Best Wellness – Craig Medred
If you were lucky enough to have a well-paying job and some status in your community at the start of the pandemic, thank your lucky stars.
Your high socioeconomic status may have done as much as anything to get you alive to read this.
A peer-reviewed study of 16,000 hospitalizations in six states in the late spring of 2020 found that the well-off had about half the chance of being hospitalized than the less well-off.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Yale School of Public Health, and the Colorado and Georgia departments of public health. It was published Friday on PLOS ONE.
Higher socioeconomic status has been shown to protect against many types of illnesses, but in this case there could also have been a connection with who was best able to work from home and avoid them. contact with carriers of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
Those who have observed that the best form of wellness is a good job may have been on to something.
In census tracts with the most service sector workers, researchers reported that “the hospitalization rate associated with COVID-19 was 155.5 per 100,000 people, compared to a rate of 78.7 In the census tracks with the smallest number of these workers.
Similar associations have arisen in connection with public transport.
In the census tracks most frequented by people using public transport, the hospitalization rate “was 142.9 per 100,000 people, compared to 77.4 in the census tracts with the lowest” number of people. using public transport.
Most at risk
The study paints a picture of the U.S. citizens most likely to contract the disease as those with low education living in poverty or on the verge of poverty and who must use public transportation to get to and from work.
For people 25 and older with a college degree, researchers noted that the COVID hospitalization rate was just over half that (71.2 per 100,000) of those who did not. such a diploma (145.5 per 100,000).
The study was conducted at a time when many states had ordered shutdowns, and this may well have influenced who was suffering from greater or lesser exposure to SARS-CoV-2.
“… Because all of these orders allowed essential work to continue, disproportionately high hospitalization rates associated with COVID-19 in census tracts with lower socio-economic indicators and among racial / ethnic minorities could represent cases among essential workers, especially if these people did not have access to properly fitted personal protective equipment.
Essential workers were deemed essential because their work could not be done from the security of their homes, and it is impossible to avoid the fact that this increased their chances of being exposed to the virus.
“… Many occupations in the service industry, such as working in the restaurant business, require working on location and sharing airspace with others,” the authors wrote. Likewise, essential workers exposed during commutes could explain the association between hospitalization rates and commuters using public transport. Other data also suggests that demand for public transportation during pandemic-related closures has occurred in communities serving essential workers and racial / ethnic minorities, the same two groups with increased hospitalization rates in this analysis. “
Then again, the authors noted, there could still be other factors that explain the disparities between people of different socioeconomic status, including underlying health problems common in poor neighborhoods.
So-called “co-morbidities” have been a big problem in the pandemic. A study of nearly 5 million people hospitalized for COVID-19 between March 2020 and March 2021 found that just under 96% of them had a co-morbidity.
Unhealthy = risky
High blood pressure, “disorders of lipid metabolism and obesity were the most common,” said this peer-reviewed study published in July in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. “The most important risk factors for death were obesity, anxiety and fear disorders, and complicated diabetes, along with the total number of conditions.”
According to the study, as the number of comorbidities increased, so did the risk of death.
Much has changed since then – newly developed mRNA vaccines have been shown to be surprisingly effective in protecting people against deadly COVID-19 – but not much has changed as well.
Deaths continue even among those vaccinated and the pattern remains roughly the same.
A revolutionary case study among vaccines published in The Lancet earlier this month reported that “pre-existing co-morbidities in the 14 patients with severe or critical illness included overweight, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, malignancy. , type 2 diabetes, and the use of an immunosuppressive agent.
The sample size for the study was small, but the pattern was so similar to that of the unvaccinated that it’s hard to ignore.
Regardless of one’s personal perspective on immunization – for or against – the data to date continues to make a strong case for losing any excess weight and improving overall fitness.
This is especially true if you believe Dr Vinay Prasad’s prediction that “everyone will come across the virus eventually”.
Associate professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and columnist for MedPage Today, Prasad observed that the COVID-19 pandemic would end like the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19.
He will fade away, but he will not die.
“The end (of the pandemic) is not when cases turn to zero,” he writes, “but rather when we accept what has always been true. Due to the multiplicity of animal reservoirs, the fact that people vaccinated may still fall victim to revolutionary infections and billions of people around the world have yet to be vaccinated, the truth is clear: SARS-CoV-2 is an endemic virus.
“Over the next decade or so, every person on earth has a date with this virus. We will all be exposed and the virus could replicate in some of our respiratory mucous membranes. A few of us might get very sick, while many of us might only get a mild illness or not get sick at all after we meet. “