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Impact of Particulate Air Pollution on Cardiovascular Health

Abstract

Purpose of Review

Air pollution is established as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Ambient particulate matter (PM), a principal component of air pollutant, has been considered as a main culprit of the adverse effects of air pollution on human health.

Recent Findings

Extensive epidemiological and toxicological studies have demonstrated particulate air pollution is positively associated with the development of CVDs. Short-term PM exposure can trigger acute cardiovascular events while long-term exposure over years augments cardiovascular risk to an even greater extent and can reduce life expectancy by a few years. Inhalation of PM affects heart rate variability, blood pressure, vascular tone, blood coagulability, and the progression of atherosclerosis. The potential molecular mechanisms of PM-caused CVDs include direct toxicity to the cardiovascular system or indirect injury by inducing systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in circulation.

Summary

This review mainly focuses on the acute and chronic effects of ambient PM exposure on the development of cardiovascular diseases and the possible mechanisms for PM-induced increases in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Additionally, we summarized some appropriate interventions to attenuate PM air pollution-induced cardiovascular adverse effects, which may promote great benefits to public health.

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Abbreviations

CVDs:

Cardiovascular diseases

PM:

Particulate matter

PM10 :

PM with an aerodynamic diameter less than 10 μm

PM2.5–10 :

PM with an aerodynamic diameter 2.5–10 μm

PM2.5 :

PM with an aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 μm

UFPs/PM0.1 :

PM with an aerodynamic diameter less than 0.1 μm

BC:

Black carbon

DEP:

Diesel exhaust particles

HRV:

Heart rate variability

CHF:

Congestive heart failure

CHD:

Coronary heart disease

RRs:

Relative risk ratios

HRs:

Hazard ratios

IL:

Interleukin

TNF-α:

Tumor necrosis factor-α

GM-CSF:

Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor

CRP:

C-reactive protein

ROS:

Reactive oxygen species

t-PA:

Tissue plasminogen activator

PAI-1:

Plasminogen activator inhibitor

FMD:

Flow-mediated dilation

PUFAs:

Polyunsaturated fatty acids

GSTM1:

Glutathione S-transferase M1

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Funding

This work is supported by the grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81573112, 81373030, 81703182). Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.

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Correspondence to Weidong Wu.

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An, Z., Jin, Y., Li, J. et al. Impact of Particulate Air Pollution on Cardiovascular Health. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 18, 15 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-018-0768-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-018-0768-8

Keywords

  • Particulate matter
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Oxidative stress
  • Inflammation
  • Intervention