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Academic Staff

Prof. Xiang-qian LAO


BM (Sun Yat-sen), MM (PUMC), PhD (HKU)

Associate Professor


Dr. Lao obtained his medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine) from Sun Yat-sen Medical University and then served as a Public Health Physician for many years in the Guangzhou No.12 Renmin Hospital (Guangzhou Occupational Disease Prevention and Treatment Hospital). He further pursued his Master of Medical Science in Peking Union Medical College and Doctor of Philosophy in the University of Hong Kong, respectively. He then went to the United States and received training in Genetic Epidemiology as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Duke Institute for Genome Science & Policy at Duke Medical Center.

Dr. Lao joined The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care in 2009. His research focuses on health effects of air pollution and epidemiology of chronic non-communicable disease. Dr. Lao is especially good at using large-scale cohort studies to systematically investigate air pollution and health effects. He has published his research work in a number of leading medicine journals including Circulation, The Lancet Planetary Health, JACI, EHP, IJE, BJSM, Hypertension and Diabetologia. His research work has not only had a significant academic impact, generating substantial scientific knowledge, but also contributed to the well-being of society, particularly in raising public awareness of and guiding policy development on the health effects of air pollution. Dr Lao was invited by Hong Kong government to review and develop the Hong Kong Air Quality Standards. His research work has been widely reported in media and press such as Reuters, Associate Press, Newsweek and South China Morning Post.

· Non-Chinese media: google search term “xiang qian lao” or “lao xiang qian”
· Chinese media: google search term “勞向前”

Research Interests

  • Air Pollution and Health

  • Epidemiology of Chronic Disease

  • Cohort Study

Recent Funded Research Projects 

  • Health effects of neighbourhood walkability on Chinese adults (PI; GRF-RGC)

  • Joint mortality/morbidity effects of habitual physical activity and long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 air pollution (PI; GRF-RGC)

  • Effect of Long-term Exposure to Multiple Air Pollutants on Respiratory Health in Hong Kong Primary School Children (PI; HMRF)

  • Review of the Air Quality Objectives -- Feasibility Study (Co-I; Committed by EPD)

Selected Publications

  1. Guo C, Zeng Y, Chang LY, Yu Z, Bo Y, Lin C, Lau AKH, Tam T, Lao XQ*. Independent and opposing associations of habitual exercise and chronic PM2.5 exposures on hypertension incidence. Circulation (online, selected for AHA press release)

  2. Guo C, Tam T, Bo Y, Chang LY, Lao XQ*, Thomas GN. Habitual physical activity, renal function and chronic kidney disease: A cohort study of nearly 200,000 adults. British Journal of Sports Medicine (online)

  3. Guo C, Bo Y, Chan TC, Zhang Z, Lin C, Tam T, Lau AKH, Chang LY, Hoek G, Lao XQ*. Does Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) Affect the Benefits of Habitual Physical Activity on Lung Function in Adults: A Longitudinal Cohort Study BMC Medicine 2020; 18:134

  4. Bo Y, Guo C, Lin C, Chang LY, Chan TC, Huang B, Lee KP, Tam T, Lau AKH, Lao XQ*, EK Yeoh. Dynamic changes in long-term exposure to ambient PM2.5 and incidence of hypertension in adults: A natural experiment. Hypertension 2019; 74(3):669-677. (This paper was selected as High Impact Paper in Hypertension)

  5. Guo C, Hoek G, Chang LY, Bo Y, Lin C, Tam T, Huang B, Chan TC, Tam, T, Lau AKH, Lao XQ*. Long-Term Exposure to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) and Lung Function in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: A Longitudinal Cohort Study. Environmental Health Perspectives 2019 127 (12), 127008.

  6. Chan TC, Zhang Z, Lin BC, Lin C, Deng HB, Chuang YC, Chan WMJ, Jiang WK, Tam T, Chang LY, Hoek G, Lau AKH, Lao XQ*. Long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter and chronic kidney disease: a cohort study. Environmental Health Perspectives 2018 126 (10), 107002

  7. Zhang Z, Guo C, Lau AKH, Chan TC, Chuang YC, Lin C, Jiang WK, Yeoh EK, Tam T, Woo KS, Yan BP, Chang LY, Wong MCS, Lao XQ*. Long-term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter, Blood Pressure, and Incident Hypertension in Taiwanese Adults. Environmental Health Perspectives January 2018 126 (1), 017008.

  8. Guo C, Zhang Z, Lau AKH, Lin C, Chuang YC, Chan WMJ, Jiang WK, Tam T, Yeoh EK, Chan TC, Chang LY, Lao XQ*. Effect of long-term exposure to fine particular matter on lung function decline and risk of chronic obstruct pulmonary disease in Taiwan: a longitudinal, cohort study. The Lancet Planetary Health 2018; 2: e114-25

  9. Zhang Z, Chang LY, Lau AKH, Chan TC, Chuang Jackie, Chan Jimmy, Lin C, Jiang Kelvin, Dear K, Zee BCY, Yeoh EK, Hoek G, Tam THW, Lao XQ*. Satellite-Based Estimates of Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter are associated with C - reactive protein in 30,034 Taiwanese Adults. International Journal of Epidemiology August 2017; 46: 1126-1136.

  10. Liu X, Lao XQ*, Wong CCY, Tan L, Zhang Z, Wong TW, Tse LA, Lau APS, Yu ITS. Frequent use of household cleaning products is associated with rhinitis in Chinese children. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology September 2016; 138: 754-760.

Last Updated: 27 June 2020