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1.
Nutrients ; 14(1)2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580546

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has negatively impacted many households' financial well-being, food security, and mental health status. This paper investigates the role financial resources play in understanding the relationship between food security and mental health among U.S. households using data from a survey in June 2020. Results show job loss and savings draw down to pay for household bills had a significant relationship with both lower food security and greater numbers of poor mental health days during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/psychology , Food Security/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Mental Health/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Food Security/economics , Humans , Male , Mental Health/economics , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
2.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 686, 2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571742

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Associations between community-level risk factors and COVID-19 incidence have been used to identify vulnerable subpopulations and target interventions, but the variability of these associations over time remains largely unknown. We evaluated variability in the associations between community-level predictors and COVID-19 case incidence in 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts from March to October 2020. METHODS: Using publicly available sociodemographic, occupational, environmental, and mobility datasets, we developed mixed-effect, adjusted Poisson regression models to depict associations between these variables and town-level COVID-19 case incidence data across five distinct time periods from March to October 2020. We examined town-level demographic variables, including population proportions by race, ethnicity, and age, as well as factors related to occupation, housing density, economic vulnerability, air pollution (PM2.5), and institutional facilities. We calculated incidence rate ratios (IRR) associated with these predictors and compared these values across the multiple time periods to assess variability in the observed associations over time. RESULTS: Associations between key predictor variables and town-level incidence varied across the five time periods. We observed reductions over time in the association with percentage of Black residents (IRR = 1.12 [95%CI: 1.12-1.13]) in early spring, IRR = 1.01 [95%CI: 1.00-1.01] in early fall) and COVID-19 incidence. The association with number of long-term care facility beds per capita also decreased over time (IRR = 1.28 [95%CI: 1.26-1.31] in spring, IRR = 1.07 [95%CI: 1.05-1.09] in fall). Controlling for other factors, towns with higher percentages of essential workers experienced elevated incidences of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic (e.g., IRR = 1.30 [95%CI: 1.27-1.33] in spring, IRR = 1.20 [95%CI: 1.17-1.22] in fall). Towns with higher proportions of Latinx residents also had sustained elevated incidence over time (IRR = 1.19 [95%CI: 1.18-1.21] in spring, IRR = 1.14 [95%CI: 1.13-1.15] in fall). CONCLUSIONS: Town-level COVID-19 risk factors varied with time in this study. In Massachusetts, racial (but not ethnic) disparities in COVID-19 incidence may have decreased across the first 8 months of the pandemic, perhaps indicating greater success in risk mitigation in selected communities. Our approach can be used to evaluate effectiveness of public health interventions and target specific mitigation efforts on the community level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Social Environment , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Income/statistics & numerical data , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Movement/physiology , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Time Factors , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
3.
Gac Med Mex ; 157(3): 263-270, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1535083

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Historically, pandemics have resulted in higher mortality rates in the most vulnerable populations. Social determinants of health (SDH) have been associated with people morbidity and mortality at different levels. OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between SDH and COVID-19 severity and mortality. METHODS: Retrospective study, where data from patients with COVID-19 were collected at a public hospital in Chile. Sociodemographic variables related to structural SDH were classified according to the following categories: gender, age (< 65 years, ≥ 65 years), secondary education (completed or not), work status (active, inactive) and income (< USD 320, ≥ USD 320). RESULTS: A total of 1,012 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases were included. Average age was 64.2 ± 17.5 years. Mortality of the entire sample was 14.5 %. Age, level of education, unemployment and income had a strong association with mortality (p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The findings reinforce the idea that SDH should be considered a public health priority, which is why political efforts should focus on reducing health inequalities for future generations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Social Determinants of Health , Age Factors , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/physiopathology , Chile/epidemiology , Educational Status , Female , Hospitals, Public , Humans , Income/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , Severity of Illness Index , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data
4.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 21(1): 755, 2021 Nov 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506167

