Kick off meeting, 18-19 November, Turin

The MED HISS kick off meeting took place in Turin at mid November 2013. All project partners has been invited to join the meeting as well as the two MED HISS external experts.
The meeting has been foreseen to present the project objectives and methods, communication strategies and administration steps to the partners.
An illustration of the general purposes of the project was given, as well as the e-proposal document details.
Particular attention was devoted to innovative methodologies present in this project when compared to previous published cohort studies on air pollution. Previous studies were conducted mainly in Northern America USA and Canada and in northern European countries, with poor geographical variability and with restriction on characteristic of the cohorts recruited. This project will cover the whole national territories (both rural and urban area) and the cohorts analyzed will be representative of the whole population. The use of National Health Interview Surveys will permit to have particular highlights on health and socio-economic data, in a less expensive way if compared to the costs of previous studies. Due to its demonstration nature, this must be seen as a pilot study and the feasibility of this approach will be shared with the European Commission.
The health information present in the surveys linked to the environmental data will be the core data.

Within the collaboration between ARPAP and ENEA on environmental data ENEA presented the state of the art of the model (MINNI) as reported in the project’s e-proposal, and presentation of the data available for Italy for this project. Pollutant that could be considered are SO2, NO2, PM10, PM2.5, NH3, O3. MINNI produces hourly estimates of the pollution above mentioned on the whole Italian territory on a 4x4 km2 grid.

A presentation of a practical example of the translation of pollutant level from regularly spaced 4x4 Km grid to municipality level in Piedmont region was given by ARPAP, the project coordinator: the use of monitoring station data in the kriging process with external drift methodology in order to check the output of MINNI modelling system was shown.

The model represents a simple and innovative methodology to obtain pollutant concentration values at municipality scale, that needs only:
- Concentration fields on regular grid from air quality models;
- Municipality cartographic data (e.g. boundaries, built-up surface);
- Air quality measurements from monitoring network (optionally)

Statistical analyses and methods to analyse them will be developed and implemented during the project.
The main objective of the project is to obtain relative risks for long term exposure to air pollution for southern European populations, in order to be able to estimate an health impact assessment (HIA) based on RR calculated directly instead of applying risks derived from American or northern European countries.
Preliminary results on the Italian cohort were illustrated, focusing on the high comparability of results with those already published.

Kick off meeting, agenda