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Article

The Health Opportunity Index: Understanding the Input to Disparate Health Outcomes in Vulnerable and High-Risk Census Tracts

1
Division of Environmental Health Sciences, College of Public Health, Ohio State University, 408 Cunz Hall, 1841 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA
2
Office of Health Equity, Ohio Department of Health, Columbus, OH 43215, USA
3
Office of Health Equity, Virginia Department of Health, Richmond, VA 23219, USA
4
The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43201, USA
5
Division of Public Health, Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN 37208, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Contributed equally to the work.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(16), 5767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165767
Received: 6 July 2020 / Revised: 3 August 2020 / Accepted: 5 August 2020 / Published: 10 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS and Spatial Modelling for Environmental Epidemiology)
The Health Opportunity Index (HOI) is a multivariate tool that can be more efficiently used to identify and understand the interplay of complex social determinants of health (SDH) at the census tract level that influences the ability to achieve optimal health. The derivation of the HOI utilizes the data-reduction technique of principal component analysis to determine the impact of SDH on optimal health at lower census geographies. In the midst of persistent health disparities and the present COVID-19 pandemic, we demonstrate the potential utility of using 13-input variables to derive a composite metric of health (HOI) score as a means to assist in the identification of the most vulnerable communities during the current pandemic. Using GIS mapping technology, health opportunity indices were layered by counties in Ohio to highlight differences by census tract. Collectively we demonstrate that our HOI framework, principal component analysis and convergence analysis methodology coalesce to provide results supporting the utility of this framework in the three largest counties in Ohio: Franklin (Columbus), Cuyahoga (Cleveland), and Hamilton (Cincinnati). The results in this study identified census tracts that were also synonymous with communities that were at risk for disparate COVID-19 related health outcomes. In this regard, convergence analyses facilitated identification of census tracts where different disparate health outcomes co-exist at the worst levels. Our results suggest that effective use of the HOI composite score and subcomponent scores to identify specific SDH can guide mitigation/intervention practices, thus creating the potential for better targeting of mitigation and intervention strategies for vulnerable communities, such as during the current pandemic. View Full-Text
Keywords: health opportunity index; health equity; health disparities; social determinants of health; principal component analysis; GIS; Ohio; thematic mapping; disease convergence; public health exposome health opportunity index; health equity; health disparities; social determinants of health; principal component analysis; GIS; Ohio; thematic mapping; disease convergence; public health exposome
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ogojiaku, C.N.; Allen, J.; Anson-Dwamena, R.; Barnett, K.S.; Adetona, O.; Im, W.; Hood, D.B. The Health Opportunity Index: Understanding the Input to Disparate Health Outcomes in Vulnerable and High-Risk Census Tracts. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 5767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165767

AMA Style

Ogojiaku CN, Allen J, Anson-Dwamena R, Barnett KS, Adetona O, Im W, Hood DB. The Health Opportunity Index: Understanding the Input to Disparate Health Outcomes in Vulnerable and High-Risk Census Tracts. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(16):5767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165767

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ogojiaku, Chinonso N., JC Allen, Rexford Anson-Dwamena, Kierra S. Barnett, Olorunfemi Adetona, Wansoo Im, and Darryl B. Hood 2020. "The Health Opportunity Index: Understanding the Input to Disparate Health Outcomes in Vulnerable and High-Risk Census Tracts" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 16: 5767. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17165767

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