effect on the adverse health outcomes.

Through this research, the team hopes to assess and contrast risk of exposure to air pollution between the two countries, thus to provide data-driven analytics for public health policy making. This collaboration will lead to future environmental research projects on ESRD patients in larger areas of China and to succeed in application of Key Project for International Collaboration from the China National Science Foundation.

Research Aims

  • To develop a model-based kriging for particle pollution exposure in the US and China, using data from air pollution monitors.
  • Evaluate the association of exposure to particulate matter on mortality and hospitalization among ESRD patients.
  • Compare and asses the environmental risks for ESRD patients between U-S and China.
  • Conduct a pilot epigenetic study to explore whether certain DNA regions affect the influence of air pollution.

Research Team

  • Peter Song, professor of biostatistics, U-M (Co-PI)
  • Zhangsheng Yu, professor, Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, SJTU (Co-PI)
  • Chaochun Wei, Department of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, SJTU
  • Jingyuan Xie, Department of Nephrology, SJTU
  • J. Bragg-Gresham, Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center, U-M
  • S. Saran, Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center, U-M