The environment we live in has a dominant impact on our health. It explains an estimated 70% of the chronic disease burden. Since most aspects of our environment are modifiable, this provides a huge potential for disease prevention.

Leading scientists in Europe and the USA have formalized this perspective as the Exposome concept. Derived from the term exposure, the Exposome is the characterization of the non-genetic drivers of health and disease. Interacting with the genome, it defines individual health. The Exposome comprises aspects of the environment we live in such as the built environment (the general external exposome), our lifestyle behaviors (the specific external exposome), but also the imprints of our exposures in our biological system (the internal exposome).

The Exposome-NL project addresses three main research goals while focusing on Cardio metabolic Health (CMH). This will be done in three research lines:

  • I: Measuring the Exposome: increase our ability to measure the external and internal Exposome by developing and validating novel methods to obtain detailed information on environmental factors and to quantify their biological consequences.
  • II: Linking Exposome & Health: comprehensively investigate the relationship between the Exposome and CMH by incorporating the tools developed in Goal I.
  • III: Developing Exposome Interventions: to apply the knowledge generated in Goals I and II to develop and evaluate preventive intervention strategies that are based on modifying aspects of the Exposome at the population and individual level.

Exposome-NL will make use of prospective and administrative cohorts, nested case-control studies within those cohorts and a panel study of 1000 subjects. This gives us the ability to combine and integrate insights from administrative cohorts (17 Million individuals), with very large longitudinal biobank studies (>600,000 individuals) and deep-phenotypical information from an intensively analyzed panel study.

Contact: Joline Beulens:

Researchers involved