Relationship between the built environment and obstructive lung diseases

Research Centre: Healthy High Density Cities Lab

Project title: Relationship between the built environment and obstructive lung diseases.

HKUrbanLab research cluster: Healthy CitiesHD

Project Team: Chinmoy Sarkar (PI), Chris Webster (Co-PI), Michael Ni (Co-I), Lydia Liu (Co-I)

Project: UK Biobank Preliminary Application 17796.


This study aims to primarily answer the question: “where does or does not chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) arise, persist and progress in the UK?”; describing location in detail through measurable attributes of the built environment in which subjects reside. Secondarily, we aim to generate hypotheses to test regarding the relationship between the built environment and respiratory outcomes. Finally, we aim to use historical and prospective data on patients who meet the case definition of COPD and asthma to test our hypotheses about the effect that the built environment has on patients with COPD and asthma.

This study is a collaboration between the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Architecture and School of Public Health. We will take descriptive and analytic approaches, utilizing data from the UK Biobank and the UK Biobank Urban Morphometric Platform (UKBUMP). The UKBUMP is an individual-level built environment database of approximately 750 health-specific built environment metrics for all participants in the UK Biobank prospective cohort.

Anticipated outcomes: A series of 2-3 papers in high impact journals.


3Note: This is a HKUrban Lab – MEDIC collaboration arising out of core UKBUMP work.