Flat White

Alberta’s anonymous silent killer

11 July 2022

10:00 AM

11 July 2022

10:00 AM

The province of Alberta in Canada puts outs annual statistics on causes of death. This data for 2021 was released on June 30.

The leading cause of death during the Covid pandemic is – uh – unknown… It is formally written as ‘other ill-defined and unknown causes of mortality’.

In 2021, there were 3,362 cases of unknown causes of death in the province, which has more than doubled from the 1,464 cases in 2020. The category was first included in the top 30 causes of death in Alberta in 2019. So it is a new addition. This is the category that would likely include all the 19 to 16-year-olds dying in their sleep and anyone else who lives alone with no pre-existing condition found dead with their hungry pets circling.

Oddly, this leading cause of death has attracted very little interest. A new killer has emerged in a couple of years that kills more people than cancers of the breast, prostate, pancreas, and colon combined – but nope, no interest except for a few articles calling for the medical community to investigate. Alberta’s rise in excess deaths, particularly among the young, has been replicated across Canada.

It is the cause of death that dare not speak its name. That reminds me, how is Covid going in Alberta? In 2021, it was named in the deaths of 1,950 people – less than two-thirds of that of the unknown cause. This figure was serious enough to justify lockdowns and the ‘all-but’ compulsory vaccination of the population. Why hasn’t a category that kills nearly twice as many people during the same time period aroused more concern and curiosity?

This is how the situation graphs up for the top 19 causes of death:

The majority of causes of death listed in the graph above remain relatively stable over the seven years of data displayed. For example, Alzheimer’s killed 313 people in 2015 and 310 people in 2021. But there are also diseases that seemingly have had big Covid-related departures in incidence as shown by this graph:

There has been a significant decline in death by atherosclerosis, already underway pre-Covid but dropped sharply last year. Is it possible that the rise in myocarditis and pericarditis (particularly in males) is leading to people dying earlier of these conditions instead of atherosclerotic heart disease?

Dr Daniel Gregson of the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary commented on the statistics last week, referencing a US study that showed those hospitalised for Covid had a higher chance of premature death after recovery.

‘I think it’s probably multifactorial, so there’s probably many things playing into that. We have this impression of surviving Covid and that’s the end of it, and that’s not necessarily true. We do expect that there will be deaths that aren’t directly related to Covid, but indirectly related to Covid to occur after the diagnosis in patients after the first month of infection. One would expect that some of those patients are going to survive Covid and then die at home from other complications.’

As the data offered has no information on prior Covid infection or vaccination status, there is no way to confirm Dr Gregson’s assumption. Is it vaccination, infection, or both? We lack the detail required to make an assessment.

Similarly, diabetes was in an uptrend prior to Covid that rose higher when Covid hit. The incidence of the cytokine storm in Covid is assumed to be directly related to BMI, so the increase in diabetes deaths may be explained. In rare cases, nervous system conditions can arise or be aggravated by vaccines and could be nudging the graph upwards.

With both mass infection and widespread vaccination, the question remains as to whether vaccines or Covid itself is involved – in any way – with the more than 5,000 deaths a year popping up out of nowhere in Alberta? Others speculate that lockdowns and a decrease in Canadians visiting doctors and hospitals may also be leaving treatable conditions to mature into fatal situations.

The growing majority of people in Alberta have received at least two doses of the vaccine and have been infected with Covid. To determine any correlation, death statistics would need to be divided by both infection history and vaccination status.

Multiple vaccinations does not appear to be protecting the people of Alberta from re-infection, with subsequent waves returning creating a call for another round of boosters.

Some are wondering if it might be time to increase transparency and offer clarity on these concerning statistics before continuing along the same path that has led to an excess of young, healthy people dying without explanation.

David Archibald is the author of The Anticancer Garden in Australia

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