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LISER and LIH to fight cardio-metabolic diseases in Luxembourg  

30 September 2021 4minutes

The MET’HOOD project kicks off 

The Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER) and the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) are joining forces in the fight against cardio-metabolic diseases in Luxembourg in the framework of the FNR-funded MET’HOOD (Time-varying residential neighbourhood effects on cardio-metabolic health) project. This multidisciplinary research study is carried out by a team of geographers, epidemiologists, nutritionists and experts in physical activity and sports, with the support of local and national public health and regional planning players. 

Cardio-metabolic diseases are the leading cause of death in Luxembourg, and one of the main causes of hospitalisation and work incapacity. Over the past decades, the cardio-metabolic health of populations has been strained by significant changes in living environments, such as urban sprawl, transport infrastructure, and access to infrastructure supporting active lifestyles. These environmental changes have been promoting increasingly sedentary lifestyles, thereby increasing the risk of cardio-metabolic disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. At the population level, one of the most effective ways to significantly reduce cardio-metabolic diseases and the social disparities associated with them, is to identify the characteristics of geographic residential environments that are causally linked to cardio-metabolic risk factors.

In this context, MET’HOOD − which brings together researchers Camille Perchoux (LISER), Laurent Malisoux (LIH), Olivier Klein (LISER) and Torsten Bohn (LIH) − aims to study the relationships between the characteristics (environmental, socio-economic, built and natural) of residential neighbourhoods, cardio-metabolic health and its behavioural risk factors such as physical activity and nutrition. More specifically, this project represents an unprecedented opportunity to analyse the long-term effects, over ten years, of geographic environments on cardio-metabolic health on a national scale. Focusing particularly on social disparities in cardio-metabolic profiles, MET’HOOOD will analyse how social inequalities in terms of access to so-called “healthy” urban resources eventually evolve into social inequalities in terms of health.

The project will leverage datasets from the national ORISCAV-LUX 1 & 2 studies − led by LIH under the aegis of the Ministry of Health with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research − as well as new data provided by LISER on the socio-economic and physical environmental characteristics of residential neighbourhoods, in order to explore the impact of the environment on cardio-metabolic health. ORISCAV-LUX, which included 2 waves of data collection in 2007 and 2018, aimed to observe the evolution of cardiovascular risk factors related to lifestyles. In total, over 630 ORISCAV participants, residing in geographic environments reflecting diverse levels of urbanity across the country, agreed to participate in the MET’HOOD study.

The results of MET’HOOD will make it possible to advance our knowledge of how urban environments are linked with the occurrence of cardio-metabolic risks, as well as to identify populations and neighbourhoods at risk of developing unfavourable cardio-metabolic profiles. MET’HOOD’s longitudinal and retrospective approach will also enable the analysis of the impact of major modifications to the Luxemburgish urban landscape over the past decade, in order to inform and help adapt future spatial planning interventions aimed at improving cardio-metabolic health in Luxembourg.

The strength of the project lies in the multidisciplinary and complementary expertise of its consortium. LIH will contribute through its experience in cardio-metabolic health and lifestyle behaviours, such as dietary patterns, nutrient intake, sedentary behaviour and physical activity, while LISER will provide valuable urban and socio-economic data. Close collaboration between our institutes is therefore crucial to the success of the project

explains Dr Laurent Malisoux, leader of the Physical Activity, Sport and Health research group at the LIH Department of Population Health (DoPH) and co-Principal Investigator of the MET’HOOD study.

MET’HOOD is funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) as part of the CORE 2020 programme (C20/ BM/14787166).

Scientific Contact

  • Dr Laurent
    Group Leader, Physical Activity, Sport and Health

    Department of Population Health Luxembourg Institute of Health



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