Our institution

Non-Communicable Diseases and Environment

Research / Programmes

Our programme contributed further evidence on the role of lifestyle and environment in the development and progression of NCDs. Regarding respiratory health, we presented new data on the role of the built environment and air pollution on physical activity and quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (1,2). In a large study with participants from 11 European countries and Australia, we found that adults with asthma are more likely to become obese later in life, suggesting common risk factors for both conditions (3). In children with asthma, we identified a potential biomarker that may be directly involved in disease progression (4).

On cancer risk factors, we found that immune responses and sex hormone production are altered in men working night shifts (5,6), which may increase the risk of cancer. In premenopausal women, a late breakfast was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer (7). However, we found no clear association between sleep habits (duration, timing, etc.) and the risk of breast or prostate cancer in a large population study (8). We also organised a workshop on drinking water and health and published insights on estimating disinfection by-products in drinking water (9).

Regarding COVID-19, we found that, in a context of limited resources, non-invasive ventilation led to higher mortality in severe patients than other respiratory support modalities (10). We also assessed the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns on health-related behaviours (11) and mental health (12).

  1. Koreny M. Environ Res.
  2. Moitra S. Environ Res.
  3. Moitra S. Thorax.
  4. Guerra S. Am J Respir Crit Care Med.
  5. Harding BN. Front Immunol.
  6. Harding BN. Scand J Work Environ Health
  7. Palomar-Cros A. Front Nutr.
  8. Turner MC. Sci Rep.
  9. Redondo PE. J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol.
  10. Marti S. Sci. Rep.
  11. Delgado-Ortiz L. Ann Behav Med.
  12. Goldberg X. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol.


Building the health of the future

Air Pollution and Urban Environment
Chagas, Parasitic and Imported Diseases
Childhood and Environment
Climate and Health
Maternal, Child and Reproductive Health
NCDs and Environment
Viral and Bacterial Infections
Transdisciplinary groups
Biomedical Data Science
Health Impact Assessment