This article was originally published here
Scand J Public Health. 2021 May 13:14034948211010017. doi: 10.1177/14034948211010017. Online ahead of print.
AIMS: To determine whether differences between Norway’s and Sweden’s attempts to contain SARS-CoV-2 infection coincided with detectably different changes in their all-cause mortality sex ratios. Measuring temporal variation in the all-cause mortality sex ratio before and during the pandemic in populations exposed to different constraints on risky behavior would allow us to better anticipate changes in the ratio and to better understand its association with infection control strategies.
METHODS: I apply time Box-Jenkins modeling to 262 months of pre-pandemic mortality sex ratios to arrive at counterfactual values of 10 intra-pandemic ratios. I compare counterfactual to observed values to determine if intra-pandemic ratios differed detectably from those expected as well as whether the Norwegian and Swedish differences varied from each other.
RESULTS: The male to female mortality sex ratio in both Norway and Sweden increased during the pandemic. I, however, find no evidence that the increase differed between the two countries despite their different COVID-19 containment strategies.
CONCLUSION: Societal expectations of who will die during the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be wrong if they assume pre-pandemic mortality sex ratios because the intra-pandemic ratios appear, at least in Norway and Sweden, detectably higher. The contribution of differences in policies to reduce risky behavior to those higher ratios appears, however, small.