A major national study on aging has launched in Manitoba, and researchers are counting on thousands of Manitobans to take part.

The Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging is enrolling 50,000 Canadian adults, aged 45 to 85, who will be tracked over the next 20 years to see how they are living as they age.

Study organizers officially opened their Manitoba data collection facility at Winnipeg's Deer Lodge Centre on Thursday afternoon.

About 4,400 of the nationwide study's participants will be in Manitoba, including 3,000 Winnipeg residents who will be chosen at random to undergo various health tests at the data facility every three years.

"We will take their blood, we will do a bone density scan, we will do vision testing, hearing testing, balance testing," said Verena Menec of the University of Manitoba's Centre on Aging.

"We'll collect all kinds of information on these people, and then we will follow them up over time."

The remaining 1,400 Manitoba study participants will be surveyed by phone, Menec said.

"Fundamentally we all want to age well, and there's still so many questions about how to go about that," she said.

"So this is going to give us tremendous in-depth information on all kinds of things about how people could age well."

The data collection site at Deer Lodge is one of 11 such sites the study is hosting across the country.