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Ann Epidemiol ; 2022 Nov 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2232332


BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, social and economic disruption such as social isolation, job and income losses, and increased psychological distress, may have contributed to the increase in drug-overdose mortality. This study aims to measure the impact of the pandemic on monthly trends in drug-overdose mortality in the United States. METHODS: We used the 2018-2020 final and 2021 provisional monthly deaths from the National Vital Statistics System and monthly population estimates from the Census Bureau to compute monthly mortality rates by age, sex, and race/ethnicity. We use log-linear regression models to estimate monthly percent increases in mortality rates from January 2018 through November 2021. RESULTS: The age-adjusted drug-overdose mortality rate among individuals aged ≥15 years increased by 30% between 2019 (70,459 deaths) and 2020 (91,536 deaths). During January 2018-November 2021, the monthly drug-overdose mortality rate increased by 2.05% per month for Blacks, 2.25% for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 1.96% for Hispanics, 1.33% for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 0.96% for non-Hispanic Whites. Average monthly increases in mortality were most marked among those aged 15-24 and 35-44 years. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on the rising trends in drug-overdose mortality during the peak months in 2020 and 2021.

J Public Health Manag Pract ; 2022 Dec 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2222928


BACKGROUND: The 2014 Medicaid expansion improved racial and ethnic equity in insurance coverage and access to maternal care among women of reproductive age. This study examines differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on prenatal care utilization by Medicaid expansion and by race and ethnicity. METHODS: Using the pooled 2019-2020 National Natality file (N = 7 361 190), logistic regression was used to estimate the effect of COVID-19 on prenatal care utilization among US women aged 10 to 54 years after controlling for maternal age, race, ethnicity, marital status, parity, nativity/immigrant status, education, payment type, and smoking during pregnancy. Outcome measures were having no care and delayed prenatal care (third trimester or no care). Stratified models by race/ethnicity and Medicaid expansion status yielded the differential effects of COVID-19 on prenatal care utilization. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the adjusted odds of having no prenatal care decreased by 4% (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.94-0.97) in expansion states but increased by 13% (AOR = 1.13; 95% CI, 1.11-1.15) in nonexpansion states. While most racial/ethnic groups in expansion states experienced a decrease in having no prenatal care, the adjusted odds of having no prenatal care increased by 15% for non-Hispanic Whites, 9% for non-Hispanic Blacks, 33% for American Indians/Alaska Natives, 25% for Asian/Pacific Islanders, and 13% for Hispanics in nonexpansion states. Women in expansion states experienced no change in delayed prenatal care during the pandemic, but women in nonexpansion states experienced an increase in delayed care. CONCLUSIONS: Prenatal care utilization decreased during the pandemic among women in nonexpansion states, particularly for American Indians/Alaska Natives and Asian/Pacific Islanders, compared with expansion states.

Int J MCH AIDS ; 11(2): e598, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2164458


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial adverse impact on the health and well-being of populations in the United States (US) and globally. Although COVID-19 vaccine disparities among US adults aged ≥18 years are well documented, COVID-19 vaccination inequalities among US children are not well studied. Using the recent nationally representative data, we examine disparities in COVID-19 vaccination among US children aged 5-17 years by a wide range of social determinants and parental characteristics. Methods: Using the US Census Bureau's Household Pulse Survey from December 1, 2021 to April 11, 2022 (N=86,335), disparities in child vaccination rates by race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, health insurance, parental vaccination status, parental COVID-19 diagnosis, and metropolitan area were modeled by multivariate logistic regression. Results: During December 2021-April 2022, an estimated 40.1 million or 57.2% of US children aged 5-17 received COVID-19 vaccination. Vaccination rates were lowest among children of parents aged 25-34 (34.9%) and highest among children of parents aged 45-54 (69.2%). Children of non-Hispanic Black parents, divorced/separated and single individuals, parents with lower education and household income levels, renters, not-employed parents, the uninsured, and parents without COVID-19 vaccination or with COVID-19 diagnoses had significantly lower rates of vaccination. Controlling for covariates, Asian and Hispanic children aged 5-17 had 134% and 47% higher odds of receiving vaccination than their non-Hispanic White counterparts. Children of parents with a high school education had 47% lower adjusted odds of receiving vaccination than children of parents with a master's degree or higher. Children with annual household income <$25,000 had 48% lower adjusted odds of vaccination than those with income ≥$200,000. Although vaccination rates were higher among children aged 12-17 than among children aged 5-11, sociodemographic patterns in vaccination rates were similar. Parental vaccination status was the strongest predictor of children's vaccination status. Vaccination rates for children aged 5-17 ranged from 49.6% in Atlanta, Georgia to 82.6% in San Francisco, California. Conclusion and Global Health Implications: Ethnic minorities, socioeconomically-disadvantaged children, uninsured children, and children of parents without COVID-19 vaccination or with COVID-19 diagnoses had significantly lower vaccination rates. Equitable vaccination coverage among children and adolescents is critical to reducing inequities in COVID-19 health outcomes in the US and globally.

