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North West Adelaide Health Study

The North West Adelaide Health Study (NWAHS) is a representative longitudinal biomedical population cohort study of approximately 4000 adults, recruited from the northern and western regions of Adelaide in 2000-2002, with ongoing follow-up of participants.

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Chronic diseases are the epidemic of the 21st century. They are presenting South Australia—indeed the world—with a staggering economic and quality of life burden. There are many challenges to managing and preventing chronic disease and the NWAHS aims to better understand these conditions, their risk factors, the impact on individuals, and help provide better health for people living in the north-western region of Adelaide.

The study measures the effectiveness of strategies to prevent and manage chronic disease, and is an important resource for health planners, service providers, policy makers, and community members. It focuses on health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, mental health, sleep health and cardiovascular disease. It also investigates common risk factors including obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as environmental and social determinants of health. The aim is to help develop strategies to reduce chronic disease in the population.

The research team represents a range of disciplines including academic and clinical medicine, public health, epidemiology, social science, and nursing, and utilises quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

The study is a valuable resource for researchers with its multidisciplinary datasets and thus has been involved in various collaborative research projects both nationally and internationally. Prospective longitudinal data has been collected at multiple time-points since 2000 and there is broad multidisciplinary data on physical, mental and social aspects of health. Data linkage with other publicly held datasets, e.g. medication and hospital records, are available, as well as stored biological samples.

Enquiries from researchers regarding use of the data are welcome.

Principal investigators: Professor Robert Adams and Professor Anne Taylor

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