Environmental Epidemiology and Child Development

Group co-leader: Jesús Ibarluzea, Ph.D.

Dept. Health – Provincial Health and Addictions Authority of Gipuzkoa.
Sub-directorate of Public Health of Gipuzkoa
E-mail mambien3-san@euskadi.eus

Group co-leader: Aitana Lertxundi Manterola Ph.D.

Universidad del País Vasco - Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea E-mail aitana.lertxundi@ehu.eus
Dr. Jesús Ibarluzea Maurolagoitia is a Biologist and Psychologist (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU), MSc Environmental Health (Puerto Rico School of Public Health), Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering and Doctor in Public Health (University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU). He currently works at the Gipuzkoa Sub-Office of Public Health and Addictions, Basque Government Ministry of Health and is Leader of the Epidemiology and Public Health Area at the Biodonostia HRI, where he is also Head of the Environmental Epidemiology and Child Development Group. His activity is mainly focused on the effect of environmental factors, very widely understood, on the physical and neuropsychological development of children and young people (INMA Environment and Childhood project).
He is a teacher of the Master’s Degree in Public Health and of the Master’s Degree in General Health Psychology while at same time directing several doctoral theses. Dr. Ibarluzea is a Collaborating Researcher of the UPV/EHU Faculty of Psychology and Principal Researcher of group 28 on Public Health at the CIBEResp (Carlos III Health Institute Network Centre of Biomedical Research in Epidemiology and Public Health). He has 140 publications in high-impact journals (>80% in Q1 and 66% in D1). H-index: 39.
Dr. Aitana Lertxundi Manterola is Lecturer of Preventive Medicine and Public health department at the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU, Faculty of Medicine), PI together with Nerea Lertxundi of the UPV-EHU research group (Basque-Environmental Health Research Group (B-EHRG)), and CO-PI of the research group in Environmental Epidemiology and Child Development of the Biogipuzkoa Institute, as well as group 28 of CIBERESP. She has been working in the field of environmental epidemiology for 18 years. Since 2007 he has been actively involved in the INMA project, where he is the coordinator together with Jesus Ibarluzea. He has participated in several European projects (ESCAPE, HIWATE and LifeCycle). She has more than 100 publications in journals with high bibliometric impact (80% of which are Q1) and is a collaborating PI in several regional and national projects (FIS), as well as contracts with different administrations (Provincial Council, Department of Health, Department of Urban Planning and Environment of the Basque Government or Kutxa Fundazioa). Research stays: predoctoral at the University of Florence, Department of Statistics and postdoctoral at the University of Copenhagen, Department of Health and Medical Sciences, Denmark.

Strategic Objectives

INMA Project (Childhood and Environment). A multi-centre monitoring project in which cohorts from Menorca, Sabadell, Granada, Valencia, Asturias and Gipuzkoa participate, and which studies the relationship between exposure to environmental agents and childhood development. The cohort monitoring phases of pregnant women and their children have been carried out, during pregnancy (every three months), at birth, at one year, and at the age of 2 and 4. The next step is to monitor the phases at age 7 and 10.

  • To describe the exposure to common contaminants, from the first to the fourth year of life: atmospheric pollution, by products derived from disinfecting the water. To analyse the evolution over time.
  • To measure the association between pre-natal and post-natal exposure to atmospheric contaminants and pollutants in drinking water and children’s physical and neurobehavioural development at the ages of 2 and 4 years old.
  • To measure the association between pre-natal exposure to pollutants such as POPs and heavy metals (umbilical cord) and the neurobehavioural development of a child at the ages of 2 and 4, analysing the coherence with the results obtained at the age of one year.
  • To assess the role of the quality of domestic ecology, the parents’ degree of intelligence, social support network and social class in the neurobehavioural development, sociodemographic determining factors, health and healthy habits: pregnancy and early childhood.
  • To integrate the data from this study with those from the other cohorts in the INMA Project.

Main lines of research

  • Environmental and atmospheric pollution, drinking water contamination, diet and health.
  • Effects of interior and exterior atmospheric pollution and contamination of drinking water and for domestic use in neurodevelopment and respiratory diseases.
  • Association between pre-natal exposure and during the early years of life to pollutants such as POPs, endocrine disruptors and heavy metals, and neurobehavioural development in childhood.
  • Development, application and/or adaptation of the different scales and testing to assess neurobehavioural and domestic aspects (Etxadi-Gangoiti), school environment and other scales in childhood. Relationship of the aspects of the family structure and function, and cognitive development.
  • Sociodemographic and health determining factors during pregnancy and early childhood.
  • Obesity and metabolic disorder in childhood.
  • Assessment of the physical environmental agents and their effect on health.

Team Members

Name Surname
Center E-mail
Joana Acha Morcillo UPV – EHU joana.acha@ehu.eus
Jon Iñaki Alvarez Uriarte Public Health Subdirection ji-alvarezuriarte@euskadi.eus
Ainara Andiarena Villaverde UPV – EHU ainara.andiarena@ehu.es
Enrique Arranz Freijo UPV – EHU e.arranzfreijo@ehu.es
Ane Arregi Otxotorena UPV – EHU
Mikel Ayerdi Barandiaran Dep. Health Subdirection – PH Gipuzkoa m-ayerdi@euskadi.eus
Aitziber Azurmendi Imaz UPV – EHU aitziber.azurmendi@ehu.eus
Izaro Babarro Vélez UPV – EHU
Florencia Barreto Zarza UPV – EHU flor.barreto@ehu.eus
Ziortza Barroeta Legarreta UPV – EHU ziortza.barroeta@ehu.eus
Ainhoa Bereziartua Aranzaba Biodonostia HRI
Eduardo Fano Ardanaz          UPV – EHU eduardo.fano@ehu.es
Gonzalo García-Baquero Moneo Public Health Subdirection ggbmoneo@ciberesp.es
Amaia Irizar Loibide UPV – EHU
Alba Jimeno Romero Biogipuzkoa HRI alba.jimenoromero@bio-gipuzkoa.eus
Nerea Lertxundi Iribar UPV – EHU nerea.lertxundi@ehu.es
Aitana Lertxundi Manterola      UPV – EHU aitana.lertxundi@ehu.eus
Leire Luque García UPV – EHU lluque001@ikasle.ehu.eus
Maialen Otamendi Garitano UPV – EHU maialen.otamendi@ehu.eus
Ane San Román Martínez Dep. Health Subdirection – PH Gipuzkoa ane-sanroman@euskadi.eus
Manuel Sánchez de Miguel UPV-EHU manu.sanchez@ehu.es
Loreto Santa Marina Rodríguez  Dep. Health Subdirection – PH Gipuzkoa l-santa@euskadi.eus
Mikel Subiza Pérez UPV-EHU
Nerea Urbieta Macazaga Dep. Health Subdirection – PH Gipuzkoa
Oscar Vegas Moreno UPV – EHU o.vegas@ehu.es
Carlos Zabaleta Camino Goierri-Alto Urola IHO carlos.zabaletacamino@osakidetza.eus
Miren Begoña Zubero Oleagoitia UPV – EHU mirenbegona.zubero@ehu.eus

Scientific Output