Nature vs. Nurture: How do we measure the effect of the environment on health? [Video]

June 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Video | Leave a comment

In epidemiology, “attributable risk” is the difference in rate of a condition between an exposed population and an unexposed population. Estimating what proportion of attributable risk is due to various environmental causes is challenging; in this video Stephen Rappaport presents an overview of the difficulties, such as different definitions of “environmental exposure”, and introduces the concept of the “exposome” as a conceptual tool for guiding ongoing research into the environmental causes of illness.

In this presentation, Paolo Vineis expands on the concept of the exposome as it applies to environmental causes of cancer. He looks at discrepancies in estimates of percentages of cancer caused by the environment, the importance of biomarkers in improving the accuracy of data for those estimates, which is currently only about 70% specific or lower.

This presentations were part of a workshop organised by the US Standing Committee on Emerging Science for Environmental Health Decisions. For more information visit their website; for updates on new workshops and other information, sign up for their newsletter.

The next Standing Committee workshops are on mixtures and cumulative risk assessment (27-28 July 2011, Washington DC, more information here) and toxicology and green chemistry (20-21 September 2011, more information available soon).

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