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Prof. Jean Woo

Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Director, CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing

Professor Woo's research interests include chronic diseases affecting elderly people, health services research, nutrition epidemiology


Prof Jean Woo graduated from Cambridge University in 1974. After medical posts in the Charing Cross, Hammersmith, and Brompton Hospitals, she worked in part time posts in general practice as well as research in the University of Hong Kong. She joined the Department of Medicine at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1985 as Lecturer responsible for the development of the teaching and service in Geriatric Medicine, becoming Head of the Department in 1993 until 1999, Chief of Service of the Medicine and Geriatric Unit at Shatin Hospital from 1993-2012, and Chair Professor of Medicine in 1994.From 2000-2006 she was Head of the Department of Community and Family Medicine, and from 2001-5 Director of the newly established School of Public Health. Currently she is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Henry G Leong Research Professor in Gerontology and Geriatrics, Director of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Institute of Aging, Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Honorary Professor, Faculty of Social Science, The University of Hong Kong.Her research interests include chronic diseases affecting elderly people, health services research, nutrition epidemiology, quality of life issues at the end of life, with over 700 articles in peer-reviewed indexed journals.


Building age-friendly cities

December 14, 2015

Professor Jean Woo, director of the Chinese University’s Jockey Club Institute of Ageing, is inspired by the project and believes it is something that Hong Kong should do too. She considers that if Hong Kong is age-friendly, people will be able to maintain greater functional capacity as they age...

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The cyborgs are coming!

September 27, 2015

Jean Woo, chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CUHK, said, “There is an emerging role for automated or robotic technologies to take over some caring tasks, which traditionally are provided by people. There always was a shortage of caregivers, to do cleaning and lifting.” She says the current lack of staff contributes to poor quality of care, so we resort to machines to relieve the problem. “Tasks that may be fully automated are meal trolleys, clean dirty linen trolleys, patient transfer from one place to another,” Woo considered...

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Hong Kong Elderly Poverty Rates 95th Out of 97 in the World, Survey Finds
Coconuts Hong Kong

July 21, 2015

Institute director Prof. Jean Woo noted that while Hong Kong performed well in some areas, there is room for improvement in terms of the psychological and social conditions...

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Hong Kong's elderly fare badly in global comparison of poor
South China Morning Post

July 17, 2015

"Tax is very high in other countries whereas tax is low in Hong Kong, so there is less money to spend on pensions. And if we charge more tax, how do we decide who pays?" said institute director Jean Woo...

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How to redesign Hong Kong for its growing elderly population
South China Morning Post

December 07, 2015

Redesigning Kashiwa to be more elderly-friendly is a project led by the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Gerontology that began in 2009 in response to the shifting needs created by population ageing. It’s something Hong Kong needs too, says Professor Jean Woo, director of the Chinese University’s Jockey Club Institute of Ageing...

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Dietary patterns and risk of frailty in Chinese community-dwelling older people in Hong Kong

2015Dietary pattern analysis is an emerging approach to investigate the association between diet and frailty. This study examined the association of dietary patterns with frailty in 2724 Chinese community-dwelling men and women aged ≥ 65 years. Baseline ...

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A cross-sectional study to examine the association between dietary patterns and risk of overweight and obesity in Hong Kong Chinese adolescents aged 10 to 12 years.
Journal of the American College of Nutrition

2014Objective: To describe the dietary patterns and examine the associations of these patterns with risk of overweight and obesity in Chinese adolescents. Methods: Baseline data collected between November 2003 and October 2004 from 171 boys and 180 girls aged 10–12 years who participated in the Hong Kong Adolescent Bone Health Cohort Study were analyzed. Dietary ...

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Relationship between dietary intake and the development of type 2 diabetes in a Chinese population: the Hong Kong dietary survey
Public Health Nutrition

2011OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship between dietary intake and the development of type 2 diabetes among Chinese adults. DESIGN: A prospective cohort study. Dietary assessment was carried out using a validated FFQ. Principal component analysis was used to identify dietary patterns. Dietary ...

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Anthropometric cut points for definition of sarcopenia based on incident mobility and physical limitation in older Chinese people
Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences & Medical Sciences

2015Background. The Foundation of the National Institutes for Health (FNIH) Sarcopenia Project derived cut points in appendicular lean mass (ALM) and grip strength, in relation to mobility limitation defined as a walking speed less than 0.8 m/s.

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Brain health: The importance of recognizing cognitive impairment: An Asian viewpoint
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

2015The International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Consensus Conference article on brain health and the importance of recognizing cognitive impairment is timely, with population aging in both developed and developing countries giving rise to rapidly increasing absolute numbers of people with dementia and the demands on health and social care. At ...

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Walking Speed: A Summary Indicator of Frailty?
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

2015Many publications among geriatric and gerontological literature in recent years have focused on various aspects of frailty, covering definitions, screening, prediction of adverse outcomes, and the incorporation of frailty assessment to guide clinical practice. There ...

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Defining sarcopenia in terms of incident adverse outcomes
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

2015Objectives: The objectives of this study were to compare the performance of different diagnoses of sarcopenia using European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People, International Working Group on Sarcopenia, and the US Foundation of National Institutes of Health (FNIH) criteria, and the screening tool SARC-F, against the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia consensus panel definitions, in predicting physical limitation, slow walking speed, and repeated chair stand performance, days of hospital stay ...

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Obesity in older persons
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care

2015PURPOSE OF REVIEW: There is an increasing number of reports suggesting that indicators of obesity for the general adult population may need to be modified; that the magnitude of risk is attenuated or that adiposity may even be protective; and that additional adverse outcomes specific to older persons need to be considered. Finally ...

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Sarcopenia in Asia: Consensus report of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association

2014Sarcopenia, a newly recognized geriatric syndrome, is characterized by age-related decline of skeletal muscle plus low muscle strength and/or physical performance. Previous studies have confirmed the association of sarcopenia and adverse health outcomes, such as falls, disability, hospital admission ...

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Green space, psychological restoration, and telomere length
The Lancet

2009In his Comment (Nov 8, p 1614), Terry Hartig explores the health promoting properties of exposure to the natural environment, independent of socioeconomic factors. He points out that determining whether the effect is mediated through psycho logical restoration or in creased physical activity could be difficult, in view of the paucity of data on psycho logical restoration compared with that for physical activity. We ...

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Area of Expertise

Chronic diseases affecting elderly people

Geriatric Medicine

Health Services Research

Nutrition Epidemiology

Public Health




Health and Wellness

Health Care - Facilities

Health Care - Services

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