Burden of disease scenario modelling

Burden of disease analysis measures the combined impact of morbidity (non-fatal burden) and mortality (fatal burden) to assess and compare the health loss from different diseases and injuries in a population. Risk factors such as tobacco use, risky alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, insufficient physical activity, and poor eating patterns can have a detrimental effect on health. Burden of disease analysis also estimates the contribution of various risk factors to disease burden.

The attributable burden reflects the direct relationship between a risk factor (for example, overweight and obesity) and a disease outcome. It is the amount of burden that could be avoided if the risk factor were removed or reduced to the lowest possible exposure.

For more information, see Chapter 4.4 'Contribution of selected risk factors to burden of disease'.

Scenario modelling

Scenario modelling is a way of estimating the impact of a selected risk factor on the future disease burden in Australia. This modelling shows that even small changes to our daily exercise routines or body weight could substantially reduce disease burden. 

Insufficient physical activity 

Two scenarios are displayed to assess the impact of insufficient physical activity on potential future disease burden using 2011 data as the baseline. These scenarios show the estimated disease burden due to insufficient physical activity in the year 2020, if everyone in the population at risk in 2011 increased the time they spent doing physical activity by:

  1. 15 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days a week
  2. 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days a week

Overweight and obesity

Two scenarios are displayed to assess the impact of overweight and obesity on potential future disease burden using 2011 data as the baseline: 

  1. Stable scenario: the estimated disease burden due to overweight and obesity in the year 2020 if the prevalence rate of overweight and obesity were to remain at 2011 levels.
  2. Reduced BMI scenario: the estimated disease burden due to overweight and obesity in the year 2020 if everyone in the population at risk in 2011 reduced their BMI by 1 kg/m2 and these rates were maintained to 2020.