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the financial insecurity of women and their families globally. Some studies have explored the impact of financial strain among pregnant women, in particular, during the pandemic. However, less is known about the factors associated with pregnant women's experiences of material hardship. METHODS: This cross-sectional study used a non-probability sample to examine the factors associated with pregnant women's experiences of material hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, 183 pregnant women living in the United States participated in an online Qualtrics panel survey. In addition to socio-demographic characteristics, individuals were asked about their finances and predictors of financial well-being, mental health symptoms, and intimate partner violence (IPV) experiences. Chi-square analysis and one-way ANOVA were used to examine whether women's experiences with material hardship and associated factors differed by income level (i.e., less than $20,000; $20,000 to $60,000; more than $60,000). Ordinary least squares regression was used to calculate unadjusted and adjusted estimates. RESULTS: Study findings showed that the majority of women in the sample experienced at least one form of material hardship in the past year. Individuals with an annual household income less than $20,000 reported the highest average number of material hardships experienced (M = 3.7, SD = 2.8). Compared to women with household incomes less than $20,000, women with incomes of more than $60,000 reported significantly fewer material hardships, less financial strain, and higher levels of financial support, economic self-efficacy, and economic-self-sufficiency. Women with incomes of $60,000 or more also reported significantly lower levels of psychological abuse, and a smaller percentage met the cut-off for anxiety. Economic self-sufficiency, financial strain, posttraumatic stress disorder, and economic abuse were all significantly associated with material hardship. CONCLUSIONS: A contribution of this study is that it highlights the significant, positive association between economic abuse, a unique form of IPV, and material hardship among pregnant women during the pandemic. These findings suggest the need for policy and practice interventions that help to ameliorate the financial insecurity experienced by some pregnant women, as well as respond to associated bidirectional vulnerabilities (e.g., mental health symptoms, experiences of IPV).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Economic Status , Income/classification , Pregnant Women/psychology , Adult , Anxiety/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/psychology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Income/statistics & numerical data , Intimate Partner Violence/psychology , Intimate Partner Violence/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2 , Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic , Surveys and Questionnaires , United States/epidemiology
6.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256921, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1410627

ABSTRACT

Using a nationwide survey of primary grocery shoppers conducted in August 2020, we examine household food spending when the economy had partially reopened and consumers had different spending opportunities in comparison to when the Covid-19 lockdown began. We estimate the impact of Covid-19 on household spending using interval and Order Probit regressions. Income levels, age, access to grocery stores and farmers markets, household demographic information, along with other independent variables are controlled in the model. Findings show that middle-class households (with income below $50,000, or with income between $50,000 and $99,999) are less likely to increase their grocery expenditures during the pandemic. Households with children or elderlies that usually require higher food quality and nutrition intakes had a higher probability of increasing their spending during Covid-19 than before. Furthermore, consumers' spending behaviors were also significantly affected by their safe handing levels and the Covid-19 severity and food accessibility in their residences.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/economics , Family Characteristics , Food/statistics & numerical data , Surveys and Questionnaires/statistics & numerical data , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Child , Consumer Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Costs and Cost Analysis , Epidemics/prevention & control , Housing/standards , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Income/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Time Factors , United States
8.
Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi ; 68(9): 618-630, 2021 Sep 07.
Article in Japanese | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1323450

ABSTRACT

Objectives This study aims to develop a dietary consciousness scale and examine its reliability and validity, as well as investigate the changes in psychological aspects that influence diet among Japanese adults during the COVID-19 pandemic and clarify its related factors.Methods An online survey was conducted from July 1, 2020 to July 3, 2020. Participants were adults aged between 20 and 69 years selected from 13 prefectures where the government declared the state of emergency from April to May 2020. All selected participants were shopping or cooking foods for more than 2 days a week at the time of the survey. A total of 2,299 participants were included in the analysis. Dietary consciousness was measured using 12 items, and the construct was examined using factor analysis. Cronbach's alpha was examined as an indicator of internal validity, and the criterion-referenced validity was confirmed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. To determine changes in dietary consciousness, we calculated total scores based on changes in each item of the Dietary Consciousness Scale as follows: no change (0 points), improved (+1 point), and worsening (-1 point). The associations between the changes in dietary consciousness and characteristics or socioeconomic factors of the participants were examined using the chi-squared test and residual analysis.Results Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses demonstrated that a model consisting of two factors fitted the data (GFI = 0.958, AGFI = 0.938, CFI = 0.931, RMSEA = 0.066). Cronbach's alpha of the first factor (importance of diet) was 0.838 and 0.734 for the second factor (precedence of diet), and the reliability was confirmed at 0.828 for the entire scale. In the examination of criterion-related validity, the higher the stage of change, the higher the total score of the scale, and a significant difference was observed (P<0.001). The percentage of participants whose precedence worsened was higher than the importance. Significant differences were observed regarding gender, age group, marital status, employment status, household annual income, and income change during the COVID-19 pandemic considering changes in both the importance and precedence of diet. Those who were in the "worsening tendency" group in both the importance and precedence were men, 20-29 years old, unmarried, full-time employees, with a household income of 4-6 million yen during the past year.Conclusion During the COVID-19 pandemic, the precedence of diet worsened, compared to its importance, and men, young, or unmarried persons show a worsening of dietary consciousness.


