Publications by authors named "Roel Vermeulen"

565 Publications

Elevated urinary mutagenicity among those exposed to bituminous coal combustion emissions or diesel engine exhaust.

Environ Mol Mutagen 2021 Jul 31. Epub 2021 Jul 31.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland.

Urinary mutagenicity reflects systemic exposure to complex mixtures of genotoxic/carcinogenic agents and is linked to tumor development. Coal combustion emissions (CCE) and diesel engine exhaust (DEE) are associated with cancers of the lung and other sites, but their influence on urinary mutagenicity is unclear. We investigated associations between exposure to CCE or DEE and urinary mutagenicity. In two separate cross-sectional studies of non-smokers, organic extracts of urine were evaluated for mutagenicity levels using strain YG1041 in the Salmonella (Ames) mutagenicity assay. First, we compared levels among 10 female bituminous (smoky) coal users from Laibin, Xuanwei, China, and 10 female anthracite (smokeless) coal users. We estimated exposure-response relationships using indoor air concentrations of two carcinogens in CCE relevant to lung cancer, 5-methylchrysene (5MC) and benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P). Second, we compared levels among 20 highly exposed male diesel factory workers and 15 unexposed male controls; we evaluated exposure-response relationships using elemental carbon (EC) as a DEE-surrogate. Age-adjusted linear regression was used to estimate associations. Laibin smoky coal users had significantly higher average urinary mutagenicity levels compared to smokeless coal users (28.4±14.0 SD vs. 0.9±2.8 SD rev/ml-eq, p=2 x 10 ) and a significant exposure-response relationship with 5MC (p=7 x 10 ). DEE-exposed workers had significantly higher urinary mutagenicity levels compared to unexposed controls (13.0±10.1 SD vs. 5.6±4.4 SD rev/ml-eq, p=0.02) and a significant exposure-response relationship with EC (p-trend=2 x 10 ). Exposure to CCE and DEE is associated with urinary mutagenicity, suggesting systemic exposure to mutagens, potentially contributing to cancer risk and development at various sites.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/em.22455DOI Listing
July 2021

A comparison of associations with childhood lung function between air pollution exposure assessment methods with and without accounting for time-activity patterns.

Environ Res 2021 Jul 16;202:111710. Epub 2021 Jul 16.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: To investigate associations between annual average air pollution exposures and health, most epidemiological studies rely on estimated residential exposures because information on actual time-activity patterns can only be collected for small populations and short periods of time due to costs and logistic constraints. In the current study, we aim to compare exposure assessment methodologies that use data on time-activity patterns of children with residence-based exposure assessment. We compare estimated exposures and associations with lung function for residential exposures and exposures accounting for time activity patterns.

Methods: We compared four annual average air pollution exposure assessment methodologies; two rely on residential exposures only, the other two incorporate estimated time activity patterns. The time-activity patterns were based on assumptions about the activity space and make use of available external data sources for the duration of each activity. Mapping of multiple air pollutants (NO, NO, PM, PMabsorbance, PM) at a fine resolution as input to exposure assessment was based on land use regression modelling. First, we assessed the correlations between the exposures from the four exposure methods. Second, we compared estimates of the cross-sectional associations between air pollution exposures and lung function at age 8 within the PIAMA birth cohort study for the four exposure assessment methodologies.

Results: The exposures derived from the four exposure assessment methodologies were highly correlated (R > 0.95) for all air pollutants. Similar statistically significant decreases in lung function were found for all four methods. For example, for NO the decrease in FEV was -1.40% (CI; -2.54, -0.24%) per IQR (9.14 μg/m) for front door exposure, and -1.50% (CI; -2.68, -0.30%) for the methodology which incorporates time activity pattern and actual school addresses.

Conclusions: Exposure estimates from methods based on the residential location only and methods including time activity patterns were highly correlated and associated with similar decreases in lung function. Our study illustrates that the annual average exposure to air pollution for 8-year-old children in the Netherlands is sufficiently captured by residential exposures.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111710DOI Listing
July 2021

Plasma concentrations of persistent organic pollutants and pancreatic cancer risk.

Int J Epidemiol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.

Cancer Registry and Histopathology Department, "Civic-M.P. Arezzo" Hospital, ASP Ragusa, Ragusa, Italy.

Background: Findings and limitations of previous studies on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and pancreatic cancer risk support conducting further research in prospective cohorts.

Methods: We conducted a prospective case-control study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Participants were 513 pancreatic cancer cases and 1020 matched controls. Concentrations of 22 POPs were measured in plasma collected at baseline.

Results: Some associations were observed at higher concentrations of p, p'-DDT, trans-nonachlor, β-hexachlorocyclohexane and the sum of six organochlorine pesticides and of 16 POPs. The odds ratio (OR) for the upper quartile of trans-nonachlor was 1.55 (95% confidence interval 1.06-2.26; P for trend = 0.025). Associations were stronger in the groups predefined as most valid (participants having fasted >6 h, with microscopic diagnostic confirmation, normal weight, and never smokers), and as most relevant (follow-up ≥10 years). Among participants having fasted >6 h, the ORs were relevant for 10 of 11 exposures. Higher ORs were also observed among cases with microscopic confirmation than in cases with a clinical diagnosis, and among normal-weight participants than in the rest of participants. Among participants with a follow-up ≥10 years, estimates were higher than in participants with a shorter follow-up (for trans-nonachlor: OR = 2.14, 1.01 to 4.53, P for trend = 0.035). Overall, trans-nonachlor, three PCBs and the two sums of POPs were the exposures most clearly associated with pancreatic cancer risk.

Conclusions: Individually or in combination, most of the 22 POPs analysed did not or only moderately increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyab115DOI Listing
July 2021

Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields: Comparison of exposimeters with a novel body-worn distributed meter.

Environ Int 2021 Jun 19;156:106711. Epub 2021 Jun 19.

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Background: Exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) is often measured with personal exposimeters, but the accuracy of measurements can be hampered as carrying the devices on-body may result in body shielding. Further, the compact design may compromise the frequency selectivity of the sensor. The aim of this study was to compare measurements obtained using a multi-band body-worn distributed-exposimeter (BWDM) with two commercially available personal exposimeters (ExpoM-RF and EmeSpy 200) under real-life conditions.

Methods: The BWDM measured power density in 10 frequency bands (800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600 MHz, DECT 1900 MHz, WiFi 2.4 GHz; with separate uplink/downlink bands for 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz); using 20 separate antennas integrated in a vest and placed on diametrically opposite locations on the body, to minimize body-shielding. RF-EMF exposure data were collected from several microenvironments (e.g. shopping areas, train stations, outdoor rural/ urban residential environments, etc.) by walking around pre-defined areas/routes in Belgium, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Measurements were taken every 1-4 s with the BWDM in parallel with an ExpoM-RF and an EmeSpy 200 exposimeter. We calculated medians and interquartile ranges (IQRs) and compared difference, ratios and correlations of geometric mean RF-EMF exposure levels per microenvironment as measured with the exposimeters and the BWDM.

