When it comes to risk factors for COVID-19 mortality, simulation study finds social determinants of health on par with diabetes

African American man sits on a bench

To compensate for there being little data available on the relationship between COVID-19 deaths and social determinants of health, Harvard Pop Center faculty members Ben Seligman and David Bloom, along with their colleague Maddalena Ferranna, have published a simulation study in PLOS Medicine that finds that individual-level social determinants of health (e.g., nonwhite race/ethnicity, income below the median income level, less than a high school education, and being a veteran) are associated with a disproportionate burden of COVID-19 mortality.