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1.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 778, 2022 04 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793966

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 mitigation strategies have had an untold effect on food retail stores and restaurants. Early evidence from New York City (NYC) indicated that these strategies, among decreased travel from China and increased fears of viral transmission and xenophobia, were leading to mass closures of businesses in Manhattan's Chinatown. The constantly evolving COVID -19 crisis has caused research design and methodology to fundamentally shift, requiring adaptable strategies to address emerging and existing public health problems such as food security that may result from closures of food outlets. OBJECTIVE: We describe innovative approaches used to evaluate changes to the food retail environment amidst the constraints of the pandemic in an urban center heavily burdened by COVID-19. Included are challenges faced, lessons learned and future opportunities. METHODS: First, we identified six diverse neighborhoods in NYC: two lower-resourced, two higher-resourced, and two Chinese ethnic enclaves. We then developed a census of food outlets in these six neighborhoods using state and local licensing databases. To ascertain the status (open vs. closed) of outlets pre-pandemic, we employed a manual web-scraping technique. We used a similar method to determine the status of outlets during the pandemic. Two independent online sources were required to confirm the status of outlets. If two sources could not confirm the status, we conducted phone call checks and/or in-person visits. RESULTS: The final baseline database included 2585 food outlets across six neighborhoods. Ascertaining the status of food outlets was more difficult in lower-resourced neighborhoods and Chinese ethnic enclaves compared to higher-resourced areas. Higher-resourced neighborhoods required fewer phone call and in-person checks for both restaurants and food retailers than other neighborhoods. CONCLUSIONS: Our multi-step data collection approach maximized safety and efficiency while minimizing cost and resources. Challenges in remote data collection varied by neighborhood and may reflect the different resources or social capital of the communities; understanding neighborhood-specific constraints prior to data collection may streamline the process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Commerce , Food , Food Supply , Humans , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics , Restaurants
2.
Health Equity ; 6(1): 278-290, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774316

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Community-based organizations (CBOs) have provided critical resources during the pandemic, particularly for marginalized communities, and are trusted liaisons who connect socially and linguistically isolated community members, such as the highly diverse Asian American population, to care during public health emergencies. Stereotypes such as the model minority myth have permeated public perception of Asian Americans' health status and health care access needs, fueling widespread belief that Asian Americans do not experience health disparities, and mask the high rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection, hospitalization, and mortality among Asian Americans. The unequal burden of COVID-19 on Asian American communities has largely remained absent from the public health and national discourse, with exceptions such as community voices that have directed news media coverage and leading roles of CBOs in offering culturally adapted, in-language programming on COVID-19 infection prevention and control. Methods: CBOs and their staff are well-equipped with the cultural acuity, language capacity, and familiarity with local norms to improve structural gaps affecting health outcomes and support health care delivery. Results: We discuss the roles and responsibilities of CBOs in strengthening the health care workforce and expanding community-clinic linkages and provide two case studies illustrating the efforts of two community organizations serving Asian American and immigrant communities, who have been disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Discussion: CBOs are essential to supporting health service coordination and care delivery for structurally vulnerable populations, and are vital to sustaining the coordinated, multilevel public health response to improving community health. Conclusion: Bolstering the current infrastructure to support CBOs is necessary to facilitating immediate responses to serve community needs.

4.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(2): 296-303, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686117

ABSTRACT

The Asian American health narrative reflects a long history of structural racism in the US and the complex interplay of racialized history, immigrant patterns, and policies regarding Asians in the US. Yet owing to systematic issues in data collection including missing or misclassified data for Asian Americans and practices that lead to indiscriminate grouping of unlike individuals (for example, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Bangladeshi) together in data systems and pervasive stereotypes of Asian Americans, the drivers and experiences of health disparities experienced by these diverse groups remain unclear. The perpetual exclusion and misrepresentation of Asian American experiences in health research is exacerbated by three racialized stereotypes-the model minority, healthy immigrant effect, and perpetual foreigner-that fuel scientific and societal perceptions that Asian Americans do not experience health disparities. This codifies racist biases against the Asian American population in a mutually reinforcing cycle. In this article we describe the poor-quality data infrastructure and biases on the part of researchers and public health professionals, and we highlight examples from the health disparities literature. We provide recommendations on how to implement systems-level change and educational reform to infuse racial equity in future policy and practice for Asian American communities.


