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FP Essent. 2014 Jun;421:16-20.

Cardiac risk factors: environmental, sociodemographic, and behavioral cardiovascular risk factors.

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Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, 111 Brewster St, Pawtucket, RI 02903,
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 222 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903, Paul_George@Brown.EDU.
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, 222 Richmond Street, Providence, RI 02903, Charles_Eaton@Brown.EDU.


Several environmental exposures are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the risk by as much as 25% to 30%. Exposure to third hand smoke, residual components of tobacco smoke that remain in the environment after a cigarette is extinguished, also appears to increase risk. These residual components can remain in rooms and automobiles for up to 30 years and enter the body through the skin or via inhalation or ingestion. Exposure to particulate matter air pollution from automobile emissions, power plants, and other sources is yet another environmental risk factor for CHD, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths annually in the United States. Exposure to other environmental toxins, particularly bisphenol A and phthalates, also has been linked to CHD. There are sociodemographic risks for CHD, with numerous studies showing that lower socioeconomic status is associated with higher risk. Behavioral risk factors include poor diet, such as frequent consumption of fast food and processed meals; sleep disturbance; and psychological stress, particularly related to marital or work issues. Finally, although high alcohol consumption is associated with increased CHD risk, moderate alcohol consumption (ie, less than 1 to 2 drinks/day), particularly of wine and possibly beer, appears to reduce the risk.

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