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Your Environment. Your Health.

Cardiovascular Disease

Program Leads

Caroline Dilworth, Ph.D.
Caroline Dilworth, Ph.D. (
Health Scientist Administrator
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Tel (919) 541-7727
Fax (919) 316-4606
Kimberly Ann Gray
Kimberly Ann Gray, Ph.D. (
Health Scientist Administrator
P.O. Box 12233
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
Tel (919) 541-0293
Fax (919) 316-4606
Kimberly A. McAllister, Ph.D.
Kimberly A. McAllister, Ph.D. (
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel (919) 541-4528
Fax (919) 316-4606
Srikanth Nadadur, Ph.D.
Srikanth (Sri) Nadadur, Ph.D. (
Health Scientist Administrator
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.


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. Others are looking at pesticide exposure and cardiovascular disease in African Americans and are researching the interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the progression of cardiopulmonary disease.


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

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