Associated Studies

The ALSWH has become a key foundation study for three other studies: the Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health in the 21st Century (CREWH21), the International Collaboration for a Life Course Approach to Reproductive Health and Chronic Disease Events (InterLACE), and the Mothers and their Children’s Health Study (MatCH).

CREWH21 was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and ran from 2010 to 2015. The objectives of CREWH21 were to examine how changes in the health system impact on women’s health and how changes in other aspects of women’s lives impact on their health and health care needs. It aimed to provide new insights into the epidemiology of common conditions and a strong evidence base for policy and economic analyses. CREWH21 research combined data from the ALSWH with administrative health services data using the rapidly developing record linkage capabilities of the NCRIS funded Population Health Research Network. CREWH21 focussed on four priority health issues of national importance and particular relevance to women (reproductive health, mental health, cardiovascular conditions and musculoskeletal problems).

CREWH21 publications

InvestigatorsResearch Fellows
Annette Dobson (Director)                       
Gita Mishra (Co-Director)
Wendy Brown
Christina Lee
Nancy Pachana
Julie Byles
Deborah Loxton
Jayne Lucke
Leigh Tooth
David Sibbritt
Dr Paul Gardiner – May 2013-December 2015
Dr Gerrie-Cor Gast – September 2011-January 2014
Dr Xenia Dolja-Gore – October 2014-October 2015
Dr Melissa Harris – January 2015–October 2015
Dr Danielle Herbert – April 2011-December 2012
Dr Alexis Hure – May 2011–January 2013
Dr Caroline  Jackson – February 2012-February 2015
Dr Mark Jones – January 2012-February 2015
Dr Geeske Peeters – May 2011-August 2015
Dr Ingrid Rowlands – July 2014-October 2016


International collaboration for a Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events (InterLACE) is a collaboration of 20 existing international longitudinal studies. The aim of InterLACE is to undertake cross-cohort research by combining data at the individual level from more than 240,000 participants from these studies to investigate the role of reproductive health across life on subsequent cardiovascular events and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. While this poses cross-cohort and cross-cultural research challenges, InterLACE has the capability to address research questions and generate robust evidence that is not possible from any single cohort study. InterLACE is led by Professor Gita Mishra and funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, 2012-2015.

MatCH is a substudy of the ALSWH with mothers from the 1973-78 cohort being invited to participate in a survey of every child in their family.  The MatCH study represents an unparalleled opportunity for a family-centred approach to child health outcomes that will support a more integrated and targeted approach to the delivery of preventive and primary health care for all Australian families. Professor Gita Mishra leads a team of 10 investigators, from across Australia and overseas, investigating the relationship between the mothers’ health history and the family environment to children’s health outcomes, including health service utilisation.  Linkage to administrative databases for early child development and educational outcomes is another feature of this study. MatCH is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, 2014-2017.

ALSWH data are also used in large studies using pooled data:


The STEP Consortium
The STrategies for Early Prevention of falls (STEP) consortium is a world first initiative to combine data from cohorts in four countries to examine the prevalence and risk factors of falls in mid-aged adults. STEP uses data from cohort studies in Australia, The Netherlands, Great Britain and Ireland. The cohort studies are: The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH), The Longitudinal Ageing Study Amsterdam (LASA), The Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), and The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA). The cohorts were selected based on the following criteria: (i) representative, population-based sample of adults aged 50-64 years; (ii) available data on falls in the previous year at one or more data collection waves; and (iii) available data on the majority of potential risk factors. To date, STEP has established the prevalence of falls in middle aged adults across four countries and identified risk factors for falls in adults aged 50-64 years. STEP was established in 2017 and is led by Dr Geeske Peeters, with international collaborators A/Prof Leigh Tooth, A/Prof Natasja van Schoor, Professor Rachel Cooper.

Peeters G, van Schoor NM, Cooper R, Tooth L, Kenny RA. Should prevention of falls start earlier? Co-ordinated analyses of harmonised data on falls in middle-aged adults across four population-based cohort studies. PLOS ONE (2018)

Peeters G, Cooper R, Tooth L, van Schoor NM, Kenny RA. A comprehensive assessment of risk factors for falls in middle-aged adults: co-ordinated analyses of cohort studies in four countries. Osteoporosis International (2019) 30:2099–2117

The Australian and New Zealand Diabetes and Cancer Collaboration
(D Magliano)
NHMRC (project grant), 2011-2013

Men, Women and Ageing: Predictors of ageing well in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health and the Perth Health in Men Study (A Dobson)

