Medical Research: Bench to Bedside Department of Medicine (RMH)

The Women's Healthy Ageing Project

OverviewWPAP logo

Director - Associate Professor Cassandra Szoeke

The Women’s Healthy Ageing Project is a prospective, longitudinal, epidemiological study of 438 Australian Women that has spanned two decades. ‘This study has extensive detailed measures, a high retention rate and midlife data which can be examined in the setting of late life health. There is data available on participants from over twenty years of measured physical, psychosocial and lifestyle factors which affect later life health. In particular there is prospective information on mood, alcohol, smoking and physical activity and social connectedness which have been identified as important for healthy ageing. Therefore this study is in a unique position to examine the inter-relationship of these key factors in the development of morbidity in ageing. This study is not only long in duration but its advantage is in the detail of measures taken in each follow-up year with extensive biomarker, physical measures and questionnaire data covering cardiovascular, bone health, cognition, cancers, urology, endocrinology, psychological, sociological and lifestyle areas’.

Research Domains: Public Health, Clinical Sciences and Health Practice, Neurosciences and Behavioural Sciences, Biosciences, Epidemiology and Health Services, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology.

Areas of Focus of NHMRC WHAP study

Research Activity

WHAP Methodology - pdf

Key WHAP Measures - pdf

Recent Graduates and Awards of WHAP - pdf

WHAP variable list - pdf

WHAP Publications 1991-2000

WHAP Publications 2001-2009

Available Projects: Link to locate potential student projects. Most of these projects can be tailored for Honours or Research Higher Degrees (Masters, Doctor of Medical Science or PhD).


WHAP Research Team and Collaborators


Featured Publications

1. Szoeke, C.E., Robertson, J.S., Rowe, C.C., Yates, P., Campbell, K., Masters, C.L., Ames, D., Dennerstein, L., and Desmond, P. (2013). The Women's Healthy Ageing Project: Fertile ground for investigation of healthy participants 'at risk' for dementia. Int Rev Psychiatry 25, 726-737.
2. Bousman, C.A., Szoeke, C., Chen, K., Dennerstein, L., Henderson, V.W., and Everall, I.P. (2012). Oestrogen alpha receptor variant and two-year memory decline in midlife Australian women. Neuropsychobiology 66, 259-265.
3. McBride, S.J., Szoeke, C.E.I., Good, N.M., Ames, D., Martins, R., Masters, C., Maruff, P., Rowe, C.C., Savage, G., Ellis, K.A., et al. (2011). A web-based normative data tool for assessing cognitive performance in healthy older Australians.  . MJA 194 12-14.
4. Carrillo, M.C., Rowe, C.C., Szoeke, C., Masters, C.L., Ames, D., O’Meara, T., Macaulay, S.L., Milner, A., Ellis, K.A., and Maruff, P. (2012). Research and standardization in Alzheimer's trials: Reaching international consensus. Alzheimer's & Dementia, 1-9.
5. Szoeke, C.E.I., Campbell, S.R., Lautenschlager, N., O, Y., and Ames, D. (2010 ). What’s the future of treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease? Medicine Today 11, 18-32.
6. Barber, B., Ames, D., Ellis, K., Martins, R., Masters, C., and Szoeke, C. (2012). Lifestyle and late life cognitive health: sufficient evidence to act now? International Psychogeriatrics.

WHAP Recent Awards

1. Travel Fellowship (2014), Alzheimer’s Association International Conference
2. Best Poster Award (2013), Australian and New Zealand Society of Geriatric Medicine
3. Vivien Wallace Award (2012), Australasian Menopause Society
4. Barbara Grossman Award (2012), Australasian Menopause Society
5. CEPAR scholarship (2012), Centre for Excellence in Population Ageing Research
6. Young Investigator Award (2012), Alzheimer’s Association

Contact Details

Women's Healthy Ageing Project

PO Box 2026 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville 3050


Phone: 8344 1835




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