CLSA links with CANUE to release data on environmental health; CIHR announces funding opportunity

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Updated August 21, 2018

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) and the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) have collaborated to link data on air quality, neighbourhood factors, weather and climate, and greenness indicators to CLSA data on health and aging, to enable research on how environmental factors affect the ways in which Canadians age.

In July 2018, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) announced a funding opportunity for data analysis using existing databases and cohorts. The intent of the $1.5 million operating grant competition is to support research that uses large, well-established cohorts and databases. Two grants of up to $200,000 are available to access CANUE datasets that link to health data.

Pre-linked CANUE data can be accessed directly through the CLSA. Applicants to the CIHR funding opportunity are advised to apply for CLSA data access simultaneously, in order to minimize the delay to receive the data if they are funded. The upcoming CLSA data access application deadlines are available here. CIHR requests a letter of support be submitted with the grant application. Researchers can download the CLSA Data Access Support Letter to include in their application to CIHR on the Data Access Documents page.

To learn more about the CIHR grant opportunity for using CANUE data, please review the August 2018 CANUE webinar. The webinar slides are available here.

The linked CANUE data include estimated exposures of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and fine particulate matter, as well as information about nighttime light, normalized difference vegetation index (i.e. greenness), data on weather and climate, material and social deprivation indices and the Canadian Active Living Environments (i.e. walkability) index.

The CLSA is a national cohort study of aging funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The initiative is led by Dr. Parminder Raina of McMaster University, Dr. Christina Wolfson of McGill University and Dr. Susan Kirkland of Dalhousie University.

CANUE is a CIHR-funded initiative, which gathers and develops measures related to a range of environmental factors to study how they affect a wide variety of health outcomes. One of CANUE’s main goals is to enable evidence-based strategies that help plan healthy neighbourhoods and cities across Canada.

“We know that environmental factors play an important role in healthy aging." said Dr. Jeffrey Brook, faculty member at Dalla Lana School of Public Health and CANUE Scientific Director. “Enriching the CLSA with a wide range of indicators such as air quality, neighbourhood greenness and walkability will give Canadian researchers an unprecedented capacity to better understand this relationship."  

The linked data are available to researchers as of June 2018.

For more information on CANUE initiatives, visit the CANUE website. To learn how to access CLSA data, visit our Data Access Application Process page.