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Your Environment. Your Health.

Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure Linked with Heart Problems

Loren E. Wold, Ph.D., Sanjay Rajagopalan, M.D., Qinghua Sun, M.D, Ph.D.
Ohio State University
NIEHS Grants R01ES019923, R01ES015146, R01ES017290, R01ES019616, K01ES016588, R21ES017412, R01ES018900


Studies have shown that short-term exposure to air pollution can trigger heart problems, and a new NIEHS-funded study provides evidence that long-term exposure can also have adverse health effects. The researchers report that mice exposed to air pollution for most of their lives showed heart problems that were consistent with developing heart failure.


The investigators exposed mice to environmentally-relevant levels of particulate air pollution (< 2.5 microns) or filtered air for six hours a day, five days a week, for nine months, which is a large portion of the animal’s lifespan. Echocardiography revealed that the mice exposed to air pollution developed heart dysfunction, which could also be seen at cellular and tissue levels. The researchers say that these findings have implications for air pollution as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease development.


Citation: Wold LE, Ying Z, Hutchinson KR, Velten M, Gorr MW, Velten C, Youtz DJ, Wang A, Lucchesi PA, Sun Q, Rajagopalan S. Cardiovascular remodeling in response to long-term exposure to fine particulate matter air pollution. Circ Heart Fail. 2012 Jul 1;5(4):452-61.

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