Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The relationship between increased exposure to PM and adverse cardiovascular effects is well documented in epidemiological studies. Inflammation in the lungs, caused by deposited particles, can be seen as a key process that could mediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. There are at least three potential pathways that could lead from pulmonary inflammation to adverse cardiovascular effects. Firstly, inflammation in the lung could lead to systemic inflammation, which is well known to be linked to sudden death from cardiovascular causes. Systemic inflammation can lead to destabilization by activation of inflammatory processes in atheromatous plaques. Secondly, inflammation can cause an imbalance in coagulation factors that favor propagation of thrombi if thrombosis is initiated. Thirdly, inflammation could affect the autonomic nervous system activity in ways that could lead to alterations in the control of heart rhythm which could culminate in fatal dysrhythmia.

Original publication




Journal article


Toxicol appl pharmacol

Publication Date





483 - 488


Air Pollutants, Fibrinolysis, Heart, Heart Rate, Humans, Lung, Particle Size, Pneumonia, Thrombosis