The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project: A Pan-Canadian Platform for Research on Chronic Disease Prevention
Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), 2018
Posted: 31 Jul 2018 Last revised: 25 Nov 2018
Date Written: June 11, 2018
BACKGROUND: Understanding the complex interaction of risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing common diseases is challenging. The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) is a prospective cohort study created as a population-health research platform for assessing the effect of genetics, behaviour, family health history and environment (among other factors) on chronic diseases. METHODS: Volunteer participants were recruited from the general Canadian population for a confederation of 5 regional cohorts. Participants were enrolled in the study and core information obtained using 2 approaches: attendance at a study assessment centre for all study measures (questionnaire, venous blood sample and physical measurements) or completion of the core questionnaire (online or paper), with later collection of other study measures where possible. Physical measurements included height, weight, percentage body fat and blood pressure. Participants consented to passive follow-up through linkage with administrative health databases and active follow-up through recontact. All participant data across the 5 regional cohorts were harmonized. RESULTS: A total of 307 017 participants aged 30–74 from 8 provinces were recruited. More than half provided a venous blood sample and/or other biological sample, and 33% completed physical measurements. A total of 709 harmonized variables were created; almost 25% are available for all participants and 60% for at least 220 000 participants. INTERPRETATION: Primary recruitment for the CPTP is complete, and data and biosamples are available to Canadian and international researchers through a data-access process. The CPTP will support research into how modifiable risk factors, genetics and the environment interact to affect the development of cancer and other chronic diseases, ultimately contributing evidence to reduce the global burden of chronic disease. Chronic disease prevention and individualized disease management are central to public health in the 21st century.1,2 However, the multifactorial etiology of most chronic diseases demands that we increase our understanding about how biology, genetics, environment and behaviours interact to affect disease risks and outcomes. Prospective cohort studies that track individuals over decades are important tools for exploring these complex interactions.3 One such tool is the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project (CPTP) — a pan-Canadian prospective cohort that was envisioned in 2008 as a “population laboratory”4,5 to support Canadian and international population health research in evaluating the genetic, behavioural and environmental causes of cancer and other chronic diseases. The CPTP set out with an ambitious goal to recruit 300 000 participants from 8 Canadian provinces,4 and to obtain a venous blood sample for biobanking from as many participants as possible. It is the largest prospective cohort ever created in Canada, and baseline data are now available to Canadian and international researchers. The aim of this article is to provide a baseline cohort profile of the CPTP, summarizing key sociodemographic, behavioural and health-related characteristics of the participants. We summarize the CPTP design and participant recruitment, the harmonization of the core data, the biorepository, and the procedures established to support data sharing with researchers.
Keywords: pan-canadian, research, chronic disease, prevention
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