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The Australian National University
DYNOPTA - Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing
ANU College of Medicine, Biology & Environment


AUSTRALIAN longitudinal study of women's health (ALSWH)

The Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH) examines the health and wellbeing of Australian women since 1996. The study aims to identify when, if and how the health system meets the health needs of women, and help guide future policy and planning of women's health care services. The project assesses:

  • physical and emotional health (including well-being, major diagnoses, symptoms)
  • use of health services (GP, specialist and other visits, access, satisfaction)
  • health behaviours and risk factors (diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, other drugs)
  • time use (including paid and unpaid work, family roles and leisure)
  • sociodemographic factors (location, education, employment, family composition)
  • life stages and key events (such as childbirth, divorce, widowhood)
Beginning data collection in 1996, the ALSWH (or Women's Health Australia) provides information on women's health issues. ALSWH looks at the needs, views, lifestyles, health and factors affecting the health of Australian women. The study has five main themes. Weight and exercise examines the impact of weight and exercise, dieting and eating disorders on health outcomes. Life stages and key events includes questions on childbirth, menopause, major illness, falls and fractures in the elserly, and dementia. Data are also collected on general wellbeing, emotional health and on smoking, alcohol and drug use. In doing so, the ALSWH is able to provide an accurate and current evidence base to the Department of Healthy Ageing to develop and evaluate policy and practice in areas of service delivery that affect women. Over 40 000 Australian women in three age cohorts (18-23, 45-50 and 70-75) were selected from the Australian National Health System Database, and are surveyed every three years.This study is funded by Australian Government through the Department of Healthy Ageing.

DYNOPTA Chief Investigator:

For more information about ALSWH please visit