The Link between Environment and Health

How does our environment affect our health? Researchers supported by the EU-funded ATHLETE project have offered new insight into environmental exposures in early life and their health effects. Using data collected as part of HELIX, another EU-backed project, the team linked an extensive range of chemical, outdoor, social and lifestyle exposures in pregnancy and childhood with different molecular profiles in childhood. Our exposome – all the environmental (non-genetic) factors we are exposed to in our lifetime – is responsible for 70 to 90% of the risk we face of developing a disease. “With the rich exposome and molecular information available in our catalogue, we provide a valuable resource to the scientific community for finding exposure biomarkers, identifying exposure sources, improving the understanding of disease mechanisms, and, ultimately, promoting public health policies,” observes one of the authors, Professor Martine Vrijheid of ATHLETE and HELIX project coordinator, from Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) in Spain.

Source: The European Commission

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