CLSA (Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging) Laboratory


  • Description
    • The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a broad, national study that will follow 50,000 Canadian men and women between the ages of 45 and 85 for at least 20 years starting from their entry into the program. The CLSA aims at finding solutions to improve the health of Canadians through a better understanding of the aging process and the factors that influence how people age. In achieving this end, the CLSA has adopted an integrated approach to healthy aging from a multidisciplinary perspective that involves collecting information on the changing biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle, and economic aspects of people during this time of life.

      The CLSA is a strategic initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The Government of Canada supports the study through the CIHR and the Canada Foundation for Innovation. Several provincial governments, including that of Quebec, also provide support. 
  • Expertise
    • Data-Collection Sites

      Of the 50,000 CLSA participants, a cohort of 30,000 will undergo in-depth examination at one of the data-collection sites in their regions. The one in Sherbrooke, located at the Research Centre on Aging, already has more than 3,000 participants. Every three years, these participants respond to a variety of questionnaires as well as take part in or receive the following:

      • Body composition
      • Blood pressure
      • Electrocardiogram
      • Thickness of the carotid-artery inner wall (ultrasound)
      • Lung function (spirometry)
      • Bone mineral density (osteodensitometry)
      • Vision and hearing tests
      • Neuropsychological and memory assessments
      • Grip-strength test
      • Functional capacity
      • Biological sample collection

      It should be pointed out that CLSA recruitment is random, which means that an individual cannot volunteer for the study. That notwithstanding, satellite projects may be developed over the years and certain CLSA sites may then recruit volunteers.

  • Computer-Assisted Telephone-Interview Centres
    • Many telephone interviews will be conducted over the CLSA's 20 years of follow-up. Indeed, the participation of 20,000 individuals across the country will consist of only a telephone interview. This important part of the methodology enables the CLSA to reach populations far from university centers and to collect important information on the biological, medical, psychological, social, and behavioral factors in aging so as to ensure that this study is actually representative of Canada's population.

      The CLSA has four computer-assisted telephone-interview centers across the country, including one located at the Research Centre On Aging in Sherbrooke. The Sherbrooke center serves Quebec's entire population—both French-speaking and English-speaking—as well as all French-speaking people across Canada.
  • Staff
    • The CLSA data-collection site and telephone-interview center in Sherbrooke brings together a highly qualified team consisting of more than 25 interviewers, laboratory technicians, nurses, and research officers.The CLSA at the Université de Sherbrooke is headed by Dr. Hélène Payette, full professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and holder of the Merck Frosst Research Chair in Pharmaco-Geriatrics.

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