Subject(s)
/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Consciousness , Diet/psychology , Eating/psychology , Feeding Behavior/psychology , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/economics , Diet/economics , Family Characteristics , Female , Humans , Income/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Socioeconomic Factors , Young Adult
9.
PLoS One ; 16(7): e0254954, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319521

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Food insecurity is a serious social and public health problem which is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic especially in resource-poor countries such as Nepal. However, there is a paucity of evidence at local levels. This study aims to explore food insecurity among people from the disadvantaged community and low-income families during the COVID-19 pandemic in Province-2 of Nepal. METHODS: The semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted virtually among purposively selected participants (n = 41) from both urban and rural areas in eight districts of Province 2 in Nepal. All the interviews were conducted in the local language between July and August 2020. The data analysis was performed using thematic network analysis in Nvivo 12 Pro software. RESULTS: The results of this study are grouped into four global themes: i) Impact of COVID-19 on food security; ii) Food insecurity and coping strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, iii) Food relief and emergency support during the COVID-19 pandemic, and iv) Impact of COVID-19 and food insecurity on health and wellbeing. Most participants in the study expressed that families from low socioeconomic backgrounds and disadvantaged communities such as those working on daily wages and who rely on remittance had experienced increased food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants used different forms of coping strategies to meet their food requirements during the pandemic. Community members experienced favouritism, nepotism, and partiality from local politicians and authorities during the distribution of food relief. The food insecurity among low-income and disadvantaged families has affected their health and wellbeing making them increasingly vulnerable to the COVID-19 infection. CONCLUSION: Food insecurity among low-income and disadvantaged families was found to be a serious problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study suggests that the relief support plan and policies should be focused on the implementation of immediate sustainable food security strategies to prevent hunger, malnutrition, and mental health problems among the most vulnerable groups in the community.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Insecurity , Income/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics/economics , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Female , Housing/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Nepal/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
10.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(6): e2113787, 2021 06 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1274644

ABSTRACT

Importance: COVID-19 lockdowns may affect economic and health outcomes, but evidence from low- and middle-income countries remains limited. Objective: To assess the economic security, food security, health, and sexual behavior of women at high risk of HIV infection in rural Kenya during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design, Setting, and Participants: This survey study of women enrolled in a randomized trial in a rural county in Kenya combined results from phone interviews, conducted while social distancing measures were in effect between May 13 and June 29, 2020, with longitudinal, in-person surveys administered between September 1, 2019, and March 25, 2020. Enrolled participants were HIV-negative and had 2 or more sexual partners within the past month. Surveys collected information on economic conditions, food security, health status, and sexual behavior. Subgroup analyses compared outcomes by reliance on transactional sex for income and by educational attainment. Data were analyzed between May 2020 and April 2021. Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported income, employment hours, numbers of sexual partners and transactional sex partners, food security, and COVID-19 prevention behaviors. Results: A total of 1725 women participated, with a mean (SD) age of 29.3 (6.8) years and 1170 (68.0%) reporting sex work as an income source before the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic, participants reported experiencing a 52% decline in mean (SD) weekly income, from $11.25 (13.46) to $5.38 (12.51) (difference, -$5.86; 95% CI, -$6.91 to -$4.82; P < .001). In all, 1385 participants (80.3%) reported difficulty obtaining food in the past month, and 1500 (87.0%) worried about having enough to eat at least once. Reported numbers of sexual partners declined from a mean (SD) total of 1.8 (1.2) partners before COVID-19 to 1.1 (1.0) during (difference, -0.75 partners; 95% CI, -0.84 to -0.67 partners; P < .001), and transactional sex partners declined from 1.0 (1.1) to 0.5 (0.8) (difference, -0.57 partners; 95% CI, -0.64 to -0.50 partners; P < .001). In subgroup analyses, women reliant on transactional sex for income were 18.3% (95% CI, 11.4% to 25.2%) more likely to report being sometimes or often worried that their household would have enough food than women not reliant on transactional sex (P < .001), and their reported decline in employment was 4.6 hours (95% CI, -7.9 to -1.2 hours) greater than women not reliant on transactional sex (P = .008). Conclusions and Relevance: In this survey study, COVID-19 was associated with large reductions in economic security among women at high risk of HIV infection in Kenya. However, shifts in sexual behavior may have temporarily decreased their risk of HIV infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , HIV Infections/etiology , Income/statistics & numerical data , Physical Distancing , Sexual Behavior/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Female , Humans , Kenya , Longitudinal Studies , Poverty/statistics & numerical data , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Risk-Taking , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , Sex Work/statistics & numerical data , Sexual Partners , Surveys and Questionnaires , Young Adult
11.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0252373, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262546

