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1.
Am J Prev Med ; 63(5): 827-836, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1956060

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Understanding educational patterns in excess mortality during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may help to identify strategies to reduce disparities. It is unclear whether educational inequalities in COVID-19 mortality have persisted throughout the pandemic, spanned the full range of educational attainment, or varied by other demographic indicators of COVID-19 risks, such as age or occupation. METHODS: This study analyzed individual-level California Department of Public Health data on deaths occurring between January 2016 and February 2021 among individuals aged ≥25 years (1,502,202 deaths). Authors applied ARIMA (autoregressive integrated moving average) models to subgroups defined by the highest level of education and other demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, U.S. nativity, occupational sector, and urbanicity). Authors estimated excess deaths (the number of observed deaths minus the number of deaths expected to occur under the counterfactual of no pandemic) and excess deaths per 100,000 individuals. RESULTS: Educational inequalities in excess mortality emerged early in the pandemic and persisted throughout the first year. The greatest per-capita excess occurred among people without high-school diplomas (533 excess deaths/100,000), followed by those with a high-school diploma but no college (466/100,000), some college (156/100,000), and bachelor's degrees (120/100,000), and smallest among people with graduate/professional degrees (101/100,000). Educational inequalities occurred within every subgroup examined. For example, per-capita excess mortality among Latinos with no college experience was 3.7 times higher than among Latinos with at least some college experience. CONCLUSIONS: Pervasive educational inequalities in excess mortality during the pandemic suggest multiple potential intervention points to reduce disparities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Humans , Educational Status , Ethnicity , California/epidemiology
2.
JAMA Netw Open ; 5(4): e228406, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1801987

ABSTRACT

Importance: Racial and ethnic inequities in COVID-19 mortality may be driven by occupation and education, but limited evidence has assessed these mechanisms. Objective: To estimate whether occupational characteristics or educational attainment explained the associations between race and ethnicity and COVID-19 mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based retrospective cohort study of Californians aged 18 to 65 years linked COVID-19 deaths to population estimates within strata defined by race and ethnicity, gender, age, nativity in the US, region of residence, education, and occupation. Analysis was conducted from September 2020 to February 2022. Exposures: Education and occupational characteristics associated with COVID-19 exposure (essential sector, telework option, wages). Main Outcomes and Measures: All confirmed COVID-19 deaths in California through February 12, 2021. The study estimated what COVID-19 mortality would have been if each racial and ethnic group had (1) the COVID-19 mortality risk associated with the education and occupation distribution of White people and (2) the COVID-19 mortality risk associated with the lowest-risk educational and occupational positions. Results: Of 25 235 092 participants (mean [SD] age, 40 [14] years; 12 730 395 [50%] men), 14 783 died of COVID-19, 8 125 565 (32%) had a Bachelor's degree or higher, 13 345 829 (53%) worked in essential sectors, 11 783 017 (47%) could not telework, and 12 812 095 (51%) had annual wages under $51 700. COVID-19 mortality ranged from 15 deaths per 100 000 for White women and Asian women to 139 deaths per 100 000 for Latinx men. Accounting for differences in age, nativity, and region of residence, if all races and ethnicities had the COVID-19 mortality associated with the occupational characteristics of White people (sector, telework, wages), COVID-19 mortality would be reduced by 10% (95% CI, 6% to 14%) for Latinx men, but increased by 5% (95% CI, -8% to 17%) for Black men. If all working-age Californians had the COVID-19 mortality associated with the lowest-risk educational and occupational position (Bachelor's degree, nonessential, telework, and highest wage quintile), there would have been 43% fewer COVID-19 deaths among working-age adults (8441 fewer deaths; 95% CI, 32%-54%), with the largest absolute risk reductions for Latinx men (3755 deaths averted; 95% CI, 3304-4255 deaths) and Latinx women (2329 deaths averted; 95% CI, 2038-2621 deaths). Conclusions and Relevance: In this population-based cohort study of working-age California adults, occupational disadvantage was associated with excess COVID-19 mortality for Latinx men. For all racial and ethnic groups, excess risk associated with low-education, essential, on-site, and low-wage jobs accounted for a substantial fraction of COVID-19 mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , California/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Ethnicity , Female , Humans , Male , Occupations , Retrospective Studies
3.
Lancet Reg Health Am ; 11: 100237, 2022 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747708

