Healthy lives and well-being for all at all ages: expanding representations of determinants of health within systems dynamics and integrated assessment models

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Abstract

Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) and System Dynamic Models (SDMs) are starting to incorporate representations of the impact of environmental changes on health and socio-economic development into their modelling frameworks. We use this brief review to provide an overview of how health and well-being are currently represented in IAMs and SDMs. A grey literature search on 12 selected model host websites and their corresponding Wiki pages was conducted. Model descriptions, coverage and publications were then tabulated. Additional potential determinants related to health were then suggested based on emerging environmental health literature. Based on these tabulations, it was determined that many individual health outcomes are not represented and thus not analyzed. Social well-being is not represented at all. Additionally, potentially health relevant determinants such as chemical or metal exposure and water pollution are rarely represented in models. Most models have representations of climate, outdoor air pollution and food availability. Air pollution was the most analyzed determinant, especially in relation to its respiratory effects. We suggest that future modelers incorporate more representations of environmental determinants influencing health, and to analyze all available determinants in relation to a wider array of health outcomes. Perhaps, if and when broader determinants of health are represented in IAMs and SDMs, then a composite of these determinants could be used to determine a population’s ability to achieve elements that also contribute to social well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Earth Reviews
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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