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2015 Major Report

Chronic conditions, physical function and health care use: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health

This report presents a summary of common and important chronic conditions affecting women in the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH).

The ALSWH includes three cohorts of women (born 1921-26, 1946-51, 1973-78) who have been repeatedly surveyed since 1996, and a new cohort (born 1989-95) first surveyed in 2013.

In this report we present data on the increasing prevalence of several major chronic conditions as the women age, including arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions. We show the relationship between chronic disease and decline in women’s physical and mental health related quality of life, and their increased use of general practice consultations. We compare mean Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) costs between women who have and do not have each of the chronic conditions. The report also considers the prevalence of comorbidities and the increased rate of death associated with some of these chronic conditions.

Byles J, Hockey R, McLaughlin D, Dobson A, Brown W, Loxton D & Mishra G. Chronic conditions, physical function and health care use: Findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Report prepared for the Australian Government Department of Health, June 2015.

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