09/11/2016 - 12:00 - Auditori PRBB

Does air pollution affect our fertility?

Scientific sessions, CRG Group Leader Seminars

Bénédicte Jacquemin

Effects of Air Pollution on Reproductive Health, Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal

Short biography:
Dr. Bénédicte Jacquemin has a degree in Medicine from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (2000), a Master in Environmental Sciences from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2005) and a PhD in Life and Health Sciences from the University Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona (2007). During her PhD she made stays in several European countries like Finland, Sweden and England. She did a postdoc at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) in France. In October 2009 she became a junior researcher 1st class in the same institution.
Since September 2011 she is located in the Center of Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) -now ISGlobal Campus PRBB- in Barcelona. During her medical career she became interested in research and participated in several studies mainly in the field of infectious diseases. Later, during her doctorate, she worked in the assessment of exposure of air pollution and its effects on respiratory health. She currently studies the effects of environmental pollution on asthma and its associated features, and leads the research on this topic in the Unit 1168 (VIMA: Aging and chronic diseases. Epidemiological and public health approaches) at INSERM. She has recently been interested in the effects of air pollution on reproductive health and more specifically on fertility / infertility, developing this area of research in a multidisciplinary team.

Infertility has been increasing during recent decades, and it has been estimated that one out of six couples consult at least once in their lives for problems to conceive. However, even if lifestyle factors, mainly delayed women age when wanting to get pregnant, are the main causes of infertility they do not explain all. Environmental factors do, very probably, play also a role in the increased infertility rate, and air pollution could be one of them. Air pollution is one of the most important and widely distributed environmental risk factors in our cities at present, and it affects the entire population living in urban areas. Air pollution has been associated with many adverse events on human health including mortality, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases but also perinatal and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Regarding fertility and air pollution the evidence is still scarce and inconclusive. In our group we have shown that air pollution was associated with lower fertility rates, and with a higher probability of using assisted reproductive technique but not with semen quality in a cohort of donors.