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Anna Head

Name: Anna Head

Based at: LiLaC, University of Liverpool

Supervisors: Martin O’Flaherty (LiLaC, University of Liverpool), Kate Fleming (LiLaC, University of Liverpool), Chris Kypridemos (LiLaC, University of Liverpool)

Project Title: Reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases: Which interventions are more effective and equitable for reducing the burden of multimorbidity?

Project Summary: In the UK, an increasing number of people are living with more than one long-term condition (multimorbidity), such as having diabetes, heart disease and dementia. This is more common among people from deprived backgrounds, who are also more likely to have multiple conditions at younger ages.

People with multiple conditions tend to have worse health. They may also have to take multiple medications, and often have many appointments with different doctors and nurses. This is also a problem for the NHS, where systems and doctors focus on specific individual diseases.

Doctors and researchers are working to improve the care and health of people with more than one disease. At the same time, we need to try to stop people from getting multiple conditions in the first place.

This project will look at different ways of preventing key diseases, for example by taxing unhealthy foods and drinks or providing free exercise classes. We will use a model to predict which ways are most likely to reduce the number of people developing multiple conditions in future. Our focus will be on how to do this in a way that is fair to people from different backgrounds.

Practice engagement:
I will seek advice from Public Health Consultants and practicing clinicians at each stage of my PhD. I also hope to do a placement in a policy setting during the course of my project.

Public engagement:
The new NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast has identified multiple morbidity and health across the life-course as two of its research priorities. Results of this study will be fed back through the ARC NWC Public Reference Panel. We will produce plain English summaries of our findings and hope to present these at public engagement events.

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