Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS)

Current CAR investigators involved: CIs Dharmage & Abramson

Tasmanian Longitudinal Health Study (TAHS) is the world’s largest and longest running respiratory health study research study (see http://tahs.com.au/ for details). In 1968, all 8,583 Tasmanian school children born in 1961 were surveyed for asthma and respiratory disorders with a questionnaire filled out by their parents. We refer to them as probands. These children also had a medical examination including breathing tests. Their 16,266 parents and 21,043 of their brothers and sisters (siblings) were also asked about their respiratory health using separate questionnaires. Sub-cohorts of these participants have been followed up overtime. Our team started the 5th decade follow-up of this cohort in 2002. As part of this follow-up, we attempted to trace all 45,900 people who participated in the original survey, computerised the, 1968, 1974 and 1979 data, school medical records of 8,500 probands and birth records of nearly 3,000 probands. We then attempted to complete a survey of all probands (lung function testing and genetics on 1500), a survey of all siblings (lung function testing and genetics on 2000) and a survey of all parents. We are just about to commence the 6th decade follow-up of probands. Using this data, the impact of living in different cities that have different air pollutant levels as well in areas with high traffic density and asthma has been investigated. This unique data provides further opportunities to investigate the contribution of long term exposure to air pollutants on incidence of respiratory symptoms and decline in lung function.

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