Results: Across 267 microenvironments, medians and IQR of total BWDM measured RF-EMF exposure was 0.13 (0.05-0.33) mW/m. Difference: IQR of exposimeters minus BWDM exposure levels was -0.011 (-0.049 to 0.0095) mW/m for the ExpoM-RF and -0.056 (-0.14 to -0.017) for the EmeSpy 200; ratios (exposimeter/BWDM) of total exposure had an IQR of 0.79 (0.55-1.1) for the ExpoM-RF and 0.29 (0.22-0.38) for the EmeSpy 200. Spearman correlations were 0.93 for the ExpoM-RF vs the BWDM and 0.96 for the EmeSpy 200 vs the BWDM.

Discussion And Conclusions: Results indicate that exposimeters worn on-body provide somewhat lower total RF-EMF exposure as compared to measurements conducted with the BWDM, in line with effects from body shielding. Ranking of exposure levels of microenvironments showed high correspondence between the different device types. Our results are informative for the interpretation of existing epidemiological research results.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106711DOI Listing
June 2021

Associations between dietary amino acid intakes and blood concentration levels.

Clin Nutr 2021 Jun 27;40(6):3772-3779. Epub 2021 Apr 27.

International Agency for Research on Cancer, Nutrition and Metabolism Section, 69372, Lyon CEDEX 08, France.

Background And Aims: Emerging evidence suggests a role of amino acids (AAs) in the development of various diseases including renal failure, liver cirrhosis, diabetes and cancer. However, mechanistic pathways and the effects of dietary AA intakes on circulating levels and disease outcomes are unclear. We aimed to compare protein and AA intakes, with their respective blood concentrations in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort.

Methods: Dietary protein and AA intakes were assessed via the EPIC dietary questionnaires (DQ) and 24-h dietary recalls (24-HDR). A subsample of 3768 EPIC participants who were free of cancer had blood AA concentrations measured. To investigate how circulating levels relate to their respective intakes, dietary AA intake was examined in quintiles and ANOVA tests were run. Pearson correlations were examined for continous associations between intakes and blood concentrations.

Results: Dietary AA intakes (assessed with the DQ) and blood AA concentrations were not strongly correlated (-0.15 ≤ r ≤ 0.17) and the direction of the correlations depended on AA class: weak positive correlations were found for most essential AAs (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) and conditionally essential AAs (arginine and tyrosine), while negative associations were found for non-essential AAs. Similar results were found when using the 24-HDR. When conducting ANOVA tests for essential AAs, higher intake quintiles were linked to higher blood AA concentrations, except for histidine and phenylalanine. For non-essential AAs and glycine, an inverse relationship was observed. Conditionally-essential AAs showed mixed results.

Conclusions: Weak positive correlations and dose responses were found between most essential and conditionally essential AA intakes, and blood concentrations, but not for the non-essential AAs. These results suggest that intake of dietary AA might be related to physiological AA status, particularly for the essential AAs. However, these results should be further evaluated and confirmed in large-scale prospective studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2021.04.036DOI Listing
June 2021

Prospective analysis of circulating metabolites and endometrial cancer risk.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Aug 5;162(2):475-481. Epub 2021 Jun 5.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Endometrial cancer is strongly associated with obesity and dysregulation of metabolic factors such as estrogen and insulin signaling are causal risk factors for this malignancy. To identify additional novel metabolic pathways associated with endometrial cancer we performed metabolomic analyses on pre-diagnostic plasma samples from 853 case-control pairs from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Methods: A total of 129 metabolites (acylcarnitines, amino acids, biogenic amines, glycerophospholipids, hexoses, and sphingolipids) were measured by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Conditional logistic regression estimated the associations of metabolites with endometrial cancer risk. An analysis focusing on clusters of metabolites using the bootstrap lasso method was also employed.

Results: After adjustment for body mass index, sphingomyelin [SM] C18:0 was positively (OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.05-1.33), and glycine, serine, and free carnitine (C0) were inversely (OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.80-0.99; OR: 0.89, 95% CI: 0.79-1.00 and OR: 0.91, 95% CI: 0.81-1.00, respectively) associated with endometrial cancer risk. Serine, C0 and two sphingomyelins were selected by the lasso method in >90% of the bootstrap samples. The ratio of esterified to free carnitine (OR: 1.14, 95% CI: 1.02-1.28) and that of short chain to free acylcarnitines (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.00-1.25) were positively associated with endometrial cancer risk. Further adjustment for C-peptide or other endometrial cancer risk factors only minimally altered the results.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that variation in levels of glycine, serine, SM C18:0 and free carnitine may represent specific pathways linked to endometrial cancer development. If causal, these pathways may offer novel targets for endometrial cancer prevention.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.06.001DOI Listing
August 2021

Elevated Alu retroelement copy number among workers exposed to diesel engine exhaust.

Occup Environ Med 2021 May 26. Epub 2021 May 26.

Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Rockville, Maryland, USA.

Background: Millions of workers worldwide are exposed to diesel engine exhaust (DEE), a known genotoxic carcinogen. Alu retroelements are repetitive DNA sequences that can multiply and compromise genomic stability. There is some evidence linking altered Alu repeats to cancer and elevated mortality risks. However, whether Alu repeats are influenced by environmental pollutants is unexplored. In an occupational setting with high DEE exposure levels, we investigated associations with Alu repeat copy number.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 54 male DEE-exposed workers from an engine testing facility and a comparison group of 55 male unexposed controls was conducted in China. Personal air samples were assessed for elemental carbon, a DEE surrogate, using NIOSH Method 5040. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) was used to measure Alu repeat copy number relative to albumin (Alb) single-gene copy number in leucocyte DNA. The unitless Alu/Alb ratio reflects the average quantity of Alu repeats per cell. Linear regression models adjusted for age and smoking status were used to estimate relations between DEE-exposed workers versus unexposed controls, DEE tertiles (6.1-39.0, 39.1-54.5 and 54.6-107.7 µg/m) and Alu/Alb ratio.

