Chronic Disease Epidemiology

 Epidemiology Policy and Practice


The Chronic Disease Epidemiology group conducts innovative large-scale research on chronic disease, variation in health and healthcare and disadvantaged populations. Work focuses on using large-scale data to identify potentially modifiable factors affecting individual and population health in different settings and to quantify their effects, to inform improvements in health and health care.

The group’s work aims to generate reliable large-scale quantitative evidence on targets for intervention, in partnership with policymakers, practitioners, and community, and to inform implementation to improve health and healthcare – ultimately supporting big data as ‘business as usual’. It uses a systems- and team-based approach to conducting large-scale research, maximising its quality, effectiveness, efficiency and reach. The group interfaces with local and national collaborators for a range of specific projects, with a focus on the generation of policy and practice relevant evidence. The EPP group has 5 major research programs:

The group makes use of emerging and established data resources, such as the 45 and Up Study, Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children, ABS nationally representative health and social surveys, Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health (SEARCH), and Seeding Success and serves as a repository of expertise in the use of these data.

Led by Professor Emily Banks, a public health physician and epidemiologist. She is She is Head of the Centre of Epidemiology for Policy and Practice at the Australian National University, an NHMRC Investigator Fellow, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and a Member of the Order of Australia. Prof Banks and the Chronic Disease Epidemiology group are supported by the Research Management team and the Data Coordination and Access Team.




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Project Status
ACT Asbestos Health Study II: Linked Data Project Current
ANU Telehealth in Primary Care Study Current
Building resilience against COVID-19 in Australia Current
Cancer survivorship: large-scale data on person-centred outcomes Completed
Causal patterns in deaths from CVD in Australia Potential
Chronic disease and healthy ageing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including tobacco Current
CVD risk, prevention and implementation Current
Empowering reproductive decisions and services through community engagement (Sierra Leone) Current
Health impacts of electronic cigarettes Current
Mayi Kuwayu Study Current
Multiple causes of death and their contribution to population attributable fractions for smoking Potential
Pharmacoepidemiology and chronic disease Current
Pre-school based intervention to address intimate partner violence and substance misuse (Sri Lanka) Completed
Quantifying cause-related mortality in Switzerland, incorporating multiple causes Potential
Quantifying Mortality Incorporating Multiple Causes of Death: Optimising Data for Policy and Practice Completed
Safe Delivery Program Current
Smoking among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults: health impacts, associated factors, and trends over time Current
Smoking and health: large scale data on important outcomes Current
Strengthening referral frameworks for survivors of gender-based violence (Papua New Guinea) Completed
Study of Environment on Aboriginal Resilience and Child Health Completed
Variation in CVD risk, incidence, care and outcomes Current
Variation in fatal burden of disease, preventive CVD care and end-of-life care Current
Whole-of-population linked data project Completed


