The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Child Health CheckPoint is a new phase of the Growing Up in Australia study. It was a one-off physical health check-in conducted during 2015-16. The aim is to learn more about the health of young Australians as they pass through the ‘checkpoint’ between being children and teenagers. Therefore, it involves the younger LSAC children, born in 2003-4. Because the CheckPoint needs special equipment and skills, its staff are from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and are supervised by Growing Up in Australia’s senior health researchers. LSAC’s main waves have happened every 2 years since 2004. Between the 6th and 7th wave, the 11 and 12 year olds took part in health activities which will enable researchers to learn about heart and lung health, fitness, strength, vision, diet, activity, and more.

Year 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016
Wave 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Age 4-5 years 6-7 years 8-9 years 10-11 years 12-13 years 14-15 years 18-19 years
# 4983 4468 4331 4164 3930 3537 3089
Study Summary
Study name Longitudinal Study of Australian Children
LSAC’s Child Health CheckPoint
Study abbreviation LSAC
CheckPoint (LSAC)
Current principal investigator/s Professor Melissa Wake
Chief Investigator Group Prof Melissa Wake, Prof John Carlin, Dr Fiona Mensah, Assoc/Prof Lisa Gold, Prof Sarath Ranganathan, Prof Tim Olds, Prof Dave Burgner, Assoc/Prof Michael Cheung, Prof Michael Sawyer, Prof Terry Dwyer
Associate Investigator Group Dr Ben Edwards, Dr Helen Rogers, Prof Louise Baur, Prof Steve Zubrick, Prof Tien Wong, Prof Richard Saffery, Dr Peter Azzopardi, Mr Luke Stevens, Dr Peter Simm, Dr Jessica Boyce, Prof Markus Juonala, Prof Justin O’Sullivan
Primary Institution Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Collaborating Institution/s
  • The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children – which is conducted in partnership between the Department of Social Services, Australian Institute of Family Studies and the Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, and Deakin University
Major funding sources NHMRC
Study website
Key reference for study (published study protocol) Wake, Melissa; Clifford, Susan; York, Elissa; Mensah, Fiona; Gold, Lisa; Burgner, David and Davies, Sarah. Introducing growing up in Australia’s child health check point: A physical health and biomarkers module for the longitudinal study of Australian children [online]. Family Matters, No. 95, 2014: 15-23. ISSN: 1030-2646.
Are data available to others outside study team? Yes, The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Wave 1-7 datasets, and the Child Health CheckPoint dataset, are available to researchers at no cost via a licence agreement. Data access requests are co-ordinated by the National Centre for Longitudinal Data. More information is available at The CheckPoint Team also welcome collaboration requests from researchers to use digital images and biospecimens collected as part of the study.
Study focus (e.g. social development) The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC, is Australia’s largest and only nationally-representative children’s longitudinal study. The study commenced in 2004 with two cohorts (n≈10,000) – 0-1 year old infants (B cohort) and 4-5 year old children (K cohort). It is governed by the Department of Social Services, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The cohorts are followed biennually, with a broad focus including health and development, education, family and parenting characteristics and socioeconomic environment. A new phase, LSAC’s Child Health CheckPoint is a one-off physical health and biospecimens module for the younger B cohort. It travelled around Australia in 2015-2016, collecting important information about children’s cardiovascular and respiratory health, fitness, strength, vision, hearing, diet, activity and more, as they transition from childhood to adolescence. The study children are aged 11-12 years old and nearly-2000 children (and their parents) participated. The Child Health CheckPoint is conducted by researchers at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Sampling frame LSAC had a two-stage clustered sampling design, first randomly selecting 10% of all Australian postcodes (stratified by state and urban/rural), then selecting children within those postcodes registered in Medicare Australia’s database and aged either 3-19 months old (B cohort) or 4-5 years old (K cohort).
CheckPoint: The B cohort
Study type (e.g. randomised control trial, cohort, case-control) Cohort
Year commenced LSAC: The first data collection wave was in 2004
CheckPoint: The data collection wave is in 2015-2016
Ongoing recruitment? No
Commencement sample (N) LSAC: B cohort n = 5107. K cohort n = 4983
CheckPoint: 1874 (plus 1874 parents)
Annual attrition rate LSAC: Participation at Wave 7 (2016) was B cohort n = 4070. K cohort n = 3930
CheckPoint: Not applicable
Intergenerational (e.g. offspring)? LSAC: No, but parents complete questionnaires about themselves and child
CheckPoint: One of each child’s parents is also assessed
Imaging (e.g. fMRI, ultrasound, retinal photograph)? LSAC: No
CheckPoint: Retinal photography, 2D photos of face, carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT), 3D photo of face and teeth, peripheral quantitative computerised tomography (pQCT) of cortical and trabecular bone density compartments
Linkage (e.g. BioGrid, VPDC, NAPLAN, Medicare)? LSAC: Medicare Australia (including immunisation) database, National Childcare Accreditation Council data, ABS Census of Population and Housing data, National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy scores, My Schools data, Australian Early Development Census, Centrelink.
CheckPoint: Perinatal Data Form (consent to link; linkage to follow)
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? LSAC: None
CheckPoint: 30mL venous blood (plasma, serum, and proteomics tubes); if refused fingerprick. Saliva, urine, hair, toenail clippings, buccal swab and Newborn screening card
Ethics approvals or requirements (e.g. specific, extended, unspecified, other)? This project only (Specific consent)

Any future research (Unspecified consent) for future use and analysis of child’s biological samples.

Other approvals or requirements PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scale (Child Report 8-12yrs)
PedsQL General Wellbeing Scale (Child Report 8-12yrs)
Child Health Utility 9D (CHU9D)
International Survey of Children’s Wellbeing (ISCWeB) 2013
Manchester Pain Manikin
Wave Year Age (mean, range) Eligible sample (not deceased, not withdrawn)
LSAC Wave 1 2004 B: 3-19 months
K: 4-5 years
B: 5107
K: 4983
LSAC Wave 2 2006 B: 2-3 yrs
K: 6-7 yrs
B: 4606 (90%)
K: 4464 (90%)
LSAC Wave 3 2008 B: 4-5 yrs
K: 8-9 yrs
B: 4386 (86%)
K: 4331 (87%)
LSAC Wave 4 2010 B: 6-7 yrs
K: 10-11 yrs
B: 4241 (83%)
K: 4164 (84%)
LSAC Wave 5 2012 B: 8-9 yrs
K: 12-13 yrs
B: 4070 (80%)
K: 3930 (78.9%)
LSAC Wave 6 2014 B: 10-11 yrs
K: 14-15 yrs
B: 3764 (73.7%)
K: 3537 (71.0%)
LSAC’s Child Health CheckPoint 2015 B: 11-12 yrs B: 1874 (plus 1874 parents)
LSAC Wave 7 2016 B: 12-13 yrs
K: 18-19 yrs
B: 3381 (66.2%)
K: 3089 (62.0%)
Future LSAC waves Study has ongoing funding, subject to future government decisions.

Principal Investigator

Professor Melissa Wake

Ph: +613 9345 5937

Project Manager

Dr Susan Clifford

Ph: +613 9345 7620

Postal Address

Child Health CheckPoint

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road
Ph: +613 9936 6464