Are you ready? Massive Ontario Health Study begins second phase – The Globe and Mail

ontario-health-studyI referred to this study in one of my weekly updates about 8-9 months ago (Week 28: Staying the Course) and found this update on the next phase interesting. Quote:

More than 225,000 Ontario residents, or 2.4 per cent of the province’s population, have signed up to participate in the Ontario Health Study. It is a massive research effort that hopes to gain a better understanding of the environmental, lifestyle and other factors that cause disease in order to develop better prevention and treatment strategies.

“No study in history has collected this much data on this many people this quickly,” said Lyle Palmer, executive scientific director of the Ontario Health Study. “It’s succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.”

…. But a new phase in the study is now beginning that will involve taking blood and doing a physical assessment. Select participants will be asked to go to a lab, where they will provide a blood sample as well as have their grip strength, blood pressure and heart and lung function measured. Collecting blood is an important part of the project because it will give researchers information about hormones, nutrients, vitamins and chemicals and how those may play a role in disease risk.

In addition, all the participants will be asked to answer questions about their mental health.

Palmer said the study’s participants closely mirror Ontario’s population, including a diversity of ethnic backgrounds and a fairly even split among men and women. The study also has an overrepresentation of aboriginal people, which is notable because they often face a higher risk for many chronic illnesses and other health problems. Many previous studies failed to focus on aboriginal groups, so the study will help to provide a unique, much-needed window into that population, Palmer said.

Look forward to seeing some of the findings and then the hard part, turning some of these into policy and program changes.

Are you ready? Massive Ontario Health Study begins second phase – The Globe and Mail.

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