Noise and Air Pollution and Cardiometabolic Disease: Part 1

Authors:
Münzel T, Sørensen M, Gori T, et al.
Citation:
Environmental Stressors and Cardio-Metabolic Disease: Part 1–Epidemiologic Evidence Supporting a Role for Noise and Air Pollution and Effects of Mitigation Strategies. Eur Heart J 2016;Jul 26:[Epub ahead of print].

The following are key points from part 1 of a review on environmental stressors and cardiometabolic disease:

  1. According to the "Environmental Burden of Disease in European Countries" project report, particulate matter (PM) air pollution together with traffic noise pollution, contribute to >75% of the burden of disease attributable to environmental factors.
  2. At least 1 million healthy life-years are lost every year in Western European countries because of environmental noise, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) contributes to the vast majority of these deaths.
  3. The highly associated nature of traffic noise and air pollution makes it challenging to isolate their independent effects on CV events in epidemiological studies. It is unclear whether noise and air pollution have contrasting, additive, synergistic, or confounding effects.
  4. Chronic exposure to road traffic, and/or railway or aircraft noise is associated with arterial hypertension and increased use of antihypertensive medication. Multiple studies suggest a link between noise exposure and propensity to ischemic heart disease.
  5. Exposure to air pollution, especially combustion-related PM and associated co-pollutants, contribute to overall CV mortality. The risk association in short-term series translates to a 1% elevation in CV-related mortality/10 micrograms/cubic meter of PM2.5.
  6. The authors write that "the rapidly burgeoning epidemics of hypertension and type 2 diabetes in many economies in Asia may be much more than a simple coincidence of overlapping prevalence rates due to urbanization and adoption of western lifestyles...it is reasonable to speculate that environmental factors may play a facilitatory role and may contribute to the collective burden of CVD worldwide through potentiation of intermediate risk factors.”
  7. The authors suggest "an effective reaction to the issues of air and traffic noise pollution requires a paradigm shift in human activity," and propose such interventions as reduction of greenhouse emissions, resilience to climate change, and increased physical activity of the population.

Clinical Topics: Diabetes and Cardiometabolic Disease, Prevention, Hypertension

Keywords: Air Pollution, Antihypertensive Agents, Cardiovascular Diseases, Climate Change, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Hypertension, Life Style, Metabolic Syndrome X, Motor Activity, Myocardial Ischemia, Particulate Matter, Primary Prevention, Risk Factors, Urbanization


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