Introduction The North West Adelaide Health Study is a representative population cohort study of approximately 4000 adults aged 18 years and over in the northern and western regions of Adelaide. Cohort assessment has been conducted over a 10-year period to provide baseline and ongoing information about chronic disease and health-related risk factor status from self-reported and biomedically measured data. The study identifies those across the chronic disease continuum from those without disease, those at risk, undiagnosed and diagnosed.
Methods The initial sample was randomly selected and over 4050 participants attended a clinic assessment in Stage 1. The number of participants undertaking a clinic assessment in Stage 2 was n=3200 and in Stage 3 approximately n=2500. Data have been collected using Computer Assisted Telephone Interview (CATI) surveys, self-completed questionnaires and biomedical measurements and include musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions and diabetes and related risk factors.
Results An overview of the study's findings from 2000 to 2010 will be presented, highlighting initial disease prevalence, incidence and characteristics of at-risk populations. This information provides epidemiological evidence relating to relevant conditions and risk factors which can be used in the development of prevention and treatment programs.
Conclusion Chronic diseases play an important role in today's society in terms of costs and impact on the population, both for those with the disease and for the wider community. It is important that these conditions are prevented if possible and managed effectively in order to reduce societal burden.
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