Lifestyle, genes and health: integrative trans-generational epidemiology

Group leader
Dr Marie-Christine Boutron-Ruault

Maryvonne Niravong
+33 (0)1 42 11 51 63
Fax : +33 (0)1 42 11 40 00

Espace Maurice Tubiana, Level -1

Frise Banner: 
Lifestyle, genes and health: integrative trans-generational epidemiology

Lifestyle, genes and health: integrative trans-generational epidemiology group

This group belongs to the UMR 1018/CESPCentre de recherche en épidémiologie et en santé des populations

Our group "Lifestyle, genes and health: integrative trans-generational epidemiology" focuses on health in relation to environment and the modern way of life in individuals of the same family, who thus share a genetic background and common environmental factors.

Our group is in charge of the E3Ncohort, a French study that started in 1990 when 98 995 women born between 1925 and 1950 and affiliated to the MGEN, a health insurance plan for workers in the education system and their families, responded to a mailed questionnaire. Participants have been actively followed through biennial follow-up questionnaires.

We are building up a new cohort, E4N , selected as “Investissement d’Avenir” in 2011, composed of E3N participant’s children (Generation G2), grand-children (G3), and spouses (the children’s fathers, G1). The E3N and E4N cohorts will further constitute a large family cohort, on three generations, which will allow a better understanding of environmental and genetic risk factors for major chronic diseases.


The E3N and E4N cohorts collect epidemiological, medical and biological data. Information is collected through self-administered questionnaires (health and lifestyle, including reproductive past, body size, smoking and alcohol consumptions, diet, physical activity, etc.). The self-reported medical conditions are confirmed, validated and detailed through pathological reports and/or medico-administrative databases (e.g. databases on causes of death, medication reimbursements and hospitalisations). 
These cohorts also include biological collections: 25 000 blood samples and 50 000 saliva samples (for DNA) collected from E3N women. We are completing this biobank from E4N volunteers (saliva samples in progress for G1). A tumour bank is also being established. 
These resources will enable us to investigate the influence of environmental, genetic, and epigenetic factors during different periods of life on major chronic diseases risk and progression. 

Group main research axes

  • To identify and analyse the role of several factors, including hormonal, dietary and genetic factors, in the occurrence of cancer and other major chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, asthma ...)
  • To investigate the associations of major chronic diseases with lifestyle and metabolic factors (in particular diet, physical activity, use of hormonal treatments, reproductive factors, early life exposure, …)
  • To assess the relationship between chronic diseases and several biological markers (diet, hormonal milieu, genetic polymorphisms ...)
  • To analyse interactions between genetic characteristics and potential risk factors.


  • Hormonal treatments with the risk of breast, ovary and endometrial cancers, and melanoma
  • Physical activity with breast cancer occurrence
  • Intake of dietary fibre, meat, fish, calcium, heme iron with the risk of colorectal tumours
  • Intake of lipids, fatty-acids, beta-carotene, alcohol, folate, vitamins, carbohydrates, and smoking with breast cancer risk
  • Phytoestrogens (from diet and from dietary supplements) with hormone-dependant cancers (breast, endometrial, ovary)
  • Vitamin D with breast and colorectal cancer risks
  • Sun exposure with skin cancer risk
  • Anthropometric measures, diet, environmental factors with asthma risk
  • Body silhouette, menopausal hormone therapy, blood type, coffee, sugar-sweetened beverages or acid load intake with diabetes risk


Catégorie de la page: