Regional variation in COVID-19 disparities: connections with immigrant and Latinx communities in U.S. counties

Kate Strully, Tse Chuan Yang, Han Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate associations between counties’ COVID-19 cases and racial-ethnic and nativity composition, considering heterogeneity across Latin American-origin subgroups and regions of the United States. Methods: Using county-level data and multilevel negative binomial models, we evaluate associations between COVID-19 cases and percentages of residents that are foreign-born, Latinx, Black, or Asian, presenting estimates for all counties combined and stratifying across regions. Given varying risk factors among Latinx, we also evaluate associations for percentages of residents from specific Latin American-origin groups. Results: Percentage of foreign-born residents is positively associated with COVID-19 case rate (IRR = 1.106; 95% CI: 1.074–1.139). Adjusted associations for percentage Latinx are nonsignificant for all counties combined, but this obscures heterogeneity. Counties with more Central Americans have higher case rates (IRR = 1.130; 95% CI: 1.067–1.197). And, in the Northeast and Midwest, counties with more Puerto Ricans have higher case rates. Associations with percentage Asians are nonsignificant after adjusting for percentage foreign-born. With the confirmation of prior evidence, the percentage of Black residents is positively and robustly associated with COVID-19 case rate (IRR = 1.031; 95% CI: 1.025–1.036). Conclusions: Counties with more immigrants, as well as more Central American or Black residents, have more COVID-19 cases. In the Northeast and Midwest, counties with more Puerto Rican residents also have more COVID-19 cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62.e2
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Volume53
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Disparities
  • Immigrant communities
  • Latinx communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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