Does heart disease lead to dementia?

Dr. Luc Clair, ©UWinnipeg

Dr. Luc Clair, ©UWinnipeg

Heart disease is known to be associated with dementia. However, researchers are unsure if one causes the other. UWinnipeg’s Dr. Luc Clair (economics) has been given a Manitoba Medical Service Foundation grant worth $30,000 to try and answer this question.

The purpose of Clair’s research is to apply statistical techniques commonly used in economics to estimate the relationship between heart health and dementia. He will use data from the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository, a unique data initiative that combines health, socioeconomic, and justice system data in Manitoba. By studying the population of Manitoba from 1995 to 2015, he and his team aim to identify a causal statistical relationship between heart disease and dementia.

“We hope to see whether or not poor heart health causes dementia later in life,” explains Clair. “To show a causal statistical relationship, we need to show three things, that heart disease and dementia are correlated, that heart disease is present before dementia, and that the correlation is not due to some common risk factor, like diabetes or smoking. This dataset offers the best opportunity to identify such a relationship.”

Clair is an assistant professor of economics at The University of Winnipeg and a Principal Investigator at the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine based in the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre. His current research looks at the economic impact of health food products from two perspectives: the impact on the Canadian health care system and the impact on the Canadian agricultural industry. His other research interests include health care equity and the statistical methods for analyzing survey data.

Clair received his PhD in economics from McMaster University in June of 2017 and he recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Department of Economics at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Clair will be recognized at a reception on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 with the other Manitoba Medical Service Foundation grant winners. 

The Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF) is proud to announce that over $258,000 has been approved for funding research for this year. 

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