TORONTO, Sept. 29 /CNW/ - The largest population-based health study ever
conducted in Ontario was launched today.
The Ontario Health Study is a long-term research study initially funded
by four organizations: the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer
Care Ontario, the Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion,
and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The Ontario Health Study is
also a participating study of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow
Project which consists of a further four regional studies across Canada.
The insights we will gain from the Ontario Health Study will
inform research and health policy in an unprecedented way. I know I'm
planning to sign up, and I'm going to encourage other MPPs to do the
same. I hope all Ontarians over 18 will consider joining us."
Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
The Study will help to understand the complex web of factors that
increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma,
Alzheimer's disease and other common conditions. Heart disease and
cancer are the leading causes of death in adults in Ontario. These
diseases and other common conditions reduce the quality of life for more
than a million Ontario residents and lead to many billions of dollars in
"Ontario's large, ethnically diverse population, world-class
medical research, and outstanding health data linkage system make it the
ideal place to conduct research that will lead to advances in the
prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, heart
disease, diabetes, asthma and other common conditions. We have planned a
strategy to reach out to all adults living in Ontario from every ethnic
and social background in order to collect data that can be used to
improve the health of all of Ontario's communities, and to produce
findings that will be relevant throughout the world."
Lyle Palmer, Executive Scientific Director, Ontario Health Study
A multidisciplinary team led by Professor Palmer will engage scientists
from a wide range of disciplines at universities, hospitals and other
institutions throughout the province to find out how factors such as the
environment, lifestyle, behavior and genetics interact with one another
and lead to development of common diseases. The Study will also shine a
light on how different diseases are related to each other - for
instance, why depression is closely associated with heart disease. The
Study aims to follow participants over their entire life-span - long
enough to study the development and progression of common conditions in
the general population. The Study's findings will further efforts to
prevent common diseases and help researchers develop new treatments.
Every Ontario adult aged 18 and over can enroll by completing an online
questionnaire at www.ontariohealthstudy.ca.
Participants will be asked to provide information about health-related
subjects such as: personal and family medical history, where they live,
and their lifestyle and diet. Approximately 9.5 million Ontarians will
be eligible to volunteer to join the study.
Study participants are protected by extensive ethics and privacy
frameworks that include an Ethics Advisory Committee and oversight by
the Research Ethics Board of the University of Toronto and strict
standards for de-identification and secure storage of data.
Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
OICR is a new centre of excellence, moving Ontario to the forefront of
discovery and innovation in cancer research. The Institute is dedicated
to research in the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment
of cancer. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit corporation
funded by the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit
the website at www.oicr.on.ca/commercialization
Cancer Care Ontario
Cancer Care Ontario (CCO) is the provincial agency responsible for
continually improving cancer services. As the government's cancer
advisor, CCO works to reduce the number of people diagnosed with cancer,
and make sure that patients receive better care every step of the way.
CCO is also host to the Ontario Familial Colon Cancer Registry. For
more information visit href="http://www.cancercare.on.ca/">www.cancercare.on.ca.
Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion
The Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (OAHPP) is an
arm's-length government agency dedicated to protecting and promoting the
health of all Ontarians and reducing inequities in health. As a hub
organization, OAHPP links public health practitioners, front-line health
workers and researchers to the best scientific intelligence and
knowledge from around the world. For more information, please visit www.oahpp.ca
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer
The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer is an independent organization
funded by the federal government to accelerate action on cancer control
for all Canadians. Bringing together cancer experts, government
representatives, the Canadian Cancer Society and cancer patients,
survivors and their families through the Canadian Cancer Action Network
to implement the first pan-Canadian cancer-control strategy, the vision
is to be a driving force to achieve a focused approach that will help
prevent cancer, enhance the quality of life of those affected by cancer,
lessen the likelihood of dying from cancer, and increase the efficiency
of cancer control in Canada. For more information about the Partnership
and Canada's cancer control strategy, visit www.partnershipagainstcancer.ca.
Background: The Ontario Health Study
The Ontario Health Study is a population-based health study aimed at
investigating the factors that increase individuals' risk of developing
cancer, heart disease, asthma, diabetes and other common diseases. The
Ontario Health Study will be the largest population-based health study
ever conducted in Ontario, and is designed to be a 'big-vision'
scientific project of international significance. Approximately nine and
a half million Ontarians will be eligible to volunteer to join the study.
The Study has been designed by a team of medical researchers and
population scientists from many universities, medical research
institutes and hospitals across Ontario, and will examine environmental,
lifestyle and genetic factors associated with both disease and health.
The Study will pay special attention to the complex interplay of factors
that underlie the development of many of the most common diseases.
Findings from the study are expected to help researchers find new ways
to prevent and treat disease.
The Ontario Health Study is a not-for-profit study that has initially
been funded by four organizations: the Ontario Institute for Cancer
Research, Cancer Care Ontario, the Ontario Agency for Health Protection
and Promotion, and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The Ontario
Health Study is also a participating cohort of the Canadian Partnership
for Tomorrow Project which consists of a further four regional studies
All Ontario adults will be invited to contribute data and the Study will
follow participants for their entire lifespan. If enough people from
Ontario volunteer, the Ontario Health Study will be the biggest and most
comprehensive population health research project in the world. Findings
from the Study will be used to help prevent common disease and to assist
doctors and researchers find new targets for diagnosis and treatment.
Ontario residents age 18 and older are invited to complete a
questionnaire online. In the next phase of the Study some volunteers
will be asked to provide detailed data regarding lifestyle and diet,
together with measures relevant to lung function, cardiovascular
function, immune function, eye disease, hearing loss, mental health, and
many other health indicators. To ensure the findings are widely
applicable, this cohort will reflect the ethnic, geographic and
socio-economic diversity of Ontario's population.
Planning for the Ontario Health Study has been underway for more than
two years. An active outreach program has consulted academic, medical
and business communities, as well as broader society, about the
potential for a large-scale cohort study. A parallel program has
examined the ethical, legal and social issues related to conducting
large-scale population-based research in Ontario. The Study incorporates
sophisticated computer controls and highly secure data-storage systems
as well as an ethics and privacy committee. It has been approved by the
research ethics board of the University of Toronto.
SOURCE Ontario Health Study
For further information: For further information:
Communications Officer, Ontario Health Study
Office (647) 259-8908
Mobile (647) 981-8203