North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS)
The North West Adelaide Health Study is a representative biomedical population cohort study of approximately 4000 adults aged 18 years and over recruited from the northern and western regions of Adelaide. It is an ongoing epidemiological research collaboration between the South Australian Department of Health, The University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Lyell McEwin Hospital and the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science.
The study is an important research activity which supplies much of the evidence for the magnitude of the chronic disease problem and relevant risk factors. It provides the baseline data to enable measurement of the effectiveness of strategies in preventing and managing chronic disease. The study is an important resource for health planners, service providers and policy makers, as well as for community members. Its aim is to help develop sustainable strategies to reduce the chronic disease burden in the population.
The study focuses on priority health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Risk factors that are common to many chronic conditions including obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, are also investigated.
Stage 1 (baseline recruitment) was conducted between 1999 and 2003 (Phase 1A 1999-2000/Phase 1B 2002-03); Stage 2 (first follow-up) was conducted between 2004 and 2006; and Stage 3 (second follow-up) was conducted between 2008 and 2010. Telephone follow-up surveys have also been conducted in 2002 and 2007.
Stage 1 of the study established baseline self-reported and biomedically measured information on those who were:
- at risk of these conditions;
- previously undiagnosed with these conditions; and
- diagnosed with these conditions.
The longitudinal nature of the study (Stage 2 onwards) allows examination of:
- incidence of these conditions;
- changes in patterns of severity, management costs and utilisation of resources;
- the impact of existing and future guidelines; and
- the potential for other health researchers to access a high quality database for value-added chronic disease or related research.
Researchers involved with the study has been awarded more than $5 million across a range of projects, from funding sources such as the National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australian Research Council. The success of the study is primarily due to the time and effort given by participants for more than ten years, together with the commitment and expertise of the research team, including clinic staff and researchers.
For more information about the North West Adelaide Health Study (including chief investigators, clinic procedures, etc), please visit the general website at: www.nwadelaidehealthstudy.org/ or telephone (08) 8313 1214 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
North West Adelaide Health Study: summarised findings and implications 2000-2008. Population Research and Outcome Studies, South Australian Department of Health, Adelaide (2009)
Stage 2 Key Findings (North West Adelaide Health Study: Stage 2 Summary Report)
Population Research and Outcome Studies, South Australian Department of Health, Adelaide (2007)
4 Page Reports
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
Current mental health condition
Mental health (GHQ12)
Body Mass Index
Waist circumference (central adiposity)
Waist hip ratio
Overall health status
Quality of life (SF36)
Health service use
Stage 1 Reports
Grant J, Chittleborough C, Dal Grande E, Taylor A. North West Adelaide Health Study: baseline biomedical and self-report data. Population Research and Outcome Studies, South Australian Department of Health, Adelaide (2005)
Chittleborough C, Burke M, Taylor A. North West Adelaide Health Study: Medicare Benefits Schedule Health Insurance Commission data for chronic conditions and risk factors. Population Research and Outcome Studies, South Australian Department of Health, Adelaide (2005)
Baldock K, Chittleborough C, Phillips P, Taylor A. Modelling reduction of coronary heart disease risk among people with diabetes. Population Research and Outcome Studies, South Australian Department of Health, Adelaide (2007)
Phase 1A Reports
(PROS previously entitled the Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology; SA Department of Health previously entitled SA Department of Human Services)
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Chittleborough C, Cheek J, Wilson D, Phillips P, Ruffin R. North West Adelaide Health Study: key biomedical findings, policy implications and research recommendations. Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology, SA Department of Human Services, Adelaide (2002)
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Chittleborough C, Ruffin R, Wilson D, Phillips P. North West Adelaide Health Study: SUMMARY of key findings, policy implications and research recommendations. Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology, SA Department of Human Services, Adelaide (2002)
Cheek J, Oster C. North West Adelaide Health Study: qualitative investigation of the experiences, perceptions and understandings of people with a chronic condition. Centre for Research in Nursing and Heath Care, University of South Australia, and Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology, SA Department of Human Services, Adelaide (2002)
Wilson D, Appleton S, Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Chittleborough C, Ruffin R. North West Adelaide Health Study: risk factors and associated chronic conditions. Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology, SA Department of Human Services, Adelaide (2002)
Chittleborough C, Cheek J, Grant J, Phillips P, Taylor A. Education and information issues among people with diabetes. Centre for Population Studies in Epidemiology, SA Department of Human Services, Adelaide (2002)
The NWAH Study has been the basis for over 230 presentations at state, national and international conferences. For a complete list of all NWAHS presentations, please see this document Conference Presentations. Presentations for which a PROS staff member has been the principal author, are below.
