Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging releases first report on health and aging in Canada

May 22, 2018

Report presents key findings on physical, mental, and social aspects of aging using data collected from 50,000 Canadians aged 45-85

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA), Canada’s largest and most comprehensive study on the health and well-being of the country’s aging population, today released The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging Report on Health and Aging in Canada: Findings from Baseline Data Collection 2010-2015. The report presents key findings on a range of physical, mental and social aspects of aging based on data from the CLSA’s 50,000 participants, who were between the ages of 45 and 85 when they were recruited into the study.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Report on Health and Aging in Canada tells us that:

  • 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
  • Driving a motor vehicle is the most common form of transportation for older Canadians regardless of age, sex, geographic location, health or functional status

The full report highlights insights related to: physical and psychological health, loneliness and social isolation, caregiving and care receiving, transportation and mobility, work and retirement, physical function, disability and falls, lesbian, gay and bisexual aging, and lifestyle and behaviour, among others.

To access The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Report on Health and Aging in Canada, please visit:

“The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging’s rich data allows researchers to explore the biological, medical, psychological, social, lifestyle and economic factors related to healthy aging,” says Dr. Parminder Raina, Lead Principal Investigator of the CLSA, Scientific Director of the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging, and member of the National Seniors Council, who also holds the Canada Research Chair in Geroscience at McMaster University. “We are thrilled to release our initial findings in this wide-ranging report in the hopes that they will be used to support the development of evidence-based health and social care policies and programs to improve the quality of life of Canadians at every age.”

Funding for the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) was awarded by the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Funding and support for The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Report on Health and Aging in Canada was provided by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

“We recognize the challenges we face with Canada’s aging population,” says the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health. “The CLSA is generating the evidence we need to identify the most urgent health priorities and to plan how we will address them so we can promote the health and quality of life of Canadians into their later years.”

“Canada’s population is living longer and our older adult population now outnumbers those under 15 years of age. This presents a timely opportunity to explore what helps Canadians live well as they age,” says Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer.  “The evidence generated through The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA) Report on Health and Aging in Canada will be instrumental in shaping efforts to effectively support healthy aging.”

“I want to congratulate the CLSA team on the release of their first report,” says Dr. Yves Joanette, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Aging. “The study was conceived with the long-term vision of providing the evidence to shape policies and programs that support the healthy aging of Canadians, and to empower Canadians by giving them research on which to choose options that support their own healthy aging. With the publication of its first report, we are now beginning to see how CIHR’s investment in the CLSA will pay dividends in terms of providing valuable evidence for policy makers and a wealth of data for researchers. This report, and all future ones, stems from the hard work of two previous Scientific Directors at the Institute of Aging, starting with Dr. Réjean Hébert and followed by the full commitment of Dr. Anne Martin-Matthews, in collaboration with the rest of CIHR and the Canadian scientific community.”

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging (CLSA)

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is a large, national research platform that follows more than 50,000 men and women who were between the ages of 45 and 85 at the time of recruitment (which began in 2010) for 20 years or until death. Ongoing research projects and collaborations using CLSA data span the disciplines of biological, clinical, social and population health, and are aimed at understanding how various factors impact the maintenance of physical and mental health, as well as the development of disease and disability as people age. For more information about the CLSA, visit


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