The general external Exposome encompasses the context in which humans spend time, move through, and in which behaviours take place and, eventually, which impacts human health. While the human external Exposome is potentially infinitely large, various scientific fields have contributed to unravelling the influence of geographical, social, economic and political factors on health. The challenge thus lies in identifying these factors, some of which may not have been classified as part of the external Exposome previously, and combining data on these factors to study their independent and joint influences on health.
Only a fraction of the vast amount of geospatial data available has been used in relation to human health. This is a major opportunity to identify the geospatial factors relevant to health. Through developing a comprehensive set of methods and analytical tools, the Exposome-NL programme will address the major challenges associated with releasing, accessing, integrating, and analysing complex spatiotemporal data in research on the health effects of Exposome factors.
We know far less about the exposome than we do about the human genome. So far, we only understand about half of the disease burden for which we know the environment plays a role. If we want to prevent people from becoming ill, then we need to understand the other half too. We therefore want to systematically analyse the exposome for the first time. We will start with research into the causes of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The techniques and insights from this research will also be applicable to other chronic conditions.Read More