Results: DEE-exposed workers had a higher average Alu/Alb ratio than the unexposed controls (p=0.03). Further, we found a positive exposure-response relationship (p=0.02). The Alu/Alb ratio was highest among workers exposed to the top tertile of DEE versus the unexposed controls (1.12±0.08 SD vs 1.06±0.07 SD, p=0.01).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that DEE exposure may contribute to genomic instability. Further investigations of environmental pollutants, Alu copy number and carcinogenesis are warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oemed-2021-107462DOI Listing
May 2021

Novel Biomarkers of Habitual Alcohol Intake and Associations with Risk of Pancreatic and Liver Cancers and Liver Disease Mortality.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2021 May 19. Epub 2021 May 19.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: Alcohol is an established risk factor for several cancers, but modest alcohol-cancer associations may be missed due to measurement error in self-reported assessments. Biomarkers of habitual alcohol intake may provide novel insight into the relationship between alcohol and cancer risk.

Methods: Untargeted metabolomics was used to identify metabolites correlated with self-reported habitual alcohol intake in a discovery dataset from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC; n = 454). Statistically significant correlations were tested in independent datasets of controls from case-control studies nested within EPIC (n = 280) and the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC; n = 438) study. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations of alcohol-associated metabolites and self-reported alcohol intake with risk of pancreatic cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, and liver disease mortality in the contributing studies.

Results: Two metabolites displayed a dose-response association with self-reported alcohol intake 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid and an unidentified compound. A 1-SD (log2) increase in levels of 2-hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid was associated with risk of HCC (OR = 2.54; 95% CI = 1.51-4.27) and pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.03-1.99) in EPIC and liver cancer (OR = 2.00; 95% CI = 1.44-2.77) and liver disease mortality (OR = 2.16; 95% CI = 1.63-2.86) in ATBC. Conversely, a 1-SD (log2) increase in questionnaire-derived alcohol intake was not associated with HCC or pancreatic cancer in EPIC or liver cancer in ATBC but was associated with liver disease mortality (OR = 2.19; 95% CI = 1.60-2.98) in ATBC.

Conclusions: 2-Hydroxy-3-methylbutyric acid is a candidate biomarker of habitual alcohol intake that may advance the study of alcohol and cancer risk in population-based studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djab078DOI Listing
May 2021

Application of two job indices for general occupational demands in a pooled analysis of case-control studies on lung cancer.

Scand J Work Environ Health 2021 May 3. Epub 2021 May 3.

Jan Hovanec, IPA, Bürkle-de-la-Camp-Platz 1, 44789 Bochum, Germany.

Objectives: We investigated general job demands as a risk factor for lung cancer as well as their role in the association between occupational prestige and lung cancer.

Methods: In 13 case-control studies on lung cancer, as part of the international SYNERGY project, we applied indices for physical (PHI) and psychosocial (PSI) job demands - each with four categories (high to low). We estimated odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for lung cancer by unconditional logistic regression, separately for men and women and adjusted for study centre, age, smoking behavior, and former employment in occupations with potential exposure to carcinogens. Further, we investigated, whether higher risks among men with low occupational prestige (Treiman's Standard International Occupational Prestige Scale) were affected by adjustment for the job indices.

Results: In 30 355 men and 7371 women, we found increased risks (OR) for lung cancer with high relative to low job demands in both men [PHI 1.74 (95% CI 1.56-1.93), PSI 1.33 (95% CI 1.17-1.51)] and women [PHI 1.62 (95% CI 1.24-2.11), PSI 1.31 (95% CI 1.09-1.56)]. OR for lung cancer among men with low occupational prestige were slightly reduced when adjusting for PHI [low versus high prestige OR from 1.44 (95% CI 1.32-1.58) to 1.30 (95% CI 1.17-1.45)], but not PSI.

Conclusions: Higher physical job demands were associated with increased risks of lung cancer, while associations for higher psychosocial demands were less strong. In contrast to physical demands, psychosocial demands did not contribute to clarify the association of occupational prestige and lung cancer.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3967DOI Listing
May 2021

Pesticide Exposure of Residents Living Close to Agricultural Fields in the Netherlands: Protocol for an Observational Study.

JMIR Res Protoc 2021 Apr 28;10(4):e27883. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Background: Application of pesticides in the vicinity of homes has caused concern regarding possible health effects in residents living nearby. However, the high spatiotemporal variation of pesticide levels and lack of knowledge regarding the contribution of exposure routes greatly complicates exposure assessment approaches.

Objective: The objective of this paper was to describe the study protocol of a large exposure survey in the Netherlands assessing pesticide exposure of residents living close (<250 m) to agricultural fields; to better understand possible routes of exposure; to develop an integrative exposure model for residential exposure; and to describe lessons learned.

Methods: We performed an observational study involving residents living in the vicinity of agricultural fields and residents living more than 500 m away from any agricultural fields (control subjects). Residential exposures were measured both during a pesticide use period after a specific application and during the nonuse period for 7 and 2 days, respectively. We collected environmental samples (outdoor and indoor air, dust, and garden and field soils) and personal samples (urine and hand wipes). We also collected data on spraying applications as well as on home characteristics, participants' demographics, and food habits via questionnaires and diaries. Environmental samples were analyzed for 46 prioritized pesticides. Urine samples were analyzed for biomarkers of a subset of 5 pesticides. Alongside the field study, and by taking spray events and environmental data into account, we developed a modeling framework to estimate environmental exposure of residents to pesticides.

Results: Our study was conducted between 2016 and 2019. We assessed 96 homes and 192 participants, including 7 growers and 28 control subjects. We followed 14 pesticide applications, applying 20 active ingredients. We collected 4416 samples: 1018 air, 445 dust (224 vacuumed floor, 221 doormat), 265 soil (238 garden, 27 fields), 2485 urine, 112 hand wipes, and 91 tank mixtures.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first study on residents' exposure to pesticides addressing all major nondietary exposure sources and routes (air, soil, dust). Our protocol provides insights on used sampling techniques, the wealth of data collected, developed methods, modeling framework, and lessons learned. Resources and data are open for future collaborations on this important topic.

International Registered Report Identifier (irrid): RR1-10.2196/27883.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/27883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8116989PMC
April 2021

Modelling nationwide spatial variation of ultrafine particles based on mobile monitoring.

Environ Int 2021 09 15;154:106569. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, 3584 CK Utrecht, the Netherlands; Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Background: Large nation- and region-wide epidemiological studies have provided important insights into the health effects of long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution. Evidence from these studies for the long-term effects of ultrafine particles (UFP), however is lacking. Reason for this is the shortage of empirical UFP land use regression models spanning large geographical areas including cities with varying topographies, peri-urban and rural areas. The aim of this paper is to combine targeted mobile monitoring and long-term regional background monitoring to develop national UFP models.

