Dr Samuel Cai

Lecturer in Environmental Epidemiology

School/Department: Health Sciences, Department of



I was medically trained in preventive medicine and public health and obtained my PhD in Environmental Epidemiology at Imperial College London. My PhD investigated ambient air pollution and traffic noise on cardiovascular and respiratory health in several European cohorts by adopting a data harmonisation approach. After the award of PhD I completed a MRC-funded fellowship based at King’s College and Imperial College London. Prior to joining the Centre I worked at University of Oxford and led on projects on environmental health in the Global South.


My research focuses on understanding the population health impacts of physical environment with a particular interest in indoor and outdoor air pollution traffic noise and urban built environment. My research has been largely underpinned by using rich cohort data in both the UK and Europe as well as using increasingly available open-sourced/personal data to characterise the changing environment and population health profiles. I recently expanded my research into the LMICs context where emerging environmental pollution is projected to become a major health threat along with urbanisation. I am particular interested in investigating to what extent that environmental pollution as well as climate change has affected health and well-being in marginalised populations in LMICs.



Chen Y, Hansell AL, Clark SN, Cai YS. Environmental noise and health in low-middle-income-countries: A systematic review of epidemiological evidence. Environ Pollut. 2022 Nov 5;316(Pt 2):120605. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120605. 

Belt RV, Rahimi K, Cai S. Researching the hard-to-reach: a scoping review protocol of digital health research in hidden, marginal and excluded populations. BMJ Open. 2022 Sep 28;12(9):e061361. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-061361 

Roscoe, C., Mackay, C., Gulliver, J., Hodgson, S., Cai, Y., Vineis, P., & Fecht, D. (2022). Associations of private residential gardens versus other greenspace types with cardiovascular and respiratory disease mortality: Observational evidence from UK Biobank. Environment International, 167, 107427. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2022.107427

Zhang, H., Fan, Y., Han, Y., Yan, L., Zhou, B., Chen, W., . . . Barratt, B. (2022). Partitioning indoor-generated and outdoor-generated PM<sub>2.5</sub> from real-time residential measurements in urban and peri-urban Beijing.. The Science of the total environment, 157249. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157249

Fisher, T., Gibson, H., Liu, Y., Abdar, M., Posa, M., Salimi-Khorshidi, G., . . . Mamouei, M. (n.d.). Uncertainty-Aware Interpretable Deep Learning for Slum Mapping and Monitoring. Remote Sensing, 14(13), 3072. doi:10.3390/rs14133072

Mamouei, M., Zhu, Y., Nazarzadeh, M., Hassaine, A., Salimi-Khorshidi, G., Cai, Y., & Rahimi, K. (2022). Investigating the association of environmental exposures and all-cause mortality in the UK Biobank using sparse principal component analysis. Scientific Reports, 12. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-13362-3

Liang, L., Cai, Y., Lyu, B., Zhang, D., Chu, S., Jing, H., . . . Tong, Z. (2022). Air pollution and hospitalization of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in Beijing: a time-series study. Respiratory Research, 23. doi:10.1186/s12931-022-01998-8

Lyu, B., Cai, Y., Sun, Z., Li, J., & Liang, L. (2022). Evaluating temporally decomposed associations between PM2.5 and hospitalisation risks of AECOPD: A case study in Beijing from 2010 to 2019. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 13(4). doi:10.1016/j.apr.2022.101356

Cai, Y. S., Gibson, H., Ramakrishnan, R., Mamouei, M., & Rahimi, K. (2021). Ambient Air Pollution and Respiratory Health in Sub-Saharan African Children: A Cross-Sectional Analysis. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH AND PUBLIC HEALTH, 18(18), 13 pages. doi:10.3390/ijerph18189729

Cai, Y. (2021). Ambient pollen and air quality on children’s lung function: is there a synergy?. Thorax, 76(9), 858-859. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2021-217063

