Environmental exposures are increasingly investigated as possible drivers of health behaviours and disease outcomes. So-called exposome studies that aim to identify and better understand the effects of exposures on behaviours and disease risk across the life course require high-quality environmental exposure data. The Netherlands has a great variety of environmental data available, including high spatial and often temporal resolution information on urban infrastructure, physico-chemical exposures, presence and availability of community services, and others. Until recently, these environmental data were scattered and measured at varying spatial scales, impeding linkage to individual-level (cohort) data as they were not operationalised as personal exposures, that is, the exposure to a certain environmental characteristic specific for a person. In the context of the Exposome-NL project the data infrastructure GECCO is often used. GECCO has been set up in The Netherlands as infrastructure where environmental variables are centralised, operationalised as personal exposures, and used to enrich 23 cohort studies and provided to researchers upon request.
In this lecture, Jeroen Lakerveld will outline a series of personal exposure data sets, that are available within GECCO to date, covering personal exposures of all residents of The Netherlands (currently about 17 M) over the full land surface of the country. Furthermore, challenges and opportunities are discussed for its use within Exposome-NL and beyond, now and in the near future.
Exposome-NL is a Dutch consortium of over fifty scientists from different disciplines, universities and medical centres. Together the scientists will systematically sequence the environmental factors influencing our health.Read More