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4.
BMC Res Notes ; 16(1): 96, 2023 Jun 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237008

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: COVID-19 has caused tremendous damage to U.S. public health, but COVID vaccines can effectively reduce the risk of COVID-19 infections and related mortality. Our study aimed to quantify the association between proximity to a community healthcare facility and COVID-19 related mortality after COVID vaccines became publicly available and explore how this association varied across racial and ethnic groups. RESULTS: Residents living farther from a facility had higher COVID-19-related mortality across U.S. counties. This increased mortality incidence associated with longer distances was particularly pronounced in counties with higher proportions of Black and Hispanic populations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Ethnicity , Health Status Disparities , Hispanic or Latino , United States/epidemiology , Health Services Accessibility , Community Health Centers , Black or African American
6.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 716, 2023 04 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236491

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Antiretroviral medication coverage remains sub-optimal in much of the United States, particularly the Sothern region, and Non-Hispanic Black or African American persons (NHB) continue to be disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic. The "Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S." (EHE) initiative seeks to reduce HIV incidence nationally by focusing resources towards the most highly impacted localities and populations. This study evaluates the impact of hypothetical improvements in ART and PrEP coverage to estimate the levels of coverage needed to achieve EHE goals in the South. METHODS: We developed a stochastic, agent-based network model of 500,000 individuals to simulate the HIV epidemic and hypothetical improvements in ART and PrEP coverage. RESULTS: New infections declined by 78.6% at 90%/40% ART/PrEP and 94.3% at 100%/50% ART/PrEP. Declines in annual incidence rates surpassed 75% by 2025 with 90%/40% ART/PrEP and 90% by 2030 with 100%/50% ART/PrEP coverage. Increased ART coverage among NHB MSM was associated with a linear decline in incidence among all MSM. Declines in incidence among Hispanic/Latino and White/Other MSM were similar regardless of which MSM race group increased their ART coverage, while the benefit to NHB MSM was greatest when their own ART coverage increased. The incidence rate among NHB women declined by over a third when either NHB heterosexual men or NHB MSM increased their ART use respectively. Increased use of PrEP was associated with a decline in incidence for the groups using PrEP. MSM experienced the largest absolute declines in incidence with increasing PrEP coverage, followed by NHB women. CONCLUSIONS: Our analysis indicates that it is possible to reach EHE goals. The largest reductions in HIV incidence can be achieved by increasing ART coverage among MSM and all race groups benefit regardless of differences in ART initiation by race. Improving ART coverage to > 90% should be prioritized with a particular emphasis on reaching NHB MSM. Such a focus will reduce the largest number of incident cases, reduce racial HIV incidence disparities among both MSM and women, and reduce racial health disparities among persons with HIV. NHB women should also be prioritized for PrEP outreach.


Subject(s)
Anti-HIV Agents , Disease Eradication , HIV Infections , Health Status Disparities , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis , Female , Humans , Male , Anti-HIV Agents/therapeutic use , Goals , HIV Infections/drug therapy , HIV Infections/epidemiology , HIV Infections/prevention & control , Homosexuality, Male/statistics & numerical data , Incidence , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/methods , Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis/statistics & numerical data , Sexual and Gender Minorities/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Disease Eradication/methods , Disease Eradication/statistics & numerical data
8.
J Natl Med Assoc ; 115(2S): S13-S18, 2023 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20234134
10.
J Psychosoc Nurs Ment Health Serv ; 59(5): 6, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231724
11.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 932, 2023 05 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244245

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The success of the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out depended on clear policy communication and guidance to promote and facilitate vaccine uptake. The rapidly evolving pandemic circumstances led to many vaccine policy amendments. The impact of changing policy on effective vaccine communication and its influence in terms of societal response to vaccine promotion are underexplored; this qualitative research addresses that gap within the extant literature. METHODS: Policy communicators and community leaders from urban and rural Ontario participated in semi-structured interviews (N = 29) to explore their experiences of COVID-19 vaccine policy communication. Thematic analysis was used to produce representative themes. RESULTS: Analysis showed rapidly changing policy was a barrier to smooth communication and COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. Continual amendments had unintended consequences, stimulating confusion, disrupting community outreach efforts and interrupting vaccine implementation. Policy changes were most disruptive to logistical planning and community engagement work, including community outreach, communicating eligibility criteria, and providing translated vaccine information to diverse communities. CONCLUSIONS: Vaccine policy changes that allow for prioritized access can have the unintended consequence of limiting communities' access to information that supports decision making. Rapidly evolving circumstances require a balance between adjusting policy and maintaining simple, consistent public health messages that can readily be translated into action. Information access is a factor in health inequality that needs addressing alongside access to vaccines.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Communication , Humans , Ontario , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Status Disparities , Health Policy , Qualitative Research
12.
Front Public Health ; 11: 1184209, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20243044

