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Health Sciences profile

Anja Mizdrak

PositionSenior Research Fellow
DepartmentDepartment of Public Health (Wellington)
Research summaryPublic health

Research

Dr Anja Mizdrak is a public health researcher who specialises in quantitative modelling. Her work has covered multiple topics including alcohol, transport, physical activity, COVID-19, and nutrition. Anja is interested in the role of modelling in public health policy and practice, and the wider societal impacts of health behaviours and interventions, such as impacts on inequities and the environment. She currently works across multiple projects including:

  • Seeking the Transport Sweet Spot: health, equity, and zero carbon (led by Associate Professor Caroline Shaw)
  • Prioritising Māori health and equity: a critical approach to modelling (led by Dr Melissa McLeod)
  • Anja joined the University of Otago in 2017 to work on the Burden of Disease Epidemiology, Equity and Cost-Effectiveness Programme (BODE?). Prior to joining the University, Anja completed her PhD which investigated the impact of health-related food taxes and subsidies in the UK, specifically focusing on differential impacts by household income. Anja’s interest in public health began during her undergraduate degree in Human Sciences at the University of Oxford.

    Publications

    Harris, R. B., Paine, S.-J., Atkinson, J., Robson, B., King, P. T., Randle, J., Mizdrak, A., & McLeod, M. (2022). We still don't count: The under-counting and under-representation of Māori in health and disability sector data. New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1567), 54-78. Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/

    Carvalho, N., Sousa, T. V., Mizdrak, A., Jones, A., Wilson, N., & Blakely, T. (2022). Comparing health gains, costs and cost-effectiveness of 100s of interventions in Australia and New Zealand: An online interactive league table. Population Health Metrics, 20, 17. doi: 10.1186/s12963-022-00294-3

    Grout, L., Mizdrak, A., Nghiem, N., Jones, A. C., Blakely, T., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Cleghorn, C. (2022). Potential effect of real-world junk food and sugar-sweetened beverage taxes on population health, health system costs and greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand: A modelling study. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 5(1), 19-35. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000376

    Singh, A., Mizdrak, A., Daniel, L., Blakely, T., Baker, E., Alfonzo, L. F., & Bentley, R. (2022). Estimating cardiovascular health gains from eradicating indoor cold in Australia. Environmental Health, 21, 54. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00865-9

    Cleghorn, C., Mulder, I., Macmillan, A., Mizdrak, A., Drew, J., Nghiem, N., Blakely, T., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2022). Can a greenhouse gas emissions tax on food also be healthy and equitable? A systemised review and modelling study from Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19, 4421. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084421

    Mizdrak, A., & Ritchie, A. J. (2017). Health and well-being in urban environments. In J. Bishop (Ed.), Building sustainable cities of the future. (pp. 99-115). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-54458-8

    Chapter in Book - Research

    Carvalho, N., Sousa, T. V., Mizdrak, A., Jones, A., Wilson, N., & Blakely, T. (2022). Comparing health gains, costs and cost-effectiveness of 100s of interventions in Australia and New Zealand: An online interactive league table. Population Health Metrics, 20, 17. doi: 10.1186/s12963-022-00294-3

    Journal - Research Article

    Cleghorn, C., Mulder, I., Macmillan, A., Mizdrak, A., Drew, J., Nghiem, N., Blakely, T., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2022). Can a greenhouse gas emissions tax on food also be healthy and equitable? A systemised review and modelling study from Aotearoa New Zealand. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19, 4421. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19084421

    Journal - Research Article

    Grout, L., Mizdrak, A., Nghiem, N., Jones, A. C., Blakely, T., Ni Mhurchu, C., & Cleghorn, C. (2022). Potential effect of real-world junk food and sugar-sweetened beverage taxes on population health, health system costs and greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand: A modelling study. BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, 5(1), 19-35. doi: 10.1136/bmjnph-2021-000376

    Journal - Research Article

    Harris, R. B., Paine, S.-J., Atkinson, J., Robson, B., King, P. T., Randle, J., Mizdrak, A., & McLeod, M. (2022). We still don't count: The under-counting and under-representation of Māori in health and disability sector data. New Zealand Medical Journal, 135(1567), 54-78. Retrieved from https://journal.nzma.org.nz/

    Journal - Research Article

    Randal, E., Shaw, C., McLeod, M., Keall, M., Woodward, A., & Mizdrak, A. (2022). The impact of transport on population health and health equity for Māori in Aotearoa New Zealand: A prospective burden of disease study. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 19, 2032. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19042032

    Journal - Research Article

    Singh, A., Mizdrak, A., Daniel, L., Blakely, T., Baker, E., Alfonzo, L. F., & Bentley, R. (2022). Estimating cardiovascular health gains from eradicating indoor cold in Australia. Environmental Health, 21, 54. doi: 10.1186/s12940-022-00865-9

