Public well being interventions, extra hospitals linked to reducing COVID-19 dying charges

Counties that banned face-to-face religious gatherings and those with greater numbers of hospitals per capita were linked to lower death rates from COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

On the other hand, counties with a high prevalence of asthma and a higher concentration of people over 65 were associated with higher mortality rates, the analysis showed.

This study, published in PLOS ONE, was completed as part of the COVID-19 Dispersed Volunteer Research Network and presented at the World Microbe Forum, a collaborative virtual conference hosted by the American Society for Microbiology and the Federation of European Microbiological Societies. earlier this year.

Our work provides insights that can help officials target public health interventions and health care resources to locations at increased risk of COVID-19 deaths in subsequent waves. “

Jess Millar, Research Assistant, UM Computational Medicine and Bioinformatics and Epidemiology Departments

Millar and colleagues examined public data from 3,000 counties to conduct risk factor analysis of demographic, socio-economic and health-related variables during the first wave of pandemics (March 28 to June 12, 2020). The death rate was defined as the number of deaths divided by the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The researchers found a reduction in death rates from:

  • 32% per additional hospital per 10,000 inhabitants
  • 13% if religious gatherings were banned
  • 1.5% for every 1% increase in the proportion of the population without health insurance
  • 0.79% for every 1% increase in the share of mobile homes

They saw an increase in death rates from:

  • 9.5% per 1% increase in asthma prevalence
  • 4.5% increase for every 1% increase in the population over 65 years of age
  • 3.2% per additional hospital
  • 0.97% for every 1% increase in the black or African American population


Journal reference:

Millar, JA, et al. (2021) Risk Factors for Increased COVID-19 Mortality in the United States: A County Level Analysis During Wave One. PLUS ONE.

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