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the basic reproduction number (R0) of COVID-19 is different across countries and what national-level demographic, social, and environmental factors other than interventions characterize initial vulnerability to the virus. METHODS: We fit logistic growth curves to reported daily case numbers, up to the first epidemic peak, for 58 countries for which 16 explanatory covariates are available. This fitting has been shown to robustly estimate R0 from the specified period. We then use a generalized additive model (GAM) to discern both linear and nonlinear effects, and include 5 random effect covariates to account for potential differences in testing and reporting that can bias the estimated R0. FINDINGS: We found that the mean R0 is 1.70 (S.D. 0.57), with a range between 1.10 (Ghana) and 3.52 (South Korea). We identified four factors-population between 20-34 years old (youth), population residing in urban agglomerates over 1 million (city), social media use to organize offline action (social media), and GINI income inequality-as having strong relationships with R0, across countries. An intermediate level of youth and GINI inequality are associated with high R0, (n-shape relationships), while high city population and high social media use are associated with high R0. Pollution, temperature, and humidity did not have strong relationships with R0 but were positive. CONCLUSION: Countries have different characteristics that predispose them to greater intrinsic vulnerability to COVID-19. Studies that aim to measure the effectiveness of interventions across locations should account for these baseline differences in social and demographic characteristics.


Subject(s)
Basic Reproduction Number/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Income/statistics & numerical data , Social Media/statistics & numerical data , Age Factors , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Factual , Global Health , Humans , Models, Statistical , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Socioeconomic Factors , Urban Population/statistics & numerical data
12.
Am J Ophthalmol ; 227: 254-264, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252396

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to characterize clinician-scientists in ophthalmology and identify factors associated with successful research funding, income, and career satisfaction. DESIGN: Cross-sectional study. METHODS: A survey was conducted of clinician-scientists in ophthalmology at US academic institutions between April 17, 2019, and May 19, 2019. Collected information including 1) demographic data; 2) amount, type, and source of startup funding; first extramural grant; and first R01-equivalent independent grant; 3) starting and current salaries; and 4) Likert-scale measurements of career satisfaction were analyzed using multivariate regression. RESULTS: Ninety-eight clinician-scientists in ophthalmology were surveyed across different ages (mean: 48 ± 11 years), research categories, institutional types, geographic regions, and academic ranks. Median startup funding ranged from $50-99k, and median starting salaries ranged from $150-199k. A majority of investigators (67%) received their first extramural award from the National Eye Institute, mainly through K-award mechanisms (82%). The median time to receiving their first independent grant was 8 years, mainly through an R01 award (70%). Greater institutional startup support (P = .027) and earlier extramural grant success (P = .022) were associated with earlier independent funding. Male investigators (P = .001) and MD degreed participants (P = .008) were associated with higher current salaries but not starting salaries. Overall career satisfaction increased with career duration (P = .011) but not with earlier independent funding (P = .746) or higher income (P = .300). CONCLUSIONS: Success in research funding by clinician-scientists in ophthalmology may be linked to institutional support and earlier acquisition of extramural grants but does not impact academic salaries. Nevertheless, career satisfaction among clinician-scientists improves with time, which is not necessarily influenced by research or financial success.


