Socioeconomic variation in characteristics, outcomes, and healthcare utilization of COVID-19 patients in New York City

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, few studies have examined how clinical outcomes differ by socioeconomic conditions among infected patients. In a new PLOS ONE studyDr. Yongkang Zhang, research associate in population health sciences; Dr. Dhruv Khullar, assistant professor of population health sciences; Dr. Fei Wang, associate professor of population health sciences; Yiyuan Wu, research biostatistician in population health sciences; Duncan Orlander, research coordinator in population health sciences; Dr. Mark Weiner, professor of clinical population health sciences; Dr. Rainu Kaushal, chair and professor of population health sciences and senior associate dean for clinical research at Weill Cornell Medicine; and Dr. Peter Steel, assistant professor of emergency medicine, investigated the variation in patient characteristics, outcomes, and healthcare utilization by neighborhood social conditions. To do this, the researchers used electronic health record (EHR) data for 23,3000 COVID-19 patients from all care settings in New York City between March 1 and June 11, 2020. Social conditions were measured using the Social Deprivation Index (SDI). They found that 60.7 percent of patients were from neighborhoods with disadvantaged social conditions, although these neighborhoods only account for 34 percent of overall population. Compared to socially advantaged patients, socially disadvantaged patients were older, more likely to be Black or Hispanic, and more likely to have chronic conditions. Patients with disadvantaged social conditions also had a higher risk for hospitalization and mortality. The researchers note that the reasons for the observed socioeconomic disparities require further study.

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