Methodological Developments

The analysis of longitudinal data on the natural course of chronic disease risk factors in young people has resulted in two funded methodological projects and three publications to date:


2016-8        Life course approach to study the development of lifestyle risk factors for cancer

                   Cancer Research Society/Read for the Cure Operating Grant -  $120 000

                   Principal Investigator: Sylvestre MP

                   Co-Investigators: Datta G, Engert J, Karp I, Jutras-Aswad D, O’Loughlin J

                   Description: This projects adopts a life course approach to investigate the onset and co-occurrence of

                   risk factors for cancer (e.g. cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, adiposity) during adolescence. It         

                   focuses on the development and application of trajectory modelling.

2019-21       A prognostic tool for regular cannabis use among youth: A precursor to lowering cannabis-related cancer risk (machine learning

                    methods to develop prognostic tools to identify young people at risk of initiation or escalation of substance use)

                    CCS Innovation Grant - $200,000

                    Principal Investigator: Sylvestre MP

                    Co-Investigators: O’Loughlin J, Leatherdale S, Haddad S, Belanger R, de Montigny S, Dore I


  1. Sylvestre MP, Wellman RJ, Ahun MN, Datta G, Jutras-Aswad D, O Loughlin J. Discrete time measures versus trajectories of drinking frequency across adolescence as predictors of binge drinking in young adulthood: a longitudinal investigation. BMJ Open. 2020 Sep 23;10(9):e035939. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-035939. PMID: 32967870; PMCID: PMC7513599.

  2. Ahun MN, Lauzon B (co-first author), Sylvestre MP, Bergeron-Caron C, Eltonsy S, O’Loughlin JL. A systematic review on cigarette smoking trajectories in adolescents. Int J Drug Policy. 2020 Jul 16;83:102838. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102838. Online ahead of print. PMID: 32683174 Review.

  3. Sylvestre MP, Hanusaik N, Berger D, Dugas E, Pbert L, Winickoff J, O’Loughlin JL. A tool to identify adolescents at risk of cigarette smoking initiation. Pediatrics. 2018 Nov;142(5):e20173701. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-3701. Epub 2018 Oct 1. PMID: 30275237.

  4. Sylvestre MP, de Montigny S, Goulet D, Doré I, O'Loughlin J, Haddad S, Bélanger RE and Leatherdale S. A Prognostic Tool to Identify Youth at Risk of at Least Weekly Cannabis Use.  Accepted for publication in Studies in Computational Intelligence in December 2020. 

  5. Mendo CW, Maurel M, Doré I, O'Loughlin J, Sylvestre MP. Depressive symptoms and cigarette smoking in adolescents and young adults: the mediating role of friends smoking. Nicotine & Tobacco Research. 2021 Mar 15;ntab046. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntab046. Online ahead of print.