Social inequalities in the progression of COVID-19 in the Mexican population

Ortiz-Hernández et al.


To determine if there are disparities associated with socioeconomic stratification, ethnicity, medical services, and geographic region in the progression of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mexican adults
infected with SARS-CoV-2.


We analyzed data registered by the General Direction of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health of the Federal Government of Mexico regarding the confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The analysis was limited to data from adults 20 years and older recorded up to July 10, 2020 (n=234 870). Indicators of severity of COVID-19 were hospitalization, development of pneumonia, requirement for intubation or admission to the intensive care unit, and death. Differences were estimated according to the level of municipal marginalization, belonging to an indigenous group, geographic region, and service sector. Prevalence ratios (PR) were estimated
using multilevel regression models.


People who lived in municipalities with greater marginalization were at greater risk of presenting the four indicators of severe forms of COVID-19 (PR=1.05 or 1.06). Indigenous people were at greater risk of pneumonia (PR=1.22), hospitalization (PR=1.14) and death (PR=1.23). Among the cases treated in the private health sector, the risk of death was lower (PR=0.40), but the use of intubation or admission to the intensive care unit was higher (PR=4.45).


The trends observed indicate that the effects of COVID-19 are not only related to the biological characteristics of SARS-CoV-2, but also to the resources (or lack thereof) to deal with it, which are distributed by social processes.

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