Kupcikova, Z., Fecht, D., Ramakrishnan, R., Clark, C., & Cai, Y. S. (2021). Road traffic noise and cardiovascular disease risk factors in UK Biobank.. European heart journal, 42(21), 2072-2084. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehab121

van der Plaat, D. A., Rantala, A. K., Alif, S. M., Karadoğan, D., Cai, Y., & Dumas, O. (2021). ERS International Congress 2020: highlights from the Epidemiology and Environment Assembly. ERJ Open Research, 7(1), 00849-2020. doi:10.1183/23120541.00849-2020

Zheng, F., Cai, Y., Han, X., Ma, Y., Hua, R., & Xie, L. (2021). Reduced Lung Function and Cognitive Decline in Aging: A Longitudinal Cohort Study. ANNALS OF THE AMERICAN THORACIC SOCIETY, 18(2), 373-376. Retrieved from

Cai, Y., Ramakrishnan, R., & Rahimi, K. (2021). Long-term exposure to traffic noise and mortality: A systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological evidence between 2000 and 2020. Environmental Pollution, 269, .. doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2020.116222

Chen, Y., Hodgson, S., Gulliver, J., Granell, R., Henderson, A. J., Cai, Y., & Hansell, A. L. (2021). Trimester effects of source-specific PM10 on birth weight outcomes in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Environmental health : a global access science source, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12940-020-00684-w

Hansell, A., Cai, Y., Zijlema, W. L., Sørgjerd, E. P., Doiron, D., de Hoogh, K., . . . Kvaløy, K. (2020). Impact of road traffic noise on obesity measures: observational study of three European cohorts. Environmental Research, 191. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2020.110013

Chatzidiakou, L., Krause, A., Han, Y., Chen, W., Yan, L., Popoola, O. A. M., . . . Jones, R. L. (2020). Using low-cost sensor technologies and advanced computational methods to improve dose estimations in health panel studies: results of the AIRLESS project. JOURNAL OF EXPOSURE SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENTAL EPIDEMIOLOGY, 30(6), 981-989. doi:10.1038/s41370-020-0259-6

Song, P., Fang, Z., Wang, H., Cai, Y., Rahimi, K., Zhu, Y., . . . Rudan, I. (2020). Global and regional prevalence, burden, and risk factors for carotid atherosclerosis: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and modelling study. LANCET GLOBAL HEALTH, 8(5), E721-E729. Retrieved from

Cai, Y., Hansell, A. L., Granell, R., Blangiardo, M., Zottoli, M., Fecht, D., . . . Elliott, P. (2020). Prenatal, Early-life and Childhood Exposure to Air Pollution and Lung Function: The ALSPAC Cohort.. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. doi:10.1164/rccm.201902-0286OC

Eguiluz-Gracia, I., Mathioudakis, A. G., Bartel, S., Vijverberg, S. J. H., Fuertes, E., Comberiati, P., . . . Hoffmann, B. (2020). The need for clean air: The way air pollution and climate change affect allergic rhinitis and asthma. ALLERGY, 75(9), 2170-2184. doi:10.1111/all.14177

Hansell, A., Dorion, D., de Hoogh, K., Probst-Hensch, N., Fortier, I., Cai, Y., & De Matteis, S. (n.d.). Air pollution, lung function and COPD: results from the population-based UK Biobank study
Dany Doiron1,2,3, Kees de Hoogh2,3, Nicole Probst-Hensch2,3, Isabel Fortier1, Yutong Cai4,5, Sara De Matteis6, Anna L Hansell4. European Respiratory Journal.

Liang, L., Cai, Y., Barratt, B., Lyu, B., Chan, Q., Hansell, A. L., . . . Tong, Z. (2019). Associations between daily air quality and hospitalisations for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Beijing, 2013-17: an ecological analysis.. Lancet Planetary Health. doi:10.1016/S2542-5196(19)30085-3

Gulliver, J., Elliott, P., Henderson, J., Hansell, A. L., Vienneau, D., Cai, Y., . . . de Hoogh, K. (2018). Local- and regional-scale air pollution modelling (PM10) and exposure assessment for pregnancy trimesters, infancy, and childhood to age 15 years: Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children (ALSPAC). ENVIRONMENT INTERNATIONAL, 113, 10-19. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2018.01.017