Subject(s)
Biomedical Research/statistics & numerical data , Clinical Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Job Satisfaction , Laboratory Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Ophthalmology/statistics & numerical data , Research Support as Topic/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Surveys , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , United States
13.
JMIR Public Health Surveill ; 7(5): e26073, 2021 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1249617

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In March 2020, South Africa implemented strict nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to contain the spread of COVID-19. Over the subsequent 5 months, NPI policies were eased in stages according to a national strategy. COVID-19 spread throughout the country heterogeneously; the disease reached rural areas by July and case numbers peaked from July to August. A second COVID-19 wave began in late 2020. Data on the impact of NPI policies on social and economic well-being and access to health care are limited. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine how rural residents in three South African provinces changed their behaviors during the first COVID-19 epidemic wave. METHODS: The South African Population Research Infrastructure Network nodes in the Mpumalanga (Agincourt), KwaZulu-Natal, (Africa Health Research Institute) and Limpopo (Dikgale-Mamabolo-Mothiba) provinces conducted up to 14 rounds of longitudinal telephone surveys among randomly sampled households from rural and periurban surveillance populations every 2-3 weeks. Interviews included questions on the following topics: COVID-19-related knowledge and behaviors, the health and economic impacts of NPIs, and mental health. We analyzed how responses varied based on NPI stringency and household sociodemographics. RESULTS: In total, 5120 households completed 23,095 interviews between April and December 2020. Respondents' self-reported satisfaction with their COVID-19-related knowledge and face mask use rapidly rose to 85% and 95%, respectively, by August. As selected NPIs were eased, the amount of travel increased, economic losses were reduced, and the prevalence of anxiety and depression symptoms fell. When the number of COVID-19 cases spiked at one node in July, the amount of travel dropped rapidly and the rate of missed daily medications doubled. Households where more adults received government-funded old-age pensions reported concerns about economic matters and medication access less often. CONCLUSIONS: South Africans complied with stringent, COVID-19-related NPIs despite the threat of substantial social, economic, and health repercussions. Government-supported social welfare programs appeared to buffer interruptions in income and health care access during local outbreaks. Epidemic control policies must be balanced against the broader well-being of people in resource-limited settings and designed with parallel support systems when such policies threaten peoples' income and access to basic services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Epidemics/prevention & control , Health Behavior , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Public Policy , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Male , Prospective Studies , Rural Population/statistics & numerical data , South Africa/epidemiology , Surveys and Questionnaires
15.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(5): e218799, 2021 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1210566