    Journal - Research Article

    Blakely, T., Sigglekow, F., Irfan, M., Mizdrak, A., Dieleman, J., Bablani, L., … Wilson, N. (2021). Disease-related income and economic productivity loss in New Zealand: A longitudinal analysis of linked individual-level data. PLoS Medicine, 18(11), e1003848. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003848

    Journal - Research Article

    Darrah, T., Waa, A., Mizdrak, A., & Jones, A. C. (2021). Māori perspectives on alcohol: A narrative review. International Journal of Critical Indigenous Studies, 14(1), 51-64. doi: 10.5204/ijcis.v14i1.1809

    Journal - Research Article

    Grout, L., Telfer, K., Wilson, N., Cleghorn, C., & Mizdrak, A. (2021). Prescribing smartphone apps for physical activity promotion in primary care: Modeling study of health gain and cost savings. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 23(12), e31702. doi: 10.2196/31702

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Ding, D., Cleghorn, C., Blakely, T., & Richards, J. (2021). Hitting the target but missing the point? Modelling health and economic impacts of different approaches to meeting the global action plan for physical activity target. Sports Medicine, 51, 815-823. doi: 10.1007/s40279-020-01398-2

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Shaw, C., Lynch, B., & Richards, J. (2021). The potential of school-based physical education to increase physical activity in Aotearoa New Zealand children and young people: A modelling study. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1531), 23-35. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

    Journal - Research Article

    Blakely, T., Cleghorn, C., Mizdrak, A., Waterlander, W., Nghiem, N., Swinburn, B., Wilson, N., & Ni Mhurchu, C. (2020). The effect of food taxes and subsidies on population health and health costs: A modelling study. Lancet Public Health, 5(7), e404-e413. doi: 10.1016/s2468-2667(20)30116-x

    Journal - Research Article

    Blakely, T., Cleghorn, C., Petrović-van der Deen, F., Cobiac, L. J., Mizdrak, A., Mackenbach, J. P., … Wilson, N. (2020). Prospective impact of tobacco eradication and overweight and obesity eradication on future morbidity and health-adjusted life expectancy: Simulation study. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, 74, 354-361. doi: 10.1136/jech-2019-213091

    Journal - Research Article

    Blakely, T., Moss, R., Collins, J., Mizdrak, A., Singh, A., Carvalho, N., Wilson, N., … Flaxman, A. (2020). Proportional multistate lifetable modelling of preventive interventions: Concepts, code and worked examples. International Journal of Epidemiology, 49(5), 1624-1636. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa132

    Journal - Research Article

    Blakely, T., Nghiem, N., Genc, M., Mizdrak, A., Cobiac, L., Ni Mhurchu, C., … Cleghorn, C. (2020). Modelling the health impact of food taxes and subsidies with price elasticities: The case for additional scaling of food consumption using the total food expenditure elasticity. PLoS ONE, 15(3), e0230506. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230506

    Journal - Research Article

    Drew, J., Cleghorn, C., Macmillan, A., & Mizdrak, A. (2020). Healthy and climate-friendly eating patterns in the New Zealand context. Environmental Health Perspectives, 128(1), 017007. doi: 10.1289/ehp5996

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Cobiac, L. J., Cleghorn, C. L., Woodward, A., & Blakely, T. (2020). Fuelling walking and cycling: Human powered locomotion is associated with non-negligible greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 9196. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-66170-y

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Telfer, K., Direito, A., Cobiac, L. J., Blakely, T., Cleghorn, C. L., & Wilson, N. (2020). Health gain, cost impacts, and cost-effectiveness of a mass media campaign to promote smartphone apps for physical activity: Modeling study. JMIR mHealth & uHealth, 8(6), e18014. doi: 10.2196/18014

    Journal - Research Article

    Cobiac, L. J., Mizdrak, A., & Wilson, N. (2019). Cost-effectiveness of raising alcohol excise taxes to reduce the injury burden of road traffic crashes. Injury Prevention, 25, 421-427. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2018-042914

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Blakely, T., Cleghorn, C. L., & Cobiac, L. J. (2019). Potential of active transport to improve health, reduce healthcare costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions: A modelling study. PLoS ONE, 14(7), e0129316. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219316

    Journal - Research Article

    Nghiem, N., Knight, J., Mizdrak, A., Blakely, T., & Wilson, N. (2019). Preventive pharmacotherapy for cardiovascular disease: A modelling study considering health gain, costs, and cost-effectiveness when stratifying by absolute risk. Scientific Reports, 9, 19562. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-55372-8

    Journal - Research Article

    Teng, A. M., Jones, A. C., Mizdrak, A., Signal, L., Genç, M., & Wilson, N. (2019). Impact of sugar-sweetened beverage taxes on purchases and dietary intake: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Reviews, 20, 1187-1204. doi: 10.1111/obr.12868

