It is well recognized that the exposure to air pollution is associated with many adverse effects on health. A strong epidemiological association has been particularly observed between acute and chronic exposure to air pollutants and the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. The pathophysiological mechanisms underlying these effects have not been fully identified but potential pathways include endothelial or autonomic dysfunction and systemic reactions such as hypercoagulability, inflammation and oxidative stress. The current knowledge of the short-term and long-term cardiovascular effects of particulate air pollutants is discussed in this review article.
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