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1.
Public Health Pract (Oxf) ; 2: 100141, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233591

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Socioeconomic factors such as elevated incidence of chronic disease, overcrowding, and increased occupational exposure result in higher risk of infectious disease. The COVID-19 pandemic has appeared to disproportionately affect communities affected by deprivation and discrimination, who also appear to be at greater risk of severe disease. Our aim was to investigate the evolution of the socioeconomic groups affected by COVID-19 over the course of the first wave of the pandemic by examining patients presenting to an acute NHS trust. STUDY DESIGN: and methods: A retrospective study using the postcodes of patients presenting to the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust who tested PCR-positive for COVID-19 were used to determine average house price and index of multiple deprivation. These were used as markers of affluence to examine the trend in the socioeconomic status of affected patients from February to May 2020. RESULTS: 384 cases were included. The postcodes of those individuals who were initially infected had higher average house prices and index of multiple deprivation, both of which followed downward trends as the outbreak progressed. CONCLUSION: Our data shows that the outbreak spread from higher to lower affluence groups through the course of the pandemic. We hypothesise that this was due to wealthier individuals initially transmitting the virus from abroad. Therefore, an earlier and more effective quarantine could have reduced spread to members of the community at greater risk of infection and harm. We suggest that hospitals systematically record the socioeconomic status of affected individuals in order to monitor trends, identify those who may be at risk of severe disease, and to push for more equitable public health policy.

2.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 2021 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1066919

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Given the effect of chronic diseases on risk of severe COVID-19 infection, the present pandemic may have a particularly profound impact on socially disadvantaged counties. METHODS: Counties in the USA were categorised into five groups by level of social vulnerability, using the Social Vulnerability Index (a widely used measure of social disadvantage) developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The incidence and mortality from COVID-19, and the prevalence of major chronic conditions were calculated relative to the least vulnerable quintile using Poisson regression models. RESULTS: Among 3141 counties, there were 5 010 496 cases and 161 058 deaths from COVID-19 by 10 August 2020. Relative to the least vulnerable quintile, counties in the most vulnerable quintile had twice the rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths (rate ratios 2.11 (95% CI 1.97 to 2.26) and 2.42 (95% CI 2.22 to 2.64), respectively). Similarly, the prevalence of major chronic conditions was 24%-41% higher in the most vulnerable counties. Geographical clustering of counties with high COVID-19 mortality, high chronic disease prevalence and high social vulnerability was found, especially in southern USA. CONCLUSION: Some counties are experiencing a confluence of epidemics from COVID-19 and chronic diseases in the context of social disadvantage. Such counties are likely to require enhanced public health and social support.

3.
Semin Arthritis Rheum ; 50(5): 1150-1157, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-765611

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic disease characterised by autoimmunity and increased susceptibility to infections. COVID-19 is a systemic viral disease currently spreading as a pandemic. Little is known about the impact of COVID-19 in patients with SLE. OBJECTIVE: to acquire information on the impact of COVID-19 in SLE. METHODS: A 26-item anonymous questionnaire investigating demographics, SLE clinical features, COVID-19 diagnoses and changes in treatments and daily habits was administered to patients with SLE from three referral centres through www.surveymonkey.com over 10 days. Data from the survey were compared to those from published estimates about the general population. RESULTS: Four-hundred-seventeen patients responded to the survey. More than 60% of subjects complained of symptoms that are also associated to COVID-19. Fourteen COVID-19 diagnoses (five confirmed by polymerase chain reaction) were reported, in contrast to a 0.73% prevalence of confirmed cases in Lombardy. One hospitalisation was reported. Fever, anosmia, dry cough, a self-reported history of neuropsychiatric SLE and a recent contact with confirmed COVID-19 cases were more strongly associated with COVID-19, as were symptoms and lower compliance to behavioural preventive measures in patients' contacts. No protective effect was seen in subjects on hydroxychloroquine. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 morbidity might only moderately be increased in most patients with SLE, although limited information can be inferred on more severe cases. Hydroxychloroquine apparently seems not to confer protection to infection per se, although other beneficial roles cannot be excluded. Containment policies and behavioural preventive measures could have a major role in limiting the impact of COVID-19 in patients with SLE.


Subject(s)
Communicable Disease Control/methods , Coronavirus Infections , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral , Social Isolation/psychology , Symptom Assessment , Adult , Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Clinical Laboratory Techniques/methods , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/epidemiology , Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic/therapy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Compliance/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Prevalence , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Symptom Assessment/methods , Symptom Assessment/statistics & numerical data
4.
World Med Health Policy ; 2020 Aug 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-695502

ABSTRACT

While the impact of obesity on chronic disease has been widely examined, there has been less research regarding the influence of obesity on infectious diseases, particularly respiratory diseases. This exploratory research uses the currently available data on COVID-19 cases and mortality, along with estimates of the morbidly obese populations in the United States by county, to examine the association between morbid obesity and deaths from COVID-19 and to identify potential coincident spatial clusters of morbid obesity and COVID-19 deaths. Results indicate a statistically significant positive correlation between population-adjusted COVID-19 deaths and cases and the estimated population with a body mass index ≥ 40. Clustering analyses show there is a predominant similarity in the distribution of COVID-19 deaths and obesity. Our findings suggest it is critical to include an awareness of obesity when developing infectious disease control measures and point to a greater need to focus resources toward obesity education and policy initiatives.

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