The exposome concept: a challenge and a potential driver for environmental health research

Valérie Siroux, Lydiane Agier, Rémy Slama
2016 European Respiratory Review  
Correspondence: Valérie Siroux, Institut Albert Boniot, Inserm/Université Grenoble Alpes U1209, Equipe d'épidémiologie environnementale appliquée à la reproduction et à la santé respiratoire, Rond point de la chantourne, ABSTRACT The exposome concept was defined in 2005 as encompassing all environmental exposures from conception onwards, as a new strategy to evidence environmental disease risk factors. Although very appealing, the exposome concept is challenging in many respects. In terms of
more » ... cts. In terms of assessment, several hundreds of time-varying exposures need to be considered, but increasing the number of exposures assessed should not be done at the cost of increased exposure misclassification. Accurately assessing the exposome currently requires numerous measurements, which rely on different technologies; resulting in an expensive set of protocols. In the future, high-throughput 'omics technologies may be a promising technique to integrate a wide range of exposures from a small numbers of biological matrices. Assessing the association between many exposures and health raises statistical challenges. Due to the correlation structure of the exposome, existing statistical methods cannot fully and efficiently untangle the exposures truly affecting the health outcome from correlated exposures. Other statistical challenges relate to accounting for exposure misclassification or identifying synergistic effects between exposures. On-going exposome projects are trying to overcome technical and statistical challenges. From a public health perspective, a better understanding of the environmental risk factors should open the way to improved prevention strategies. @ERSpublications The exposome concept presents challenges in terms of measurement and assessment of exposomehealth relationships
doi:10.1183/16000617.0034-2016 pmid:27246588 fatcat:n4b6bciezjfdflluyiyv3ovsk4