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Transl Res ; 2022 Jan 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783792


Type I interferon (IFN) is critical in our defense against viral infections. Increased type I IFN pathway activation is a genetic risk factor for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and a number of common risk alleles contribute to the high IFN trait. We hypothesized that these common gain-of-function IFN pathway alleles may be associated with protection from mortality in acute COVID-19. We studied patients admitted with acute COVID-19 (756 European-American and 398 African-American ancestry). Ancestral backgrounds were analyzed separately, and mortality after acute COVID-19 was the primary outcome. In European-American ancestry, we found that a haplotype of interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) and alleles of protein kinase cGMP-dependent 1 (PRKG1) were associated with mortality from COVID-19. Interestingly, these were much stronger risk factors in younger patients (OR = 29.2 for PRKG1 in ages 45-54). Variants in the IRF7 and IRF8 genes were associated with mortality from COVID-19 in African-American subjects, and these genetic effects were more pronounced in older subjects. Combining genetic information with blood biomarker data such as C-reactive protein, troponin, and D-dimer resulted in significantly improved predictive capacity, and in both ancestral backgrounds the risk genotypes were most relevant in those with positive biomarkers (OR for death between 14 and 111 in high risk genetic/biomarker groups). This study confirms the critical role of the IFN pathway in defense against COVID-19 and viral infections, and supports the idea that some common SLE risk alleles exert protective effects in antiviral immunity.

Disaster Med Public Health Prep ; : 1-5, 2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1707669


A research initiative was launched during the initial coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak by 3 New York metropolitan area institutions. Collaborators recruited community members and patients from previous research studies to examine COVID-19 experiences and mental health symptoms through self-report surveys. The current report descriptively presents findings from the initial survey characterized by both community and clinical cohorts, and discusses challenges encountered with rapid implementation. The clinical cohort exhibited higher rates of symptoms of mental health difficulties (depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD]) as compared to the community cohort. COVID-19 positivity rates were similar among both groups and lower than the national average. While both groups reported low rates of job loss, community members reported higher rates of financial difficulty resulting from the pandemic. Findings indicate the need for further collaborative research on the mental health impact of COVID-19.

Am J Prev Med ; 59(3): 326-332, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-614429


INTRODUCTION: Existing socioeconomic and racial disparities in healthcare access in New York City have likely impacted the public health response to COVID-19. An ecological study was performed to determine the spatial distribution of COVID-19 testing by ZIP code Tabulation Area and investigate if testing was associated with race or SES. METHODS: Data were obtained from the New York City coronavirus data repository and 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. A combined index of SES was created using principal component analysis and incorporated household income, gross rent, poverty, education, working class status, unemployment, and occupants per room. Multivariable Poisson regressions were performed to predict the number of total tests and the ratio of positive tests to total tests performed, using the SES index, racial composition, and Hispanic composition as predictors. RESULTS: The number of total tests significantly increased with the increasing proportion of white residents (ß=0.004, SE=0.001, p=0.0032) but not with increasing Hispanic composition or SES index score. The ratio of positive tests to total tests significantly decreased with the increasing proportion of white residents in the ZIP code Tabulation Area (ß= -0.003, SE=0.000 6, p<0.001) and with increasing SES index score (ß= -0.001 6, SE=0.0007, p=0.0159). CONCLUSIONS: In New York City, COVID-19 testing has not been proportional to need; existing socioeconomic and racial disparities in healthcare access have likely impacted public health response. There is urgent need for widespread testing and public health outreach for the most vulnerable communities in New York City.

Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Healthcare Disparities , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/ethnology , /statistics & numerical data , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/ethnology , Poverty , Socioeconomic Factors , /statistics & numerical data