Method: We used an electric car to monitor UFP concentrations in selected cities and towns across the Netherlands over a 14-month period in 2016-2017. Routes were monitored 3 times and concentrations were averaged per road segment. In addition, we used kriging maps based on regional background monitoring (20 sites; 3 × 2 weeks) over the same period to assess annual average regional background concentrations. All road segments were used to model spatial variation of UFP with three different land-use (regression) approaches: supervised stepwise regression, LASSO and random forest. For each approach, we also tested a deconvolution method, which segregates the average concentration at each road segment into a local and background signal. Model performance was evaluated with short-term (400 sites across the Netherlands; 3 × 30 minutes) and external longer-term measurements (42 sites in two major cities; 3 × 24 hours). We also compared predictions of all six models at 1000 random addresses spread over the country.

Results: We found similar predictive performance for the six models, with validation R values from 0.25 to 0.35 for short-term measurements and 0.52 to 0.60 for longer-term external measurements. Models with and without deconvolution had similar predictive performance. All models based on the deconvolution method included a regional background kriging map as important predictor. Correlations between predictions at random addresses were high with Pearson correlations from 0.84 to 0.99. Models overestimated exposure at the short-term and long-term sites by about 20-30% in all cases, with small differences between regions and road types.

Conclusion: We developed robust nation-wide models for long-term UFP exposure combining mobile monitoring with long-term regional background monitoring. Minor differences in predictive performance between different algorithms were found, but the deconvolution approach is considered more physically realistic. The models will be applied in Dutch nation-wide health studies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106569DOI Listing
September 2021

An annotation database for chemicals of emerging concern in exposome research.

Environ Int 2021 07 24;152:106511. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: Chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) include a very wide group of chemicals that are suspected to be responsible for adverse effects on health, but for which very limited information is available. Chromatographic techniques coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) can be used for non-targeted screening and detection of CECs, by using comprehensive annotation databases. Establishing a database focused on the annotation of CECs in human samples will provide new insight into the distribution and extent of exposures to a wide range of CECs in humans.

Objectives: This study describes an approach for the aggregation and curation of an annotation database (CECscreen) for the identification of CECs in human biological samples.

Methods: The approach consists of three main parts. First, CECs compound lists from various sources were aggregated and duplications and inorganic compounds were removed. Subsequently, the list was curated by standardization of structures to create "MS-ready" and "QSAR-ready" SMILES, as well as calculation of exact masses (monoisotopic and adducts) and molecular formulas. The second step included the simulation of Phase I metabolites. The third and final step included the calculation of QSAR predictions related to physicochemical properties, environmental fate, toxicity and Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion (ADME) processes and the retrieval of information from the US EPA CompTox Chemicals Dashboard.

Results: All CECscreen database and property files are publicly available (DOI: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3956586). In total, 145,284 entries were aggregated from various CECs data sources. After elimination of duplicates and curation, the pipeline produced 70,397 unique "MS-ready" structures and 66,071 unique QSAR-ready structures, corresponding with 69,526 CAS numbers. Simulation of Phase I metabolites resulted in 306,279 unique metabolites. QSAR predictions could be performed for 64,684 of the QSAR-ready structures, whereas information was retrieved from the CompTox Chemicals Dashboard for 59,739 CAS numbers out of 69,526 inquiries. CECscreen is incorporated in the in silico fragmentation approach MetFrag.

Discussion: The CECscreen database can be used to prioritize annotation of CECs measured in non-targeted HRMS, facilitating the large-scale detection of CECs in human samples for exposome research. Large-scale detection of CECs can be further improved by integrating the present database with resources that contain CECs (metabolites) and meta-data measurements, further expansion towards in silico and experimental (e.g., MassBank) generation of MS/MS spectra, and development of bioinformatics approaches capable of using correlation patterns in the measured chemical features.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106511DOI Listing
July 2021

Prevalent diabetes and risk of total, colorectal, prostate and breast cancers in an ageing population: meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium.

Br J Cancer 2021 May 26;124(11):1882-1890. Epub 2021 Mar 26.

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC/WHO), Nutrition and Metabolism Branch, Lyon, France.

Background: We investigated whether associations between prevalent diabetes and cancer risk are pertinent to older adults and whether associations differ across subgroups of age, body weight status or levels of physical activity.

Methods: We harmonised data from seven prospective cohort studies of older individuals in Europe and the United States participating in the CHANCES consortium. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the associations of prevalent diabetes with cancer risk (all cancers combined, and for colorectum, prostate and breast). We calculated summary risk estimates across cohorts using pooled analysis and random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 667,916 individuals were included with an overall median (P25-P75) age at recruitment of 62.3 (57-67) years. During a median follow-up time of 10.5 years, 114,404 total cancer cases were ascertained. Diabetes was not associated with the risk of all cancers combined (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.94; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.86-1.04; I = 63.3%). Diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk in men (HR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.08-1.26; I = 0%) and a similar HR in women (1.13; 95% CI: 0.82-1.56; I = 46%), but with a confidence interval including the null. Diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk (HR = 0.81; 95% CI: 0.77-0.85; I = 0%), but not with postmenopausal breast cancer (HR = 0.96; 95% CI: 0.89-1.03; I = 0%). In exploratory subgroup analyses, diabetes was inversely associated with prostate cancer risk only in men with overweight or obesity.

Conclusions: Prevalent diabetes was positively associated with colorectal cancer risk and inversely associated with prostate cancer risk in older Europeans and Americans.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-021-01347-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8144608PMC
May 2021

Tobacco Smoking and Risk of Second Primary Lung Cancer.

J Thorac Oncol 2021 06 17;16(6):968-979. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Quantitative Sciences Unit, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California; Department of Neurosurgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. Electronic address:

Introduction: Lung cancer survivors are at high risk of developing a second primary lung cancer (SPLC). However, SPLC risk factors have not been established and the impact of tobacco smoking remains controversial. We examined the risk factors for SPLC across multiple epidemiologic cohorts and evaluated the impact of smoking cessation on reducing SPLC risk.

Methods: We analyzed data from 7059 participants in the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) diagnosed with an initial primary lung cancer (IPLC) between 1993 and 2017. Cause-specific proportional hazards models estimated SPLC risk. We conducted validation studies using the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (N = 3423 IPLC cases) and European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (N = 4731 IPLC cases) cohorts and pooled the SPLC risk estimates using random effects meta-analysis.

