Environmental exposures more determinant of respiratory health than inherited genetics
Article published on Science Daily March 6, 2018.
Source: Ontario Institute for Cancer research
Click here to read the full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180306115446.htm
Researchers have found strong evidence that environmental exposures, including air pollution, affect gene expressions associated with respiratory diseases much more than genetic ancestry.
Genetic, health and disease data of participants from Montreal, Quebec City and Saguenay were linked with environmental information such as air pollution, walkability and access to food to see how these factors impact gene expression.
One of the main findings of the study was that exposure to higher levels of particulate matter and nitrous dioxide in the Saguenay area affected the expression of genes associated with oxygen pathways and respiratory function. This resulted in higher rates of respiratory ailments such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The findings represent a groundbreaking use of big data to uncover the environmental factors that are behind diseases and inform strategies for prevention applicable to a number of diseases, including cancer.