Gunma University Initiative for Advanced Research > Laboratory > International Open Laboratory > the University of Queensland

the University of Queensland


A Life Course Approach to Women’s Health and Chronic Diseases

A life course approach to a women’s health can be considered as the study of all health outcomes of importance to women, but particularly chronic conditions, and biological function. This approach goes beyond the often- implicit assumption that women’s health is limited to reproductive and maternal health. Rather, the reproductive events and characteristics of women’s lives, from menarche to menopause and beyond, form a reproductive axis that is fundamental to their experience of chronic disease later in life. For example, oestrogen exposure varies across life, including timing of menarche, childbearing and breastfeeding, exogenous hormone use (oral contraceptives and menopausal hormone therapy), and type and timing of menopause. [1]

Research Fields

Women’s health, menarche, menopause


Chronic conditions, cardiovascular disease, mental health, dementia, osteoporosis

IDENO Yuki Associate Professor [concurrent]
NAGAI Kazue Associate Professor [concurrent]

An international comparisons of chronic conditions in women across the life course.

 Life course approach to Chronic conditions in women: In addition to the established risk factors for chronic conditions (sociodemographic factors, bodyweight, and health behaviours), there is emerging evidence pointing to an additional role of reproductive factors on chronic conditions risk in women. We aim to take an integrated approach, with a systematic program of investigation to quantify relationships between risk factors, their timing and duration, and their often-shared links with increased risk of chronic conditions – figure 1.


Figure 1. Conceptual framework for the life course approach to reproductive health and chronic disease adapted from Mishra et al.[2,3]

Lab’s research policy and ongoing research projects

Our research capitalizes on large detailed longitudinal datasets that enable a systematic life course approach to chronic conditions in women, to identify combinations of risk factors, their timing and duration on the risk of chronic conditions.
In particular, we will compare the health and well- being of women living in Japan with those living in Australia.
To address our research objectives, we will utilise data from
• The Japan Nurses’ Health Study
• Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health
• International collaboration for a Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events (InterLACE), is a leading global collaboration on women’s health with individual level data on over 850,000 women from 27 studies in 13 countries.


  • [1] Mishra G, Hardy R, and Kuh D (eds). (2023)
    A Life Course Approach to Women’s Health, 2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • [2] Mishra GD, Chung HF, Pandeya N, Dobson AJ, Jones L, Avis NE, Crawford SL, Gold EB, Brown D, Sievert LL, Brunner E, Cade JE, Burley VJ, Greenwood DC, Giles GG, Bruinsma F, Goodman A, Hayashi K, Lee JS, Mizunuma H, Kuh D, Cooper R, Hardy R, Obermeyer CM, Lee KA, Simonsen MK, Yoshizawa T, Woods NF, Mitchell ES, Hamer M, Demakakaos P, Sandin S, Adami HO, Weiderpass E, Anderson D.
    The InterLACE study Design: data harmonization and characteristics across 20 studies on women’s health. Maturitas. 2016 Oct 1;92:176-185. doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.07.021. PMCID: PMC5378383
  • [3] Mishra GD, Anderson D, Schoenaker DA, Adami HO, Avis NE, Brown D, Bruinsma F, Brunner E, Cade JE, Crawford SL, Dobson AJ, Elliott J, Giles GG, Gold EB, Hayashi K, Kuh D, Lee KA, Lee JS, Melby MK, Mizunuma H, Sievert LL, Weiderpass E. (2013)
    InterLACE: A New International Collaboration for a Life Course Approach to Women’s Reproductive Health and Chronic Disease Events. Maturitas 74(3):235-40.