Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) is a large, national, long-term study of more than 50,000 individuals who were between the ages of 45 and 85 when recruited. These 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 healthy fashion while others do not.

Between 2010 and 2015, the CLSA recruited and collected information from more than 50,000 individuals. Now the study has entered its next phase where each individual recruited between 2010 and 2015 (baseline) will be re-contacted for the first follow-up. The first follow-up will be conducted between 2015 and 2018. During this phase, the CLSA research team will collect the same type of information that was collected at baseline, along with several new measures that have been introduced.

The CLSA is a longitudinal design, meaning that it will follow people over a long period of time. However, researchers will not wait years before results are generated. Many researchers are applying to access currently collected data to generate findings that will improve our understanding of why some people age in healthy ways and other do not. 

The results from the CLSA 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 over the coming years 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 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.