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: 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 an assistant professor in the Department of Surgery and a research scientist at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is a demographer and has expertise in analysis of population health data. 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.
Her research is focused on disentangling the interactions of genetic and environmental influences on disease risk throughout the life course. She would like to link her findings to clinical measures that can be used to improve precision strategies for screening and treatment. 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. Her previous research has (1) investigated temporal patterns in cancer risk and aging; (2) explored familial clustering of disease; (3) examined environmental determinants of health and the role of residential selection; (4) shown the importance of statistical model selection and rigorous methodology; and (5) developed new techniques to investigate the role of the environment in heritability of longevity. These projects have taken advantage of large health databases such as the UPDB, CMS, Demographic Health Survey, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End-Results (SEER) Program.

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. Leiser CL, Hanson HA, Sawyer K, Steenblik J, Al-Dulaimi R, Madsen T, Gibbins K, hotaling JM, Oluseye Ibrahim Y, VanDerslice JA, Fuller M (). Acute effects of aire pollutatns on spontaneous pregnancy loss: a case-crossover study. Fertil Steril, 11(2), 341-347.
  2. Chernenko A, Hollingshaus M, Robson S, Hanson HA, Smith KR (). Tykes, Toddlers, Teens, and Twins of Robust Mothers: Do the Offspring of Twinning Mothers Share in their Mother's Robust Phenotype? Biodemography Soc Biol, 64(2), 102-113.
  3. Kowaleski-Jones L, Zick C, Smith KR, Brown B, Hanson HA, Fan J (). Walkable neighborhoods and obesity: Evalutating effects with a propensity score approach. Soc Sci Med, 6, 9-15.
  4. Arbeeva LS, Hanson HA, Arbeev KG, Kulminski AM, Stallard E, Ukraintseva SV, Wu D, Boudreau RM, Province MA, Smith KR, Yashin AI (). How Well Does the Family Longevity Selection Score Work: A Validation Test Using the Utah Population Database. Front Public Health.
  5. Blackburn BE, Ganz PA, Rowe K, Snyder J, Wan Y, Deshmukh V, Newman M, Fraser A, Smith KR, Herget K, Kim J, Kirchhoff AC, Porucznik C, Hanson HA, Abraham D, Monroe M, Hashibe M (). Reproductive and gynecological complication risks among thyroid cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv.
  6. Hanson HA, Hay WW, Tobin JN, Barkin SL, Atkins M, Karagas MR, Dozier AM, Wetmore C, Konstan MW, Heubi JE (). Opportunities for life course research through the integeration of data across Clinical and Translational Research Institutes. J Clin Transl Sci.
  7. Soisson S, Ganz PA, Gaffney D, Rowe K, Snyder J, Wan Y, Deshmukh V, Newman M, Fraser A, Smith KR, Herget K, Hanson HA, Wu YP, Stanford J, Al-Sarray A, Werner TL, Setiawan VW, Hashibe M (). Long-term Cardiovascular Outcomes Among Endometrial Cancer Survivors in a Large, Population-Based Cohort Study. J Natl Cancer Inst.
  8. Soisson S, Ganz P, Gaffney D, Rowe K, Snyder J, Wan Y, Deshmukh VG, Newman M, Fraser AM, Smith KR, Herget K, Hanson HA, Wu Y, Stanford J, Werner T, Setiawan VW, Hashibe M (). Long-term, adverse genitourinary outcomes among endometrial cancer survivors in a large, population-based cohort study. Gynecol Oncol, 148(3), 499-506.
  9. Anderson RE, Hanson HA, Thai D, Zhang C, Presson AP, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Smith KR, Hotaling JM (). Do paternal semen parameters influence the birth weight or BMI of the offspring? A study from the Utah Population Database. J Assist Reprod Genet.
  10. Wu YP, Kohlmann W, Curtin K, Yu Z, Hanson HA, Hashibe M, Parsons BG, Wong J, Schiffman JD, Grossman D, Leachman SA (). Melanoma risk assessment based on relatives’ age at diagnosis. Cancer Causes Control, 29(2), 193-199.
  11. Tabler J, Utz RL, Smith KR, Hanson HA, Geist C (). Variation in Reproductive Outcomes of Women with Histories of Bulimia Nervosa, Anorexia Nervosa, or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified Relative to the General Population and Closest-Aged Sisters. Int J Eat Disord.
  12. Hanson HA (). Fertility Treatment and Congenital Urologic Malformations: Is there a solution to our correlation vs. causation woes? Fertil Steril, 110(5), 842-843.
