Twin research and environmental geocoding to unravel nature vs nurture

E. Bijnens

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared


Knowledge on the effects of the early-life environment on birth outcomes, ageing, and disease outcome later in life is limited. We observed in twins that prenatal exposure to air pollution and traffic was respectively associated with a lower birth weight and a change in placental telomere length, an established biomarker of ageing. Besides outcomes at birth, we noted that exposure to traffic early in life was associated with shorter telomere length in young adulthood. Further surrounding greenness in early-life is associated with a lower blood pressure in adulthood. Our molecular epidemiological findings may lend support to reduce air pollution and to promote local greenness for healthy living from early-life onwards.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Nawrot, T.S., Supervisor, External person
  • Zeegers, Maurice, Supervisor
Award date24 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • early-life environment
  • twins
  • ageing

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