This Healthier Lives National Science Challenge (HL NSC) project, Capitalising on New Zealand Health Data,  is aligned with the Virtual Health Information Network and is based out of the Health Inequalities Research Programme, University of Otago, Wellington. The projects research areas include:

The Impact of the Canterbury Earthquakes on Cardiovascular Disease

This study assesses the impact of earthquake damage on CVD in the five years after a major earthquake sequence. The study uses linked administrative datasets to identify individuals 45+ years old living in Christchurch at the time of the first Canterbury earthquake on 4th September 2010. Individuals are assigned the level of damage from their residential mesh-block using the ratio of the insurance claim relative to the property value in Earthquake Commission data. Age-standardised rates of CVD mortality, and CVD hospitalisation and hospitalisation with myocardial infarction, were compared by level of damage in the first year and four subsequent years post-earthquake. Rate ratios are adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, small area deprivation index and Inland Revenue data on personal income using Poisson regression. This research question was designed in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Disease HL NSC Project.

Productivity Costs of Cardiovascular Disease

This study quantifies the level of income loss and unemployment in individuals who get CVD. Propensity score modelling is used to identify a comparable group who do not develop CVD. Income, diagnosis and socio-demographic data will be assembled from linked administrative and health data sources. Productivity outcomes are examined by age, sex and ethnicity. This research question was designed in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Disease HL NSC Project and the BODE3 programme.

Protective factors against the progression of Prediabetes to Diabetes

This study examines the incidence of type 2 diabetes in people with newly diagnosed prediabetes and the factors that protect against this progression. The study took adults with prediabetes and linked their Glycated hemoglobin and body mass index data to government health, census and social datasets in the Integrated Data Infrastructure. The population was followed-up for type 2 diabetes incidence and a Cox regression was used to examine protective factors. The study identified Indigenous language as a protective factor against diabetes, and results confirm obesity as a key target for population prevention.This research question was designed and developed in collaboration with He Pikinga Waiora, HL NSC Project.

The Prevalence of Cancer in New Zealand

This research estimates the prevalence of cancer among the resident population of New Zealand using the Integrated Data Infrastructure. Cancer prevalence is defined as a diagnosis of cancer recorded in the Cancer Registry in the past one year, five years or eighteen years.  Prevalence is being disaggregated by sex, age, ethnicity, deprivation, District Health Board and possibly by urban/rural differences and specific cancer types. This research question was designed in collaboration with the Cancer Biomarkers HL NSC Project.

Please visit the website for more information on Healthier Lives National Science Challenge.

Host: University of Otago

Sponsor: Healthier Lives National Science Challenge

Contact: Dr Andrea Teng, email