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2014 Major Report

Health and wellbeing of women aged 18 to 23 in 2013 and 1996: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) first surveyed three age cohorts of women in 1996. At recruitment, the women were aged 18 to 23 (1973-78 cohort), 45 to 50 (1946-51 cohort) and 70 to 75 (1921-26 cohort). These age groups were selected to ensure coverage across the adult lifespan. Over the last 18 years, the cohorts have been surveyed regularly.

By 2010, women in the original cohorts were aged 32 to 37 (1973-78 cohort), 59 to 64 (1946-51 cohort) and 84 to 89 (1921-26 cohort). As a result, these cohorts no longer provided information from across the entire adult lifespan. To remedy this, in 2011 the Department of Health and Ageing (now the Department of Health) provided the study with funding to establish a fourth ALSWH cohort of women aged 18 to 23 in 2013 (born 1989-95).

All surveys of the 1989-95 cohort will be conducted online and linked with Medicare and other administrative data to provide an objective measure of health and health service use. The surveys are planned to continue longitudinally with on-going linkage of health service data for the same individuals. Findings will provide evidence that can be used to inform health policy and planning.
The purpose of this report is to describe the recruitment and representativeness of the 1989-95 cohort and their health and wellbeing. Where possible, generational health differences will be identified by comparing women aged 18 to 23 in 2013 (1989-95 cohort) with women who were in the same age range in 1996 (1973-78 cohort).

Mishra G, Loxton D, Anderson A, Hockey R, Powers J, Brown W, Dobson A, Duffy L, Graves A, Harris M, Harris S, Lucke J, McLaughlin D, Mooney R, Pachana N, Pease S, Tavener M, Thomson C, Tooth L, Townsend N, Tuckerman R & Byles J. Health and wellbeing of women aged 18 to 23 in 2013 and 1996: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health, June 2014.

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