ABSTRACT

Background: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is co-occurring with a drug addiction and overdose crisis. Methods: We fit overdispersed Poisson models, accounting for seasonality and secular trends, to estimate the excess fatal drug overdoses (i.e., deaths greater than expected), using data on all deaths in California from 2016 to 2020. Findings: Between January 5, 2020 and December 26, 2020, there were 8605 fatal drug overdoses-a 44% increase over the same period one year prior. We estimated 2084 (95% CI: 1925 to 2243) fatal drug overdoses were excess deaths, representing 5·28 (4·88 to 5·68) excess fatal drug overdoses per 100,000 population. Excess fatal drug overdoses were driven by opioids (4·48 [95% CI: 4·18 to 4·77] per 100,000), especially synthetic opioids (2·85 [95% CI: 2·56 to 3·13] per 100,000). The non-Hispanic Black and Other non-Hispanic populations were disproportionately affected with 10·1 (95% CI: 7·6 to 12·5) and 13·26 (95% CI: 11·0 to 15·5) excess fatal drug overdoses per 100,000 population, respectively, compared to 5·99 (95% CI: 5.2 to 6.8) per 100,000 population in the non-Hispanic white population. There was a steep, nonlinear educational gradient with the highest rate among those with only a high school degree. There was a strong spatial patterning with the highest levels of excess mortality in the southernmost region and consistently lower levels at progressively more northern latitudes (7·73 vs 1·96 per 100,000). Interpretation: Fatal drug overdoses disproportionately increased in 2020 among structurally marginalized populations and showed a strong geographic gradient. Local, tailored public health interventions are urgently needed to reduce growing inequities in overdose deaths. Funding: US National Institutes of Health and Department of Veterans Affairs.

4.
SSM Popul Health ; 17: 101016, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586467

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mortality has disproportionately affected specific occupations and industries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) protects the health and safety of workers by setting and enforcing standards for working conditions. Workers may file OSHA complaints about unsafe conditions. Complaints may indicate poor workplace safety during the pandemic. We evaluated COVID-19-related complaints filed with California (Cal)/OSHA between January 1, 2020 and December 14, 2020 across seven industries. To assess whether workers in occupations with high COVID-19-related mortality were also most likely to file Cal/OSHA complaints, we compared industry-specific per-capita COVID-19 confirmed deaths from the California Department of Public Health with COVID-19-related complaints. Although 7820 COVID-19-related complaints were deemed valid by Cal/OSHA, only 627 onsite inspections occurred, and 32 citations were issued. Agricultural workers had the highest per-capita COVID-19 death rates (402 per 100,000 workers) but were least represented among workplace complaints (44 per 100,000 workers). Health Care workers had the highest complaint rates (81 per 100,000 workers) but the second lowest COVID-19 death rate (81 per 100,000 workers). Industries with the highest inspection rates also had high COVID-19 mortality. Our findings suggest complaints are not proportional to COVID-19 risk. Instead, higher complaint rates may reflect worker groups with greater empowerment, resources, or capacity to advocate for better protections. This capacity to advocate for safe workplaces may account for relatively low mortality rates in potentially high-risk occupations. Future research should examine factors determining worker complaints and complaint systems to promote participation of those with the greatest need of protection.

