Exploring the neighbourhood-level correlates of Covid-19 deaths in London using a difference across spatial boundaries method

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Abstract

This paper explores neighbourhood-level correlates of the Covid-19 deaths in London during the initial rise and peak of the pandemic within the UK – the period March 1 to April 17, 2020. It asks whether the person-level predictors of Covid-19 that are identified in reports by Public Health England and by the Office of National Statistics also hold at a neighbourhood scale, remaining evident in the differences between neighbours. In examining this, the paper focuses on localised differences in the number of deaths, putting forward an innovative method of analysis that looks at the differences between places that share a border. Specifically, a difference across spatial boundaries method is employed to consider whether a higher number of deaths in one neighbourhood, when compared to its neighbours, is related to other differences between those contiguous locations. It is also used to map localised ‘hot spots’ and to look for spatial variation in the regression coefficients. The results are compared to those for a later period, April 18 – May 31. The findings show that despite some spatial diffusion of the disease, a greater number of deaths continues to be associated with Asian and Black ethnic groups, socio-economic disadvantage, very large households (likely indicative of residential overcrowding), and fewer from younger age groups. The analysis adds to the evidence showing that age, wealth/deprivation and ethnicity are key risk factors associated with higher mortality rates from Covid-19.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth and Place
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • London
  • mortality
  • risk
  • spatial analysis
  • spatial differences

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