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COVID-19 and Changes in Reported Social Risk Factors at a Primary Care Practice in the South Bronx

Azan, Alexander; Stephens, Joseph; Xie, Xianhong; Fiori, Kevin; Gover, Mary
INTRODUCTION/UNASSIGNED:Historically, Black and Hispanic patient populations in the Bronx Borough of New York City have experienced the highest rates of social risk factors, and associated poor health outcomes, in New York State. During the pandemic, Bronx communities disproportionately experienced high rates of COVID-19 illness and death. To date, little is known regarding the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on social risk factors in urban, at-risk communities. This study aimed to determine how social risk factors changed during the pandemic in a Bronx-based patient population. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:Study participants were adult patients seen at a Federally Qualified Health Center in the South Bronx. Using a paired longitudinal study design, 300 participants were randomly selected for telephonic outreach during the pandemic from a sample of 865 participants who had been offered a social risk factor screener in the year prior to the pandemic. The outreach survey used included the social risk factor screener and questions regarding COVID-19 illness burden and prior engagement in social services. The McNemar test was used to analyze trends in reported social risks. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED: = .06). CONCLUSION/UNASSIGNED:Housing quality needs, food insecurity, and legal care needs increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in a predominantly Black and Hispanic identifying urban patient population. Urgently addressing this increase is imperative to achieving health equity in ongoing COVID-19 mitigation efforts.
PMID: 36625253
ISSN: 2150-1327
CID: 5406752

Beyond traffic jam alleviation: evaluating the health and health equity impacts of New York City's congestion pricing plan

Ghassabian, Akhgar; Titus, Andrea R; Conderino, Sarah; Azan, Alexander; Weinberger, Rachel; Thorpe, Lorna E
New York City (NYC) is slated to be the first jurisdiction in the USA to implement a cordon-based congestion tax, which will be levied on vehicles entering its Central Business District. Several cities around the world, for example, London and Stockholm, have had similar cordon-based pricing programmes, defined as road pricing that charges drivers a fee for entering a specified area (typically a congested urban centre). In addition to reducing congestion and creating revenue, projections suggest the NYC congestion pricing plan may yield meaningful traffic-related air quality improvements that could result in health benefits. NYC is a large city with high air pollution and substantial racial/ethnic and socioeconomic health inequities. The distinct geography and meteorological conditions of the city also suggest that the policy's impact on air quality may extend beyond the NYC metropolitan area. As such, the potential breadth, directionality and magnitude of health impacts on communities who might be heavily affected by the nation's first congestion pricing plan should be empirically investigated. We briefly review evaluation studies of other cordon-based congestion pricing policies and argue that implementation of this policy provides an excellent opportunity to employ a quasi-experimental study design to evaluate the policy's impacts on air quality and health outcomes across population subgroups using a health equity lens. We discuss why real-time evaluations of the NYC congestion pricing plan can potentially help optimise benefits for communities historically negatively affected by traffic-related air pollution. Assessing intended and unintended impacts on health equity is key to achieving these goals.
PMID: 38195634
ISSN: 1470-2738
CID: 5624072

Primary care needs to rise to the challenge of caring for patients during climate disasters

Azan, Alexander
PMID: 38052471
ISSN: 1756-1833
CID: 5624062

The Creation of a Multidomain Neighborhood Environmental Vulnerability Index Across New York City

Uong, Stephen P; Zhou, Jiayi; Lovinsky-Desir, Stephanie; Albrecht, Sandra S; Azan, Alexander; Chambers, Earle C; Sheffield, Perry E; Thompson, Azure; Wilson, Joseph; Woo Baidal, Jennifer; Stingone, Jeanette A
Compared to previous studies commonly using a single summary score, we aimed to construct a multidomain neighborhood environmental vulnerability index (NEVI) to characterize the magnitude and variability of area-level factors with the potential to modify the association between environmental pollutants and health effects. Using the Toxicological Prioritization Index framework and data from the 2015-2019 U.S. Census American Community Survey and the 2020 CDC PLACES Project, we quantified census tract-level vulnerability overall and in 4 primary domains (demographic, economic, residential, and health status), 24 subdomains, and 54 distinct area-level features for New York City (NYC). Overall and domain-specific indices were calculated by summing standardized feature values within the subdomains and then aggregating and weighting based on the number of features within each subdomain within equally-weighted primary domains. In citywide comparisons, NEVI was correlated with multiple existing indices, including the Neighborhood Deprivation Index (r = 0.91) and Social Vulnerability Index (r = 0.87) but provided additional information on features contributing to vulnerability. Vulnerability varied spatially across NYC, and hierarchical cluster analysis using subdomain scores revealed six patterns of vulnerability across domains: 1) low in all, 2) primarily low except residential, 3) medium in all, 4) high demographic, economic, and residential 5) high economic, residential, and health status, and 6) high demographic, economic and health status. Created using methods that offer flexibility for theory-based construction, NEVI provided detailed vulnerability metrics across domains that can inform targeted research and public health interventions aimed at reducing the health impacts from environmental exposures across urban centers.
PMID: 37594675
ISSN: 1468-2869
CID: 5596002

