Household Air Pollution and CVD: Identifying Best Directions for Research. Global Heart, Volume 7, Issue 3 , Pages 271-274, September 2012.
Michael Lauer, et al.
We face an increasing global burden of cardiovascular disease, principally due to a sharp rise in developing countries experiencing health transitions. Though it has long been known that hypertension, cigarette smoking, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes are important cardiovascular risk factors, it is now increasingly appreciated that environmental factors such as fine-particulate air pollution represent a serious public health threat. As noted by Rajagopolan and Brook in this issue, household air pollution from use of coal and biomass for cooking and space heating may well have a substantial, and potentially reversible, cardiovascular impact.
Rajagopolan and Brook call for a concerted research program to estimate the impact and to develop and test interventions. They correctly note that there is a need to balance the cost of research with the necessity of additional information. Further, they identify 5 focus areas, including exposure assessment, biological mechanisms, epidemiology, candidate interventions, and cost-effectiveness. They argue that multidisciplinary teams are best equipped to tackle this complex issue from both scientific and societal perspectives.