    Journal - Research Article

    Wilson, N., Cleghorn, C. L., Cobiac, L. J., Mizdrak, A., & Nghiem, N. (2019). Achieving healthy and sustainable diets: A review of the results of recent mathematical optimization studies. Advances in Nutrition, 10(Suppl. 4), S389-S403. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz037

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Waterlander, W. E., Rayner, M., & Scarborough, P. (2017). Using a UK virtual supermarket to examine purchasing behavior across different income groups in the United Kingdom: Development and feasibility study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(10), e343. doi: 10.2196/jmir.7982

    Journal - Research Article

    Scarborough, P., Smolina, K., Mizdrak, A., Cobiac, L., & Briggs, A. (2016). Assessing the external validity of model-based estimates of the incidence of heart attack in England: A modelling study. BMC Public Health, 16, 1135. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3782-6

    Journal - Research Article

    Kaur, A., Scarborough, P., Matthews, A., Payne, S., Mizdrak, A., & Rayner, M. (2015). How many foods in the UK carry health and nutrition claims, and are they healthier than those that do not? Public Health Nutrition, 19(6), 988-997. doi: 10.1017/S1368980015002104

    Journal - Research Article

    Mizdrak, A., Scarborough, P., Waterlander, W. E., & Rayner, M. (2015). Differential responses to food price changes by personal characteristic: A systematic review of experimental studies. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0130320. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130320

    Journal - Research Article

    Monsivais, P., Scarborough, P., Lloyd, T., Mizdrak, A., Luben, R., Mulligan, A. A., … Woodcock, J. (2015). Greater accordance with the dietary approaches to stop hypertension dietary pattern is associated with lower diet-related greenhouse gas production but higher dietary costs in the United Kingdom. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102(1), 138-145. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.090639

    Journal - Research Article

    Ni Mhurchu, C., Eyles, H., Genc, M., Scarborough, P., Rayner, M., Mizdrak, A., … Blakely, T. (2015). Effects of health-related food taxes and subsidies on mortality from diet-related disease in New Zealand: An econometric-epidemiologic modelling study. PLoS ONE, 10(7), e0128477. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128477

    Journal - Research Article

    Kelly, P., Doherty, A., Mizdrak, A., Marshall, S., Kerr, J., Legge, A., … Foster, C. (2014). High group-level validity but high random error of a self-report travel diary, as assessed by wearable cameras. Journal of Transport & Health, 1(3), 190-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jth.2014.04.003

    Journal - Research Article

    Scarborough, P., Appleby, P. N., Mizdrak, A., Briggs, A. D. M., Travis, R. C., Bradbury, K. E., & Key, T. J. (2014). Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK. Climatic Change, 125(2), 179-192. doi: 10.1007/s10584-014-1169-1

    Journal - Research Article

    Scarborough, P., Harrington, R. A., Mizdrak, A., Zhou, L. M., & Doherty, A. (2014). The Preventable Risk Integrated ModEl and its used to estimate the health impact of public health policy scenarios. Scientifica, 2014, 748750. doi: 10.1155/2014/748750

    Journal - Research Article

    Briggs, A. D. M., Mizdrak, A., & Scarborough, P. (2013). A statin a day keeps the doctor away: Comparative proverb assessment modelling study. BMJ, 347, F7267. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f7267

    Journal - Research Article

    Scarborough, P., Payne, C., Agu, C. G., Kaur, A., Mizdrak, A., Rayner, M., … Boyland, E. (2013). How important is the choice of the nutrient profile model used to regulate broadcast advertising of foods to children? A comparison using a targeted data set. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 67, 815-820. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2013.112

    Journal - Research Article

    Wilson, N., Grout, L., Summers, J., Jones, A. C., Mizdrak, A., Nghiem, N., Cleghorn, C., & Blakely, T. (2021). Should prioritising health interventions be informed by modelling studies? The case of cancer control in Aotearoa New Zealand [Viewpoint]. New Zealand Medical Journal, 134(1531), 101-113. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

    Journal - Research Other

    Nghiem, N., Mizdrak, A., & Wilson, N. (2020). Increased unemployment from the COVID-19 pandemic, what might be the adverse impacts on cardiovascular disease in Aotearoa/New Zealand and how might this be prevented? New Zealand Medical Journal, 133(1526), 89-98. Retrieved from https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

    Journal - Research Other

    Scarborough, P., Hodgkins, C., Raats, M. M., Harrington, R. A., Cowburn, G., Dean, M., … Mizdrak, A., … Rayner, M. (2015). Protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial of an intervention to increase the use of traffic light food labelling in UK shoppers (in the FLICC trial). Pilot & Feasibility Studies, 1, 21. doi: 10.1186/s40814-015-0015-1

    Journal - Research Other

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