New data from Statistics Canada says that young men in Western Canada were much more likely to die in 2020.

From mid-May to mid-October, there were approximately 7,172 deaths among Canadians 44 year or younger, with 81% of those being male. StatsCan claims its number of deaths is 1,385 higher than what was estimated before the pandemic.

“This pattern was seen particularly in Alberta and British Columbia, which were the only provinces with evidence of excess mortality among this age group. Alberta accounted for 298 excess deaths for males under the age of 45, while British Columbia accounted for 260.” StatsCan wrote.

From March until October, 50 people under the age of 45 died of coronavirus.

StatsCan associates the increase in death among young men with the negative effects of coronavirus lockdowns.

“Increases in mortality could also be due to indirect consequences related to measures put in place to address the pandemic, such as missed or delayed medical interventions and other possible changes in behaviour such as increased substance use,” they wrote. 

“For example, in British Columbia, the Chief Coroner’s Office has reported increases in deaths due to overdoses since the start of the pandemic.”

2020 was the worst year on record for opioid overdoses in many parts of Canada. Alberta recorded 904 overdose deaths, compared to 790 dying from coronavirus.

British Columbia averaged over 100 overdose deaths monthly from March to August.

Medical experts have concluded that young men are much more likely to overdose during the pandemic due to job loss, social isolation and a loss of services during lockdowns.