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Ethnic minorities are considered one of the most vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the explanatory pathway of how their disadvantaged experiences during epidemics are related to the embedded and longstanding stigmas against them and how these embedded stigmas can affect their resilience in disease outbreaks are not well understood. This study investigated the experiences of ethnic minorities in the COVID-19 pandemic, and how their experiences were related to the embedded stigma toward them. Methods: This study adopted a qualitative approach, interviewed 25 individuals (13 women and 12 men) from ethnic minority groups residing in Hong Kong from August 2021 to February 2022 in a semi-structured format. Thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the data. Results: The participants were isolated and stereotyped as infectious during the COVID-19 pandemic at community and institutional levels. Their experiences did not occur suddenly during the pandemic but were embedded in the longstanding segregation and negative stereotypes toward ethnic minorities in different aspects of life before the pandemic. These negative stereotypes affected their resilience in living and coping with the pandemic. Conclusion: The participants' experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic were mostly disadvantageous and predominantly initiated by the mainstream stigmatization toward them by the local Chinese residents and government. Their disadvantaged experiences in the pandemic should be traced to the embedded social systems, imposing structural disparities for ethnic minorities when accessing social and medical resources during a pandemic. Because of the preexisting stigmatization and social seclusion of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, the participants experienced health inequality, which stemmed from social inequality and the power differential between them and the Chinese locals. The disadvantaged situation of the participants negatively affected their resilience to the pandemic. To enable ethnic minorities better cope with future epidemics, merely providing assistance to them during an epidemic is barely adequate, but a more supportive and inclusive social system should be established for them in the long run.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Ethnic and Racial Minorities , Health Status Disparities , Social Stigma , Female , Humans , Male , East Asian People , Ethnicity , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Hong Kong
13.
BMC Public Health ; 23(1): 1101, 2023 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242043

ABSTRACT

Health counseling is a prevention and health promotion action, especially in the context of a pandemic, for both preventing disease and maintaining health. Inequalities may affect receipt of health counseling. The aim was to provide an overview of the prevalence of receiving counseling and to analyze income inequality in the receipt of health counseling. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional telephone survey study with individuals aged 18 years or older with diagnosis of symptomatic COVID-19 using RT-PCR testing between December 2020 and March 2021. They were asked about receipt of health counseling. Inequalities were assessed using the Slope Index of Inequality (SII) and Concentration Index (CIX) measures. We used the Chi-square test to assess the distribution of outcomes according to income. Adjusted analyses were performed using Poisson regression with robust variance adjustment. RESULTS: A total of 2919 individuals were interviewed. Low prevalence of health counseling by healthcare practitioner was found. Participants with higher incomes were 30% more likely to receive more counseling. CONCLUSIONS: These results serve as a basis for aggregating public health promotion policies, in addition to reinforcing health counseling as a multidisciplinary team mission to promote greater health equity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Equity , Adult , Humans , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Health Status Disparities , Prevalence , Socioeconomic Factors , Adolescent
14.
Epidemiology ; 34(3): 402-410, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20231387

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: US racial-ethnic mortality disparities are well documented and central to debates on social inequalities in health. Standard measures, such as life expectancy or years of life lost, are based on synthetic populations and do not account for the real underlying populations experiencing the inequalities. METHODS: We analyze US mortality disparities comparing Asian Americans, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans/Alaska Natives to Whites using 2019 CDC and NCHS data, using a novel approach that estimates the mortality gap, adjusted for population structure by accounting for real-population exposures. This measure is tailored for analyses where age structures are fundamental, not merely a confounder. We highlight the magnitude of inequalities by comparing the population structure-adjusted mortality gap against standard metrics' estimates of loss of life due to leading causes. RESULTS: Based on the population structure-adjusted mortality gap, Black and Native American mortality disadvantage exceedsmortality from circulatory diseases. The disadvantage is 72% among Blacks (men: 47%, women: 98%) and 65% among Native Americans (men: 45%, women: 92%), larger than life expectancy measured disadvantage. In contrast, estimated advantages for Asian Americans are over three times (men: 176%, women: 283%) and, for Hispanics, two times (men: 123%; women: 190%) larger than those based on life expectancy. CONCLUSIONS: Mortality inequalities based on standard metrics' synthetic populations can differ markedly from estimates of the population structure-adjusted mortality gap. We demonstrate that standard metrics underestimate racial-ethnic disparities through disregarding actual population age structures. Exposure-corrected measures of inequality may better inform health policies around allocation of scarce resources.


