Ageing in Australia: the 1921-26 birth cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH) is a prospective nationwide study which has been investigating factors related to the health and wellbeing of three cohorts of Australian women since 1996. 12,432 women in the 1921-26 birth cohort participated in the original survey, when they were aged 70-75. Data were collected every three years until 2011 when, due to increasing age and declining participation, it was decided to collect data every six months. Currently 3,389 women remain in the study; 2,544 women have withdrawn and 6,499 women have died.
The first presentation, by Dr Paul Gardiner, will discuss the challenges and benefits as well as translational research opportunities offered by working with an older cohort as they continue to age. The second presentation, Dr Geeske Peeters, will consider the long term consequences of falls on well-being in this cohort. The two final presentations, by Associate Professor Deirdre McLaughlin and Mr Michael Waller, will focus on the linkage of ALSWH survey data with state and national health-related administrative datasets and provide examples of how researchers are utilising these data.
Dr Paul Gardiner is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the NHMRC-funded Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health in the 21st Century (CREWH21) within the School of Public Health at The University of Queensland. Paul’s research within CREWH21 focuses on the health of older women and use data from the 1921-26 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH). These data will allow for examination of patterns of frailty and disability and health expectancies within this population. A particular emphasis will be placed on translation of these findings to inform appropriate health and aged care services for older women
Dr Geeske Peeters is interested in musculoskeletal health in the ageing population. In 2009, she successfully defended her PhD thesis titled “Prevention of falling in older persons with a high risk of recurrent falling” at the EMGO Institute of the VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam. In 2010, she moved to Australia to work at The University of Queensland. She is currently working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow for the Centre for Research in Exercise, Physical Activity and Health (CRExPAH) in the School of Human Movement Studies and for the Centre for Research Excellence in Women’s Health of the 21st Century (CREWH21) at the School of Public Health. With CREWH21, she uses data linkage to examine measurement, determinants and consequences of musculoskeletal health, including falls, osteoarthritis and physical functioning.
Associate Professor Deirdre McLaughlin is a Principal Research Fellow with the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. She is a registered psychologist whose research interests centre around ageing, including rural and urban differences in mortality and morbidity, the impact of chronic conditions, gender differences associated with ageing issues and psychosocial factors associated with ageing well.
Mr Michael Waller is a statistician who works with the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health. His current areas of interest are dementia and data linkage.