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REF NO.: 134

SUBJECT: National aging study receives further funding with Newfoundland and Labrador playing key role

DATE: March 31

A major national study on aging has just received a booster shot.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) has received a $41.6-million grant through the Government of Canada to continue its work for the next five years.

“As the province with the highest proportion of seniors in Canada and as one of the data collection sites in the country, Newfoundland and Labrador has been essential in contributing to this study,” said Dr. Gerry Mugford, lead investigator of the CLSA in Newfoundland and Labrador and an associate professor with Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine in the discipline of medicine and psychiatry. “Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are contributing to one of the largest comprehensive studies on aging ever undertaken.”

The study began in 2010 and will follow a total of 50,000 Canadians over 20 years to provide information which can be used to improve understanding on subjects ranging from disease development to how social habits may affect how someone ages, and ultimately to promote healthy aging. The funding is from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).

“We’ve been receiving very positive feedback,” said Dr. Mugford. “We’re very pleased with how well received the study has been, and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been so generous with their time, either by participating via telephone or visiting a data collection site at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s.”

More than 160 researchers from 26 Canadian universities are involved in the study, including experts in genetics, clinical research, social sciences, biology, population health, epidemiology and economics. There are 11 collection sites spread across the country, with 21,000 individuals across the country having completed hour-long telephone interviews and an additional 26,000 having taken part in extensive home interviews and data collection site visits.

The CLSA was launched through $50 million in grants from CIHR, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation and several provinces and universities, as well as other partners to set up the research platform, recruit participants and collect data from participants. The data will be used by researchers from many disciplines across the country, with requests already being made for data to further research topics such as hearing loss, neurological conditions and the health of older veterans.

To learn more about the study, please visit www.clsa-elcv.ca.

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For more information, please contact Virginia Middleton, communications co-ordinator (Medicine), at 709-864-6363, 709-725-8157 or vmiddleton@mun.ca.

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