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Open AccessCommunication

COVID-19 Emergence and Social and Health Determinants in Colorado: A Rapid Spatial Analysis

by Ivan J. Ramírez 1,2,* and Jieun Lee 3
1
Department of Health and Behavioral Sciences, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, CO 80204, USA
2
Consortium for Capacity Building/Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
3
Department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3856; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113856
Received: 6 May 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 27 May 2020 / Published: 29 May 2020
The aim of this rapid analysis was to investigate the spatial patterns of COVID-19 emergence across counties in Colorado. In the U.S. West, Colorado has the second highest number of cases and deaths, second only to California. Colorado is also reporting, like other states, that communities of color and low-income persons are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Using GIS and correlation analysis, this study explored COVID-19 incidence and deaths from March 14 to April 8, 2020, with social determinants and chronic conditions. Preliminary results demonstrate that COVID-19 incidence intensified in mountain communities west of Denver and along the Urban Front Range, and evolved into new centers of risk in eastern Colorado. Overall, the greatest increase in COVID-19 incidence was in northern Colorado, i.e., Weld County, which reported the highest rates in the Urban Front Range. Social and health determinants associated with higher COVID-19-related deaths were population density and asthma, indicative of urban areas, and poverty and unemployment, suggestive of rural areas. Furthermore, a spatial overlap of high rates of chronic diseases with high rates of COVID-19 may suggest a broader syndemic health burden, where comorbidities intersect with inequality of social determinants of health. View Full-Text
Keywords: coronavirus; COVID-19; GIS; social determinants of health; multiple chronic conditions; spatial analysis; Colorado; pandemic coronavirus; COVID-19; GIS; social determinants of health; multiple chronic conditions; spatial analysis; Colorado; pandemic
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Ramírez, I.J.; Lee, J. COVID-19 Emergence and Social and Health Determinants in Colorado: A Rapid Spatial Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3856.

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