Arsenic Exposure and Subclinical Endpoints of Cardiovascular Disease

Fen Wu, Peter Molinaro, Yu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Mechanistic evidence suggests that arsenic exposure from drinking water increases the production of reactive oxygen species and influences inflammatory responses and endothelial nitric oxide homeostasis. These arsenic-induced events may lead to endothelial dysfunction that increases the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. We reviewed accumulating epidemiologic evidence that evaluated the association between arsenic exposure and intermediate markers and subclinical measures that predict future cardiovascular risk. Cross-sectional studies have indicated positive associations between high or low-to-moderate levels of arsenic exposure with indices of subclinical atherosclerosis, QT interval prolongation, and circulating markers of endothelial dysfunction. The evidence is limited for other intermediate endpoints such as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation, QT dispersion, and lipid profiles. Prospective studies are needed to enhance the causal inferences of the effects of arsenic on subclinical endpoints of cardiovascular disease, especially at lower arsenic exposure levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-162
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent environmental health reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Arsenic exposure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Endothelial dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Oxidative stress
  • QTc prolongation
  • Subclinical atherosclerosis
  • Susceptibility

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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