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  • Banks E, Beral V, Reeves G, Balkwill A, Barnes I for the Million Women Study Collaborators. Fracture incidence in relation to the pattern of use of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women. JAMA 2004;291:2212-2220.
  • Banks E, Reeves G, Beral V, Bull D, Crossley B, Simmonds M, Hilton E, Bailey S, Barrett N, Briers P , English R, Jackson A, Kutt E, Lavelle J, Rockall L, Wallis MG, Wilson M, Patnick J. Influence of personal characteristics of individual women on the sensitivity and specificity of mammography in the Million Women Study: cohort study. Br Med J 2004;329:477-0.
  • Banks E, Meirik O, Farley T, Akande O, Bathija H, Ali M for WHO study group on female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome. Female genital mutilation and obstetric outcome: WHO collaborative prospective study in six African countries. Lancet 2006; 367:1835-1841(cover publication).
  • Canfell K, Banks E, Myat Moa A, Beral V. Decrease in breast cancer incidence following a rapid fall in use of hormone replacement therapy in Australia. Med J Aust 2008;188: 641-644.
  • Urban M, Banks E, Egger S, Canfell K, O'Connell D, Beral V, Sitas F. Injectable and oral contraceptive use and cancers of the breast, cervix, ovary and endometrium in black South African women: case-control study. PLOS Medicine 2012; 9(3): e1001182. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001182.
  • Korda R, Liu B, Clements M, Bauman A, Jorm L, Bambrick H, Banks E. Prospective cohort study of body mass index and the risk of hospitalisation: findings from 246,361 participants in the 45 and Up Study. Int J Obesity 2013;37:790-9.
  • Banks E, Joshy G, Weber M, Liu B, Grenfell R, Egger S, Paige E, Lopez A, Sitas F, Beral V. Tobacco smoking and all-cause mortality in a large Australian cohort study: findings from a mature epidemic with current low smoking prevalence. BMC Medicine 2015;13:38. DOI 10.1186/s12916-015-0281-z
  • Korda R, Joshy G, Paige E, Butler J, Jorm L, Liu B, Bauman A, Banks E. The relationship between body mass index and hospitalisation rates, days in hospital and costs: findings from a large prospective linked data study. PLoS One 2015; 10:e0118599
  • Schaffer A, Buckley N, Dobbins T, Banks E, Pearson S. The crux of the matter: Did the ABC’s Catalyst program change statin use in Australia? Med J Aust 2015;202:591-4  (Awarded Medical Journal of Australia/MDA National Research Prize for Excellence in Medical Research for best clinical research article in the MJA in 2015)
  • Lokuge K, Caleo G, Greig J, Duncombe J, McWilliam N, Squire J, Lamin M, Veltus E, Wolz A, Kobinger G, de la Vega M, Gbabai O, Nabieu S, Lamin M, Kremer R, Danis K, Banks E, Glass K. Successful control of Ebola Virus Disease: analysis of service based data from rural Sierra Leone. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2016;10(3):e0004498. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004498
  • Banks E, Crouch S, Korda R, Stavreski B, Page K, Thurber K, Grenfell R. Absolute risk of cardiovascular disease events and treatment with blood pressure- and lipid-lowering medications in the Australian general population. Med J Aust 2016;204:320
  • The Global BMI Mortality Collaboration (includes Banks E*, Joshy G* and Korda R) (denotes equal first author contribution). Body-mass index and all-cause mortality: individual-participant-data meta-analysis of 239 prospective studies in four continents. The Lancet 2016;388(10046):776-86 doi: 
  • Lokuge K, Verputten M, Tolboom B, Joshy G, Thurber K, Howes S, Daisy P, Banks E. Health services for gender-based violence: Medicins Sans Frontieres experience caring for survivors in urban Papua New Guinea. PLoS One 2016;11:e0156813. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156813
  •  van der Ploeg HP, Chey T, Korda RJ, Banks E, Bauman A. Sitting time and all-cause mortality risk in 222 497 Australian adults. Archives of internal medicine 2012;172(6):494-500 doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.2174[published Online First: Epub Date]|.
  • Korda RJ, Butler JR, Clements MS, Kunitz SJ. Differential impacts of health care in Australia: trend analysis of socioeconomic inequalities in avoidable mortality. Int J Epidemiol 2007;36(1):157-65 doi: 10.1093/ije/dyl282[published Online First: Epub Date].
  • Korda RJ, Joshy G, Jorm LR, Butler JR, Banks E. Inequalities in bariatric surgery in Australia: findings from 49,364 obese participants in a prospective cohort study. The Medical journal of Australia 2012;197(11):631-6
  • Banks E, Joshy G, Abhayaratna WP, Kritharides L, Macdonald PS, Korda RJ, Chalmers JP. Erectile dysfunction severity as a risk marker for cardiovascular disease hospitalisation and all-cause mortality: a prospective cohort study. PLoS medicine 2013;10(1):e1001372 doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001372[published Online First: Epub Date]|.