Particulate Matter Air Pollution and High Density Lipoprotein Dysfunction

JI Program: Cardiovascular


Fine particulate matter air pollution (PM2.5) is the 9th leading risk factor for morbidity and mortality worldwide. Whist contributing to lung diseases, the largest cause of PM2.5-related morbidity and mortality is actually due to cardiovascular (CV) events. This study will be the first investigation in humans regarding the impact of PM2.5 on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) function, and should provide novel insights into a potentially critically-important mechanism by which air pollution, a ubiquitous CV risk factor of tremendous global public health importance, causes CV diseases.

Numerous adverse biological responses have been shown to occur in response to PM2.5 exposures; however, the underlying pathway whereby PM2.5 triggers CV changes remote from the site of inhalation in the lungs is not yet understood. This partnership aims to determine if HDL particles within the pulmonary circulation/ tissue are adversely affected by inhaled PM2.5 and if the resulting genesis of circulating dysfunctional HDL is thereafter an important pathway whereby diverse systemic CV perturbations can be investigated. By investigating the impact of sub-acute PM2.5 exposures across the global spectrum of ambient-concentrations on 4 measurable HDL function assays in obsess and lean adults without CV diseases, the team will evaluate the associations between ambient PM2.5 exposures and HDL function and determine the role of PM2.5-mediated HDL dysfunction on adversely affecting other CV endpoints at each site and pooled together.


  • Initial results demonstrate adverse effects of air pollutants on several cardiovascular parameters in Beijing, particularly among overweight participants.



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