Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Diseases of the heart are ranked as the number one cause of death for all ages in 2006. Recent evidence supports the co1Telation between the quality of air that is breathed and exacerbation of existing cardiovascular disease. Urban dwellers have higher exposure to pollution. Although the United States Environmental Protection Agency has been updating emissions standards, there are still areas where air quality standards have not been met. These non-attainment areas tend to be located around urban areas. Education related to the importance of decreasing exposure to air pollution and understanding the relationship between exposure and heart disease can impact the health of vulnerable populations

A comprehensive literature review was conducted to summarize current evidence drawing correlation between air pollution exposure and stroke, ischemic heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart rate variability, blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, and mortality rates. Nightingale's original theory of environmental adaptation provided the framework for the study of the impact of environmental factors on health