5.
BMJ Open ; 11(11): e052969, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1515303

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Causal methods have been adopted and adapted across health disciplines, particularly for the analysis of single studies. However, the sample sizes necessary to best inform decision-making are often not attainable with single studies, making pooled individual-level data analysis invaluable for public health efforts. Researchers commonly implement causal methods prevailing in their home disciplines, and how these are selected, evaluated, implemented and reported may vary widely. To our knowledge, no article has yet evaluated trends in the implementation and reporting of causal methods in studies leveraging individual-level data pooled from several studies. We undertake this review to uncover patterns in the implementation and reporting of causal methods used across disciplines in research focused on health outcomes. We will investigate variations in methods to infer causality used across disciplines, time and geography and identify gaps in reporting of methods to inform the development of reporting standards and the conversation required to effect change. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will search four databases (EBSCO, Embase, PubMed, Web of Science) using a search strategy developed with librarians from three universities (Heidelberg University, Harvard University, and University of California, San Francisco). The search strategy includes terms such as 'pool*', 'harmoniz*', 'cohort*', 'observational', variations on 'individual-level data'. Four reviewers will independently screen articles using Covidence and extract data from included articles. The extracted data will be analysed descriptively in tables and graphically to reveal the pattern in methods implementation and reporting. This protocol has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020143148). ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: No ethical approval was required as only publicly available data were used. The results will be submitted as a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal, disseminated in conferences if relevant, and published as part of doctoral dissertations in Global Health at the Heidelberg University Hospital.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care , Research Design , Causality , Humans , San Francisco , Systematic Reviews as Topic
6.
Sci Adv ; 7(40): eabj2099, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1443342

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 mortality increases markedly with age and is also substantially higher among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations in the United States. These two facts can have conflicting implications because BIPOC populations are younger than white populations. In analyses of California and Minnesota­demographically divergent states­we show that COVID vaccination schedules based solely on age benefit the older white populations at the expense of younger BIPOC populations with higher risk of death from COVID-19. We find that strategies that prioritize high-risk geographic areas for vaccination at all ages better target mortality risk than age-based strategies alone, although they do not always perform as well as direct prioritization of high-risk racial/ethnic groups. Vaccination schemas directly implicate equitability of access, both domestically and globally.

7.
SSM Popul Health ; 15: 100860, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294253

ABSTRACT

Latino people in the US are experiencing higher excess deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic than any other racial/ethnic group, but it is unclear which sociodemographic subgroups within this diverse population are most affected. Such information is necessary to target policies that prevent further excess mortality and reduce inequities. Using death certificate data for January 1, 2016 through February 29, 2020 and time-series models, we estimated the expected weekly deaths among Latino people in California from March 1 through October 3, 2020. We quantified excess mortality as observed minus expected deaths and risk ratios (RR) as the ratio of observed to expected deaths. We considered subgroups categorized by age, sex, nativity, country of birth, educational attainment, occupation, and combinations of these factors. Our results indicate that during the first seven months of the pandemic, Latino deaths in California exceeded expected deaths by 10,316, a 31% increase. Excess death rates were greatest for individuals born in Mexico (RR 1.44; 95% PI, 1.41, 1.48) or a Central American country (RR 1.49; 95% PI, 1.37, 1.64), with less than a high school degree (RR 1.41; 95% PI, 1.35, 1.46), or in food-and-agriculture (RR 1.60; 95% PI, 1.48, 1.74) or manufacturing occupations (RR 1.59; 95% PI, 1.50, 1.69). Immigrant disadvantages in excess death were magnified among working-age Latinos in essential occupations. In sum, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted mortality among Latino immigrants, especially those in unprotected essential jobs. Interventions to reduce these inequities should include targeted vaccination, workplace safety enforcement, and expanded access to medical care and economic support.

