The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) Child Health CheckPoint is a one-off physical health check-in conducted during 2015-16 of the Growing Up in Australia study. 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 2018
Wave 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Age 4-5 years 6-7 years 8-9 years 10-11 years 12-13 years 14-15 years 16-17 years 18-19 years
# 4983 4464 4331 4164 3956 3537 3089 3037
Study Summary
Study name Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)’s Child Health CheckPoint
Study abbreviation 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, Prof Michael Cheung, Prof Michael Sawyer, Prof Terry Dwyer
Associate Investigator Group Assoc/Prof 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, Financial Markets Foundation for Children, The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, MCRI, Victorian Deaf Education Institute, National Heart Foundation of Australia, University of Auckland Faculty Research Development Fund, Cure Kids, New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, National Centre for Longitudinal Data (at the Department of Social Services).
Study website checkpoint-lsac.mcri.edu.au
https://dataverse.ada.edu.au/dataverse/lsac
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.
https://aifs.gov.au/publications/family-matters/issue-95/introducing-growing-australias-child-health-checkpoint
Are data available to others outside study team? Yes, The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children Wave 1-8 datasets, and the Child Health CheckPoint dataset, are available to researchers at no cost. Data access requests are co-ordinated by the National Centre for Longitudinal Data. Researchers need to obtain approval to use the LSAC-ADA dataset. More information is available at https://dataverse.ada.edu.au/dataverse/lsac. 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, growingupinaustralia.gov.au) 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 families who completed a wave 6 home interview were eligible and invited to participate in CheckPoint.
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 8 (2018) was B cohort n = 3127. K cohort n = 3037
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), air pollution grid, built environment and socio-economic indexes for areas (consent to link; linkage in progress).
Biosamples (e.g. buccal, blood, hair)? LSAC: None
CheckPoint: Blood (whole blood, plasma, serum, dry blood spot and proteomics tubes), saliva, urine, hair, toenail clippings, buccal swab. Newborn screening card is consented to access.
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)
AQoL 8D
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: 4242 (83%)
K: 4164 (84%)
LSAC Wave 5 2012 B: 8-9 yrs
K: 12-13 yrs
B: 4085 (80%)
K: 3956 (79%)
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: 16-17 yrs
B: 3381 (66.2%)
K: 3089 (62.0%)
LSAC Wave 8 2018 B: 14-15 yrs
K: 18-19 yrs
B: 3127 (61.2%)
K: 3037 (60.9%)
Future LSAC waves Study has ongoing funding, subject to future government decisions.

Principal Investigator

Professor Melissa Wake

Ph: +613 9345 5937
Email: melissa.wake@mcri.edu.au

Project Manager

Dr Yichao Wang

Ph: +613 9936 6297
Email: yichao.wang@mcri.edu.au

Dr Susan Clifford
Email: susan.clifford@mcri.edu.au

Postal Address

Child Health CheckPoint

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
The Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Road
PARKVILLE VIC 3052
Ph: +613 9936 6464
Email: LSAC.ChildHealthCheckPoint@mcri.edu.au