Air pollution: The "heart" of the problem

  • Brook R
  • Brook J
  • Rajagopalan S
  • 40

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 108

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Air pollution exposure is associated with an increased risk of acute and chronic cardiovascular mortality. Recent observations have implicated fine particulate matter (PM(2.5)) as one of the most important pollutants. Inhalation of PM(2.5) causes acute pulmonary inflammation and oxidative stress. The subsequent generation of a systemic inflammatory response could link air pollution exposure with the development of cardiovascular disease. Human experiments have demonstrated pro-arrhythmic alterations in cardiac autonomic tone, increased blood pressure, higher serum C-reactive protein levels, and alterations in blood rheology favoring coagulation following controlled pollution exposures or in relation to elevated ambient PM(2.5) levels. Recent studies have also uncovered several harmful impacts on the systemic vasculature, including the triggering of acute vasoconstriction and the enhanced development of atherosclerosis. Many questions, however, remain unanswered and future studies will be required to clarify the relevant biologic mechanisms and to identify the specific constituents responsible for mediating the adverse health impacts.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Robert D. Brook

  • Jeffrey R. Brook

  • Sanjay Rajagopalan

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free