8.
PLoS One ; 16(4): e0250778, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1207637

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Pooling (or combining) and analysing observational, longitudinal data at the individual level facilitates inference through increased sample sizes, allowing for joint estimation of study- and individual-level exposure variables, and better enabling the assessment of rare exposures and diseases. Empirical studies leveraging such methods when randomization is unethical or impractical have grown in the health sciences in recent years. The adoption of so-called "causal" methods to account for both/either measured and/or unmeasured confounders is an important addition to the methodological toolkit for understanding the distribution, progression, and consequences of infectious diseases (IDs) and interventions on IDs. In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and in the absence of systematic randomization of exposures or interventions, the value of these methods is even more apparent. Yet to our knowledge, no studies have assessed how causal methods involving pooling individual-level, observational, longitudinal data are being applied in ID-related research. In this systematic review, we assess how these methods are used and reported in ID-related research over the last 10 years. Findings will facilitate evaluation of trends of causal methods for ID research and lead to concrete recommendations for how to apply these methods where gaps in methodological rigor are identified. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will apply MeSH and text terms to identify relevant studies from EBSCO (Academic Search Complete, Business Source Premier, CINAHL, EconLit with Full Text, PsychINFO), EMBASE, PubMed, and Web of Science. Eligible studies are those that apply causal methods to account for confounding when assessing the effects of an intervention or exposure on an ID-related outcome using pooled, individual-level data from 2 or more longitudinal, observational studies. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles, will be independently screened by two reviewers using Covidence software. Discrepancies will be resolved by a third reviewer. This systematic review protocol has been registered with PROSPERO (CRD42020204104).


Subject(s)
Communicable Diseases/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Causality , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Systematic Reviews as Topic
9.
J Trauma Acute Care Surg ; 90(4): 700-707, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203800

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The large-scale social distancing efforts to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission have dramatically changed human behaviors associated with traumatic injuries. Trauma centers have reported decreases in trauma volume, paralleled by changes in injury mechanisms. We aimed to quantify changes in trauma epidemiology at an urban Level I trauma center in a county that instituted one of the earliest shelter-in-place orders to inform trauma care during future pandemic responses. METHODS: A single-center interrupted time-series analysis was performed to identify associations of shelter-in-place with trauma volume, injury mechanisms, and patient demographics in San Francisco, California. To control for short-term trends in trauma epidemiology, weekly level data were analyzed 6 months before shelter-in-place. To control for long-term trends, monthly level data were analyzed 5 years before shelter-in-place. RESULTS: Trauma volume decreased by 50% in the week following shelter-in-place (p < 0.01), followed by a linear increase each successive week (p < 0.01). Despite this, trauma volume for each month (March-June 2020) remained lower compared with corresponding months for all previous 5 years (2015-2019). Pediatric trauma volume showed similar trends with initial decreases (p = 0.02) followed by steady increases (p = 0.05). Reductions in trauma volumes were due entirely to changes in nonviolent injury mechanisms, while violence-related injury mechanisms remained unchanged (p < 0.01). CONCLUSION: Although the shelter-in-place order was associated with an overall decline in trauma volume, violence-related injuries persisted. Delineating and addressing underlying factors driving persistent violence-related injuries during shelter-in-place orders should be a focus of public health efforts in preparation for future pandemic responses. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Epidemiological study, level III.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Disease Transmission, Infectious/prevention & control , Physical Abuse/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , Trauma Centers/statistics & numerical data , Wounds and Injuries , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Child , Correlation of Data , Female , Humans , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Male , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , San Francisco/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/epidemiology , Wounds and Injuries/etiology , Wounds and Injuries/therapy
11.
Am J Public Health ; 111(4): 696-699, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088803

ABSTRACT

Objectives. To project the range of excess deaths potentially associated with COVID-19-related unemployment in the United States and quantify inequities in these estimates by age, race/ethnicity, gender, and education.Methods. We used previously published meta-analyzed hazard ratios (HRs) for the unemployment-mortality association, unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics to estimate 1-year age-standardized deaths attributable to COVID-19-related unemployment for US workers aged 25 to 64 years. To accommodate uncertainty, we tested ranges of unemployment and HR scenarios.Results. Our best estimate is that there will be 30 231 excess deaths attributable to COVID-19-related unemployment between April 2020 and March 2021. Across scenarios, attributable deaths ranged from 8315 to 201 968. Attributable deaths were disproportionately high among Blacks, men, and those with low education.Conclusions. Deaths attributable to COVID-19-related unemployment will add to those directly associated with the virus and will disproportionately burden groups already experiencing incommensurate COVID-19 mortality.Public Health Implications. Supportive economic policies and interventions addressing long-standing harmful social structures are essential to mitigate the unequal health harms of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Age Factors , Educational Status , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Racial Groups , Sex Factors , United States
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