Environmental Exposures and Cardiovascular Disease: A Challenge for Health and Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Cardiol Clin. 2017 Feb;35(1):71-86. doi: 10.1016/j.ccl.2016.09.001.


Environmental exposures in low- and middle-income countries lie at the intersection of increased economic development and the rising public health burden of cardiovascular disease. Increasing evidence suggests an association of exposure to ambient air pollution, household air pollution from biomass fuel, lead, arsenic, and cadmium with multiple cardiovascular disease outcomes, including hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cardiovascular mortality. Although populations in low- and middle-income countries are disproportionately exposed to environmental pollution, evidence linking these exposures to cardiovascular disease is derived from populations in high-income countries. More research is needed to further characterize the extent of environmental exposures.

Keywords: Air pollution; Arsenic; Cadmium; Cardiovascular disease; Environmental health; Heavy metals; Household air pollution; Lead.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / economics
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Developing Countries*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Poverty
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors