National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study

If you have been selected to complete the National Health Survey, your Interviewer may ask you if you are willing to take part in the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study (NHMSPS). As part of the NHMSPS, you will be asked to provide voluntary biomedical (blood and/or urine) samples by visiting a local collection centre.

The aim of the Pilot Study is to help the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) prepare for the National Health Measures Survey 2022, which will inform vital research into the relationship between nutrition, exercise and health outcomes.

The ABS will only use the information collected as part of the Pilot Study to plan for the main study. Statistical products or research will not be produced based on the data from this pilot study.

For more information about the NHMSPS, please see our Frequently Asked Questions below, or call 1800 482 517 to speak to someone who can assist you.

Frequently Asked Questions



What is the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study?
The National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study (NHMSPS) collects voluntary blood samples from people aged 12 years and over, and voluntary urine samples from people aged 5 years and over. If you have been selected for the NHMSPS, you will be asked to provide voluntary biomedical (blood and/or urine) samples by visiting your local collection centre.

The aim of the Pilot Study is to help the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) prepare for the National Health Measures Survey 2022, which will help us to understand the health of Australians, including the prevalence of long-term health conditions, health risk factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, diet and physical activity.

How are my samples from the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study used and why are they important?
Your blood samples will be tested for cholesterol and other lipids (fats) linked to heart disease, and for glucose levels linked to diabetes. Your urine samples will be tested to check for kidney disease.

As this is a pilot study, your blood and urine samples will not be included in the final dataset for analysis. Providing your samples for the Pilot Study will, however, help the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to prepare for the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS), which will begin in 2022. Test results from the NHMS 2022 will be used in the final dataset, and will:
  • guide future healthcare policies, guidelines and public health programs; and
  • inform vital research into the relationship between nutrition, exercise and health outcomes.

Is the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study voluntary?
Yes, the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study is voluntary. You can choose if you want to provide your samples.

If at any time you decide to withdraw from the study, your samples will be placed into clinical waste for destruction as per Sonic Pathology Australia’s standard procedures. All other data that relates to the Pilot Study will also be removed where it has not been deidentified.

How do I provide my biomedical samples?
If you are interested in providing blood and/or urine samples, your ABS Interviewer will give you a Participant Information brochure, consent and referral forms. If you choose to participate, you will be asked to visit a participating collection centre to provide your samples. You can find a collection centre most convenient to you here, or by calling Sonic Pathology Australia on 1800 577 500. Remember to take your referral and consent forms with you for yourself and your child (if applicable) to the collection centre.

Providing your samples should only take about 10-20 minutes and there is no charge to you. The tests are similar to other blood and urine samples you might have had before. Once you have provided your samples you will receive a $75 gift card to help you with any costs associated with visiting a collection centre, like childcare or travel expenses (no receipts are needed). You should receive your gift card within 2 weeks of your visit to a collection centre.

If you find it difficult to go to a collection centre, please let your Interviewer know, or call 1800 482 517 to discuss other options such as a home visit. You will not receive a gift card if you receive a home visit.

Do I or my child have to provide both blood and urine?
You can choose to provide both blood and urine samples, blood samples only, or urine samples only if you are 12 years or over. Children aged 5-11 can only provide urine samples. Children aged 4 and under will not be asked to provide samples for the Pilot Study.

Will I be notified about my blood and urine results?
If you agree, a copy of your results will be provided to you within 3 weeks of attending a collection centre. You can also choose whether to have a copy sent to your regular doctor. In the rare event that a significant health risk is found, your regular doctor will be contacted if you have provided their details. If you haven’t provided details of your doctor, someone will contact you and advise you to urgently seek medical attention.

You can also choose to have your results added to your My Health Record (if you have one) by providing your Medicare number at the collection centre.

It is important to remember that this study is not intended to diagnose or treat any health problems you may have, and should not replace visits to a doctor or other health professional. If you wish to discuss your test results, please consult your doctor or health professional.

