How much can health be improved by banning smoking in pubs? Or by increasing tax on alcohol? Government policies are often taken in a vacuum because the available scientific information exists in disparate sources. No off-the-shelf, generally applicable tool is available to provide a quantitative answer.
The DYNAMO-HIA Project (DYNAmic MOdeling for Health Impact Assessment) aims to develop and build an instrument to quantify the health impact of policies influencing health determinants. The instrument, a quantitative model called DYNAMO-HIA, will be flexible in respect of different diseases and different health determinants, will be applicable throughout the EU and will be made available as software via the internet.
The project was started in May 2007 and concluded 2010. DYNAMO-HIA was part-funded by the European Commission’s Executive Agency for Health and Consumers.
General project objectives
The project aims to contribute to EU and national policy-making by providing health experts with a tool to predict the magnitude of health consequences. These are measured in terms of life expectancy and healthy life years gained or lost, based on future prevalence rates of major diseases using generally available data.
The project partners are focussing on data collection for smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and overweight and are relating these to specific disease outcomes including cardiovascular disease, cancers and respiratory disease. Software is being developed to provide quantitative models of the health determinants and their disease outcomes in a number of EU member states and across Europe as a whole.
World Obesity's role
- Providing estimates of mean BMI, overweight and obesity prevalence in Europe, including complete data sets for all age groups from selected countries across Europe, using only measured height and weight surveys;
- Calculating EU-wide estimates of obesity prevalence;
- Calculating a series of relative risk figures linking BMI to related co-morbidities, based on an extensive literature review and prioritising estimates based on measured BMI, larger-scale surveys, European populations and most recent meta-analyses;
- Developing scenarios for the software such as: the targets set by Member States for reducing obesity prevalence, targets for reduced child obesity prevalence, and ‘what-if’ scenarios based on continued increases in child and adult obesity prevalence levels;
- Projecting the project outputs which will include a set of descriptions of the health impact of obesity and overweight in terms of healthy life years gained and lost, and illustrations of the magnitude of obesity’s impact on health statistics.
- Lhachimi SK, Nusselder WJ, Smit HA, van Baal P, Baili P, Bennett K, Fernandez E, Kulik MC, Lobstein T, Pomerleau K, Mackenbach JP, Boshuizen HV. DYNAMO-HIA—a dynamic modeling tool for generic Health Impact Assessments. PLoS One. 2012, 7(5), e33317. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033317