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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine
Research summary
Respiratory epidemiology
Respiratory Physician


Bob Hancox is a respiratory specialist who combines epidemiological and clinical research to investigate why people develop diseases such as asthma, allergies, and chronic lung disease and to find better ways to assess and treat these disorders. Much of his research is based on the long-running Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which has followed 1,037 children since their birth in Dunedin in the early 1970s into adult life. Important findings from this research reveal how childhood experiences and lifestyle affect lung health in adulthood.

He also leads the Next Generation Study, which assesses the children of the Dunedin Study members to understand how health and well-being transfer across generations. Other research has included investigations into the long-term effects of television viewing on children’s health, social, and educational development, and into the early-life origins of obesity.


Zhang, X., Gray, A. R., & Hancox, R. J. (2024). Predictors of lung function in early adulthood: A population-based cohort study. Respirology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/resp.14732 Journal - Research Article

Maze, M., Williman, J., Best, E., Bhally, H., Bryce, A., Chang, C., … Dummer, J., Epton, M., Good, W., … Hancox, R., … Hills, T., … Morpeth, S., Murdoch, D., … Raymond, N., … Storer, M., Walls, T., … Wong, C., & Wright, K. (2024). Evaluation of COVID-19 severity prediction scores, Aotearoa New Zealand 2022. Respirology, 29(Suppl. 1), TO118. doi: 10.1111/resp.14673 Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Hatter, L., Holliday, M., Eathorne, A., Bruce, P., Pavord, I. D., Reddel, H. K., Hancox, R. J., … Weatherall, M., & Beasley, R. (2024). The carbon footprint of as-needed budesonide-formoterol in mild asthma: A post hoc analysis. European Respiratory Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01705-2023 Journal - Research Article

Zhang, X., Gray, A. R., & Hancox, R. J. (2024). Distinct trajectories of lung function from childhood to mid-adulthood. Thorax. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1136/thorax-2023-220436 Journal - Research Article

Waeijen-Smit, K., Crutsen, M., Keene, S., Miravitlles, M., Crisafulli, E., Torres, A., … Hancox, R. J., … Franssen, F. M. E. (2024). Global mortality and readmission rates following COPD exacerbation-related hospitalisation: A meta-analysis of 65 945 individual patients. ERJ Open Research, 10, 00838-2023. doi: 10.1183/23120541.00838-2023 Journal - Research Article

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