“Women Were More Affected by COVID-19 in Canada Than Men – What Should We Make of These Findings?”
A recent report from Statistics Canada has revealed a surprising and concerning trend: more women died from COVID-19 than men did during the early stages of the pandemic. This discovery challenges the global trend, where more men were succumbing to the virus. The report, published in StatCan’s peer-reviewed journal Health Reports, sheds light on the impact of COVID-19 on non-immigrants aged 85 and older, particularly in long-term care homes.
The Impact on Long-Term Care Homes
The report highlights the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on long-term care homes in Canada, where more than 80% of the earliest COVID-19 deaths occurred. This is significantly higher than the average in other similar countries. The residents most affected by the virus were women aged 85 and older, making up more than half of the COVID-19 deaths. These findings raise questions about the measures taken to protect vulnerable populations in long-term care facilities and the systemic issues that may have contributed to this disparity.
Factors at Play
The report also points out that while certain COVID-19 risk factors are higher among Canadian men, such as diabetes, cancer, and smoking, the death rate among immigrant workers in Canada was higher among men in health care and social assistance fields. This creates a complex web of factors that contributed to the differing impact of COVID-19 on men and women in Canada.
Vaccination Rates and the Shifting Trend
Interestingly, the report notes that the sex differences in COVID-19 deaths disappeared by the summer of 2021, coinciding with the high vaccination rates in long-term care homes. This suggests that vaccinations played a crucial role in reducing infections and serious outcomes among elderly residents.
Conclusion: Moving Forward
As we grapple with the implications of this report, it is important to consider the multifaceted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on different demographics. The findings underscore the need for targeted interventions to protect vulnerable populations, as well as ongoing research to understand the various factors at play. Moving forward, it is essential to prioritize the equitable distribution of resources and support to ensure that all individuals, regardless of gender or other demographic factors, are adequately protected in the face of future health crises.