Genetic, Lifestyle, Socio-Economic, and Environmental Risk Factors Associated with the Incidence of the COVID-19 Pandemic

A special issue of Epidemiologia (ISSN 2673-3986).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 24705

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Health Science Department, Public University Navarra, 3100 Pamplona, Spain
2. Epidemiology Division, Public Health Center, 12003 Castelló de la Plana, Spain
Interests: epidemiology; infectious diseases; allergic diseases; outbreaks; coronavirus diseases; salmonellosis and pork product; vitamin D and tuberculosis; cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease mortality
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on almost all aspects of human life around the world. Knowledge regarding the risk factors of the COVID-19 pandemic has increased substantially in the last year, but many factors remain unknown and controversies about many of them continue, including the effects of gender, obesity, tobacco smoking, vitamin D, ABO blood groups, aerosol transmission, child transmission, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin vaccination, air pollution, weather conditions, and socioeconomic status. An epidemiological approach considering the study of genetic, lifestyle, socioeconomic, and environmental risk factors may be appropriate in order to obtain practical knowledge to control and prevent the disease. This Special Issue will address potential risk factors of the incidence of the COVID-19 with a vision board to include different fields of study and will provide the publication of accurate studies of these factors to be incorporated into public health interventions.

Dr. Alberto Arnedo-Pena
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • epidemiology
  • risk factors
  • genetics
  • lifestyles
  • weather
  • socioeconomic

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 202 KiB  
Editorial
Incidence and Risk Factors of the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Epidemiological Approach
by Alberto Arnedo-Pena and Francisco Guillen-Grima
Epidemiologia 2023, 4(2), 134-136; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia4020014 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1018
Abstract
After three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is certain that the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been a turning point for humanity in both developed and developing countries [...] Full article

