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Revista médica de Chile

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ROMAN A, Oscar; PRIETO, María José  and  MANCILLA, Pedro. Atmospheric pollution and cardiovascular damage. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.6, pp.761-767. ISSN 0034-9887.

The damaging effect of atmospheric pollution with particulate matter and toxic gases on the respiratory system and its effect in the incidence and severity of respiratory diseases, is well known. A similar effect on the cardiovascular system is currently under investigation. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that the inhalation of particulate matter can increase cardiovascular disease incidence and mortality, specially ischemic heart disease. The damage would be mediated by alterations in the autonomic nervous system, inflammation, infections and free radicals. In human studies, environmental pollution is associated with alterations in cardiac frequency variability and blood pressure and with changes in ventricular repolarization. Experimentally, an enhancement of ischemia, due to coronary obstruction, has been demonstrated. The study of the toxic effects of environmental pollution over the cardiovascualr system, is an open field, specially in Chile, were the big cities have serious contamination problems (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 761-7)

Keywords : Air pollution; Cardiovacular diseases; Coronary disease.

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