Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Reviews on Environmental Health

Editor-in-Chief: Carpenter, David O. / Sly, Peter

Editorial Board: Brugge, Doug / Edwards, John W. / Field, R.William / Garbisu, Carlos / Hales, Simon / Horowitz, Michal / Lawrence, Roderick / Maibach, H.I. / Shaw, Susan / Tao, Shu / Tchounwou, Paul B.

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.616

CiteScore 2018: 1.69

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.508
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.664

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 29, Issue 1-2


Particulate air pollution and cardiovascular disease – it is time to take it seriously

Bin Jalaludin
  • Corresponding author
  • Centre for Research, Evidence Management and Surveillance, Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts, Sydney, Australia
  • Centre for Air quality and Health Research and Evaluation (CAR), Sydney, Australia
  • School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Christine Cowie
Published Online: 2014-02-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2014-0031


Worldwide, there were over 3 million deaths attributable to exposure to excessive levels of particulate air pollution in 2010. This is similar to the number of deaths attributable to high blood sugar (3.4 million) but less than the number of deaths attributed to smoking (5.7 million) and excessive alcohol consumption (5.0 million). Globally, ambient particulate air pollution was the ninth leading cause of premature deaths, and most of the disease attributable to exposure to ambient particulate air pollution is cardiovascular disease. Short-term and long-term exposures to outdoor particulate matter pollution are associated with a range of adverse cardiovascular health effects such as heart rate variability, development of atherosclerosis, myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, stroke, and deaths. Despite this, there is not the same recognition of particulate air pollution as an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality compared to the more established risk factors such as cigarette smoking and hypertension. It is now time to reevaluate the contribution of particulate air pollution to cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: cardiovascular disease; particulate air pollution; risk factors


  • 1.

    Brunekreef B, Forsberg B. Epidemiological evidence of effects of coarse airborne particles on health. Eur Respir J 2005;26:309–18.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 2.

    Brunekreef B, Holgate ST. Air pollution and health. Lancet 2002;360:1233–42.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 3.

    Sioutas C, Delfino RJ, Singh M. Exposure assessment for atmospheric ultrafine particles (UFPs) and implications in epidemiologic research. Environ Health Perspect 2005;113:947–55.Google Scholar

  • 4.

    Brook RD. Cardiovascular effects of air pollution. Clin Sci 2008;115:175–87.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 5.

    Holguin F. Traffic, outdoor air pollution, and asthma. Immunol Allergy Clin North Am 2008;28:577–88.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 6.

    Pope CA III, Dockery DW. Health effects of fine particulate air pollution: Lines that connect. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2006;56:709–42.Google Scholar

  • 7.

    Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants. Long-term exposure to air pollution: effect on mortality. London: Department of Health, UK, 2009.Google Scholar

  • 8.

    Brook RD, Rajagopalan S, Pope CA III, Brook JR, Bhatnagar A, et al. Particulate matter air pollution and cardiovascular disease: an update to the scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2010;121:2331–78.Google Scholar

  • 9.

    US EPA. Integrated science assessment for particulate matter. 2009.Google Scholar

  • 10.

    US EPA. The benefits and costs of the Clean Air act from 1990 to 2020. Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, 2011.Google Scholar

  • 11.

    Krewski D, Jerrett M, Burnett RT, Ma R, Hughes E, et al. Extended follow-up and spatial analysis of the American Cancer Society study linking particulate air pollution and mortality. Boston, MA: HEI Research Report 140: Health Effects Institute, 2009.Google Scholar

  • 12.

    Pope CA III, Burnett RT, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D, et al. Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. J Am Med Assoc 2002;287:1132–41.Google Scholar

  • 13.

    Zanobetti A, Schwartz J. The effect of fine and coarse particulate air pollution on mortality: a national analysis. Environ Health Perspect 2009;117:898–903.Google Scholar

  • 14.

    Bell ML, Ebisu K, Peng RD, Walker J, Samet JM, et al. Seasonal and regional short-term effects of fine particles on hospital admissions in 202 US counties, 1999–2005. Am J Epidemiol 2008;168:1301–10.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 15.

    Barnett AG, Williams GM, Schwartz J, Best TL, Neller AH, et al. The effects of air pollution on hospitalisations for cardiovascular disease in elderly people in Australian and New Zealand cities. Environ Health Perspect 2006;114:1018–23.PubMedCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • 16.

    Jalaludin B, Khalaj B, Sheppeard V, Morgan G. Air pollution and ED visits for asthma in Australian children: a case-crossover analysis. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2008;81:967–74.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 17.

    Peel JL, Tolbert PE, Klein M, Metzger KB, Flanders WD, et al. Ambient air pollution and respiratory emergency department visits. Epidemiology 2005;16:164–74.CrossrefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 18.

    Metzger KB, Tolbert PE, Klein M, Peel JL, Flanders WD, et al. Ambient air pollution and cardiovascular Emergency Department visits. Epidemiology 2004;15:46–56.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 19.

    Parker JD, Rich DQ, Glinianaia SV, Leem JH, Wartenberg D, et al. The International Collaboration on Air Pollution and Pregnancy Outcomes: initial results. Environ Health Perspect 2011;119:1023–8.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 20.

