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Canadians are aging well, but ...

Canada’s largest study on aging releases first report using data collected from 50,000 participants

May 22, 2018

It's not every day that one receives a call from a researcher asking if they want to participate in a study on aging for the next 20 years of their lives. That's what 50,000 Canadians aged 45 to 85 have agreed to do in taking part of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), one of the largest and most comprehensive studies on the health and well-being of the country’s aging population.

The CLSA – led by McMaster University in collaboration with key Quebec players the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and the Research Centre on Aging of the Université de Sherbrooke – today released ‘The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging Report on Health and Aging in Canada: Findings from Baseline Data Collection 2010-2015. The report inspects physical, mental, and social aspects of aging based on data from participants, who are followed every three years.

“We are delighted to release those findings, it’s been a long journey,” says Dr. Christina Wolfson, co-principal investigator of the CLSA, who is also a senior scientist at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and a professor at McGill University’s Departments of Medicine and Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health. “This study is unique because it combines social, psychological and health aspects of aging and includes participants as young at 45.”

Some of the key findings of the CLSA’s Report on Health and Aging in Canada:

  • 95% of older Canadians rate their own mental health as excellent, very good or good
     
  • Women are more likely than men to express feelings of loneliness and social isolation, and that there is a notable correlation between feelings of loneliness and the prevalence of depression among older Canadians
     
  • 44% of older Canadians report that they provide some level of care to others, and caregiving rates are at their highest (almost 50%) among individuals aged 55-64
     
  • Almost 5% of Canadians aged 45-85 report having experienced a fall in the previous 12 months. Women experienced a higher frequency of falls than men.


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