Heidi A. Hanson, PhD, MS

Research Interests

  • Aging
  • Demographic patterns - Aging
  • Demography
  • Life Course and Health Outcome
  • Air Pollution
  • Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia
  • Cancer


  • English

Academic Information

  • Departments: Population Health Sciences - Adjunct Assistant Professor, Surgery - Assistant Professor
  • Divisions: Administration, Health System Innovation and Research

Academic Office Information

  • 801-585-6794
  • Pedigree and Population Resource
    675 Arapeen Drive, Room: 204
    Salt Lake City, UT 84112

Academic Bio

Dr. Hanson is a research assistant professor in the Division of Public Health and a research associate at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is a sociologist and demographer. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and Health and MS and PhD in Sociology at the University of Utah. She has worked as a member of the Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Pedigree and Population Resource group as a computer programmer and research associate. The goal of her research is to promote healthy aging and longevity by understanding the genetic and environmental determinants of health throughout the life course. Specific areas of research include understanding how environmental influences in utero and early childhood affect later life health, the relationship between fertility and later life health, genetic determinants of longevity, familial predisposition to obesity and the interaction with social and physical environments, and familial, community, and socioeconomic factors affecting health outcomes.

Education History

Type School Degree
Doctoral Training University of Utah
Sociology (Emphasis: Population and Health)
Graduate Training University of Utah
Post Graduate Training University of Utah
Undergraduate University of Utah
Behavioral Science and Health

