Major investment renews national research platform on aging

Grants totaling $61.5 million were announced today by the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, to support the next phase of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). The funds include $52 million through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to ensure researchers have ongoing and timely access to a world-class data platform focused on health and aging. It also includes $9.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The $52 million supports research activities at McGill University and at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and all the participating institutions across Canada to ensure the collection of data from CLSA participants until 2027.

Launched in 2010, the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is Canada’s largest study of aging following more than 50,000 individuals who were between the ages of 45 and 85 at recruitment, for 20 years.

The platform is led by Lead Principal Investigator Parminder Raina of McMaster University and Principal Investigators Christina Wolfson of McGill University and Susan Kirkland of Dalhousie University. The CLSA is supported by a national team of researchers who lead CLSA sites at Memorial University, Université de Sherbrooke, Bruyère Research Institute/University of Ottawa, University of Manitoba, University of Calgary, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first steps in planning this important study. The uninterrupted support from the Government of Canada, a remarkable research team, and the ongoing dedication of the CLSA participants from across Canada since the study launched in 2010 are key components in the CLSA’s success,” says Dr. Christina Wolfson, Co-principal Investigator of the study at the RI-MUHC.

Since 2015, more than 340 research teams in Canada and around the world have accessed the CLSA data and have generated more than 150 peer-reviewed publications. This investment will ensure that the collection of this vital data continues and will support the introduction of several new or expanded assessments in the areas of sexual health, mobility, vision, sense of smell and health-care experiences.

Read Government of Canada’s news release.