All-cause and cause-specific acute morbidity attributable to Covid-19 epidemic, severe Covid-19 symptoms, and adverse birth outcomes in Canada.

Lisonkova, Sarka | $168,300

British Columbia University of British Columbia 2021 CIHR Project Grant

Since the first recognition of a novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in December 2019, the virus has infected over 36 million people globally and caused over one million deaths by October 2020. The true number of infected people is largely unknown, however, due to inconsistent testing and reporting of positive cases. The global pandemic has overwhelmed health care systems and public health measures were introduced to contain the spread of the virus. This study will address important questions about the health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Canadian population. While we do know the exact number of Covid-19 positive individuals in Canada, we can examine increases in hospitalizations for all severe diseases and their complications. Current data show that older people are most severely impacted by the epidemic, however, it is not known whether males or females are affected in different ways, or whether emergency visits for other conditions, for example mental health problems, have increased during the pandemic. We will examine also past medical history among patients with Covid-19 disease as a potentially important predictor of disease severity. Finally, childbearing women may be vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2. While the current literature provides inconsistent results with this respect, more information is needed to describe the risk factors and pregnancy outcomes in Canadian women. We will use national data collected by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). CIHI has assigned a new diagnostic code for Covid-19 disease and maximized its efforts to obtain information on all hospitalized cases. In summary, our results will help to identify vulnerable subgroups of population that are highly affected by the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic. We will also clarify the role of prior medical history on the prediction of severe Covid-19 symptoms, and provide insights into the effects of Covid-19 on Canadian pregnant women and their offspring.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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