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  1. Mayer E, Lenherr SM, Hanson HA, Jessop TC, Lowrance WT (05/2017). Gender Differences in Publication Productivity among Academic Urologists in the United States. Urology, 103, 39-46.
  2. Dribe M, Breschi M, Gagnon A, Gauvreau D, Hanson HA, Maloney TN, Pozzi L, Smith KR, Vezina H (11/25/2016). Socio-economic status and fertility decline: Insights from historical transitions in Europe and North America. Popul Stud (Camb), 71(1), 3-21.
  3. Anderson RE, Hanson HA, Lowrance WT, Redshaw J, Oottamasathien S, Schaeffer A, Johnstone E, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Cartwright P, Smith KR, Hotaling JM (03/2017). Childhood Cancer Risk In The Siblings and Cousins Of Men With Poor Semen Quality. J Urol, 197(3 Pt 2), 898-905.
  4. Samadder, NJ, Smith, KR, Wong, J, Hanson, H, Boucher, K, Burt, RW, Charlton, M, Byrne, KR, Gallegos-Orozco, JF, Koptiuch, C, Curtin, K (Accepted). Familial risk of biliary tract cancers: a population-based study in Utah. Dig Dis Sci, 61(12), 3627-32.
  5. Hollingshaus MS, Coon H, Crowell SE, Gray DD, Hanson HA, Pimentel R, Smith KR (2016). Differential Vulnerability to Early-Life Parental Death: The Moderating Effects of Family Suicide History on Risks for Major Depression and Substance Abuse in Later Life. Biodemography Soc Biol, 62(1), 105-25.
  6. Hanson HA, Mayer EN, Anderson RE, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Berger J, Lowrance WT, Smith KR, Hotaling JM (01/2017). Familial aggregation of childhood mortality and semen quality. Hum Reprod, 32(1), 239-247.
  7. Stroup AM, Herget KA, Hanson HA, Reed DL, Butler JT, Henry KA, Harrell CJ, Sweeney C, Smith KR (Accepted). Baby Boomers and Birth Certificates: Early Life Socioeconomic Status and Cancer Risk in Adulthood. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 26(1), 75-84.
  8. Anderson, RE, Hanson HA, Patel, DP, Johnstone, E, Carrell, DT, Lowrance, WT, Smith KR (In Press). Cancer Risk in First and Second Degree Relatives of Men with Poor Semen Quality Fertility and Sterility. Fertil Steril, 106(3), 731-8.
  9. Bolund, E, Lummaa, V, Smith, KR, Hanson HA, Maklakov, AA (4/15/2016). Reduced Costs of Reproduction in Females Mediate a Shift from a Male-Biased to a Female Biased Adult LIfespan in Humans. Sci Rep, 6, 24672.
  10. Hanson HA, Horn KP, Rasmussen KM, Hoffman JM, Smith KR (4/21/2016). Is Cancer Protective against the Risk of Alzheimer Disease? Evidence from the Utah Population Database. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci.
  11. Samadder, NJ, Smith, KR, Hanson, H, Pimentel, R, Wong, J, Boucher, K, Akerley, W, Gilcrease, G, Ulrich, CM, Burt, RW and Curtin, K (03/26/2016). Cancer of unknown primary: Investigating familial cancer risk. JAMA Oncol.
  12. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Brown B, Kowaleski-Jones L, Fan JX, Zick CD (05/24/2016). Movers and Stayers: How Residential Selection Contributes to the Association between Female Body Mass Index and Neighborhood Charactersitics. Int J Obes (Lond), 40(9), 1384-91.
  13. Caplin DA, Smith KR, Ness KK, Hanson HA, Smith SM, Nathan PC, Hudson MM, Leisenring WM, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC (03/2017). Effect of population socioeconomic and health system factors on medical care of childhood cancer survivors: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol, 6(1), 74-82.
  14. Zimmer Z, Hanson HA, Smith KR (02/12/2016). Childhood Socioeconomic Status, Adulthood Socioeconomic Status, and Old-age Health Trajectories: Connecting Early, Middle and Late-Life. Demogr Res, 34, 285-319.
  15. Zimmer Z, Hanson HA, Smith KR (10/2016). Offspring Socioeconomic Status and Parent Mortality within an Extinct Cohort. Demography, 53(5), 1583-1603.
  16. Kowaleski-Jones L, Fan JX, Wen M, Hanson HA (09/16/2016). Neighborhood Context and Youth Physical Activity: Differential Associations by Gender and Age. Am J Health Promot.
  17. Hanson HA, Anderson RE, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Smith KR, Hotaling J (02/2016). Subfertility Increases Risk of testicular Cancer: Evidence from Population-Based Semen Samples. Fertil Steril.
  18. Herget KA, Patel DP, Hanson HA, Sweeney C, Lowrance WT (01/2016). Recent Decline In Prostate Cancer Iincidence in the United States, by Age, Stage, andGleason Score. Cancer Med, 5(1), 136-41.
  19. Hanson HA, Smith KR, Zimmer Z (12/01/2015). Reproductive History and Later Life Comorbidity Trajectories: A Medicare Linked Cohort Study from the Utah Population Database. Demography, 52(6), 2021-2049.
  20. Reither E N, Land K C, Jeon SY, Powers D A, Masters R K, Zheng H, Hardy MA, Keyes K M, Fu Q, Hanson H A, Smith K R, Utz R L, Yang Y C (July 2015). Clarifying hierarchical age–period–cohort models: A rejoinder to Bell and Jones. Soc Sci Med.
  21. Smadder NJ, Smith KR, Hanson HA, Pimentel R, Wong J, Boucher K, Ahnen D, Ulirch CM, Burt RM, Curtin K (06/15/2015). Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer Among Family Members of All Ages, Regardless of Age of Index Case at Diagnosis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol, 10.10(16/j.cgh.), 2015.06.040.
  22. Hanson HA, Smith KR, Stroup AM, Harrell CJ (March, 2015). Age Period Cohort Models of Cancer among the Oldest Old. Popul Stud (Camb).
  23. Fan JX, Hanson HA, Zick CD, Brown BB, Kowaleski-Jones L, Smith KR (August 2014). Geographic Scale Matters in Detecting the Relationship between Neighborhood Food Environments an Obesity Risk: An Analysis of Drive License Records in Salt Lake County, Utah. BMJ Open.
  24. Maloney TN, Hanson HA, Smith KR (2014). Occupation and Fertility on the Frontier: Evidence from the State of Utah. Demogr Res, 30(Article 29), 853-886.
  25. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau GP (January 2014). Survival of Offspring who Experience Early Parental Death: Early Life Conditions and Later-Life Mortality. Soc Sci Med.
  26. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Hollingshaus MS (2013). BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and female fertility.” [10.1097/GCO.1090b1013e32835f31731]. Obstet Gynecol.
  27. Hanson HA, Smith KR (2013). Early origins of longevity: prenatal exposures to food shortage among early Utah pioneers. [doi: doi:10.1017/S2040174412000682]. J Dev Orig Health Dis, 4(02), 170-181.
  28. Fan JX, Brown BB, Hanson H, Kowaleski-Jones L, Smith KR, Zick CD (2013). Moderate to vigorous physical activity and weight outcomes: does every minute count? Am J Health Promot, 28(1), 41-9.
  29. Brown BB, Smith KR, Hanson H, Fan JX, Kowaleski-Jones L, Zick CD (2013). Neighborhood design for walking and biking: physical activity and body mass index. Am J Prev Med, 44(3), 231-8.
  30. Zick CD, Hanson H, Fan JX, Smith KR, Kowaleski-Jones L, Brown BB, Yamada I (2013). Re-visiting the relationship between neighbourhood environment and BMI: an instrumental variables approach to correcting for residential selection bias. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act, 10, 27.
  31. Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Hanson HA, Oksuzyan A, Mineau GP, Christensen K, Smith KR (2013). The male-female health-survival paradox and sex differences in cohort life expectancy in Utah, Denmark, and Sweden 1850-1910. Ann Epidemiol, 23(4), 161-6.
  32. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau GP, Buys SS (2012). Effects of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on female fertility. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1732), 1389-95.

Book Chapter

  1. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau G (2016). A six-pack of big ideas for historical demography. In Matthijs K., Hin S, Matsuo H and Kok J (Eds.), The future of historical demography. Upside down and inside out. Leuven: Acco Publishers.
  2. Smith KR, Hanson HA (2015). Early Life Influences on Health and Mortality in Adulthood. In International Encyclopedia of the Social Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition. Elsevier.


  1. Hanson HA, Maloney TN, Smith KR (2014). Extended Kinship Networks, Socioeconomic Resources, and Reproductive Behavior during the Demograhic Transition. Poster session presented at Population Association of America Annual Meeting, Boston, MA.