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The Oxford Health Alliance |

The collection of evidence is vital in tackling the pandemic of chronic disease. More evidence is needed on chronic disease and the risk factors, the size and cost of the problem – and on practical, replicable solutions.

EvidenceFor the second summit, an OxHA Building Evidence Working Group, led by Professor David Matthews (Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Enocrinology and Metabolism), undertook an initial investigation into the evidence that already exists on chronic disease and the risk factors, identifying gaps in that knowledge.

The questions that remain to be answered are significant and varied. For example:

  • What are the costs of chronic disease, the cost of chronic-disease prevention – and the future costs to society of doing nothing to avert the pandemic? This question led to the writing of the OxHA report on the economics of chronic disease (click here >>).
  • How effective are non-pharmaceutical interventions in preventing chronic disease? For example, the projects that form Oxford Health Alliance's CAPCoD programme will be tracked so that the successful interventions can provide a guide for others who are initiating prevention projects.
  • What is an optimal strategy for smoking cessation – and why are some populations more susceptible than others to addiction?
  • What is the optimal level of physical activity to recommend – and will it be the same for different populations?
  • What are the necessary, quantified, dietary interventions – including increased fruit and vegetable intake, reducing salt intake and changing fat intake – that will prevent  chronic disease?

The Grand Challenges process is also identifying gaps in knowledge about chronic disease prevention.