The Ontario Health Study (OHS), which is the biggest community-based and long-term health study ever conducted in the province, has updated its questionnaire to include questions relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans communities.
Five questions focus on sexual orientation, gender identity and whether the participant has ever been diagnosed with an inter-sex condition.
Bruce Bursey, a member of the Diversity and Community Engagement working group, encourages gay and trans people to participate.
“This is our chance to be a visible part of shaping health and social policy and community infrastructure investment,” he writes in an email.
The working group will work closely with the OHS communications team to ensure that Ontario’s cultural, geographic and ethnic diversity is represented within the study.
The study will be conducted in several stages with the main phase open to all residents of Ontario who are at least 18 years old. The hope is that participants will be followed for their entire lifespan. The longitudinal study will allow researchers to learn how environment, lifestyle and genes affect the risk of common diseases.