Air Pollution Is a Cause of Endothelial Injury, Systemic Inflammation and Cardiovascular Disease

Oct. 9, 2020

Researcher and educator C. Arden Pope, III, PhD is the Mary Lou Fulton Professor of Economics at Brigham Young University. Contributing to over three decades of published research, he is one of the world's most cited and recognised experts on the health effects of air pollution. He has taught and published on various natural resource and environmental issues and collaborated on a series of seminal studies on the human health effects of air pollution.

On this podcast, Dr Pope and I discuss the harmful effects of air pollution on health and longevity. He describes the impact of fine particulate matter generated from industrial processes and explains what makes some forms of pollution much worse than others. He also describes the disastrous effects of air pollution on endothelial function and the cardiovascular system and offers advice for limiting exposure and taking action.

Here’s the outline of this interview with C. Arden Pope:

[00:01:26] Dr. Malcolm Kendrick podcasts: Why Cholesterol Levels Have No Effect on Cardiovascular Disease (And Things to Think about Instead) and A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave New Post-health World

[00:02:21] Studies describing effects of air pollution on the cardiovascular system: 1. Pope III, C. Arden, et al. "Exposure to fine particulate air pollution is associated with endothelial injury and systemic inflammation." Circulation research 119.11 (2016): 1204-1214; 2. Pope III, C. Arden, Aaron J. Cohen, and Richard T. Burnett. "Cardiovascular disease and fine particulate matter: lessons and limitations of an integrated exposure–response approach." Circulation research 122.12 (2018): 1645-1647.

[00:05:13] Hospital admissions in Utah Valley related to steel mill; Pope 3rd, C. A. "Respiratory disease associated with community air pollution and a steel mill, Utah Valley." American journal of public health 79.5 (1989): 623-628

[00:11:17] Air pollution as the 5th leading contributor to global burden of disease.

[00:11:48] Book: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.

[00:17:26] Book: The Big Smoke, by Nathan Srith.

[00:19:05] The Great Smog of London, 1952.

[00:19:56] Respiratory physiologist, David Bates.

[00:23:53] Harvard six cities study: Dockery, Douglas W., et al. "An association between air pollution and mortality in six US cities." New England journal of medicine 329.24 (1993): 1753-1759, and the American Cancer Society Cohort Studies.

[00:24:22] PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) and adverse health outcomes.

[00:31:20] Large vs small particles in the air.

[00:39:37] Inflammatory effects of fine particulate matter; slide from this talk.

[00:43:26] Air pollution associated with increases in inflammatory markers.

[00:47:29] Peter Backx, PhD; Podcast: Arrhythmias in Endurance Athletes.

[00:49:21] Wildfires; Air pollution from wood smoke vs "urban dirt".

[00:58:47] Air pollution and life expectancy; Pope, C. Arden, and Douglas W. Dockery. "Air pollution and life expectancy in China and beyond." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110.32 (2013): 12861-12862.

[01:00:14] How to reduce exposure.

[01:06:24] Elementary school absences related to air pollution in Park City, UT; Study: Hales, Nicholas M., et al. "A quasi-experimental analysis of elementary school absences and fine particulate air pollution." Medicine 95.9 (2016).

[01:10:12] Global burden of disease attributable to air pollution; Study: Cohen, Aaron J., et al. "Estimates and 25-year trends of the global burden of disease attributable to ambient air pollution: an analysis of data from the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2015." The Lancet 389.10082 (2017): 1907-1918.

[01:13:16] Supporting the Clean Air Act.

[01:15:15] Dr Pope’s CV and publications.

[01:20:45] Video: Keynote: Air Pollution and Human Health—Science, Public Policy, and Controversy. See here for additional videos featuring Dr Pope.

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