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The societal benefits of reducing six behavioural risk factors : an economic modelling study from Australia

Cadilhac, Dominique A., Magnus, Anne, Sheppard, Lauren, Cumming, Toby B., Pearce, Dora C. and Carter, Rob 2011, The societal benefits of reducing six behavioural risk factors : an economic modelling study from Australia, BMC public health, vol. 11, no. 483, pp. 1-12.

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Title The societal benefits of reducing six behavioural risk factors : an economic modelling study from Australia
Author(s) Cadilhac, Dominique A.
Magnus, Anne
Sheppard, Lauren
Cumming, Toby B.
Pearce, Dora C.
Carter, Rob
Journal name BMC public health
Volume number 11
Issue number 483
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Publisher BioMed Central Ltd
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2011-06-21
ISSN 1471-2458
Summary Background
A large proportion of disease burden is attributed to behavioural risk factors. However, funding for public health programs in Australia remains limited. Government and non-government organisations are interested in the productivity effects on society from reducing chronic diseases. We aimed to estimate the potential health status and economic benefits to society following a feasible reduction in the prevalence of six behavioural risk factors: tobacco smoking; inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption; high risk alcohol consumption; high body mass index; physical inactivity; and intimate partner violence.
Methods
Simulation models were developed for the 2008 Australian population. A realistic reduction in current risk factor prevalence using best available evidence with expert consensus was determined. Avoidable disease, deaths, Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) and health sector costs were estimated. Productivity gains included workforce (friction cost method), household production and leisure time. Multivariable uncertainty analyses and correction for the joint effects of risk factors on health status were undertaken. Consistent methods and data sources were used.
Results
Over the lifetime of the 2008 Australian adult population, total opportunity cost savings of AUD2,334 million (95% Uncertainty Interval AUD1,395 to AUD3,347; 64% in the health sector) were found if feasible reductions in the risk factors were achieved. There would be 95,000 fewer DALYs (a reduction of about 3.6% in total DALYs for Australia); 161,000 less new cases of disease; 6,000 fewer deaths; a reduction of 5 million days in workforce absenteeism; and 529,000 increased days of leisure time.
Conclusions
Reductions in common behavioural risk factors may provide substantial benefits to society. For example, the total potential annual cost savings in the health sector represent approximately 2% of total annual health expenditure in Australia. Our findings contribute important new knowledge about productivity effects, including the potential for increased household and leisure activities, associated with chronic disease prevention. The selection of targets for risk factor prevalence reduction is an important policy decision and a useful approach for future analyses. Similar approaches could be applied in other countries if the data are available.
Notes This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Language eng
Field of Research 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
HERDC collection year 2011
Copyright notice ©2011, BioMed Central Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30036091

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Population Health
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.