Epidemiology Directorate

The Epidemiology Directorate is responsible for the collection and analysis of a wide range of population health data.

We are the “go to” area for advice and analysis on population-based health data for Western Australia. The work of the Epidemiology Directorate is fundamental to the provision of evidence-based services designed to improve the health status of Western Australians.

Our team provides a variety of services using the most up to date data to a range of clients both within and external to the Department of Health. For example, we:

  • collect, manage and add value to a range of population health datasets
  • monitor the health of the WA population and identify areas of need
  • conduct epidemiological and statistical analyses to support policy and planning decisions
  • investigate community health concerns and identify health risks that require management
  • conduct high quality research in collaboration with key stakeholders

Requests for specific population-based information can be made to the Epidemiology Directorate by completing a data request form (external site). Requests may attract a charge. Information about charges are outlined in the Epidemiology Directorate costing arrangement (PDF 257KB).

Our Services

We can provide a wide range of epidemiological and spatial information and advice. For example, we can: 

  • Provide advice on epidemiological and statistical analyses
  • Help determine priority health issues by area or population sub-group
  • Help evaluate the impact of interventions or programs
  • Provide estimates of disease prevalence and incidence
  • Help determine trends in health outcomes and risk factor prevalence 
  • Advise on health survey design and analysis 
  • Carry out survival analysis to determine risk factors associated with disease recurrence, outcomes of treatment and prognosis.
  • Analyse spatial distributions of diseases and risk factors
  • Help determine where to optimally locate health programs and facilities 
  • Conduct disease cluster and hotspot analysis
  • Conduct travel time and distance analysis
  • Provide concordance files between different administrative boundaries
  • Batch geocode addresses
  • Create high quality maps for use in reports and publications
  • Develop interactive web mapping applications
  • Develop mobile data collection applications
Data Sources

We have access to the following linked datasets for our epidemiological analyses:

  • Hospital inpatient records: 1970 to 2023
  • Deaths registrations (with cause of death): 1983 to 2021
  • Emergency Department attendances: 2005 to 2023
  • Mental Health occasion of service: 1966 to 2022
  • Cancer incidence/mortality records: 1982 to 2021
  • Midwives/birth records: 1980 to 2020
  • Infectious disease notifications: 1990 to 2022
  • Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System: 2002 to 2022
  • Tobacco smoking related aetiological fractions

Spatial Data

Spatial data that we have access to includes: 

  • Towns
  • Land ownership 
  • Property street addresses 
  • Transport networks (roads, public transport stops and routes)
  • Health facilities (including hospitals, CAHS facilities, GPs, Aboriginal medical services, WACHS clinics)
  • Administrative boundaries (DoH WA, WA Govt, ABS)
  • Hospital catchment areas
  • Schools
  • Aboriginal communities
  • Retail outlets (fast food, tobacco, alcohol)
  • Water sources
  • The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) full spectrum live data including heatwave and other weather forecasting data
  • The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DEFS) emergency management live data including bushfire hotspots, road closures etc
  • Other emergency incident layers from Geoscience Australia
  • Royal Flying Doctor Services live flight routes data 
  • Socio Economic Indexes For Areas (SEIFA)
  • Remoteness measures such as ARIA+
  • A range of base maps including street maps and aerial image maps 
  • Full spectrum Western Australia aerial images at various resolutions
Epidemiological Measures

Aggregated data/measures that we have collected/created include: 

  • Prevalence estimates of selected chronic diseases
  • Prevalence estimates of risk factors such as: tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight and obesity, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, sedentary behaviours etc
  • Detailed burden of disease measures (DALY, YLD, YLL, burden attributable to risk factors, healthcare expenditure) for WA for 2015
    • WA total population
    • WA Aboriginal population 
    • WA Health Region populations 
  • Burden of disease measures (DALY, YLD, YLL, burden attributable to risk factors, healthcare expenditure) for WA for 2018 produced by the AIHW
  • Other Summary Health Measures such as life expectancy, potential years of life lost (PYLL), health adjusted life expectancy (HALE) etc
  • Alcohol related aetiological fractions
  • Tobacco smoking related aetiological fractions 
  • Other drug related aetiological fractions 
  • Detailed total population data for WA from the ABS for SA1s, SA2s, SA3s, LGAs and other geographies
  • Small area estimates of the WA Aboriginal population from 2008 to 2020 by:
    • Health District and Health Region
    • Five-year age group
    • Sex
    • Year
Contact Information

Epidemiology Directorate

Email: epi@health.wa.gov.au
Phone WA Health Enquiries: 9222 4222

Last reviewed: 01-12-2023
Produced by

Epidemiology Directorate