Indigenous Peoples, concentrated disadvantage, and income inequality in New Mexico: A ZIP code-level investigation of spatially varying associations between socioeconomic disadvantages and confirmed COVID-19 cases

Kimberly R. Huyser, Tse Chuan Yang, Aggie J. Yellow Horse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The coronavirus disease pandemic has disproportionately affected poor and racial/ethnic minority individuals and communities, especially Indigenous Peoples. The object of this study is to understand the spatially varying associations between socioeconomic disadvantages and the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Mexico at the ZIP code level. Methods: We constructed ZIP code-level data (n=372) using the 2014-2018 American Community Survey and COVID-19 data from the New Mexico Department of Health (as of 24 May 2020). The log-linear Poisson and geographically weighted Poisson regression are applied to model the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (total population as the offset) in a ZIP code. Results: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in a ZIP code is positively associated with socioeconomic disadvantages - specifically, the high levels of concentrated disadvantage and income inequality. It is also positively associated with the percentage of American Indian and Alaskan Native populations, net of other potential confounders at the ZIP code level. Importantly, these associations are spatially varying in that some ZIP codes suffer more from concentrated disadvantage than others. Conclusions: Additional attention for COVID-19 mitigation effort should focus on areas with higher levels of concentrated disadvantage, income inequality, and higher percentage of American Indian and Alaska Native populations as these areas have higher incidence of COVID-19. The findings also highlight the importance of plumbing in all households for access to clean and safe water, and the dissemination of educational materials aimed at COVID-19 prevention in non-English language including Indigenous languages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberjech-2020-215055
JournalJournal of Epidemiology and Community Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • epidemics
  • ethnicity
  • health inequalities
  • public health
  • socio-economic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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