A randomized crossover trial of HEPA air filtration to reduce cardiovascular risk for near highway residents: Methods and approach

Doug Brugge, Shir Lerman Ginzburg, Neelakshi Hudda, Linda Sprague Martinez, Leigh Meunier, Scott P. Hersey, Ira Hochman, Douglas I. Walker, Ben Echevarria, Mohan Thanikachalam, John L. Durant, Wig Zamore, Misha Eliasziw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Near highway residents are exposed to elevated levels of traffic-related air pollution (TRAP), including ultrafine particles, which are associated with adverse health effects. The efficacy of using in-home air filtration units that reduce exposure and potentially yield health benefits has not been tested in a randomized controlled trial. Methods: We will conduct a randomized double-blind crossover trial of portable air filtration units for 200 adults 30 years and older who live in near-highway homes in Somerville, MA, USA. We will recruit participants from 172 households. The intervention periods will be one month of true or sham filtration, followed by a one-month wash out period and then a month of the alternate intervention. The primary health outcome will be systolic blood pressure (BP); secondary outcome measures will include diastolic and central BP, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and D-dimer. Reasons for success or failure of the intervention will be evaluated in a subset of homes using indoor/outdoor monitoring for particulate pollution, personal monitoring, size and composition of particulate pollution, tracking of time spent in the room with the filter, and interviews for qualitative feedback. Results: This trial has begun recruitment and is expected to take 2–3 years to be completed. Recruitment has been particularly challenging because of additional precautions required by the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion: This study has the potential to shed light on the value of using portable air filtration in homes close to highways to reduce exposure to TRAP and whether doing so has benefits for cardiovascular health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106520
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • In-home air filtration
  • Traffic-related air pollution
  • Ultrafine particles


Dive into the research topics of 'A randomized crossover trial of HEPA air filtration to reduce cardiovascular risk for near highway residents: Methods and approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this