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Determinants of NCD risk and mental well-being in Cook Island adolescents

36 months
Approved budget:
Dr Neti Herman
Professor Mark Vickers
Dr Josephine Herman
Dr Jacquie Bay
Dr Yin Yin Aung
Ms Josephine John
Ms Danielle Cochrane
Dr Evangelene Daniela-Wong
Health issue:
Child and youth (healthy) development
Proposal type:
Pacific Health Project
Lay summary
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the major cause of death and disability in the Cook Islands with almost 40% of all NCD-related deaths occurring prior to the age of 60. In addition, increasing numbers of Cook Islanders are presenting with issues related to mental well-being and parallel the alarming NCD rates. The Ministry of Health has identified the need for primary risk reduction and evidence suggests that early life interventions may have greater efficacy than traditional strategies. This project builds on pilot work in the Cook Islands with two primary goals. Our approach will encompass both identification of early life determinants (i.e. maternal factors) of later physical and mental well-being and also potential for early life intervention strategies aimed at breaking the NCD cycle and improving mental well-being via better understanding and self-awareness by Cook Island adolescents of factors underpinning their own health, behaviour and environment.