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Epidemiology Unit for Musculoskeletal and Metabolic Disorders (Epi-UMMD)

The Epi-UMMD conducts population-based research into musculoskeletal and metabolic disorders, and the nexus between physical and mental health.

At the heart of the Unit lies the Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS) which is complemented by the Geelong Osteoporosis Study Fracture Grid (GOS-FracGrid), the Social Determinants of Health Project  (SDHP) and the Vitamin D in Pregnancy (VIP) study.

The Geelong Osteoporosis Study (GOS) is a prospective group study designed to describe the health burden of osteoporosis and identify risk factors for fragility fracture. The study is set in the Barwon Statistical Division. Over the past 20 years the GOS program of research has produced credible data addressing these issues and is continuing to prospectively document comprehensive clinical and environmental data for large groups of young, middle-aged and elderly men and women. This has produced a unique dataset for investigating a broad range of physical and mental health disorders. The GOS comprises several components: GOS-musculoskeletal disorders, GOS-metabolic disorders and GOS-mental health.

The Geelong Osteoporosis Study Fracture Grid (GOS-FracGrid) is an ongoing, comprehensive repository documenting incident fractures that have occurred in the Barwon Statistical Division for nearly two decades. This unique dataset details fracture cases according to fracture site, age, sex and date. Data from the GOS-FracGrid is being used to describe the epidemiology of fractures and to monitor changes in patterns of fractures, providing an invaluable data source for data linkage.

The Social Determinants of Health Project (SDHP) is designed to investigate how social and environmental factors impact on the health and well-being of individuals and groups, with the view to informing preventive health strategies, and health practice and policy. The research focuses on social inequity in use of medical services, with emphasis on the musculoskeletal disorders, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. These issues are explored using local, national and international data and frequently involve linkage with large clinical databases.

The Vitamin D in Pregnancy (VIP) study is a prospective study designed to investigate the influence of maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy and subsequent growth and development in the offspring.
This is a multi-phase study that assessed expectant mothers at two stages of pregnancy. Their babies were measured at birth and at one year of age, and are currently being re-assessed at age 9 - 11 years. Of particular interest is how maternal vitamin D levels are associated with children’s musculoskeletal development, wheezing illnesses, lung function, allergic sensitisation, mood and behaviour.

The Epi-UMMD enjoys mutual support from Barwon Health and Deakin University. The Epi-UMMD is part of the IMPACT Strategic Research Centre (Deakin University). The offices are situated in Kitchener House.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Contact Us

A/Prof Julie Pasco

Phone Number:
03 4215 3331