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Posted Wed, 01/30/2013 - 15:10 in Health

Dalhousie part of national aging study that will follow thousands of Nova Scotians

Dalhousie University is participating in a Canada-wide study that will offer new insights into how to age well. 

Key Points:

  • The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a national, long-term study of health and aging. It collects information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle, and economic aspects of people’s lives as they age. It’s one of the largest, most comprehensive studies of its kind in the world.

  • The data collected as part of the CLSA will form a national research database that will help scientists and policy makers answer key questions about health and aging. In particular, it'll lead to new insights and better understanding of what it means to age well.

  • Over the next 20 years, 50,000 men and women, aged 45 to 85, will be followed as part of the study. Almost 19,000 participants -- including more than 1,400 Nova Scotians -- have been recruited so far through random selection. Some participants take part in at-home interviews and visit data collection sites for physical assessments. Others provide information through telephone interviews.

  • The CLSA is a collaborative project involving more than 160 researchers at 26 institutions across Canada. It includes 11 data collection sites, four telephone interview centres, and three data analysis facilities across Canada. Dalhousie houses a data collection site and a computer-assisted telephone interviewing centre.

Pull Quotes:

  • "The CLSA is one of the few longitudinal studies worldwide that focuses on the process of aging in a way that incorporates people's social and psychological health with clinical and genetic factors. The CLSA holds the potential not only to inform disease and longevity outcomes, but also to contribute to informed decision making with respect to health care delivery, independent living and autonomy for seniors, productivity and quality of life, health promotion, and the design of population and public health interventions." -- Dr. Susan Kirkland, co-principal investigator of the CLSA and professor of community health & epidemiology and medicine, Dalhousie Medical School

  • The CLSA is a study on aging, not just the aged. The focus is on healthy and successful aging and not just disease and disability processes. The CLSA will be able to move beyond merely describing change over time to actually studying the dynamic determinants of change within and between individuals over time." -- Dr. Susan Kirkland, co-principal investigator of the CLSA and professor of community health & epidemiology and medicine, Dalhousie Medical School

  • "The CLSA represents a unique platform that will be used by researchers from all disciplines and fields, and that has the potential to contribute significantly to our understanding of biological, psychological and social determinants of active and healthy aging for the benefit of all Canadians." -- Dr. Yves Joanette, scientific director of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging

  • "Canadians are already facing the serious realities brought on by demographic change. This study is helping to inform the research-driven solutions that will ensure the continued health, well-being and standard of living our communities need." -- Gilles Patry, president & CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Images:

An eye exam is performed at Dalhousie's CLSA site.Dr. Susan Kirkland, co-principal investigator of the CLSA and Dalhousie professor, officially opens the Halifax CLSA site.
CLSA Opening
An eye exam is performed at Dalhousie's CLSA site.
Photo Credit: Bruce Bottomley
Download Hi-Res
CLSA Opening
Dr. Susan Kirkland, co-principal investigator of the CLSA and Dalhousie professor, officially opens the Halifax CLSA site.
Photo Credit: Bruce Bottomley
Download Hi-Res

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