Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) Study

Latest information on CDAH 3.

The Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH) study is a cohort study with follow-up of 8498 children who participated in the 1985 Australian Schools Health and Fitness Survey (ASHFS) when aged 7 to 15 years. Using data from repeated measures of lifestyle, physical characteristics and mental health collected since childhood, the study's long-term aim is to determine the contribution of childhood factors to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes in later life. In the first follow-up of the cohort (CDAH-1) in 2004-6, participants completed questionnaires and attended study clinics. So far, reported findings include the associations of childhood obesity, fitness and physical activity, with adult cardio-metabolic disease risk, bone mass and depression; and associations of childhood smoking experimentation with adult smoking. CDAH study data have also been combined with data from similar cohorts from Finland and the USA to help understand childhood predictors of adult cardiovascular disease.

The second follow-up, conducted during 2009 - 2011, involved the completion of questionnaires. It had a particular focus on how life changes and stresses in our 30s and early 40s impact on our lifestyles, and affect health and risk of heart disease and diabetes. Analysis of the data collected is currently underway.

Childhood Determinants of Adult Health (CDAH): Knee Cartilage Study

Participation in regular exercise to fight the incidence of childhood obesity is widely advocated to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases later in life. However, the link between childhood fitness and obesity and knee osteoarthritic changes in adulthood are unknown. This study will be the first to look at these links using magnetic resonance imaging techniques in a large group of Australian children over 20 years.

A subset of CDAH cohort members in Sydney and Melbourne were recruited. They completed questionnaires and had a MRI scan. Data collection concluded at the end of 2010.

This project is a participant based study

Research Groups

Related Diseases


Team Leaders

Team Members

External Collaborators

  • Professor Terry Dwyer - Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
  • Dr Sarah McNaughton - Deakin University
  • Professor Olli Raitakari - University of Turku
  • Associate Professor Lyn March - Sydney University
  • Professor George Patton - Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Royal Children's Hospital
  • Dr Robyn Tapp - Monash University