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1.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23161, 2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545640

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic exposes and amplifies pre-existing inequalities even in places with relatively well-controlled outbreaks such as Hong Kong. This study aimed to explore whether the socioeconomically disadvantaged fare worse via various types of worry in terms of their mental health and well-being. Between September and October 2020, 1067 adults in Hong Kong were recruited via a cross-sectional population-wide telephone survey. The inter-relationship between deprivation, types of worry, mental health disorders, and subjective well-being was assessed using structural equation modelling. Results showed significant total effects of deprivation on worries about being infected (p = 0.002), economic activities and livelihood (p < 0.001), and personal savings (p < 0.001), as well as mental health disorders (p < 0.001) and subjective well-being (p < 0.001). Specifically, worry about economic activities and livelihood partly mediated the total effect of deprivation on mental health disorders (p = 0.004), whereas worry about personal savings and worry about economic activities and livelihood partially mediated the total effect of deprivation on subjective well-being (p = 0.007 and 0.002, respectively). Socioeconomic inequality, particularly in mental health and well-being, could be exacerbated via people's economic concerns during the pandemic, which was largely induced by the COVID-19 containment measures rather than the pandemic per se given the relatively low COVID-19 incidence in Hong Kong.

2.
Royal Society open science ; 8(10), 2021.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1489865

ABSTRACT

A summary of our analyses in Greater Manchester (GM), and the northwest (NW) region, might be: the NW is like England as a whole only more so. The life expectancy drop in England in 2020 was 1.2 years in men and 0.9 years in women—shocking, but not as high as in the NW. COVID-19 mortality rates were high in England;25% higher in the NW. Inequalities in mortality are high in England;bigger in the NW. The title, Build Back Fairer, is a deliberate echo of the Build Back Better mantra, showing that the levels of social, environmental and economic inequality in society are damaging health and well-being. As the UK emerges from the pandemic, it would be a tragic mistake to re-establish the status quo that existed pre-pandemic—a status quo marked in England, over the decade from 2010, by a stagnation of health improvement that was more marked than in any rich country other than Iceland and the USA;by widening health inequalities;and by a fall in life expectancy in the most deprived 10% of areas outside London. That stagnation, those social and regional inequalities, and deterioration in health for the most deprived people are markers of a society that is not meeting the needs of its members.

3.
Curr Psychol ; : 1-11, 2021 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439762

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially induced worries and affected individual mental health and subjective well-being. Nonetheless, a high level of social capital could potentially protect individuals who suffer from mental health problems and thus promote their subjective well-being, especially under the social distancing policies during the pandemic. To this end, based on a random sample of 1053 Hong Kong adults, structural equation modeling was applied to study the path relationships between the worries of COVID-19, social capital, mental health problems, and subjective well-being. The study found that worries during the pandemic were associated with mental health and subjective well-being, through social capital as a mediator. Moreover, social capital exhibited a stronger influence on mental health and subjective well-being in the economically inactive group than in the economically active group. This study highlights the important role of social capital during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Hong Kong's COVID-19 response has primarily focused on disease prevention, it must be noted that social services and mutual-help activities are also crucial for people to withstand the crisis.

4.
Child Adolesc Ment Health ; 26(3): 267-268, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1393845
6.
Emerg Infect Dis ; 27(11): 2874-2877, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1381377

ABSTRACT

Although coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks have been relatively well controlled in Hong Kong, containment remains challenging among socioeconomically disadvantaged persons. They are at higher risk for widespread COVID-19 transmission through sizable clustering, probably because of exposure to social settings in which existing mitigation policies had differential socioeconomic effects.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors
8.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(15)2021 08 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1335082

ABSTRACT

The severity of COVID-19 infections could be exacerbated by the epidemic of chronic diseases and underlying inequalities in social determinants of health. Nonetheless, there is scanty evidence in regions with a relatively well-controlled outbreak. This study examined the socioeconomic patterning of COVID-19 severity and its effect modification with multimorbidity in Hong Kong. 3074 local COVID-19 cases diagnosed from 5 July to 31 October 2020 were analyzed and followed up until 30 November 2020. Data on residential addresses, socio-demographic background, COVID-19 clinical conditions, and pre-existing chronic diseases of confirmed cases were retrieved from the Centre for Health Protection and the Hospital Authority. Results showed that, despite an independent adverse impact of multimorbidity on COVID-19 severity (aOR = 2.35 [95% CI = 1.72-3.19]), it varied across the socioeconomic ladder, with no significant risk among those living in the wealthiest areas (aOR = 0.80 [0.32-2.02]). Also, no significant association of the area-level income-poverty rate with severe COVID-19 was observed. In conclusion, the socioeconomic patterning of severe COVID-19 was mild in Hong Kong. Nonetheless, socioeconomic position interacted with multimorbidity to determine COVID-19 severity with a mitigated risk among the socioeconomically advantaged. Plausible explanations include the underlying socioeconomic inequalities in chronic disease management and the equity impact of the public-private dual-track healthcare system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Multimorbidity , Hong Kong/epidemiology , Humans , Poverty , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , Syndemic
9.
The Lancet ; 398(10295):110-111, 2021.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-1300210
10.
SSM Popul Health ; 15: 100827, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1269343

