About the Study
- The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a Canada-wide study that looks at health and aging over a 20-year period. People who are between the ages of 45 and 85 are being invited to take part.
- The study team will collect a wide range of information about people’s health as they age, including physical,emotional and social health functioning, as well as the presence of health conditions and diseases.
- CLSA participants fall into one of two different groups. Some people will be contacted for a telephone interview, while others will be asked to be part of a home interview as well as a visit to a Data Collection Site in their area.
- You have been asked to take part in the home interview and Data Collection Site visit.
- People age 45 to 85 years are randomly selected to receive an information package or a telephone call inviting them to participate. This means that you cannot volunteer to participate in the study without an invitation.
What will I be asked to do if I agree to participate in the CLSA home interview and data collection site visit?
You will be asked to:
- Participate in an in-home interview, where you will be asked to share information about your personal background, health history and lifestyle (this will take approximately 70 minutes).
- Visit a CLSA Data Collection Site to have physical measures taken, including blood pressure, height and weight measurements, a bone density measurement, vision and hearing tests, as well as strength and balance tests (this will take approximately 2 1/2 hours).
- Participate in a telephone interview mid-way between each three-year visit to maintain contact and to answer some brief questions about your health and well-being (this will take approximately 35 minutes).
You will also be given following two opportunities for participation:
- Provide blood and urine samples that will be analyzed to learn about aspects of biology and the genetics of aging, health and disease.
- Provide the CLSA with your provincial health card number to allow researchers to link the information you provide to healthcare or other databases held by public institutions (for example, each provincial Ministry of Health keeps databases about your visits to doctors, hospital admissions, medication prescriptions or mortality records).
- You will be asked questions about your health and well-being, including physical, social and emotional functioning, lifestyle and behaviours, as well as the onset of health conditions and diseases.
- Every three years, participants will take part in a home interview and visit the CLSA Data Collection Site.
- Every 1 ½ years after the Data Collection Site visit, participants will take part in a telephone interview.
The information will be used by many researchers. For example, researchers may study:
- What are the factors that affect how adults age?
- Why do some people stay healthy as they get older and other people develop health problems?
- What changing life circumstances do people face as they get older and how do they handle them?
- The CLSA will keep a list and description of all the projects using study data and samples on its CLSA website.
- You can also call the CLSA toll free at 1-866-999-8303 for any further questions or clarifications regarding the projects.
- If you agree to provide your health card number, this will allow researchers to access information about you from public institutions to study patterns of health and health care in the population over time. For example ,each provincial Ministry of Health keeps databases about visits to doctors, hospital admissions, medication prescriptions and what people die from.
- You will not get any direct personal benefit from taking part.
- You will benefit by participating in a study that will provide improved knowledge of the aging process that may result in the development of health policies and programs that benefit you and society as a whole.
- It is also possible that, someday, researchers using data and samples collected by the CLSA will lead to new treatment and tests that could help healthy aging.
- You are between the ages of 45 and 85, which is the age range of people who are being invited to participate.
- The risks of taking part in the CLSA are minimal.
- As with all studies that collect personal information, there is a chance that third parties could get your information without permission of the CLSA research team. Study information will NOT be released by the CLSA to a third party (other than an approved researcher) unless ordered to do so by a court order or by law.
- A second type of risk relates to the collection of physical measurements. You may experience some minor discomfort associated with some of the tests and measurements carried out.
- For blood collection, a needle will be used to collect the blood from a vein in your arm. Most donors experience slight pain at the site of the needle insertion, and some may develop a bruise.
- The CLSA is a strategic initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Support for the study has been provided by the Government of Canada through the CIHR and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, as well as the provincial governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
- All research conducted by the CLSA occurs in the public domain with funding support from federal and provincial governments. Private sector researchers will not have access to data. However, they may access research results that are available as part of the public domain (i.e. through scientific journals) and use the knowledge to develop new products, services and technologies. They also may be involved in certain research projects, in collaboration with public sector researchers. However, even through these collaborations, they will not have access to individualized data.
- The CLSA Data and Samples Access committee must approve all requests from researchers from Canada and other countries to use CLSA data.