Maintaining health and independent living are high priorities for Australia’s rapidly expanding older population. This project capitalized on two existing large-scale studies, the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health involving over 12,000 older women selected from every part of Australia, and the Health in Men Study involving over 12,000 older men from Perth, Western Australia, to increase our scientific understanding of strategies for maintaining the health and wellbeing of older people living in the community.  ALSWH and HIMS have been following older Australians in order to determine what contributes to older people’s health and quality of life. The Men, Women and Aging project combined data from these two studies to address the following questions:

  • What health-related, personal, lifestyle and social factors predict survival and healthy non- disabled life in men and women aged 70-90 years?
  • Do changes in lifestyle in older age (e.g., smoking cessation) affect length and quality of life?
  • Who makes greatest use of health services, and who least, and how does this relate to health outcomes?
  • How are health and lifestyle factors related to social connectedness and independent living in older age?
  • What health and lifestyle factors predict positive mental health in older age?  
  • How are older men’s and women’s lifestyles and health status different, and how are they the same?
  • Should health promotion programs in old age target men and women separately, or not?  

Men, Women and Ageing was funded through the Ageing Well, Ageing Productively initiative of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council, and ran from 2006 to 2010.

Using health outcome data from pooled Longitudinal Studies of Ageing to develop statistical and microsimulation models to determine how to best compress morbidity and optimize healthy and productive ageing (DYNOPTA)

DYNOPTA draws together data from nine Australian Longitudinal Studies of Ageing (LSAs), including 53,484 participants, to identify factors capable of preventing disease, reducing ill-health, and promoting engaged and successful ageing for Australians.

The focus is upon conditions that significantly contribute to the burden of disease including cognitive decline and dementia, sensory impairment, impairment in mobility and common mental disorders such as depression. Although individual studies contain rich data on particular topics, there are only a small number of individuals in each study with specific medical conditions, or combinations of different conditions, especially at the older ages. Pooling data from nine studies overcomes this problem. This innovative and interdisciplinary study also involves development of the first Australian dynamic micro-simulation model of the health and social outcomes of the baby boomer and older cohorts. The simulation allows for evaluation of the impact of modifying risk factors, and costs associated with different trajectories of health and ageing. DYNOPTA takes an interdisciplinary life course approach, incorporating interdependencies among demographic, behavioural, social, economic and health factors. Our multidisciplinary team and collaborative pooling of existing studies adds value and builds upon experience, as recommended in the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council 2003 report. The outcomes will direct health and social policy to promote health behaviour, and social and medical interventions to compress morbidity and optimize healthy ageing in Australian society over the next 40 years.

DYNOPTA was funded through the Ageing Well, Ageing Productively initiative of the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. Further information about the project can be found at

Other funded studies using ALSWH data:itle



Funding body

Smoking and women’s health in Australia (A Dobson)



Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care

Young women and smoking prevention program (A Dobson)


Health Promotion Queensland

Are cardiac conditions in older women managed appropriately? (A Dobson)


National Health and Medical Research Council (project grant)

How well do health and community services help older people with neurodegenerative disorders and their family caregivers? (A Dobson)


National Health and Medical Research Council (Healthy Ageing Research grant)

Understanding and influencing physical activity to improve population health outcomes (Owen N)

2004 -2008

National Health & Medical Research Council (program grant)

The impact of physical activity on outcomes for older women (Brown W)

2005 -2007

Office for Women, Department of Families, Community Services, and Indigenous Affairs

Employed carers  (A Dobson)



Dept. of Health and Ageing

CAM use among mid age women: A national mixed-method study across the urban-rural divide (Adams J)

2008 - 2010

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC Complementary and Alternative Medicines Special Call

Provision of Stage 2 research on carers based on the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (A Dobson)    

2008 - 2010   

Dept. of Health and Ageing

Depression and cardiovascular disease in a cohort of mid-aged Australian women (A Dobson)


Heart Foundation and beyondblue

Needs of spouse carers of World War II veterans before and after widowhood (A Dobson)


Dept. Veteran’s Affairs

Psychosocial assessment in the perinatal period: does it improve maternal health outcomes? (M-P Austin)


Bupa foundation

Therapeutic pluralism in pregnancy, labour and birthing: Decision-making, communication and inter-professional dynamics (Adams J)


Australian Research Council – Discovery Project

Moving more and sitting less: population health research to understand and influence physical activity and sedentary behavior (N Owen)


National Health & Medical Research Council

Navigating back pain care: A sociological study of women’s illness pathways within and between intersecting social worlds. (Broom A)

2011 -2013

Australian Research Council – Discovery Project

Transition to adulthood : The wellbeing of young women and men in Australia (Lee C)

2012 -2014

Australian Research Council – Discovery Project

Trajectories and turning points for women’s reproductive health (Mishra G)


ARC (Future Fellowship)