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Simulating the long-term health economic impact of overweight, obesity and related comorbidities

Dr Thomas Lung, Institution: University of New South Wales

2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2018-2021


The increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity globally and in Australia is an urgent public health issue, due to its negative effects on health and its considerable cost to the health system. Health budget constraints means funding decisions must target cost effective (i.e. sufficient gains in health for the cost) interventions that reduce obesity, related co-morbidities and mortality.

Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death worldwide and the largest contributor of hospitalisations in Australian adults aged 45 years and over. Weight gain is a major modifiable risk factor in reducing the burden of CVD and premature mortality. Targeted measures to reduce the overweight and obese population have the potential for large health gains and substantial cost savings, in particular future downstream costs as a result of early intervention.

This research program will develop a new overweight and obesity simulation model based on large linked individual-level health datasets from New South Wales. The model will generate new evidence surrounding cost effective interventions that reduce the rates of overweight and obesity, obesity-related comorbidities and provide cost-savings for the Australian adult population.

This project is co-funded with NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council.

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