Where can I go to provide my biomedical samples?
You can attend any collection centre in NSW run by Sonic Pathology Australia. It is important to attend a Sonic Pathology Australia collection centre so that all participants’ samples are collected and analysed in the same way. Note that some Sonic Pathology Australia collection centres operate under a different name, for example Douglass Hanly Moir in Sydney and Sullivan Nicolaides in Coffs Harbour. For a full list of Sonic Pathology locations, click here.

Do I need to book an appointment for my tests?
No, however some collection centres do take appointments for blood and urine tests. They are open early, which may suit those people fasting overnight. The ABS Interviewer might ask you which is the best time for you to attend a collection centre and write this on a magnet for you. This is not an appointment. If you would like to make an appointment, please call Sonic Pathology Australia on 1800 577 500.

What tests will be done on my blood and urine samples?
The Pilot Study includes a range of biomedical (blood and urine) tests. As a participant you can choose to receive a copy of your test results.

Here is a list of the tests participants can receive results for:
  • Fasting Plasma Glucose: Measures the level of glucose in the blood after overnight fasting. Having high levels of glucose after fasting can mean that someone has diabetes or is at risk of diabetes.
  • Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c): Blood test that provides a measure of average blood glucose. Used to diagnose diabetes and also to assess how well diabetes is being managed.
  • Albumin Creatinine Ratio: Test that checks for protein in the urine. Protein in the urine can mean that the kidneys are not filtering blood well. This test is used to identify kidney disease.
  • Total Cholesterol: Blood test that measures total cholesterol (LDL, HDL and non-HDL cholesterols) in the blood. High total blood cholesterol can mean a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • HDL Cholesterol: Blood test that measures the level of protective (good) HDL cholesterol in the blood. Low levels of HDL cholesterol can mean a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Fasting Triglycerides and LDL: Measures the level of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol in the blood after overnight fasting. High levels of LDL cholesterol or triglycerides can mean a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate: Blood test that assesses kidney function. This test is used to identify kidney disease.
  • C-Reactive Protein: Blood test that measures the level of C-Reactive Protein in the blood. C-Reactive Protein is a marker of inflammation or infection.
  • Vitamin D: Blood test that measures the level of vitamin D in the blood. This test is used to assess vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can impact bone health.
  • Liver Function Tests: Blood test that measures two liver enzymes - Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and Gamma glutamyltransaminease (y-GT or GGT). Elevated liver enzymes can indicate liver inflammation, poor liver function or damage.
  • Serum Folate: Blood test that measures the level of folate in the blood as an indicator of recent folate intake. Folate or folic acid is an essential vitamin especially for the first three months of fetal development. Folic acid is added to flour used to make bread and is found in vegetables.
  • Vitamin B12: Blood test to measure the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for blood and neurological functions.
  • Serum Ferritin: Blood test that measures iron stores. This test is one of several that form part of 'Iron Studies' used to assess iron status. Iron is essential for haemoglobin which is the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells. Low Ferritin can be associated with anaemia, a condition where the number of red blood cells and/or the amount of haemoglobin in blood cells is too low.
  • Serum Transferrin Receptor: Blood test that measures the amount of Transferrin Receptor in the blood. This test is one of several that form part of 'Iron Studies' used to assess iron status. Transferrin is a protein that transports iron in the body. Together with other blood tests, Transferrin can indicate whether there is too much or too little iron in the body.
  • Haemoglobin: Blood test that measures the level of Haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells. Haemoglobin levels can be abnormally high or low in a large number of conditions.

Will I be paid to take part in the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study?
Once you have provided your samples you will receive a $75 gift card to help you with any costs associated with visiting a collection centre, like childcare or travel expenses (no receipts are needed). The gift card should be received within 2 weeks of your visit to a collection centre.

Participating children will also receive a gift card for their attendance at a collection centre.

