Cohort Profile: The Australian longitudinal study on Women's Health

Christina Lee*, Annette J. Dobson, Wendy J. Brown, Lois Bryson, Julie Byles, Penny Warner-Smith, Anne F. Young

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

564 Citations (Scopus)


[Extract] The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), also known as Women's Health Australia, has its history in the women's movement of the 1980s. At that time, activists successfully pressured governments in Australia, at both the State and Federal levels, to develop women's health policies. Part of the development process of the National Women's Health Policy, which was launched in 1989, involved a national consultation with women's organizations representing more than a million women. From this consultation the idea of a national longitudinal study on women's health emerged. As with the National Policy generally, the longitudinal study was to be premised on a social rather than a narrowly focused medical approach to health. The study was envisaged as a strategy to enable women to gain greater power over shaping the nature of health care. This was given impetus by studies at the time showing that it was not major medical conditions that were of most concern to most women. Studies asking women to rate their main health concerns found these concerns to be tiredness, menstrual difficulties, overweight, depression, and anxiety.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-991
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


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