Results: Overall, 163 MEC cases (2.3%) developed SPLC. Smoking pack-years (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.18 per 10 pack-years, p < 0.001) and smoking intensity (HR = 1.30 per 10 cigarettes per day, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with increased SPLC risk. Individuals who met the 2013 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's screening criteria at IPLC diagnosis also had an increased SPLC risk (HR = 1.92; p < 0.001). Validation studies with the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial and European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition revealed consistent results. Meta-analysis yielded pooled HRs of 1.16 per 10 pack-years (p < 0.001), 1.25 per 10 cigarettes per day (p < 0.001), and 1.99 (p < 0.001) for meeting the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force's criteria. In MEC, smoking cessation after IPLC diagnosis was associated with an 83% reduction in SPLC risk (HR = 0.17; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for SPLC. Smoking cessation may reduce the risk of SPLC. Additional strategies for SPLC surveillance and screening are warranted.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2021.02.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8159872PMC
June 2021

Narrative review of citizen science in environmental epidemiology: Setting the stage for co-created research projects in environmental epidemiology.

Environ Int 2021 07 5;152:106470. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Spain.

Several citizen science (CS) initiatives have been adopted in environmental science to monitor air and noise pollution, and water quality related to civic concerns. Nevertheless, CS projects in environmental epidemiology remain scarce. This is because little attention has been paid to evaluate associations of environmental exposures with health effects directly. This narrative review aims to promote the understanding and application of CS in environmental epidemiology. There are many commonalities between CS and other participatory approaches in environmental epidemiology. Yet, CS can foster the democratization of scientific governance and enhance the sustainability of research projects more effectively than other existing participatory approaches. This is especially the case in projects where citizens are invited to participate, engage and become involved throughout all the phases of a research project (co-created projects). This paper identifies various challenges and opportunities specific to the implementation of co-created CS projects in environmental epidemiology. The development of more locally relevant research designs, using local knowledge, obtaining medical ethical clearance, and co-analysing the association between exposure and health, are examples of opportunities and challenges that require epidemiologists to go beyond the traditional research framework and include more outreach activities. Continued efforts, particularly the sharing of information about projects' collaborative processes, are needed to make CS a more concrete and cohesive approach in environmental epidemiology.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106470DOI Listing
July 2021

Radio-frequency electromagnetic field exposure and contribution of sources in the general population: an organ-specific integrative exposure assessment.

J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Yalelaan 2, 3584 CM, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

In order to achieve an integrated radio-frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) dose assessment, detailed information about source-specific exposure duration and output power is needed. We developed an Integrated Exposure Model (IEM) to combine energy absorbed due to use of and exposure to RF-EMF sources and applied it to a sample of the general population to derive population RF-EMF estimates. The IEM used specific absorption rate transfer algorithms to provide RF-EMF daily dose estimates (mJ/kg/day) using source-specific attributes (e.g. output power, distance), personal characteristics and usage patterns. Information was obtained from an international survey performed in four European countries with 1755 participants. We obtained median whole-body and whole-brain doses of 183.7 and 204.4 mJ/kg/day. Main contributors to whole-brain dose were mobile phone near the head for calling (2G networks) and far-field sources, whereas the latter together with multiple other RF-EMF sources were main contributors for whole-body dose. For other anatomical sites, 2G phone calls, mobile data and far-field exposure were important contributors. The IEM provides insight into main contributors to total RF-EMF dose and, applied to an international survey, provides an estimate of population RF-dose. The IEM can be used in future epidemiological studies, risk assessments and exposure reduction strategies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41370-021-00287-8DOI Listing
March 2021

Airborne occupational exposures and the risk of developing respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in the Lifelines Cohort Study.

Thorax 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands.

Objectives: To date, only a few studies have investigated the associations between occupational exposures and respiratory outcomes longitudinally in the general population. We investigated the associations between occupational exposures and the development of respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction in the Lifelines Cohort Study.

Methods: We included 35 739 occupationally active subjects with data on chronic cough, chronic phlegm, chronic bronchitis or airway obstruction at baseline and approximately 4.5 years follow-up. Exposures to biological dust, mineral dust, gases/fumes, pesticides, solvents and metals in the current job at baseline were estimated with the ALOHA+job-exposure matrix (JEM). Airway obstruction was defined as FEV/FVC below the lower limit of normal. Logistic regression analysis adjusted for baseline covariates was used to investigate the associations.

Results: At follow-up, 1888 (6.0%), 1495 (4.7%), 710 (2.5%) and 508 (4.5%) subjects had developed chronic cough, chronic phlegm, chronic bronchitis and airway obstruction, respectively. High exposure to biological dust was associated with a higher odds to develop chronic cough and chronic bronchitis. High exposure to pesticides was associated with a higher odds for the development of all respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction. In the multiple exposures analyses, only the association between pesticides exposure and respiratory symptoms remained.

Conclusions: Subjects exposed to high pesticides had a higher odds to develop respiratory symptoms on average 4.5 years later. Control measures should be taken to reduce pesticides exposure among the working population to prevent respiratory symptoms and airway obstruction.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-216721DOI Listing
March 2021

Extensive longitudinal immune profiling reveals sustained innate immune activation in COVID-19 patients with unfavorable outcome

Eur Cytokine Netw 2020 12;31(4):154-167

Department of Clinical Chemistry and Hematology, Amphia Hospital, Breda, the Netherlands.

COVID-19 differs substantially between individuals, ranging from mild to severe or even fatal. Heterogeneity in the immune response against SARS-COV-2 likely contributes to this. Therefore, we explored the temporal dynamics of key cellular and soluble mediators of innate and adaptive immune activation in relation to COVID-19 severity and progression. Forty-four patients with a PCR-proven diagnosis of COVID-19 were included. Extensive cellular (leukocytes and T-lymphocyte subsets) and serological immune profiling (cytokines, soluble cell surface molecules, and SARS-CoV-2 antibodies) was performed at hospital admission and every 3-4 days during hospitalization. Measurements and disease outcome were compared between patients with an unfavorable (IC admission and/or death) and favorable (all others) outcome. Patients with an unfavorable outcome had higher leukocyte numbers at baseline, mostly due to increased neutrophils, whereas lymphocyte and monocyte numbers were reduced. CRP, IL-6, CCL2, CXCL10, and GM-CSF levels were higher at baseline in the unfavorable group, whereas IL-7 levels were lower. SARS-CoV-2 antibodies were more frequently absent in the unfavorable group. Longitudinal analysis revealed delayed kinetics of activated CD4 and CD8 T-lymphocyte subsets in the unfavorable group. Furthermore, whereas CRP, IL-6, CXCL10, and GM-CSF declined in the favorable group, these cytokines declined with delayed kinetics, remained increased, or even increased further in the unfavorable group. Our data indicate a state of increased innate immune activation in COVID19-patients with an unfavorable outcome at hospital admission, which remained over time, as compared with patients with a favorable outcome.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1684/ecn.2020.0456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937051PMC
December 2020

Network Analysis to Identify Communities Among Multiple Exposure Biomarkers Measured at Birth in Three Flemish General Population Samples.

