Government of Canada renews investment in largest Canadian study on aging

News release

Minister Tassi visits the CLSA Biorepository and Bioanalysis Centre

August 12, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Institutes of Health Research

With Canada’s demographic landscape shifting as its older adult population continues to grow,  long-term studies focusing on the health of older adults are not only important for this growing older population, they also provide the knowledge needed to ensure the health of future generations. This is why longitudinal studies—when the same cohort of people is followed over time with continuous or repeated monitoring of health outcomes— are so important. They track the trajectory of the health of a population as it ages, providing insights into how Canadians can live healthier and longer lives.

To capture data and insights on how to maintain healthy lives as we age, today the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, announced an investment of $61.5 million from the Government of Canada for the next phase of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA). This funding includes $52 million from Canadian Institutes of Health Research and $9.5 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

The CLSA is the largest and longest study of its kind in Canada, and includes over 50,000 Canadians between the ages of 45 and 85 whose health will be tracked for at least 20 years. Led by Dr. Parminder Raina at McMaster University, Dr. Susan Kirkland at Dalhousie University, and Dr. Christina Wolfson at McGill University, the CLSA is a collaboration between 160 researchers located at 26 institutions across the country.

Since 2010, CLSA researchers have collected data from participants in the study at three-year intervals. This investment will ensure that the collection of this vital data continues. Researchers worldwide have been accessing CLSA data for insight into a wide range of areas such as healthy aging, mental health of older adults, and age-friendly environments.


“The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is more important than ever before – with both an aging population, and the many impacts on the health and wellbeing of Canadians from the COVID-19 pandemic that will be felt for years to come. This investment will benefit all Canadians for many years to come.”

The Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Health

“Congratulations to Dr. Parminder Raina at McMaster University and his team across the country for building a world-leading research platform. This funding will allow the CLSA team to continue to augment our knowledge of the social and health factors that affect how people age and support our Government’s efforts to help all Canadians live long, healthy, and fulfilling lives. This important work will help support evidence-based decision making that will benefit Hamiltonians and communities across Canada.”

The Honourable Filomena Tassi
Minister of Labour

“Continuing to invest in Canada’s largest and longest study on aging helps us better understand how to live longer and healthier lives. Good data allows us to make evidence-based decisions that better serve seniors across the country.”

The Honourable Deb Schulte
Minister of Seniors

“CIHR is pleased to renew funding in the CLSA. This is a unique platform, not only in Canada, but worldwide for research on aging, collecting data that will benefit health research for years to come. We thank all participants and researchers involved in this study for their continued support in this wide-ranging and significant research on the health of our aging population in Canada.”

Dr. Jane Rylett
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Aging

CIHR co-lead, CLSA

“The aging process raises many vital questions across different areas of health research, including how various environmental and social factors impact how we age. The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging provides a powerful platform to study the process of aging over a long period of time so that we can better understand what is needed to ensure all people can be healthy and happy as they get older.”

Dr. Steven Hoffman
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population and Public Health

CIHR co-lead, CLSA

“The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is an essential tool for the development and vitality of the Canadian population. By contributing financially to the success of this study, the Canada Foundation for Innovation is pleased to fulfill its mandate and vision by enabling excellent research that is both internationally recognized and supports the well-being of all Canadians.”

Dr. Roseann O’Reilly Runte
President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

“Over the last decade, the CLSA has established itself as one of the largest, most comprehensive research platforms on aging in the world. We are grateful to the Government of Canada for its ongoing support. This investment paves the way for researchers in Canada and around the world to have ongoing access to high-quality data that will yield critical insights into the aging process.”

Dr. Parminder Raina
Professor of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact, McMaster University
Scientific Director, McMaster Institute for Research on Aging
Lead Principal Investigator, Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

Quick facts

  • By 2036, nearly one in four Canadians will be age 65 or older and the proportion of the oldest seniors (80 years and over) will also increase sharply.

  • To address this demographic shift, the Government of Canada, through CIHR, is funding the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, a national study that collects information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, and economic aspects of the lives of over 50,000 Canadian men and women who were between the ages of 45 and 85 when recruited, for a period of 20 years.

  • CIHR is providing a new investment of $52 million over six years, bringing its total investment in the CLSA to $132.6 million since 2001.

  • To date, the CFI has invested almost $19.8 million in infrastructure support for the CLSA.

Associated links


Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
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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