Researchers Want Your Blood

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Researchers with one of the most ambitious public health studies ever undertaken in Canada are back in Windsor-Essex.

Last year, researchers with the Ontario Health Study collected 324 blood samples locally, and program manager Kelly McDonald is keeping her fingers crossed at least as many residents take part this year. So far, more than 230,000 people across the province have provided questionnaires about their general health, and 7,500 have handed over a blood sample.

The emphasis is on first-time participants. McDonald says one of the objectives later in the study is to collect samples from those who have already taken part.

“We’re really looking for that first sample,” she says. “We would love to be able to collect repeat samples from people in the future, but that’s part of the future goals. Right now we’re still really building the baseline of the study.”

She says the samples will create a database for researchers conducting public health studies. Already a few requests have come forward.

“One of the studies that just came out looked at residents of Toronto — and the impact of just having more trees in our neighbourhoods on our self-perceived health.”

The researchers are set up at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch No.255 on Wyandotte St. E from Monday to Thursday, December 3.