Subject(s)
Asian Americans , Emigrants and Immigrants , Data Accuracy , Humans , Minority Groups
5.
Front Public Health ; 9: 764681, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662635

ABSTRACT

Social media has been crucial for seeking and communicating COVID-19 information. However, social media has also promulgated misinformation, which is particularly concerning among Asian Americans who may rely on in-language information and utilize social media platforms to connect to Asia-based networks. There is limited literature examining social media use for COVID-19 information and the subsequent impact of misinformation on health behaviors among Asian Americans. This perspective reviews recent research, news, and gray literature to examine the dissemination of COVID-19 misinformation on social media platforms to Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and South Asian Americans. We discuss the linkage of COVID-19 misinformation to health behaviors, with emphasis on COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and vaccine decision-making in Asian American communities. We then discuss community- and research-driven responses to investigate misinformation during the pandemic. Lastly, we propose recommendations to mitigate misinformation and address the COVID-19 infodemic among Asian Americans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Social Media , Asian Americans , COVID-19 Vaccines , Communication , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
6.
Public Health Rep ; 137(2): 317-325, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1582749

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Data on the health burden of COVID-19 among Asian American people of various ethnic subgroups remain limited. We examined COVID-19 outcomes of people of various Asian ethnic subgroups and other racial and ethnic groups in an urban safety net hospital system. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 85 328 adults aged ≥18 tested for COVID-19 at New York City's public hospital system from March 1 through May 31, 2020. We examined COVID-19 positivity, hospitalization, and mortality, as well as demographic characteristics and comorbidities known to worsen COVID-19 outcomes. We conducted adjusted multivariable regression analyses examining racial and ethnic disparities in mortality. RESULTS: Of 9971 Asian patients (11.7% of patients overall), 48.2% were South Asian, 22.2% were Chinese, and 29.6% were in other Asian ethnic groups. South Asian patients had the highest rates of COVID-19 positivity (30.8%) and hospitalization (51.6%) among Asian patients, second overall only to Hispanic (32.1% and 45.8%, respectively) and non-Hispanic Black (27.5% and 57.5%, respectively) patients. Chinese patients had a mortality rate of 35.7%, highest of all racial and ethnic groups. After adjusting for demographic characteristics and comorbidities, only Chinese patients had significantly higher odds of mortality than non-Hispanic White patients (odds ratio = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04-2.01). CONCLUSIONS: Asian American people, particularly those of South Asian and Chinese descent, bear a substantial and disproportionate health burden of COVID-19. These findings underscore the need for improved data collection and reporting and public health efforts to mitigate disparities in COVID-19 morbidity and mortality among these groups.


Subject(s)
Asian Americans/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/ethnology , Ethnic and Racial Minorities/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Social Determinants of Health/ethnology , Adult , Aged , Female , Hospitalization , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , New York City , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety-net Providers , Young Adult
7.
J Am Heart Assoc ; 10(24): e022721, 2021 12 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1566422

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the social, economic, and health care systems in the United States and shined a spotlight on the burden of disease associated with social determinants of health (SDOH). Addressing SDOH, while a challenge, provides important opportunities to mitigate cardiovascular disease incidence, morbidity, and mortality. We present a conceptual framework to examine the differential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on SDOH across demographically diverse populations, focusing on the short- and long-term development of cardiovascular disease, as well as future research opportunities for cardiovascular disease prevention. The COVID-19 pandemic exerted negative shifts in SDOH and cardiovascular risk factors (ie, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, dietary behavior, cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar). For example, evidence suggests that unemployment and food insecurity have increased, whereas health care access and income have decreased; changes to SDOH have resulted in increases in loneliness and processed food consumption, as well as decreases in physical activity and hypertension management. We found that policy measures enacted to mitigate economic, social, and health issues inadequately protected populations. Low-income and racial and ethnic minority communities, historically underserved populations, were not only disproportionately adversely affected by the pandemic but also less likely to receive assistance, likely attributable in part to the deep structural inequities pervasive in our society. Effective and culturally appropriate interventions are needed to mitigate the negative health impacts of historical systems, policies, and programs that created and maintain structural racism, especially for immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, and populations experiencing social disadvantage.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Social Determinants of Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/prevention & control , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Pandemics , Systemic Racism , United States/epidemiology
8.
Am J Public Health ; 111(S3): S224-S231, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496726

