The XV INMA Scientific Conference, organised by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Biodonostia, the Basque Government and CiberEsp, took place on 14 and 15 November.

At the conference, opened by Nekane Balluerka, rector of the UPV/EHU, Jon Etxeberria, Provincial Health Deputy for Gipuzkoa and Jesús Ibarluzea, principal researcher at INMA Gipuzkoa (Biodonostia HRI, UPV/EHU), explained the results obtained in the last year of research in the different analysis areas of the INMA project. A debate was also held on the relationship between child health and the most important environmental air-, water- and food-borne pollutants during pregnancy or early life, and their effects on the growth and neuropsychological development of children.     

Specifically, national and international speakers explained the latest findings on issues such as health inequalities and the role of the urban exposome, green spaces and child development, the effect of noise on early childhood and the prenatal emotional state and its relationship with neurodevelopment.

The INMA project is made up of seven study areas: Gipuzkoa, Asturias, Sabadell, Ribera d’Ebre, Valencia, Menorca and Granada. The research universe is composed of pregnant women from the general population in each of the said areas. In the case of Gipuzkoa, the project was launched in 2006 within the geographical area defined by the reference population of Zumarraga Hospital, including towns in the Goierri and the Alto and Medio Urola areas. Said municipalities were selected for a series of characteristics in their hospital and primary care services, and for their environmental characteristics: “strong presence of the iron and steel industry, high traffic density, low levels of disinfection by-products in the drinking water and a diet rich in fish, combined with a certain degree of hyperthyroidism in pregnant women”. During these years, since the start of the study, 640 women have been monitored in the first and third three months of their pregnancy. Today, the project researchers are monitoring 420 girls and boys regarding aspects of their growth and neuropsychological development at 11 years of age.

More information about the INMA project: www.proyectoinma.org