MicroEnv: A microsimulation model for quantifying the impacts of environmental policies on population health and health inequalities
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Journal||Science of the Total Environment|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Dec 2019|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognise the critical need to improve population health and environmental sustainability. This paper describes the development of a microsimulation model, MicroEnv, aimed at quantifying the impact of environmental exposures on health as an aid to selecting policies likely to have greatest benefit. Its methods allow the integration of morbidity and mortality outcomes and the generation of results at high spatial resolution. We illustrate its application to the assessment of the impact of air pollution on health in London. Simulations are performed at Lower Layer Super Output Area (LSOA), the smallest geographic unit (population of around 1500 inhabitants) for which detailed socio-demographic data are routinely available in the UK. The health of each individual in these LSOAs is simulated year-by-year using a health-state-transition model, where transition probabilities from one state to another are based on published statistics modified by relative risks that reflect the effect of environmental exposures. This is done through linkage of the simulated population in each LSOA with 1 × 1 km annual average PM2.5 concentrations and area-based deprivation indices. Air pollution is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity globally, and improving air quality is critical to the SDGs for Health (Goal 3) and Cities (Goal 11). The evidence of MicroEnv is aimed at providing better understanding of the benefits for population health and health inequalities of policy actions that affect exposure such as air quality, and thus to help shape policy decisions. Future work will extend the model to integrate other environmental determinants of health.