Research

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12 pages, 864 KiB  
Article
Restrictions on Hospital Referrals from Long-Term Care Homes in Madrid and COVID-19 Mortality from March to June 2020: A Systematic Review of Studies Conducted in Spain
by Maria Victoria Zunzunegui, François Béland and Fernando J. García López
Epidemiologia 2023, 4(2), 176-187; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia4020019 - 06 Jun 2023
Viewed by 5780
Abstract
In March 2020, a ministerial directive issued by the Government of the Community of Madrid (CoM) in Spain included disability-based exclusion criteria and recommendations against hospital referral of patients with respiratory conditions living in long-term care homes (LTCHs). Our objective was to assess [...] Read more.
In March 2020, a ministerial directive issued by the Government of the Community of Madrid (CoM) in Spain included disability-based exclusion criteria and recommendations against hospital referral of patients with respiratory conditions living in long-term care homes (LTCHs). Our objective was to assess whether the hospitalization mortality ratio (HMR) is greater than unity, as would be expected had the more severe COVID-19 cases been hospitalized. Thirteen research publications were identified in this systematic review of mortality by place of death of COVID-19-diagnosed LTCH residents in Spain. In the two CoM studies, the HMRs were 0.9 (95%CI 0.8;1.1) and 0.7 (95%CI 0.5;0.9), respectively. Outside of the CoM, in 9 out of 11 studies, the reported HMRs were between 1.7 and 5, with lower 95% CI limits over one. Evaluation of the disability-based triage of LTCH residents during March–April 2020 in public hospitals in the CoM should be conducted. Full article
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22 pages, 2668 KiB  
Article
Long-Term Care Home Size Association with COVID-19 Infection and Mortality in Catalonia in March and April 2020
by Maria Victoria Zunzunegui, François Béland, Manuel Rico and Fernando J. García López
Epidemiologia 2022, 3(3), 369-390; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3030029 - 05 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2161
Abstract
We aim to assess how COVID-19 infection and mortality varied according to facility size in 965 long-term care homes (LTCHs) in Catalonia during March and April 2020. We measured LTCH size by the number of authorised beds. Outcomes were COVID-19 infection (at least [...] Read more.
We aim to assess how COVID-19 infection and mortality varied according to facility size in 965 long-term care homes (LTCHs) in Catalonia during March and April 2020. We measured LTCH size by the number of authorised beds. Outcomes were COVID-19 infection (at least one COVID-19 case in an LTCH) and COVID-19 mortality. Risks of these were estimated with logistic regression and hurdle models. Models were adjusted for county COVID-19 incidence and population, and LTCH types. Sixty-five per cent of the LTCHs were infected by COVID-19. We found a strong association between COVID-19 infection and LTCH size in the adjusted analysis (from 45% in 10-bed homes to 97.5% in those with over 150 places). The average COVID-19 mortality in all LTCHs was 6.8% (3887 deaths) and 9.2% among the COVID-19-infected LTCHs. Very small and large homes had higher COVID-19 mortality, whereas LTCHs with 30 to 70 places had the lowest level. COVID-19 mortality sharply increased with LTCH size in counties with a cumulative incidence of COVID-19 which was higher than 250/100,000, except for very small homes, but slightly decreased with LTCH size when the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 was lower. To prevent infection and preserve life, the optimal size of an LTCH should be between 30 and 70 places. Full article
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14 pages, 3841 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Long-Term Care Home Ownership and Administration Type on All-Cause Mortality from March to April 2020 in Madrid, Spain
by Maria Victoria Zunzunegui, Manuel Rico, François Béland and Fernando J. García-López
Epidemiologia 2022, 3(3), 323-336; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3030025 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 5292
Abstract
Our aim is to assess whether long-term care home (LTCH) ownership and administration type were associated with all-cause mortality in 470 LTCHs in the Community of Madrid (Spain) during March and April 2020, the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are [...] Read more.
Our aim is to assess whether long-term care home (LTCH) ownership and administration type were associated with all-cause mortality in 470 LTCHs in the Community of Madrid (Spain) during March and April 2020, the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are eight categories of LTCH type, including various combinations of ownership type (for-profit, nonprofit, and public) and administration type (completely private, private with places rented by the public sector, administrative management by procurement, and completely public). Multilevel regression was used to examine the association between mortality and LTCH type, adjusting for LTCH size, the spread of the COVID-19 infection, and the referral hospital. There were 9468 deaths, a mortality rate of 18.3%. Public and private LTCHs had lower mortality than LTCHs under public–private partnership (PPP) agreements. In the fully adjusted model, mortality was 7.4% (95% CI, 3.1–11.7%) in totally public LTCHs compared with 21.9% (95% CI, 17.4–26.4%) in LTCHs which were publicly owned with administrative management by procurement. These results are a testimony to the fatal consequences that pre-pandemic public–private partnerships in long-term residential care led to during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Community of Madrid, Spain. Full article
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9 pages, 960 KiB  
Communication
Would New SARS-CoV-2 Variants Change the War against COVID-19?
by Elrashdy M. Redwan, Fatma Elrashdy, Alaa A. A. Aljabali, Wagner Baetas-da-Cruz, Debmalya Barh, Adam M. Brufsky, Sk. Sarif Hassan, Kenneth Lundstrom, Ángel Serrano-Aroca, Kazuo Takayama, Murtaza M. Tambuwala, Bruce D. Uhal and Vladimir N. Uversky