Subject(s)
Health Status Disparities , Mortality , Racial Groups , Female , Humans , Male , American Indian or Alaska Native , Hispanic or Latino , Life Expectancy , United States/epidemiology , White , Black or African American
15.
CMAJ Open ; 11(3): E389-E396, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315992

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Black Canadians are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the literature suggests that online disinformation and misinformation contribute to higher rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine hesitancy in Black communities in Canada. Through stakeholder interviews, we sought to describe the nature of COVID-19 online disinformation among Black Canadians and identify the factors contributing to this phenomenon. METHODS: We conducted purposive sampling followed by snowball sampling and completed in-depth qualitative interviews with Black stakeholders with insights into the nature and impact of COVID-19 online disinformation and misinformation in Black communities. We analyzed data using content analysis, drawing on analytical resources from intersectionality theory. RESULTS: The stakeholders (n = 30, 20 purposively sampled and 10 recruited by way of snowball sampling) reported sharing of COVID-19 online disinformation and misinformation in Black Canadian communities, involving social media interaction among family, friends and community members and information shared by prominent Black figures on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook. Our data analysis shows that poor communication, cultural and religious factors, distrust of health care systems and distrust of governments contributed to COVID-19 disinformation and misinformation in Black communities. INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest racism and underlying systemic discrimination against Black Canadians immensely catalyzed the spread of disinformation and misinformation in Black communities across Canada, which exacerbated the health inequities Black people experienced. As such, using collaborative interventions to understand challenges within the community to relay information about COVID-19 and vaccines could address vaccine hesitancy.


Subject(s)
Black People , COVID-19 , Disinformation , Vaccination Hesitancy , Humans , Black People/psychology , Canada/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination Hesitancy/ethnology , Internet , Systemic Racism/ethnology , Health Status Disparities
17.
Bull World Health Organ ; 101(5): 298-298A, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315427
18.
Health Serv Res ; 58(3): 642-653, 2023 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2314515

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected racial and ethnic minorities among the general population in the United States; however, little is known regarding its impact on U.S. military Veterans. In this study, our objectives were to identify the extent to which Veterans experienced increased all-cause mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic, stratified by race and ethnicity. DATA SOURCES: Administrative data from the Veterans Health Administration's Corporate Data Warehouse. STUDY DESIGN: We use pre-pandemic data to estimate mortality risk models using five-fold cross-validation and quasi-Poisson regression. Models were stratified by a combined race-ethnicity variable and included controls for major comorbidities, demographic characteristics, and county fixed effects. DATA COLLECTION: We queried data for all Veterans residing in the 50 states plus Washington D.C. during 2016-2020. Veterans were excluded from analyses if they were missing county of residence or race-ethnicity data. Data were then aggregated to the county-year level and stratified by race-ethnicity. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Overall, Veterans' mortality rates were 16% above normal during March-December 2020 which equates to 42,348 excess deaths. However, there was substantial variation by racial and ethnic group. Non-Hispanic White Veterans experienced the smallest relative increase in mortality (17%, 95% CI 11%-24%), while Native American Veterans had the highest increase (40%, 95% CI 17%-73%). Black Veterans (32%, 95% CI 27%-39%) and Hispanic Veterans (26%, 95% CI 17%-36%) had somewhat lower excess mortality, although these changes were significantly higher compared to White Veterans. Disparities were smaller than in the general population. CONCLUSIONS: Minoritized Veterans experienced higher rates excess of mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to White Veterans, though with smaller differences than the general population. This is likely due in part to the long-standing history of structural racism in the United States that has negatively affected the health of minoritized communities via several pathways including health care access, economic, and occupational inequities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Veterans , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , United States/epidemiology , Veterans/statistics & numerical data , White/statistics & numerical data , Black or African American/statistics & numerical data , American Indian or Alaska Native/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/economics , Healthcare Disparities/ethnology , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Systemic Racism/ethnology , Systemic Racism/statistics & numerical data , Health Services Accessibility , Employment/economics , Employment/statistics & numerical data , Occupations/economics , Occupations/statistics & numerical data
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(4): e238893, 2023 04 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313604

