Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in developed regions and a worldwide health concern. Multiple external causes of CVD are well known, including obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, age, and sedentary behavior. Air pollution has been linked with the development of CVD for decades, though the mechanistic characterization remains unknown. In this comprehensive review, we detail the background and epidemiology of the effects of air pollution and other environmental modulators on the heart, including both short- and long-term consequences. Then, we provide the experimental data and current hypotheses of how pollution is able to cause the CVD, and how exposure to pollutants is exacerbated in sensitive states. Published 2017. Compr Physiol 7:1479-1495, 2017.
Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.