The Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds or ‘The Alliance’ for short, is a landmark national research study aimed at understanding the causes and the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, dementia and cancer.

From 2013-2017, approximately 9,700 participants, aged 35-69, from across Canada will be invited to participate in the Alliance and will undergo measures, including an MRI scan, provide blood samples and detailed information about themselves and their environments, and agree to have their health followed.

This research will capitalize on Canada’s geographic and ethnic diversity, including participants of European descent, South Asians, East Asian, African origin and reserve-based Aboriginal people throughout the Canadian provinces. We will learn how ethnicity, lifestyle and environmental factors have an impact on the function of our heart, brain and blood vessels. This will lay the groundwork for understanding how the way we lead our lives can impact on our health and will allow for political decisions to improve quality of life and longevity.

  • A true ‘Alliance’: This national study is a collaborative effort of researchers, research centres and groups across Canada. This includes partner cohort studies – BC Generations Project, Alberta Tomorrow Project, Ontario Health Study, CARTaGENE, Atlantic PATH, the PURE study Canada and the Montreal Heart Institute Biobank. The Alliance activities will also take place in 13 magnetic resonance (MR) imaging centres and 10 Aboriginal communities across the country.
  • The Alliance is supported by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) and is the result of advocacy efforts related to the Canadian Heart Health Action Plan. The Alliance, with its initial funding of $16 million, will build on the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, to expand this pan-Canadian research platform as a powerful resource for Canadian researchers to help identify the early root causes that lead to diseases of the brain, the heart and the cardiovascular system.
  • The Canadian Alliance for Healthy Hearts and Minds research team is led by Dr. Sonia Anand of McMaster University, Dr. Matthias Friedrich of the Montreal Heart Institute, and Dr. Jack Tu of the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto. Click here to find out more about the Alliance team, our partnering cohorts and our collaborating researchers and research centres.
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