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Canada initiates major long-term study of health problems affecting seniors

9 years, 11 months ago

1629  0
Posted on Jun 09, 2009, 10 a.m. By gary clark

Canada's Minister of Health announced a major new study -- the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging -- to examine critical health issues over a period of two decades.

Approximately 50,000 Canadians ages 45-85 will be selected randomly from across Canada to participate in a new long-term study of adult development and aging designed to help officials increase their understanding of common health problems affecting seniors. The study - the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) - will provide much more than a brief snapshot of the adult Canadian population, allowing researchers to "critically examine health transitions and trajectories over a longer period of time."

Unlike most longitudinal studies that focus on one condition only or on people over 65, the CLSA is the first of its kind to include middle aged adults - and the first of its kind to collect information on social and economical retirement factors in additon to clincial and biological measures. Pariticants will be studied every three years over a period of at least 20 years. "This long-term study of 50,000 Canadians will look into the many factors affecting us as we age, while at the same time creating several new science-related jobs," says Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health. "This information will be used to improve the health and quality of life of older Canadians."

Over the next decade, study organizes estimate that they will hire more than 160 researchers and research coordinators from many disciplines, as well as laboratory staff and IT systems experts who will work at 10 centers across Canada. One of the most comprehensive studies of aging ever undertaken, the CLSA will be supported by an investment of $30 million from the Government of Canada.

"Some people age in a healthy fashion despite many physical health challenges, while others who are in good physical health age less optimally. What explains this phenomenon? The study will answer questions that are relevant to decision-makers to improve the health of Canadians," explains the study's lead Principal Investigator, Dr. Parminder Raina of McMaster University. And adds Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes of Health Research: "Aging is a reality for all Canadians. Still, very little is known about how and why we age the way we do. The CLSA brings together the capacity, knowledge and expertise to unlock some of the greatest mysteries of aging and to identify the social and biological factors that have the most impact on our health over time."

News Release: Unlocking the mysteries of aging  May 25, 2009

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