Cai, Y., Hodgson, S., Blangiardo, M., Gulliver, J., Morley, D., Fecht, D., . . . Hansell, A. L. (2018). Road traffic noise, air pollution and incident cardiovascular disease: A joint analysis of the HUNT, EPIC-Oxford and UK Biobank cohorts.. Environment International. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2018.02.048

Doiron, D., de Hoogh, K., Probst-Hensch, N., Mbatchou, S., Eeftens, M., Cai, Y., . . . Hansell, A. (2017). Residential Air Pollution and Associations with Wheeze and Shortness of Breath in Adults: A Combined Analysis of Cross-Sectional Data from Two Large European Cohorts.. Environmental Health Perspectives. doi:10.1289/EHP1353

Cai, Y., Hansell, A. L., Blangiardo, M., Burton, P. R., de Hoogh, K., Doiron, D., . . . Hodgson, S. (2017). Long-term exposure to road traffic noise, ambient air pollution, and cardiovascular risk factors in the HUNT and lifelines cohorts. EUROPEAN HEART JOURNAL, 38(29), 2290-2296. doi:10.1093/eurheartj/ehx263

Zijlema, W., Cai, Y., Doiron, D., Mbatchou, S., Fortier, I., Gulliver, J., . . . Rosmalen, J. (2017). Corrigendum to “Road traffic noise, blood pressure and heart rate: Pooled analyses of harmonized data from 88,336 participants” [Environ. Res. 151 (2016) 804–813]. ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 152, 520. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2016.10.025

Cai, Y., Zijlema, W. L., Doiron, D., Blangiardo, M., Burton, P. R., Fortier, I., . . . Hodgson, S. (2017). Ambient air pollution, traffic noise and adult asthma prevalence: a BioSHaRE approach.. European Respiratory Journal. doi:10.1183/13993003.02127-2015

Cai, Y., Shaheen, S. O., Hardy, R., Kuh, D., & Hansell, A. L. (2016). Birth weight, early childhood growth and lung function in middle to early old age: 1946 British birth cohort. THORAX, 71(10), 916-922. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206457

Zijlema, W., Cai, Y., Doiron, D., Mbatchou, S., Fortier, I., Gulliver, J., . . . Rosmalen, J. (2016). Road traffic noise, blood pressure and heart rate: Pooled analyses of harmonized data from 88,336 participants. Environ Res. doi:10.1016/j.envres.2016.09.014

Jacquemin, B., Siroux, V., Sanchez, M., Carsin, A. -E., Schikowski, T., Adam, M., . . . Kauffmann, F. (2015). Ambient Air Pollution and Adult Asthma Incidence in Six European Cohorts (ESCAPE). ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES, 123(6), 613-621. doi:10.1289/ehp.1408206

Adam, M., Schikowski, T., Elie Carsin, A., Cai, Y., Jacquemin, B., Sanchez, M., . . . Probst-Hensch, N. (2015). Adult lung function and long-term air pollution exposure. ESCAPE: a multicentre cohort study and meta-analysis. EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY JOURNAL, 45(1), 38-50. doi:10.1183/09031936.00130014

Cai, Y., Schikowski, T., Adam, M., Buschka, A., Carsin, A. -E., Jacquemin, B., . . . Hansell, A. L. (2014). Cross-sectional associations between air pollution and chronic bronchitis: an ESCAPE meta-analysis across five cohorts. THORAX, 69(11), 1005-1014. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-204352

Schikowski, T., Adam, M., Marcon, A., Cai, Y., Vierkoetter, A., Carsin, A. E., . . . Kuenzli, N. (2014). Association of ambient air pollution with the prevalence and incidence of COPD. EUROPEAN RESPIRATORY JOURNAL, 44(3), 614-626. doi:10.1183/09031936.00132213

Alhyas, L., Cai, Y., & Majeed, A. (2012). Type 2 diabetes care for patients in a tertiary care setting in UAE: a retrospective cohort study.. JRSM short reports, 3(10), 67. doi:10.1258/shorts.2012.012064



Environmental exposure and health; urban health; global health; exposure science;


Teaching to be updated

Press and media

Urban air pollution noise greenspace and their health impacts
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