Our health is shaped by environmental factors that we humans are exposed to on a daily basis: what we eat, the air we breathe, our social interactions and lifestyle choices such as smoking and exercising. Leading scientist in Europe and the USA have formalised the sum of all these environmental drivers of health and diseases as the exposome.
The exposome concept is trying to capture everything to understand which, how, in what quantities, and in what circumstances environmental drivers have an effect on our health. Interacting with the genome, it defines individual health at different stages throughout the life course, including foetal life.
EXPANSE focuses on the urban exposome, the complex interplay between the built, social, physico-chemical, food, and lifestyle aspects of the urban environment.
Impact on our health
By 2030 more than 80% of Europe’s population will live and interact with a complex urban environment, consisting of a mixture of social and environmental factors. These factors include: where we live and work, where and what we eat, our social network, and what chemical substances we are exposed to. Individually or collectively these factors have an often modifiable impact on our health and provide important targets to improve population health.
By studying the impact of the Urban Exposome on the major contributors to Europe’s burden of disease: Cardio-Metabolic and Pulmonary Disease, EXPANSE will address one of the most pertinent questions for urban planners, policy makers, and European citizens: “How to maximize one’s health in a modern urban environment?”.