Environmental stressors and cardio-metabolic disease: Part I-epidemiologic evidence supporting a role for noise and air pollution and effects of mitigation strategies

Thomas Münzel, Mette Sørensen, Tommaso Gori, Frank P. Schmidt, Xiaoquan Rao, Jeffrey Brook, Lung Chi Chen, Robert D. Brook, Sanjay Rajagopalan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

101 Scopus citations


Traffic noise and air pollution together represent the two most important environmental risk factors in urbanized societies. The first of this two-part review discusses the epidemiologic evidence in support of the existence of an association between these risk factors with cardiovascular and metabolic disease. While independent effects of these risk factors have now clearly been shown, recent studies also suggest that the two exposures may interact with each other and with traditional risk factors such as hypertension and type 2 diabetes. From a societal and policy perspective, the health effects of both air pollution and traffic noise are observed for exposures well below the thresholds currently accepted as being safe. Current gaps in knowledge, effects of intervention and their impact on cardiovascular disease, will be discussed in the last section of this review. Increased awareness of the societal burden posed by these novel risk factors and acknowledgement in traditional risk factor guidelines may intensify the efforts required for effective legislation to reduce air pollution and noise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-556
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Air pollution
  • Cardiovascular
  • Environmental stressors
  • Noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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