Epidemiologic and experimental evidence suggests that a direct correlation exists between occupational and environmental exposure to toxic chemicals and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This correlation is best exemplified by the recognition that exposure to tobacco smoke constituents is a major contributor to myocardial infarction, sudden cardiac death, arteriosclerotic peripheral vascular disease, and atherosclerotic aneurysm of the aorta. Although progress has been made in the elucidation of mechanisms of vascular toxicity, the slow onset and long latency periods often associated with vasculotoxic insult continue to pose challenges. Evidence continues to accumulate implicating lipoproteins and chemically derived free radicals in the modulation of vascular cell growth and differentiation. Vascular toxins affect any of the vessels that serve as the circuitry for the transport and delivery of oxygen and nutrients to tissues throughout the body and for the removal of waste products of metabolism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas