BC Generations Project: one way to spend 90 minutes


My bone density, as measured from this heel, is in the green range! That means I currently do not have osteoporosis, which is good news for a woman of a certain age like me.

A friend told me about the BC Generations project. Over four years, the project aims to collect information and biospecimens (sounds exciting, but it just means blood and urine samples) from 40,000 people in British Columbia.

bcgplogoThe idea is to collect data that will help researchers understand how genetics, lifestyle,  and environment contribute to diseases like cancer. Well, why not? I thought. It may help my children and their children. It may help people I’m not related to. I made an appointment.

I went to the Gordon Leslie Diamond Centre on Laurel at 12th Avenue, a bright, two-year-old building. These things are important to me: I find it depressing to attend medical appointments in dingy old buildings. Okay, perhaps it’s a shallow attitude, but it makes a difference when attendance is optional.

Staff were friendly and professional. The computer program being used was fast and well-designed. You answer questions about your and your family’s medical history, and questions about food intake, caffeine and alcohol habits, etc. You get to take home the measurements done at your appointment (lung function, body mass index, waist measurement, bone density, etc.), with a guide showing the healthy range.

When you go through the permission form, you find out that the study will be keeping records on participants for the next 25 years. It’s a little sobering to wonder what my record will show in 25 years’ time.

I consoled myself for those thoughts with a delicious grilled tomato and bocconcini panino from the café on the main floor (one serving of vegetables, one serving of dairy products, two servings of grain products (not whole-grain, though).


1 thought on “BC Generations Project: one way to spend 90 minutes

  1. Neatly turned ankle, My Dear! And re attractive buildings – nothing could be less attractive than the mammography screening centre at Women’s Hospital. The basement of a building that can be most charitably described as a soviet-era bunker. Even the terrazzo floor and art deco railings in the stairwell can’t save it.

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