Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease were the most common medical conditions linked with all COVID-19 deaths reported in 2020 in Canada, according to a new report from Statistics Canada (StatCan).
These brain disorders were the most common comorbidity among women (41 per cent), while among men, it was the second most common comorbidity at 31 per cent, StatCan data showed.
“Of all COVID-19 deaths in 2020, dementia or Alzheimer’s was reported on 36 per cent of COVID-19 death certificates,” the report said.
Further, of the nearly 15,300 people who died of the virus between March and December 2020, 65 per cent had two or more comorbidities and 46 per cent had three or more comorbidities, according to the report.
“These results, along with the specific conditions listed on the death certificate, highlight some of the populations in Canada most vulnerable to severe outcomes of COVID-19. Although individuals had pre-existing conditions, it does not imply that they were at risk of dying if there had been no COVID-19 infection,” the report said.
The other most common comorbidities linked to COVID-19 death included pre-existing cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, including hypertension (15 per cent), heart diseases (14 per cent) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (11 per cent).
Diabetes, Parkinson’s, and obesity was the common comorbidity associated with COVID-19 deaths in the younger population.
Diabetes was a common pre-existing condition among 15 per cent of COVID-19 deaths among the 45-to-84 age group and 9 per cent among those below 45.
Nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diseases (excluding Alzheimer’s) was most common at 13 per cent among those who died of the virus in the 45-to-64 age group and 12 per cent among those younger than 45.
There were fewer than 100 deaths due to COVID-19 in people below 45 years in 2020. But, among those who died, obesity was the most commonly observed comorbidity, the report said.