Cardiovascular Effects of Particulate-Matter Air Pollution: An Overview and Perspectives
Air Pollution has been associated with significant adverse health effects leading to increased overall morbidity and mortality of worldwide significance. Cumulative epidemiological studies support the notion that the largest portion of air pollution-related mortality is due to cardiovascular diseases, predominantly those of ischemic nature. While both gases and particles have been linked to detrimental health effects, at the present time more evidence implicates the particulate matter (PM) components as major responsible for a large portion of the cardiovascular effects. This chapter is a general overview of the most significant epidemiological studies that support the association between PM air pollution and increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, along with a broad review of specific clinical and sub-clinical cardiovascular outcomes that provide insights into the potentially responsible pathobiological mechanisms.