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Studying Mechanistic Links Between Pollution and Heart Disease *

Environmental factors are considered key determinants of cardiovascular disease. Although lifestyle choices such as smoking, diet, and exercise are viewed as major environmental influences, the contribution of pollutants and environmental chemicals is less clear. Accumulating evidence suggests that exposure to pollutants and chemicals could elevate the risk of cardiovascular disease. Many epidemiological studies report that exposure to fine particles present in ambient air is associated with an increase in cardiovascular mortality. Statistically significant relationships between particulate air pollution and ischemic heart disease, arrhythmias, and heart failure have been reported. Animal studies show that exposure to ambient air particles increases peripheral thrombosis and atherosclerotic lesion formation. Exposures to arsenic, lead, cadmium, pollutant gases, solvents, and pesticides have also been linked to increased incidence of cardiovascular disease. Mechanistically, these effects have been attributed to changes in the synthesis or reactivity of nitric oxide that may be caused by environmental oxidants or increased endogenous production of reactive oxygen species. Additional studies are urgently needed to: identify the contribution of individual pollutants to specific aspects of cardiovascular disease; establish causality; elucidate the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms; estimate the relative susceptibility of diseased and healthy individuals and that of specific population groups; and determine whether pollutant exposure are risk correlates, that is, whether they influence major risk factors, such as hypertension, cholesterol, or diabetes, or whether they contribute to the absolute risk of heart disease. Collectively, these investigations could contribute to the emergent field of environmental cardiology.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 08-18-2009
Authors: Aruni Bhatnagar
Source: Circulation Research. 2006;99:692-705