LSAW Cohort

The Calcium Intake Fracture Outcome Study (CAIFOS) was a population based study of women aged over 70 years with the aim of determining the efficacy of calcium supplementation in preventing fracture. The treatment phase of this two-arm, randomised, double-blind, 5-year study of calcium supplementation (1200mg/d) versus placebo in 1,500 women concluded in 2003.

Of 24,800 women aged over 70 on the electoral roll women 6.2% were recruited. The mean age of the population at baseline was 75.1 ± 2.7 years. These women had no illness likely to limit their involvement in the study for five years, and were not taking bone active agents. Although the subjects entering the study were weighted in favour of those in higher socio-economic categories they do not differ from the whole population in health resource utilisation [1].

In 2003, 1275 (85%) of the study subjects remained active within the CAIFOS study (2003) and were subsequently invited to participate in an extension study. The CAIFOS Age Related Extension Study (CARES) was conducted for a further five-years (2003-2008).  This study was supported by the NHMRC (Project Number 303169) to collect further information regarding factors that influence osteoporosis and other diseases. Three quarters (n=1136) of the subjects from the original CAIFOS cohort enrolled in the CARES study.

In February 2008, 963 (85%) of the CARES cohort (64% of the CAIFOS cohort) were still active in the NHMRC funded CAIFOS Age Related Extension Extension Study CAREES cohort study of aging (Project number 572604) which completed in 2013.

Longitudinal Study of Ageing Women (LSAW) is the umbrella term referring to the life of the three studies.


1.    Bruce DG, Devine A, Prince RL. Recreational physical activity levels in healthy older women: the importance of fear of falling. J Am Geriatr Soc 2002;50:84-9.