Population distribution by ethnicity and disparities in health risk and adaptation in the United States during the pandemic: the spatial and temporal dynamics


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Arch Public Health. 2022 Mar 25;80(1):93. doi: 10.1186/s13690-022-00858-7.


BACKGROUND: As a multi-ethnic country, the United States is increasingly concerned about ethnic minorities facing disproportionate health risks from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. This study attempted to provide a macro picture of the associations between population distribution by ethnicity and vulnerability to COVID-19 in terms of risk of infection and vaccination coverage in the United States.

METHODS: This study used multi-source data from The New York Times, County Health Rankings & Roadmap Program (2020), and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Multiple linear regressions were performed at equidistant time points (May 2020-January 2021, with a one-month interval between each time point) to reveal the association between population distribution by ethnicity and infection risk and dynamics over time. In addition, multiple linear regressions were also performed at equidistant time points (January 2021-August 2021) to reveal whether ethnic health disparities would hold true for COVID-19 vaccine coverage (in the total population, and among those > 12, > 18, and > 65 years).

RESULTS: Confirmed cases of COVID-19 (standardized population) and vaccination coverage (in the total population and among people >12, >18 and >65 years old) were significantly associated with the distribution of the population by ethnic origin (p percentage of ethnic minority population). The above associations were statistically significant for non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics, but not for Asian Americans.

CONCLUSIONS: A proportion of the population that is socioeconomically disadvantaged may be a key intuitive reflection of the level of risk for this public health crisis. Policy focusing on the vulnerable population is important in this pandemic.

PMID:35337382 | DOI:10.1186/s13690-022-00858-7


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