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1.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296511

ABSTRACT

Background: Household overcrowding is associated with increased risk of infectious diseases across contexts and countries. Limited data exist linking household overcrowding and risk of COVID-19. We used data collected from the Virus Watch cohort to examine the association between overcrowded households and SARS-CoV-2. Methods: The Virus Watch study is a household community cohort of acute respiratory infections in England and Wales. We calculated overcrowding using the measure of persons per room for each household. We considered two primary outcomes: PCR-confirmed positive SARS-CoV-2 antigen tests and laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. We used mixed-effects logistic regression models that accounted for household structure to estimate the association between household overcrowding and SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results: 26,367 participants were included in our analyses. The proportion of participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR result was highest in the overcrowded group (9.0%;99/1,100) and lowest in the under-occupied group (4.2%;980/23,196). In a mixed-effects logistic regression model, we found strong evidence of an increased odds of a positive PCR SARS-CoV-2 antigen result (odds ratio 2.45;95% CI:1.43–4.19;p-value=0.001) and increased odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody result in individuals living in overcrowded houses (3.32;95% CI:1.54–7.15;p-value<0.001) compared with people living in under-occupied houses. Conclusion: Public health interventions to prevent and stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 should consider the risk of infection for people living in overcrowded households and pay greater attention to reducing household transmission.

2.
The Lancet ; 398, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1537154

ABSTRACT

Background A strong association between deprivation and severe COVID-19 outcomes has been reported among adults. We estimated population-based rates of SARS-CoV-2 testing, laboratory-confirmed infections, and hospital admissions with COVID-19 in children and young people (aged 0–23 years) in Scotland according to sociodemographic risk factors. Methods We used a birth cohort of all children and young people born in Scotland in 1997–2020, consisting of linked vital registration, maternity, hospital admissions, and SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing data. Participants were followed from birth or Jan 1, 2020 (whichever occurred last) until Dec 31, 2020, death, or emigration. Admissions with COVID-19 were defined as participants with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test during or up to 28 days before admission to hospital, or a relevant International Classification of Diseases version 10 code recorded (U07.1/U07.2). We calculated crude rates of tests, laboratory-confirmed infections, and admissions, by age group, sex, and Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) quintiles with 95% CIs. Findings The cohort included 1 230 290 children and young people living in Scotland during 2020. By Dec 31, 2020, 243 958 (19·8%) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 at least once, and 17 709 (7·3%) had tested positive. Infants (aged <2 years) and 18–23-year-olds were most likely to be tested;there was no clear trend in testing rates by SIMD quintile. 18–23-year-olds, females, and those from the most deprived SIMD quintile were most likely to test positive. 379 participants had an admission with COVID-19, corresponding to a rate of 32·0 per 100 000 person-years (95% CI 28·9–35·4). Females (admission rate 35·4 per 100 000 person-years [95% CI 30·9–40·6]) and infants (143·5 per 100 000 person-years [113·3–181·7]) were most likely to be admitted to hospital. There was a clear gradient in hospital admissions by SIMD, with participants in the most deprived quintile (42·9 per 100 000 person-years [36·1–50·8]) experiencing 1·9 times (95% CI 1·3–2·6) the admission rate compared with those in the least deprived (22·6 per 100 000 person-years [16·9–30·3]). Interpretation Rates of infection and admissions with COVID-19 were associated with area-level deprivation among children and young people. Infants had a relatively low infection rate but the highest admission rate. Analyses examining risk factors, including ethnic group and long-term conditions are underway, to inform the public health response to SARS-CoV-2 in children. Although children and young people in Scotland had low COVID-19-related admission rates versus adults, a socioeconomic gradient was evident, indicating children living in more deprived areas are at increased risk of short-term, and potential long-term, health and education impacts of COVID-19. Funding UKRI Medical Research Council and the Great Ormond Street Biomedical Research Centre.

3.
BMJ Open ; 11(5): e048038, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214978

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are the most common reason for hospital admission among children <5 years in the UK. The relative contribution of ambient air pollution exposure and adverse housing conditions to RTI admissions in young children is unclear and has not been assessed in a UK context. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The aim of the PICNIC study (Air Pollution, housing and respiratory tract Infections in Children: NatIonal birth Cohort Study) is to quantify the extent to which in-utero, infant and childhood exposures to ambient air pollution and adverse housing conditions are associated with risk of RTI admissions in children <5 years old. We will use national administrative data birth cohorts, including data from all children born in England in 2005-2014 and in Scotland in 1997-2020, created via linkage between civil registration, maternity and hospital admission data sets. We will further enhance these cohorts via linkage to census data on housing conditions and socioeconomic position and small area-level data on ambient air pollution and building characteristics. We will use time-to-event analyses to examine the association between air pollution, housing characteristics and the risk of RTI admissions in children, calculate population attributable fractions for ambient air pollution and housing characteristics, and use causal mediation analyses to explore the mechanisms through which housing and air pollution influence the risk of infant RTI admission. ETHICS, EXPECTED IMPACT AND DISSEMINATION: To date, we have obtained approval from six ethics and information governance committees in England and two in Scotland. Our results will inform parents, national and local governments, the National Health Service and voluntary sector organisations of the relative contribution of adverse housing conditions and air pollution to RTI admissions in young children. We will publish our results in open-access journals and present our results to the public via parent groups and social media and on the PICNIC website. Code and metadata will be published on GitHub.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , Air Pollutants/adverse effects , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/adverse effects , Air Pollution/analysis , Child , Child, Preschool , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Housing , Humans , Infant , Pregnancy , Scotland/epidemiology , State Medicine
4.
Environ Res ; 198: 111236, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1213220

ABSTRACT

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a nationwide lockdown was imposed in the United Kingdom (UK) on March 23, 2020. These sudden control measures led to radical changes in human activities in the Greater London Area (GLA). During this lockdown, transportation use was significantly reduced and non-key workers were required to work from home. This study aims to understand how population exposure to PM2.5 and NO2 changed spatially and temporally across London, in different microenvironments, following the lockdown period relative to the previous three-year average in the same calendar period. Our research shows that population exposure to NO2 declined significantly (52.3% ± 6.1%), while population exposure to PM2.5 showed a smaller relative reduction (15.7% ± 4.1%). Changes in population activity had the strongest relative influence on exposure levels during morning rush hours, when prior to the lockdown a large percentage of people would normally commute or be at the workplace. In particular, a very high exposure decrease was observed for both pollutants (approximately 66% for NO2 and 19% for PM2.5) at 08:00am, consistent with the radical changes in population commuting. The infiltration of outdoor air pollution into housing modifies the degree of exposure change both temporally and spatially. Moreover, this study shows that the impacts on air pollution exposure vary across groups with different socioeconomic status (SES), with a disproportionate positive effect on the areas of the city home to more economically deprived communities.


Subject(s)
Air Pollutants , Air Pollution , COVID-19 , Air Pollutants/analysis , Air Pollution/analysis , Cities , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , London/epidemiology , Nitrogen Dioxide/analysis , Pandemics , Particulate Matter/analysis , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
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