Excess mortality in Canada: COVID-19 is not the only cause

Who says pandemic, says more deaths in the population, but COVID-19 is not the only cause of excess mortality in Canada since 2020, revealed Statistics Canada in a recent report.

Excess mortality in Canada: COVID-19 is not the only cause

Who says pandemic, says more deaths in the population, but COVID-19 is not the only cause of excess mortality in Canada since 2020, revealed Statistics Canada in a recent report.

• Read also: COVID-19: Quebec reports 30 new deaths and a marked drop in hospitalizations

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has experienced three periods of significant excess mortality, namely from March 2020 to June 2020, from October 2020 to February 2021 and from August 2021 to November 2021, the federal agency said.

In addition, there has been excess mortality, unrelated to COVID-19, among people under the age of 45 since May 2020. Thus, 19% more deaths than expected have been observed. “Excess mortality measures both the direct and indirect impacts of the pandemic, and there is evidence that many of the excess deaths observed among young Canadians during the pandemic may be attributable to other causes, such as overdoses,” perhaps we read in the report published Thursday.

During the spring and summer of 2021, some provinces experienced severe heat waves leading to an increase in deaths. These heat waves have thus contributed to excess mortality.

Obviously during the different waves of COVID-19, we have seen a higher mortality rate. The virus is thus the main cause that led to the first period of excess mortality, when many seniors succumbed to the disease in the spring of 2020, i.e. 14.8% more than expected.

Quebec and Ontario were particularly affected, with a respective excess mortality rate of 31.9% and 16.2%.

The appearance of other worrisome variants, such as Delta and Omicron, is mainly responsible for the high mortality in autumn 2021 and winter 2021-2022.

This report was built using provisional data on deaths between January 2020 and March 2022.


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