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Current Ongoing Studies

CIHR Supported Studies (2016-2023)

Influence of Ethnicity on Paediatric Reference Intervals Study

CALIPER has been successful in establishing age- and sex-specific reference intervals for commonly ordered blood tests in children. However, there is increasing evidence within the scientific community that for a handful of blood tests, ethnicity may also play a role. Therefore, CALIPER aims to determine which of these tests require age-, sex- and ethnic-specific reference intervals and subsequently establish reference intervals for the main ethnic groups in Canada – black, South Asian, East Asian and Caucasian. These tailored reference intervals will aid in preventing misdiagnoses and follow up testing due to inaccurate interpretation of blood test results using overly general reference intervals. By creating age-, sex- and ethnic- specific reference intervals where needed, CALIPER can assist clinicians and laboratories in providing individualized health care to children across Canada.

Non-Fasting Lipid Metabolism in Adolescents Study

Obesity and type 2 diabetes increase the risk of heart disease, in large part due to an abnormal level of lipids in the blood. To measure blood lipid levels, patients are traditionally required to fast. However, measuring lipids in the fasted state does not represent typical lipid levels throughout the day, as most individuals are rarely fasted for that long. Additionally, non-fasting levels may better predict heart disease risk in adults. In this study, CALIPER will measure lipids, as well as other intestinal biomarkers involved in regulating lipid metabolism, in adolescents following ingestion of a high-fat meal. The normal postprandial (i.e. after a meal) profile, as well as the postprandial profile in insulin resistant states will be determined. Furthermore, the potential changes in regulators of lipid metabolism in insulin resistance will be assessed. Examining the alterations in lipid metabolism in insulin resistance will provide a better understanding of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Mother Child Study

CALIPER has been very successful in establishing robust reference intervals for children between the ages of 1 to 18. Nevertheless, our knowledge regarding healthy reference values for expectant mothers as well as neonates and infants is currently based off of inappropriate values (healthy non-pregnant adults or healthy older children respectively). Therefore, CALIPER aims to develop trimester-specific reference intervals for critical laboratory tests during pregnancy in order to better understand physiologic changes during the gestational time period. The other aim of the Mother Child study is to develop reference intervals reflecting the large changes that occur over the first year of life. By creating reference intervals for these crucial periods in life, CALIPER can eliminate the use of child and adult reference intervals when interpreting maternal, neonatal or infantile laboratory test results.