Grant helps Lear's health research

November 04, 2004, vol. 31, no. 5
By Carol Thorbes



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Scott Lear, assistant professor of kinesiology at Simon Fraser University, is among 160 researchers at 32 universities, nationally, who have been awarded funding in the Canada Foundation for Innovation's (CFI) most recent grant announcement.

Lear is receiving $200,000 from the CFI's New Opportunities Fund to purchase equipment capable of assessing a number of health variables and supporting the collection of data in one of his ongoing studies.

The equipment will be used to measure the exercise capacity and total body fat, and store blood samples, of participants in Lear's multi-cultural community health assessment trial (M-CHAT).

The equipment will also help Lear manage data collected through electronic surveys and field tests conducted in ethnic communities throughout the Lower Mainland.

In M-CHAT, Lear is investigating the extent to which excess body fat accumulates and is distributed in different ethnic groups so that obesity-related heart problems and risks can be better identified in specific populations.

Recent reports suggest that non-Europeans may have higher body fat and risk factors for heart disease at a smaller body size than Europeans. However, the medical community identifies people as being overweight based on studies of Caucasian or European populations.

Lear's research team has recruited about half the 800 participants it is seeking in populations of aboriginal, Chinese, European and South Asian origin for its study.

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