Transport and public health in China: the road to a healthy future

Lancet. 2017 Oct 14;390(10104):1781-1791. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)31958-X. Epub 2017 Oct 12.


Transportation-related risk factors are a major source of morbidity and mortality in China, where the expansion of road networks and surges in personal vehicle ownership are having profound effects on public health. Road traffic injuries and fatalities have increased alongside increased use of motorised transport in China, and accident injury risk is aggravated by inadequate emergency response systems and trauma care. National air quality standards and emission control technologies are having a positive effect on air quality, but persistent air pollution is increasingly attributable to a growing and outdated vehicle fleet and to famously congested roads. Urban design favours motorised transport, and physical activity and its associated health benefits are hindered by poor urban infrastructure. Transport emissions of greenhouse gases contribute substantially to regional and global climate change, which compound public health risks from multiple factors. Despite these complex challenges, technological advances and innovations in planning and policy stand to make China a leader in sustainable, healthy transportation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Automobiles
  • China / epidemiology
  • City Planning
  • Climate Change
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Public Health*
  • Safety
  • Transportation
  • Vehicle Emissions / prevention & control
  • Vehicle Emissions / toxicity


  • Vehicle Emissions