Government of Canada supports healthy future for Canadian seniors

News release

Researchers across the country will use data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging to study how to support the healthy aging of Canadians

April 10, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

More and more Canadians are reaching old age and Canada’s population as a whole is aging. By 2031, an estimated one in four Canadians will be aged 65 or older. This population shift includes a boom in the number of Canadians aged 85 or older – particularly, centenarians.

Foreseeing this demographic change, CIHR has supported the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) since 2009. The CLSA is a national research platform, involving more than 50,000 Canadians, which is collecting data with the goal of identifying the determinants of healthy aging.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health, and the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Seniors, today announced funding of $1.2 million for 17 projects to be led by researchers across the country. Using the CLSA platform, these researchers will seek to better understand various factors related to health and aging and create knowledge that will guide program and policy development to support healthy aging. 

The projects include the following examples:

  • Dr. Teresa Lui-Ambrose at the University of British Columbia will study the impact of increased activity, reduced sitting, and good quality sleep on cognition.
  • Dr. Chris Verschoor at McMaster University will identify biomarkers for healthy aging in older adults.
  • Dr. Daiva Nielsen at McGill University will investigate the roles of genetics, social, emotional and environmental factors as determinants of nutrition and cardio-metabolic health in older adults.
  • Dr. Susan Kirkland at Dalhousie University will use machine learning to develop health aging phenotypes and personas.

Funding for the projects comes from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Canadian Space Agency, and Quebec Network for Research on Aging.  


“We’re committed to helping Canadians be as healthy, active, and productive as possible throughout their lives. By investing in research, we’re seeking to improve the health of all Canadians – from newborns to seniors.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health 

“The Government of Canada is committed to improving the lives of Canadian seniors. That’s why, in Budget 2019, we’re building on efforts to enhance their financial security, health and well-being. The evidence gathered from this study will inform our work across government so we can continue to make smart investments that respond to the needs of Canadian seniors—ensuring they enjoy a secure and dignified retirement.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Seniors

“We supported the development of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging with the vision of creating a national platform for research into health and aging. Now established, this platform provides a wealth of data relevant to all areas of health. We encourage researchers to discover how they can use CLSA data in their research programs.” 

Dr. Yves Joanette
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aging

“The Government of Canada’s continued support of research into healthy aging has been instrumental in ensuring the success of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) research platform. We are thankful to our participants for their ongoing contributions, as well as to the researchers and trainees whose commitment to better understanding health, aging, disability and disease has resulted in more than 150 research projects approved to use CLSA data.”

Dr. Parminder Raina
Lead Principal Investigator, Canadian Longitudinal Study in Aging

Quick facts

  • Canada’s population is aging. By 2031, an estimated one in four Canadians will be aged 65 and older. 

  • The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national research platform on health and aging that allows researchers and decision-makers to answer critical questions on the biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic aspects of aging, disability and disease. 

  • The CLSA is following more than 50,000 men and women, who were between the ages of 45 and 85 at the time of recruitment, for 20 years. Through its large size, comprehensive data collection and long-term design, the CLSA will enable research on the factors supporting healthy aging.

  • The Government of Canada has provided funding for the CLSA through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

  • In May 2018, the CLSA published the first comprehensive report on the health of Canadians aged 45 or over. 

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Thierry Bélair
Office of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system.

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