Front Public Health 2021 10;9:590038. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Humans are exposed to multiple environmental chemicals via different sources resulting in complex real-life exposure patterns. Insight into these patterns is important for applications such as linkage to health effects and (mixture) risk assessment. By providing internal exposure levels of (metabolites of) chemicals, biomonitoring studies can provide snapshots of exposure patterns and factors that drive them. Presentation of biomonitoring data in networks facilitates the detection of such exposure patterns and allows for the systematic comparison of observed exposure patterns between datasets and strata within datasets. We demonstrate the use of network techniques in human biomonitoring data from cord blood samples collected in three campaigns of the Flemish Environment and Health Studies (FLEHS) (sampling years resp. 2002-2004, 2008-2009, and 2013-2014). Measured biomarkers were multiple organochlorine compounds, PFAS and metals. Comparative network analysis (CNA) was conducted to systematically compare networks between sampling campaigns, smoking status during pregnancy, and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. Network techniques offered an intuitive approach to visualize complex correlation structures within human biomonitoring data. The identification of groups of highly connected biomarkers, "communities," within these networks highlighted which biomarkers should be considered collectively in the analysis and interpretation of epidemiological studies or in the design of toxicological mixture studies. Network analyses demonstrated in our example to which extent biomarker networks and its communities changed across the sampling campaigns, smoking status during pregnancy, and maternal pre-pregnancy BMI. Network analysis is a data-driven and intuitive screening method when dealing with multiple exposure biomarkers, which can easily be upscaled to high dimensional HBM datasets, and can inform mixture risk assessment approaches.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.590038DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7902692PMC
May 2021

Red Blood Cell Fatty Acids and Risk of Colorectal Cancer in The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2021 May 22;30(5):874-885. Epub 2021 Feb 22.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain.

Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that alterations of dietary fatty acid (FA) profiles are associated with colorectal cancer risk. However, data from large-scale epidemiologic studies using circulating FA measurements to objectively assess individual FA and FA categories are scarce.

Methods: We investigate the association between red blood cell (RBC) membrane FAs and risk of colorectal cancer in a case-control study nested within a large prospective cohort. After a median follow-up of 6.4 years, 1,069 incident colorectal cancer cases were identified and matched to 1,069 controls among participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). The FA composition of RBC phospholipids (in mol%) was analyzed by gas chromatography, and their association with risk of colorectal cancer was estimated by multivariable adjusted conditional logistic regression models.

Results: After correction for multiple testing, subjects with higher concentrations of RBC stearic acid were at higher risk for colorectal cancer (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.07-1.42, per 1 mol%). Conversely, colorectal cancer incidence decreased with increasing proportions of RBC n-3 PUFA, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (0.75; 0.62-0.92, per 1 mol%). The findings for the n-6 PUFA arachidonic acid were inconsistent.

Conclusions: The positive association between prediagnostic RBC stearic acid and colorectal cancer reflects putative differences in FA intake and metabolism between cancer cases and matched controls, which deserve further investigation. The inverse relationship between EPA and colorectal cancer is in line with the repeatedly reported protective effect of fish consumption on colorectal cancer risk.

Impact: These findings add to the evidence on colorectal cancer prevention.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-20-1426DOI Listing
May 2021

COVID-19 mortality in the UK Biobank cohort: revisiting and evaluating risk factors.

Eur J Epidemiol 2021 Mar 15;36(3):299-309. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, St Mary's Hospital, Norfolk Place, London, W21PG, UK.

Most studies of severe/fatal COVID-19 risk have used routine/hospitalisation data without detailed pre-morbid characterisation. Using the community-based UK Biobank cohort, we investigate risk factors for COVID-19 mortality in comparison with non-COVID-19 mortality. We investigated demographic, social (education, income, housing, employment), lifestyle (smoking, drinking, body mass index), biological (lipids, cystatin C, vitamin D), medical (comorbidities, medications) and environmental (air pollution) data from UK Biobank (N = 473,550) in relation to 459 COVID-19 and 2626 non-COVID-19 deaths to 21 September 2020. We used univariate, multivariable and penalised regression models. Age (OR = 2.76 [2.18-3.49] per S.D. [8.1 years], p = 2.6 × 10), male sex (OR = 1.47 [1.26-1.73], p = 1.3 × 10) and Black versus White ethnicity (OR = 1.21 [1.12-1.29], p = 3.0 × 10) were independently associated with and jointly explanatory of (area under receiver operating characteristic curve, AUC = 0.79) increased risk of COVID-19 mortality. In multivariable regression, alongside demographic covariates, being a healthcare worker, current smoker, having cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and oral steroid use at enrolment were independently associated with COVID-19 mortality. Penalised regression models selected income, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cystatin C, and oral steroid use as jointly contributing to COVID-19 mortality risk; Black ethnicity, hypertension and oral steroid use contributed to COVID-19 but not non-COVID-19 mortality. Age, male sex and Black ethnicity, as well as comorbidities and oral steroid use at enrolment were associated with increased risk of COVID-19 death. Our results suggest that previously reported associations of COVID-19 mortality with body mass index, low vitamin D, air pollutants, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors may be explained by the aforementioned factors.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-021-00722-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882869PMC
March 2021

Prospective Identification of Elevated Circulating CDCP1 in Patients Years before Onset of Lung Cancer.

Cancer Res 2021 Jul 11;81(13):3738-3748. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

MRC Centre for Environment and Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Increasing evidence points to a role for inflammation in lung carcinogenesis. A small number of circulating inflammatory proteins have been identified as showing elevated levels prior to lung cancer diagnosis, indicating the potential for prospective circulating protein concentration as a marker of early carcinogenesis. To identify novel markers of lung cancer risk, we measured a panel of 92 circulating inflammatory proteins in 648 prediagnostic blood samples from two prospective cohorts in Italy and Norway (women only). To preserve the comparability of results and protect against confounding factors, the main statistical analyses were conducted in women from both studies, with replication sought in men (Italian participants). Univariate and penalized regression models revealed for the first time higher blood levels of CDCP1 protein in cases that went on to develop lung cancer compared with controls, irrespective of time to diagnosis, smoking habits, and gender. This association was validated in an additional 450 samples. Associations were stronger for future cases of adenocarcinoma where CDCP1 showed better explanatory performance. Integrative analyses combining gene expression and protein levels of CDCP1 measured in the same individuals suggested a link between CDCP1 and the expression of transcripts of LRRN3 and SEM1. Enrichment analyses indicated a potential role for CDCP1 in pathways related to cell adhesion and mobility, such as the WNT/β-catenin pathway. Overall, this study identifies lung cancer-related dysregulation of CDCP1 expression years before diagnosis. SIGNIFICANCE: Prospective proteomics analyses reveal an association between increased levels of circulating CDCP1 and lung carcinogenesis irrespective of smoking and years before diagnosis, and integrating gene expression indicates potential underlying mechanisms..
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-3454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7611235PMC
July 2021

Incidence, Prevalence and Geographical Clustering of Motor Neuron Disease in the Netherlands.

