How air pollution would cause inflammation and thrombosis

A study makes a retrospective on the vascular effects caused by air pollution

by Lorenzo Ciotti
How air pollution would cause inflammation and thrombosis

Effects of Particulate Matter on Inflammation and Thrombosis: Past Evidence for Future Prevention, is a study published in the International journal of environmental research and public health, and makes a retrospective on the vascular effects caused by air pollution.

The study researchers explain: "Ambient air pollution has become a common problem worldwide. Exposure to pollutant particles causes many health conditions, having a particular impact on pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.

Increased understanding of the pathological processes related to these conditions may facilitate the prevention of the adverse impact of air pollution on our physical health. Evidence from in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies has consistently shown that exposure to particulate matter could induce the inflammatory responses such as IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, as well as enhancing the oxidative stress.

These result in vascular injury, adhesion molecule release, platelet activation, and thrombin generation, ultimately leading to a prothrombotic state. In this review, evidence on the effects of particulate matter on inflammation, oxidative stress, adhesion molecules, and coagulation pathways in enhancing the risk of thrombosis is comprehensively summarized and discussed.

The currently available outcomes of interventional studies at a cellular level and clinical reports are also presented and discussed."

About Particulate matter

Particulate matter is one of the most frequent pollutants in urban areas.

Examples of substances present in the particulate are natural and artificial fibers, pollen, spores, carbonaceous particles, metals, silica and liquid pollutants. The origin of these substances can be natural or associated with human activity.

The particulate matter can be found both in open and closed places, but generally its concentration is higher in closed places and in urban and industrial areas, or where in general more or less polluting human activities take place.

Particulate matter is dangerous to human health and to other living beings. In particular, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the World Health Organization have classified the particulate as a carcinogen, capable of causing tumors or favoring their onset and spread.

Several studies would indicate a role of air pollution in the spread and persistence of viruses suspended in the atmosphere demonstrated in 2002 on the occasion of the SARS infection in China and 2012 on the occasion of the MERS infection in Saudi Arabia.

It has also been termed as the most dangerous form of air pollution, due to its ability to enter the lungs and brain from the bloodstream, thereby causing heart disease, respiratory disease, and premature death. In particular, it turns out to be the sixth cause of premature death in the world.

Particulate matter can also have a negative impact on climate and precipitation.cIn hypotheses about the causes of the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction mass, a considerable increase in atmospheric particulate matter is often indicated among the causes that led to this extinction.