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Evidence synthesis in health impact models for interventions to prevent chronic diseases

  • Full or part time
    Dr C Jackson
    Dr A Presanis
    Dr D DeAngelis
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, January 07, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Many public health interventions are designed to reduce the risk of more than one disease, for example, interventions related to physical activity or diet, or general health checks. To model the long-term impact of interventions like these, we need good estimates of the incidence and risk of death for multiple diseases, the impact of interventions, and how these quantities vary between people and through time.

This project will advance statistical methods used in health impact models for chronic diseases. Two applications are available to motivate the work.
a) A model to assess the health impacts of increased travel by walking and cycling. In ongoing work, Bayesian hierarchical multi-state models are fitted to data from the Global Burden of Disease study to provide estimates of incidence and case fatality by disease, age and area.
These methods, currently applied to city regions in England, will be extended to handle other sources of evidence for use in more general settings.
b) A model to assess the health benefits of the NHS Health Checks programme. This model simulates the trajectories of individual-level risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as cholesterol and blood pressure, and how they are modified with medication or lifestyle

The project will involve developing statistical models for longitudinal data with multiple outcomes - models that are flexible, computationally-efficient and able to include multiple sources of information. Data from the English Longitudinal Study for Ageing will be used.

Funding Notes

The MRC Biostatistics Unit offers 4 fulltime PhDs funded by the Medical Research Council for commencement in April 2020 (UK applicants only) or October 2020 (all applicants). Academic and Residence eligibility criteria apply.

In order to be formally considered all applicants must complete a University of Cambridge application form. Informal enquiries are welcome to

Applications received via the University application system will all be considered as a gathered field after the closing date 7th January 2020

For all queries see our website for details View Website

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