Understanding the impact of social, economic and geographic disadvantage on the health of Australians in mid - later life: what are the opportunities for prevention?

Project Short Title
SEEF Study

Project Status

Lead Adrian Bauman; Investigators at UNSW M Harris, E Comio

Project Rationale

Social, economic and environmental factors play a key role in the health of all Australians.  As the Australian population ages, there is an urgent need to understand how people can remain healthy and independent for as long as possible.

Project Aim/s

This research examined the ways in which social, economic and environmental factors contributed to the health of Australians in mid to later life.  It helped to identify ways in which policy and preventive programs can contribute to improving health in mid to later life particularly among disadvantaged Australians.

Project Design and Method

We explored in detail social, economic and environmental factors in 100,000 people aged 45 and over; this was the largest study of its kind ever undertaken in Australia. We examined the relationship between these social, economic factors, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical activity, environmental and obesity. We looked at how these factors contributed to health and health service use.  Because of the large numbers of people participating in the study, we investigated for the first time, the ways in which these factors affect each other and their importance in different subgroups in the population such as people living in remote parts of Australia, Aboriginal people and people with low incomes.  This enabled us to identify where programs and policies should be directed to most rapidly improve the health of disadvantaged Australians.

Any Publications

  • Ding D, Chong S, Jalaludin B, Comino EJ, Bauman AE. Risk factors of incident type 2-diabetes mellitus over a 3-year follow-up: Results from a large Australian sample Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 108(2): 306-315.
  • Harris MF, Md Islam F, Jalaludin b, Chen J, Bauman A, and Comino EJ. Preventive care in general practice among healthy older New South Wales residents. BMC Family Practice14(1):83-83 Jan 2013