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Pardee Institute's International Futures IFs Tool Used to Project the Future of Lung Health by Scientist

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Pardee Institute for International Futures

News  •

22 January 2024  

While the prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) has been studied, its future has not been well understood until now, thanks in part to a novel application of the Frederick S. Pardee Institute for International Futures’ International Futures (IFs) forecasting tool. The study sheds light on the future of COPD, which is a disease that makes breathing difficult and has widespread health and economic implications. 

As the global community grapples with evolving health challenges, this study takes a forward-looking stance by employing a holistic approach to forecast COPD prevalence. The research, which was authored by Elroy Boers, PhD, Meredith Barrett, PhD, and Jason G. Su, PhD, and published in the JAMA Network Open, found that by 2050, almost 600 million people might develop COPD.  The study further predicts this growth will be most concentrated among females and in countries and regions that are low-to-middle income.  

The study relied on IFs to model future outcomes among COPD risk factors, including the Human Development Index (HDI). Drawing on historical data, a meta-analysis of global COPD prevalence in 2019, and estimates from 2010 to 2018, the study utilizes IF's projected HDI to provide a nuanced understanding of the factors influencing COPD prevalence.    

This study not only brings attention to the alarming trajectory of COPD but also emphasizes the pivotal role of IFs’ comprehensive HDI insights in shaping these projections. IFs include integrated projections of over 500 variables for 188 countries through the year 2050 across the following domains: agriculture, demographics, economics, education, energy, environment, gender, governance, health, infrastructure, international politics, and technology.  

This study employs random-effects meta-analytical models, considering not only traditional health parameters but also broader factors like socioeconomic development, smoking prevalence, and air pollution.  

The Pardee Institute, which is a research hub at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies builds and uses data and tools to analyze our complex world and the long-term dynamics of change in human, social, and natural systems. 






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