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COVID-19: Original Article
Effect of socioeconomic disparities on the risk of COVID-19 in 8 metropolitan cities in the Korea: a community-based study
Myung-Jae Hwang, Shin Young Park, Tae-Ho Yoon, Jinhwa Jang, Seon-Young Lee, Myeongsu Yoo, Yoo-Yeon Kim, Hae-Kwan Cheong, Donghyok Kwon, Jong-Hun Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022107.   Published online November 15, 2022
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Socioeconomic disparities have been reported as major risk factors contributing to the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the community level. We conducted an epidemiological study on COVID-19 incidence risk using area-based deprivation indices (DIs) reflecting the characteristics of the susceptible population.
A database of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in 8 metropolitan cities in Korea from January 20, 2020 to December 31, 2021 was combined with area-based DI scores and standardized prevalence rates of diabetes and hypertension from the Korean Community Health Survey. Relative risk (RR) levels were estimated using a generalized linear model with a Poisson distribution by age group.
The risk of COVID-19 incidence generally increased with increasing age, especially in patients aged ≥75 years. The RR of COVID-19 incidence per interquartile range increment of the composite deprivation index (composite DI) was 1.54 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.34 to 1.70). Notably, in the first wave, the risk of COVID-19 incidence was approximately 3 times higher in the region with the lowest socioeconomic status than in the region with the highest status (RR, 3.08; 95% CI, 2.42 to 3.78 based on the the composite DI and RR, 3.13; 95% CI, 2.53 to 3.83 based on the social deprivation index).
This study provides scientific evidence that socioeconomic deprivation is an important risk factor for the spread of COVID-19. This finding suggests that a mid-term to long-term strategy is needed to protect susceptible populations and reduce the burden of COVID-19 in the community.
Korean summary
한국의 COVID-19 발생 위험은 지역박탈수준이 높은 지역에서 증가하였고, 특히 유행 초기 75세이상 연령층에서 뚜렷하게 증가하는 것으로 나타났다. 따라서 지역사회수준에서 사회경제적 여건을 고려하여 취약집단에서의 발생위험을 감소시키기 위해 중장기 전략을 세워야 한다는 것을 시사한다.
Key Message
There is a need to develop long-term strategies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in vulnerable populations in areas with poor socioeconomic conditions


Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • The current state of graphical abstracts and how to create good graphical abstracts
    Jieun Lee, Jeong-Ju Yoo
    Science Editing.2023; 10(1): 19.     CrossRef
  • Social deprivation and SARS-CoV-2 testing: a population-based analysis in a highly contrasted southern France region
    Jordi Landier, Léa Bassez, Marc-Karim Bendiane, Pascal Chaud, Florian Franke, Steve Nauleau, Fabrice Danjou, Philippe Malfait, Stanislas Rebaudet, Jean Gaudart
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef

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