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Top Charts 20-12: age profile of first wave versus second wave COVID-19 cases

In this regular column, Club Vita’s longevity experts will help you visualize the often abstract world of longevity by introducing some of their favourite charts.

In this edition of Top Charts, Saeed Ahmadi looks at the age profile of COVID-19 cases in Canada.


How has the age profile of COVID-19 cases in Canada changed over time?


As explored in our previous article, there have been two distinct waves of COVID-19 cases in Canada, the first taking place in April/May and the second wave starting in September and still continuing. The proportion of those cases from the older, most at-risk age groups (i.e., those aged 70 and over) was significantly higher during the first wave compared to the second wave so far, which is particularly apparent in the second chart below.

Daily COVID-19 cases by age band
Age distribution of daily COVID-19 cases

Data Source: Government of Canada, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Epidemiology update. The data was downloaded on December 15, 2020 but the last two weeks have been excluded in the charts due to lower levels of cases with age data being available over this period because of reporting lags.

Key takeaways

  • The proportion of new COVID-19 cases aged 70 and over was around 30% during the peak of the first wave, whereas this age group has been fairly stable at around 10% during the second wave since early October.
  • The ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amongst older demographics is a critical factor for preventing the second wave deaths increasing rapidly like that experienced during the first wave.
  • The proportion of new COVID-19 cases among the 0-19 and 20-29 age bands has increased significantly during the second wave compared to the first wave.

What do you think?

Please post your questions in our Friends of Club Vita discussion group on LinkedIn.

Saeed Ahmadi

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