Projections of global health outcomes from 2005 to 2060 using the International Futures integrated forecasting model


Long-term forecasts of mortality and disease burden are essential for setting current and future health system priorities, yet few forecasts cover a wide range of nations over a long span of time. Even fewer situate changes into an integrated framework to account for the effects of variation in mortality on population size, population age structure and drivers of mortality such as income. This paper describes an approach to address this gap by building a health model into the existing International Futures (IFs) global modelling system (initially developed by Barry B Hughes, Frederick S Pardee Center for International Futures, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, Denver, United States of America).1 IFs is a software tool whose central purpose is to facilitate the exploration of possible global futures through the creation and analysis of alternative scenarios. We build on the work of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) project, which has produced the only published global forecasts of regional and cause-specific health outcomes to date.2,3 GBD was not, however, designed to produce long-term, integrated forecasts; available analyses extend to 2030, now only 20 years distant.