IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques IMIM - Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques

Respiratory health, air pollution, childhood development Jordi Sunyer

Frequency and determinants of chronic obstructive respiratory diseases: Asthma and COPD. 

  • Evaluation of the frequency, trends and distribution of asthma and COPD in adults, study of the early life risk factors and in the adulthood (smoking, obesity, social class, exercise)) and mechanisms of asthma in the European Community Respiratory Health Study (ECRHS).
  • Influence of Pre and postnatal exposure to allergens, irritants (mother’s smoking, air pollution) and diet (organochlorinated compounds) in the incidence of asthma and allergy in birth cohorts. 
  • The follow-up and extension of the international cohorts ECRHS and birth cohorts will allow to extend to the investigation of new risk factors like diet and physical activity in asthma and COPD, and to incorporate indicators of respiratory inflammation at peripheral and respiratory level (such as exhaled air and induced sputum). 

Respiratory and cardiovascular effects of air pollution 

  • This line started in 1987 within the research on the causes of Barcelona asthma outbreaks. During last years the main interest refers to the role of the chronic exposure to urban air pollution in the development and exacerbation of asthma, lung function decline and COPD with he participation of in several European projects (PAMCHART, HEAPS, AIRGENE) on the characterization of particulate urban pollution (particle counts, mass depending on size, degree of oxidation) and its acute effect on survival and inflammatory markers among myocardial infarction survivors, leading to important recent publications. 
  • A main aspect of the continuity of this line is the use of methodologies to measure cumulative exposure to urban air pollution including Geographical Information Systems, and the physical-chemical characterization of the particles. The second aspect refers to the collaboration of different groups at European level in fp7-EU.

Effects of early environmental exposures on postnatal development 

  • In order to study whether the prenatal and postnatal exposures to common airborne pollutants (fine particle, PAH, gases) and food (persistent residues such as organochlorines, lead and mercury) are associated with neurodevelopment, immunity/asthma, anthropometric (growth, obesity, metabolic syndrom) and sexual development, the INMA network was created under my coordination. This network join the existing newborn cohorts in Menorca, Ribera d´Ebre and Granada that evaluated the role of the environment and created new cohorts under a common protocol, after the selection of the main pollutants and effects.
  • One of the areas of main projection in epidemiology is the study of interactions between environmental exposures and genes of susceptibility. In the framework of the study INMA we pretend to study the interactions between environmental exposures related to oxidative stress, such as diet and air pollution (due to diesel vehicles) with candidate genes involved in the oxidant capacity, with the peripheral levels of antioxidants incorporated through the diet, in the pathogenesis of asthma and allergy, but also on neurodevelopment.

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Contact

Coordinator:
Jordi Sunyer(ELIMINAR)

Tel:
93 316 06 10

Fax:
93 316 04 10

Doctor Aiguader, 88
08003 Barcelona

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