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Approved Research

Individual participant data meta-analysis of cohort studies for health effects of air pollution in three continents

Principal Investigator: Professor Xiang Lao
Approved Research ID: 75249
Approval date: November 1st 2021

Lay summary


This study aims to investigate the cohort-specific and overall health effects of air pollution in the United Kingdom, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China. This study will also explore the effect modifications by socio-economic factors and lifestyles in the three continents.

Scientific rationale

Air pollution is one of the top leading risk factors for death and disease burden. However, studies on the health effects of long-term exposure to air pollution were not well-documented, especially for multi-center studies. In addition, previous findings may be limited to a specific ethnic context and their generalization can be challenged. Therefore, this project was proposed to expand the study regions by combining several representative datasets to investigate the overall associations between long-term exposure to air pollution and human health in general population from three continents.

Project duration

This project will last 36 months, and will be extended if the research cannot be completed on time.

Public health impact

Globally, air pollution is a major public health challenge. Approximately 92% of the population lives in areas where air quality does not meet the WHO's standards. Understanding the long-term effects of air pollution on various diseases and mortality has enormous implications for policy development and health guidelines, especially in general regions with both low or high levels of air pollution. The proposed project will provide scientific evidence on quantified health effects of long-term exposure to multiple pollutants. Such information will facilitate air pollution control to improve public health.