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COVID-19 distribution in Bogotá, Colombia: effect of poverty during the first 2 months of pandemic


Background The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has especially affected individuals living in conglomerate settings having poverty as common characteristic. However, evidence of the association between COVID-19 severity and social determinants is still scarce, particularly, for Latin American countries. The objective was to assess the effect of socioeconomic deprivation in the clinical severity of COVID-19 infection among different localities of Bogotá, Colombia.

Methods Secondary analyses using data of SARS-CoV-2 infected cases in Bogotá from 6 March 2020 to 19 April 2020 were carried out. Direct and indirect indicators of deprivation at area level and individual demographic characteristics (age, sex and type of case) were included in the analyses.

Findings 1684 COVID-19 cases were included in the study. There were 217 (12.9%; 95% CI 11.3 to 14.5) serious cases, of which 32.6% (95% CI 26.4 to 38.8) cases were deceased. In the multilevel logistic regression, age, sex (female), type of case (different of imported case), number of serious cases recorded the previous day and multidimensional poverty were associated with serious cases (median OR: 1.72, 95% CI 1.56 to 1.87).

Interpretation This paper explored the association between COVID-19 severity and social determinants. Expressions of poverty were associated with more severe cases during first 2 months of pandemic. It is a clear syndemic for the joint presentation of COVID-19 and other comorbidities among more serious cases.

  • multilevel modelling
  • economics
  • social epidemiology
  • epidemics

Data availability statement

Data are available in a public, open access repository. Data are available at Bogotá Health Observatory

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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