Given the dynamic, time-dependent nature of ageing, longitudinal studies are needed for successful investigations of critical health and social outcomes. Individual longitudinal studies make important contributions to knowledge in the Australian context and contain rich data on particular topics. However, these studies often have only small numbers of people in with specific medical conditions, or combinations of different conditions, and lack the statistical power for effective comparisons among groups with specific characteristics such as very old age, low-prevalence disorders or co-morbidities.

The Dynamic Analyses to Optimise Ageing (DYNOPTA) project draws data from multiple population health databases to examine disease outcomes that contribute to the burden of disease and disability in Australia. These include dementia and cognition, mental health, sensory disability, and mobility/activity limitations.

DYNOPTA project is developing the first Australian dynamic microsimulation model that can forecast the health and social outcomes of the baby boomer and older cohorts. The simulation modelling will allow researchers to evaluate the impact of modifying risk factors and costs associated with different trajectories of health and ageing.

The project is funded by the NHMRC, led by the ANU and collaborating institutions include the University of Sydney, University of Canberra, Monash University, Flinders University, Newcastle University.


  • Forecast health and functional status in the context of population ageing over the next 20 years.
  • Identify potential interventions within population target groups and estimate the associated costs and benefits of the extent to which risk reduction may prevent disease in order to compress morbidity and delay mortality, thus increasing social and economic participation.
  • Contribute to innovative resources for government and researchers, with the potential for wider application in identifying factors that will optimise healthy and productive ageing at both the individual and population levels.
  • Ensure the effective implementation of research findings by engaging with government, consumers and industry.


The DYNOPTA project is led by researchers at ANU in collaboration with:

As well as international collaborators from:

Our partner organisation is the Australian Institute of Health & Welfare.