Gift cards will be emailed or posted to you, depending on which contact details you provided to the ABS Interviewer at the time of your interview.

If you cannot go to a participating collection centre and receive a home visit instead, you will not receive a $75 gift card.

How will my information be kept safe, secure and confidential?
All samples are held confidentially by the collection centre under the Privacy Act 1988. Test results will be sent to the ABS and kept confidential under the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
All ABS employees have signed a legally enforceable Undertaking of Fidelity and Security in which they agree to keep any information, including personal information which they may deal with in the course of their work, private and confidential. This agreement applies to ABS employees for the rest of their lives, even if they leave the ABS. The penalty for breaching this is two years imprisonment, a $26,640 fine, or both.

We comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. If you believe we have breached these principles, please see the information on how to lodge a complaint about privacy matters, contained within our Privacy Policy.

Has this study been approved by an external ethics committee?
Yes, the ABS has obtained ethics approval from an external ethics committee, Bellberry Limited, for the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study. Should you wish to discuss the study or view a copy of the Complaint procedure with someone not directly involved, you may contact the Operations Manager, Bellberry Limited, on 08 8361 3222.

I want to participate but I can’t find my forms. What do I need to do?
Call 1800 428 517 to speak with an ABS staff member who will arrange for consent and referral forms to be sent to you. Once you have received your forms, fill in the parts specified for the participant, then take the forms to your most convenient collection centre. To find your closest collection centre, click here.

I’ve changed my mind and I want to participate. How do I get involved?
Call 1800 428 517 to speak with an ABS staff member who will arrange for consent and referral forms to be sent to your address. Once you have these forms, take them to a Sonic Pathology Australia collection centre (your most convenient centre can be found here) and provide your samples. You should receive your gift card to reimburse you for any costs associated with your attendance at the collection centre within two weeks of providing your samples.

I haven’t received my gift card. What do I do?
It will take 2 weeks after providing a sample to receive your gift card. If you haven’t received it within 2 weeks of providing your sample, please call 1800 482 517.

How do I withdraw from the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study?
If at any time you decide to withdraw from the study, call 1800 482 517 to speak with an ABS staff member. When you withdraw, your samples will be placed into clinical waste for destruction as per Sonic Pathology Australia’s standard procedures. All other data that relates to the NHMSPS will also be removed where it has not been deidentified.

How can I provide feedback about my experience in the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study?
If you have participated in the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study, we want to hear about your experience. We value your feedback and will use it to improve how we work with our survey participants.
You can use our feedback form to provide us with feedback. For this study, please select the option "Participation in an ABS Household Survey".

Who can I contact for more information?
For help or more information about the Pilot Study, please call us on 1800 482 517 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm AEST. For help outside these hours, please leave a message with your contact details and we will return your call as soon as possible.

More information for children participating in the Pilot Study
By donating a small amount of your blood and/or urine we can see how healthy you are. Your samples will be sent away to be tested; from this we’ll be able to get a picture of your health. We can learn, for example, about your vitamin levels and how well your kidneys work. The results can also be used to help all Australians live healthier lives.
The information you give us as part of the National Health Measures Survey Pilot Study will be used is help us get ready for the larger study that will begin in 2022.
    How it’s done
    You can choose if you want to take part.
    It only takes a few minutes.
    • Blood – a special nurse will use a small needle to collect some blood in a tube from your arm near your elbow. This is only if you are over 12 years old.
    • Urine – the nurse will provide you with a special container to collect some urine when you go to the toilet. The nurse will explain how to do this.

    Health specialists will look at the information from the National Health Measures Survey pilot study to make decisions that may help you.

    Important information
    Most people give blood samples without any trouble. However, some people can feel a little sick when they see needles or blood.
    If you feel even a little bit faint or dizzy:
    • tell the nurse straight away
    • it can help to look away or lie down
    • get your parent or carer to help you.

    If you’d like to donate:
    • Please fill in the form. Ask your parent/carer to sign a consent form for you.






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