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the role of America's overcrowded prisons as vectors of ill health, but robust analyses of the degree to which high rates of incarceration impact population-level health outcomes remain scarce. In this paper, we use county-level panel data from 2927 counties across 43 states between 1983 and 2014 and a novel instrumental variable technique to study the causal effect of penal expansion on age-standardised cause-specific and all-cause mortality rates. We find that higher rates of incarceration have substantively large effects on deaths from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases in the short and medium term, whilst deaths from non-communicable disease and from all causes combined are impacted in the short, medium, and long run. These findings are further corroborated by a between-unit analysis using coarsened exact matching and a simulation-based regression approach to predicting geographically anchored mortality differences.

12.
East Mediterr Health J ; 27(3): 217-219, 2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158926

ABSTRACT

Evidence has shown that some of the major causes of health inequities arise from the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age, in addition to a wider set of forces and systems shaping individuals' and societies' health and well-being. Such conditions are known as the 'social determinants of health'. However, efforts to address these determinants have remained challenging and unsatisfactory in many parts of the world, including in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Policies to contain the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have further exposed and amplified the existing and even created new dimensions in social and health inequities, as we elaborate further below. Meanwhile, the pandemic offers a unique opportunity to tackle inequities and build back fairer.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Equity/organization & administration , Africa, Northern/epidemiology , Health Policy , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Middle East/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Socioeconomic Factors
15.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the effect of chronic diseases on risk of severe COVID-19 infection, the present pandemic may have a particularly profound impact on socially disadvantaged counties. METHODS: Counties in the USA were categorised into five groups by level of social vulnerability, using the Social Vulnerability Index (a widely used measure of social disadvantage) developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The incidence and mortality from COVID-19, and the prevalence of major chronic conditions were calculated relative to the least vulnerable quintile using Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Among 3141 counties, there were 5 010 496 cases and 161 058 deaths from COVID-19 by 10 August 2020. Relative to the least vulnerable quintile, counties in the most vulnerable quintile had twice the rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths (rate ratios 2.11 (95% CI 1.97 to 2.26) and 2.42 (95% CI 2.22 to 2.64), respectively). Similarly, the prevalence of major chronic conditions was 24%-41% higher in the most vulnerable counties. Geographical clustering of counties with high COVID-19 mortality, high chronic disease prevalence and high social vulnerability was found, especially in southern USA. CONCLUSION: Some counties are experiencing a confluence of epidemics from COVID-19 and chronic diseases in the context of social disadvantage. Such counties are likely to require enhanced public health and social support.

16.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1011012

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We examined whether COVID-19 could exert inequalities in socioeconomic conditions and health in Hong Kong, where there has been a relatively low COVID-19 incidence. METHODS: 752 adult respondents from a previous random sample participated in a telephone survey from 20 April to 11 May 2020. We examined demographic and socioeconomic factors, worry of COVID-19, general health, economic activity, and personal protective equipment (PPE) and related hygiene practice by deprivation status. The associations between deprivation and negative COVID-19 related issues were analysed using binary logistic regressions, while the associations of these issues with health were analysed using linear regressions. Path analysis was conducted to determine the direct effect of deprivation, and the indirect effects via COVID-19 related issues, on health. Interactions between deprivation and the mediators were also tested. RESULTS: Deprived individuals were more likely to have job loss/instability, less reserves, less utilisation and more concerns of PPE. After adjustments for potential confounders, being deprived was associated with having greater risk of low reserve of face masks, being worried about the disease and job loss/instability. Being deprived had worse physical (ß=-0.154, p<0.001) and mental health (ß=-0.211, p<0.001) and had an indirect effect on mental health via worry and job loss/instability (total indirect effect: ß=-0.027, p=0.017; proportion being mediated=11.46%). In addition, significant interaction between deprivation and change of economic activity status was observed on mental health-related quality of life. CONCLUSION: Even if the COVID-19 incidence was relatively low, part of the observed health inequality can be explained by people's concerns over livelihood and economic activity, which were affected by the containment measures. We should look beyond the incidence to address COVID-19 related health inequalities.

20.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 74(9): 681-682, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646671
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