The paper presented the most significant findings of a 10-year multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis and air pollution. The $33-million dollar study represented the largest research investment the EPA has ever made in a single research study.
In the study, Curl and the rest of the team followed a cohort of more than 6,000 people in six cities across the United States for more than 10 years and simultaneously assessed individual-level exposure to air pollution and progression of cardiovascular disease. The study found that increased concentrations of air pollutants, in the ranges that people in the US are commonly exposed to, are associated with progression of coronary calcification and acceleration of atherosclerosis.
This study was published in the Lancet, one of the top five medical journals in the world. Curl was the program manager for the study for eight years at the University of Washington, and was involved in all aspects of the work, including primary data collection, data management, analysis and manuscript preparation.