We aim to reduce the national burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and improve equity of health outcomes across New Zealand.
Our 2019-2024 strategy focuses on three research themes:
- Healthy food and physical activity environments
- Culturally engaged health interventions for Māori and Pacific peoples
- Precision medicine and personalised prevention.
The Challenge addresses four of New Zealand’s main non-communicable diseases (NCDs):
- Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
New Zealand’s NCD statistics are disturbing:
- $500m to $1,000m Vote Health dollars are spent each year on diagnosis and treatment of cancer-related events
- New Zealand’s incidence of colorectal cancer is among the highest in the world
- CVD kills more than one in three New Zealanders, and is responsible for more than 30,000 hospital admissions each year
- We have the third highest prevalence of obesity within OECD countries
- 8% of the adult population have type 2 diabetes (rising 7% per annum), and 25% have prediabetes
The key to changing this is delivering the right prevention to the right population and the right treatment to the right patient.
- We aim to reduce the health burden of these diseases by 25% by 2025
- We aim to reduce inequalities between populations by 25% by 2025
We plan to do this in partnership with stakeholders and communities by generating world class research, and translating our research findings into innovative health policy, practice, and technology, designed for New Zealand’s unique communities.
Five high-level research programmes have been identified as priorities:
- Personalised prevention through new technologies
- Minimally invasive markers for effective cancer diagnosis and treatment
- Enhanced CVD and diabetes risk reduction
- Delivering culturally centred health initiatives
- Slowing progression of prediabetes to diabetes
In the first phase of operations (2015-2019) Healthier Lives funds a number of projects directly. The Challenge is also a partner in the Long Term Conditions partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council, which co-funds five research projects. Healthier Lives is currently in the process of scoping and prioritising research for the second phase of research (2019-2024).
Challenge research projects address issues identified by stakeholders as requiring urgent attention, build on New Zealand’s existing research strengths and capability, and use the nature of the Challenge to stretch current approaches.
- Capitalising on New Zealand’s health data
- Circulating tumour DNA for better cancer management in New Zealand
- Community rehabilitation for multiple conditions
- Equitable CVD and diabetes risk prediction
- He Pikinga Waiora: Making health interventions work for Māori communities
- Innovative management of diabetes with a comprehensive digital health programme (BetaMe)
- Mana Tū: A whānau ora approach to long term conditions
- OL@-OR@, A Māori and Pasifika mHealth approach
- ACCESS: investigating access-gaps in CVD treatment for Māori and Pacific Peoples
- ACTIVATION: Activating Change Through InterVentions for Active Travel In Our Neighbourhoods
- Assessing the health and environmental benefits of sustainable New Zealand diets
- Empowering Pacific Island communities to lead healthier lifestyles (PPYEP)
- ESR-Healthier Lives Emerging Scientists
- Evaluation of the Implementation and Impact of the National Healthy Food and Drink Policy (HYPE)
- Food 4 Health – prevent diabetes He Oranga Kai
- Integrated data for addressing non-communicable disease and ethnic inequalities
- Integration of ctDNA into the New Zealand healthcare system
- Nutritional determinants of non-communicable diseases
- Using epigenetics as a precision medicine tool in equitable prediction of cardiovascular disease outcomes
Research findings briefs
He kupu mō ngā kitenga rangahau
A series of research findings briefs, designed to distil large amounts of evidence from completed research projects and convey their key messages.
- CtDNA for better cancer management [PDF 369KB]
- Evaluation of a digital health programme for self-management of diabetes and prediabetes [PDF 119KB]
- OL@-OR@, a Māori and Pasifika mHealth approach to supporting healthy lifestyles [PDF 445KB]
- Protective factors against the progression of prediabetes to diabetes [PDF 325 KB]
- The impact of the Canterbury earthquakes on cardiovascular disease [PDF 512KB]
- He Pikinga Waiora: making health interventions work for Māori communities [PDF 380KB]
- Impact of a comprehensive digital health programme on HbA1c and weight after 12 months for people with diabetes and prediabetes: a randomised controlled trial Diabetologia (2020).
- Food 4 Health – He Oranga Kai – Assessing the efficacy, acceptability and economic implications of Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and Beta-glucan to improve HbA1c, metabolic health and general wellbeing in adults with pre-diabetes: study protocol for a 2 x 2 factorial design, parallel group, placebo-controlled randomized controlled trial, with embedded qualitative study and economic analysis. Trials (2020)
- Ethnic differences in cardiovascular risk profiles among 475,241 adults in primary care in Aotearoa, New Zealand New Zealand Medical Journal (2020), 133:1520
- Client perceptions of engaging with a health and social care navigation service: A qualitative study. Chronic Illness (2020)
- Pathways to urban health and well-being: measuring and modelling of community services’ in a medium size city. Geospatial Health (2020)
- A case study of using the He Pikinga Waiora Implementation Framework: Challenges and successes in implementing a twelve-week lifestyle intervention to reduce weight in Māori men at risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity International Journal of Equity in Health (2020); 19:103.
