Aging & Life-Course Epidemiology
The epidemiological study of human aging originally focused on the health of older adults, typically defined as beginning at the historical retirement age of 65 years. Research was done by gerontologists under a social/behavioural science paradigm, and by geriatricians under a biomedical/patient care paradigm. Life-course epidemiology is a more recent multidisciplinary evolution, with a broadened focus on human health, illness, and function from conception to death. Most recently, interest has broadened even further to look at the role of parental and even grand-parental health on the health of offspring. Collectively, aging and life-course epidemiologists now study how aging affects the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events, comprising mortality, diseases, illnesses, syndromes, injuries, birth outcomes, and positive and negative mental health states, across the entire human life span.
To promoting healthy aging across the lifespan by conducting transdisciplinary research from individuals to health systems.
- Fostering transdisciplinary and inter-paradigmatic research and program evaluation to further understanding of determinants and trajectories of aging across the lifespan.
- Enhancing integration with other local, regional and international researchers doing human-based aging-related research.
- Investigating how health system and healthcare system approaches could be used to answer key aging and life-course questions.
- Developing metrics that capture key research outputs (e.g. number of successful manuscripts and grants).
- Establishing working groups on the basis of:
- methods (e.g. secondary analyses of population-based age-specific samples such as the Canadian Health Survey on Children and Youth, aged 1-17 years, and the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, aged 40 and older.)
- age-specific topics (e.g. childhood obesity vs. malnutrition in older adults)
- age-transcendent topics (e.g. violence; injuries; poverty; depression; social isolation; discrimination; health inequities; neurodegeneration)