    Glinianaia SV, Rankin J, Bell R, Pless-Mulloli T, Howel D. Particulate air pollution and fetal health: a systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence. Epidemiology 2004;15:36–45.m.Google Scholar

  • 21.

    Vrijheid M, Martinez D, Manzanares S, Dadvand P, Schembari A, et al. Ambient air pollution and risk of congenital anomalies: a systematic review and eta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect 2011;119:598–606.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 22.

    Woodruff TJ, Parker JD, Darrow LA, Slama R, Bell ML, et al. Methodological issues in studies of air pollution and reproductive health. Environ Res 2009;109:311–320.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 23.

    Loomis D, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, Ghissassi FE, Bouvard V, et al. The carcinogenicity of outdoor air pollution. Lancet Oncol 2013;14:1262.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 24.

    US EPA. Provisional assessment of recent studies of health effects of particulate matter exposure. National Center for Environmental Assessment RTP Division. Office of Research and Development, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 25.

    EEA. Air Quality in Europe – 2012 report. Copenhagen: European Environment Agency, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 26.

    Ephekom. Summary report of the Aphekom project 2008-2011. Available at: http://www.aphekom.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=e711dffa-8b6f-4712-a794-b73fcf351572&groupId=10347, (Accessed on 2 December 2013).

  • 27.

    Lim SS, Vos T, Flaxman AD, Danaei G, Shibuya K, et al. A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2012;380: 2224–2260.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 28.

    Brook RD, Brook JR, Rajagopalan S. Air pollution: the “heart” of the problem. Curr Hypertens Rep 2003;5:32–39.Google Scholar

  • 29.

    Routledge HC, Ayres JG. Air pollution and the heart. Occup Med 2005;55:439–447.Google Scholar

  • 30.

    Routledge HC, Ayres JG, Townend JN. Why cardiologists should be interested in air pollution. Heart 2003;89:1383–8.Google Scholar

  • 31.

    Kunzli N, Tager IB. Air pollution: from lung to heart. Swiss Med Wkly 2005;135:697–702.Google Scholar

  • 32.

    Dab W, Segala C, Dor F, Festy B, Lameloise P, et al. Air pollution and health: correlation or causality? The case of the relationship between exposure to particles and cardiopulmonary mortality. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 2001;51:220–235.Google Scholar

  • 33.

    Department of Health. Cardiovascular disease and air pollution. A report by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants. London: HMSO, 2006:215pp.Google Scholar

  • 34.

    Lozano R, Naghavi M, Foreman K, Lim S, Shibuya K, et al. Global and regional mortality from 235 causes of death for 20 age groups in 1990 and 2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2012;380:2095–128.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 35.

    Murray CJL, Lopez AD. Global health: measuring the global burden of disease. New Engl J Med 2013;369:448–57.Google Scholar

  • 36.

    Gaziano TA, Bitton A, Anand S, Abrahams-Gessel S, Murphy A. Growing epidemic of coronary heart disease in low- and middle-income countries. Curr Probl Cardiol 2010;35:72–115.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • 37.

    Longo DL, Fauci AS, Kasper DL, Houser SL, Jameson JL, et al. Epidemiology of cardiovascular disease. In: Fauci AS, editor. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine, 18th ed. United States of America, 2012.Google Scholar

  • 38.

    WHO. Available at: http://www.who.int/phe/health_topics/outdoorair/databases/en/index.html, (Accessed on 4 December 2013).

  • 39.

    US EPA. Our Nation’s Air. Status and trends through 2010. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC, 2012.Google Scholar

About the article

Corresponding author: Bin Jalaludin, Centre for Research, Evidence Management and Surveillance, Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts, Sydney, Australia; Centre for Air quality and Health Research and Evaluation (CAR), Sydney, Australia; and School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, E-mail:

Received: 2014-01-17

Accepted: 2014-01-17

Published Online: 2014-02-19

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Reviews on Environmental Health, Volume 29, Issue 1-2, Pages 129–132, ISSN (Online) 2191-0308, ISSN (Print) 0048-7554, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/reveh-2014-0031.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Carrie V. Breton, Jin Yao, Josh Millstein, Lu Gao, Kimberly D. Siegmund, Wendy Mack, Lora Whitfield-Maxwell, Fred Lurmann, Howard Hodis, Ed Avol, and Frank D. Gilliland
Environmental Health Perspectives, 2016, Volume 124, Number 12, Page 1905
Juan Jose Carmona, Tamar Sofer, John Hutchinson, Laura Cantone, Brent Coull, Arnab Maity, Pantel Vokonas, Xihong Lin, Joel Schwartz, and Andrea A Baccarelli
Environmental Health, 2014, Volume 13, Number 1
Rodney Dietert and Janice Dietert
Healthcare, 2015, Volume 3, Number 1, Page 100
Donna Green, Hilary Bambrick, Peter Tait, James Goldie, Rosalie Schultz, Leanne Webb, Lisa Alexander, and Andrew Pitman
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2015, Volume 12, Number 12, Page 15352
Chunmiao Luo, Xiaoxia Zhu, Cijiang Yao, Lijuan Hou, Jian Zhang, Jiyu Cao, and Ailing Wang
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 2015, Volume 22, Number 19, Page 14651

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in