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Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 748750, 21 pages
Review Article

The Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl and Its Use to Estimate the Health Impact of Public Health Policy Scenarios

1British Heart Foundation Centre on Population Approaches to Non-Communicable Disease Prevention, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK
2DCU School of Computing, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland

Received 27 April 2014; Accepted 8 September 2014; Published 25 September 2014

Academic Editor: Giuseppe Mastrangelo

Copyright © 2014 Peter Scarborough et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Noncommunicable disease (NCD) scenario models are an essential part of the public health toolkit, allowing for an estimate of the health impact of population-level interventions that are not amenable to assessment by standard epidemiological study designs (e.g., health-related food taxes and physical infrastructure projects) and extrapolating results from small samples to the whole population. The PRIME (Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl) is an openly available NCD scenario model that estimates the effect of population-level changes in diet, physical activity, and alcohol and tobacco consumption on NCD mortality. The structure and methods employed in the PRIME are described here in detail, including the development of open source code that will support a PRIME web application to be launched in 2015. This paper reviews scenario results from eleven papers that have used the PRIME, including estimates of the impact of achieving government recommendations for healthy diets, health-related food taxes and subsidies, and low-carbon diets. Future challenges for NCD scenario modelling, including the need for more comparisons between models and the improvement of future prediction of NCD rates, are also discussed.