Synopsis

The purpose of the project is to provide scientifically valid information, based on current, accurate data that is relevant to the development of health policy and practice in women’s health. By looking at the factors contributing to the physical and emotional health of individual women in Australia, ALSWH particularly aims to provide information that will assist State and Federal Governments to plan for the future and to develop policies which are most appropriate to Australians of all ages in the twenty-first century. Additionally, the project aims to clarify cause-and-effect relationships between women’s health and a range of biological, psychological, social and lifestyle factors, and to assess the effects of changes in health policy and practice.
ALSWH aims to help shape the future of women’s health in Australia by:
* Identifying the social, psychological, physical and environmental factors which determine good health, and those which cause ill-health, in women throughout adult life.
* Identifying when, if and how the health system meets the health needs of women and helping to guide future policy and planning of women’s health care services.
* Providing information on the long term health effects of events in women’s lives and on the factors that modify these effects.
* Giving an opportunity for Australian women to have a say about their health and health services.
* Providing a national research resource on women’s health issues.
* Providing data which will help motivate women to participate in decision making on health.

Please visit the study website to find out more: www.alswh.org.au

Summary

An externally funded cohort of children has been recruited, but this is not formally part of ALSWH.​

Study name  Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
Study abbreviation  ALSWH / WHOA
Current principal investigator/s Professor Gita Mishra and Professor Julie Byles 
Postal address

UQ: Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, School of Public Health,The University of Queensland, Level 3, Public Health Building, Herston QLD 4006;

UoN: Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, NSW 2308

Phone

UQ: +617 3346 4723

UoN: +612 4042 1621

Email sph-wha@sph.uq.edu.au 
Primary Institution ALSWH is conducted equally by the University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle.
Collaborating Institution/s The University of Queensland and the University of Newcastle.
Major funding sources Australian Government Department of Health
Study website www.alswh.org.au 
Key reference Lee C, Dobson AJ, Brown WJ, Bryson L, Byles J, Warner-Smith P, Young AF. (2005). Cohort Profile: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. International Journal of Epidemiology, 34(5): 987-991. 
Are data available outside study team? Yes
Study focus

The purpose of the project is to provide scientifically valid information, based on current, accurate data that is relevant to the development of health policy and practice in women’s health. By looking at the factors contributing to the physical and emotional health of individual women in Australia, ALSWH particularly aims to provide information that will assist State and Federal Governments to plan for the future and to develop policies which are most appropriate to Australians of all ages in the twenty-first century. Additionally, the project aims to clarify cause-and-effect relationships between women’s health and a range of biological, psychological, social and lifestyle factors, and to assess the effects of changes in health policy and practice.
ALSWH aims to help shape the future of women’s health in Australia by:

  • Identifying the social, psychological, physical and environmental factors which determine good health, and those which cause ill-health, in women throughout adult life.
  • Identifying when, if and how the health system meets the health needs of women and helping to guide future policy and planning of women’s health care services.
  • Providing information on the long term health effects of events in women’s lives and on the factors that modify these effects.
  • Giving an opportunity for Australian women to have a say about their health and health services.
  • Providing a national research resource on women’s health issues.
  • Providing data which will help motivate women to participate in decision making on health.

Please visit the study website to find out more: www.alswh.org.au

Sampling frame In April 1996, women in three age groups – 18-23 years (born 1973-78), 45-50 years (born 1946-51), and 70-75 years (born 1921-26) were selected from the Medicare database, which contains the name and address details of all Australian citizens and permanent residents. These women were sent an invitation to participate in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), and more than 40,000 responded and agreed to participate in the project for 20 years. Sampling from the population was random within each age group, except that women from rural and remote areas were sampled at twice the rate of women in urban areas.

In 2012 and 2013, 17069 18-23 year old women were enrolled in the 1989-95 cohort. Women were mainly recruited using the internet and social media platforms. Consistent with the other cohorts, women were required to have a Medicare card. Women completed the online survey and provided consent to linkage of survey data with administrative databases such as Medicare.

Find out more: http://www.alswh.org.au/about/about-the-study

Year commenced

1996 for the 1973-78, 1946-51, and 1921-26 cohorts; 2012 for the 1989-95 cohort 

Commencement sample

1973-78 cohort: 14,762;

1946-51 cohort: 14,072;

1921-26 cohort: 12,804; and

1989-95 cohort: 17,069 

Intergenerational? An externally funded cohort of children has been recruited, but this is not formally part of ALSWH.
Imaging No
Linkage ALSWH is linked to multiple administrative datasets. Details are available on the website. 
Biosamples? No

Waves

1973-78 cohort

Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  1996

18-23 years

14,762

2  2000  22-27 years  13,992
3  2003  25-30 years 13,687
4 2006 28-33 years 13,385
5 2009 31-36 years 13,223
6 2012 34-39 years 12,997
7 2017 37-42 years 12,693

1946-51 cohort

Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  1996

45-50 years

14,072

2  1998 47-52 years  13,449
3 2001  50-55 years 13,149 
4 2004 53-58 years 12,843
5 2007 56-61 years 12,466
6 2010 59-64 years 12,063
7 2017 62-67 years 11,291
8 2017 65-70 years 10,719

1921-26 cohort

Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  1996

70-75 years

12,804

2  1999  73-78 years  11,225
3 2002  76-81 years  9,804 
4 2005 79-84 years 8,259
5 2008 82-87 years 6,841
6 2011 85-90 years 5,014
7 2012 86-91 years 4,567
7.5 2012 86-91 years 4,143
8 2013 87-92 years 3,797
8.5 2013 87-92 years 3,466
9 2014 88-93 years 3,192
9.5 2014 88-93 years 2,964
10 2015 89-94 years 2,714
10.5 2015 89-94 years 2,504
11 2016 90-95 years 2,301
11.5 2016 90-95 years 2,103
12 2017 91-96 years 1,913
12.5 2017 91-96 years 1,824

1989-95 Cohort

Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample
1  2013 18-23 years 17,069
2  2014 19-24 years 16,329
3  2015 20-25 years 16,311
4  2016 21-26 years 15,258