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Focus on inflammation will yield new approaches to caring for Canadians with chronic diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease
(December 22, 2014) – Toronto – Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Brampton South, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, the funding of nine new research projects that will investigate the relationship between inflammation and chronic disease.
These projects will guide the development of new ways to diagnose, treat, and manage chronic diseases in which inflammation is a key feature, including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and cardiovascular disease – ultimately improving the care of Canadians affected by these diseases.
The projects will be supported with funding of $21.9 million over five years from the Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and its partners – The Arthritis Society and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. The projects were funded under CIHR’s Roapmap Signature Initiative on Inflammation in Chronic Disease.
- Inflammation is part of the body’s normal process to fight infection and repair tissues. However, evidence suggests that chronic inflammation contributes to the development and progression of several chronic diseases, including arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer. It is also a factor in chronic infections such as Hepatitis C and transplant rejection.
- It is estimated that over 4.6 million Canadian adults are living with inflammation related disorders. By 2036, the number of Canadian adults with arthritis is expected to grow to an estimated 7.5 million (one in five). The impact of arthritis on the Canadian economy in health-care costs and lost productivity is estimated to be $33 billion each year. By 2031, this number is expected to more than double to over $67 billion.
- To address the health challenges related to inflammation, CIHR and its partners developed the Roadmap Signature Initiative on Inflammation in Chronic Disease. The initiative aims to develop a unified Canadian strategy on inflammation and the research announced today is supported through this initiative.
“Our Government is committed to helping improve the lives of Canadians affected by chronic diseases. This critical investment has the potential to transform the way we approach many chronic diseases, leading to better care for Canadian patients.”
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Mississauga – Brampton South
“This initiative presents an unprecedented opportunity for talented, multidisciplinary Canadian research teams to discover innovative approaches to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Canadians living with chronic inflammatory conditions. While we have made enormous progress in our understanding of how inflammation can either protect or harm individuals in specific situations, much more needs to be understood about chronic inflammation and its impact on health. This funding will go far towards enhancing our understanding of how and why inflammation becomes detrimental to the health of individuals, and how to minimize the damage that this misplaced inflammation causes. In the long term, these discoveries will reduce the huge burden on the health care system that these chronic conditions are known to cause.”
Dr. Hani El-Gabalawy
Scientific Director, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
“Crohn’s and Colitis Canada applauds the decision by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to invest in these nine research projects to further explore chronic inflammatory disease. Almost 250,000 Canadians – of all ages – are living with Crohn’s and colitis today, and their lives are limited by the extensive internal bleeding and ulceration caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They also face higher colon cancer risk and unrelenting pain throughout their lives. Almost half of all people diagnosed with Crohn’s disease will face surgery to repair or remove portions of their bowel or intestine affected by chronic inflammation. These grants can get us closer to the development of new and better treatments and, ultimately, the cures. It’s time to make Crohn’s and colitis stop.”
Chief Executive Officer, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada
“Purposeful collaboration among Canadian researchers helps us get closer to understanding the course of inflammation in the body and how to treat the diseases it causes. The Arthritis Society is excited to team with CIHR and Crohn’s Colitis Canada to facilitate innovative approaches to research that we hope will lead to life-altering insights in treating inflammatory conditions.”
President and Chief Executive Officer, The Arthritis Society
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Office of the Minister of the Health
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency. CIHR’s mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened health care system for Canadians. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada.