Hong Chen

Image Hong Chen
Research Scientist

Conduct mandate-driven research of environmental burden of disease

Health Canada

Current research and/or projects

Currently, five major projects are underway as follows:

  • To determine the associations between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and noise and the development of cardiovascular disease and diabetes;
  • To investigate the effects of air pollution on the development of major neurodegenerative diseases, especially dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis;
  • To quantify the health burden of ambient temperatures on mortality and morbidity;
  • To examine the effects of multiple environmental exposures (e.g., air pollution, greenspace, etc) on the long-term survival and other outcomes of adults living with major chronic diseases; and
  • To evaluate public health impacts of environmental health programs, such as smog advisories and extreme cold warnings, using novel causal inference methodologies.

Research and/or project statements

The goal of my research is to investigate the health effects of exposure to environmental risk factors, particularly ambient air pollution, extreme weather, urban greenness, and environmental noise. I am also interested in evaluating the effectiveness of environmental health policies and programs using causal inference methods. My research is aimed to be policy-relevant and contribute to better decision making and actions to achieve environmental exposure reduction and disease prevention.

Professional activities / interests

  • Health Effects of Air pollution, Weather, Urban Greenness, and Environmental Noise
  • Effectiveness of Environmental Health Policies and Programs (Accountability Research)
  • Causal Inference
  • Environmental Epidemiology

Education and awards

Education & Training History

  • Ph.D., Epidemiology, McGill University, Canada (2011)

Honours & Awards

  • New Principal Investigator Best Poster Award, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) (2014)
  • Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel Award, McGill University (2010)
  • Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Doctoral Research Award (2008)
  • Principal’s Graduate Fellowship, McGill University (2008)
  • Fonds de recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) Doctoral Training Award (2008)
  • Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre Studentship, McGill University (2007)

Key publications

Representative Publications

  • Shin, S.H., Burnett, R.T., Kwong, J.C., Hystad, P., van Donkelaar, A., Brook, J.R., Copes, R., Tu, K., Goldberg, M.S., Villeneuve, P.J., Martin, R.V., Murray, B.J., Wilton, A.S., Kopp, A., and Chen, H. Effects of Ambient Air Pollution on Incident Parkinson’s Disease in Ontario, 2001 to 2013: A Population-Based Cohort Study. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2018 (accepted)
  • Bai, L., Weichenthal, S., Kwong, J.C., Burnett, R.T., Hatzopoulou, M., Jerrett, M., van Donkelaar, A., Martin, R.V., van Ryswyk, K., Lu, H., Kopp, A., and Chen, H. Risk of Incident Congestive Heart Failure and Acute Myocardial Infarction in Relation to Long-term Exposure to Ambient Ultrafine Particles and Nitrogen Dioxide. American Journal of Epidemiology, 2018 (accepted)
  • Dalia, L.R., Chen, H., Wilton, A.S., Kwong, J.C., Marrie, R.A., Gozdyra, P., Krysko, K., Kopp, A., Copes, R.  and Tu, K. Temporal trends in multiple sclerosis prevalence and incidence in a large population. Neurology, 2018;doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005331
  • Bai, L., Chen, H., Hatzopoulou, M., Jerrett, M., Kwong, J.C., Burnett, R.T., van Donkelaar, A., Copes, R., Martin, R.V., Van Ryswyk, K., Lu, H., Kopp, A. and Weichenthal, S. Exposure to Ambient Ultrafine Particles and Nitrogen Dioxide and Incident Hypertension and Diabetes. Epidemiology, 2018;http://doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000798
  • Chen, H., Li, Q., Kaufman J.S., Wang, J., Copes, R., Su, Y., and Benmarhnia, T. Effect of air quality alerts on human health: a regression discontinuity analysis. Lancet Planetary Health, 2018; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(17)30185-7
  • Chen, H., Kwong, J.C., Copes, R., Hystad, P., van Donkelaar A., Tu, K., Brook, J.R., Goldberg, M.S., Martin, R.V., Murray B.J., Wilton, A.S., Kopp, A., and Burnett, R.T. Exposure to ambient air pollution and the incidence of dementia: a population-based cohort study. Environment International, 2017;108:271-277. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2017.08.020
  • Chen, H., Kwong, J.C., Copes, R., Tu, K., Villeneuve, P.J., van Donkelaar, A., Hystad, P., Martin, R.V., Murray, B.J., Jessiman, B., Wilton, A.S., Kopp, A., and Burnett, R.T. Living near major roads and the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis: a population-based cohort study, Lancet, 2017; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)32399-6
  • Chen, H., Burnett, R.T., Kwong, J.C., Copes, R., Villeneuve, P.J., Goldberg, M.S., Brook, R.D., van Donkelaar, A., Jerrett M., Martin, R.V., Kopp, A., Brook, J.R., and Tu, JV. Ambient fine particulate matter and mortality among survivors of myocardial infarction: population-based cohort study. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2016; DOI:10.1289/EHP185
  • Chen, H., Kwong, J.C., Copes, R., Villeneuve, P.J., Goldberg, M.S., Weichenthal, S., van Donkelaar, A., Jerrett M., Martin, R.V., Brook, J.R., Kopp, A., and Burnett, R.T. Cohort Profile: The ONtario Population Health and Environment Cohort (ONPHEC). International Journal of Epidemiology, 2016; doi: 10.1093/ije/dyw030
  • Chen, H., Wang, J., Li, S., Yagouti, A., Lavigne, E., Foty, R., Burnett, R.T., Goldberg, M.S., Villeneuve, P.J., Cakmak, S., and Copes, R. Assessment of the impact of cold and hot temperatures on mortality: a population-based study. CMAJ Open, 2015;4;E48-E58
  • Chen, H., Burnett, R.T., Kwong, J.C., Villeneuve, P.J., Goldberg, M.S., Brook, R.D., van Donkelaar, A., Jerrett M., Martin, R.V., Brook, J.R., and Copes, R. Spatial Association between Ambient Fine Particulate Matter and Incident Hypertension. Circulation, 2013; doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.003532
  • Chen, H., Burnett, R.T., Kwong, J.C., Villeneuve, P.J., Goldberg, M.S., Brook, R.D., van Donkelaar, A., Jerrett M., Martin, R.V., Brook, J.R., and Copes, R. Risk of Incident Diabetes in Relation to Long-term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter in Ontario, Canada. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2013 doi:10.1289/ehp.1205958
  • Chen, H., Goldberg, M.S., and Villeneuve, P.J. A systematic review of the relation between long-term exposure to ambient air pollution and chronic diseases. Reviews on Environmental Health, 2008; 23(4): 243-297

Affiliations

  • Research Scientist, Population Studies Division, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (2018-Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Occupational and Environmental Health Division, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (2012-Present)
  • Scientist, Environmental Health Assessment, Public Health Ontario, Toronto, Ontario (2013-2018)
  • Adjunct Scientist, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (2013-Present)

Language

English