Abstract for: Local Interventions for Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risks: What Can They Achieve?

Public documents identify broad strategies for reducing the burden of cardiovascular disease in the U.S., but they do not specify how best to allocate limited resources. Such specific guidance is lacking in part because of gaps in data on intervention costs and effect sizes, but also because the many factors contributing to cardiovascular risk interact through pathways and stock-flow structures that defy simple calculation. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (with support from the National Institutes of Health) is using SD modeling to better understand these complexities and to evaluate potential intervention strategies in terms of their impacts on adverse events and costs over the coming decades. The project considers interventions that might be undertaken at a city or county level, including interventions to improve health care, physical activity, nutrition, mental health, tobacco control, and indoor and outdoor air quality. Construction of the model has involved working with subject matter experts as well as collaborating with the Austin/Travis County, Texas, health department, which has gathered a broad spectrum of local data on population health and interventions over the past several years. This collaborative effort is helping to translate the science of cardiovascular disease into a form that is policy relevant and that can help many communities do a better job of allocating their public health resources.