VISITORS to the health pavilion can see how healthy they really are. The health pavilion will have equipment to test both cholesterol levels and lung capacity said organiser Dr Raymond Liang Hin-suen, of the Hong Kong University Department of Medicine. Visitors will also be able to learn more about conditions affecting Hong Kong people now, as well as future developments in medicine and the local health system. ''The theme of the expo is Hong Kong in the year 2001, so we are being forward-looking,'' Dr Liang said. The university is taking about one third of the pavilion with the remainder split between the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority and pharmaceutical firms. Dr Liang said the university's share of the pavilion was divided into seven sections - basic science; environmental factors affecting health; liver diseases; dental reconstruction; cancer; transplantation; and gene technology. He said they had decided to start with basic science because it dealt with the living cells. ''Understanding this forms the foundation of medical research,'' he explained. They were finishing with gene technology because they believed this was where the future of medicine lay, he said, while the topics in-between were chosen because they were important health conditions in Hong Kong. One section which will certainly create a great deal of interest covers environmental risk factors to health. Dr Liang said heart disease, and how to prevent it, would be covered along with the strength of various risk factors such as smoking and high cholesterol. The section will feature some of the new ways of treating heart disease - such as one new technique called percutaneous transluminal coronary atherectomy. Dr Liang said this technique was believed to be more effective than the angioplasty given to Governor Chris Patten almost a year ago to widen his blocked coronary arteries. Mr Patten's treatment used a balloon catheter to push the walls of his arteries outwards, making more room for the blood flow. The new technique instead measures the thickness of the blockage, then uses minute cutters to dig it out. The display will also look at the effect of air pollution on health, with the results of Hong Kong University studies which show youngsters living in the industrialised Kwai Chung area suffer more sore throats and asthma than those in southern Hong Kong. Another major study charts the link between stress levels - which were measured for each year based on the events of that year - and the rates of suicide, peptic ulcers and coronary heart disease. ''To our surprise, we found that coronary heart disease was not affected much by stress,'' Dr Liang said. ''But once the stress score goes up, the incidence of peptic ulcers and suicides goes up. The message is to relax.'' Dr Liang said the cancer section would inform people about new techniques for treatment of different cancers, such as inserting radioactive gold particles into the nose to treat nasopharyngeal cancer. New horizons in gene technology include an ultra-sensitive test to detect germs in transplant patients, so that infections - the biggest killer of these patients - could be treated quickly. Gene technology can also be used to detect which leukaemia patients would relapse after treatment, and in the future could cure sufferers of serious conditions like muscular dystrophy and haemophilia. Dr Liang said the university hoped the pavilion would help give the public a clearer picture of the medical school's activities. ''Many people in Hong Kong still think we just train doctors,'' Dr Liang said. ''But half of our time is spent serving patients, a quarter on research and only a quarter on training doctors.'' Dr Liang said the medical school's studies were particularly relevant to Hong Kong. ''We're doing research on local problems and implementing the results in our treatment of patients,'' he said. ''Our current practice is based on our research of the past, and our current research will lead to our treatment of tomorrow.''