Canada's largest ever study on aging reaches recruitment goal of 50,000 participants

Government of Canada applauds researchers and participants of groundbreaking study 

HAMILTON, ON, June 29, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Dr. K. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women, and David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, today met with researchers and participants of Canada's largest ever study on aging. Minister Leitch and MP Sweet congratulated the research team on reaching their ambitious recruitment goal and thanked the participants from across the country for agreeing to take part in the important study.

Launched in 2010, the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a national study that will follow 50,000 Canadians, aged 45 to 85, over 20 years. Its aim is to find ways to improve the health of Canadians by better understanding the processes and dimensions of aging. Over the past five years, the CLSA research team has implemented the study and completed recruitment. All the participants have now completed baseline assessments including the telephone interviews, face-to-face interviews, as well as visits to specially designed data collection sites.

The study is a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) initiative. It was launched through grants from the Government of Canada through CIHR and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, as well as several provinces, universities and other partners.

Quick Facts

  • In 2010, the Government of Canada made an initial $30-million investment in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) to better understand the aging process.
  • The Government of Canada, through CIHR, has recently provided an additional $41.6 million to support the study over the next five years, bringing the total Government of Canada investment in the CLSA to $75.1M.
  • The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is a national study of adult development and aging that will follow 50,000 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85 from across country over 20 years.
  • Over the last five years, the CLSA research team has planned and implemented the study and recruited participants. The data collected is being made available to researchers and policy makers studying issues such as hearing loss, injuries, chronic diseases and neurological conditions.
  • Information being provided by study participants will be used to improve understanding of how we age, and ultimately promote healthy aging for all.


"Our Government is proud to invest in this groundbreaking research project that will help us to improve the quality of life for aging Canadians and future generations. Congratulations to the CLSA team on their progress to date, and thanks to all Canadians participating in this important national effort on healthy aging."
Dr. K. Kellie Leitch
Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women

"It is a pleasure to be back at McMaster University to congratulate the CLSA team on their incredible achievement. When I participated in the funding announcement for this project alongside Dr. Raina, just over five years ago, I called the CLSA a remarkable undertaking. Five years later, I'm proud to see how Canadians have come together to make this a real Canadian success story."
David Sweet
Member of Parliament for Ancaster–Dundas–Flamborough–Westdale

"This study provides a valuable resource for researchers carrying out studies on issues of aging – now and for decades to come. This knowledge will help us optimize approaches to promoting healthy aging in Canada."
Dr. Yves Joanette
Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging

"Reaching the milestone of recruiting 50,000 participants from across the country is testament not only to the dedication of our staff and researchers, but also to the importance of this study among Canada's population. The fact that so many Canadians are willing to devote their time over the course of 20 years to help the CLSA achieve its goal of understanding the aging process is remarkable. Each and every participant is contributing to our collective ability to understand how we age, and ultimately create new knowledge to create better health for all."
Dr. Parminder Raina
Lead Principal Investigator, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

Associated Links

Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

CLSA Videos


Fact Sheet
Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

The CLSA was launched in 2010 as a strategic initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). More than 50,000 people from across Canada have now been recruited and have all completed the baseline data collection, making it the most comprehensive study of aging ever undertaken in Canada.

The CLSA will follow participants for 20 years, revisiting them once every three years to carry out complete data collection, and touching base with them at regular intervals to maintain contact and engagement with the study. Participants, including residents from all 10 provinces, were aged 45 to 85 at recruitment. The first follow-up interviews are scheduled to begin in early July.

Taking an integrative approach, the CLSA is examining aging through a number of different lenses. Study investigators will collect a wide range of information about the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic aspects of people's lives.

The CLSA data and biological samples provided by study participants will be available to researchers as well as policy makers to conduct research which will improve understanding of the aging process and answer questions of how we age, and ultimately promote healthy aging for all.

More than 160 researchers from 26 Canadian universities with expertise in biology, genetics, clinical research, social sciences, economics, epidemiology and population health are involved in the CLSA. The CLSA also employs over 250 people across Canada to support study implementation and data collection.

The CIHR recently renewed its investment in the CLSA, contributing $41.6 million for the next five years of the study, and bringing the total Government of Canada investment in the CLSA to $75.1M.

Participating in the CLSA

The CLSA collects data at two levels: through telephone interviews only, and through in-home interviews followed by visits to specially equipped data collection sites.

Telephone interviews

  • 21,241 participants
  • Sixty-minute telephone interview conducted every three years
  • Questions about health and well-being, including physical, social and emotional functioning, lifestyle and behaviours, as well as the onset of health conditions and diseases
  • At-home interviews and data collection site visits
  • 30,000 participants
  • Sixty minute in-home interview conducted every three years with equivalent content to the telephone interview
  • 2 ½ - 3 hour visit, every 3 years, to one of 11 data collection sites across the country: Victoria, Vancouver, Surrey, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Ottawa, Montreal, Sherbrooke, Halifax and St. John's.
  • At data collection sites, participants undergo cognitive and physical assessments, including height and weight measurements, vision and hearing tests, blood pressure and cardiovascular measures along with a bone density scan and strength and balance tests
  • Blood and urine samples are also collected

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

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SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research

For further information: Media Relations, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563,; Sue Johnston, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, 905-525-9140 ext: 21413,


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