The Town-Level Prevalence of Chronic Lung Conditions and Death From COVID-19 Among Older Adults in Connecticut and Rhode Island
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The Town-Level Prevalence of Chronic Lung Conditions and Death From COVID-19 Among Older Adults in Connecticut and Rhode Island

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  • English

  • Details:

    • Alternative Title:
      Prev Chronic Dis
    • Description:

      As of November 2021, older adults (aged ≥65 y) accounted for 81% of all deaths from COVID-19 in the US. Chronic lung diseases increase the risk for severe COVID-19 illness and death. The aim of this research was to examine the association between town-level rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and deaths from COVID-19 in 208 towns in Connecticut and Rhode Island.


      We conducted a multistep analysis to examine the association between town-level chronic lung conditions and death from COVID-19. Pairwise correlations were estimated and bivariate maps were created to assess the relationship between COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 people and 1) asthma prevalence and 2) COPD prevalence among adults aged 65 years or older. We used multiple linear regression models to examine whether chronic lung conditions and other town-level factors were associated with COVID-19 death rates in Connecticut and Rhode Island.


      Initial bivariate correlation and mapping analyses suggested positive correlations between asthma and COPD prevalence and COVID-19 death rates. However, after controlling for town-level factors associated with chronic lung conditions and COVID-19 death rates, multiple linear regression models did not support an association, but town-level factors (African American race and Hispanic ethnicity, age ≥65 y, and low educational attainment) were significant predictors of COVID-19 death rates.


      We found significant associations between town-level factors and COVID-19, adding to the current understanding of the impact of social determinants of health on outcomes.

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