  13. Nguyen QC, Brunisholz KD, Yu W, McCullough M, Hanson HA, Litchman ML, Li F, Wan Y, VanDerslice JA, Wen M, Smith KR (). Twitter-derived neighborhood characteristics associated with obesity and diabetes. Sci Rep.
  14. Martin C, Leiser CL, ONeil B, Gupta S, Lowrance WT, Kohlmann W, Greeberg S, Pathak P, Smith KR, Hanson HA (). Familial Cancer Clustering in Urothelial Cancer: A Population-Based Case-Control Study. J Natl Cancer Inst.
  15. Kowaleski-Jones L, Fan J, Zick CD, Smith KR, Brown BB, Hanson HA (). Walkable Neighborhoods and Obesity: Evaluating Effects with a Propensity Score Approach. SSM Popul Health.
  16. Kowaleski-Jones L, Brown B, Fan JX, Hanson HA, Zick CD, Smith KR (). The Joint Effects of Family Risk of Obesity and Neighborhood Environment on Obesity among Women. Soc Sci Med.
  17. Blackburn BE, Ganz PA, Row K, Snyder J, Wan Y, Deshmykh V, Newman M, Fraser A, Smith K, Herget K, Kim J, Kirchhoff AC, Porucznik C, Hanson HA, Monroe M, Hashibe M (). Aging-Related Diesase Risks among Young Thyroid Cancer Survivors. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 26(12).
  18. Samadder JN, Pappas L, Boucherr KM, SMith KR, Hanson HA, Fraser A, Wan Y, Burt RW, Curtin K (). Long Term Colorectal Cancer Incidence after Negative Colonoscopy in the state of Utah – The Effect of Family History. Am J Gastroenterol.
  19. Mayer E, Lenherr SM, Hanson HA, Jessop TC, Lowrance WT (). Gender Differences in Publication Productivity among Academic Urologists in the United States. Urology, 103, 39-46.
  20. Anderson RE, Hanson HA, Lowrance WT, Redshaw J, Oottamasathien S, Schaeffer A, Johnstone E, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Cartwright P, Smith KR, Hotaling JM (). Childhood Cancer Risk In The Siblings and Cousins Of Men With Poor Semen Quality. J Urol, 197(3 Pt 2), 898-905.
  21. Samadder NJ, Smith KR, Wong J, Thomas A, Hanson HA, Boucher K, Koptiuch C, Albright LA, Burt RW and Curtin K (). Cancer risk in families fulfilling the Amsterdam criteria for Lynch syndrome: A population-based study in Utah. JAMA Oncol.
  22. Hanson HA, Mayer EN, Anderson RE, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Berger J, Lowrance WT, Smith KR, Hotaling JM (). Familial aggregation of childhood mortality and semen quality. Hum Reprod, 32(1), 239-247.
  23. Dribe M, Breschi M, Gagnon A, Gauvreau D, Hanson HA, Maloney TN, Pozzi L, Smith KR, Vezina H (). Socio-economic status and fertility decline: Insights from historical transitions in Europe and North America. Popul Stud (Camb), 71(1), 3-21.
  24. Caplin DA, Smith KR, Ness KK, Hanson HA, Smith SM, Nathan PC, Hudson MM, Leisenring WM, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC (). 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.
  25. Zimmer Z, Hanson HA, Smith KR (). Offspring Socioeconomic Status and Parent Mortality within an Extinct Cohort. Demography, 53(5), 1583-1603.
  26. Stroup AM, Herget KA, Hanson HA, Reed DL, Butler JT, Henry KA, Harrell CJ, Sweeney C, Smith KR (). Baby Boomers and Birth Certificates: Early Life Socioeconomic Status and Cancer Risk in Adulthood. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 26(1), 75-84.
  27. Kowaleski-Jones L, Fan JX, Wen M, Hanson HA (). Neighborhood Context and Youth Physical Activity: Differential Associations by Gender and Age. Am J Health Promot.
  28. Samadder, NJ, Smith, KR, Wong, J, Hanson, H, Boucher, K, Burt, RW, Charlton, M, Byrne, KR, Gallegos-Orozco, JF, Koptiuch, C, Curtin, K (). Familial risk of biliary tract cancers: a population-based study in Utah. Dig Dis Sci, 61(12), 3627-32.
  29. Anderson, RE, Hanson HA, Patel, DP, Johnstone, E, Carrell, DT, Lowrance, WT, Smith KR (). Cancer Risk in First and Second Degree Relatives of Men with Poor Semen Quality Fertility and Sterility. Fertil Steril, 106(3), 731-8.
  30. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Brown B, Kowaleski-Jones L, Fan JX, Zick CD (). 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.
  31. Hanson HA, Horn KP, Rasmussen KM, Hoffman JM, Smith KR (). Is Cancer Protective against the Risk of Alzheimer Disease? Evidence from the Utah Population Database. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci.
  32. Bolund, E, Lummaa, V, Smith, KR, Hanson HA, Maklakov, AA (). 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.
  33. Samadder, NJ, Smith, KR, Hanson, H, Pimentel, R, Wong, J, Boucher, K, Akerley, W, Gilcrease, G, Ulrich, CM, Burt, RW and Curtin, K (). Cancer of unknown primary: Investigating familial cancer risk. JAMA Oncol.
