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Article

Social Capital and COVID-19 Deaths: An Ecological Analysis in Japan

1
Research Team for Social Participation and Community Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Tokyo 173-0015, Japan
2
Cancer Control Center, Osaka International Cancer Institute, Osaka 541-8567, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10982; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010982
Received: 14 September 2021 / Revised: 17 October 2021 / Accepted: 18 October 2021 / Published: 19 October 2021
Social contextual factors could determine mortality by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with social capital as a potential determinant. This study aimed to examine the association between prefecture-level social capital and COVID-19 deaths in Japan. Data on the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 individuals between 1 October 2020 and 30 June 2021 in 47 prefectures were obtained from the government open-access database. Prefecture-level social capital was collected from a large-scale web-based nationwide survey conducted between August and September 2020. We included trust in neighbors, norm of reciprocity in the neighborhood, and trust in the national government as cognitive social capital, and neighborhood ties and social participation as structural social capital. The cumulative COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 individuals (1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021) ranged from 0.15 to 27.98 in 47 prefectures. A multiple regression analysis after adjusting for covariates showed that a greater norm of reciprocity and government trust were associated with fewer COVID-19 deaths during the first and second 3-month periods of observation. In the third 3-month period, the association between COVID-19 deaths and government trust became nonsignificant. Trust in neighbors, neighborhood ties, and social participation were not related to COVID-19 deaths during any time period. The disparity of COVID-19 deaths by prefecture in Japan can be explained by cognitive social capital. This study suggests that the association between social capital and COVID-19 deaths may vary according to the dimension of social capital and time period. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; deaths; social capital; ecological analysis; Japan COVID-19; deaths; social capital; ecological analysis; Japan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Murayama, H.; Nakamoto, I.; Tabuchi, T. Social Capital and COVID-19 Deaths: An Ecological Analysis in Japan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 10982. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010982

AMA Style

Murayama H, Nakamoto I, Tabuchi T. Social Capital and COVID-19 Deaths: An Ecological Analysis in Japan. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(20):10982. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010982

Chicago/Turabian Style

Murayama, Hiroshi, Isuzu Nakamoto, and Takahiro Tabuchi. 2021. "Social Capital and COVID-19 Deaths: An Ecological Analysis in Japan" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 20: 10982. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182010982

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