American Public Health Conference (Boston)
Baby Boomers and Generation X: are generational differences in health simply a matter of age?
Stress in the workplace, occupation and the risk of unhealthy weight in Baby Boomers and Generation X workers in South Australia, Australia
American College of Rheumatology/American Rheumatology Health Professionals Association Annual Meeting (San Diego)
An examination of shoulder pain using magnetic resonance imaging in older people
An examination of shoulder pain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in older people
54th Annual Scientific Meeting of ARA/RHPA (Perth)
Vitamin D and Musculoskeletal Pain
Research symposium (Adelaide)
Background of the study
Baby Boomers (NOBLE)
Strategies informing self-care decision-making
Process for substudies and obtaining data
Contribution of NWAHS/future
Australian & New Zealand Obesity Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Adelaide)
Obesity as a growing concern: is the message getting through?
20th International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference (Geneva)
Chronic disease and risk factor prevalence using an Australian based cohort study.
6th World Congress on the Prevention of Diabetes and its Complications (Dresden)
Medication patterns by glucose levels in North West Adelaide Health Study.
Australasian Epidemiological Association Annual Scientific Meeting (Dunedin)
Summary of policy implications 2000-2008
Australasian Podiatry Conference (Gold Coast)
Prevalence and correlates of foot pain: the North West Adelaide Health Study
3rd International Congress on Prediabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome (Nice)
Diabetes incidence: seven-fold risk among those with metabolic syndrome
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Adelaide)
Diabetes incidence among those with metabolic syndrome
Medication patterns by glucose levels
18th Annual Meeting of the Australian & New Zealand Bone & Mineral Society (Melbourne)
Prevalence of osteoporosis in a community sample
Medication use among those with osteoporosis in the community
Australasian Society for Psychological Research in Diabetes 10th Annual Scientific Conference (Melbourne)
Increased medication use is associated with poorer health-related quality of life among people with diabetes independent of glycaemia.
Population Health Congress (Aust Epid Assoc, A'asian Fac Public Hlth Med, Aust Health Prom Assoc, Public Health Assoc Aust) (Brisbane)
Four studies and a collaboration: intergenerational research in South Australia.
European League Against Rheumatism Conference (Paris)
The association between shoulder pain and diabetes mellitus: a population based study
Medications and osteoporosis in the community - some missing and some inappropriate
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Melbourne)
Hypertension and dyslipidaemia: missing medications and missing targets
Incidence of diabetes in the NWAH Study - socioeconomic and biomedical risk factors
Australian Rheumatology Association Conference (Adelaide)
The prevalence of musculoskeletal pain in an Australian population based cohort study.
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Christchurch)
Diabetes can ruin your day – Quality of life after diagnosis
19th International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference (Vancouver)
Underestimated and over represented: prevalence of osteoporosis
Australasian Epidemiological Association Scientific Meeting (Melbourne)
Plugging an important research gap: measured incidence of chronic disease
Public Health Association of Australia Conference (Sydney)
Overall health status in the north west of Adelaide.
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Gold Coast)
Cumulative diabetes incidence: ten-fold risk among those with impaired fasting glucose
Reduction of A1c, blood pressure, and cholesterol decreases 10-year risk of coronary heart disease among those with diabetes
International Congress on Obesity (Sydney)
Socioeconomic disparities associated with metabolic syndrome differ by gender
European Respiratory Society Annual Congress (Munich)
Examining asthma incidence in an Australian prospective cohort
Gender differences in inequalities in asthma
Health Outcomes Conference (Canberra)
The relationship between metabolic syndrome and health related quality of life
Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity 14th Annual Scientific Meeting (Adelaide)
The relationship of central obesity with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes
The relationship between waist to hip ratio and quality of life
Which measure of central obesity is best?
