ABSTRACT. Worldwide studies in the last decade have evaluated the short and long-term exposure of fine and superfine ambient particulate matter (PM) air pollution with mortality and morbidity. It has been established that ambient PM contribute to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) certain types of respiratory cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Also, scientifc evidence showed that there are specific population subgroups that are most susceptible to PM exposure. Individuals with underlying heart cardiometabolic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity, may be at greater risk of morbidity and mortality from ambient PM exposure. Particularly, short-and long-term exposure to ambient air pollution PM2.5 (2.5 aerodynamic diameter in μm) play an important role in cardiometabolic disorders exacerbating risk of future mortality connected to heart diseases. Size and chemical composition of PM are crucial for damage in the respioratory system. Fine and ultrafine particles can penetrate deeper into the airways reaching the alveoli in which 50% are retained in the lung parenchyma. Major chemical constituents of PM are transition metals (Fe, Cu, Ni, Cd, Pb, etc), sulfate and nitrate ions, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAY), dioxins, quinoid (semiquinone) stable radicals of carbonaceous material, minerals, gases, and other materials. These components are involved in free radical generation, oxidative cellular mechanisms, oxidative stress, tissue inflammation, and production of chemoatractive molecules which activate pro-imflammators in the respiratory system. In the last 20 years epidemiological and clinical studies focused on adult population cohorts at various urban areas (in developed and developing countries) to investigate associations of levels of ambient PM air pollution and increased risk for CVDs, certain types of respiratory damage leading to lung and respiratory cancers. Also, a number of studies concentrated on the associated evidence for PM exposure and increased risk for neurodegenerative diseases. This review covers the most important experimental and epidemiological studies on PM and adverse health effects in the last 5 years, that have been published in authoritative scientific journals. Alkso, the review covers extensive reviews and meta-analyses for quantitative statistical comparison of several separate but similar studies in order to test the pooled data for statistical significance.
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