Epidemiologia 2022, 3(2), 229-237; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3020018 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2479
Abstract
The scientific, private, and industrial sectors use a wide variety of technological platforms available to achieve protection against SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), including vaccines. However, the virus evolves continually into new highly virulent variants, which might overcome the protection provided [...] Read more.
The scientific, private, and industrial sectors use a wide variety of technological platforms available to achieve protection against SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2), including vaccines. However, the virus evolves continually into new highly virulent variants, which might overcome the protection provided by vaccines and may re-expose the population to infections. Mass vaccinations should be continued in combination with more or less mandatory non-pharmaceutical interventions. Therefore, the key questions to be answered are: (i) How to identify the primary and secondary infections of SARS-CoV-2? (ii) Why are neutralizing antibodies not long-lasting in both cases of natural infections and post-vaccinations? (iii) Which are the factors responsible for this decay in neutralizing antibodies? (iv) What strategy could be adapted to develop long-term herd immunity? (v) Is the Spike protein the only vaccine target or is a vaccine cocktail better? Full article
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12 pages, 300 KiB  
Article
Incidence, Mortality, and Risk Factors of COVID-19 in Nursing Homes
by Alberto Arnedo-Pena, Maria Angeles Romeu-Garcia, Juan Carlos Gascó-Laborda, Noemi Meseguer-Ferrer, Lourdes Safont-Adsuara, Laura Prades-Vila, Matilde Flores-Medina, Viorica Rusen, Maria Dolores Tirado-Balaguer, Susana Sabater-Vidal, Maria Gil-Fortuño, Oscar Pérez-Olaso, Noelia Hernández-Pérez, Rosario Moreno-Muñoz and Juan Bellido-Blasco
Epidemiologia 2022, 3(2), 179-190; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3020014 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2485
Abstract
During the period from March 2020 to January 2021, we performed an analysis of incidence, mortality, and risk factors of COVID-19 in nursing homes (NHs) in two health departments (HDs) of Castellon (Spain) 2021 through epidemiological surveillance and an ecological design. Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 [...] Read more.
During the period from March 2020 to January 2021, we performed an analysis of incidence, mortality, and risk factors of COVID-19 in nursing homes (NHs) in two health departments (HDs) of Castellon (Spain) 2021 through epidemiological surveillance and an ecological design. Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases, cumulative incidence rate (CIR), and mortality rate (MR) of 27 NHs were collected. Information of residents, staff, and facilities was obtained by questionnaire. Multilevel Poisson regression models were applied. All NHs in the HDs participated with 2229 residents (median: 83 years old, 67.3% women) and 1666 staff. Among residents, 815 cases (CIR: 34.8 per 100) and 202 deaths (MR: 8.7 per 100, case fatality 21.0%) were reported and, among staff, 296 cases (CIR: 19.2 per 100) without deaths. Residents’ CIR and MR increased with staff CIR, age of the building, residents/staff ratios, occupancy rate, and crowding index; CIR increased with private NH ownership, large NH size, large urban area, and the percentage of women residents; and MR was associated with residents’ severe disabilities. In conclusion, several risk factors of COVID-19 incidence and mortality can be prevented by improving infection and quality controls, ameliorating residents/staff ratios, improving structural facilities, and increasing NH public ownership to avoid new outbreaks. Full article
10 pages, 764 KiB  
Article
Risk of Secondary Household Transmission of COVID-19 from Health Care Workers in a Hospital in Spain
by Miren Remón-Berrade, Sara Guillen-Aguinaga, Isabel Sarrate-Adot, Maria Pilar Garcia-Garcia, Maria del Carmen Lerga-Berruezo, Laura Guillen-Aguinaga and Francisco Guillen-Grima
Epidemiologia 2022, 3(1), 1-10; https://doi.org/10.3390/epidemiologia3010001 - 27 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3464
Abstract
Background: Hospital health care workers are at high risk of developing COVID-19 and transmitting the disease to their family upon returning home; the aim here is to estimate the secondary attack rate of COVID-19 in household contacts of health care workers and their [...] Read more.
Background: Hospital health care workers are at high risk of developing COVID-19 and transmitting the disease to their family upon returning home; the aim here is to estimate the secondary attack rate of COVID-19 in household contacts of health care workers and their transmission risk factors. Material and Methods: COVID-19 cases in the health care workers of an academic hospital in Pamplona, Spain, from 2 March to 26 May 2020, were followed up. The secondary attack rate (SAR) was estimated from cases in household contacts of index cases and their risk factors by Poisson regression. Results: 89 index cases were studied from 99 notified cases in health care workers (89.0%), excluding secondary cases or those who lived alone. Forty-six secondary cases confirmed by the laboratory were found among 326 household contacts, a secondary attack rate of 14.11% (95% CI 10.75–18.31), and 33 household contacts with acute infection symptoms without microbiologic confirmation 10.12% (95% CI 7.30–13.87). Considering all the cases, the secondary attack rate was 27.3 (95% CI 22.75–32.38). Risk factors were the gender and profession of the index case, the number of people living in the household, and the number of persons per bedroom. When the index case health worker used a single room, it had a protective effect, with an incidence rate ratio (IRR) of 0.493 (95% CI 0.246–0.985); Conclusions: The secondary attack rate found among household contacts of health care workers is high. The preventive isolation of health care workers in individual rooms in their house may reduce the transmission in their families. Full article
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