An Exposome Approach to Understanding Cardiovascular Disease Risks across the Life-course

/ Online

We will be hosting our next online policy forum “An exposome approach to understanding cardiovascular disease risks across the life-course” on Thursday 29th September 2022, 09.30-11.00am BST.

The prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing, accounting for 45% of all deaths in Europe, and is estimated to cost the EU economy €210 billion a year. There are multiple, cross-cutting risk factors for CVD including age, diet, smoking, social and environmental factors, some of which are modifiable. Reducing CVD risk (mortality and morbidity) through improved prevention, diagnosis, and earlier access to treatment; is something that should matter to anyone with a “beating heart”.

Coinciding with World Heart Day, this forum will include short presentations covering the challenges of CVD and the research being undertaken, including any preliminary results. The presentations will be followed by an informal discussion, facilitated by Beta Technology. Speakers include:

  • Birgit Beger, CEO, European Heart Network, Brussels;
  • Dr David Warriner, Consultant Cardiologist, Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS, UK;
  • Dr Nabeel Alsindi, GP & Clinical Lead for Primary Care and Long Term Conditions, NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group, UK;
  • Professor Sylvain Sebert, LongITools Project Coordinator, University of Oulu, Finland;
  • Ana Gonçalves Soares, Senior Research Associate in Epidemiology, University of Bristol, UK;
  • Dr Rachel Climie,  Honorary Fellow at the Paris Cardiovascular Research Center Inserm, France, and NHMRC Emerging Leader and Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Australia;
  • Jeroen De Bont, Postdoctoral Researcher, Karolinska Institute, representing the EXPANSE Project.

LongITools’ research takes a holistic approach and involves studying the impact of many exposures simultaneously. This ‘human exposome’ approach enables the assessment of all environmental, socioeconomic, psychosocial, lifestyle and biological factors to which an individual is exposed to throughout their life to better understand the role of such factors in chronic disease.

We hope the findings arising from the LongITools research will ultimately help inform policymakers about disease risks and when best to intervene to build more resilient and equitable health systems to help improve health outcomes (reducing morbidity and mortality figures). Thereby creating an opportunity to shift from facts to positive action, bringing person-centred innovative intervention closer to the wider population.

The forum is for local government health and environment policymakers, European and national policy research organisations, intermediaries such as patient participation groups, and citizens. It will provide the opportunity to network and engage with peers and to share knowledge and best practice.

The aim of this event is to ensure effective, bi-directional dialogue and exchange of information between policy stakeholders and researchers. Organised by the LongITools project, the goal of the forum is to bridge the gaps between science, citizens, and policy.




The Project

LongITools is studying the interactions between environmental, psychosocial, lifestyle, and biological factors to determine the risk of developing chronic cardiovascular and metabolic non-communicable diseases.

With a focus on air pollution, noise pollution, and the built environment, the project will study and measure how longitudinal exposure to these factors contribute to the risk of developing diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases and atherosclerosis across the life-course.

Taking an exposome approach, also referred to as complex systems theory in policymaking, it links individual and societal health to the environment to define disease trajectories. This will ultimately inform policymakers about the barriers and opportunities to build more resilient environment and health systems.

LongITools is a member of the European Human Exposome Network, the world’s largest cluster of innovative projects studying the impact of environmental exposures on human health. This network will play a critical role in delivering impactful exposome research and supporting infrastructure which will contribute to European competitiveness.