What do the variations in COVID-19 deaths across New York City boroughs tell us?

Bottom Line:

From a public health perspective, COVID-19 outcomes are suggested to be influenced by underlying comorbidities of the population, occupational exposures, socioeconomic determinants, and race-based structural inequalities.

Reference:

Wadhera, R. et al. Variation in COVID-19 Hospitalizations and Deaths Across New York City Boroughs. JAMA (2020). DOI: 10.1001/jama.2020.7197

Date Published:

29 April 2020

Synopsis:

This study examined differences in rates of COVID-19 testing, hospitalizations, and deaths among the five boroughs of New York City. Of the five boroughs, the Bronx has experienced the highest rates of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19, and Manhattan has experienced the lowest rates of the same. In comparing these two boroughs by characteristics, the Bronx has the highest proportion of persons living in poverty and the largest proportion overall of people identifying as Black/African American or Hispanic. Meanwhile, Manhattan has the highest median household income and most hospital beds for the population. The authors suggest that COVID-19 outcomes may be explained by inter-borough variability in underlying comorbidities of the population, occupational exposures, socioeconomic determinants, and race-based structural inequalities.

Summary by: David Lee