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Your Environment. Your Health.

Heart Disease

Program Description

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and a major burden on our health care system. The term “heart disease” refers to several types of problems such as coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure. Related cardiovascular problems include stroke and hypertension.

Many factors increase your chance of heart disease, such as smoking, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. Exposure to toxicants and other chemicals may also play a role. For example, NIEHS-funded studies 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 work 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. Researchers also want to understand how a person’s genetics might affect susceptibility to pollutants and the mechanisms leading to cardiovascular effects.

NIEHS grantees study whether air pollution can trigger stroke, and the vascular and inflammatory mechanisms for air pollution’s cardiovascular effects. They also study the potential influence that extreme weather events, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and lack of green space, such as trees and parks, might have on cardiovascular health. The interplay of genetic and environmental factors in the progression of cardiovascular disease is another important area of investigation.

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

Program Leads

Bonnie R. Joubert, Ph.D.
Bonnie R. Joubert, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator, Epidemiology
Tel 984-287-3276
bonnie.joubert@nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-12
Durham, N.C. 27709
Kimberly A. McAllister, Ph.D.
Kimberly McAllister, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3287
Fax 919-316-4606
mcallis2@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-12
Durham, N.C. 27709
Thaddeus Schug, Ph.D.
Thaddeus T. Schug, Ph.D.
Health Scientist Administrator
Tel 984-287-3319
schugt2@niehs.nih.gov
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop K3-15
Durham, N.C. 27709
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