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Multi-source datafile CCMS datasets

ALSWH has developed the Common Conditions from Multiple Sources (CCMS) datasets, to streamline your analyses. The task of harmonising numerous sources, and ascertaining relevant diagnoses, has already been done.

The CCMS is a group of datasets indicating whether eligible ALSWH women have any of the common conditions listed in the table below (more conditions will be added over time). CCMS datasets use all available data sources (surveys, administrative information, and linked external health record collections). The datasets include detailed information on the diagnoses used to evidence the condition, the sources for this information and dates thereof.

External linked data sourcesALSWH internal sources
CCMS Dataset


care a,b
data c
dataset d
data e
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Depression/ anxiety⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Eating Disorders⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Essential hypertension⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Ischaemic Heart Disease⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
Uterine Fibroids⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿⦿
a Records from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA) are not used in the CCMS. DVA records are mainly relevant to the 1921-26 Cohort; omitting them from CCMS makes little difference to prevalence counts.
b Aged Care data sources are further classified in the CCMS dataset as: ACAP; ACFI; Home Care Packages; National Assessment Screening Form.
c Survey data is further classified as: Survey variables; Free text responses; Comments.
d The ALSWH Medications dataset is derived from survey data.
e ALSWH administrative data is further classified as: Reasons for withdrawal from surveys; Reasons why a proxy completed the survey.

The determination of whether an ALSWH participant has a particular condition is complex. The CCMS methodology was developed by the ALSWH research team for our 2020 Major Report (The impact of multiple chronic conditions).  Further work followed, to enhance the CCMS and make it available for sharing.

Collaborating researchers may not have the time and resources to accurately reproduce this work. Variation in methodologies may produce inconsistent findings.

Further, the inclusion of ALSWH administrative data in the CCMS provides additional information, such as health reasons (where stated) for being unable to complete surveys.

There are currently 55,498 ALSWH women in the CCMS datasets (women who have opted out of health record linkage are excluded).

Eligibility criteria have been developed for each condition, including:

  • ICD codes
  • MBS/PBS Item numbers
  • Answers to survey questions
  • Terms (and their context) in free text data.

The weighting of evidence from among the sources varies by condition, to minimise over-reporting due to erroneous data, or short-term conditions. For example, a Cause of Death Code may have more weight than a self-reported condition, and MBS/PBS item numbers may not be definitive, so other criteria must also be met (such as set numbers of occurrences in the data source).

CCMS datasets contain the following indicative or summary variables for each condition:

  • Presence/ absence (1/0)
  • Date first recorded (MM-YYYY)
  • Number of sources in which the condition was present.

Additional variables in the dataset provide more detailed information on case ascertainment. Comprehensive documentation is provided in the CCMS Data Dictionary (to be published online soon).

CCMS datasets rely on linked data sources, therefore they must be requested on your EoI Form in the Linked Data Section, see Applying for data.

CCMS datasets are sufficient for many analyses, rather than using the source linked data collections. (However, you may also request the source collections, if you wish to include other aspects of health service use in your analyses).

The approvals required are the same as for the source datasets, as are the Conditions of use and publishing.

CCMS datasets will be updated annually; the current CCMS version is 2024.

The applicable periods or dates of coverage differ for each data source. The tables below summarise the data sources used in the CCMS dataset, 2024 version. For comprehensive information, by condition, please see the CCMS Data Dictionary.

CCMS: Linked data sources usedCCMS: ALSWH surveys used
Data sourceFrom
Year: Wave
Year: Wave
Deaths199620211989-952013: 12019: 6
Cancer Registry a1982-200820191973-781996: 12021: 9
MBS198420221946-511996: 12022: 10
PBS200120221921-261996: 12023: 6MF21 d
Hospital admissions/ Emergency a1970-20092019-22
Aged Care b

a Varies by State
b Varies by Aged Care Program
(See details of all current ALSWH national and state linked data holdings).
c Not all Survey Waves are applicable to all conditions; questions on a particular condition may not be asked at every survey.
d After Wave 6 (that is, since 2011) short six-monthly surveys (‘6MF’) have been administered to the 1921-26 Cohort.
(More information on survey participation can be found here. Surveys and data books are also available).


ConditionAll cohorts1989-951973-78 1946-511921-26
Depression/ anxiety2553845.99793546.7688050.96597046.1475339.35
Eating disorders11792.1210486.171130.8480.06100.08
Essential hypertension1921734.613962.33158511.74772359.63951378.76
Ischaemic Heart Disease961717.32460.272171.61247519.11687956.95
Uterine fibroids16502.97260.156905.118296.41050.87