Canada's Life Expectancy Just Went Down: Why It's Important

Published September 29, 2023

Statistics Canada released a new report outlining health in Canada. Generally, things are looking good for Canadians, but not without some notable differences compared to the previous decade. In this article, we’ll run you through this new report and tell you why the new developments in Canadians’ health matters for you and your family. 

The Impact of COVID-19

The pandemic really threw a wrench in Canadian lifespans. For the past 20 years, Canadian life expectancy has steadily increased. But since 2020, when the pandemic reached Canada, there has been an increase in mortality rate among Canadians of 7.7%.

COVID-19 made vulnerable Canadians even more vulnerable to premature death, which explains the increase in mortality since 2020.

Interestingly, Statistics Canada also found that the COVID-19 period also saw an increase in substance-related deaths, like drug overdoses. The reasons are unclear, but it could be because of lockdowns and the change of lifestyle Canadians had to go through.

Causes of Death in Canada

The report found that the 10 leading causes of death in Canada were, in order:

  1. Cancer
  2. Heart disease
  3. COVID-19
  4. Accidental deaths
  5. Cerebrovascular diseases
  6. Chronic respiratory diseases
  7. Diabetes
  8. The flu and pneumonia
  9. Alzheimer’s
  10. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis

Cancer and heart disease account for more deaths than the other 7 causes put together.

Interestingly, men accounted for a larger proportion of the mortality rate of every single category. Men in general can expect to live about 4 years less than women in Canada (79.5 to women’s 84.0).


Chronic Illnesses

The study found that lung cancer, which is the most killing cancer in Canada, has greatly decreased since the previous decade, especially among males. This is great news, and is likely explained by the shrinking popularity of cigarettes and tobacco products in general.

However, the study also found that other chronic conditions were increasing among Canadians:

  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) went from 16.9% to 17.7%
  • Heart disease from 4.4% to 4.9%
  • Obesity from 26.1% to 29.2%

Multimorbidity, which is when a person has multiple chronic illnesses (for example, diabetes and heart disease), was reported to be most among lower income Canadians. Higher income Canadians tended to be healthier, according to the study.


Activity Levels and Nutrition

Statistics Canada claims that the Canadian youth is not exercising enough. Canadians above the age of 12 are seeing a decline in physical activity, as well as a decrease in the quality of their diets.

This is especially true for teenagers, who saw their activity levels decrease by 14% between 2015 and 2021. A majority of children were also found to not be meeting their recommended 60 minutes of daily activity.

For adults, the results were a bit more optimistic. The report showed a decrease in heavy drinking by about 4 percentage points. Smoking (both daily and occasional) also decreased by a whopping 6 percentage points.


Conclusion: What This Means for You

What we can learn from this new report is that while Canadians can still expect to live a long and healthy life, things are slightly trending downward. While a lot of this trend can be explained by the impact of COVID-19, we can’t just hold COVID-19 responsible for all the developments in Canaidans’ health.

One thing that is clear from the report is that Canadians aren’t taking as good care of their health as they could be. Substance-related deaths are on the rise, exercise and diet patterns are getting worse (but at least tobacco use is going down!).

While you might not be able to control whether you get a chronic disease like cancer, you can definitely control your health and your diet. Taking steps toward having a healthier lifestyle is the best thing you can do to go against Canada’s decreasing life expectancy trend!

Life Insurance With Insurance Supermarket

Working toward improving your health has more perks than just life expectancy. When it comes to life insurance, being as healthy as you can be is the best way to reduce your premiums and get the best possible deal out of your policy.

And if you suffer from a chronic illness (like more and more Canadians, according to the report), there’s no need to worry. We offer guaranteed issue life insurance policies that you can qualify for regardless of your health. We also have critical illness plans that are made to deal with having a serious condition like heart disease or cancer.


So Get Started With Insurance Supermarket By Getting A Free Quote Today!

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