The Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS) has received international recognition by having the study profile published in the prestigious International Journal of Epidemiology.
The study is being conducted by the Barwon Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit (BEBU) at Barwon Health, a partnership between Barwon Health and Deakin University’s School of Medicine, to examine risk factors for chronic disease.
Principal Research Fellow and Head of the BEBU, Associate Julie Pasco, leads the research group responsible for the study.
“The GOS was designed to determine the burden of osteoporosis in the general population and to identify risk factors for fracture,” Associate Professor Pasco said.
“Over 3000 residents of Geelong and surrounding areas were selected at random from electoral rolls and invited to participate in the study by visiting the research centre at Barwon Health every few years to have their bone mineral density measured and their health monitored.
“We have described the prevalence of osteoporosis and identified groups in the community who are at greatest risk for fracture. Bone mineral density reference ranges developed by the GOS are now used clinically across Australia for assessing patients’ fracture risk.
“The scope of the study has expanded over time to study determinants of other disorders, as well as osteoporosis, and these include obesity, osteoarthritis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, coeliac disease and psychiatric illness.
“This large, ongoing, population-based study has put Geelong on the map in the arena of health research, and is now well-recognised, both nationally and internationally.”
Details of the study design and the nature of the clinical, lifestyle and biochemical data collected from GOS participants since the inception of the study in the 1990s, were made available on-line yesterday, by the International Journal of Epidemiology. This publication is testament to the quality of the data and the integrity of the study.
The research unit employs local fulltime research scientists and research assistants, and provides academic support for post-doctoral research Fellows, Honours students and PhD candidates who pursue individual projects that form part of this program of research.