Territory Stories

Annual Report 2003/2004 Menzies School of Health Research



Annual Report 2003/2004 Menzies School of Health Research

Other title

Tabled paper 1523


Tabled Papers for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT






Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

File type




Copyright owner

See publication



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Menzies School of Health Research 2003 Annual Report | Population Health & Chronic Diseases Division | 17 The Aboriginal Birth Cohort (ABC) Study was the first birth cohort of an Indigenous population in the world. The ABC was established between 1987 and 1990 by neonatologist Dr Sue Sayers who was concerned about the longterm risks to the health of the small babies being born to many Aboriginal mothers. It was established before David Barkers research on the foetal origins of adult disease had ignited world-wide interest in this field. The children in this cohort come from a wide range of backgrounds, from both urban and remote populations. Thus, the ABC allows for exploration of the causal pathways to diabetes, renal disease and cardiovascular disease in this high-risk population. Over time, it will also enable examination of intergenerational effects. Foetal & Early Life Origins of Chronic Disease MSHR 2003 Research & Education Report provides detail on all research projects and is available online at www.menzies.edu.au Ongoing analysis of Wave 2 data is continuing in the ABC Study a prospective longitudinal study examining the influences of maternal health and birth size on childhood growth, nutrition, morbidity and risk factors for chronic diseases in childhood. Initial findings from follow-up examinations of children aged 10 to 12 years show this birth cohort had poor postnatal growth with no relationship between birth weight and the potential markers of chronic adult disease. Key achievements TOP: With the majority of MSHR research conducted throughout remote communities of the Northern Territory, its important to understand that if you cant carry it dont take it! Here MSHR staff of the ABC Study carry research equipment from an airstrip to a community. Most of their field trips require the equivalent of four large suitcases of research equipment. ABOVE: MSHR PhD student Gurmeet Singh performs a renal ultrasound on the verandah of a local clinic as part of the ABC Study. (Photos courtesy ABC Study, MSHR)