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Professor Xiang-qian LAO (勞向前教授)


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


Associate Professor

JC School of Public Health and Primary Care







Division of Occupational and Environmental Health





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. His PhD thesis is on the “Inflammation, metabolic syndrome and vascular diseases in older Chinese: The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study”. 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 University. Dr. Lao joined The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care in 2009. His research focuses on using epidemiologic approaches to exploring environmental and genetic risks of chronic diseases.


Dr. Lao has supervised six PhD students and 20 Master degree students. His students have published their thesis-related research in highly prestigious medicine journals including The Lancet Planetary Health, Environmental Health Perspectives, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, International Journal of Epidemiology, Occupational and Environmental Medicine and British Journal of Sports Medicine.


Dr Lao’s research work has been widely reported in media and press, greatly increasing public awareness of air pollution and inspiring people to purse better air quality. He was invited by the Hong Kong government to join a Working Group responsible for reviewing Hong Kong’s air quality standards and exploring possibilities for tightening these standards. His research on air pollution and health has provided a scientific baseline for Hong Kong Air Quality Objectives review in 2016-2017.


Research Interest


·       Air Pollution and Health 

·       Epidemiology of Chronic Disease

·       Cohort Study


Dr. Lao’s research has been reported by various media organisations worldwide, such as Reuters, Newsweek and SCMP.


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

·       Chinese media: google search term “勞向前”


Selected Publications 


  • 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 or lung function decline and risk of chronic obstruct pulmonary disease in Taiwan: a longitudinal, cohort study. The Lancet Planetary Health 2018; 2:e114-25.


  • 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 (In press)


  • 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 2018 (In press).


  • 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 2017; 46: 1126-1136.


  • 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 2016; 138: 754-760


  • Lao XQ*, Zhang Z, Lau AKH, Chan TC, Chuang Jackie, Chan Jimmy, Lin C, Jiang Kelvin, Tam T, Yeoh EK, Chang LY. Exposure to Ambient Fine Particulate Matter and Semen Quality in Taiwan. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2018; 75: 148-154.


  • Lao XQ*, Deng HB, Liu X, Chan TC, Zhang Z, Chang LY, Yeoh EK, Tam T, Wong MCS, Thomas GN. Increased leisure-time physical activity associated with lower onset of diabetes in 44,828 adults with impaired fasting glucose. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2018 (in press).


  • Deng HB, Tam T, Zee BCY, Chung RYN, Su XF, Jin L, Chan TC, Chang LY, Yeoh EK, and Lao XQ*. Short sleep duration increases the risk of metabolic syndrome: a prospective cohort study of 162,121 healthy adults. Sleep 2018 (in press)


  • Lao XQ, Ma WJ, Sobko T, Zhang YH, Xu YJ, Xu XJ, Yu DM, Nie SP, Cai QM, Xia L, Thomas GN, Griffiths SM. Overall obesity is leveling-off while abdominal obesity continues to rise in a Chinese population experiencing rapid economic development: analysis of serial cross-sectional health survey data 2002-2010. International Journal of Obesity 2015; 39:288-94


  • Jiang C, Thomas GN, Lam TH, Schooling CM, Zhang W, Lao XQ, Adab P, Liu B, Leung GM, Cheng KK. Cohort profile: The Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study, a Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Birmingham collaboration. International Journal of Epidemiology 2006; 35:844-52




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