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JAMA Netw Open ; 5(10): e2234319, 2022 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2047377


Importance: Adults in disadvantaged socioeconomic positions have elevated risks of a severe course of COVID-19, but it is unclear whether this holds true for children. Objective: To investigate whether young people from disadvantaged households have a higher risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and whether differences were associated with comorbidities that predispose children to severe courses. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study included all children and adolescents (aged 0-18 years) who were enrolled in a statutory health insurance carrier in Germany during the observation period of January 1, 2020, to July 13, 2021. Logistic regressions were calculated to compare children from households with and without an indication of poverty. Age, sex, days under observation, nationality, and comorbidities (eg, obesity, diabetes) were controlled for to account for explanatory factors. Exposures: Disadvantage on the household level was assessed by the employment status of the insurance holder (ie, employed, long- or short-term unemployed, low-wage employment, economically inactive). Socioeconomic characteristics of the area of residence were also assessed. Main Outcomes and Measures: Daily hospital diagnoses of COVID-19 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, Tenth Revision codes U07.1 and U07.2) were recorded. Comorbidities were assessed using inpatient and outpatient diagnoses contained in the insurance records. Results: A total of 688 075 children and adolescents were included, with a mean (SD) age of 8.3 (5.8) years and 333 489 (48.4%) female participants. COVID-19 hospital diagnosis was a rare event (1637 participants [0.2%]). Children whose parents were long-term unemployed were 1.36 (95% CI, 1.22-1.51) times more likely than those with employed parents to be hospitalized. Elevated odds were also found for children whose parents had low-wage employment (odds ratio, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.05-1.58). Those living in low-income areas had 3.02 (95% CI, 1.73-5.28) times higher odds of hospitalization than those in less deprived areas. Comorbidities were associated with hospitalization, but their adjustment did not change main estimates for deprivation. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study, children who had parents who were unemployed and those who lived in low-income areas were at higher risk of COVID-19 hospitalization. This finding suggests that attention must be paid to children with SARS-CoV-2 from vulnerable families and closer monitoring should be considered. A number of explanatory factors, including comorbidities, were taken into account, but their analysis yielded no clear picture about underlying processes.

COVID-19 , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Cohort Studies , Comorbidity , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2
Eur J Epidemiol ; 37(6): 587-590, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1888919


Most studies reported reduced health care use among people with diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic. This may be due to restricted medical services or people avoiding health care services because they fear being infected with COVID-19 in health care facilities. The aim of our study was to analyse hospitalisation and mortality in people with and without diabetes in Germany during the COVID-19 pandemic year 2020 compared to 2017-2019. The data were sourced from a German statutory health insurance company covering 3.2 million people. We estimated age-sex standardised rates of mortality, all-cause hospitalisation, hospitalisation due to coronary heart disease (CHD), acute myocardial infarction (AMI), stroke, diabetic foot syndrome (DFS), and major and minor amputations in people with and without diabetes. We predicted rates for 2020 using Poisson regression based on results from 2017-2019 and compared these with the observed rates.In people with diabetes, the hospitalisation rate for major amputation was significantly increased, while all-cause hospitalisation rate and hospitalisation due to CHD, AMI and DFS were significantly decreased compared to the previous period. Moreover, we found a significantly increased mortality and hospitalisation rate for minor amputation in people without diabetes while all-cause hospitalisation and hospitalisation due to CHD and AMI was significantly lower during the COVID-19 pandemic year 2020.We observed changes in health care utilisation and outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years in people with and without diabetes. Concerning diabetes care, the increase of hospitalisations due to amputation in people with diabetes with a simultaneous reduction in DFS needs special attention.

COVID-19 , Coronary Disease , Diabetes Mellitus , Diabetic Foot , Myocardial Infarction , Amputation , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetic Foot/epidemiology , Diabetic Foot/surgery , Hospitalization , Humans , Myocardial Infarction/epidemiology , Pandemics
Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz ; 64(3): 314-321, 2021 Mar.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118202


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Unemployment is related to poverty and is a risk factor for poor health. The present study investigates if unemployment increases the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization for men and women of working age in Germany. METHODS: The study uses the health insurance data from AOK Rhineland/Hamburg (from 1 January 2020 until 18 June 2020) of 1,288,745 persons aged between 18 and 65. Four employment situations are distinguished: (1) regular employment, (2) low-wage employment with social support, (3) unemployment with receipt of unemployment benefit 1, and (4) long-term unemployment with receipt of unemployment benefit 2. COVID-19 hospitalizations are measured on the basis of the ICD codes U07.1 and U07.2 reported by the hospitals. Multiple logistic regression models are calculated (adjusted for age and sex). RESULTS: During the observation period, 1521 persons had hospitalization with COVID-19 as primary or secondary diagnosis. Overall, this corresponds to a rate of 118 cases per 100,000 insured persons. Rates varied by employment situation. Compared with regularly employed persons, the odds ratio for a hospitalization was 1.94 (CI 95%: 1.74-2.15) for long-term unemployment, 1.29 (0.86-1.94) for unemployed, and 1.33 (0.98-1.82) for low-wage employment. CONCLUSION: The results are in line with earlier studies from the USA and Great Britain reporting socioeconomic inequalities in COVID-19 hospitalization risk. This provides the first empirical support that socioeconomic inequalities in the severity of COVID-19 also exists in Germany.

COVID-19 , Unemployment , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Employment , Female , Germany/epidemiology , Hospitalization , Humans , Insurance, Health , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Socioeconomic Factors , United Kingdom , Young Adult