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News Release

Ontario Health Study to run Oshawa Study Centre January 26-31 - Residents invited to book an appointment and contribute to a healthier future

WHITBY, ON January 12, 2015

Durham Region Health Department is working with the Ontario Health Study (OHS) to help promote the study’s upcoming visit to our community. The OHS recently announced it will open the Oshawa Study Centre to run from Jan. 26-31 in the Program Room (main floor) at the Donevan Recreation Complex, 171 Harmony Rd. S. The purpose of the Oshawa Study Centre is for participants to contribute to a healthier future while learning more about their own health.

“The Health Department is pleased to be working with the Ontario Health Study to bring this initiative to our local area,” said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region Medical Officer of Health. “We encourage all eligible residents to get involved with this important public health study.”

Local residents aged 35-69 years who have already taken the Ontario Health Study online will be invited to visit the Oshawa Study Centre to provide a blood sample, which will enable researchers to better understand what affects health and quality of life. This may help improve the prevention and diagnosis of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A visit to the Oshawa Study Centre may also allow participants to learn something new about their health. Following their visit each participant receives a comprehensive blood analysis report of where their personal health falls within the reference range.

Residents who have not yet signed up online can do so easily by visiting www.ontariohealthstudy.ca or phone ahead of time for an appointment at the Oshawa Study Centre by calling 1-866-606-0686 or sending an email to info@ontariohealthstudy.ca.

Nearly 220,000 Ontarians have helped advance the public health of future generations right from their computers by taking the Ontario Health Study’s online questionnaire. The OHS continues to recruit participants to provide important health data and samples. This information will help researchers understand the risk factors and causes of chronic diseases and to develop new prevention strategies and treatments.

Getting involved in the OHS is a simple, straightforward process. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older and a resident of Ontario can take part in the Study. They just need to go to www.ontariohealthstudy.ca, register and then take the survey, which takes about an hour. The OHS follows strict privacy practices that govern how personal information is collected, who can see it and how it can be used.

Those who are between the ages of 35 and 69 and want to contribute even more to the Ontario Health Study can add their name to a pool of participants who are interested in providing a blood sample or visiting a Local Study Centre.

“The information provided in the initial online questionnaire provides us with an overall snapshot of the health of Ontarians as well as their exposure to chronic disease risk factors,” said Dr. Mark Purdue, Executive Scientific Director of the OHS. “By providing a blood sample or visiting the Oshawa Study Centre, participants allow us to get a more detailed look at their health. We can then compile this data to draw broader conclusions about the health of the overall population.”

Purdue explained that although the Study has grown quickly over its first four years it is important for Ontarians to keep participating. “In four years we have had nearly 220,000 people complete the questionnaire and the Study has gained the endorsement of Ontario’s universities, research teaching hospitals and other relevant organizations,” he said. “But this is just the beginning of a very long-term project. Now we are working on taking this great opportunity to Oshawa to keep this momentum going.”

The OHS is just one piece of an even larger national effort called the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP). The CPTP consists of the OHS and four other regional studies: The BC Generations Project, Alberta’s Tomorrow Project, Quebec’s CARTaGENE and the Atlantic PATH. Nationally, the CPTP has more than 300,000 participants aged 35 to 69 and more than 125,000 have provided a blood sample.

The OHS recently celebrated its fourth anniversary, and is already one of the largest long-term health studies in Canada. The OHS continues to enrol new volunteer participants to take the online questionnaire.

The Study is currently focusing on face-to-face outreach with community groups and hospitals. If you would like someone from OHS to visit your organization to discuss the Study, contact Jocelyn Garrett at Jocelyn.Garrett@ontariohealthstudy.ca.

How to get started:

  • Visit www.ontariohealthstudy.ca to register for the Study and complete the online questionnaire. It only takes about an hour. You have six weeks to complete the questionnaire from the time you start it;
  • If you are selected for blood collection or a visit to the Oshawa Study Centre you will receive an email invitation;
  • Once you receive this email, log into your OHS account and click on the orange “Next Step” button to proceed with arranging your participation;
  • If you have any questions you can speak to an OHS staff member by emailing info@ontariohealthstudy.ca or calling 1-866-606-0686.

For further information, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Mark Purdue, please contact:

Jocelyn Garrett

Ontario Health Study                     

647-259-8936 or 905-825-4295  

Media inquiries for:

The Regional Municipality of Durham:

Glendene Collins – Health Department, 905-668-7711 ext. 2999

If this information is required in an accessible format, please contact the Accessibility Co-ordinator at 1-800-372-1102 extension 2009.

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For more information, please contact Health Department.