Updated: Feb 5
Nov 23, 2020, A new Statistics Canada report sheds light on national comorbidity numbers for COVID-19 deaths that occurred during the first wave, the most detailed release of its kind to date.
“Of the over 9,500 COVID-involved deaths between March and July, the majority (90%) had at least one other cause, condition or complication reported on the certificate,” explains the report.
Dr. Kyeremanteng says he has yet to encounter a patient in hospital who doesn’t have extensive comorbidities.
It also concludes that not a single Canadian under the age of 45 died of COVID-19 during the first wave without contending with “at least one other disease or condition”.
The StatsCan report lists pneumonia as the top national comorbidity, applicable to 33% of first-wave COVID-19 deaths.
The other SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEMS include
hypertensive diseases (15%),
ischemic heart disease (13%),
respiratory failure (13%),
renal failure (12%),
symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings (11%),
chronic lower respiratory diseases (10%),
nervous system disorders excluding Alzheimer’s (8%)
Government data Should be Stating data as "DYING WITH COVID-19" "NOT DIED FROM COVID-19".
The report does not break down how many individuals suffered from more than one condition. Alberta released similar numbers around the same time, revealing that over 75% of Albertans who have so far died of COVID-19 were grappling with three or more underlying medical conditions. Other provinces have not proactively released their co-morbidity data.
It also tackles the question of how many people died “from COVID” as opposed to “with COVID”. The report concludes that 730 of the 9,525 first wave deaths were in fact due to other causes, ranging from cancer (accounting for 170 deaths) to “accidental injury such as a fall”.
The report also wades into the hotly contentious issue of comparing COVID-19 to the flu, noting that “as a point of comparison, the most common influenza comorbidities recorded between 2016 and 2018 were similar to those recorded for COVID-19 during the first wave.”
Medical experts who spoke to the Sun say they welcome the introduction of this data into the broader conversation, but also note its limitations.
“It’s an essential part of this conversation,” says Dr. Kwadwo Kyeremanteng, who currently treats COVID-19 patients in the ICU at Ottawa’s Monfort Hospital. “Now that we’re illustrating that or capturing that, I think it’s excellent.”
Kyeremanteng says he has yet to encounter a patient in hospital who doesn’t have extensive comorbidities. He hopes more data can help both these patients have healthier outcomes while also allowing for a more targeted approach to lockdowns and restrictions.
Health Canada Stats: more deaths in March 2019 than 2020
Health Canada Stats: more deaths in September 2018 & 2019 than 2020.
Source: Toronto Sun