About the CLSA

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national, long-term study and research platform of more than 50,000 individuals who were between the ages of 45 and 85 at recruitment. The CLSA participants will be followed until 2033 or death. The aim of the CLSA is to find ways to help us live long and live well, and understand why some people age in a healthy fashion while others do not.

Between 2010 and 2015, the CLSA recruited and collected information from more than 50,000 individuals. Two additional waves of data collection have been completed: Follow-up 1 (2015-2018) and Follow-up 2 (2018-2021). The third wave of data collection, known as Follow-up 3, launched in 2021 and will continue until 2024.

During follow-up data collection, the CLSA team collects the same information that was collected at baseline, along with any new measures that are introduced at each wave. More information about the type of data collected in the CLSA is available under Data Collection.

In 2020, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the CLSA launched three sub-studies to examine the impact of COVID-19 on middle aged and older adults in Canada. More information about the COVID-19 Questionnaire Study, the COVID-19 Seroprevalence (Antibody) Study and the COVID-19 Brain Health Study are available under the CLSA COVID-19 Studies section.

Healthy Brains, Healthy Aging, an initiative supported by the Weston Family Foundation, will launched in 2022 to enhance the CLSA research platform with brain imaging and gut microbiome analyses. The introduction of these measures will help shed light on  factors that influence brain health and healthy aging outcomes.

Longitudinal data from the CLSA research platform are now available for access. Visit the Data Access section to learn more about how to apply.  

Findings from the CLSA research platform will:

  • Contribute to the identification of ways to prevent disease and improve health services;
  • Develop better understanding of the impact of non-medical factors, such as economic prosperity and social changes, on people as they age;
  • Answer questions that are relevant to decision-makers to improve health policy and inform government programs and services;
  • Generate new knowledge on many interrelated biological, clinical, psychosocial and societal factors that influence disease, health and well-being; and
  • Develop Canadian research capacity and train future generations of researchers who will use the CLSA data and infrastructure to explore previously unimagined areas of research on aging.

What is learned from the CLSA  will help to improve the lives of people in Canada and around the world. It will touch all generations, changing the way we live and approach growing older.

The CLSA is a strategic initiative of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Support for the CLSA 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. More information about our funders and partners is available here.