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Your Environment. Your Health.

Cardiovascular Disease

Program Leads

Caroline Dilworth, Ph.D.
Caroline H. Dilworth, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
530 Davis Dr
Durham, NC 27713
Tel (919) 541-7727
Kimberly Ann Gray
Kimberly Gray, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Division Extramural Research and Training, Population Health Branch
530 Davis Dr
Durham, NC 27713
Tel (919) 541-0293
Kimberly A. McAllister, Ph.D.
Kimberly McAllister, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
530 Davis Dr
Durham, NC 27713
Tel (919) 541-4528
Fax (919) 316-4606
Srikanth Nadadur, Ph.D.
Sri Nadadur, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
530 Davis Dr
Durham, NC 27713
Tel (919) 541-5327
Fax (919) 541-0462


Program Description

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and is a major burden on our health care system. Coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and congestive heart failure all fall under the umbrella of cardiovascular disease.

Although there are many risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes, environmental exposures also play a role. For example, NIEHS-funded studies have demonstrated a strong relationship between the risk of early death from heart disease and levels of airborne particles, sulfur dioxide, and other fossil fuel emissions.

What NIEHS is doing

Environmental health scientists are working to identify who is most likely to experience cardiovascular problems because of exposure to air pollution and other contaminants such as pesticides, lead, dioxins, and arsenic. Investigators also want to understand how a person’s genetics might affect susceptibility to pollutants and the mechanisms leading to cardiovascular effects.

NIEHS grantees are investigating whether air pollution can trigger stroke and are examining the vascular and inflammatory mechanisms for air pollution’s cardiovascular effects. They are also studying the potential influence that climate change and exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) might have on cardiovascular disease. The interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the progression of cardiopulmonary disease is another important area of investigation.

For additional information on what NIEHS grantees are doing, visit our Who We Fund tool.

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