More Time Walking Means Less Time In Hospital.
In almost every country, the proportion of people aged 60 years and above is growing faster than any other age group and is expected to reach 2 billion worldwide by 2050. Internationally and nationally, considerable efforts are being made to promote active ageing. However, Australia lacks the kind of comprehensive longitudinal research underway in Europe and North America, she does have a number of longitudinal studies designed to address various issues of health and ageing among older adults, but only a few of these studies include a broad and comprehensive range of physical and biological measures. The Hunter Community Study is a collaborative study between the University of Newcastle’s School of Medicine and Public Health and the Hunter New England Area Health Service. It is a multi-disciplinary initiative that was established to fill some existing gaps in ageing research in Australia and is unique in that it has collected detailed information across all six key policy themes as identified in the Framework for an Australian Ageing Research Agenda; viz., a broad spectrum of measures of ageing that includes clinical, genetic, biochemical, health services, economic, environmental as well as social and behavioural measures; sufficient statistical power to test a range of important hypotheses about common acute and chronic disease events, i.e. percentage incidence of a particular disease over 10-year follow-up; a comparison population for studies involving the use of case series from local hospitals; a repository of stored biological samples, covering plasma, serum, whole blood, DNA and whole cells; virtual follow-up through individual-level linkage with databases including Medicare Australia, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, hospital separations, cancer, cardiovascular disease, death and other registries; and a reference population for economic, social science, environmental, health services, health promotion, clinical and genetic research. The Report was published in the Medical Journal of Australia on 20 February 2017.
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