Abstract for: Simulating the impacts of multiple lifestyle-related risk factors on the health and productivity of Australians
The so-called ‘preventable burden of chronic disease’ represents an aggregate of the most common life-style risk factors as a proportion of the total and calculated disease burden. Although these overall relationships have been quantified in burden of disease studies, we currently lack tools to assess the impact of potential public health strategies for each risk factor in combination with other risks, and therefore determine what might be the optimal combination of prevention strategies to achieve a policy goal in preventive health. We are currently in the process of building a full simulation model of the ten most common modifiable risk factors, their interactions in producing chronic disease burden and related economic outcomes, that will be made available as an online interactive decision tool. Whilst the model structure is still being completed, indicative model outputs for only several diseases suggest that testing individual scenarios for risk factor reduction can better illustrate the dynamic nature of intervention impact when: 1. Mediating risk fractions are represented and 2. Historical and projected trends of other underlying risk dynamics are accounted for. Failing to do this can lead to over-or under-estimates of the impact of risk reduction strategies.