Disadvantaged neighborhoods have more COVID-19 infections and deaths

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New York City neighborhoods with higher levels of socioeconomic disadvantages experienced more COVID-19 infections and deaths, according to Mount Sinai scientists, who created a COVID-19 inequality index at the neighborhood level.

He measured factors that fueled inequalities in residents ’lives, such as patterns of employment and displacement, population density in their neighborhood, access to food, socioeconomic status, and access to . This allowed scientists to compare with each other the contribution of these social factors to facilitation during the first wave of pandemic in a study published in Communications on Nature in June.

“Much of the initial rhetoric about COVID-19 disparities focused on comorbidities that, due to disparities, may have explained why communities of color suffered higher mortality. But we were seeing more people of color becoming infected, “said Daniel Carrión, Ph.D., MPH, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.” our research team wanted to add to the literature describing how structural racism relates to the disadvantage of the neighborhood and how that disadvantage relates to increased COVID-19 infections and mortality.

The COVID-19 the index showed that disparities were considerably worse depending on the ethnic and racial composition of the neighborhood; Black neighborhoods had the highest average inequality rate, followed by Latinx communities, while white neighborhoods were the lowest. The authors believe that one of the reasons for these disparities is the decrease in the capacity for social isolation depending on where someone lives.

This study showed that areas with higher COVID-19 inequality rates had a higher number of subway suppliers after New York State introduced home stay orders. This implies that residents had less capacity for social distance, the researchers said, possibly because of their work as essential workers or because they lived in denser housing.

Researchers believe their approach to identifying the social factors associated with viral spread may be useful across the United States to identify areas intervention.

“The social factors of the COVID-19 inequality index are characteristics of the upstream neighborhood, already existing before the pandemic,” said Allan Just, Ph.D., lead author of the study and adjunct professor of environmental medicine. and public health at Mount Icahn Sinai. “In the short term, this speaks to the importance of site-based interventions in black, indigenous and color communities (COPD) to reduce the incidence and mortality of diseases, such as the availability of improved and specific vaccines for to these communities.This also supports the need to look in preparation for a pandemic “.

The team analyzed many forms of publicly available data, including censuses, New York City subway supply, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene infections and mortality data, and other sets. of data available through the open data portals of New York City and New York State.

Many social variables at the neighborhood level are closely related; for example, middle income can be strongly associated with education or even access to food. This can pose a challenge to traditional statistical approaches, so the team used a new statistical framework designed to address these challenges, developed by co-author Elena Colicino, Ph.D., adjunct professor of Environmental Medicine and Health. Public at Icahn Mount Sinai. .

The COVID-19 inequality index included characteristics at the neighborhood level, but specifically excluded race and ethnicity as input variables. “Past literature shows that structural racism operates by historically classifying COPD people into neighborhoods that do not have the same resources and that can facilitate the transmission of infectious diseases,” Dr. Carrión said. “We wanted to see if our index reconstructed these racial disparities.”


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Citation: Disadvantaged neighborhoods see more infections and deaths from COVID-19 (2021, June 17) recovered on June 17, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-disadvantaged-neighborhoods-covid-infections- deaths.html

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