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Vision & Goals

Ottawa, ON

The overarching goal of ONPHEC is to gain new insights into the environmental burden of chronic diseases, and to provide policy-relevant research findings.

With increasing life expectancy, the societal impacts of chronic diseases will continue to rise. Unequivocal evidence shows that intervening on the risk factors of chronic diseases is the most cost-effective approach to reduce their substantial burden. Among various modifiable risk factors, environmental factors are increasingly being recognized as playing important roles in the development of a number of chronic diseases worldwide.

Currently, seven major projects are underway using ONPHEC data:

  • To determine the associations between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution, traffic-related noise, and the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes

  • To investigate the effects of air pollution and green space on the development of major neurodegenerative diseases, especially dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis

  • To quantify the public health burden of ambient temperatures on morbidity and mortality

  • To examine the effects of environmental exposures (e.g., air pollution, green space, etc.) on long-term survival and other outcomes of adults living with major chronic diseases

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of environmental health programs (e.g., smog advisories, extreme cold warnings) using novel causal inference methodologies

  • To estimate the interactions between multiple environmental factors (e.g., air pollution, noise, etc.) on the new onset of chronic diseases

  • To characterize the shape of concentration-response relationships between individual air pollutants and the new onset of major chronic diseases