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Your Environment. Your Health.

How much disease burden can be prevented by environmental interventions

Environmental Health Economic Analysis Annotated Bibliography


Prüss-Ustün A and Corvalán C
This commentary described the methods and key findings from a 2006 WHO report that estimated how much of the global burden of disease can be prevented by environmental management. Findings presented within this report suggested that creating healthier environments can prevent approximately one fourth of the disease burden globally in a way that is sustainable, and supported the case that interventions for healthy environments should be an important component of any strategy to improve global public health.
Not available

Health Outcomes

  • Reviewed publications that examined — respiratory outcomes (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma)
  • gastrointestinal outcomes (diarrheal diseases)
  • cancer outcomes
  • neurological/cognitive outcomes (neuropsychiatric disorders)
  • cardiovascular outcomes
  • musculoskeletal outcomes

Environmental Agents

List of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — environmental pollution
  • ionizing radiation
  • non-ionizing radiation (UV)

Source of Environmental Agents:

  • Reviewed publications that examined — air
  • water
  • soil
  • built environment (housing and road design)
  • occupation

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source

Type: (Not available)

Cost Measured: (Not available)

Potential Cost Measures: (Not available)

Benefits Measures: (Not available)

Potential Benefits: (Not available)

Location: (Not available)

Models Used: (Not available)

Methods Used:

  • The authors briefly describe the methods used in the 2006 WHO Environmental Burden of Disease report. The report — 1) enlarged the scope of previous studies to include most of the risks contained in the environment; 2) systematically reviewed diseases and injuries as to their environmental causes; 3) consulted experts to complete gaps in the evidence to obtain a more comprehensive estimate (using the attributable fraction approach/method) of the potential healthy environments to prevent disease; and 4) limited the environment to only the "reasonably modifiable environment" to improve the policy relevance of results.

Sources Used:

  • World Health Report 2004—Changing History (WHO, 2004); Global Burden of Disease Estimates (WHO); Epidemic Update—December 2004 (UNAIDS, WHO, 2004); HIV/AIDS Surveillance Data Base (US Census Bureau, UNAIDS, 2004); ICD-10—International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th rev, vol 1 (World Health Organization, 1992); additional sources cited in publication

Economic Evaluation / Methods and Source


  • Prüss-Ustün A and Corvalán C. 2007. How much disease burden can be prevented by environmental interventions. Epidemiology.
  • Pubmed
  • DOI

NIEHS Funding: (Not available)

Other Funding: (Not available)

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