Our Research

Welcome to CHOICES (Cardiovascular Health/Outcomes: Improvements Created by Exercise & education for SCI)

Annually, over 1000 Canadians sustain a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) and unwittingly join more than 41,000 Canadians living with this chronic and debilitating injury. The estimated annual costs of care in Canada exceed $1.5 billion.

Recent data reveal that people with SCI are developing chronic diseases at younger ages and at greater rates than the able-bodied population. This alarming trend appears to be caused by inactivity-related illnesses, particularly cardiovascular (CV) disease, which is the main cause of death and disease in people with SCI.

Exercise training has the potential to improve strength, performance, and well-being among people with SCI. However, we have little information on the CV effects of training in people with SCI who respond differently to exercise. This is information that we urgently need to develop in order to create exercise programs that will be effective in improving CV health for Canadians living with SCI.

With a team of 13 prestigious scientists working at universities across Canada, the goal of this project is to improve CV health for people with chronic SCI through optimized exercise and targeted education. In doing so, we will use both models of SCI and training in people with SCI to examine the effects of exercise on CV risk. We will also determine whether educating health care providers on specific CV problems associated with SCI will help to reduce the financial burden of care, and improve treatment of people with SCI.

By providing important information on exercise training and targeted education to clinicians, this project will reduce chronic disease and improve CV health for Canadians living with chronic SCI.


Click here to view CHOICES ClinicalTrials.gov profile