Are Persistent Organic Pollutants Linked to Lipid Abnormalities, Atherosclerosis and Cardiovascular Disease? A Review


The term persistent organic pollutants (POPs) denotes chemicals with known or suspected adverse health effects in animals or humans and with chemical properties that make them accumulate in the environment, including animals or humans. Lipid-soluble POPs, like dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides are transported by lipoproteins and accumulate in adipose tissue. High levels of these compounds in the circulation have been associated with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides in cross-sectional studies and with an increase in mainly low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in a longitudinal study. Also, non-lipid-soluble POPs, such as perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) compounds have been associated with increased total cholesterol levels. Carotid artery atherosclerosis has been related to elevated levels of mainly highly chlorinated PCBs and to highly fluorinated PFASs, but in this case only in women. Both cross-sectional and prospective studies have shown dioxins, PCBs, as well as PFASs to be linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. In conclusion, as highlighted in this review, several lines of evidence support the view that POPs of different chemical classes could be linked to lipid abnormalities, carotid atherosclerosis and overt CVD like myocardial infarction and stroke.

Authors: P Monica Lind, Lars Lind
; Full Source: Journal of lipid and atherosclerosis 2020 Sep;9(3):334-348. doi: 10.12997/jla.2020.9.3.334.