Public Health Rep ; 137(6): 1187-1197, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002023


OBJECTIVES: Financial hardships, job losses, and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased food insecurity. We examined associations between food insecurity-related interventions and mental health among US adults aged ≥18 years from April 2020 through August 2021. METHODS: We pooled data from the Household Pulse Survey from April 2020 through August 2021 (N = 2 253 567 adults). To estimate associations between mental health and food insecurity, we examined the following interventions: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Economic Impact Payments (stimulus funds), unemployment insurance, and free meals. We calculated psychological distress index (PDI) scores (Cronbach α = 0.91) through principal components analysis using 4 mental health variables: depression, anxiety, worry, and lack of interest (with a standardized mean score [SD] = 100 [20]). We conducted multivariable linear regression to estimate the interactive effects of the intervention and food insecurity on psychological distress, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: During the study period, adults with food insecurity had higher mean PDI scores than adults without food insecurity. Food insecurity was associated with increased PDI scores after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. In stratified models, negative associations between food insecurity and mental health (as shown by reductions in PDI scores) were mitigated by SNAP (-4.5), stimulus fund (-4.1), unemployment insurance (-4.4), and free meal (-4.4) interventions. The mitigation effects of interventions on PDI were greater for non-Hispanic White adults than for non-Hispanic Black or Asian adults. CONCLUSIONS: Future research on food insecurity and mental health should include investigations on programs and policies that could be of most benefit to racial and ethnic minority groups.

COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Humans , Mental Health , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Poverty
Health Equity ; 5(1): 770-779, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506285


Purpose: Since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in March 2020, ∼40% of U.S. adults have experienced delayed medical care. Rates of uninsurance, delayed care, and utilization of mental health services during the course of the pandemic have not been analyzed in detail. We examined monthly trends and disparities in access to care by household income levels in the United States. Methods: Using Census Bureau's nationally representative pooled 2020 Household Pulse Survey from April to December, 2020 (N=778,819), logistic regression models were used to analyze trends and inequalities in various access to care measures. Results: During the COVID-19 pandemic, the odds of being uninsured, having a delayed medical care due to pandemic, delayed care of something other than COVID-19, or delayed mental health care were, respectively, 5.54, 1.50, 1.85, and 2.18 times higher for adults with income <$25,000, compared to those with incomes ≥$200,000, controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, marital status, housing tenure, region of residence, and survey month. Income inequities in mental health care widened over the course of the pandemic, while the probability of delayed mental health care increased for all income groups. Although the odds of taking prescription medication for mental health were higher for low-income adults, the odds of receiving mental health services were generally lower for lower income adults, controlling for all covariates. Conclusion: In light of our findings on persistent health care inequities during the pandemic, increased policy efforts are needed to improve access to care in low-income populations as an equitable COVID-19 recovery response.

Ann Epidemiol ; 63: 52-62, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345243


PURPOSE: Research has shown worsening physical and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trends in general and mental health inequalities during the pandemic in the US have not been analyzed in detail. METHODS: Using Census Bureau's nationally representative pooled Household Pulse Survey (HPS) from April 2020 to May 2021 (N = 1,144,405), we examined monthly trends and disparities in health status by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES). Logistic regression models and disparity indices were used to analyze trends and inequalities. RESULTS: During the pandemic, the adjusted odds of fair and/or poor health were, respectively, 33%, 157%, 398%, 22% higher for non-Hispanic others, adults with

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Adult , Depression/epidemiology , Ethnicity , Health Status , Health Status Disparities , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Self Report , Social Class , Socioeconomic Factors , United States/epidemiology