Using a tape measure to examine chronic disease and risk factors
Australasian Epidemiological Association Scientific Meeting (Newcastle)
The impact of undiagnosed chronic conditions (diabetes, asthma and COPD) on health-related quality of life
Public Health Association of Australia Conference (Perth)
The NWAH Study: quiet achievers in chronic disease epidemiology
European Respiratory Society Annual Congress (Copenhagen) - a series on population surveillance in North West Adelaide with ...
Lung function and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) across the diabetes spectrum
Medical costs among males and females with diagnosed and undiagnosed asthma
Physical activity associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
The impact of diagnosed and undiagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) on quality of life
Health Outcomes Conference (Canberra)
Risk factors and quality of life
Costs associated with chronic conditions
Costs associated with risk factors for chronic conditions
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Perth)
Coronary heart disease risk in South Australians with diabetes
Men are more likely than women to have prediabetes or the metabolic syndrome
Income and diabetes: prevalence is higher among the poor
1st International Congress on Prediabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome (Berlin)
Are the demographic and risk factor profiles different for males and females with impaired fasting glucose?
The effect of impaired fasting glycaemia on quality of life in a South Australian population
Australasian Epidemiological Association Scientific Meeting (Adelaide)
A gendered look at the epidemiology of diabetes in SA
Impaired fasting glucose: is it more that just high blood sugar?
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Sydney)
Achieving diabetes management targets: the North West Adelaide Health Study population
Do people with diabetes have poorer health-related quality of life than those with asthma or COPD?
18th International Union for Health Promotion and Education Conference (Melbourne)
Health service use and diabetes risk factor concentration
Severe obesity: who should be targeted?
Why should we reduce obesity in the population? Health resource use implications.
Australasian Society for Behavioural Health and Medicine (Brisbane)
Perception of diabetes risk in North West Adelaide
Public Health Association of Australia Conference (Brisbane)
Chronic disease and risk factor multiplicity: who should be targeted?
Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand Meeting (Adelaide)
Asthma prevalence and perception of severity in North West Adelaide: a population biomedical study
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Melbourne)
Identifying people with diabetes-related complications from a population perspective
Public Health Association of Australia Conference (Adelaide)
Who's skating on thin ice? North West Adelaide Health Study risk factor profile
Impact of chronic conditions and risk factors on quality of life
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Australian Diabetes Society Annual Scientific Meeting (Adelaide)
What do people with diabetes want to know? Education and information needs of people with diabetes
A hidden menace: undiagnosed diabetes
The NWAH Study has been the basis for over 130 publications in national and international peer-reviewed journals. For a complete list of all NWAHS publications, please see this document Journal Publications. Publications for which a member of PROS staff has been the principal author, are below.
Montgomerie AM, Chittleborough CR, Taylor AW. Physical inactivity and incidence of obesity among South Australian adults. PLoS One. 2014 Nov 10;9(11):e112693. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0112693.
Gill TK, Hill CL, Shanahan ME, Taylor AW, Appleton SL, Grant JF, Shi Z, Dal Grande E, Price K, Adams R. Vitamin D levels in an Australian population. BMC Public Health 2014, 14:1001 doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1001.
Taylor AW, Pilkington R, Feist H, Dal Grande E, Hugo G. A survey of retirement intentions of baby boomers: an overview of health, social and economic determinants. BMC Public Health 2014 Apr 14;14(1):355. [Epub ahead of print].
Pilkington R, Taylor AW, Hugo G, Wittert G. Are Baby Boomers Healthier than Generation X? A profile of Australia's working generations using national health survey data. PLoSOne 2014 DOI: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0093087 [Epub ahead of print].
Grant J, Martin S, Taylor AW, Wilson D, Araujo A, Adams R, Jenkins A, Milne R, Hugo G, Atlantis E, Wittert G. Cohort profile: The Men Androgen Inflammation Lifestyle Environment and Stress (MAILES) Study. International Journal of Epidemiology 2014;43:1040-1053. (Advance Access publication 19 Jun 2013; EPub ahead of print); doi 10.1093/ije/dyt064)
Gill TK, Hill CL. Smoking and osteoarthritis. (Letter) International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases; 2013;16(6):766-7. doi: 10.1111/1756-185X.12175.
Taylor AW, Price K & Fullerton S. A survey to assist in targeting the adults who undertake risky behaviours, know their health behaviours are not optimal and who acknowledge being worried about their health: BMC Public Health 2013;13:120 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-120.
