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1.
J Rural Health ; 2021 Sep 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2038112

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: COVID-19 mortality rates are higher in rural versus urban areas in the United States, threatening to exacerbate the existing rural mortality penalty. To save lives and facilitate economic recovery, we must achieve widespread vaccination coverage. This study compared adult COVID-19 vaccination rates across the US rural-urban continuum and across different types of rural counties. METHODS: We retrieved vaccination rates as of August 11, 2021, for adults aged 18+ for the 2,869 counties for which data were available from the CDC. We merged these with county-level data on demographic and socioeconomic composition, health care infrastructure, 2020 Trump vote share, and USDA labor market type. We then used regression models to examine predictors of COVID-19 vaccination rates across the USDA's 9-category rural-urban continuum codes and separately within rural counties by labor market type. FINDINGS: As of August 11, 45.8% of adults in rural counties had been fully vaccinated, compared to 59.8% in urban counties. In unadjusted regression models, average rates declined monotonically with increasing rurality. Lower rural rates are explained by a combination of lower educational attainment and higher Trump vote share. Within rural counties, rates are lowest in farming and mining-dependent counties and highest in recreation-dependent counties, with differences explained by a combination of educational attainment, health care infrastructure, and Trump vote share. CONCLUSION: Lower vaccination rates in rural areas is concerning given higher rural COVID-19 mortality rates and recent surges in cases. At this point, mandates may be the most effective strategy for increasing vaccination rates.

2.
Disabil Health J ; : 101337, 2022 May 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814310

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted people with disabilities. Working-age adults with ADL difficulty may face unique challenges and heightened health risks because of the pandemic. It is critical to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 on social, financial, physical, and mental wellbeing among people with disabilities to inform more inclusive pandemic response policies. OBJECTIVE: This study compares perceived COVID-19 physical and mental health, social, and financial impacts for US working-age adults with and without ADL difficulty. METHODS: We analyzed data from a national survey of US working-age adults (aged 18-64) conducted in February and March 2021 (N = 3697). We used logistic regression to compare perceived COVID-19-related impacts on physical and mental health, healthcare access, social relationships, and financial wellbeing among those with and without ADL difficulty. RESULTS: Adults with ADL difficulty were more likely to report negative COVID-19 impacts for many but not all outcomes. Net of covariates, adults with ADL difficulty had significantly greater odds of reporting COVID-19 infection (OR = 2.1) and hospitalization (OR = 6.7), negative physical health impacts (OR = 2.0), and negative impacts on family relationships (OR = 1.6). However, they had significantly lower odds of losing a friend or family member to COVID-19 (OR = 0.7). There were no significant differences in perceived impacts on mental health, ability to see a doctor, relationships with friends, or financial wellbeing. CONCLUSIONS: Working-age adults with ADL difficulty experienced disproportionate health and social harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To address these disparities, public health response efforts and social policies supporting pandemic recovery must include disability perspectives.

3.
Ann Am Acad Pol Soc Sci ; 698(1): 111-136, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673639

ABSTRACT

This study investigates rural-urban differences in COVID-19 in terms of its impacts on the physical and mental health, social relationships, employment, and financial hardship of U.S. working-age adults (18-64). I use data from the National Wellbeing Survey collected in February and March 2021 (N=3,933). Most respondents (58 percent) reported that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their lives. Residents of rural counties adjacent to metro areas reported the worst outcomes: they were more likely than residents of large urban counties to report positive tests for coronavirus; to live with someone who tested positive or have a close friend or family member outside of the household test positive; to have a close friend or family member hospitalized; to seek treatment for anxiety or depression; to be late paying rent, mortgage, and other bills; to not be able to afford groceries or other necessities; and to get a loan from family or friends. Recovery policies must consider geographic variation in COVID-19 vulnerability and impacts.

4.
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs ; 81(5):687-688, 2020.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1485560

ABSTRACT

Comments on article by M. G. Monteiro et al. (see record 2020-61236-001). Monteiro and colleagues (2020) wrote that we might see increases in alcohol-related morbidity and mortality because of the economic decline related to the COVID-19 pandemic. They also noted that there could be increases in alcohol-attributable suicides. The current authors wish to point out that there might be policy-relevant linkages among these phenomena. Several studies reviewed and suggest that suicide is frequently associated with acute alcohol consumption. Acute alcohol use might be one of the mechanisms underlying the complex connections between unemployment and suicide. Importantly, the current authors' research shows that alcohol ingestion itself might be a key risk factor for suicide during and shortly after economic contractions. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

5.
Am J Public Health ; 110(9): 1328-1331, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-918027

ABSTRACT

The unique health and aging challenges of rural populations often go unnoticed. In fact, the rural United States is home to disproportionate shares of older and sicker people, there are large and growing rural-urban and within-rural mortality disparities, many rural communities are in population decline, and rural racial/ethnic diversity is increasing.Yet rural communities are not monolithic, and although some rural places are characterized by declining health, others have seen large improvements in population health. We draw on these realities to call for new research in five areas.First, research is needed to better describe health disparities between rural and urban areas and, because rural places are not monolithic, across rural America. Second, research is needed on how trends in rural population health and aging are affecting rural communities. Third, research is needed on the ways in which economic well-being and livelihood strategies interact with rural health and aging. Fourth, we need to better understand the health implications of the physical and social isolation characterizing many rural communities. Finally, we argue for new research on the implications of local natural environments and climate change for rural population health and aging.


Subject(s)
Aging , Health Status Disparities , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19 , Climate Change , Coronavirus Infections , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Rural Health , United States
7.
J Rural Health ; 36(4): 602-608, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-823641

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study compared the average daily increase in COVID-19 mortality rates by county racial/ethnic composition (percent non-Hispanic Black and percent Hispanic) among US rural counties. METHODS: COVID-19 daily death counts for 1,976 US nonmetropolitan counties for the period March 2-July 26, 2020, were extracted from USAFacts and merged with county-level American Community Survey and Area Health Resource File data. Covariates included county percent poverty, age composition, adjacency to a metropolitan county, health care supply, and state fixed effects. Mixed-effects negative binomial regression with random intercepts to account for repeated observations within counties were used to predict differences in the average daily increase in the COVID-19 mortality rate across quartiles of percent Black and percent Hispanic. FINDINGS: Since early March, the average daily increase in the COVID-19 mortality rate has been significantly higher in rural counties with the highest percent Black and percent Hispanic populations. Compared to counties in the bottom quartile, counties in the top quartile of percent Black have an average daily increase that is 70% higher (IRR = 1.70, CI: 1.48-1.95, P < .001), and counties in the top quartile of percent Hispanic have an average daily increase that is 50% higher (IRR = 1.50, CI: 1.33-1.69, P < .001), net of covariates. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 mortality risk is not distributed equally across the rural United States, and the COVID-19 race penalty is not restricted to cities. Among rural counties, the average daily increase in COVID-19 mortality rates has been significantly higher in counties with the largest shares of Black and Hispanic residents.


Subject(s)
African Americans/statistics & numerical data , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
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