Environmental Metals and Cardiovascular Disease in Adults: A Systematic Review Beyond Lead and Cadmium

Anne E. Nigra, Adrian Ruiz-Hernandez, Josep Redon, Ana Navas-Acien, Maria Tellez-Plaza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Published systematic reviews concluded that there is moderate to strong evidence to infer a potential role of lead and cadmium, widespread environmental metals, as cardiovascular risk factors. For other non-essential metals, the evidence has not been appraised systematically. Our objective was to systematically review epidemiologic studies on the association between cardiovascular disease in adults and the environmental metals antimony, barium, chromium, nickel, tungsten, uranium, and vanadium. We identified a total of 4 articles on antimony, 1 on barium, 5 on chromium, 1 on nickel, 4 on tungsten, 1 on uranium, and 0 on vanadium. We concluded that the current evidence is not sufficient to inform on the cardiovascular role of these metals because of the small number of studies. Few experimental studies have also evaluated the role of these metals in cardiovascular outcomes. Additional epidemiologic and experimental studies, including prospective cohort studies, are needed to understand the role of metals, including exposure to metal mixtures, in cardiovascular disease development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)416-433
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cardiovascular
  • Epidemiologic studies
  • Metals
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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