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Air Pollution and Other Environmental Modulators of Cardiac Function

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Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in developed regions and a worldwide health concern. Multiple external causes of CVD are well known, including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, age, and sedentary behavior. Air pollution has been linked with the development of CVD for decades, though the mechanistic characterization remains unknown. In this comprehensive review, we detail the background and epidemiology of the effects of air pollution and other environmental modulators on the heart, including both short‐ and long‐term consequences. Then, we provide the experimental data and current hypotheses of how pollution is able to cause the CVD, and how exposure to pollutants is exacerbated in sensitive states. Published 2017. Compr Physiol 7:1479‐1495, 2017.

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Figure 1. Figure 1. Overall schematic of proposed environmental modulators of cardiovascular health.

Figure 1. Overall schematic of proposed environmental modulators of cardiovascular health.
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Teaching Material

M. W. Gorr, M. J. Falvo, L. E. Wold. Air Pollution and Other Environmental Modulators of Cardiac Function. Compr Physiol 7: 2017, 1479-1495. doi:10.1002/cphy.c170017

Didactic Synopsis

Major Teaching Points:

  1. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the world, and is associated with both increased morbidity and mortality.
  2. Many causes of cardiovascular diseases are known, including genetic, dietary, and environmental in origin.
  3. Air pollution exposure is a known trigger of increased cardiovascular disease, both during adulthood and the developmental periods.
  4. Many other external triggers of cardiovascular disease exist, including stress, temperature, and noise pollution.
  5. Preexisting conditions can exacerbate the effect of external triggers on cardiovascular disease.

Didactic Legends

The figures—in a freely downloadable PowerPoint format—can be found on the Images tab along with the formal legends published in the article. The following legends to the same figures are written to be useful for teaching.

Figure 1. Teaching points: Proposed environmental modulators of cardiovascular health.

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How to Cite

Matthew W. Gorr, Michael J. Falvo, Loren E. Wold. Air Pollution and Other Environmental Modulators of Cardiac Function. Compr Physiol 2017, 7: 1479-1495. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c170017