47 Scopus citations


There have been limited data assessing the influence of disadvantaged socioeconomic status (SES) on the incidence and clinical outcomes of COVID-19 patients within the diverse communities of the United States. Here, we aim to investigate the association between poverty level, as an indicator of SES, and COVID-19 related clinical outcomes including hospitalization and all-cause mortality. This retrospective cohort study included 3528 patients with laboratory confirmed COVID-19 seen at a large New York City health system between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2020. Data for neighborhood level poverty was acquired from the American Community Survey 2014–2018 and defined as the percent of residents in each ZIP code whose household income was below the federal poverty threshold (FPT): 0% to < 20% below FPT (low poverty) and > 20% below FPT (high poverty). COVID-19 positive patients who resided in high poverty areas were significantly younger, had a higher prevalence of comorbidities and were more likely to be of female gender or a racial minority when compared to individuals living in low poverty areas. Residence in a high poverty area was not associated with an increased risk of COVID-19 related hospitalization and was found to be associated with a decreased risk of in-hospital mortality. This study suggests the existence of an unequal socioeconomic gradient in the demographic and clinical presentation of COVID-19 patients including differences in age, gender and race between poverty groups. Further studies are needed to fully assess the intersectionality of SES with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)794-802
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Poverty
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Socioeconomic status


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