Access 45 and Up Study questionnaire variables, data books and data dictionaries

Data and technical information

The 45 and Up Study uses large and diverse samples of older Australians to collect information about a broad range of health and social topics.

Surveys include information on participants’ behaviours, experiences, household and demographic situations, carer responsibilities, relationship changes, psychological distress, quality of life and chronic conditions.

The 45 and Up Study began in 2005 and comprises over 15 years of complex data.

The COVID Data Hub includes: data from the COVID supplement in the 2020 Wave 3 follow up survey; data from the series of five COVID Insights surveys conducted from 2020 to 2022; and demographics such as age, sex, chronic conditions, cultural and linguistic diversity and disability.

A summary of all questions collected across the 45 and Up Study is available as a downloadable spreadsheet.

Baseline questionnaire

Information on the health of 45 and Up Study participants has been collected using a Baseline Questionnaire that was mailed to people in the target age range selected at random from the Medicare Australia enrolment database.The baseline data collected covers more than a quarter of a million men and women aged 45 and over.

People living in rural areas and those aged 80 years and over were oversampled so we could obtain a particularly clear statistical picture of these groups. Separate questionnaires were devised for men and women so we could ask questions specific to each group.

The results of information gathered from both baseline questionnaires can be found in the Study’s Data Book.

Follow-up questionnaires

At least every five years participants are sent a follow-up questionnaire to identify health and lifestyle changes. Because of the large number of participants, the questionnaires are rolled out in phases. The first follow-ups were undertaken in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The second follow-ups were rolled out in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Many of the questions asked in the surveys are repeated, but there are also new questions, such as those about the impact of COVID-19 in the 2020 survey.

 Download the first follow-up questionnaires:

 Download the second follow-up questionnaires:

The Data Books summarise prevalence of participants’ survey responses and characteristics.

View and download the data books (as PDFs) for all available surveys below.

The Data Dictionaries provide analysts with information on the structure and coding of the variables that make up the 45 and Up Study datasets.

The 45 and Up Study receives regular updates of MBS data related to participants. The MBS Data Dictionary provides analysts with information on the structure and coding of the variables that make up Services Australia’s MBS data.

The 45 and Up Study receives regular updates of PBS data related to participants. The PBS Data Dictionary provides analysts with information on the structure and coding of the variables that make up Services Australia’s PBS data.

The 45 and Up Study biospecimen collection is increasing. By 2020, over 5,000 biospecimens had been collected with 1,100 genomes sequenced. Researchers with approved projects can invite additional 45 and Up Study participants to donate biospecimens. The biospecimen information can be linked to many years of survey and administrative data to identify cohorts and understand the interaction between lifestyle factors, health, genetics and outcomes.

For information contact us at 45andUp.research@saxinstitute.org.au.

Before submitting a publication or conference abstract you must send it to the 45 and Up Study team for review. The checklist of requirements is here.

The recommended acknowledgement text is as follows:

“This research was completed using data collected through the 45 and Up Study (www.saxinstitute.org.au). The 45 and Up Study is managed by the Sax Institute in collaboration with major partner Cancer Council NSW and partners the Heart Foundation and the NSW Ministry of Health. We thank the many thousands of people participating in the 45 and Up Study”

Contact us

To discuss your research needs, please contact us at 45andup.research@saxinstitute.org.au