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Glossary

List of terms used on the Qalibra website and their definitions

Alternative Scenario
An overall description of the diet consumed by an individual or a population of individuals in an alternative scenario (e.g. resulting from a change in food policy, dietary recommendations, consumer preferences, or new products) which will be assessed against the reference scenario.
Assessment
A group of Model Runs e.g. investigating the same risk-benefit problem.
Attribute
Attributes of individuals that might influence their Health Effects or diet, e.g. age, gender, etc..
Common Currency
The measure that is used to express different health effects in the same units so that their combined effect can be calculated. The common currencies available in Qalibra are QALYs and DALYs.
Continuous Effect
A continuous health effect can take a range of possible values, e.g. body weight or sperm count. This contrasts with quantal effects, which are either absent or present, e.g. liver cancer.
DALY
A DALY (disability-adjusted life year) is equivalent to one year of life in ‘perfect health’ that has been lost to disease. A DALY is the sum of the years of life lost YLL caused by premature death from the disease plus the years of life lived with the disease YLD discounted by a disability weight w, which reflects the severity of the disease.
Dataset
Consists of a file containing the actual numerical data and some documentation, which contains references or sources for the data and any modelling or processing that it has undergone.
Dietary Scenario
An overall description of the diet consumed by an individual or a population of individuals. Risk benefit assessment usually involves comparison of scenarios: a reference scenario (often the current diet) and an alternative scenario (e.g. resulting from a change in food policy, dietary recommendations, consumer preferences, or new products).
Effect Size
The magnitude of a Continuous Effect, e.g. change in sperm count, or a change in body weight.
Exposure
The amount of a dietary constituent with potential to cause health effects (positive or negative) that an individual consumes. Depending on the dose-response information available for an effect, the exposure may be expressed in terms of intake of a particular chemical (e.g. methylmercury), a group of chemicals (e.g. dioxins) or a food type (e.g. amount of fish).
Health Effect
A beneficial or adverse change in an individual’s health. Qalibra focuses on health effects which are attributed to a particular nutrient or contaminant contained in their diet.
Individuals
A person considered in the model calculations. They may be real (e.g. from a dietary survey) or generic types (e.g. adults, children, vegetarians). In simpler assessments, the model can be run for a single individual (e.g. an average or typical individual).
Integration
The calculation of total QALYs/DALYs an individual has for a particular dietary scenario considering all the health effects they have in their lifetime.
Life Expectancy
The average number of years of life remaining at a given age. Generally differs between different parts of the population, e.g. male and female.
Linear Interpolation
The Qalibra tool uses linear interpolation to represent dose-response relationships and other dependencies. For more information see Qalibra Framework help pages.
Model parameter
A parameter of the Qalibra framework, which the user must select or input a dataset for.
Model Run
A single risk-benefit analysis using the Qalibra tool with a particular set of data inputs.
Net Health Impact
The overall difference in health outcome between two dietary scenarios. Calcualted as the difference between the sums of health effects for the two scenarios, expressed in a common currency. 
Personal Attribute
Attributes that individuals have that might influence their Health Effects or diet.
QALY
A QALY (quality-adjusted life year) is equivalent to one year of life in ‘perfect health’ lived. Years of life that are lived in ‘perfect health’ have a value of 1. Years of life where the individual suffers from a disease are discounted by a quality weight, which reflects the severity of the disease.
Quality Weight (used to calculate QALYs)
A value between 0 and 1 that describes the severity of the health effect. A value of 1 indicates that the health effect has no adverse effects and is equivalent to ‘perfect health’. A value of 0 indicates that the health effect is equivalent to death.
Quantal Effect
A quantal health effect is either absent or present, e.g. liver cancer. This contrasts with continuous effects, which can take a range of possible values, e.g. body weight or sperm count.
Recovery
Return to normal health of an individual suffering a health effect. Currently the Qalibra tool does not allow modelling of partial recovery (see Parameter Help on Recovery for more information).
Reference Scenario
An overall description of the diet consumed by an individual or a population of individuals in a reference scenario (often the current diet), against which alternative scenarios will be assessed.
Scaling Factor
May be used to scale up the calculation to represent a larger population, e.g. the national population. Often, the same factor is used for all individuals. In other cases, individuals may be weighted differently, e.g. to adjust for under-representation of some population sectors in an underlying dietary survey.
Single Value
The Qalibra tool allows the user the option to provide a single value for any or all input parameters. This may often be a good starting point, after which the assessment can be refined gradually if necessary using multiple values to represent variability or uncertainty. For more information see Qalibra Framework help pages.
Subgroup
A subdivision of the population or category defined by one or more attributes, e.g. 10-20 year old males or females who smoke.
Uncertainty
Limitations in knowledge, e.g. about the true value of a parameter, or the true form of a dose-response relationship. Can be taken into account by the Qalibra tool (see Qalibra Framework help pages).
Variability
Variation or differences in the values or properties of things. Qalibra can take account of variation in exposure between individuals, and also of other types of variation between individuals. For more information see Qalibra Framework help pages.
Weight
Used to calculate DALYs or QALYs. A value between 0 and 1 that describes the severity of the health effect. When using DALYs, a value of 0 indicates that the health effect has no adverse effects and is equivalent to ‘perfect health’. A value of 1 indicates that the health effect is equivalent to death. For QALYs, the reverse is true.