Air Pollution: Another Threat to HDL Function, is the title of a study published in the International journal of molecular sciences. The study highlights how air pollution affects human nature, even at a systemic level, affecting the cardiovascular system and beyond.
The researchers explain: "Epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated a positive association between exposure to air pollutants and the incidence of cardiovascular disease, with the strongest evidence for particles with a diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5).
Therefore, air pollution has been included among the modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular outcomes as cardiovascular mortality, acute coronary syndrome, stroke, heart failure, and arrhythmias. Interestingly, the adverse effects of air pollution are more pronounced at higher levels of exposure but were also shown in countries with low levels of air pollution, indicating no apparent safe threshold.It is generally believed that exposure to air pollution in the long-term can accelerate atherosclerosis progression by promoting dyslipidemia, hypertension, and other metabolic disorders due to systemic inflammation and oxidative stress.
Regarding high density lipoproteins ( HDL), the impact of air pollution on plasma HDL-cholesterol levels is still debated, but there is accumulating evidence that HDL function can be impaired. In particular, the exposure to air pollution has been variably associated with a reduction in their cholesterol efflux capacity, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential, and ability to promote the release of nitric oxide.
Further studies are needed to fully address the impact of various air pollutants on HDL functions and to elucidate the mechanisms responsible for HDL dysfunction." The effects on human health due to poor air quality mainly involve the respiratory system and the cardiovascular system.
Individual reactions to air pollutants depend on the type of pollutant a person is exposed to, the degree of exposure, the individual's state of health and genetics. Indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 report.
Outdoor air pollution causes 2.1 to 4.21 million dead every year. Collectively, air pollution causes the deaths of approximately 7 million people worldwide each year and is the largest single environmental health risk in the world.