Evaluation of a commercial database to estimate residence histories in the los angeles ultrafines study

Environ Res. 2021 Jun:197:110986. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2021.110986. Epub 2021 Mar 6.


Background: Commercial databases can be used to identify participant addresses over time, but their quality and impact on environmental exposure assessment is uncertain.

Objective: To evaluate the performance of a commercial database to find residences and estimate environmental exposures for study participants.

Methods: We searched LexisNexis® for participant addresses in the Los Angeles Ultrafines Study, a prospective cohort of men and women aged 50-71 years. At enrollment (1995-1996) and follow-up (2004-2005), we evaluated attainment (address found for the corresponding time period) and match rates to survey addresses by participant characteristics. We compared geographically-referenced predictors and estimates of ultrafine particulate matter (UFP) exposure from a land use regression model using LexisNexis and survey addresses at enrollment.

Results: LexisNexis identified an address for 69% of participants at enrollment (N = 50,320) and 95% of participants at follow-up (N = 24,432). Attainment rate at enrollment modestly differed (≥5%) by age, smoking status, education, and residential mobility between surveys. The match rate at both survey periods was high (82-86%) and similar across characteristics. When using LexisNexis versus survey addresses, correlations were high for continuous values of UFP exposure and its predictors (rho = 0.86-0.92).

Significance: Time period and population characteristics influenced the attainment of addresses from a commercial database, but accuracy and subsequent estimation of specific air pollution exposures were high in our older study population.

Keywords: Air pollution; Analytic methods; Cancer; Epidemiology; Geospatial analyses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • Air Pollution* / analysis
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Particulate Matter / analysis
  • Prospective Studies


  • Air Pollutants
  • Particulate Matter