The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (also known as Women's Health Australia) is a longitudinal survey of over 58,000 women in three cohorts who were aged 18-23, 45-50 and 70-75 when surveys began in 1996. In 2012/13 more than 17,000 young women aged 18-23 were recruited to form a new cohort. ALSWH assesses women’s physical and mental health, as well as psychosocial aspects of health (such as socio-demographic and lifestyle factors) and their use of health services. Since its inception ALSWH has provided invaluable data about the health of women across the lifespan, and informed federal and state government policies across a wide range of issues. The study is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and is scheduled to continue until at least 2017.

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Doctor measuring pregnant woman's blood pressure | Women's Health Australia

Media Release: Young women’s gradual weight gain raises pregnancy blood pressure danger

16 May 2017

Researchers are challenging women to start thinking about pre-pregnancy health sooner, with the finding that years of gradual weight gain more than doubles the risk of blood pressure disorders in pregnancy.

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Measuring weight change | Women's Health Australia

Media Release: Even ‘healthy’ weight gain raises pregnancy diabetes risk

5 May 2017

Mothers who gain weight in the years leading up to pregnancy have an increased risk of gestational diabetes, even if their weight remains within the healthy body mass index (BMI) range.

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2016 AR Cover 

2016 Annual Report

The 2016 Annual Report highlights the research and activities carried out as the study celebrated its 20th year furthering women's health research, policy and practice. The report provides an overview of study collaborators and also provides abstracts of all research published using study data in 2016. 

Download the report


Media Release: Older women taking statins face higher risk of diabetes

15 March 2017

Research from the 1921-26 cohort found that women over 75 faced a 33 per cent higher chance of developing diabetes if they were taking statins. The risk increased to 51% for those on high doses. Clinicians are urged to be aware of the risks when prescribing and carefully monitor elderly female patients.

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Media Release: Early periods associated with risk of gestational diabetes

6 March 2017

Girls who have their first period before age 11 are 50% more likely to develop gestational diabetes according to research from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health.

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Women's Health Australia Participant Newsletter - 2016

Participant Newsletter Now Online

20 February 2017

The 2016 participant newsletter is online and mobile friendly! The 20th anniversary edition looks at how young women's health has changed over the last 20 years, links between binge drinking and depression, how our participants comments inspire researchers and much more.

Read the newsletter


Data Release - Survey 7, 1973-78 Cohort

Data from the 7th Survey of the 1973-78 (Young) cohort is now available for analysis. The Child Data Set is not yet available however new data is available on:

  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Use of stairs on a usual day
  • Pain in various parts of the body

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2016 Major Report Released – Future Health Service Use and Cost

1 November 2016

The 2016 Major report, Future health service use and cost: Insights from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health is now available online.

The report aims to identify trends in women’s health status and predict health service burden to 2035. It assess the major contributors to the burden of disease in Australian women: obesity, smoking, mental health problems, and dementia. Findings from the report are relevant for policy makers, industry associations and advocacy groups supporting women's health policy and practice.

Download a Lay Summary

Download the Full Report


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This website is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.  The views expressed on this website do not necessarily represent the position of the Australian Government.