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Health Impact Modelling of Active Travel Visions for England and Wales Using an Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM)

Woodcock, J; Givoni, M; Morgan, AS; (2013) Health Impact Modelling of Active Travel Visions for England and Wales Using an Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM). PLOS ONE , 8 (1) , Article e51462. 10.1371/journal.pone.0051462. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Achieving health benefits while reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transport offers a potential policy win-win; the magnitude of potential benefits, however, is likely to vary. This study uses an Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling tool (ITHIM) to evaluate the health and environmental impacts of high walking and cycling transport scenarios for English and Welsh urban areas outside London. Methods Three scenarios with increased walking and cycling and lower car use were generated based upon the Visions 2030 Walking and Cycling project. Changes to carbon dioxide emissions were estimated by environmental modelling. Health impact assessment modelling was used to estimate changes in Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) resulting from changes in exposure to air pollution, road traffic injury risk, and physical activity. We compare the findings of the model with results generated using the World Health Organization's Health Economic Assessment of Transport (HEAT) tools. Results This study found considerable reductions in disease burden under all three scenarios, with the largest health benefits attributed to reductions in ischemic heart disease. The pathways that produced the largest benefits were, in order, physical activity, road traffic injuries, and air pollution. The choice of dose response relationship for physical activity had a large impact on the size of the benefits. Modelling the impact on all-cause mortality rather than through individual diseases suggested larger benefits. Using the best available evidence we found fewer road traffic injuries for all scenarios compared with baseline but alternative assumptions suggested potential increases. Conclusions Methods to estimate the health impacts from transport related physical activity and injury risk are in their infancy; this study has demonstrated an integration of transport and health impact modelling approaches. The findings add to the case for a move from car transport to walking and cycling, and have implications for empirical and modelling research.

Type: Article
Title: Health Impact Modelling of Active Travel Visions for England and Wales Using an Integrated Transport and Health Impact Modelling Tool (ITHIM)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051462
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051462
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Woodcock et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The health impact modelling was undertaken at the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the National Institute for Health Research, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. This study was partly funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/Pages/default.asp​x) on ‘Visions of the Role of Walking and Cycling in 2030’ (Grant reference:EP/G000468/1). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Neonatology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1386873
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