Ontario Health Study partners with LifeLabs for province-wide Blood Collection Program

Ethnic, cultural and geographic diversity broadly represent province population as participant numbers near one quarter of a million Ontarians

TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Health Study (OHS), an ambitious, groundbreaking research effort designed to help scientists understand the complex factors behind chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, has selected LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services as a major partner in blood collection for the Study's latest phase of research.

A select number of participants who have completed the OHS questionnaire at OntarioHealthStudy.ca will soon begin receiving invitations to participate in the Study's Blood Collection Program. Those who sign up for the program will receive a requisition form, which they can take to any one of the 125 LifeLabs locations throughout Ontario to provide blood samples. Since it was launched two years ago, more than 225,000 Ontarians have enrolled to participate in the OHS.

"Launching a blood collection initiative on this scale requires professional support on the ground," said Dr Lyle Palmer, Executive Scientific Director of the Ontario Health Study. "Our partnership with LifeLabs will ensure we have exceptional laboratory services as we grow our study and enrich our understanding of common diseases."

Expanding the Study's capacity to examine DNA and other blood aspects will help provide insight into hormones, nutrients, vitamins, chemicals, and genetic factors influencing health and quality of life. Combined with information collected from the online questionnaire, these samples will enrich health data for a growing community of research scientists seeking to better understand the factors that lead to common diseases.

"We know the critical importance of medical laboratory testing in the diagnosis of disease in patients," said Dr. Doug Tkachuk, Chief Medical Officer at LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services.  "With our involvement in the Study's Blood Collection Program, LifeLabs is pleased to play an important role in advancing the understanding of the factors contributing to chronic diseases in populations."

Every Ontario adult aged 18 and over can enroll in the OHS and complete the online health questionnaire at OntarioHealthStudy.ca. The questionnaire, which takes approximately 40 minutes to complete, asks participants 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 are eligible to volunteer for the Study.

About the Ontario Health Study
The not-for-profit Study is funded by four organizations: the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Cancer Care OntarioPublic Health Ontario and the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. The Ontario Health Study is part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, which is made up of five regional health studies across Canada. Stay connected: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Email

About LifeLabs
LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services (LifeLabs) provides laboratory testing services, which help physicians and other healthcare professionals diagnose, treat, monitor and prevent disease in patients. LifeLabs employs more than 3,000 professionally trained staff who delivers more than 50 million laboratory tests annually to over 10 million patients and nearly 20,000 physician customers. LifeLabs has operated in Canada for nearly 50 years. Today it is owned by Borealis, a global leader in infrastructure investing, with assets in energy, transportation and infrastructure buildings, including long-term care facilities and hospitals, pipelines and telecommunications. For information, visit www.lifelabs.com.

SOURCE: Ontario Health Study

For further information:

Robert Furtado  |  Pilot PMR
robert@pilotpmr.com  |  416-462-0199 x22

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Ontario Health Study

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