- Repositioning of the global epicentre of non-optimal cholesterol, Nature, 582, pages73–77 (2020)
- Whole-Grain Processing and Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes: A Randomized Crossover Trial Diabetes Care (2020); dc200263
- An estimate of limited duration cancer prevalence in New Zealand using ‘big’ data New Zealand Medical Journal (2020) 133:1514
- Dietary fibre and whole grains in diabetes management: Systematic review and meta-analyses PLOS Medicine (2020)
- Contracting public health and social services: insights from complexity theory for Aotearoa New Zealand Kōtuitui: New Zealand Journal of Social Sciences Online (2020)
- Exploring Pasifika wellbeing: findings from a large cluster randomised controlled trial of a mobile health intervention programme New Zealand Medical Journal (2020) 133:1524.
- A Mobile- and Web-Based Health Intervention Program for Diabetes and Prediabetes Self-Management (BetaMe/Melon): Process Evaluation Following a Randomized Controlled Trial J Med Internet Res (2020) 22(12):e19150
- Implementation effectiveness of health interventions for indigenous communities: a systematic review Implementation Science (2019)
- He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata! (What is the most important thing in the world? It is people!). Australian Journal of Primary Health (2019)
- Critical reflection for researcher–community partnership effectiveness: the He Pikinga Waiora process evaluation tool guiding the implementation of chronic condition interventions in Indigenous communities. Australian Journal of Primary Health (2019)
- A co-designed mHealth programme to support healthy lifestyles in Māori and Pasifika peoples in New Zealand (OL@-OR@): a cluster-randomised controlled trial The Lancet Digital Health (2019)
- Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses The Lancet (2019)
- Comparison of Roche Cell-Free DNA collection Tubes® to Streck Cell-Free DNA BCT®s for sample stability using healthy volunteers Practical Laboratory Medicine (2019)
- He Pikinga Waiora: supporting Māori health organisations to respond to pre-diabetes International Journal for Equity in Health (2019)
- Maintenance and Development of Social Connection by People with Long-term Conditions: A Qualitative Study Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health (2019)
- What protects against pre-diabetes progressing to diabetes? Observational study of integrated health and social data Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice (2019)
- Addressing health inequities in cardiovascular health in indigenous communities: Implementation process matters as much as the intervention itself International Journal of Cardiology (2018)
- An integrated approach to prevent chronic lifestyle diseases in Māori men International Journal of Integrated Care (2018)
- BetaMe: impact of a comprehensive digital health programme on HbA1c and weight at 12 months for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial Trials (2018)
- Cardiovascular disease risk prediction equations in 400 000 primary care patients in New Zealand: a derivation and validation study The Lancet (2018)
- Co-designing an mHealth tool in the New Zealand Māori community with a “Kaupapa Māori” approach AlterNative: An International Journal of Indigenous Peoples (2018)
- He Pikinga Waiora Implementation framework: A tool for chronic disease intervention effectiveness in Māori and other Indigenous communities International Journal of Integrated Care (2018)
- Identifying and overcoming barriers to healthier lives Pacific Health Dialog (2018) Available to download on the Welltext website
- Indigenous health worker support for patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes: study protocol for a cluster randomised controlled trial of the Mana Tū programme BMJ Open (2018)
- Mana Tū: a whānau ora approach to type 2 diabetes The New Zealand Medical Journal (2018)
- The effectiveness of a co-designed, culturally-tailored mHealth tool to support healthy lifestyles in Māori and Pasifika communities in New Zealand: Study protocol of a cluster-randomised controlled trial JMIR Research Protocols (2018)
- Using codesign to develop a culturally tailored, behavior change mHealth intervention for indigenous and other priority communities: A case study in New Zealand Translational Behavioral Medicine (2018)
- The Equitable cardiovascular and diabetes risk prediction research project has refined risk equations for CVD which have been incorporated into the Cardiovascular Disease Risk Assessment and Management for Primary Care guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Health in February 2018.
- Identifying strategic opportunities for Māori community organisations to respond to pre-diabetes: Building a platform for integrated care to deliver change that matters to communities. International Journal of Integrated Care (2017)
- Implementation framework for chronic disease intervention effectiveness in Māori and other indigenous communities Globalization and Health (2017)
- Living in areas with different levels of earthquake damage and risk of cardiovascular disease: a cohort-linkage study The Lancet Planetary Health (2017)
- Co-design of MHealth Delivered Interventions: A Systematic Review to Assess Key Methods and Processes Current Nutrition Report (2016)