Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI)

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, diabetes and mental health issues – is on the rise. NCDs are collectively responsible for almost 70% of all deaths worldwide, and close to three quarters of all NCD deaths occur in low- and middle-income countriesFootnote 1. These numbers represent a global health crisis that is reducing health and well-being while imposing mounting social and financial burdens on society.

To address this issue, CIHR has developed the Healthy Life Trajectories Initiative (HeLTI), which follows a Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) approach. DOHaD is a field based on the hypothesis that environmental factors interact with genes during conception, fetal life, infancy and early childhood, and that this programming affects the individual’s health later in life. HeLTI builds upon both the diverse research capacity and wealth of existing data sets in Canada, while using a unique set of coordinated linked international intervention cohorts to focus the powerful DOHaD approach specifically on NCDs both in Canada and in countries where the burden is greatest.

The goals of HeLTI are to:

  • Generate evidence that will inform national policy and decision-making for the improvement of health and the prevention of NCDs.
  • Position Canada as a global leader in the DOHaD field.

Related initiatives

Contact information

For more information about HeLTI, please contact:

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