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Epidemiol Health > Accepted Articles
Epidemiology and Health 2021;e2021067.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2021067    [Accepted] Published online Sep 16, 2021.
Cohort Profile: The Environmental-Pollution-Induced Neurological EFfects (EPINEF) study, a multicenter cohort study of Korean adults
Heeseon Jang1,2  , Woojin Kim1  , Jaelim Cho1,3,4  , Jungwoo Sohn5  , Juhwan Noh1  , Gayoung Seo1  , Seung-Koo Lee6  , Young Noh7  , Sung Soo Oh8  , Sang-Baek Koh9  , Hee Jin Kim10  , Sang Won Seo10, Ho Hyun Kim11  , Jung Il Lee12  , Sun-Young Kim13  , Changsoo Kim1,3 
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Public Health, Yonsei University Graduate School, Seoul, Korea
3Institute of Human Complexity and Systems Science, Yonsei University, Incheon, Korea
4Institute for Environmental Research, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
5Department of Preventive Medicine, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, Korea
6Department of Radiology, Severance Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
7Department of Neurology, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea
8Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea
9Department of Preventive Medicine, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea
10Department of Neurology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
11Department of Information, Communication and Technology Convergence. ICT Environment Convergence, Pyeongtaek University, Pyeongtaek, Korea
12Korea Testing & Research Institute, Gwacheon, Korea
13Department of Cancer Control and Population Health, Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea
Correspondence  Changsoo Kim ,Tel: 02-2228-1880, Email: preman@yuhs.ac
Received: Jul 18, 2021  Accepted after revision: Sep 16, 2021
Abstract
General populations are exposed to numerous environmental pollutants, and it is still unclear what pollutants affect the brain, accelerating brain aging and increasing the risk of dementia. The Environmental-Pollution-Induced Neurological Effects study is a multi-city prospective cohort study that aimed to comprehensively investigate the effect of different environmental pollutants on brain structures, neuropsychological function, and development of dementia in adults. The baseline data of 3,775 healthy elderly people were collected from August 2014 to March 2018. The eligibility criteria were ≥ 50 years of age and no self-reported history of dementia, movement disorders, or stroke. The assessment includes demographics and anthropometrics, laboratory test, and individual levels of exposure to air pollution. Additionally, a neuroimaging sub-cohort was recruited with 1,022 participants, during the same period, and brain magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological tests were conducted. The first follow-up environmental pollutant measurements will start in 2022 and the follow-up for the sub-cohort is conducted every 3-4 years. We found that subtle structural changes in the brain may be induced by exposure to airborne pollutants such as PM10, PM2.5, and NO2 in healthy adults. This study provides a research base for large-scale, long-term neuroimaging assessment in community-based populations.
Keywords: Cohort Studies; Environmental Pollutants; Neurodegenerative Diseases; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Neuropsychological Tests
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