The Atlantic Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health Study, or Atlantic PATH as we usually call ourselves, is part of the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health (CanPath), the largest study of its kind ever undertaken in Canada.
The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow’s Health is hosted by the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health with national funding from the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.
This national study is investigating how genetics, the environment, lifestyle, and behavior contribute to the development of chronic diseases. CanPath is following the health of 330,000 people for 30 years in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and in Atlantic Canada.
Here on the East Coast, Atlantic PATH has recruited over 34,000 participants from all four Atlantic Provinces. The samples and information that participants have given will help researchers find out why some people develop certain chronic diseases and others don’t. This information will will help to find new ways of preventing chronic diseases and to diagnose these diseases earlier, when they can be easier to treat.
This work is particularly important for Atlantic Canada, which has the highest rates of cancer in the country. Every year, more than 13,400 Atlantic Canadians are diagnosed with cancer and 6,300 die as a result. The disease truly does touch everyone living in this region, either personally or through family and friends.