Pre-existing Economic Conditions and COVID-19 Infections and Mortality in New York City
31 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2020 Last revised: 22 Dec 2020
Date Written: November 9, 2020
Objectives. We investigated the association of pre-existing economic variables with COVID-19 infections and mortality in New York City.
Methods. We combined zip code-level data from New York City’s Department of Health with 5-year American Community Survey. We estimated least squares models of the prevalence of positive COVID-19 test results and deaths per 100,000 population.
Results. Zip codes with higher concentrations of residents living in crowded living quarters, employees in high-risk occupations, and employees commuting more than half an hour were positively and significantly associated with higher infection rates. Higher rates of crowded housing were significantly and positively related to mortality rates, though the positive point estimates for the other two economic variables were statistically insignificant.
Conclusions. Economic factors such as working and living conditions beyond common measures such as income and poverty can have significant public health effects. Policymakers should consider these associations while designing and modifying public health policies.
Keywords: COVID-19, Occupations, Housing, New York City
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