ABSTRACT

Importance: Breast cancer (BC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and there is a substantial disparity in BC mortality by race, especially for early-onset BC in Black women. Many guidelines recommend starting BC screening from age 50 years; however, the current one-size-fits-all policy to start screening all women from a certain age may not be fair, equitable, or optimal. Objective: To provide race and ethnicity-adapted starting ages of BC screening based on data on current racial and ethnic disparities in BC mortality. Design, Setting, and Participants: This nationwide population-based cross-sectional study was conducted using data on BC mortality in female patients in the US who died of BC in 2011 to 2020. Exposures: Proxy-reported race and ethnicity information was used. The risk-adapted starting age of BC screening by race and ethnicity was measured based on 10-year cumulative risk of BC-specific death. Age-specific 10-year cumulative risk was calculated based on age group-specific mortality data without modeling or adjustment. Main Outcomes and Measures: Disease-specific mortality due to invasive BC in female patients. Results: There were BC-specific deaths among 415 277 female patients (1880 American Indian or Alaska Native [0.5%], 12 086 Asian or Pacific Islander [2.9%], 62 695 Black [15.1%], 28 747 Hispanic [6.9%], and 309 869 White [74.6%]; 115 214 patients died before age 60 years [27.7%]) of any age in the US in 2011 to 2020. BC mortality per 100 000 person-years for ages 40 to 49 years was 27 deaths in Black females, 15 deaths in White females, and 11 deaths in American Indian or Alaska Native, Hispanic, and Asian or Pacific Islander females. When BC screening was recommended to start at age 50 years for all females with a 10-year cumulative risk of BC death of 0.329%, Black females reached this risk threshold level 8 years earlier, at age 42 years, whereas White females reached it at age 51 years, American Indian or Alaska Native and Hispanic females at age 57 years, and Asian or Pacific Islander females 11 years later, at age 61 years. Race and ethnicity-adapted starting ages for Black females were 6 years earlier for mass screening at age 40 years and 7 years earlier for mass screening at age 45 years. Conclusions and Relevance: This study provides evidence-based race-adapted starting ages for BC screening. These findings suggest that health policy makers may consider a risk-adapted approach to BC screening in which individuals who are at high risk are screened earlier to address mortality due to early-onset BC before the recommended age of mass screening.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , Early Detection of Cancer , Adult , Female , Humans , Middle Aged , Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/ethnology , Breast Neoplasms/mortality , Cross-Sectional Studies , Early Detection of Cancer/mortality , Early Detection of Cancer/standards , Early Detection of Cancer/statistics & numerical data , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , Health Status Disparities , United States/epidemiology , Black or African American/statistics & numerical data , White/statistics & numerical data , American Indian or Alaska Native/statistics & numerical data , Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander/statistics & numerical data , Race Factors , Risk Factors , Risk Assessment
20.
JAMA Netw Open ; 6(5): e2311098, 2023 05 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2316762

ABSTRACT

Importance: Prior research has established that Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black residents in the US experienced substantially higher COVID-19 mortality rates in 2020 than non-Hispanic White residents owing to structural racism. In 2021, these disparities decreased. Objective: To assess to what extent national decreases in racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality between the initial pandemic wave and subsequent Omicron wave reflect reductions in mortality vs other factors, such as the pandemic's changing geography. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cross-sectional study was conducted using data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for COVID-19 deaths from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2022, among adults aged 25 years and older residing in the US. Deaths were examined by race and ethnicity across metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and the national decrease in racial and ethnic disparities between initial and Omicron waves was decomposed. Data were analyzed from June 2021 through March 2023. Exposures: Metropolitan vs nonmetropolitan areas and race and ethnicity. Main Outcomes and Measures: Age-standardized death rates. Results: There were death certificates for 977 018 US adults aged 25 years and older (mean [SD] age, 73.6 [14.6] years; 435 943 female [44.6%]; 156 948 Hispanic [16.1%], 140 513 non-Hispanic Black [14.4%], and 629 578 non-Hispanic White [64.4%]) that included a mention of COVID-19. The proportion of COVID-19 deaths among adults residing in nonmetropolitan areas increased from 5944 of 110 526 deaths (5.4%) during the initial wave to a peak of 40 360 of 172 515 deaths (23.4%) during the Delta wave; the proportion was 45 183 of 210 554 deaths (21.5%) during the Omicron wave. The national disparity in age-standardized COVID-19 death rates per 100 000 person-years for non-Hispanic Black compared with non-Hispanic White adults decreased from 339 to 45 deaths from the initial to Omicron wave, or by 293 deaths. After standardizing for age and racial and ethnic differences by metropolitan vs nonmetropolitan residence, increases in death rates among non-Hispanic White adults explained 120 deaths/100 000 person-years of the decrease (40.7%); 58 deaths/100 000 person-years in the decrease (19.6%) were explained by shifts in mortality to nonmetropolitan areas, where a disproportionate share of non-Hispanic White adults reside. The remaining 116 deaths/100 000 person-years in the decrease (39.6%) were explained by decreases in death rates in non-Hispanic Black adults. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that most of the national decrease in racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 mortality between the initial and Omicron waves was explained by increased mortality among non-Hispanic White adults and changes in the geographic spread of the pandemic. These findings suggest that despite media reports of a decline in disparities, there is a continued need to prioritize racial health equity in the pandemic response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Aged , Female , Humans , Black People/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/ethnology , COVID-19/mortality , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity/statistics & numerical data , Hispanic or Latino/statistics & numerical data , Black or African American/statistics & numerical data , White/statistics & numerical data , United States/epidemiology , Health Status Disparities , Middle Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Male , Health Equity , Systemic Racism/ethnology
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