This research project aims to overcome current challenges in linking the general and specific external exposome to human health using Cardiometabolic Disease (CMD) as example. We aim to explain the risk of CMD unaccounted for by other established risk factors. Based on research line 1 we will validate and use novel measures of the general external exposome in relation to CMD, accounting for the time and space specific relation between measures of the external exposome and CMD. Next, we will use the specific external exposome to explain the relation of the general external exposome with CMD via causation (e.g., influence of an unhealthy food environment on CMH via dietary intake) or selection (e.g. wealthier, active individuals being able to afford a house in a wealthy neighbourhood that enables physical activity).
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