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Health Reports: Health-related concerns and precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparison of Canadians with and without underlying health conditions

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Released: 2020-07-02

No one is immune to the virus that causes COVID-19 and there is currently no proven treatment or vaccine available. Yet according to a study based on data from the Canadian Perspective Survey Series 1 (CPSS1), almost two-thirds of Canadians reported low levels of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on their own health in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One in four Canadians has an underlying health condition that increases their risk of adverse outcomes from COVID-19, specifically, diabetes or a chronic condition that affects the lungs, heart or kidneys (18%), or a compromised immune system (14%).

Using data from the CPSS1, this study reports on COVID-19-related health concerns and precautionary behaviours among Canadians aged 15 years and older. Comparisons are made between those with and without underlying health conditions.

While many Canadians may not feel that their own health is threatened, they nevertheless reported high levels of concern about the impact of COVID-19 on the health of national and global populations, as well as health system overcapacity. The majority of Canadians reported taking multiple precautions to avoid infection—whether or not they had an underlying health condition—thereby protecting themselves as well as other household and community members.

  Note to readers

The cross-sectional Canadian Perspective Survey Series 1 collected COVID-19-related information concerning labour market impacts, behaviours and health impacts for the Canadian population aged 15 years and older living in the 10 provinces. Data were collected from March 29 to April 3, 2020.

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The article "Health-related concerns and precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparison of Canadians with and without underlying health conditions" is now available in the July 2, 2020 online issue of Health Reports, Vol. 31, no. 5 (Catalogue number82-003-X).

This issue of Health Reports also contains the article "Physical activity, screen time and sleep duration: Combined associations with psychosocial health among Canadian children and youth."

Contact information

To enquire about "Health-related concerns and precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic: A comparison of Canadians with and without underlying health conditions," contact Pamela Ramage-Morin (pamela.ramage-morin@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

To enquire about "Physical activity, screen time and sleep duration: Combined associations with psychosocial health among Canadian children and youth," contact media relations at the Public Health Agency of Canada (613-957-2983).

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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