Because of the direct interaction of lungs with the environment, respiratory diseases are among the leading causes of environment-related deaths in the world. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis (CF) are two highly debilitating diseases that are of particular interest in the context of environmental studies; they both are characterized by a similar progressive loss of lung function with small bronchi alterations, and a high phenotypic variability of unknown origin, which prevents a good therapeutic efficacy. In the last years, there has been an evolution in the apprehension of the study of diseases going from a restricted “one exposure, one disease” approach to a broader concept with other associating factors, the exposome. The overall objective of the REMEDIA project is to extend the understanding of the contribution of the exposome to COPD and CF diseases. To achieve our aim, we will (1) exploit data from existing cohorts and population registries to create a unified global database gathering phenotype and exposome information; (2) develop a flexible individual sensor device combining environmental and biomarker toolkits; (3) use a versatile atmospheric simulation chamber to simulate the health effects of complex exposomes; (4) use machine learning supervised analyses and causal inference models to identify relevant risk factors; and (5) develop econometric and cost-effectiveness models to assess the costs, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a selection of prevention strategies. The results will be used to develop guidelines to better predict disease risks and constitute the elements of the REMEDIA toolbox. The multidisciplinary approach carried out by the REMEDIA European project should represent a major breakthrough in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with COPD and CF diseases.
Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The Environmental Epidemiology. All rights reserved.