Gill TK, Shanahan EM, Taylor AW, Buchbinder R, Hill CL. Shoulder pain in the community: an examination of associative factors using a longitudinal cohort study. Arthritis Care and Research 2013;6(12): 2000-2007 DOI:10.1002/acr.22082.
Shi Z, Araujo A, Martin S, O'Loughlin P, Wittert G. Longitudinal changes in testosterone over five years in community-dwelling men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. (17 June 2013; EPub ahead of print); doi:10.1210/jc.2012-3842.
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Grant J, Appleton S, Gill T, Shi Z, Adams R. Weighting of the datas and anaylytical approaches may account for differences in overcoming the inadequate representativeness of the respondents to the third wave of a cohort study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, in press.
Gill T, Taylor A, Hill C, Phillips P. Osteoporosis in the community: sensitivity of self-reported estimates and medication use of those diagnosed with the condition. Bone Joint Research 2012; 1:93-98.
Taylor A, Price K, Gill T, Adams R, Pilkington R, Carrangis N, Shi Z, Wilson D. Multimorbidity - not just an older person's issue: results from an Australian biomedical study. BMC Public Health 2010; 10:718.
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Gill T, Pickering S, Grant J, Adams R, Phillips P. Comparing self-reported and measured high blood pressue and high cholesterol status using data from a large representative cohort study. Aust & NZ Journal of Public Health 2010; 34(4):394-400.
Chittleborough C, Baldock K, Phillips P, Taylor A & the North West Adelaide Health Study Team. Achievement of management targets associated wiith incident and long-term diagnosed diabetes among a representative population sample. Diabetes Reseach & Clinical Practice 2010; 88:322-7.
Chittleborough C, Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Gill T, Grant J, Adams R, Wilson D, Ruffin R. Gender differences in asthma prevalence: variations with socioeconomic disadvantage. Respirology 2010; 15(1):107-14.
Chittleborough C, Burke M, Taylor A, Wilson D, Phillips P, Adams R, Ruffin R. Medicare-related service use and costs among a representative sample of people with diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes and respiratory conditions. Aust Health Review 2009; 33:107-116.
Grant J, Hicks N, Taylor A, Chittleborough C, Phillips P. Gender-specific epidemiology of diabetes: a representative cross-sectional study. International Journal of Equity in Health 2009; 8:6.
Shi Z, Taylor A, Gill T, Grant J, Adams R, Wilson D. Body mass index threshold for obesity using self-reported data among Australian population (Letter to the Editor). Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Grant J, Taylor A, Ruffin R, Wilson D, Phillips P, Adams R, Price K & the North West Adelaide Health Study Team. Cohort Profile: The North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS). International Journal of Epidemiology 2008; 38:1479-86.
Chittleborough C, Baldock K, Taylor A, Phillips P. Health status assessed by the SF-36 along the diabetes continuum in an Australian population. Quality of Life Research 2006; 15(4):687-94.
Grant J, Chittleborough C, Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Wilson D, Phillips, Adams R, Cheek J, Price K, Gill T, Ruffin R (on behalf of the NWAH Study Team). The North West Adelaide Health Study: detailed methods and baseline segmentation of a cohort along a chronic disease continuum. Epidemiologic Perspectives & Innovations 2006; 3:4.
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Gill T, Chittleborough C, Wilson D, Adams R, Grant J, Phillips P, Appleton S, Ruffin R. How valid are self reported height and weight? A comparison between CATI self-report and clinic measurements using a large representative cohort study. Aust & NZ Journal of Public Health 2006; 30(3):238-46.
Taylor A, Dal Grande E, Gill T, Chittleborough C, Wilson D, Adams R, Grant J, Phillips P, Ruffin R. Do people with risky behaviours participate in biomedical cohort studies? BMC Public Health 2006; 6:11.
Gill T, Chittleborough C, Taylor A, Ruffin R, Wilson D, Phillips P. Body mass index, waist hip ratio, and waist circumference: which measure to classify obesity? Social & Preventive Medicine 2003; 48:191-200.
2004–02 Relationship between overweight and obesity and other health risk factors
2003-03 How many South Australians are severely obese?
2003-02 Monitoring obesity in the South Australian population - which survey type?