Neighborhood Environmental Vulnerability and Pediatric Asthma Morbidity in US Metropolitan Areas

Kannoth, Sneha; Chung, Sarah E; Tamakloe, Kelvin D; Albrecht, Sandra S; Azan, Alexander; Chambers, Earle C; Sheffield, Perry E; Thompson, Azure; Woo Baidal, Jennifer A; Lovinsky-Desir, Stephanie; Stingone, Jeanette A
BACKGROUND:Research suggests demographic, economic, residential, and health-related factors influence vulnerability to environmental exposures. Greater environmental vulnerability may exacerbate environmentally-related health outcomes. We developed a neighborhood environmental vulnerability index (NEVI) to operationalize environmental vulnerability on a neighborhood-level. OBJECTIVE:We explored the relationship between NEVI and pediatric asthma emergency department (ED) visits (2014-2019) in three US metropolitan areas: Los Angeles (LA) County, California (CA); Fulton County, Georgia (GA); and New York City (NYC), New York (NY). METHODS:We performed separate linear regression analyses examining the association between overall NEVI score and domain-specific NEVI scores (demographic, economic, residential, health status) with pediatric asthma ED visits (per 10,000) across each area. RESULTS:Linear regression analyses suggest that higher overall and domain-specific NEVI scores were associated with higher annual pediatric asthma ED visits. Adjusted R-squared values suggest that overall NEVI scores explained at least 40% of the variance in pediatric asthma ED visits. Overall NEVI scores explained more of the variance in pediatric asthma ED visits in Fulton County. NEVI scores for the demographic, economic, and health status domains explained more of the variance in pediatric asthma ED visits in each area, compared to the NEVI score for the residential domain. CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:Greater neighborhood environmental vulnerability was associated with greater pediatric asthma ED visits in each area. The relationship differed in effect size and variance explained across the areas. Future studies can use NEVI to identify populations in need of greater resources to mitigate the severity of environmentally-related outcomes, such as pediatric asthma.
PMID: 36990323
ISSN: 1097-6825
CID: 5455622

Potential risk factors for reactive arthritis and persistence of symptoms at 2 years: a case-control study with longitudinal follow-up

Garcia Ferrer, Helga Raquel; Azan, Alexander; Iraheta, Isa; Von Feldt, Joan; Espinoza, Luis R; Manasson, Julia; Scher, Jose U; Garcia Kutzbach, Abraham; Ogdie, Alexis
The objective of the study is to determine the risk factors for the development of reactive arthritis (ReA) and examine the factors associated with the persistence of symptoms. Patients with a new diagnosis of ReA and controls with a gastrointestinal (GI), urogenital, or sexually transmitted infection in the 3-6 months prior to study entry were prospectively enrolled in Guatemala City. ReA patients fulfilled the Assessment in Spondyloarthritis International Society criteria for peripheral spondyloarthropathy (SpA). Patients underwent history, examination, Achilles tendon ultrasound, and blood draw. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type and serum biomarkers were measured. t tests and nonparametric equivalents were used to examine the association of clinical, laboratory, and imaging factors with ReA. Patients were contacted 2 years later to assess for persistence of symptoms. Study subjects included patients with ReA (N = 32) and controls (N = 32). ReA patients were most frequently infected in April whereas controls were most frequently infected in August. Two ReA patients and two controls were HLA-B27-positive. Serum cathepsin K and C-reactive protein were higher in ReA patients compared to controls (p = 0.03 for both), while total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein were lower (p = 0.008 and 0.045, respectively). Among those with ReA, 15 (47%) patients had continued symptoms at 2 years. These patients had a lower matrix metalloproteinase-3 level at diagnosis than patients for whom ReA resolved (p = 0.004). HLA-B27 was not associated with development of ReA in Guatemala; however, the month of infection was associated with ReA. The most striking finding was the persistence of arthritis at 2 years in nearly half of the patients.
PMID: 29139030
ISSN: 1434-9949
CID: 2785292