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Social Determinants of Health Amplify the Association Between Ethnicity and COVID19: A Retrospective-Cohort study


  • Nicholas Verdini Tufts University School of Medicine
  • Jessica LeClair Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health
  • Elizabeth Quinn Lynn Community Health Center
  • Amer El-Haddad Lynn Community Health Center



social determinants of health, health care disparities, ethnicity


Background: People in racial and ethnic minority groups have been shown to be at increased risk for a variety of diseases, including COVID-19. However, the role that social needs play in this increased risk has not yet been quantified. Investigating these roles can elicit a greater understanding of how social needs influence the manner in which this disease is contracted and spread.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of 1,969 Lynn Community Health Center patients. Patients that visited the center between February 1st and July 1st, 2020, tested for COVID-19, and screened for social determinants of health (SDOH) risk factors. Demographics were compared between COVID-19 positive and negative patients. Confounding by age on the association between ethnicity and COVID-19 status was evaluated. A stratified analysis was performed to evaluate the effect modification of SDOH on the relationship between race, ethnicity, and COVID-19 status.

Results: Hispanic patients had 2.93 times the odds of a positive COVID-19 test compared to non-Hispanics (95% CI: 2.37 - 3.64, p<0.0001). With at least one SDOH risk factor, Hispanics had 4.71 times the odds of a positive COVID-19 test relative to non-Hispanics (95% CI: 3.10 - 7.14). With no SDOH risk factors, Hispanics had 2.45 times the odds of a positive COVID-19 test relative to non-Hispanics (95% CI: 1.91 - 3.16). No significant associations were found for race.

Conclusion: Ethnicity had a significant impact on COVID-19 status in our population, where the effect of ethnicity on COVID-19 status was amplified for those with SDOH risk factors.


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2021-12-16 — Updated on 2021-12-16


How to Cite

Verdini, N., LeClair, J., Quinn, E., & El-Haddad, A. (2021). Social Determinants of Health Amplify the Association Between Ethnicity and COVID19: A Retrospective-Cohort study. International Journal of Medical Students, 9(4), 282–287.



Original Article