About CanCOLD

Get to know us a bit better

By following 1,500 healthy and COPD individuals across 9 Canadian sites for more than a decade, CanCOLD has assembled one of the most comprehensive data pools to answer questions related to COPD in the world.

Who We Are

CanCOLD is the first observational cohort study specific to COPD having recruited its participants from the general population rather than in clinical settings. This strategy better mirrors prevalent COPD populations at large and provides proper representation of typically underrepresented groups in COPD studies; early (mild) disease, female population, individuals who have never smoked (up to 30% of the COPD population) and those without a physician diagnosis of COPD (up to 70% of the COPD population). With three data collection waves since its launch in 2009 and detailed characterization of study subjects using a range of assessment tools, CanCOLD is an invaluable resource to catalyze COPD research.

Data Collection Sites
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Data Collection Waves
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To provide a rich resource and data platform to initiate innovative research on COPD in Canada and abroad, and serve as a training platform future generations of clinicians, researchers, students and qualified research staff.


To enhance the current understanding of COPD progression and burden, and to advance COPD prevention, diagnosis and management.

Our Vision – Mission

Our Objectives

Main Objective

Identify potentially modifiable factors beyond tobacco smoking that impact COPD development and disease progression.

Secondary Objective

Identify combinations of disease and patient attributes that differentiate individuals with COPD and study the relationship of these attributes to relevant outcomes.

Secondary Objective

Evaluate past and current clinical practice for the care of mild and moderate COPD.

Our History

The CanCOLD study originated from the cross-sectional Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study, an international initiative measuring the prevalence of COPD and its risk factors in different regions around the world, which included a data collection site in Vancouver. Expanding on this initiative nationally, the Canadian Obstructive Lung Disease (COLD) study was established and recruited a total of 6,551 non-institutionalized men and women aged ≥ 40 years in 9 Canadian cities. Finally, with the aim of following these participants through time, COLD study subjects were contacted to enroll in the CanCOLD longitudinal cohort study.

Public and private investments of more than $14 million have allowed the CanCOLD study to produce policy-relevant knowledge and innovative solutions that have positive impacts on public health and clinical practice. For the past decade, CanCOLD leverages partnerships between researchers and organizations, and also provides opportunities for graduate students to be trained and young investigators to participate in innovative respiratory health research projects in many institutions across Canada.

Our Financial Partners