It is possible that more than 50% of complex disease risk is attributed to differences in an individual’s environment.1 Air pollution, smoking, and diet are documented environmental factors affecting health, yet these factors are but a fraction of the “exposome,” the totality of the exposure load occurring throughout a person’s lifetime.1 Investigating one or a handful of exposures at a time has led to a highly fragmented literature of epidemiologic associations. Much of that literature is not reproducible, and selective reporting may be a major reason for the lack of reproducibility. A new model is required to discover environmental exposures associated with disease while mitigating possibilities of selective reporting.
Patel CJ, Ioannidis JPA. Studying the Elusive Environment in Large Scale. JAMA. 2014;311(21):2173-2174. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.4129