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Exposome and Social Vulnerability: An Overview of the Literature Review

Abstract : Background—The exposome concept refers to the totality of exposures from internal and external sources, including chemical and biological agents from conception throughout the lifetime. Exposome is also made up of psychosocial components such as socio-economic status (SES), which will focus on in this review. Despite exposures to the same environmental nuisances, individuals and groups are impacted differently. According to the literature, health inequalities exist among different socioeconomic groups, and SES may influence the association between environmental nuisances and health outcomes. However, the variation of this interaction across ages has rarely been studied. There is a need to adopt a life course approach to understand the history of diseases better. Objective—The main objective of this review is to document how SES could modify the association between environmental nuisances and health outcomes, across different ages, as a first crucial step introducing the emerged concept of social exposome. Methods—The PubMed database was searched from January 2010 to August 2021 for systematic reviews published in English addressing the interaction between SES, environmental nuisances, and health outcomes. Socio-economic indicators considered include education, level of income, neighborhood environment. Environmental nuisances considered many environment nuisances, mainly air pollution and noise. Results—Among 242 literature reviews identified, 11 of them address the question of the effect modification. Overall, our work reveals that environmental nuisances were mostly associated with poorer health outcomes and that SES modified this association, increasing the health risk among the poorest. Very interestingly, our work reports the existence of this interaction across different ages, including pregnancy, childhood, and adulthood, and for various environmental nuisances. Conclusion—In conclusion, our work confirms that we are not all equal to face environmental nuisances. The poorest are more vulnerable to the health effect of environmental nuisances. Policy decisions and interventions should target this high-risk population as a priority. Further investigations are needed to formalize the concept of social exposome more precisely and then communicate about it.
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Submitted on : Friday, March 25, 2022 - 4:53:37 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 4:02:10 PM

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Séverine Deguen, Mary Amuzu, Valentin Simoncic, Wahida Kihal-Talantikite. Exposome and Social Vulnerability: An Overview of the Literature Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 2022, 19 (6), pp.3534. ⟨10.3390/ijerph19063534⟩. ⟨hal-03620277⟩

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