ABSTRACT

Importance: Socioeconomically marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Income inequality may be a risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and death from COVID-19. Objective: To evaluate the association between county-level income inequality and COVID-19 cases and deaths from March 2020 through February 2021 in bimonthly time epochs. Design, Setting, and Participants: This ecological cohort study used longitudinal data on county-level COVID-19 cases and deaths from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021, in 3220 counties from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Main Outcomes and Measures: County-level daily COVID-19 case and death data from March 1, 2020, through February 28, 2021, were extracted from the COVID-19 Data Repository by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Exposure: The Gini coefficient, a measure of unequal income distribution (presented as a value between 0 and 1, where 0 represents a perfectly equal geographical region where all income is equally shared and 1 represents a perfectly unequal society where all income is earned by 1 individual), and other county-level data were obtained primarily from the 2014 to 2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates. Covariates included median proportions of poverty, age, race/ethnicity, crowding given by occupancy per room, urbanicity and rurality, educational level, number of physicians per 100 000 individuals, state, and mask use at the county level. Results: As of February 28, 2021, on average, each county recorded a median of 8891 cases of COVID-19 per 100 000 individuals (interquartile range, 6935-10 666 cases per 100 000 individuals) and 156 deaths per 100 000 individuals (interquartile range, 94-228 deaths per 100 000 individuals). The median county-level Gini coefficient was 0.44 (interquartile range, 0.42-0.47). There was a positive correlation between Gini coefficients and county-level COVID-19 cases (Spearman ρ = 0.052; P < .001) and deaths (Spearman ρ = 0.134; P < .001) during the study period. This association varied over time; each 0.05-unit increase in Gini coefficient was associated with an adjusted relative risk of COVID-19 deaths: 1.25 (95% CI, 1.17-1.33) in March and April 2020, 1.20 (95% CI, 1.13-1.28) in May and June 2020, 1.46 (95% CI, 1.37-1.55) in July and August 2020, 1.04 (95% CI, 0.98-1.10) in September and October 2020, 0.76 (95% CI, 0.72-0.81) in November and December 2020, and 1.02 (95% CI, 0.96-1.07) in January and February 2021 (P < .001 for interaction). The adjusted association of the Gini coefficient with COVID-19 cases also reached a peak in July and August 2020 (relative risk, 1.28 [95% CI, 1.22-1.33]). Conclusions and Relevance: This study suggests that income inequality within US counties was associated with more cases and deaths due to COVID-19 in the summer months of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vast disparities that exist in health outcomes owing to income inequality in the US. Targeted interventions should be focused on areas of income inequality to both flatten the curve and lessen the burden of inequality.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control , Health Status Disparities , Healthcare Disparities/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , COVID-19/economics , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Mortality , Needs Assessment , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Determinants of Health , Social Marginalization , United States/epidemiology
16.
Int J Equity Health ; 20(1): 106, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1204078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Partial- or full-lockdowns, among other interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic, may disproportionally affect people (their behaviors and health outcomes) with lower socioeconomic status (SES). This study examines income-related health inequalities and their main contributors in China during the pandemic. METHODS: The 2020 China COVID-19 Survey is an anonymous 74-item survey administered via social media in China. A national sample of 10,545 adults in all 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions in mainland China provided comprehensive data on sociodemographic characteristics, awareness and attitudes towards COVID-19, lifestyle factors, and health outcomes during the lockdown. Of them, 8448 subjects provided data for this analysis. Concentration Index (CI) and Corrected CI (CCI) were used to measure income-related inequalities in mental health and self-reported health (SRH), respectively. Wagstaff-type decomposition analysis was used to identify contributors to health inequalities. RESULTS: Most participants reported their health status as "very good" (39.0%) or "excellent" (42.3%). CCI of SRH and mental health were - 0.09 (p < 0.01) and 0.04 (p < 0.01), respectively, indicating pro-poor inequality in ill SRH and pro-rich inequality in ill mental health. Income was the leading contributor to inequalities in SRH and mental health, accounting for 62.7% (p < 0.01) and 39.0% (p < 0.05) of income-related inequalities, respectively. The COVID-19 related variables, including self-reported family-member COVID-19 infection, job loss, experiences of food and medication shortage, engagement in physical activity, and five different-level pandemic regions of residence, explained substantial inequalities in ill SRH and ill mental health, accounting for 29.7% (p < 0.01) and 20.6% (p < 0.01), respectively. Self-reported family member COVID-19 infection, experiencing food and medication shortage, and engagement in physical activity explain 9.4% (p < 0.01), 2.6% (the summed contributions of experiencing food shortage (0.9%) and medication shortage (1.7%), p < 0.01), and 17.6% (p < 0.01) inequality in SRH, respectively (8.9% (p < 0.01), 24.1% (p < 0.01), and 15.1% (p < 0.01) for mental health). CONCLUSIONS: Per capita household income last year, experiences of food and medication shortage, self-reported family member COVID-19 infection, and physical activity are important contributors to health inequalities, especially mental health in China during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intervention programs should be implemented to support vulnerable groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Status Disparities , Income/statistics & numerical data , Adult , China/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Socioeconomic Factors , Surveys and Questionnaires
17.
Health Econ ; 30(7): 1711-1716, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1198378

ABSTRACT

Using monthly data from the Understanding Society (UKHLS) COVID-19 Survey we analyse the evolution of unmet need and assess how the UK health care system performed against the principle of horizontal equity in health care use during the first wave of COVID-19 wave. Unmet need was most evident for hospital care, and less pronounced for primary health services (non-emergency medical helplines, GP consultations, community pharmacist advice, over the counter medications and prescriptions). Despite this, there is no evidence that horizontal equity, with respect to income, was violated for NHS hospital outpatient and inpatient care during the first wave of the pandemic. There is evidence of pro-rich inequities in use of GP consultations, prescriptions and medical helplines at the peak of the first wave, but these were eliminated as the pandemic progressed. There are persistent pro-rich inequities for services that may relate to individuals' ability to pay (over the counter medications and advice from community pharmacists).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Health Equity , Health Services Needs and Demand , Income/statistics & numerical data , Health Care Surveys , Health Services Accessibility/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Socioeconomic Factors , United Kingdom
19.
JAMA Netw Open ; 4(4): e217373, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1171508