Neurology 2021 Jan 20. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Neurology, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Objective: To assess time trends in MND incidence, prevalence and mortality and investigate geographical clustering of MND cases in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2017, we analyzed data from the Netherlands Personal Records database, the Netherlands MND Center and the Netherlands Patient Association of Neuromuscular Diseases.

Methods: In this prospective cohort study, Poisson regression was used to assess time trends in MND risk. We calculated age- and sex-standardized, observed and expected cases for 1,694 areas. Bayesian smoothed risk mapping was used to investigate geographical MND risk.

Results: We identified 7,992 MND cases, reflecting an incidence of 2.64 (95% CI 2.62-2.67) per 100,000 person-years and a prevalence of 9.5 (95% CI 9.1-10.0) per 100,000 persons. Highest age-standardized prevalence and mortality rates occurred at a later age in men than in women (<0.001). Unadjusted mortality rates increased by 53.2% from 2.57 in 1998 to 3.86 per 100,000 person-years in 2017. After adjustment for age and sex, an increase in MND mortality rate of 14.1% (95% CI 5.7%-23.2%, <0.001) remained. MND relative risk ranged from 0.78 to 1.43 between geographical areas; multiple urban and rural high-risk areas were identified.

Conclusions: We found a significant national increase in MND mortality from 1998 through 2017, only partly explained by an ageing Dutch population, and also a geographic variability in MND risk, suggesting a role for environmental or demographic risk factors.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000011467DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055340PMC
January 2021

Education, biological ageing, all-cause and cause-specific mortality and morbidity: UK biobank cohort study.

EClinicalMedicine 2020 Dec 19;29-30:100658. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands.

Background: Socioeconomic position as measured by education may be embodied and affect the functioning of key physiological systems. Links between social disadvantage, its biological imprint, and cause-specific mortality and morbidity have not been investigated in large populations, and yet may point towards areas for public health interventions beyond targeting individual behaviours.

Methods: Using data from 366,748 UK Biobank participants with 13 biomarker measurements, we calculated a Biological Health Score (BHS, ranging from 0 to 1) capturing the level of functioning of five physiological systems. Associations between BHS and incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer, and mortality from all, CVD, cancer, and external causes were examined. We explored the role of education in these associations. Mendelian randomisation using genetic evidence was used to triangulate these findings.

Findings: An increase in BHS of 0.1 was associated with all-cause (HR = 1.14 [1.12-1.16] and 1.09 [1.07-1.12] in men and women respectively), cancer (HR = 1.11 [1.09-1.14] and 1.07 [1.04-1.10]) and CVD (HR = 1.25 [1.20-1.31] and 1.21 [1.11-1.31]) mortality, CVD incidence (HR = 1.15 [1.13-1.16] and 1.17 [1.15-1.19]). These associations survived adjustment for education, lifestyle-behaviours, body mass index (BMI), co-morbidities and medical treatments. Mendelian randomisation further supported the link between the BHS and CVD incidence (HR = 1.31 [1.21-1.42]). The BHS contributed to CVD incidence prediction (age-adjusted C-statistic = 0.58), other than through education and health behaviours.

Interpretation: The BHS captures features of the embodiment of education, health behaviours, and more proximal unknown factors which all complementarily contribute to all-cause, cancer and CVD morbidity and premature death.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclinm.2020.100658DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7788440PMC
December 2020

Spatial and Spatiotemporal Variability of Regional Background Ultrafine Particle Concentrations in the Netherlands.

Environ Sci Technol 2021 01 30;55(2):1067-1075. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Division of Environmental Epidemiology, Utrecht University, 3584 CK Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Studies of the health effects of ultrafine particles (UFPs) in large nationwide cohorts are currently hampered by a lack of knowledge about spatial and spatiotemporal variations in regional background UFPs. We measured the UFP (10-300 nm) at 20 regional background locations (3 × 2 weeks) across the Netherlands and a reference site continuously over a total period of 14 months in 2016-2017. We compared the overall averages for each site and used kriging to create a regional background spatial map of the Netherlands. Spatiotemporal variability was analyzed by correlating time-series of 2 and 24 h average concentrations. The overall average measured UFP concentrations at the 20 locations ranged from 3814 to 7070 particles/cm. We found the spatial correlation in the UFP concentrations up to 180 km and clear differences between the north and the more populated southern parts of the country. The average temporal correlation between 2 and 24 h average UFP concentrations was 0.50 (IQR: 0.36-0.61) and 0.58 (IQR: 0.44-0.75), respectively. Temporal correlation declined weakly with a distance between sites, from 0.58 for sites within 80 km of each other to 0.47 for sites farther away. The substantial spatial variation in the regional background UFP concentrations suggests that regional variation may contribute importantly to exposure contrast in nationwide health studies of UFP.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.0c06806DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7818655PMC
January 2021

A call for urgent action to safeguard our planet and our health in line with the helsinki declaration.

Environ Res 2021 02 9;193:110600. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain; Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain; CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain; IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain. Electronic address:

In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission launched a report introducing a novel approach called Planetary Health and proposed a concept, a strategy and a course of action. To discuss the concept of Planetary Health in the context of Europe, a conference entitled: "Europe That Protects: Safeguarding Our Planet, Safeguarding Our Health" was held in Helsinki in December 2019. The conference participants concluded with a need for action to support Planetary Health during the 2020s. The Helsinki Declaration emphasizes the urgency to act as scientific evidence shows that human activities are causing climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, overuse of natural resources and pollution. They threaten the health and safety of human kind. Global, regional, national, local and individual initiatives are called for and multidisciplinary and multisectorial actions and measures are needed. A framework for an action plan is suggested that can be modified for local needs. Accordingly, a shift from fragmented approaches to policy and practice towards systematic actions will promote human health and health of the planet. Systems thinking will feed into conserving nature and biodiversity, and into halting climate change. The Planetary Health paradigm ‒ the health of human civilization and the state of natural systems on which it depends ‒ must become the driver for all policies.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110600DOI Listing
February 2021

Short-term personal and outdoor exposure to ultrafine and fine particulate air pollution in association with blood pressure and lung function in healthy adults.

