Investigators: Alys Havard (CI), Louisa Jorm, Danielle Tran, Sanja Lujic

Pharmaceutical products, including Zyban, Champix and nicotine replacement therapy, are the most effective strategies available to help people quit smoking. This project will measure the safety of these medications by linking pharmaceutical prescription records to records of other health service use.

Investigators: A/Prof Jon Adams (CI), A/Prof Alex Broom, Dr Chi-Wai Lui, Prof David Sibbritt, Dr Jon Wardle.

The use of complementary and alternative medicine — including dietary or nutritional supplements — has attained mainstream status in contemporary western society. Unfortunately there has been little empirical investigation examining the profile and prevalence of the use of such dietary and nutritional supplements for older adults. The aim of this project was to determine, the profile of users of glucosamine and fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids and the prevalence of use in 45 and Up Study participants based on demographic, health status, and health behaviour variables.

Outcomes resulting from this research:

Sibbritt D, Adams J, Lui C-W, Broom A, Wardle J. Who Uses Glucosamine and Why? A Study of 266,848 Australians Aged 45 Years and Older. PLoS ONE [Internet] 2012 7(7):e41540. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041540

Adams J, Sibbritt D, Lui C-W, Broom A, Wardle J. Omega-3 fatty acid supplement use in the 45 and Up Study Cohort. BMJ Open [Internet] 2013;3:1–8. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002292

Investigators: Prof Emily Banks (CI), Prof Louisa Jorm, A/Prof Sonia Wutzke.

The project aim was to collect detailed physical measures and biospecimens from approximately 1,000 45 and Up Study participants through dedicated clinics and existing pathology services to:

Provide overall information on the feasibility, acceptability and cost of collecting biospecimens and biodata from 45 and Up Study participants.

Establish likely response rates for collection of biospecimens and biodata from 45 and Up Study participants, overall and according to a range of factors, including data collection model, fasting versus non-fasting status, distance of residence from the collection site, age, sex, socioeconomic status, functional capacity and lifestyle.

The other aim of the project was to validate self-reported measures of height and weight against measured height and weight and provide measured data on height and weight to calibrate self-reported height and weight for the rest of the 45 and Up Study.

Outcomes resulting from this research:

Banks E, Herbert N, Rogers K, Mather T, Jorm L. Randomised trial investigating the relationship of response rate for blood sample donation to site of biospecimen collection, fasting status and reminder letter: The 45 and Up Study. BMC Med Res Methodol [Internet] 2012 Sep 24;12:147. doi:10.1186/1471-2288-12-147

Investigators: Dr Manish Arora (CI), Dr Bradley Christian, Assoc Prof Wendell Evans, Dr Pathik Mehta, Dr Shanti Sivaneswaran.

The Australian population continues to age. These expected changes in the Australian population pose a myriad of challenges in understanding the determinants of aging related health conditions. Oral health is an integral part of our overall health. Poor oral health status has been linked to a number of systemic diseases.

The aims of this study was to address the issues surrounding oral health with a primary focus on the interrelationship between tooth loss and diseases affecting the whole body.

Outcomes resulting from this research:

Arora M, Schwarz E, Sivaneswaran S, Banks E. Cigarette Smoking and Tooth Loss in a Cohort of Older Australians: the 45 and Up Study. J Am Dent Assoc 2010 Oct;141(10):1242–49

Investigators: A/Prof Fiona Blyth, A/Prof Marlene Fransen, Prof Louisa Jorm (Supervisor), Ms Sanja Lujic, Dr Lynette March, Mr Sean Williams (CI).

The aim of this project was to undertake a descriptive analysis of the usage patterns of glucosamine, omega 3 and fish-oil in a population with osteoarthritis.

Outcomes resulting from this research:

It was found that glucosamine use was more common than previously reported in people being treated for osteoarthritis (45%). In a population treated for osteoarthritis, glucosamine use was found to be more prevalent in those with higher income, higher levels of education, being female, increased exercise levels, less physical limitation, and good self-rated health and quality of life.

Mr Sean Williams, an MBBS (Honours) student at the University of Western Sydney, was awarded First Class Honours and the University Medal for this research. Mr Williams presented his research findings at the 45 and Up Study Collaborators’ Meeting 2011, and the Australian Rheumatology Association NSW Meeting 2011.

Investigators: Prof Alan Cass (CI), Dr Celine Foote, A/Prof Meg Jardine.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with cardiovascular morbidity, decreased quality of life, premature mortality and increased health service utilisation. One critical area of nephrology where information is lacking is the management of CKD patients who are not referred to nephrologist care, a group who are largely managed in primary health care settings.

This study will provide crucial information pertaining to a community-dwelling, older adult CKD cohort, particularly high-risk groups who may have differential access to care. This cohort will provide an understanding of the prevalence, risk factors and management of CKD in a community setting. The study findings will be used to formulate interventions to slow progression, decrease the personal and societal burden of CKD and aim to narrow the gap between evidence and clinical practice.

Investigators: Prof Emily Banks (CI), Dr Mark Clements, Dr Mithilesh Dronavalli, Dr Terry Dwyer, Elsamual Elhebir, Prof Jeff Hughes, Dr Grace Joshy, Dr Rosemary Korda, Dr David Smith.

Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are extremely common and are responsible for considerable morbidity and health care costs. In men, international studies indicate the prevalence of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a term often used synonymously with LUTS, is approximately 35% for men aged 60 and over and surgical treatment for LUTS is extremely common. In women, incontinence is a common and significant health problem, with 8% of those in the 45 and Up Study reporting being troubled by leaking urine on a daily basis. Surgery for incontinence is also common. However, this area remains under researched and little reliable data exist on factors associated with LUTS, sexual health and related surgical procedures. Furthermore, although various prescription medications are known to exacerbate prostatic and urinary symptoms, direct evidence using linked prescription data and clinical outcomes is limited. This project will use questionnaire data from the 45 and Up Study linked to data on medications, hospitalisation and other health services use to identify potentially modifiable factors associated with LUTS, and the health and health services sequelae of LUTS.

Investigators: Prof Emily Banks (CI), Dr Mark Clements, Prof Terry Dwyer, Dr Rosemary Korda, Ms Isabel Latz, Dr Alex Peng, Dr David Smith.

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition among men from middle-age onwards. Left untreated BPH can lead to urinary tract infection, urinary bladder stones or obstructive uropathy (renal failure). This project will involve analysis of 45 and Up Study baseline questionnaire data to examine the relationships between demographic, lifestyle and health factors and outcome measures for BPH, such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, or a diagnosis of benign prostate hyperplasia.