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The human early-life exposome (HELIX): project rationale and design.

Vrijheid M, Slama R, Robinson O, Chatzi L, Coen M, van den Hazel P, Thomsen C, Wright J, Athersuch TJ, Avellana N, Basagaña X, Brochot C, Bucchini L, Bustamante M, Carracedo A, Casas M, Estivill X, Fairley L, van Gent D, Gonzalez JR, Granum B, Gražulevičienė R, Gutzkow KB, Julvez J, Keun HC, Kogevinas M, McEachan RR, Meltzer HM, Sabidó E, Schwarze PE, Siroux V, Sunyer J, Want EJ, Zeman F, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ - Environ. Health Perspect. (2014)

Bottom Line: Human research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure-health effect relationships.HELIX is one of the first attempts to describe the early-life exposome of European populations and unravel its relation to omics markers and health in childhood.As proof of concept, it will form an important first step toward the life-course exposome.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT

Background: Developmental periods in early life may be particularly vulnerable to impacts of environmental exposures. Human research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure-health effect relationships. The "exposome" concept encompasses the totality of exposures from conception onward, complementing the genome.

Objectives: The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX) project is a new collaborative research project that aims to implement novel exposure assessment and biomarker methods to characterize early-life exposure to multiple environmental factors and associate these with omics biomarkers and child health outcomes, thus characterizing the "early-life exposome." Here we describe the general design of the project.

Methods: In six existing birth cohort studies in Europe, HELIX will estimate prenatal and postnatal exposure to a broad range of chemical and physical exposures. Exposure models will be developed for the full cohorts totaling 32,000 mother-child pairs, and biomarkers will be measured in a subset of 1,200 mother-child pairs. Nested repeat-sampling panel studies (n = 150) will collect data on biomarker variability, use smartphones to assess mobility and physical activity, and perform personal exposure monitoring. Omics techniques will determine molecular profiles (metabolome, proteome, transcriptome, epigenome) associated with exposures. Statistical methods for multiple exposures will provide exposure-response estimates for fetal and child growth, obesity, neurodevelopment, and respiratory outcomes. A health impact assessment exercise will evaluate risks and benefits of combined exposures.

Conclusions: HELIX is one of the first attempts to describe the early-life exposome of European populations and unravel its relation to omics markers and health in childhood. As proof of concept, it will form an important first step toward the life-course exposome.

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Study design, study populations, and data sources.
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f3: Study design, study populations, and data sources.

Mentions: Study populations. In general, exposure estimates can be obtained in cohort studies for very large numbers of subjects by exposure models and questionnaires, whereas exposure and omics biomarkers can, for cost reasons, be obtained only in smaller numbers of subjects. Assessment of individual exposure variability and validation of exposure models require very intensive data collection that is feasible only in an even smaller number of subjects. For these reasons, HELIX uses a multilevel study design, drawing on nested study populations for four different levels of data collection (Figure 3), as follows:


The human early-life exposome (HELIX): project rationale and design.

Vrijheid M, Slama R, Robinson O, Chatzi L, Coen M, van den Hazel P, Thomsen C, Wright J, Athersuch TJ, Avellana N, Basagaña X, Brochot C, Bucchini L, Bustamante M, Carracedo A, Casas M, Estivill X, Fairley L, van Gent D, Gonzalez JR, Granum B, Gražulevičienė R, Gutzkow KB, Julvez J, Keun HC, Kogevinas M, McEachan RR, Meltzer HM, Sabidó E, Schwarze PE, Siroux V, Sunyer J, Want EJ, Zeman F, Nieuwenhuijsen MJ - Environ. Health Perspect. (2014)

Study design, study populations, and data sources.
© Copyright Policy - public-domain
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4048258&req=5

f3: Study design, study populations, and data sources.
Mentions: Study populations. In general, exposure estimates can be obtained in cohort studies for very large numbers of subjects by exposure models and questionnaires, whereas exposure and omics biomarkers can, for cost reasons, be obtained only in smaller numbers of subjects. Assessment of individual exposure variability and validation of exposure models require very intensive data collection that is feasible only in an even smaller number of subjects. For these reasons, HELIX uses a multilevel study design, drawing on nested study populations for four different levels of data collection (Figure 3), as follows:

Bottom Line: Human research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure-health effect relationships.HELIX is one of the first attempts to describe the early-life exposome of European populations and unravel its relation to omics markers and health in childhood.As proof of concept, it will form an important first step toward the life-course exposome.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain.

ABSTRACT

Background: Developmental periods in early life may be particularly vulnerable to impacts of environmental exposures. Human research on this topic has generally focused on single exposure-health effect relationships. The "exposome" concept encompasses the totality of exposures from conception onward, complementing the genome.

Objectives: The Human Early-Life Exposome (HELIX) project is a new collaborative research project that aims to implement novel exposure assessment and biomarker methods to characterize early-life exposure to multiple environmental factors and associate these with omics biomarkers and child health outcomes, thus characterizing the "early-life exposome." Here we describe the general design of the project.

Methods: In six existing birth cohort studies in Europe, HELIX will estimate prenatal and postnatal exposure to a broad range of chemical and physical exposures. Exposure models will be developed for the full cohorts totaling 32,000 mother-child pairs, and biomarkers will be measured in a subset of 1,200 mother-child pairs. Nested repeat-sampling panel studies (n = 150) will collect data on biomarker variability, use smartphones to assess mobility and physical activity, and perform personal exposure monitoring. Omics techniques will determine molecular profiles (metabolome, proteome, transcriptome, epigenome) associated with exposures. Statistical methods for multiple exposures will provide exposure-response estimates for fetal and child growth, obesity, neurodevelopment, and respiratory outcomes. A health impact assessment exercise will evaluate risks and benefits of combined exposures.

Conclusions: HELIX is one of the first attempts to describe the early-life exposome of European populations and unravel its relation to omics markers and health in childhood. As proof of concept, it will form an important first step toward the life-course exposome.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus