Background to the Hazelinks Stream   

The aim of Hazelinks is to investigate the short, medium and long term health effects of the smoke from the coal mine fire by using routinely collected health data. There are two components of Hazelinks: identified data linkage and anonymised data extraction. Identified linkage uses participant information from the Adult Survey (name, date of birth, sex etc.) to link to health datasets. Data extraction involves requesting anonymised data extracts (data that does not have names attached) for all ages, for a specific time period, for all the main exposure areas (as well as surrounding regions).  Data linkage and data extraction will be repeated approximately every 2-3 years for the duration of the study. All data will be linked to modelled air quality data from CSIRO using geographic coordinates. The geographical coordinates used to assign air quality data for identified linkage will be based on the participants' home addresses at the time the health record was created.

The following video clip is an excerpt from the 2022 Community Briefing providing an update on the current status and future plans for the Hazelinks stream.

The datasets used for identified linkage and data extraction are as follows:

DatasetsIdentified linkageData extraction
Ambulance DataYesYes
Hospital admissions & emergency presentationsYesYes
Victorian Cancer RegistryYesYes
National Death DataYesYes
Australian Cancer Database*YesNo
Medicare (MBS) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) dataNoYes **

* Linkage to the Australian Cancer Database requires approvals from the data custodians of each state and territory cancer registry.

** Extraction only includes records in the Latrobe Valley from 1 July 2012 onwards.

The identified linkage will search for participants' personal details such as name, date of birth and sex in the relevant health databases. This means that if participants' details match a record in any of the searched databases (such as ambulance, hospitals, cancer and death) the record will be returned to the Hazelwood Health Study. For example if you visited a hospital, broad details such as date of hospital visit, primary diagnosis, length of stay will be returned to the Hazelwood Health Study. Please note, confidential medical records, test results or conversations with doctors will not be shared.

The data extraction component of the study will use anonymised data only. This means that health data that is provided to the study will not have participants' name attached to the record.

Latest News                                                        

29 October 2020 – Risk of death in Morwell, the broader Latrobe Valley and surrounding smoke impacted areas during and after the Hazelwood mine fire
20 September 2020 – Hazelwood mine fire smoke exposure and ambulance attendances in the following years
15 September 2020 – MBS and PBS Time Series - Use of health services and medications
11 December 2018 – Report: Ambulance call outs increased during mine fire
21 September 2017 – Hazelwood Health Study completes baseline cancer analysis
4 September 2017 – Hospital admissions increase during Hazelwood mine fire

Study Findings                                                  

Our Partners

Acknowledgement to Country

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Elders and Traditional Owners of the land where our Study teams are based, particularly the Gunaikurnai peoples of Gippsland.