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Socioeconomic inequalities associated with mortality for COVID-19 in Colombia: a cohort nationwide study


Background After 8 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Latin American countries have some of the highest rates in COVID-19 mortality. Despite being one of the most unequal regions of the world, there is a scarce report of the effect of socioeconomic conditions on COVID-19 mortality in their countries. We aimed to identify the effect of some socioeconomic inequality-related factors on COVID-19 mortality in Colombia.

Methods We conducted a survival analysis in a nation-wide retrospective cohort study of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colombia from 2 March 2020 to 26 October 2020. We calculated the time to death or recovery for each confirmed case in the cohort. We used an extended multivariable time-dependent Cox regression model to estimate the HR by age groups, sex, ethnicity, type of health insurance, area of residence and socioeconomic strata.

Results There were 1 033 218 confirmed cases and 30 565 deaths for COVID-19 in Colombia between 2 March and 26 October. The risk of dying for COVID-19 among confirmed cases was higher in males (HR 1.68 95% CI 1.64 to 1.72), in people older than 60 years (HR 296.58 95% CI 199.22 to 441.51), in indigenous people (HR 1.20 95% CI 1.08 to 1.33), in people with subsidised health insurance regime (HR 1.89 95% CI 1.83 to 1.96) and in people living in the very low socioeconomic strata (HR 1.44 95% CI 1.24 to 1.68).

Conclusion Our study provides evidence of socioeconomic inequalities in COVID-19 mortality in terms of age groups, sex, ethnicity, type of health insurance regimen and socioeconomic status.

  • COVID-19
  • mortality
  • social inequalities
  • cohort studies

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data used for the current study are publicly available as open data on the government website

This article is made freely available for use in accordance with BMJ’s website terms and conditions for the duration of the covid-19 pandemic or until otherwise determined by BMJ. You may use, download and print the article for any lawful, non-commercial purpose (including text and data mining) provided that all copyright notices and trade marks are retained.

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