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GeoInf+: Exposome Study. GCAT Health and Environment

Dr. Rafael de Cid / Dr. Manolis Kogevinas

Principal investigators:


Project description

BACKGROUND: Environmental exposure is a risk factor for chronic diseases that constitute the greatest burden on the health system in economically developed countries. Specifically, low-grade systemic inflammation is a common biomarker in chronic diseases with the highest prevalence in adulthood.

OBJECTIVE: To define on a personal level the impact of exogenous exposure on inflammation markers through the use of massive, clinical, genomic and population-level exposure data.

METHODS: Through a coordinated project, the "exposome" approach will be applied to an adult cohort (GCAT) to evaluate environmental exposures and lifestyles related to urban environments and their association with health. The GCAT cohort includes 22,000 adult volunteers in Catalonia, mainly from urban areas, who have completed questionnaires, have provided biological samples and are registered in the electronic system of primary and hospital care.

Subproject-1 focuses on the evaluation of environmental factors (e.g. air pollution) and lifestyle factors (e.g. sleep) and their association with health. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methodologies will be applied to evaluate environmental exposures (proximity to natural / green spaces, urban structure, temperature, air pollution, noise and artificial light at night) using existing data (eg Atlas urban, Landsat images). Technologies for individual exposure assessment (eg, accelerometers, light measurements) will be used on a sub-sample of the population (200 subjects) that will be used to correct for uncertainties in the exposure measurement for the entire cohort . Mediation analyzes will be done to evaluate intermediate variables (eg physical activity).

Subproject-2 will monitor a sub-cohort of 6,000 individuals from the GCAT cohort to analyze the genomic-environmental impact on systemic inflammation. Phase I: Characterization of clinical diagnoses in a population cohort and identification of conditions with a high inflammatory component. Phase II: Integrated analysis of exposure and genomic data for the evaluation of prevalent cases and incidents during the period (2010-2020) and development of risk models. Phase III: Evaluation and impact of risk models on inflammation markers for clinical use.

RESULTS: Exogenous and endogenous exposure factors with an unfavorable impact on inflammation were identified for use as markers of the associated disease, its progression and control.

Contact person: Dr. Manolis Kogevinas, Dr. Rafael de Cid

Web link: https://www.isglobal.org