Dynamo-HIA: Dynamic model for assessing health impact

DYNAMO-HIA is a tool to quantify the health impact of policies influencing health determinants. The instrument, a dynamic model called DYNAMO-HIA, is adaptable to the health determinants and outcomes relevant for the policy in question), applicable throughout the European Union. This research line was initiated though the collaborative study entitled “Economics of smoking in Europe”, which investigated the association between tobacco prices and the prevalence of tobacco consumption. This work was further reinforced by the studies on the tobacco price elasticity related to tobacco taxes and price, which collected European individual and aggregated data as part of of the 7th Framework Programme project and another project about the economic impact of the tobacco control law in Spain.

The project aimed to contribute to informed policy making, both at EU-level and at national level, by providing an instrument that enables health experts to predict the magnitude of health consequences that result from changing health determinants, using generally available data.

Dynamo-HIA tool aims to combine being a formal model, which is both realistic and simple, with being able to accommodate commonly available epidemiological data to ensure its broad applicability. To achieve this, a set of desirable characteristics and limitations of existing models was identified to evaluate and guide the development of the new tool. Seven institutions from five countries participated in the projects and constituted 11 working groups responsible for: a) the project coordination, evaluation and dissemination of results; b) the construction software, model specification and definition of scenarios; and c) specific health issues: smoking, overweight and obesity, alcohol, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and cancer. The responsibility of the working group on smoking was assigned to a member of the Unit, Dr. Esteve Fernández.


Financial Support
Grant of Health Institute of Carlos III (AETS) and EU (DG SANCO, FP7).

UCT Research Team

Main results


  1. Lhachimi SK, Nusselder WJ, Lobstein TJ, Smit HA, Baili P, Bennett K, Kulik MC, Jackson-Leach R, Boshuizen HC, Mackenbach JP. Modelling obesity outcomes: reducing obesity risk in adulthood may have greater impact than reducing obesity prevalence in childhood. Obes Rev. 2013;14(7):523-31.
  2. Lhachimi SK, Nusselder WJ, Smit HA, van Baal P, Baili P, et al.  DYNAMO-HIA–A Dynamic Modeling Tool for Generic Health Impact Assessments. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(5):e33317.
  3. Lhachimi SK, Cole KJ, Nusselder WJ, Smit HA, Baili P, Bennett K, Pomerleau J, McKee M, Charlesworth K, Kulik MC, Mackenbach JP, Boshuizen H. Health impacts of increasing alcohol prices in the European Union: a dynamic projection. Prev Med. 2012;55(3):237-43.
  4. Kulik MC, Nusselder WJ, Boshuizen HC, Lhachimi SK, Fernández E, et al. Comparison of Tobacco Control Scenarios: Quantifying Estimates of Long-Term Health Impact Using the DYNAMO-HIA Modeling Tool. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(2):e32363.
  5. Boshuizen HC, Lhachimi SK, van Baal PH, Hoogenveen RT, Smit HA, Mackenbach JP, Nusselder WJ. The DYNAMO-HIA model: an efficient implementation of a risk factor/chronic disease Markov model for use in Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Demography. 2012;49(4):1259-83.
  6. Lhachimi SK, Nusselder WJ, Boshuizen HC, Mackenbach JP. Standard tool for quantification in health impact assessment a review. Am J Prev Med. 2010;38(1):78-84.
  7. Kulik MC, Nusselder WJ, Boshuizen HC, Lhachimi SK, Fernandez E, Baili P, et al. Comparison of tobacco control scenarios: quantifying estimates of long-term health impact using the DYNAMO-HIA modeling tool. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e32363.

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