A Systematic Review on the Effects of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Cardiometabolic Impairment

Int J Prev Med. 2017 Apr 6;8:19. doi: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_144_17. eCollection 2017.


Background: Various epidemiological studies have shown that exposure to environmental pollutants including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) might increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and their risk factors. This study aims to systematically review the association of PAH exposure with metabolic impairment.

Methods: Data were collected by searching for relevant studies in international databases using the following keywords: "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon" + "cardiovascular disease," PAH + CVD, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and "air pollutant" + "CVD," and the desired data were extracted and included in the study according to the systematic review process.

Results: From the 14 articles included in the present systematic review, eight articles were conducted on the relationship between PAH and CVDs, four articles were conducted to examine the association of PAH exposure with blood pressure (BP), and two articles investigated the link between PAH and obesity.

Conclusions: Most studies included in this systematic review reported a significant positive association of PAH exposure with increased risk of CVDs and its major risk factors including elevated BP and obesity. These findings should be confirmed by longitudinal studies with long-term follow-up.

Keywords: Blood pressure; cardiovascular disease; myocardial infarction; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon.

Publication types

  • Review