Presentation Title: Exploratory Analysis of COVID-19 Case Demographics in Gary, Indiana
Author Name(s): Cameron Snapp1, Bill Trimoski1, Martin Brown2, Amy Han3, and Tatiana Kostrominova4
Author Department and School Affiliation: 1Indiana University School of Medicine; 2 Gary Health Department and Gary Sanitary District; 3Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry; 4Indiana University School of Medicine, Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology
Abstract: Health disparities are prevalent in Black and impoverished populations, and COVID-19 is not an exception. Gary, Indiana has a large Black population (80%), high number of residents living below the poverty line (34%), and high unemployment rate (20%). We hypothesized that Black individuals in Gary have a higher rate of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths than non-Black individuals. Also, we hypothesized that income (median household income measured by zip code) is negatively correlated with COVID-19 deaths. In collaboration with the Gary Health Department, we analyzed data on all positive cases in the city through 6/19/2020. Data was de-identified and included age, race, ethnicity, and zip code. Data was analyzed using Pearson’s chi-square test and regression analysis. Positive cases and hospitalizations are 2-fold and 3-fold more frequent in the Black population compared to the non-Black population in Gary (p<0.0001, P<0.01, age and population-adjusted), respectively. Median household income of a zip code is exponentially and negatively correlated with COVID-19 deaths in that zip code (R2=0.7450, p=0.0123). In Gary, there is a clear health disparity of both income and race, specifically in the context of COVID-19. Officials can utilize this data to reallocate resources to highly populated, low income, and predominantly Black neighborhoods.