Risk factors in the environment such as air pollution and mental stress contribute to the development of chronic non‐communicable disease. Air pollution was identified as the leading health risk factor in the physical environment, followed by water pollution, soil pollution/heavy metals/chemicals and occupational exposures, however neglecting the non‐chemical environmental health risk factors (e.g. mental stress and noise). Epidemiological data suggest that environmental risk factors are associated with higher risk for cardiovascular, metabolic and mental diseases, including hypertension, heart failure, myocardial infarction, diabetes, arrhythmia, stroke, depression and anxiety disorders. We provide an overview on the impact of the external exposome comprising risk factors/exposures on cardiovascular health with a focus on dysregulation of stress hormones, mitochondrial function, redox balance and inflammation with special emphasis on the circadian clock. Finally, we assess the impact of circadian clock dysregulation on cardiovascular health and the potential of environment‐specific preventive strategies or “chrono” therapy for cardioprotection.
This article is part of a themed issue on Risk factors, comorbidities, and comedications in cardioprotection. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.23/issuetoc
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