Recent Surveys in Busselton: Since 2000
Research activities undertaken as part of the Busselton Health Studies are diverse and encompass a wide range of health conditions and measures. These have included cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal, kidney and liver diseases, cancer, obesity, sleep disorders, cognition and genetic epidemiology. Extensive information on demography, lifestyle and behaviour have also been collected at each of the studies along with blood samples for biochemical measures and genetic studies.
The studies bring together some of Australia’s leading researchers and a growing list of international colloborators who recognize the value of this unique data set. The use of standardized questionnaires and methodology, international best practice guidelines in data collection and a stable representative population ensures that the studies can provide important information about the prevalence of disease and the factors associated with them. Below are some of the ongoing and recently completed data collection projects conducted in Busselton. A summary of previous Busselton surveys can be found here.
2010 - ongoing: The Busselton Healthy Ageing Study (BHAS)
A large multidisciplinary project investigating the causes of and risk factors for a wide range of conditions of public health importance in an ageing population commenced in 2010. The Busselton Healthy Aging Study (BHAS) is collecting measures on vision and hearing disorders, respiratory and cardiovascular disease, muscle strength and physical function, obesity, diabetes, sleep disorders, bone health, spinal pain, and mental health and cognition from up to 4000 adults born between 1946 and 1964. It is anticipated that this cohort will be followed up every 4 years and will provide important information about the risk factors underlying disease and debilitation common to ageing.
2008 - 2010: The Busselton Diabetes Study (BDS)
The Busselton Diabetes Study (BDS) collectied information about the effects and characteristics of diabetes in a semi-rural population and is based on the long running Fremantle Diabetes Studies (FDS - Phase I and Phase II). Led by Professor Timothy Davis, the study recruited over 200 patients with diabetes and over 200 age/sex-matched controls and collected information on a number of measures. The tests included a comprehensive physical, neurological and cardiovascular assessment, biochemistry, vision tests and questionnaires collecting details on lifestyle and diabetes management, care and complications. The study will allow comparisons with urban care programs and also provide important information relevant to the growing prevalence of Type-II diabetes. Phase II of the study was completed in 2010 with all participants with diabetes invited back to perform a second assessment. Local research nurse Aida Embling, a familar friendly face in the Busselton community, conducted the follow up tests.
2007 - 2008: Burden of Lung Disease Study (BOLD)
In 2007, Busselton was one of numerous sites taking part in the international Burden of Lung Disease (BOLD) study, which aims to assess the world-wide impact and prevalence of COPD and emphysemea. Post-bronchodilator spirometry, forced oscillation technique, airway inflammation, atopy and questionnaire data was collected from over 600 Busselton participants aged over 40 years. The Australian component of the study is coordinated by the Operations Centre at the Woolcock Institute in NSW. In addition to data already collected in Sydney and Busselton, the studies are now also underway in the Kimberley, Melbourne and Tasmania and once complete will provide comprehensive comparisons with other countries into the prevalence and health and economic burden of COPD and emphysemea.
2007- ongoing: The Prevalence of Sleep Disordered Breathing
In-home sleep monitoring devices have been used in Busselton since the early 1990s. This data along with comprehensive sleep health and behaviour information collected from standardised questionnaires continues to provide an insight to the prevalence and associated risk factors underlying sleep disordered breathing in the community. This largely under-researched area is growing in importance with a number of key findings coming from the Busselton studies and other groups that indicate that sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnoea) is prevalent in the community and if left untreated may be associated with increased risk of mortality.
2005 - 2008: The Changing Prevalence Of Asthma and COPD
In 2005 we commenced a large scale investigation into the changing prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD in the community. Over 2900 adults and 1500 children completed lung function tests, including spirometry, airway inflammation and resistence and atopy. While a number of analyses are still underway results indicate that the prevalence of Doctor-diagnosed asthma, respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheeze, and skin allergies (atopy) continue to increase in some age-groups in the community. Continuing analyses will look at the risk factors underlying these trends and contribute to the international effort to understand the eitology of these complex respiratory diseases.
2006 - 2008: Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome & CVD Risk Study
A study into the prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome and risk for cardiovascular disease was recently conducted in Busselton. The study collected ultrasound measurements of carotid intima thickness (CIMT), body habitus, biochemistry including insulin, lipids and inflammatory markers and lifestyle factors from over 1000 school-aged children and 1200 adults. Analyses currently underway will provide important information about the inter-relationship, risk factors and early course of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease in the community. The study will have a particular emphasis on understanding the mechanisms and markers of CVD from an early age.
2003 - 2004: Iron and Cognition StudyA cross-sectional community study of serum iron levels and cognitive status in 972 previous attendees aged 60 years or older commenced in 2003. Iron studies (serum iron, transferrin saturation, serum ferritin) were performed in 1994/5 and again in 2003/4 and clinical and cognitive assessments were conducted. All participants completed the Cambridge Cognitive test (CAMCOG) and the National Adult Reading Test. Those with CAMCOG scores <84 underwent expert clinical review for cognitive disorders, including the Clinical Dementia Rating scale. All participants identified as HFE C282Y homozygous or with serum ferritin >1,000 ng/ml had normal CAMCOG scores. The findings suggest abnormal body iron stores (low or high) are unlikely to have clinically significant effects on cognition or dementia risk in community-dwelling older people.
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