  34. Zimmer Z, Hanson HA, Smith KR (). Childhood Socioeconomic Status, Adulthood Socioeconomic Status, and Old-age Health Trajectories: Connecting Early, Middle and Late-Life. Demogr Res, 34, 285-319.
  35. 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.
  36. Herget KA, Patel DP, Hanson HA, Sweeney C, Lowrance WT (). Recent Decline In Prostate Cancer Iincidence in the United States, by Age, Stage, andGleason Score. Cancer Med, 5(1), 136-41.
  37. Hanson HA, Smith KR, Zimmer Z (). Reproductive History and Later Life Comorbidity Trajectories: A Medicare Linked Cohort Study from the Utah Population Database. Demography, 52(6), 2021-2049.
  38. Hanson HA, Anderson RE, Aston KI, Carrell DT, Smith KR, Hotaling J (). Subfertility Increases Risk of testicular Cancer: Evidence from Population-Based Semen Samples. Fertil Steril.
  39. Grace K, Davenport F, Hanson H, Funk C, Shukla S (). Linking climate change and health outcomes: Examining the relationship between temperature, precipitation and birth weight in Africa. Glob Environ Change, 35(Nov 2015), 125-137.
  40. 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 (). Clarifying hierarchical age–period–cohort models: A rejoinder to Bell and Jones. Soc Sci Med.
  41. Smadder NJ, Smith KR, Hanson HA, Pimentel R, Wong J, Boucher K, Ahnen D, Ulirch CM, Burt RM, Curtin K (). 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.
  42. Hanson HA, Smith KR, Stroup AM, Harrell CJ (). Age Period Cohort Models of Cancer among the Oldest Old. Popul Stud (Camb).
  43. Fan JX, Hanson HA, Zick CD, Brown BB, Kowaleski-Jones L, Smith KR (). 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.
  44. Maloney TN, Hanson HA, Smith KR (). Occupation and Fertility on the Frontier: Evidence from the State of Utah. Demogr Res, 30(Article 29), 853-886.
  45. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau GP (). Survival of Offspring who Experience Early Parental Death: Early Life Conditions and Later-Life Mortality. Soc Sci Med.
  46. Fan JX, Brown BB, Hanson H, Kowaleski-Jones L, Smith KR, Zick CD (2013 Sep-Oct). Moderate to vigorous physical activity and weight outcomes: does every minute count? Am J Health Promot, 28(1), 41-9.
  47. Lindahl-Jacobsen R, Hanson HA, Oksuzyan A, Mineau GP, Christensen K, Smith KR (2013 Apr). 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.
  48. Brown BB, Smith KR, Hanson H, Fan JX, Kowaleski-Jones L, Zick CD (2013 Mar). Neighborhood design for walking and biking: physical activity and body mass index. Am J Prev Med, 44(3), 231-8.
  49. Zick CD, Hanson H, Fan JX, Smith KR, Kowaleski-Jones L, Brown BB, Yamada I (2013 Feb 20). 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.
  50. Hanson HA, Smith KR (). 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.
  51. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Hollingshaus MS (). BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations and female fertility.” [10.1097/GCO.1090b1013e32835f31731]. Obstet Gynecol.
  52. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau GP, Buys SS (2012 Apr 7). Effects of BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations on female fertility. Proc Biol Sci, 279(1732), 1389-95.

Book Chapter

  1. Dillon L, Dribe M, Engelhardt S, Gagnon A, Hanson HA, Quaranta L, Smith KR, Vezina H (). Helpful grandmothers and high fertility: Testing evolutionary theories on historical demographic data in Scandinavia and North America. In Sear R, Lee R (Eds.), Human Evolutionary Demography. Open Book Publishers.
  2. Smith KR, Hanson HA, Mineau G (). 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.
  3. Smith KR, Hanson HA (). Early Life Influences on Health and Mortality in Adulthood. In International Encyclopedia of the Social Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition. Elsevier.


  1. Hanson HA (). Fertility Treatment and Congenital Urologic Malformations: is there a solution to our correlation vs. causation woes? Fertil Steril.


  1. Kowaleski-Jones L, Smith KR, Yamada I, Brown BB, Hanson HA, Zick CD, Fan JX (). Effects of Built Environment on Obesity: Using a Propensity Score Approach to Assess Selection and Causal Influences [Abstract].
  2. Smith KR, Yamada I, Kowaleski-Jones L, Brown BB, Hanson HA, Zick CD, Fan JX (). Body Mass Index and Neighborhood Characteristics: Assessing Selection and Causation Mechanisms Using Mover-Stayer Models [Abstract].