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the many broken fragments of US health care and social service systems, reinforcing extant health and socioeconomic inequities faced by structurally marginalized immigrant communities. Throughout the pandemic, even during the most critical period of rising cases in different epicenters, immigrants continued to work in high-risk-exposure environments while simultaneously having less access to health care and economic relief and facing discrimination. We describe systemic factors that have adversely affected low-income immigrants, including limiting their work opportunities to essential jobs, living in substandard housing conditions that do not allow for social distancing or space to safely isolate from others in the household, and policies that discourage access to public resources that are available to them or that make resources completely inaccessible. We demonstrate that the current public health infrastructure has not improved health care access or linkages to necessary services, treatments, or culturally competent health care providers, and we provide suggestions for how the Public Health 3.0 framework could advance this. We recommend the following strategies to improve the Public Health 3.0 public health infrastructure and mitigate widening disparities: (1) address the social determinants of health, (2) broaden engagement with stakeholders across multiple sectors, and (3) develop appropriate tools and technologies. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(S3):S224-S231. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306433).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emigrants and Immigrants/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Public Health , Culturally Competent Care/ethnology , Employment , Humans , Racism
10.
Front Public Health ; 9: 690014, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1399187

ABSTRACT

Structural racism manifests as an historical and continued invisibility of Asian Americans, whose experiences of disparities and diverse needs are omitted in research, data, and policy. During the pandemic, this invisibility intersects with rising anti-Asian violence and other persistent structural inequities that contribute to higher COVID-19 mortality in older Asian Americans compared to non-Hispanic whites. This perspective describes how structural inequities in social determinants of health-namely immigration, language and telehealth access, and economic conditions-lead to increased COVID-19 mortality and barriers to care among older Asian Americans. Specifically, we discuss how the historically racialized immigration system has patterned older Asian immigrant subpopulations into working in frontline essential occupations with high COVID-19 exposure. The threat of "public charge" rule has also prevented Asian immigrants from receiving eligible public assistance including COVID-19 testing and vaccination programs. We highlight the language diversity among older Asian Americans and how language access remains unaddressed in clinical and non-clinical services and creates barriers to routine and COVID-19 related care, particularly in geographic regions with small Asian American populations. We discuss the economic insecurity of older Asian immigrants and how co-residence in multigenerational homes has exposed them to greater risk of coronavirus transmission. Using an intersectionality-informed approach to address structural inequities, we recommend the disaggregation of racial/ethnic data, meaningful inclusion of older Asian Americans in research and policy, and equitable investment in community and multi-sectoral partnerships to improve health and wellbeing of older Asian Americans.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Racism , Aged , Asian Americans , COVID-19 Testing , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
11.
J Immigr Minor Health ; 24(1): 48-57, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1397029

ABSTRACT

Material hardship and stress, associated with poor infant outcomes, increased during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. Chinese American families were vulnerable to racism-driven disparities. Little is known about maternal perceptions of pandemic impacts on their infants, family, and community. Purposive sampling of low-income Chinese American mothers (n = 25) with infants (1-15 months). Semi-structured qualitative interviews conducted in Mandarin, Cantonese, or English were audio-recorded, transcribed, and translated. Transcripts coded using applied thematic analysis in an iterative process of textual analysis until thematic saturation. Three themes emerged: (1) Heightened family hardship included financial strain, disruption of transnational childcare, experiences of racism; (2) Altered infant routines/developmental consequences included using protective equipment on infants, concerns about infant socio-emotional development; (3) Coping strategies included stockpiling essentials, adapting family diets. Strategies to mitigate disparities include expanding social needs screening, correcting misinformation, strengthening support networks, and including low-income Chinese Americans in these efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emigrants and Immigrants , Asian Americans , Female , Humans , Infant , Mothers , SARS-CoV-2
12.
Prev Med Rep ; 24: 101519, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1351811

