Environmental exposures: an underrecognized contribution to noncommunicable diseases

Norman, Rosana E., Carpenter, David O., Scott, James, Brune, Marie Noel and Sly, Peter D. (2013) Environmental exposures: an underrecognized contribution to noncommunicable diseases. Reviews on Environmental Health, 28 1: 59-65. doi:10.1515/reveh-2012-0033

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Author Norman, Rosana E.
Carpenter, David O.
Scott, James
Brune, Marie Noel
Sly, Peter D.
Title Environmental exposures: an underrecognized contribution to noncommunicable diseases
Journal name Reviews on Environmental Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0048-7554
Publication date 2013-04-01
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1515/reveh-2012-0033
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 28
Issue 1
Start page 59
End page 65
Total pages 7
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher Walter de Gruyter
Language eng
Subject 3306 Health (social science)
2700 Medicine
2310 Pollution
2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Abstract Previous attempts to determine the degree to which exposure to environmental factors contribute to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have been very conservative and have significantly underestimated the actual contribution of the environment for at least two reasons. Firstly, most previous reports have excluded the contribution of lifestyle behavioral risk factors, but these usually involve significant exposure to environmental chemicals that increase risk of disease. Secondly, early life exposure to chemical contaminants is now clearly associated with an elevated risk of several diseases later in life, but these connections are often difficult to discern. This is especially true for asthma and neurodevelopmental conditions, but there is also a major contribution to the development of obesity and chronic diseases. Most cancers are caused by environmental exposures in genetically susceptible individuals. In addition, new information shows significant associations between cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and exposure to environmental chemicals present in air, food, and water. These relationships likely reflect the combination of epigenetic effects and gene induction. Environmental factors contribute significantly more to NCDs than previous reports have suggested. Prevention needs to shift focus from individual responsibility to societal responsibility and an understanding that effective prevention of NCDs ultimately relies on improved environmental management to reduce exposure to modifiable risks.
Keyword Burden of disease
Noncommunicable diseases
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Sat, 15 Jun 2013, 00:06:58 EST by Dr Rosana Norman on behalf of Child Health Research Centre