Faculty - Title


Judith Garcia Aymerich

Judith Garcia Aymerich

Research Professor and Head of the Environment and Health over the Lifecourse Programme Respiratory diseases, Non-communicable Diseases and Environment

Judith Garcia-Aymerich graduated in Medicine at the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) in 1996, and obtained her doctorate in Public Health and Biomedical Research Methodology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) in 2002.

Her research delves into the role of physical activity in the development and prognosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD, and the impact of socioenvironmental factors in this relation. Her work also expands to the broader characterization of gait and mobility, to related health determinants such as diet and body weight and composition, and to other allergic, respiratory and chronic diseases. Central to her research is a robust emphasis on methodological rigor. This encompasses the development and validation of assessment tools (e.g., activity monitors, patient-reported outcomes), the use of hypothesis free methods to define and characterise diseases, the use of counterfactual-based methods to estimate causal effects, and the life course approach.

Dr Garcia-Aymerich has been principal investigator in numerous national and international multi-centre cohort and clinical trial studies, both population- and clinical-based. She has published more than 300 scientific articles (H-index 68, February-2023) and has supervised 12 PhD theses and 7 postdoctoral researchers. Her pioneer research in physical activity and COPD has been recognised by several national and international awards and was the basis to redefine lifestyle recommendations in clinical COPD guidelines. She also serves in multiple experts’ committees and advisory boards, has developed tools for patients and health professionals, and is engaged with regulatory authorities.

She is Secretary General (elected by votation) of the European Respiratory Society (2022-2025) and Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where she teaches research methods, epidemiology, statistics and chronic diseases at under and postgraduate level. 

Lines of research

  • Epidemiology of chronic respiratory diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]). 
  • Physical activity and mobility in COPD. 
  • Socio environmental determinants of physical activity and respiratory health. 
  • Application of advanced epidemiological and statistical methods to respiratory health. 

Main publications

  • Delgado-Ortiz L, Polhemus A, Keogh A, Sutton N, Remmele W, Hansen C, Kluge F, Sharrack B, Becker C, Troosters T, Maetzler W, Rochester L, Frei A, Puhan MA, Garcia-Aymerich J. Listening to the patients' voice: a conceptual framework of the walking experience. Age Ageing. 2023 Jan 8;52(1):afac233.
  • Koreny M, Arbillaga-Etxarri A, Bosch de Basea M, Foraster M, Carsin AE, Cirach M, Gimeno-Santos E, Barberan-Garcia A, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Vall-Casas P, Rodriguez-Roisín R, Garcia-Aymerich J. Urban environment and physical activity and capacity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Environ Res. 2022 Nov;214(Pt 2):113956. 
  • Garcia-Aymerich J, Puhan MA, Corriol-Rohou S, de Jong C, Demeyer H, Dobbels F, Erzen D, Frei A, Gimeno-Santos E, Hopkinson NS, Ivanoff N, Karlsson N, Louvaris Z, Polkey MI, Rabinovich RA, Scuri M, Tabberer M, Vogiatzis I, Troosters T; PROactive consortium. Validity and responsiveness of the Daily- and Clinical visit-PROactive Physical Activity in COPD (D-PPAC and C-PPAC) instruments. Thorax. 2021 Mar;76(3):228-238. 
  • Peralta GP, Fuertes E, Granell R, Mahmoud O, Roda C, Serra I, Jarvis D, Henderson J, Garcia-Aymerich J. Childhood Body Composition Trajectories and Adolescent Lung Function. Findings from the ALSPAC study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2019 Jul 1;200(1):75-83. 
  • Arbillaga-Etxarri A, Gimeno-Santos E, Barberan-Garcia A, Balcells E, Benet M, Borrell E, Celorrio N, Delgado A, Jané C, Marin A, Martín-Cantera C, Monteagudo M, Montellà N, Muñoz L, Ortega P, Rodríguez DA, Rodríguez-Roisin R, Simonet P, Torán-Monserrat P, Torrent-Pallicer J, Vall-Casas P, Vilaró J, Garcia-Aymerich J. Long-term efficacy and effectiveness of a behavioural and community-based exercise intervention (Urban Training) to increase physical activity in patients with COPD: a randomised controlled trial. Eur Respir J. 2018 Oct 18;52(4). pii: 1800063. 
  • Garcia-Aymerich J, Gómez FP, Benet M, Farrero E, Basagaña X, Gayete À, Paré C, Freixa X, Ferrer J, Ferrer A, Roca J, Gáldiz JB, Sauleda J, Monsó E, Gea J, Barberà JA, Agustí À, Antó JM; PAC-COPD Study Group. Identification and prospective validation of clinically relevant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) subtypes. Thorax. 2011 May;66(5):430-7. 
  • Garcia-Aymerich J, Lange P, Benet M, Schnohr P, Antó JM. Regular physical activity modifies smoking-related lung function decline and reduces risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population-based cohort study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Mar 1;175(5):458-63. 
  • Garcia-Aymerich J, Lange P, Benet M, Schnohr P, Antó JM. Regular physical activity reduces hospital admission and mortality in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a population based cohort study. Thorax. 2006 Sep;61(9):772-8. 

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