ABSTRACT

There is a lack of quantitative research examining how the pandemic has affected individuals at different income levels. The Asian American population has the highest level of income inequality and serves as an excellent case study for examining differences in experience between income groups. A non-probability sample of 3084 Asian American adults living in the US was surveyed in June 2020, examining health-related behaviors and outcomes. Descriptive analyses and chi-squared statistics were conducted to identify differences in income groups (low, medium, high) among Asian Americans across regional subgroups (East, South, Southeast, Multiethnic) and disaggregated ethnicities (Chinese, Asian Indian, Japanese, and Filipino). In bivariable analyses, a significantly (p < 0.05) greater percentage of high-income individuals during the pandemic reported having enough money to buy the food they needed, a away to get to the store for food, and reported stores where they get food had everything they needed. High-income Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino individual also noted that, since the COVID-19 crisis, they are now working partially or fully from home. In the total sample, multivariable adjusted logistic regressions revealed medium- and low-income individuals to have low odds of working partially or fully from home (AOR:0.55, 95%CI:0.42-0.72), higher odds of not having enough money to buy the food they needed (AOR:3.54, 95%CI:1.43-11.81), and higher odds of eating less (AOR:1.58, 95%CI:1.14-2.22). These results highlight the importance of considering income distribution when characterizing disparities in health behaviors within racial/ethnic minority groups and underscore the need to bolster the infrastructure supporting low-income Asian Americans.

13.
J Immigr Minor Health ; 24(1): 31-37, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309049

ABSTRACT

A systematic assessment of the effect of COVID-19 on the food retail environment-an important determinant of health-has not been conducted. Our objective was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on closures of restaurants, food retail stores, and fresh produce vendors in New York City (NYC). We conducted a cross-sectional study following the peak of COVID-19 in six neighborhoods in NYC. Two Chinese ethnic neighborhoods and four higher/lower resourced comparison neighborhoods were selected a priori based on 14 sociodemographic indicators. The primary outcome was indefinite/temporary closures or absence of food businesses. Of 2720 food businesses identified, produce vendors and restaurants were more likely to close than food retail stores. A higher proportion of food businesses closed in Chinese ethnic neighborhoods vs. comparison neighborhoods. COVID-19 impacted food businesses in six NYC neighborhoods examined in this period, with the greatest effect observed for Chinese ethnic neighborhoods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Food Supply , Humans , New York City , Residence Characteristics , Restaurants , SARS-CoV-2
14.
J Urban Health ; 98(2): 197-204, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1111334

ABSTRACT

There is growing evidence on the effect of face mask use in controlling the spread of COVID-19. However, few studies have examined the effect of local face mask policies on the pandemic. In this study, we developed a dynamic compartmental model of COVID-19 transmission in New York City (NYC), which was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA. We used data on daily and cumulative COVID-19 infections and deaths from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to calibrate and validate our model. We then used the model to assess the effect of the executive order on face mask use on infections and deaths due to COVID-19 in NYC. Our results showed that the executive order on face mask use was estimated to avert 99,517 (95% CIs 72,723-126,312) COVID-19 infections and 7978 (5692-10,265) deaths in NYC. If the executive order was implemented 1 week earlier (on April 10), the averted infections and deaths would be 111,475 (81,593-141,356) and 9017 (6446-11,589), respectively. If the executive order was implemented 2 weeks earlier (on April 3 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended face mask use), the averted infections and deaths would be 128,598 (94,373-162,824) and 10,515 (7540-13,489), respectively. Our study provides public health practitioners and policymakers with evidence on the importance of implementing face mask policies in local areas as early as possible to control the spread of COVID-19 and reduce mortality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Masks , Humans , New York City/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
JMIR Form Res ; 5(2): e23870, 2021 Feb 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1088872

