Unit | Chronic Disease Epidemiology
The Swiss study on Air Pollution And Lung Disease in Adults (SAPALDIA) is the only Swiss-wide chronic disease cohort with associated biobank. It was initiated in 1991 an dhas since been funded by the SNF, the Federal Offices for the Environment and Public Health, different Lung Leagues and cantons. SAPALDIA is at the center of national and international air pollution (ESCAPE; Exposomics) and respiratory health research (ALEC). The rich risk factor, environmental and health data as well as the genome- and methylome-wide data is used in studies ranging from assessing the role of physical activity, sleep, and transportation noise in cardio-metabolic disease etiology to the evaluation of chronic disease diagnosis and treatment.
ALEC - Aging Lungs in European Cohorts
The Horizon 2020 funded project ALEC - Aging Lungs in European Cohorts - integrates data from long-term studies with high quality spirometry data from different countries and age groups. It aims to close the gaps in understanding of poor lung function and COPD and will develop a COPD risk prediction tool. Swiss TPH is participating to ALEC with the SAPALDIA cohort and is leading the work package on genetics and epigenetics. These biomarkers are integrated into Mendelian randomization studies to interrogate the causality of COPD risk factors.
HBM4EU - The European Human Biomonitoring Initiative
Citizens are exposed to a wide range of chemicals through their diet, environment and use of consumer products. Human biomonitoring data of nationally representative or vulnerable subgroups of the population is essential to guide policy in all sectors dealing with the regulation of chemicals. Swiss TPH coordinates the participation of Switzerland in the Horizon2020 funded European Human Biomonitoring Initiative (HBM4EU). HBM4EU aims to use existing and collect new harmonized HBM data for improved understanding of health risks.
Memberships in Expert Comittees
Expert Commission for Genetic Testing in Humans
The Unit Head Nicole Probst-Hensch is member of the expert commission for Genetic Testing in Humans (GUMEK). The commission is appointed by the Federal Council for expert advise. The commission pursuits scientific and practical developments in the field of human genetics, formulates recommendations and indicates problems and gaps in the legislation.
Federal Commission for Air Hygiene
Since 2012 Nino Künzli has been the president of the Federal Commission for Air Hygiene (FCAH) that is a committee of experts in the field of air pollution control. As an extra-parliamentary committee of experts, it is appointed by the federal government. It advises the government on scientific and methodological questions relating to air pollution.
Selected ProjectsAll Projects
Latest PublicationsAll Publications
Nguyen T.T.N, Schindler C, Dien T.M, Probst-Hensch N, Perez L, Künzli N. Acute effects of ambient air pollution on lower respiratory infections in Hanoi children: an eight-year time series study. Environ Int. 2018;110:139-148. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.10.024
Cole-Hunter T et al. Estimated effects of air pollution and space-time-activity on cardiopulmonary outcomes in healthy adults: a repeated measures study. Environ Int. 2018;111:247-259. DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.11.024
Gulliver J et al. Land use regression models for the oxidative potential of fine particles (PM2.5) in five European areas. Environ Res. 2018;160:247-255. DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.10.002
Valkonen M et al. Microbial characteristics in homes of asthmatic and non-asthmatic adults in the ECRHS cohort. Indoor Air. 2018;28:16-27. DOI: 10.1111/ina.12427
Australian Asthma Genetics Consortium Collaborators et al. Multiancestry association study identifies new asthma risk loci that colocalize with immune-cell enhancer marks. Nat Genet. 2018;50(1):42-53. (AAGC). DOI: 10.1038/s41588-017-0014-7