ABSTRACT

Importance: An accurate understanding of the distributional implications of public health policies is critical for ensuring equitable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and future public health threats. Objective: To identify and quantify the association of race/ethnicity-based, sex-based, and income-based inequities of state-specific lockdowns with 6 well-being dimensions in the United States. Design, Setting, and Participants: This pooled, repeated cross-sectional study used data from 14 187 762 households who participated in phase 1 of the population-representative US 2020 Household Pulse Survey (HPS). Households were invited to participate by email, text message, and/or telephone as many as 3 times. Data were collected via an online questionnaire from April 23 to July 21, 2020, and participants lived in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. Exposures: Indicators of race/ethnicity, sex, and income and their intersections. Main Outcomes and Measures: Unemployment; food insufficiency; mental health problems; no medical care received for health problems; default on last month's rent or mortgage; and class cancellations with no distance learning. Race/ethnicity, sex, income, and their intersections were used to measure distributional implications across historically marginalized populations; state-specific, time-varying population mobility was used to measure lockdown intensity. Logistic regression models with pooled repeated cross-sections were used to estimate risk of dichotomous outcomes by social group, adjusted for confounding variables. Results: The 1 088 314 respondents (561 570 [51.6%; 95% CI, 51.4%-51.9%] women) were aged 18 to 88 years (mean [SD], 51.55 [15.74] years), and 826 039 (62.8%; 95% CI, 62.5%-63.1%) were non-Hispanic White individuals; 86 958 (12.5%; 95% CI, 12.4%-12.7%), African American individuals; 86 062 (15.2%; 95% CI, 15.0%-15.4%), Hispanic individuals; and 50 227 (5.6%; 95% CI, 5.5%-5.7%), Asian individuals. On average, every 10% reduction in mobility was associated with higher odds of unemployment (odds ratio [OR], 1.3; 95% CI, 1.2-1.4), food insufficiency (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1-1.2), mental health problems (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.0-1.1), and class cancellations (OR, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1-1.2). Across most dimensions compared with White men with high income, African American individuals with low income experienced the highest risks (eg, food insufficiency, men: OR, 3.3; 95% CI, 2.8-3.7; mental health problems, women: OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.8-2.1; medical care inaccessibility, women: OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.6-1.9; unemployment, men: OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 2.5-3.2; rent/mortgage defaults, men: OR, 5.7; 95% CI, 4.7-7.1). Other high-risk groups were Hispanic individuals (eg, unemployment, Hispanic men with low income: OR, 2.9; 95% CI, 2.5-3.4) and women with low income across all races/ethnicities (eg, medical care inaccessibility, non-Hispanic White women: OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.7-2.0). Conclusions and Relevance: In this cross-sectional study, African American and Hispanic individuals, women, and households with low income had higher odds of experiencing adverse outcomes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Blanket public health policies ignoring existing distributions of risk to well-being may be associated with increased race/ethnicity-based, sex-based, and income-based inequities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Income/statistics & numerical data , Sex Factors , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Cross-Sectional Studies , Family Characteristics , Female , Food Security/statistics & numerical data , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , Unemployment/statistics & numerical data , United States , Young Adult
20.
PLoS One ; 16(3): e0249121, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167106

ABSTRACT

Pandemics have historically had a significant impact on economic inequality. However, official inequality statistics are only available at low frequency and with considerable delay, which challenges policymakers in their objective to mitigate inequality and fine-tune public policies. We show that using data from bank records it is possible to measure economic inequality at high frequency. The approach proposed in this paper allows measuring, timely and accurately, the impact on inequality of fast-unfolding crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic. Applying this approach to data from a representative sample of over three million residents of Spain we find that, absent government intervention, inequality would have increased by almost 30% in just one month. The granularity of the data allows analyzing with great detail the sources of the increases in inequality. In the Spanish case we find that it is primarily driven by job losses and wage cuts experienced by low-wage earners. Government support, in particular extended unemployment insurance and benefits for furloughed workers, were generally effective at mitigating the increase in inequality, though less so among young people and foreign-born workers. Therefore, our approach provides knowledge on the evolution of inequality at high frequency, the effectiveness of public policies in mitigating the increase of inequality and the subgroups of the population most affected by the changes in inequality. This information is fundamental to fine-tune public policies on the wake of a fast-moving pandemic like the COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/economics , Income/statistics & numerical data , Socioeconomic Factors , Adult , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/economics , Young Adult
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