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Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 336;

Traffic-Related Particulate Matter and Cardiometabolic Syndrome: A Review

Environmental Toxicology Graduate Program, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 25 August 2018 / Published: 27 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impacts of Air Pollution on Human Health)
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Traffic-related particulate matter (PM) is a major source of outdoor air pollution worldwide. It has been recently hypothesized to cause cardiometabolic syndrome, including cardiovascular dysfunction, obesity, and diabetes. The environmental and toxicological factors involved in the processes, and the detailed mechanisms remain to be explored. The objective of this study is to assess the current scientific evidence of traffic-related PM-induced cardiometabolic syndrome. We conducted a literature review by searching the keywords of “traffic related air pollution”, “particulate matter”, “human health”, and “metabolic syndrome” from 1980 to 2018. This resulted in 25 independent research studies for the final review. Both epidemiological and toxicological findings reveal consistent correlations between traffic-related PM exposure and the measured cardiometabolic health endpoints. Smaller sizes of PM, particularly ultrafine particles, are shown to be more harmful due to their greater concentrations, reactive compositions, longer lung retention, and bioavailability. The active components in traffic-related PM could be attributed to metals, black carbon, elemental carbon, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and diesel exhaust particles. Existing evidence points out that the development of cardiometabolic symptoms can occur through chronic systemic inflammation and increased oxidative stress. The elderly (especially for women), children, genetically susceptible individuals, and people with pre-existing conditions are identified as vulnerable groups. To advance the characterization of the potential health risks of traffic-related PM, additional research is needed to investigate the detailed chemical compositions of PM constituents, atmospheric transformations, and the mode of action to induce adverse health effects. Furthermore, we recommend that future studies could explore the roles of genetic and epigenetic factors in influencing cardiometabolic health outcomes by integrating multi-omics approaches (e.g., genomics, epigenomics, and transcriptomics) to provide a comprehensive assessment of biological perturbations caused by traffic-related PM. View Full-Text
Keywords: traffic-related air pollution; particulate matter; health effects; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome; diabetes; obesity traffic-related air pollution; particulate matter; health effects; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome; diabetes; obesity

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Ahmed, C.M.S.; Jiang, H.; Chen, J.Y.; Lin, Y.-H. Traffic-Related Particulate Matter and Cardiometabolic Syndrome: A Review. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 336.

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