Environ Res 2021 03 4;194:110579. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS), Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands; Julius Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Studies reporting on associations between short-term exposure to outdoor fine (PM), and ultrafine particles (UFP) and blood pressure and lung function have been inconsistent. Few studies have characterized exposure by personal monitoring, which especially for UFP may have resulted in substantial exposure measurement error. We investigated the association between 24-h average personal UFP, PM, and soot exposure and dose and the health parameters blood pressure and lung function. We further assessed the short-term associations between outdoor concentrations measured at a central monitoring site and near the residences and these health outcomes. We performed three 24-h personal exposure measurements for UFP, PM, and soot in 132 healthy adults from Basel (Switzerland), Amsterdam and Utrecht (the Netherlands), and Turin (Italy). Monitoring of each subject was conducted in different seasons in a one-year study period. Subject's activity levels and associated ventilation rates were measured using actigraphy to calculate the inhaled dose. After each 24-h monitoring session, blood pressure and lung function were measured. Contemporaneously with personal measurements, UFP, PM and soot were measured outdoor at the subject's residential address and at a central site in the research area. Associations between short-term personal and outdoor exposure and dose to UFP, PM, and soot and health outcomes were tested using linear mixed effect models. The 24-h mean personal, residential and central site outdoor UFP exposures were not associated with blood pressure or lung function. UFP mean exposures in the 2-h prior to the health test was also not associated with blood pressure and lung function. Personal, central site and residential PM exposure were positively associated with systolic blood pressure (about 1.4 mmHg increase per Interquartile range). Personal soot exposure and dose were positively associated with diastolic blood pressure (1.2 and 0.9 mmHg increase per Interquartile range). No consistent associations between PM or soot exposure and lung function were observed. Short-term personal, residential outdoor or central site exposure to UFP was not associated with blood pressure or lung function. Short-term personal PM and soot exposures were associated with blood pressure, but not lung function.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110579DOI Listing
March 2021

Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from mobile communication: Description of modeled dose in brain regions and the body in European children and adolescents.

Environ Res 2021 02 24;193:110505. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

ISGlobal, Barcelona, Spain; Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain; Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Little is known about radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF) from mobile technology and resulting dose in young people. We describe modeled integrated RF dose in European children and adolescents combining own mobile device use and surrounding sources.

Methods: Using an integrated RF model, we estimated the daily RF dose in the brain (whole-brain, cerebellum, frontal lobe, midbrain, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, temporal lobes) and the whole-body in 8358 children (ages 8-12) and adolescents (ages 14-18) from the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland during 2012-2016. The integrated model estimated RF dose from near-field sources (digital enhanced communication technology (DECT) phone, mobile phone, tablet, and laptop) and far-field sources (mobile phone base stations via 3D-radiowave modeling or RF measurements).

Results: Adolescents were more frequent mobile phone users and experienced higher modeled RF doses in the whole-brain (median 330.4 mJ/kg/day) compared to children (median 81.8 mJ/kg/day). Children spent more time using tablets or laptops compared to adolescents, resulting in higher RF doses in the whole-body (median whole-body dose of 81.8 mJ/kg/day) compared to adolescents (41.9 mJ/kg/day). Among brain regions, temporal lobes received the highest RF dose (medians of 274.9 and 1786.5 mJ/kg/day in children and adolescents, respectively) followed by the frontal lobe. In most children and adolescents, calling on 2G networks was the main contributor to RF dose in the whole-brain (medians of 31.1 and 273.7 mJ/kg/day, respectively).

Conclusion: This first large study of RF dose to the brain and body of children and adolescents shows that mobile phone calls on 2G networks are the main determinants of brain dose, especially in temporal and frontal lobes, whereas whole-body doses were mostly determined by tablet and laptop use. The modeling of RF doses provides valuable input to epidemiological research and to potential risk management regarding RF exposure in young people.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2020.110505DOI Listing
February 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic and global environmental change: Emerging research needs.

Environ Int 2021 01 19;146:106272. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

RECETOX, Masaryk University, Czech Republic.

The outbreak of COVID-19 raised numerous questions on the interactions between the occurrence of new infections, the environment, climate and health. The European Union requested the H2020 HERA project which aims at setting priorities in research on environment, climate and health, to identify relevant research needs regarding Covid-19. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 appears to be related to urbanization, habitat destruction, live animal trade, intensive livestock farming and global travel. The contribution of climate and air pollution requires additional studies. Importantly, the severity of COVID-19 depends on the interactions between the viral infection, ageing and chronic diseases such as metabolic, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and obesity which are themselves influenced by environmental stressors. The mechanisms of these interactions deserve additional scrutiny. Both the pandemic and the social response to the disease have elicited an array of behavioural and societal changes that may remain long after the pandemic and that may have long term health effects including on mental health. Recovery plans are currently being discussed or implemented and the environmental and health impacts of those plans are not clearly foreseen. Clearly, COVID-19 will have a long-lasting impact on the environmental health field and will open new research perspectives and policy needs.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2020.106272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7674147PMC
January 2021

Ultra-processed food consumption patterns among older adults in the Netherlands and the role of the food environment.

Eur J Nutr 2021 Aug 24;60(5):2567-2580. Epub 2020 Nov 24.

Department of Epidemiology and Data Science, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, de Boelelaan 1089A, 1081 BT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Purpose: To describe the patterns of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) consumption in the Netherlands; to test if exposure to the food environment is associated with UPFs consumption; and if this association differed across educational levels and neighbourhood urbanisation.

Methods: Cross-sectional study using 2015-data of 8104 older adults from the Dutch EPIC cohort. Proportion of UPFs consumption was calculated from a validated food-frequency questionnaire. Exposure to the food environment was defined as proximity and availability of supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, full-service restaurants, convenience stores, candy stores and cafés. Consumption of UPFs was expressed as both percentage of total grams and total kilocalories.

Results: The study population was aged 70(± 10 SD) years and 80.5% was female. Average UPFs consumption was 17.8% of total food intake in grams and 37% of total energy intake. Those who consumed greater amounts of UPFs had a poorer overall diet quality. Adjusted linear regression models showed that closer proximity and larger availability to any type of food retailer was associated with lower UPFs consumption (both in grams and kilocalories). Somewhat stronger significant associations were found for proximity to restaurants (β = - 1.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = - 2.6; - 0.6), and supermarkets (β = - 2.2%, 95%CI = - 3.3; - 1.1); i.e., Individuals living within 500 m from the closest supermarket, as compared to 1500 m, had 2.6% less calories from UPFs. No differences were found on analyses stratified for urbanisation and education.

Conclusions: Using various measures of exposure to the food environment, we found that exposure to restaurants and supermarkets was associated with somewhat lower consumption of UPFs.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-020-02436-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8275501PMC
August 2021
-->