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the food retail environment. However, its impact on fresh fruit and vegetable vendors remains unclear; these are often smaller, more community centered, and may lack the financial infrastructure to withstand supply and demand changes induced by such crises. OBJECTIVE: This study documents the methodology used to assess fresh fruit and vegetable vendor closures in New York City (NYC) following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic by using Google Street View, the new Apple Look Around database, and in-person checks. METHODS: In total, 6 NYC neighborhoods (in Manhattan and Brooklyn) were selected for analysis; these included two socioeconomically advantaged neighborhoods (Upper East Side, Park Slope), two socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods (East Harlem, Brownsville), and two Chinese ethnic neighborhoods (Chinatown, Sunset Park). For each neighborhood, Google Street View was used to virtually walk down each street and identify vendors (stores, storefronts, street vendors, or wholesalers) that were open and active in 2019 (ie, both produce and vendor personnel were present at a location). Past vendor surveillance (when available) was used to guide these virtual walks. Each identified vendor was geotagged as a Google Maps pinpoint that research assistants then physically visited. Using the "notes" feature of Google Maps as a data collection tool, notes were made on which of three categories best described each vendor: (1) open, (2) open with a more limited setup (eg, certain sections of the vendor unit that were open and active in 2019 were missing or closed during in-person checks), or (3) closed/absent. RESULTS: Of the 135 open vendors identified in 2019 imagery data, 35% (n=47) were absent/closed and 10% (n=13) were open with more limited setups following the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. When comparing boroughs, 35% (28/80) of vendors in Manhattan were absent/closed, as were 35% (19/55) of vendors in Brooklyn. Although Google Street View was able to provide 2019 street view imagery data for most neighborhoods, Apple Look Around was required for 2019 imagery data for some areas of Park Slope. Past surveillance data helped to identify 3 additional established vendors in Chinatown that had been missed in street view imagery. The Google Maps "notes" feature was used by multiple research assistants simultaneously to rapidly collect observational data on mobile devices. CONCLUSIONS: The methodology employed enabled the identification of closures in the fresh fruit and vegetable retail environment and can be used to assess closures in other contexts. The use of past baseline surveillance data to aid vendor identification was valuable for identifying vendors that may have been absent or visually obstructed in the street view imagery data. Data collection using Google Maps likewise has the potential to enhance the efficiency of fieldwork in future studies.

16.
Obes Sci Pract ; 7(3): 307-320, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051323

ABSTRACT

Objective: COVID-19 has changed diet and food shopping behaviors, but a lack of disaggregated data by racial and ethnic subgroup makes it challenging to identify whether specific populations are experiencing greater challenges in safely securing an adequate food supply and engaging in healthy eating behaviors during the pandemic. Thus, the objective of this study was to measure such changes among Asian-American (AA) adults, overall and by ethnic subgroup. Methods: Using a nationally derived nonprobability sample, 3084 AA adults were recruited, including 1737 East Asian, 570 South Asian, 587 Southeast Asian, and 124 multiethnic Asian adults. Participants completed an online survey with questions related to sociodemographics, health status, and diet and food shopping behaviors, including questions related to COVID-19. Logistic and linear regression were used to compare differences in survey responses by Asian ethnic subgroup. Results: Compared to other AA subgroups, a higher percentage of Asian Indian (17%), Filipino (13%), Vietnamese (12%), and Korean (11%) adults reported no longer getting food resources they were receiving before COVID-19 (e.g., mobile meals, food pantry items). The percentage of Filipino (8%) and Vietnamese (7%) adults who reported not having enough money to buy food they need was also higher than other AA subgroups. And a higher percentage of Asian Indian adults (7%) reported not having a way to get to the food store since COVID-19 than other AA subgroups. Conclusions: Previous work has not included disaggregated data, which may mask important disparities in food access and food insecurity among people hit hardest by COVID-19, such as Filipino, Vietnamese, and Asian Indian households.

17.
Curr Hypertens Rep ; 23(1): 5, 2021 01 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040876

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To outline intervention efforts focused on reducing hypertension disparities in immigrant communities in the U.S. and to identify areas in the design, implementation, and evaluation of these interventions that warrant further exploration guided by an implementation science framework. RECENT FINDINGS: Studies examined (n = 11) included immigrant populations of African, Hispanic, and Asian origin. Men were underrepresented in most studies. Culturally tailored group-based educational sessions in religious or community spaces were common. Intervention agents included research assistants, registered nurses, community health workers, and faith-based organization volunteers. Community stakeholders were engaged in most studies, although most commonly for recruitment efforts. Surveys/interviews were used for intervention evaluation, and documentation of intervention activities and trainings was used to assess fidelity. Identified pathways for further intervention innovation included gender or migration-status-based targeting, diversifying intervention agents, enhancing mixed-method process evaluations, and tailoring to emerging needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Emigrants and Immigrants , Hypertension , Humans , Hypertension/prevention & control , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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