Cardiovascular Effects of Sub-daily Levels of Ambient Fine Particles

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While the effects of daily fine particulate exposure (PM) have been well reviewed, the epidemiological and physiological evidence of cardiovascular effects associated to sub-daily exposures has not. We performed a theoretical model-driven systematic non-meta-analytical literature review to document the association between PM sub-daily exposures (≤6 hours) and arrhythmia, ischemia and myocardial infarction (MI) as well as the likely mechanisms by which sub-daily PM exposures might induce these acute cardiovascular effects. This review was motivated by the assessment of the risk of exposure to elevated sub-daily levels of PM during fireworks displays.

Future studies should clarify associations between cardiovascular effects of sub-daily PM exposure with PM size fraction and concurrent gaseous pollutant exposures. Experimental studies appear more promising for elucidating the physiological mechanisms, time courses and causes than epidemiological studies which employ central pollution monitors for measuring effects and for assessing their time course. Although further studies are needed to strengthen the evidence, given that exposure to sub-daily high levels of PM (for a few hours) is frequent and given the suggestive evidence that sub-daily PM exposures are associated with the occurrence of cardiovascular effects, we recommend that persons with cardiovascular diseases avoid such situations.

Publication Date Jun 11, 2010
Author Burgan O, Smargiassi A, Perron S, Kosatsky T
Posted by NCCEH Jun 11, 2010