Community planning for a “healthy built environment” via a human-environment nexus? A multifactorial assessment of environmental characteristics and age-specific stroke mortality in Hong Kong

Hung Chak Ho (Corresponding Author), Huagui Guo, Ta Chien Chan, Yuan Shi, Chris Webster, Kenneth N.K. Fong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


With the prevalence of stroke rising due to both aging societies and more people getting strokes at a younger age, a comprehensive investigation into the relationship between urban characteristics and age-specific stroke mortality for the development of a healthy built environment is necessary. Specifically, assessment of various dimensions of urban characteristics (e.g. short-term environmental change, long-term environmental conditions) is needed for healthy built environment designs and protocols. A multifactorial assessment was conducted to evaluate associations between environmental and sociodemographic characteristics with age-stroke mortality in Hong Kong. We found that short-term (and temporally varying) daily PM10, older age and being female were more strongly associated with all types of stroke deaths compared to all-cause deaths in general. Colder days, being employed and being married were more strongly associated with hemorrhagic stroke deaths in general. Long-term (and spatially varying) regional-level air pollution were more strongly associated with non-hemorrhagic stroke deaths in general. These associations varied by age. Employment (manual workers) and low education were risk factors for stroke mortality at younger ages (age <65). Greenness and open space did not have a significant association with stroke mortality. Since a significant connection was expected, this leads to questions about the health-inducing efficacy of Hong Kong's compact open spaces (natural greenery being limited to steep slopes, and extensive impervious surfaces on public open spaces). In conclusion, urban plans and designs for stroke mortality prevention should implement age-specific health care to neighborhoods with particular population segments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number132043
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Age-specific
  • Asia
  • High-density
  • Mortality
  • Stroke
  • Urban characteristics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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