(telephone, face to face or biomedical)
2002-10 Risk Factors and associated chronic conditions
2002-07 North West Adelaide Health Study (overview)
Stage 1 (1999-2003)
Clinic running sheet
Stage 2 (2004-06)
Clinic running sheet
Telephone follow-up surveys
Telephone follow-up 1 survey (Phase 1A) - 2002
Telephone follow-up 2 survey - 2007
- 4 August - Adele Horin, Once Weekly Digest Email: Baby boomers: not so healthy, not so cool
- 31 July - The Advertiser: Diabetes diagnosis linked to wealth
- 1 July - Channel 9 News: Multiple chronic disease doubles in Adelaide's north-west; also Channel 7 and 10 news, ABC Adelaide Radio and 5AA
- 27 March - Channel 9 News: Generation X is twice more likely to be overweight and have diabetes than the Baby Boomers
- 9 October - The New York Times: The 'Healthy Obese" and Their Health Fat Cells
- 28 September - The Advertiser: Boomers obesity woes
- 27 September - ABC Online News: Study finds baby boomers fat and chronically ill
- 5 September - The Advertiser: A dawning age of older workers (Editorial) and Boomers opt to keep on working
- 23 August - UniSA News: Healthy start for pre-schoolers
- 21 May - The Advertiser: A ticking health bomb
- 14 June - Medical Observer publication: Diabetes target
- 20 October - The Advertiser: Location key to healthy lifestyle, Fat tax to curb growing waistlines
- 3 December - The Daily Telegraph: Fat boomer alert and The Advertiser: High cost of "fat" boomers
- 21 October - The Advertiser: $34M in funding for Adelaide Uni
- 20 August - Weekly Times Messenger: How are you feeling?
- 6 November - The Advertiser: Study dispels fast food myth; The Australian: Pollies gutless on obesity - guru
- 5 November - The Advertiser: Toddlers fight the flab; Channel 10 News & Channel 7 News: Tipping the scales against obesity
- 29 October - Statewide Clinical Networks Cardiology News: Closing the gaps in understanding poorer coronary heart disease outcomes in rural areas
- August - Diabetes Network News: Launch of Stage 2 findings, chronic conditions, diabetes
- 27 June - @Health (SA Health publication): Stage 2 release of North West Adelaide Health Study
- 4 June - The Advertiser: Fewer South Aussies lighting up
- 4 June - ABC Premium News, Sydney: Health snapshot of Adelaide's north west
- 24 January - Immunology Weekley (Atlanta USA): Asthma risk factors
- 14 December - The Age, Daily Telegraph, The Australian, Brisbane Courier Mail AAP, ABC News Online, Las Vegas Calorie Counter News; ABC News: We're telling porkies about our weight
- 13 December - The Australian: Bad news - we're shorter and fatter
- 25 November - The Age/Good Weekend publication: Myth Conceptions - is it only the young who suffer from asthma? (Dr Karl Kruzelnicki)
- July/August - Pen 2 Paper (City of Port Adelaide Enfield Newsletter): Suffering silently with asthma
- April/May - Pen 2 Paper (City of Port Adelaide Enfield Newsletter): Health study will benefit community
- February - City to the Sea (City of Charles Sturt Community Newsletter): North West Adelaide Health Study
- 21 October - @Health (SA Health publication): National Stroke Week; National Asthma Week
- 19 October - The Bunyip (independent Gawler newspaper): Shortness of breath not just a symptom of old age
- 21 September - Portside Messenger Newspaper: Study helping the elderly breath easier
- 19 September - Channel 10 News (George Donikian & Kelly Nestor): Reduce risk factors for stroke (interview with Dr Simon Koblar); also ABC North & West, ABC Riverland and Radio Adelaide
- 7 September - The Advertiser: It's asthma, not age; 5AA Radio, ABC 891 Adelaide Radio: Older people and asthma
- 19 July - @Health (SA Health publication): Metabolic syndrome
- 4 July - 5AA Radio (Interview with Lea Stevens, SA Health Minister): North West Adelaide Health Study
- 30 June - The Advertiser: Heart attack alert
- April - Channel 10 News (Jane Reilly) - Asthma
- 4 March - The Advertiser: Most overweight or obese
- 15 May - Channel 10 News (Lou Hendricks) - Health and research story