Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health (ALSWH)

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health – widely known as Women’s Health Australia – is a longitudinal population-based survey, which examines the health of over 40,000 Australian women over a 20 year period.

First funded in 1995, the project was designed to explore factors that influence health among women who are broadly representative of the entire Australian population. The study goes beyond a narrow perspective that equates women’s health with reproductive and sexual health, and takes a comprehensive view of all aspects of health throughout women’s lifespan.

The first wave was conducted in 1996, which was segregated into three groups, the 1973-1978 (Young) cohort, the 1946-1951 (Mid-age) cohort, and the 1921-1926 (Old-age) cohort. Each cohort received a different questionnaire, which varied in the types of questions asked, but in essence covered issues regarding overall physical and emotional health, use of health services, education and employment status, drug and/or alcohol use, diet, exercise, and family situation. In 2012 and 2013, 17,069 18-23 year old women were enrolled into a fourth “New Young” cohort. The women in this new cohort were mainly recruited using the internet and social media platforms.

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health website provides a detailed description of the background, aims, themes, methods and progress of the study, along with details of how to request access to the ALSWH datasets.


The datasets available through the Australian Data Archive can be found on the ALSWH dataverse.