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Prev Chronic Dis ; 19: E38, 2022 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1912042


INTRODUCTION: During the COVID-19 pandemic, health and social inequities placed racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of severe illness. Our objective was to investigate this health disparity by analyzing the relationship between potential social determinants of health (SDOH), COVID-19, and chronic disease in the spatial context of San Diego County, California. METHODS: We identified potential SDOH from a Pearson correlation analysis between socioeconomic variables and COVID-19 case rates during 5 pandemic stages, from March 31, 2020, to April 3, 2021. We used ridge regression to model chronic disease hospitalization and death rates by using the selected socioeconomic variables. Through the lens of COVID-19 and chronic disease, we identified vulnerable communities by using spatial methods, including Global Moran I spatial autocorrelation, local bivariate relationship analysis, and geographically weighted regression. RESULTS: In the Pearson correlation analysis, we identified 26 socioeconomic variables as potential SDOH because of their significance (P ≤ .05) in relation to COVID-19 case rates. Of the analyzed chronic disease rates, ridge regression most accurately modeled rates of diabetes age-adjusted death (R2 = 0.903) and age-adjusted hospitalization for hypertensive disease (hypertension, hypertensive heart disease, hypertensive chronic kidney disease, and hypertensive encephalopathy) (R2 = 0.952). COVID-19 and chronic disease rates exhibited positive spatial autocorrelation (0.304≤I≤0.561, 3.092≤Z≤6.548, 0.001≤P≤ .002), thereby justifying spatial models to highlight communities that are vulnerable to COVID-19. CONCLUSION: Novel spatial analysis methods reveal relationships between SDOH, COVID-19, and chronic disease that are intuitive and easily communicated to public health decision makers and practitioners. Observable disparity patterns between urban and rural areas and between affluent and low-income communities establish the need for spatially differentiated COVID-19 response approaches to achieve health equity.

COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Chronic Disease , Ethnicity , Humans , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Social Determinants of Health