Unlocking the Mysteries of Aging: Government of Canada Supports Research to Improve the Health and Quality of Life of Future Generations of Canadians

    HAMILTON, ON, May 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Canada today
announced a new study that will increase the understanding of common health
problems affecting seniors. David Sweet, Member of Parliament for
Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, made the announcement on behalf of the
Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health
    "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," said Minister Aglukkaq. "This information will be used
to improve the health and quality of life of older Canadians."
    "The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) will be one of the most
comprehensive studies on aging ever undertaken," said Mr. Sweet. "It will
inform the Government's programs and services for the elderly."
    Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews, Scientific Director at the Canadian Institutes
of Health Research, said, "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."
    The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national,
long-term study of adult development and aging. The study will follow 50,000
Canadians, aged 45-85 years (at the time of recruitment), over the next two
decades. It is estimated that study organizers will be hiring as many as 160
researchers and research co-ordinators, laboratory staff and IT systems
personnel over the next year at 10 centres across the country.
    Researchers will collect information on the changing biological, medical,
psychological, social and economic aspects of the participants' lives. The
design and extended follow-up of the CLSA will enable the study team to look
at more than a brief snapshot of the adult Canadian population and to
critically examine health transitions and trajectories over a longer-term
period. Statistics Canada has committed important and invaluable in-kind
contributions to the design of the survey and the recruitment of participants.
    CLSA participants will be randomly selected from across Canada and, as
such, Canadians will not be able to proactively volunteer to be part of the
study. Once enrolled, participants will be studied at three-year intervals and
will be followed for at least 20 years.
    The CLSA is a collaboration reflecting the work of Principal
Investigators Dr. Parminder Raina, McMaster University, Dr. Christina Wolfson,
McGill University, and Dr. Susan Kirkland, Dalhousie University, together with
a multi-disciplinary research team comprised of more than 160 researchers from
26 universities across 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," said Dr.
Raina, the study's lead Principal Investigator.
    In addition to starting at mid-life, the CLSA is the first study of its
kind to collect social and economical retirement factors, as well as clinical
and biological measures. More than 70 longitudinal studies have taken place
worldwide and most focused on only one condition or on people over 65 years of
    The Government of Canada is investing $30 million to support this study.
The CLSA will answer questions that are relevant to decision-makers to improve
the quality of life of Canadians.

    Further information on the CLSA can be found at: www.clsa-elcv.ca/

    The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's agency for health research. 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 Canadian
health-care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and
support to nearly 12,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

    Ce document est également disponible en français.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/

For further information:

For further information: Josée Bellemare, Press Secretary, Office of the
Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, (613) 957-0200; David Coulombe, Media Relations,
CIHR, (613) 941-4563

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